VANCOUVER -- B.C. Mounties are once again in damage control after graphic images of an officer engaged in violent bondage sex scenes were made public.
“I am personally embarrassed and very disappointed that the RCMP would be, in any way, linked to photos of that nature,” B.C.’s acting RCMP commander Randy Beck said in a statement Thursday, adding Mounties are conducting a code-of-conduct investigation.
Beck was responding to explosive photos allegedly showing Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jim Brown in various bondage scenes that were at one point posted on the Internet but since removed.
Some of those images obtained by QMI Agency depict a woman tied up, choked and slashed with a machete by a man identified as Brown, who apparently styled himself as the “Kilted Knight.” The scenes often appeared to involve simulated torture, with Brown in a dominant position.
Former RCMP consultant Dr. Mike Webster, speaking from his Denman Island, B.C., office Thursday, said he’d heard from at least two Mounties who knew about the racy pictures from a website Brown apparently ran nearly two years ago.
“(In one) series of picture, he comes upon a woman on the street. He stalks her, he captures her, he takes her somewhere, it’s a private location, he wraps her in cellophane … he puts his feet on her, he cuts her, she bleeds,” Webster said.
The psychologist, who worked with B.C. Mounties for more than 30 years, said the latest scandal is another severe blow to a force plagued by misconduct complaints in recent months — everything from allegations of sexual harassment to an officer accused of stealing cocaine.
Beck, meantime, explained the Coquitlam detachment commander found the images in December 2010 on a personal flash drive, but the pictures didn’t initially meet the “threshold” to be considered a violation of conduct — the images were deemed staged.
It wasn’t until March this year that a “code of conduct” investigation was opened when the photos were found on a personal website.
After the images went public Thursday, Beck said an “external” police agency would be asked to independently review the Mounties’ code-of-conduct investigation.
Brown has been placed on administrative duties.
The officer had “a very small role” in the investigation of convicted serial killer Robert Pickton, according to the Missing Women Inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal. ...
A Mountie with photos of himself posted on a sexual fetish website, while wearing nothing but the RCMP boots purchased for him by taxpayers, is being investigated for possibly violating the RCMP's code of conduct.
A top Mountie in BC has now issued a statement, saying he is 'personally embarassed' over the photos.
In the statement, Assistant Commissioner Randy Beck says the officer in charge at the Coquitlam detachment first became aware of the photos back in December 2010 -- when they were on Brown's personal flash drive.
No code of conduct investigation that time.
But Beck says a conduct review was launched more than a year later - led by the Richmond detachment -- when the photos surfaced on a personal website.
Now, Beck says he is 'very disappointed' that the force has been linked to such photos.
He adds Brown's involvement into the Robert Pickton investigation *was* provided to the missing women inquiry.
Beck says Brown has been placed on administrative duty.
Vancouver Sun reporter Ian Mulgrew broke the story after seeing the still images of Brown, allegedly holding a butcher knife, while threatening a naked, hog-tied and caged woman.
Brown told Mulgrew he was cleared of any wrongdoing earlier this year, saying it was a "non-issue" because there was "no victim."
Justice Minister Shirley bond says she is not happy because Brown was involved in the Pickton investigation.
"I fully recognize it's on one's personal time, but at the end of the day, you know, currently we're in the middle of an investigation that is looking at abhorrent behaviour and treatment of women in the province. And so I think that is something that we need to consider as we look at the conduct of police officers."
Bond says the RCMP needs a "culture change", but won't say if the officer should be disciplined because of the ongoing internal probe.
A lawyer for the families of women murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton says he has a right to question Brown about his role in the Missing Women investigation.
Cameron Ward says he wants to know how Brown found an informant who confirmed Pickton was a suspect back in 1999.
"I've asked that the inquiry be reopened to receive his evidence and that of Caldwell -- the man he produced who reported that Pickton was doing these things."
Speaking with CKNW's Bill Good, Ward says Brown's conduct should definitely be questioned.
"Just because it's legal doesn't mean it should be condoned or accepted by any manager. I know most law firms wouldn't condone it and I'm hard-pressed to think of any reputable organization that would condone such behaviour."
Ward says his efforts to make Brown testify at the now-completed Missing Women inquiry were rejected by lawyers for the commission.
Meanwhile, a Metro Vancouver sex therapist says there's a lot of misunderstanding out there.
Dr. David McKenzie says it was most definitely a case of poor judgment for having a photo taken and eventually posted online.
But like many things related to sex, he says people just don't understand S&M.
Yet it’s more popular than we might think, he adds, pointing to the best-selling novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. ...
Missing Women Commissioner Wally Oppal wants quick answers about the Coquitlam Mountie, his X-rated Internet exploits and any relevance they may have to the Robert Pickton serial killings.
But he is refusing to reopen his one-man inquiry into the investigations of the crimes and where police went awry, prolonging the heinous murder spree.
Oppal said he had asked for a full explanation from the federal Department of Justice Thursday after reading a Vancouver Sun story about an RCMP code-of-conduct investigation into the officer who posted disturbing torture and sexually explicit photographs on the Web.
That didn’t satisfy Cameron Ward, who represents families of missing and murdered women.
He demanded Oppal interrupt writing his final report and reopen his just-wrapped hearings.
“This particular officer, given his personal involvement in the Pickton investigation and the role he played three years before Pickton was apprehended is critically important,” Ward said.
The graphic Internet images show Cpl. Jim Brown — who has been placed on administrative duties — posing in kidnap-and-torture scenes reminiscent of the pig-farm slayings.
In one, a naked woman hangs with her hands tied above her head while the self-styled “Kilted Knight” appears to slash her with a large butcher’s knife.
Late Thursday, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Randy Beck said in a media statement that the force actually found “some graphic staged photographs” on a memory stick belonging to Brown in December 2010.
But at that time, no investigation was begun, Beck said, because the officer in charge of the Coquitlam detachment “did not believe it met the threshold for a code-of-conduct violation.”
In March 2012, during an investigation into a complaint by a woman about Brown, the photos on the Web were discovered. As a result, a code-of-conduct inquiry was ordered and is being conducted by the Richmond RCMP.
“In keeping with the RCMP’s commitment to hold our members to a higher standard, I am taking the unusual step of asking an external police agency to independently review our internal code-of-conduct investigation,” Beck said. ...
Since the first in the erotic trilogy was published a year ago, 50 Shades of Grey has sold over 10 million copies. Coined as “mummy porn”, the novel and its sequels have made it to the top three spots in the bestseller charts in the UK and the US.
Not only is the racy novel the best selling e-book of all time, it is also responsible for boosting erotic purchases. Sales of erotic literature and porn magazines have risen by 130 per cent in the last month, while the number of women buying sex toys has more than doubled. VoucherCodesPro.co.uk revealed that the book title was their most searched term – wilth “Sex toy discounts” and “Ann Summers” a close second and third.
If you haven’t yet given in to the currently ubiquitous titillation surrounding the books, the fantasy novels centre on a handsome billionaire, Christian Grey, who seduces a virginal college graduate, Anastastia, into a submissive relationship.
When asked about researching for the book, author E L James responded: “Well, yes, they are my fantasies lived out and explored,” she said. “But I don’t know how much detail I want to go into. Um, well, let’s just say I had a very nice time researching the book. That’s all I’m going to say. I’m actually now blushing.”
Both its success and appeal are apparent, but discussions over what the subtext of the book has to say about modern feminism has come to fruition. It’s been argued that the submissive relationship seen in the book could undermine female equality and sets a negative example to readers.
But does the sadomasochism seen in 50 Shades of Grey degrading to women? Or is purely fantasy, with whichever form of sexual exploration a personal choice to pursue in the bedroom?
Dr Gina Barreca believes that the outdated erotica seen in the novel serves to promote unhealthy ideals of relationships in and out of the bedroom, but Meg Barker argues that the sadomasochism experienced between the two protagonists in the bedroom is far more common that many would like to think. ...
Erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has prompted thousands of women to hit the sex shops and invest in BDSM toys, says Ann Summers' boss. Goodness gracious, jiggle balls of fire!
Erotic novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, written by E.L. James, began as Twilight fan fiction (for those who are neither Team Jacob, nor Team Edward, Twilight is a series of vampire novels, now Hollywood blockbusters). But while having a ready-made fan base of millions may have given the novel a good start, Shades has become a phenomenon in its own right.
This is because Fifty Shades of Grey is no ordinary erotica. Unlike the standard boy-meets-girl fare of the Mills & Boon genre, Shades has shoved its stake firmly into BDSM territory (bondage, domination, sadism and masochism, for the uninitiated). The book has been flying off the shelves since it was published in June last year, selling well over 10 million copies worldwide. And the novel hasn’t just affected ladies’ reading habits, but their purchasing habits too.
Since Fifty Shades of Grey was first published, lingerie and sex toy retailer Ann Summers has seen a massive spike in turnover. Moreover, many of the best sellers are items that feature prominently in the book. Sales of 'jiggle balls' (Google it, and spare MT’s blushes) are up 200%. The firm literally cannot keep up with demand: many stores are sold out the moment a new consignment arrives. All because Anastasia, the central character in Shades, er… uses them once.
And it’s not all about the jiggle balls. Revenue from blindfolds is up 60%, rope ties up 35%, restraints up 15%, leather and metal handcuffs up 30%, paddles up 30%, and finally, the Ann Summers unisex butt plug, which has seen sales surge by a massive 170%. Ann Summers is also having to ramp up its range of erotic novels to satisfy these eager readers, with a 130% uplift in turnover from the channel.
But this is not the first time that mainstream media has affected business at Ann Summers. As CEO Jacqueline Gold explains: ‘The last time I saw this happen was with Sex & The City. The show gave rise to cult product, the Rampant Rabbit, which is now the most famous sex toy in the world.’ ...
Fifty Shades of Grey is now the fastest selling paperback in history. Its success has generated a debate about sex, fantasy and the nature of desire
When a book sells in the huge numbers that EL James's Fifty Shades of Grey is maintaining this summer, the world must surely be full of people who have enjoyed it and then told their friends.
Fans were certainly quick to defend Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code as it broke publishing records back in 2003, and Harry Potter addicts, both young and old, have been proud to wave a wand on behalf of JK Rowling's bestsellers since 1997. But what makes the triumph of James's book surprising is that a story involving such a succession of overtly kinky sex scenes can conquer the mainstream publishing market. After all, the plot is so singlemindedly titillating that it makes the unconventional "modern" relationships that leaven Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy read like Charlotte Brontë in comparison.
Last month the first novel in this series telling the story of Anastasia Steele and her obsessive love for a man with a predilection for bondage and domination became the fastest-selling paperback since records began and last week it also became the first ebook to sell more than one million copies. Yet its story pivots on the young heroine's sexual submission to Christian Grey, a millionaire she scarcely knows, who promptly introduces her to his favorite fetishes, as well as to the contents of his "Red Room of Pain".
Sadomasochism has always had its articulate evangelists, from the Marquis de Sade, the 18th-century French libertine and erotic novelist, to Kenneth Tynan, the Observer's illustrious theatre critic, who once argued that spanking was the path to emotional and intellectual freedom. Yet James has managed to get millions of average readers to consider the place of erotic pain in a relationship without even advancing an argument or pretending to any literary merit. The book is "my midlife crisis writ large", Erika Leonard, the middle-aged British woman behind the pseudonym EL James, has recently admitted, adding that she put "all my fantasies in there".
So has James created the latest commercial genre for our age – what the commentator India Knight has called "the porn version of cupcakes and Cath Kidston"? Or does her racy trilogy answer a deeper, unmet need among women readers?
The feminist writer and academic Marina Warner believes the unexpectedly wide appeal of this explicit fiction could be a sign of how difficult people now find it to feel aroused in an era when sex and nudity have become so commonplace. "There has been a general unveiling of the body in our culture and there is a connection between prohibition and arousal," she said. "It is in some way linked to our feelings about the sacred and the profane. I definitely don't want to go back to censorship, but I don't think the answer is to reach for extremes either."
Warner, like the late writer Angela Carter, has a strong interest in the power of myth and folklore. "Women should be allowed to read what they want, and to write what they want, but maybe they should not be so confident that they are not just playing a part in some larger commercial nexus."
The nature of a myth or a fantasy always has something to say about society, she argues. "It is an effect of sexual politics and I don't think it is neutral. In fact, I rather believe in the power of fantasy. We are driven by what we dream and by what we desire and hope for. I don't think fantasy is hermetically sealed from the rest of our lives."
Warner cites Carter's provocative 1979 essay, The Sadeian Woman, as a smart approach to the politics of abusive fantasy. In it the writer suggested provocatively that de Sade merely mirrored honestly the male-dominated hierarchy of his times.
"A book like Fifty Shades of Grey can collude with the status quo, where men are still largely in charge, even though it appears to be playful," says Warner. ...
There appears to be an infinite number of shades of grey as the mega-popular trilogy has spawned a movie, merchandise, BDSM seminars, a worldwide celebration of a fictional character's birthday and, now, a hotel getaway experience. (Photo: Courtesy of The Edgewater Hotel)
The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, Wa. is now offering a "50 Shades of Romance" package in honor of E.L. James' erotic trilogy.
Guests will stay in one of the hotel’s waterside rooms, and while the package doesn’t include Grey himself, it does pay homage to several elements in the books: Ana's favorite champagne (Bollinger Rose) available in-room, a romantic sailing excursion in Puget Sound, a demo drive in an Audi (Grey's ride of choice), a custom “50 Shades” landmarks map to tour the area in and hard copies of the books themselves on the nightstand to "inspire love."
Thankfully, the hotel does not seem to be providing ropes, whips or any of the other questionable accessories that make several appearances in the novels.
For more than three times the price of The Edgewater’s weekend getaway package, you could go spelunking in Portland, Ore., at The Heathman Hotel, the actual fictional site of Anastasia and Grey’s first romp. The excursion, dubbed the “Charlie Tango” package, includes a variety of appetizers, drinks, private dinner and a helicopter tour of Portland. For a slightly cheaper price of $40, you can get a bottle of wine, a grey tie and a rose in the hotel room. ...