Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Subtlety

I've been irritated for ages by my habit of not posting on my blog unless I have time to post an essay. This is hardly ever, so I'm having a go (and do bear with me if I fail) at posting shorter posts, more often.

This picture (for Restrained Elegance) is what I want to talk (briefly!) about today, because I really like it. The near-symmetry of the composition, the nudity in a formal-looking environment, and the fact that it's not awfully clear what's going on appeals to me (even though it's a picture of me, which normally guarantees I won't find it terribly sexy). As time goes on, I find myself less and less keen on images that give you everything on a plate (in particular, sexually explicit shots, although I'm certainly not telling you that you shouldn't like them) and I find myself getting a great deal of pleasure from the subtler BDSM elements you can sometimes get a glimpse of in mainstream movies. I've been watching The Tudors and finding it fabulously hot in the clandestine way I used to, way before I knew about BDSM erotica. The king is allowed to have sex with anyone he chooses! When the ladies curtsey to him, they never seem to actually get up again! All the actresses look like Met-Art stars! (err, even when they're meant to be 40+, but no matter).

Now, obviously nothing we shoot for Restrained Elegance can afford to be quite so elliptical as mainstream work when it comes to referencing BDSM, but I'm quite keen on the idea of a little subtlety, nevertheless.

Hope you're all well, and thanks as ever for visiting.

A/a xx

12 comments:

Ariel/Amelia said...

Is this actually how you SPELL subtlety? It looks so very, very weird....

Dana said...

Yes, it does look weird, but I think it's spelled correctly.

I love the photo. The pleasing geometry and clean, soft, warm monochromatic composition. Your coloring blends seamlessly into the formal architecture of the setting, and yet you stand out at its center in stark and dramatic contrast. What is this woman doing here, naked and cuffed? Apparently serving some ritual of penance. This is like "corner-time" for a bondage scene, body language strongly submissive, up on toes, your own reflection to confront you rather than the corner. As striking as the bondage theme is, it's the beautiful feminine architecture of your body that draws my eye to the image again and again.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating how the ambiguity of the image allows different interpretations. Until I read what Dana wrote (which is probably a more reasonable interpretation than mine), I saw the photo as capturing Ariel/Amelia in the process of motion; I saw her not on tiptoes but walking (in tiny steps because her ankles are shackled). Specifically, since she's on the intermediate landing of a stair, she's walking upstairs (how can she climb even a single step when her motion is so restricted? -- the conventional sassy answer would be "with great difficulty"); about to turn left or right to climb the second flight of steps. What will she do when she's struggled her way up the steps? Report to one of the bedrooms for further indignities?

My interpretation may be unrealistic, but I guess stairs imply motion to me.

It's hard for me to imagine anyone looking at a photo of Ariel/Amelia and NOT finding it sexy. I guess to her it's "just my body." What a shame she can't enjoy its magnificence like the rest of us can.

Thanks for the post, A/A.

Michael

Houdin said...

I see you pushing yourself up on your toes as if to preparing to dive gracefully through that mirror into another world.
It is certainly a photograph that leaves room for many interpretations.

olde mike said...

This woman has clearly been commanded upstairs to the Punishment Room in order to answer for her earlier transgressions. It’s up that left stairway, second door on the right. For this punishment her wrist cuffs, which are permanent accessories, have been locked together behind her back in preparation for the chastisement she is soon to receive. There is also a short chain connecting her ankles, just out of view, that is only long enough to allow a careful navigation of the risers. Is this causing her tentative a tiptoe steps, or is it the knowledge of what awaits at her destination?

Once she reaches the Punishment Room she is required to take the specified instrument down from the rack on the wall, with her teeth of course. She is then to kneel in the center of the room to await her Master’s pleasure. The wait may be lengthy, or perhaps brief, she never knows. When he finally does appear he expects to find her there, kneeling erect, the whip between her teeth proffered for his use. He will then restrain her appropriately for the prescribed punishment. We can only imagine what that might entail, as we can only imagine how many strokes she will receive, or where they may fall. If we were to observe her an hour hence, or perhaps two, would we see traces of his discipline and that fair flesh? One can only hope so.

Yes, subtlety is good, even great. This is definitely one of those images where less is more, and encourages more yet. I may have to revisit my membership to RE.

Julian said...

I much prefer the more subtle suggestions in photographs. I don’t like your example picture, why? Because you are naked, nothing left for my imagination to fill in. In contrast take some of the other pictures you have posted. 11 Dec, you were tied to a tree, I spent ages looking at that one, suspended off the ground but you didn’t appear to be hanging. Are you holding on and that grimace for real or was the rope doing all the supporting. You are too good an actor. But with the exception of shoes you were no more exposing your body than you would walking down the high street. The pictures from your Norway shoot, you tied up sitting on a rock in front of a mountain, yes very impressive but the one I enjoyed the most, all I could see was your head. Please, make us use our minds.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article! I like your work and I agree that sometimes subtlety or implication is more resonant than explicit imagery - partly because you can return to it more than once - partly because they better invoke the moods of threat and power imbalance that are at the root of bdsm - and that are, after all, perceptual.

Kaelah said...

I'm absolutely with you about subtlety, especially concerning pictures. It leaves room for personal fantasies and different interpretations. Of course for example in a spanking clip I also want to see the action and the marks, but even there I like variety and different levels of nudity (for me fully clothed spankings can be very exciting as well, especially in a fitting scenario).

And I like your photo very much, the symmetry and clear lines combined with your beautiful body and elegant pose make for a very beautiful composition.

T-Town said...

Hi Ariel/Amelia ... Big fan of your bondage videos (especially the ones where you wear suntan pantyhose, which make your mile-long legs look fantastic!) I know you've moved more toward spanking but will you be doing more rope bondage videos that showcase your fabulous legs? There's no other bondage model out there like you!!!

Sybarite said...

Have you ever done, or would you ever do, a tickling video?

Adrian said...

Citing your interview (alas, these are so few to date) for the Spank Place: "So, at my house there are lots of house rules that I have to keep. And it wouldn’t make a good movie because it’s far too subtle and not very visual." Just for me, it seems like a rule of those lots has not been kept, and now the beautiful lady is subtly moving towards the consequences...

Besides, I dare to think those house rules could make a really good and never too subtle movie, a one better than The Tudors (starring a much more exciting actress, after all). And also I dare to think it would make a great and very readable blog post if you would, one day, share some of those rules with us on your blog. Well, there are some hints on the blog, in interviews, here and there, but anyway, it would be very interesting to have a bit more knowledge about how strict and demanding (or, maybe, really sparing and lenient?) is the daily domestic regimen that the most beautiful woman in the entire world lives under.

Hope I didn't say anything inappropriate. Only the best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

My name is Tom.

I just wanted to say that i love all your pictures and i like that your husban/boyfriend support you in this. You both are lucky to have your selfs. I wouldl like my wife do some fetish with me also, but in my case she is not interested as i am. Well i wish you guy the best and continue doing what you like.

And I can tell you Ariel that you look so sexy. I envy your husban ;)

regards Tom