Jon's Bondage Blog

JonWoods by JonWoods @
NOTE: The images in this blog entry are not mine. However, since they are being used in a commentary, it is my firm belief that this falls under the umbrella of Fair Use. If any of the copyright holders feel differently and ask me to remove any of them, I will do so immediately.

A little while back on http://brianspage.com (the long-running mainstream bondage discussion page) there was a brief thread on mainstream versus commercial bondage scenes. It wasn't a big surprise that everyone commenting on it stated their preference for the mainstream. And that's their opinion. However I believe some of the comments and criticism of us in the commercial sector were uninformed, or at least under-informed.

I had conflicting feelings about writing about this. Realistically, I don't expect to change anyone's mind, so it may be pointless. But on the other hand, I've probably produced more homages, parodies and recreations of mainstream scenes than any other English-language bondage producer over the course of my career, so I feel I may be a little better qualified to address this topic than most. Like most bondage fans I have a genuine affinity for those scenes since, like most of us, that was the source for my psychological imprinting for our favorite fetish.

The acting in commercial bondage videos is frequently criticized. For the most part, I think the  models do a remarkable job with what they're given — which is frequently not much. The mainstream actress has to act distressed for a few seconds of screen-time on average. The bondage models have to sustain their character being in distress and keep it interesting for the duration of the scene, anywhere from six to 12  minutes on average. The mainstream damsel has a long time to prepare, while her commercial bondage counterpart has no rehearsal and usually only one take.

Other complaints were about the lack of plot and suspense. These days customers are paying roughly a dollar a minute for a video, and they don't want to spend several dollars on non-bondage content. (But hey, if a big build-up is your thing, many bondage producers offer custom work.) It's a very different market now than the days of VHS tapes when we had an hour to fill and we could take more time to develop a story. The mainstream fans aren't satisfied with the lack of peril. But the government/merchant banks/Visa won't allow bondage producers to use guns, knives, chloroform or any number of other things that are available for non-adult entertainment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=092QC0GYYw4 They griped about the production values. When bondage companies are going extinct because of tube sites and rampant file sharing, it's difficult enough to pay the models and stay in business let alone strive for improving production values. If you want better quality, start paying for your porn.

Speaking of which, over the years the writing and quality of TV has become much better, but the damsel-in-distress scenes have suffered greatly because of it. By the way, I'm referring to the adventure and drama type programs. I doubt sitcoms have changed significantly, except the season is only about half as many episodes as they used to be (and thus have 50% fewer chances for any bondage scenes in them, as if they had any). On the one hand we've come to expect shows that are like 40-minute big-budget movies with 20 minutes of ads (hour-long for non-network programming, of course). But with the evolution of better writing and cinematography, more realism is expected -- and rightfully so. Because of changing sensibilities in TV and movies as well, the damsel-in-distress scenes are not as pretty or sexy any more. Usually they're dimly-lit, poorly framed, and/or the woman looks horrible. That's exemplified by this commonly-seen practice: Quite a few bloggers or fans of mainstream damsel scenes will have side-by-side photos of a given actress. The left photo will be a glamour shot or more normal photo showing how the woman looks at her best. The right photo is her bondage scene, and in many cases you wouldn't have guessed it was the same person, if you can even see there's someone in that murky screen-shot. I've created my own example of this below with Aubrey Plaza. You can see she's a lovely woman in the left photo. The right photo is from her damsel scene in "Child's Play" -- which one Brian's Page fan declared was his favorite scene of the year. Again, his opinion. Or maybe bondage  is evolving and an attractive woman looking like crap has become an accepted part of the fetish now.



It's a fortunate convergence of events for the mainstream bondage fans that they now have previously undreamed-of access to international scenes, and many other countries don't seem to make their damsels look god-awful, or avoid damsel scenes altogether. And these days it seems like most of the scenes the Brian's Page guys are sharing are foreign. I can only surmise the build up of suspense and acting transcends the language barrier for them.

I fully understand their desire to see that gorgeous actress that they've been watching for weeks or possibly years on end finally get tied up. But if it ultimately does happen, it's almost invariably disappointing. That's why those shitbag photomanipulators will steal commercial bondage photos to make a more idealized image of their favorite actress in the ropes, even if she's already had a scene or two (or more).

At the risk of sounding like an old fart yearning for those golden days of yesteryear, I'm not impressed with what the mainstream fans are excited about these days.  Because of the way most damsel-in-distress scenes are handled in mainstream entertainment currently, I don't actively seek them out, nor have I seen anything outstanding in quite a long time. But that's just my opinion.  
JonWoods by JonWoods @
Melody Marks https://twitter.com/MelodyMarksxxx has righteously earned her title of "Rookie of the Year" and is a strong contender for the "Damsel of the Year" award. As well as being gorgeous, she's also quite a remarkable performer, and she has a certain "something."

For some time now I've been looking for a woman to play the part of the superheroine "American Damsel." I must confess that for my mental image of the character, she would've been more like a comic book character brought to life: bright blonde hair, gigantic breasts, bubble butt and long, shapely legs. Sort of like "Little Annie Fanny" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Annie_Fanny with a cape. But Melody is extraordinary, and so instead of giving my site's namesake character attributes reflecting the excesses of the American lifestyle I went with her youthful enthusiasm and powerful sexuality edged with innocence, packaged in an amazing all-natural body.



For the superheroine fans, they may be a little disappointed that Ms. Marks only wears her costume in one scene of the story. I must admit that if this video is successful and there are sequels, I hope to come up with a better, more creative outfit for her. Melody did love the over-the-knee boots, though. Shortly after our shoot she added a pair to her wish list https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/F1XWXNGT6FWI albeit in her favorite color, pink.

But I have no aptitude for costume design, nor do I have the budget to hire Darla Crane (or someone similarly talented) to design and create a more iconic costume for American Damsel. Until I do, I guess we'll have to make do with the off-the-rack bikini. It looks great on Melody, but I still have hopes for something better in the future.

As for the story, I brought back a villain from long ago to be her arch-enemy. "Nightmare" was probably last seen back in the Harmony days battling Dynamic Damsel and locking horns with Mistress Meow. (He also reappeared briefly for one of Jim Weathers' Halloween parties a few years back, but sadly, no one recognized him.) It was a fortuitous choice for this video, as in the first shoot of the story American Damsel was put into a deep dream state by the black-clad baddie, then for a later shoot we got the nightmare sequence. As originally planned, Ms. Marks was going to be a suspended fairy for her bad dream. Like the mermaid segment later in the tale, it was something she personally wanted to do. However the clock was not on our side that day, and without sufficient time to safely do a suspension we had to settle for a standing tie. But you may notice that whenever possible in the nightmare sequence, Melody would lift herself up off the ground and spin around (she posted a between-takes spin for her twitter feed that day). You might also notice that our damsel seems to be decidedly un-distressed in those moments.

We still want to do a more involved suspension with her, as we always strive to keep the models happy. I hope we'll have the opportunity soon. Melody has been traveling quite a bit for her mainstream adult work, but I believe she's still planning to move to L.A. from the Midwest.

Because of the way the opening credits were done, it would not have been easy to acknowledge a couple of people who deserve a mention. The special effects sequences were done by Flying Superheroes VFX https://twitter.com/FlyingVfx and those nasty implements used to terrorize American Damsel in the dream sequence were courtesy of "Downtown Dave." Thanks, dudes!

The main story is followed by "Leopard Lady Defeated!" and it stars Savannah Sixx https://twitter.com/TheSavannahSixx On the day we shot that scene, we were improvising. As we were looking through the wardrobe room for something interesting to use, I remembered that I'd recently collected all our leopard-print stuff into one box. I thought that would look amazing on her, especially with her incredible long, dark hair.



It wasn't until afterward that I came up with the "Leopard Lady" character name for the scene. It's partly a parody of a certain big cat-oriented villainess. But I was surprised when I Googled the name that it hasn't been used since some distinctly unrelated short story in the pulps almost a hundred years ago. Lorelei https://twitter.com/BedroomBondage came up with the "Wow Woman" name off the top of her head. (That's the unseen superheroine who's holding Leopard Lady captive after vanquishing her.)  Again, as far as I can tell, no comic book character has ever used that particular moniker either. But I would guess if she should ever be brought to the screen, she'll probably look like my initial vision of "American Damsel."

While Savannah never directly expressed an interest in bondage, she did seem especially fascinated by the way it looks on her. And since this was a non-rope scene (we only used cuffs) we got to rig quickly and let her experience a nice variety of positions and a few different gags. And she looks fantastic in all of them.

I've been hoping to get Savannah back in front of our cameras again but, as you would imagine, she's in high demand and has been quite busy lately. Still, like Melody, I've got some interesting things planned for her return.

"American Damsel's Nightmare" is available now at my clips store http://c4s.com/6571 http://americandamsels.net and at http://fmconcepts.us and later for members at http://americandamsels.com 
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