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About Penitential Arts

This site grew out of my fascination with community development among sexual minorities, particularly those that fall within the broad division of "power exchange" (Leather, BDSM, etc.). I have spent the past decade and a half piecing together bits of this history as it is reflected in the ephemera, periodicals, books, photos, and art that were produced prior to the Internet explosion of the mid-1990s.

Many of these materials (particularly flyers, programs, newspapers, and newsletters) fall into the category of "ephemera" - the bits of paper from daily life that are generally thrown away. Given the limited lifespan of many of these items, it is important for those of us who study them to share our finds with others. What better way to do so than via the World Wide Web?

My point in putting this online is to share the things I have found with others, force myself to develop a better organization system for the materials, spark conversation, and (hopefully) meet others who share my passion for collecting and studying such things. Cataloging and studying the materials I own is an ongoing process, as is development of the website. Since I am a librarian in my vanilla life, I enjoy this process immensely.

The design of this website has been kept simple so that it will be accessible to the largest number of viewers on the most extensive array of browsers. Some mobile phone-based browsers do not support JavaScript, complex CSS, Flash, etc. In addition, some screen readers read unrecognized HTML code out loud, which can make it confusing and difficult to navigate a website. Given that, I have chosen to eschew presentation-heavy technologies so that I can reach the largest audience possible.

I enjoy getting email, so please do not hesitate to write! In addition, I am always looking for new items, so feel free to contact me if you have some to sell or trade.

Thank you for visiting!