Edited by: Zamil
Although all the evidence suggests that fetish print magazines as a breed have little or no future, there are still markets for certain kinds of printed publication, and if a new high quality product comes along that genuinely plugs a gap, there’s a chance it will survive.
Bondage Magazine, just on its sixth issue, could be such a beast. Launched around 18 months ago by German publisher Bizarre Medien, the magazine created considerable interest at 2009’s Fetish Evolution, and has been heavily promoted at subsequent German events.
Unlike the classic American bondage magazine genre, the remnants of which are encountered mainly in archived form on the net, Bondage Magazine has taken its inspiration primarily from the modern Western interest in Japanese rope bondage. Its format also borrows key stylistic elements from the Japanese publishing approach.
With its A5 (pocketsize) glossy format, perfect-bound (glued) square spine and distinctive cover graphics (typically a cut-out image of a model in bondage on a white background), it immediately evoked for me the pocket-sized SM magazines I had first seen in Japan in the 1980s.
Unlike those Japanese mags, however, the impression of book-like quality is maintained throughout the mag’s 116 pages, which are glossy heavy art paper and full-colour throughout, rather than the Japanese mix of a few glossy colour sections with a mass of monochrome text pages on cheap newsprint.
The art paper allows for pleasing presentation of the erotic bondage photography which is one element of the mag’s editorial mix. However, this is a publication whose main aim, if anything, is more information than titillation.
Its pages present rope art very much as art; they also profile the bondage scene’s celebrities and scrutinise their work, carry well-illustrated instructional articles on specific techniques, and also discusses genres of bondage and bondage equipment outside the world of rope — such as straitjackets and handcuffs.
The primary focus of the magazine is on the European bondage scene, but that’s not a problem. The main downside is that at the moment, Bondage Magazine is available only in the German language.
This means, obviously, that unless you read German, the main pleasure you’re going to get is from looking at the pictures. But because the design and printing quality is so high, there is a value in this that should not be underestimated.
Basically, as long as you speak the language of bondage, you’ll probably find this publication worth adding to your collection.
Issue 6 was due out on July 1, and the mag’s quarterly issues are available individually or on a year’s subscription that costs €31.60.
Annoyingly, the website, though in English, does not yet provide clear purchasing info for customers outside the euro-zone. But once they get a few enquiries from America, Australia and the UK, one trusts that will change. TM