Sunday 11.22.09

Damsel in Distress. Or, DiD.

I really am trying to figure out the popularity of DiD. WiseGeek suggests the following:

One of the oldest themes in literature and drama is the damsel in distress, in which a young and presumably innocent woman is held captive against her will by an evildoer, or cannot free herself from a curse or some other psychological captivity. The only person capable of rescuing a damsel in distress is an altruistic hero figure, typically a knight in shining armor in Medieval literature. The roots of the archetypal “damsel in distress,” however, can be traced back as far as Greek tragedies involving young female mortals and their harrowing encounters with gods and demigods.

Although the “damsel” in damsel in distress may sound Germanic in origin, it is actually a corruption of the French word demoiselle suggesting a delicate young woman. In a literary context, a damsel would often be interpreted as a naive woman-child with few natural survival instincts or real world experience, perhaps a sheltered member of a royal family or an untraveled country maiden. A damsel in distress such as Rapunzel, however, might use her wiles to assist her eventual rescuer or lull her captor into a false sense of security.

One of the essential parts of a damsel in distress scenario is the heroic effort to rescue her. In many tales of damsels in distress, several would-be rescuers fail because they have ulterior motives of sexual conquest or otherwise lack the moral fortitude of a true knight in shining armor. The moral of many of these “damsel in distress” stories is not strictly about the rescuing process, but the altruistic reasons for the rescue. Evil must be defeated before the damsel can be released from its grip, and only the most heroic and purest of heart would have the power to succeed.

My guess is that in bondage related images the idea is that the “motives of sexual conquest” part of it is more likely to be the inspiration. People looking at these images can fantasize about what deranged thing they might be able to do to or with the damsel once rescued. Perhaps her will is so broken at that point she is willing to do anything. Perhaps she is so grateful for the release and rescue that she will do the same.

So, in a recent bondage shoot with Amy we broke out some wardrobe that was here in the studio and made an attempt to create some of these types of images. I really did not care for the results but then I took another look at them with the idea that if presented in a certain way, they might work out in ways other than what I had been looking at. In other images containing full nudity and rope work it has been my goal, for the most part, to present things in a suggestive manner. Once in a while there is more of a crotch shot than what I want to show in an image, but even with these I kind of try to keep it somewhat subdued. With an image like this:

It is pretty much all suggestive. She is clothed, areas of her body are somewhat revealed, she is apparently bound. From there, all of the people that are into DiD can use their imagination. Will she get out of this? Can she do it on her own? Why is she there like that? What evil plan did the person have in mind? Was it an evil plan or some kind of consensual arrangement and part of some scene?

So, my part here is to present this in a way that evokes those questions or emotions. Can I do it in a more artistic fashion or is it just the same old “some young babe tied up” kind of image.

Whatever it is, I’ll continue to try to figure it out and figure out a way that it could be presented in an artistic and less cheesy manner.

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