Giving Back at Suit Supply: Terry Richardson for Vogue Paris

by Violet Blue on December 1, 2010

Terry Richardson West

Many of you will remember the recent post (and online debate) about Suit Supply, a European suit company that contracted sexually-charged photos for their new line. The images depicted men in suits, and women in… not much. There was much debate around the women as sex objects, we mulled whether their images were demeaning or stereotypical, and whether they were submissive (many felt they were, I suggested that submission did not necessarily equal degradation).

Anyway, we all pretty much agreed on one thing: we wanted to see men in the same sexual positions and circumstances as the Suit Supply women. I’ve been looking. Imagine my surprise tonight finding this gallery by… Terry Richardson?

Tell me that if this photoset was gender-reversed, Jezebel wouldn’t implode.

Images: Abbey Lee Kershaw, Crystal Renn & Eniko Mihalik by Terry Richardson for Vogue Paris (

Violet Blue

The London Times named Violet Blue "One of the 40 bloggers who really count" and Self Magazine named TinyNibbles one of the “Best Sex Resources for Women.” Blue is an autodidact and pundit on sex and technology, hacking and security, porn for women, privacy and bleeding-edge tech culture. She is a journalist for ZDNet, CBS News, CNET; she's an educator, speaker, crisis counselor, volunteer NGO trainer, and the author and editor of over 40 award-winning books.

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1 Blueworld December 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I’m surprised to find I think that this picture is much less sexy than the Suit Supply campaign. I think it’s because this one is even more contrived. The women have been posed above an exposed man, but they don’t look like they could dominate their way out of a wet paper bag. For one thing, they look totally uninterested in him, and the one holding the brand is in a weird position. Dominance isn’t necessarily about physical power, but there’s a physical tool being used here and I don’t believe these models are actually strong enough to pick up the branding iron in the first place.

Also, I wish we could see his ass better.

2 Bacchus December 3, 2010 at 6:17 am

For some odd reason I woke up thinking about this and trying to think if I’d ever seen a similar image with a roped woman being branded like cattle.

Sex blogging since 2002 my visual vocabulary is very large — it’s not possible for any one person to have “seen it all” but I have seen a lot. Oh, my children, the things I have seen.

But there must be one hell of a set of taboos around this, because I have not seen it.

Actual female branding in voluntary body modification and BDSM/slave contexts, I have seen aplenty. And the fantasy version in prose (Pauline Reage, John Norman, a million imitators) of the female slave branded by her master, often against her will, I have seen. Likewise in graphic novel form. (Guido Crepax, Gary Roberts, et al.) I have even seen dungeon/torture/inquisition style scenes of threatened or simulated female branding, in BDSM photo shoots ranging from the HOM-style magazines of the 1970s and 1980s through more modern productions.

But something analogous to this photo? A visually light-hearted play on the western tropes of calf-roping and cattle-branding, featuring a woman in the position that the man is in, above? Nope. I’ve seen women being herded, women being lassood, women being led along at the end of a lariat, women being auctioned and sold, even anime of them being ear-tagged and locked into milking machines, but roped like a yearling and branded on the ass? Haven’t seen it.

I have faith an example can be found out there; it never pays to bet against Rule 34. But right now, I can’t bring one to mind.

(Interestingly, I have no trouble at all thinking of a porn example starring a male in the branded role — there’s an old Stantoons comic by Eric Stanton in which a rapist cowboy gets branded just like that by a couple of his former victims.)

3 V December 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Oh! Love it, maybe you could write something about the clothes=power conundrum and how it’s used in porn. Japanese hentai is really into this, you usually only see a guy’s dick in the nude.

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