Sex & Gender

Who Hogtied Bettie Page?

Don't know which hand to hold the whip in? Get sex, love, relationship advice from Mistress Lera by emailing Read more about Mistress Lera at Notes From a Miami Dominatrix.

Dear Mistress,
I'm totally obsessed with retro pin-up Bettie Page and have been sporting her blunt bangs for years. But when prowling one of her fan websites, I've stumbled upon a picture of my beautiful Bettie all tied up, gagged and spanked. What a turn off. I don't get what people find so attractive about being tied up. Why are some many people into bondage? What's wrong with them?


Not Into Bondage

Dear NIB,

Just because chains and ropes don't excite you, doesn't mean that there's something wrong with those people who get aroused by stuff like that. Bondage is more than just the use of restraints for sexual pleasure. Bondage is a form of art.

More than that, bondage is philosophy or as Michel Foucault argued, a form of communication. There is so much more to what you saw in that picture of Bettie Page tied up, gag-balled, with her ass high up in the air being paddled. It is more than just an image that you jerk off to.

Being tied up is about complete and total surrender and submission. It represents your willingness to give yourself up in exchange for pain and pleasure.

But I don't blame you entirely, and I know this will totally add more fans to my I-Hate-Mistress-Lera club, but although she's known as a pin-up queen, Bettie Page was not that great of a model. All of her fetish pictures seem to be very unconvincing. Not hating, just saying.

And just like you, NIB, I have a confession to make: I admit I totally suck at rope, and frankly, it is not really an interest of mine. However, I do admire bondage as a form of art and respect those who love being tied up or love tying up. You, my dear Not Into Bondage, should try and do the same thing: Respect those in front of and behind the rope.

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Lera Gavin