We Got Caveats!

This chart is the product of many hours of research by me, forcing myself hour after hour to read about women bound and gagged, to look at vidcaps about women bound and gagged, and to look at video clips of women bound and gagged. It was a great deal of fun, though I was hurried somewhat by my desire to complete the project in my own lifetime.

I also have had the advice of people whose expertise is far greater than my own, people who have collected bondage scenes in mainstream media for decades longer than I have.

Still, the product of my researches has convinced me that the chart is almost certainly inaccurate, especially with regard to movies.

U.S. - Centric

That's because the database I have used was started when the Internet was still primarily a U.S. province, and it covers US media to a much greater degree than it does media based in other countries. This does not reflect any ethnocentrism in my opinion, it's just a reflection of the fact that so many of the database's contributors are American. Although it contains listings of scenes from such diverse countries as Australia, Japan, China, Thailand, Uruguay, Czechoslovakia and many others, these countries, with the possible exceptions of England and Canada, are not at all well represented in the database.

Frex, It's quite conceivable that with their different cultures, countries such as Germany and Japan have far outpaced American cinema in terms of bondage imagery. I say that because despite their limited number of entries, these countries have both had their share of firsts, and very often when they have not produced firsts, have produced scenes that are serious contenders for firsts. I can't help but believe that if they were as well represented in the database as scenes from US TV and cinema, that they would have a lot more firsts. This is particularly true of Japan, which have a number of films in the database dating from the mid 1970s that have powerful bondage imagery.

Temporal Limitations

In addition the database has very few entries prior to 1920, yet we know that during this period there were many short films made, particularly of the action-adventure genre that are most likely to produce bondage scenes in mainstream films. We also know that prior to 1902, Georges Melies in France was making nudie films (porn by the standards of the time, but suitable for broadcast TV in Europe by modern standards). Surely there must have been a lot of bondage scenes that aren't in the record.

The dearth of scenes in the database from this period could well exist because of the massive loss of films from that era -- they were recorded on film stocks that were much more chemically volatile than modern film stocks, and many degraded so thoroughly over time that they became unusable decades before there were film scholars seeking to preserve them. And of course, many of the early filmmakers did not think of their films as something to be preserved, and simply threw the film away or discarded it in some dank basement or garbage bin once it stopped being a commercially viable product.

Obscure Sources

In addition to these large and systematic problems with my information sources there are undoubtedly some instances of potentially rich sources of bondage firsts which are poorly represented in my information sources. Let me tell you about one that I know of: "Electric Blue." This was a UK-based video magazine, designed to be the equivalent of Playboy or Penthouse Magazine, except that it was presented on video. It consisted of short vignettes, fakey "news" about sexy activities such as topless car washes, and sexy vignettes and video short stories.

Given that the Electric Blue series started way back in 1979, they had a decade's head start over most television scenes involving nudity and/or sex, which typically don't occur until the 90s. Given that they originated in England, they might not have been so inhibited about bondage scenes. So the series could easily have produced some firsts. Yet there is only one entry for Electric Blue in the database, and it's not a first.

There may well be other series and relatively obscure genres of films that could be a source of firsts. For example, I know that in England during the 1920s there was a series of films purporting to warn young girls of the dangers of living too free a life. Mainly, that danger consisted of being kidnapped by white slaves and forced to dance around naked and do sexy things while naked for Arab sheiks. All I have is a few vidcaps from one of these films, but it's enough to convince me that there might be some more nude sexual bondage imagery in that series, which, dating from the 20s, might knock off a whole slew of firsts.

Who knows what else is out there? I don't, and I know enough about what IS out there to make me feel sure there are firsts I have not found, most especially in terms of movies.

Television Limitations

In terms of television, I'm much more confident that my firsts are, if not the absolute firsts, close to being so. That's because many of the experts I have been advised by have been collecting scenes for decades, and are quite knowledgeable about what scenes have aired right back to the 1950s, some of them from personal memory, many just from having followed bondage imagery for so long with a collector's avid interest. Still, the early 50s are not well represented in the database on Brian's Page, and what records there are can be less than useful -- for example, a simple notation that the Kit Carson TV series, which dates from 1951 and ran for several seasons, had bound and gagged scenes. What sort of scenes? We have no idea.

There may be some obscure scenes dating back to mechanical television, which was actually producing TV images prior to the 1930s, but we just don't have any information dating from then. Even if we did, the recording technology for TV images didn't exist at the time, or if it did exist, was not in widespread use -- that's why early TV was live TV, mistakes and all. So these images might only exist as production stills, or more likely, human memories and written descriptions.

Artifacts

You'll notice that some films, like Haxan show up in several categories. It's a semi-documentary about witchcraft through the ages (its real purpose is to accuse modern psychotherapy of being a modern form of superstition) and includes plenty of imagery of various bondage and torture techniques used on suspected witches, some of whom are depicted nude. Since Haxan was made in 1922, it has scored many firsts. However, greater familiarity with films made prior to 1920 would almost certainly reduce the number of firsts by Haxan, and possibly eliminate it altogether. This undoubtedly true of some of the other multi-first movies and TV shows as well.

Gag Snobbery

There's also a strong selection bias on Brian's Page due to snobbery. Gag snobbery to be exact. Many of the people who contribute to the bondage scene database do not believe a bondage scene is worth noting unless it includes a gag. So they do not record such scenes in the database, which is why "Tarzan and the Slave Girl," which has multiple bondage scenes, only had a single scene involving a gag recorded in the database until I found it. How many other scenes have gone unrecorded because they lacked a gag? I don't know. I would hazard to guess, plenty. Once again, this doesn't represent a deliberate bias, just a reflection of the fact that many contributors to the scene database wouldn't think to list a scene if it didn't include a gag.

That said, this chart does represent what may well be millions of man hours, and some unrecorded number of woman-hours (the posters on Brian's Page's message forums are overwhelmingly male, so it stands to reason that the same applies to contributors to the database) of unrelenting study of bondage scenes in mainstream media. It may not be perfect, but it's going to be hard to beat.

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