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Austin Chronicle Five Steps to a Sluttier You

Online Smut Shopping: A Fashion Makeover of the Sexy Kind

By Stephen MacMillan Moser

AUGUST 14, 2000:  When Frederick's of Hollywood entrepreneur Frederick Mellinger opened his fantasy boutique in 1946, Victoria had no secret, Adam & Eve were only found in the Bible, and ecommerce was nothing more than a typo.

These days, Mellinger's shopping mall fantasia of lacy panties and French maid outfits has gone the way of Orange Julius -- but like so many smut shops, it is still alive and kicking online. When buying fetish wear is as easy as ordering the latest Harry Potter book, who wouldn't want to reconnect with their inner dominatrix?

The only problem is: Where to start? What to buy? Which lip clamps, clit blasters, and dildo mouth gags are right for me? We've all been there. Here's a look at the world of online smut shops -- providing a slut goddess makeover, if you will, a fashion emergency of the sexy kind.

#1: Face Facts ... You Talk Too Much!

Your face provides so many opportunities for accessorizing. Online you can find everything from kitty ears and French maid's caps to more arcane items such as hoods and masks. But particularly intriguing to me are the lip clamps available at WD Brame -- once applied to your loved one's mouth, a simple tug of the chain produces immediate silence. Offering "Pain. Humiliation. Control. All in one ingenious toy," this delightful device can change the direction of your relationship. I'd like to see these items become more popular -- maybe they could be distributed at movie theatres or come as an accessory for all cell phones. But, of course, I hold onto the chain. And who could resist the "double-dildo mouth gag" at Purple Passion? This descriptively titled little item is reversible, with one side offering only minor oral intrusion, while the other side brings tears to the eyes.

#2: Body of Evidence ... Powder vs. Lube

Costuming is rampant on the Internet -- executioners, nurses, and Emma Peel looks are prevalent, along with such exotics as the crotch-grazing, patent leather nun's habit. Leather, and particularly black leather, is abundant in every garment imaginable. In addition to the ubiquitous leather, there are multitudes of latex and rubber garments available. This seems to be the new look -- sort of a cross between a wetsuit and a uniform. In addition to the basic black fetish wear, latex and rubber can be had in everything from adult diapers to swimwear to ball gowns. Right off, we learn a few ground rules about these clothes. For rubber, it is suggested that powder be applied for easing the clothes on. Needless to say, the rubber is not very practical for the heat, and one dedicated wearer of rubber clothing warns us that perspiration escapes anywhere it can -- the spine provides a perfect drainage ditch, mixing the sweat with the powder and emptying the mess directly into the back of your pants. Very erotic. Latex, on the other hand, seems to want lubrication -- non-petroleum based, of course. Other assorted delights for the torso and adjoining areas at Purple Passion include the "leather-studded rolling pin," which offers tantalizing possibilities -- both in the dungeon and the kitchen. The "spiky butt pads" have charm and wit, and although I'm still unsure how they're applied, they would make a great S&M version of a whoopee cushion.

At the Toy Bag, "Dripping Sensations'" low-temperature "play candles" sound good -- though doesn't the low temperature defeat the purpose of the hot wax? Furthermore, I wonder if low-temperature wax is any easier to remove from a damask tablecloth? And at Leather by Danny, don't overlook those hanging cages and chain webs. Great for casual dating -- nothing gives a better impression than a person-size cage in your living room. And imagine the chain webs. A smart investment, they can do double-duty as a drying rack for your fine washables, or a jungle gym for the kids.

#3: Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

Purple Passion sells a little device known as the Lightning Hands Violet Wand Kit, which probably doesn't have anything to do with hands at all, but sounds alluring, providing light voltage for the most sensitive areas. Presumably you'll want to keep it away from Access Denied's stainless steel, mirror-finish cuffs, armbands, and collars that are high-style club wear, and can be engraved with such sobriquets as: BRAT, BAD GIRL, DADDY'S BOY, MISTRESS, SLAVE, TOP, BOTTOM, SLUT. Or, you might choose the colored bondage rope from Purple Passion -- for the fashion-conscious hostage scene. But you won't need ropes at all with Sportsheets' velvet-like sheets with various restraints that attach with velcro anywhere you want. Comfort is supposed to be the idea here and maybe that's where the idea of "playing" comes in -- if you're going to be bound and gagged for any length of time anyway, you might as well try and make yourself comfortable, right? After all, you're not really a second-grade teacher being held captive by her plumber -- you're just playing one. And though the whole restraint question has its charms, my overwhelming concern is that I'd look like a large flying squirrel that crashed into the bed.

#4: Play Ball!

So many items for the genitals fall into the category of Things I Didn't Know I Needed. The enchanting "Seven Gates of Hell," for example -- a series of metal rings in graduated sizes attached with a strip of leather. Presumably, it gets applied somewhere in the nether regions, but hopefully it comes with instructions. Other accessories include Access Denied's testicle cuff -- keeps them under control, I guess. If you're in the market for something a little more severe, Purple Passion's "adjustable genital crusher" may hold some allure -- though why the adjustments? If you're talking about crushed genitals, one setting should be plenty. Or their "remote control clit blaster" sounds like something useful in everyday life -- as long as you keep the remote. Other accessories abound. At Toybag, the Dick Stick, the Woodie, and the Boulder Holder are enticing little numbers, and catheters, speculums, forceps, and disinfectants insure that a good time is sure to be had by all.

But everything pales in the face of Access Denied's "ultimate in denial" -- with a disclaimer reading, "These devices are permanent. Once you have given the keys to another person, you will not be able to remove the item." We are, of course, talking about chastity belts. And very serious ones, at that. The measurement process is outlined, with instructions such as "measure from waist to anus, in front ..." or "measure down to the top of the labia ..." or "Insert a small object (pencil) so that you will have a point to measure to ..." And accuracy is stressed, since these items are made from stainless steel (an excellent choice). They are padded with Plastisol-coated neoprene, for hygiene and comfort and are meant to be worn on a daily basis under clothing. You may shower, bathe, and perform all bodily functions while wearing them. But that doesn't mean to imply in any way that there's any freedom involved. Let's discuss the little feature called the "High Security Penis Tube." Intriguing, no? We'll let them describe it. "We now offer a new penis tube with an anti-pullout bar. It is made of stainless steel and coated with Plastisol. With this tube installed, it is next to impossible to remove the penis from the tube with the belt in place. This tube is not necessary for everyone, but it does provide an extra measure of security for those who can remove their penis from the standard tube due to extreme shrinkage, or who need a larger than normal tube due to edema which can be caused by strong nighttime erections. The bar can be bent slightly to adjust for comfort."

With denial being such a popular quality nowadays, you'd think these babies would be flying out the door. Access Denied also offers the chastity bra, as well as the "She Male," a vagina-like attachment for the front of the men's chastity belts. Gentlemen, start your engines.

#5: Who Needs Shoes When You're Lying Down?

Much has been devoted to the legs and feet -- shoes, stockings and garter belts of every description are available. Many of the shoes do not appear to be designed for standing, but rather for lying down. Stockings made of inner-tubing that zip up the back have an added bonus -- wear them to the office for the day, and your legs will be inches slimmer.

The sheer variety of goods available caters to even the most peculiar fetish, and there is something for everyone. Needless to say, all items are to be considered novelty items, and these Web sites are definitely not for children. But for open-minded adults, the opportunities to explore the darkest fantasies abound like never before. Though, I'm not sure about all this "living out your fantasies" business. I'm afraid that if my fantasy included wearing a rubber cheerleader outfit, lip clamps, and a catheter, that scenario should remain exactly what it is -- a fantasy.

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