Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fetish Inspiration - Centurians Whole Catalog of the Exotic and Bizarre

Once upon a time there was a young little pervert living in New Orleans who had an intense curiosity about anything kinky, but not much information (yes, I'm talking about myself). I didn't know anything at the time about bondage, domination or the world of S&M, but I knew there were certain things that were dark and perverted that people didn't discuss in public, and I was intensely interested in the subject. I would see something on TV, like Batman getting tied up and it would give me a funny feeling inside. Before long I figured out I wasn't like other people I knew, and I thought maybe something was wrong with me. 

Just a side note for all you young ones out there: this was long, long time ago, before the age of the ubiquitous internet, when any deviation you can think of (and a few more you can't) is just a Google search away. It was actually difficult to find out information about certain subjects back in those days... The pre-internet dark ages. 

When I did come across a depiction of a kinky person in a movie or on TV, it was usually a bad thing: someone was getting tied up just before being killed or kidnapped - pretty negative stuff. I started doing research and trying to find out more. I tried to get my hands on anything that I could. In some movie special-effects magazine I came across an advertisement for a catalog for Centurians. I sent off my $20 and waited a few weeks. When the catalog arrived in the mail, I could hardly believe my eyes. It was like a candy store for me, just filled with hundreds of kinky items - many of which I'd never seen before. It was so eye opening to see that there were other people out there who liked the things I did, and enough of them that there was a business and a catalog full of stuff made for them. I can't describe the world of wonder and how it felt to see these creations for the first time: the bondage hood, with open mouth. The armbinder, the sleepsack, harnesses, gags, cuffs. I had found my people. 

The catalog cover had this long list of contents, which I pored over time and again. I didn't know what any of that stuff was at first, but it seemed to suggest endless possibilities.  

This bondage hood shot, with the mouth only opening and collar with the chain coming off the top of the hood - it's still has such power for me all these years later. Plus, you can see the straps on her shoulders which most likely connect to a tight armbinder. 

Speaking of which, another all-time favorite image for me is this zipped armbinder with 3 straps. Another picture I must have stared at for hours. 

There were so many incredible devices, and the illustrations were beautiful. 

Next I bought a copy of the Latex Annual catalog, which followed that same "shopping list of your dreams" content on the front cover. 

The models seemed to inhabit some fantasy world of perversion made real: flesh and blood plus rubber and fur. I totally understood why Sorayama would take inspiration from this model and pose years later.

This was my first encounter with the idea of a sleepsack - a life-changing experience for me. I loved everything about it, and could only imagine what it might feel like to be inside. It was so sexy to me. I couldn't believe other people had actually made these things. This is still such a hot picture!

As if the idea of a latex full-coverage suit wasn't enough, how about one that inflates? It was a whole new world. 

I couldn't really afford many of the things in the catalog, but it set my mind free in a way to enjoy the fantasies that I had always had. It was knowing that I wasn't alone that was the most valuable things I got from the catalogs. 

A few years later I managed to get some back issues that I hadn't the chance to get previously, including one catalog focused just on black patent leather. The sack pictured on the front cover was another one of those "I can't believe that is real" kind of images. 

The cover image is so inspiring to me, I hope to make some things for this show in Japan that embody that mixture of creativity, kink and mysterious eroticism that the Centurians catalog held for me. Somewhere out there is a young pervert that I hope will say to himself: "I see something familiar in that piece. That means something to me. It's strange, dark, mysterious and beautiful, and I want one." 


  1. The model on the Centurians and Latex Annual covers is the lovely Serena, who's living as an artist somewhere in Northern California, so I hear. She did a lot of work in mainstream adult films through her career.

    The photographer for those covers was Patrick Barnes, who also directed the latex fetish classics "Bound In Love" "Bondage Fantasies" and "Bound In Latex" the shoots from which those photos came from.

    Those videos were released under Bizarre Video. He later had his own label, DOM Fetish productions, which is sadly out of business. But you can still see his catalog on the good ol' Wayback Machine. http://web.archive.org/web/20011207173236/http://www.dom-fetish.com/menu-prods.htm (view the earlier versions of the website as the latter ones were a bit goofy and didn't capture well)

    1. Thanks so much for the info, alphaxanon, I never knew anything about the people behind the images or the camera. The only model I recognized is Simone Devon, who appears in a couple of the pictures - including the bondage hood/armbinder pic.

  2. Your description of your experiences with those publications matches mine, I couldn't believe all these things were advertised in a publication you could just order... too good to be true?
    I guess it was, in the late '80's I filled out an order form for two items totalling over $400 and sent them a money order. About 3 months later I got two items completely different and inferior, as if they felt sending anything at all was good enough.
    Still they did exist and likely made examples of everything they advertised, as I visited their retail locations in (if memory serves) Los Angeles on Santa Monica (near Western) and in Garden Grove on Harbor Blvd. (well worth the 120 mile drive from San Diego as Versatile Fashions, also now long gone, was not far away)
    The Garden Grove retail space was occupied just a few years ago still by a more vanilla adult products retailer.... almost an insult to the memories of 20 plus years prior... but lo and behold if in the back glass case were about a half dozen pairs of white patent thigh high boots, the very last remnants of a stock that were always in the hundreds.
    Damn the internet. It's given us access to so many things including the information of hands on know how you so generously share with us. One can own so many things now and at a fair price, however the cyber business destroyed the brick and mortar shopping opportunities, even in a city the size of Los Angeles.

  3. I remember Versatile Fashions too! That was a long time ago. I remember going to Mistress Antoinette's Dressed-to-Thrill Ball back in the day.

    I came across this link to a blog with some images from a 90s-era Versatile Fashions catalog featuring Dita (pre Von-Teese?):

    I think you may be right about the net changing the dynamics of the business. But I'm always surprised that LA doesn't have more high-quality fetish businesses. Now that I think about it, there are a few if you know where to look: 665, Stockroom, Pleasure Chest, Syren. But some (like Mr. S or Fit To Be Tied) even had to close up shop, I'm assuming due to a lack of business.