When we consider some of the various barbaric practices that were commonplace in the lives of our ancestors, we tend to look at them with a judgmental eye – thinking of them as uncivilized, and downright savage. Most of us would even admit to wondering if our violent predecessors, like those who relished the bloody gladiator games or those who condoned cruel medieval torture chambers, were actually less evolved than those alive today.
But has humankind really progressed that much, or are we just as bloodthirsty and ruthless as ever? If you’re under the impression that we are somehow more enlightened, you might be surprised by some of the ancient, barbaric practices that still exist throughout the world.
Infernal Restraints is a successor to the legendary BDSM site Insex. Insex was one of the biggest BDSM websites on the Internet and arguably the most extreme American pornographic production featuring female submissives. It was also a leading innovator in both live video streaming, pioneering the concept before broadband Internet access existed, and in the depiction of BDSM practices on the Internet. Insex developed a cult following among BDSM enthusiasts due to its uncommonly severe and realistic depiction of sadomasochistic practices. It was also known for its interactive “Live Feeds” which allowed members to make direct suggestions and requests. It existed from 1997 to 2005 and was run by “Intersec Interactive Inc.”, a company owned by the website’s creator, Brent Scott, former Carnegie Mellon professor, Dom and bondage legend known as “PD”. Many prominent names in fetish modeling either started at Insex or passed through it at one point in their career, as did bondage riggers including such figures as Claire Adams, Cyd Black, Princess Donna and Matt Williams, who all went on to work for the internet pornography company Kink.
In the fall of 2005, Insex announced it was looking for a buyer, because “continuing to produce Insex from the U.S. would be too great a potential liability.” It came as a result of attempts by the U.S. government to limit internet pornography, specifically by implementing a FBI anti-obscenity initiative in August 2005; an FBI memorandum stated that productions where the content includes “urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior” would “most likely” be legally targeted. So in 2005 Insex ended the production of original BDSM material. But in the same year Brent Scott started to create two new BDSM themed web sites, named Hardtied and Infernal Restraints, so Scott would have an avenue to continue to produce and sell content for the web. Infernal Restraints is the Source of original extreme device bondage porn from the creators of Insex and bondage legend PD.
The rack is probably one of the most infamous torture devices since it was in use for a very long time. This device was more of an actual machine than anything. No torture chamber would be complete without the rack, known throughout the world by different names: to the Romans it was “equuleus” (young horse); the French named it “Banc de Torture”, to the Spanish it was “escalera” (ladder), Germany knew it as “Streckbank” (stretching frame) or “Schlimme Liesel” (fearful Eliza), Italians named it “La Veglia” and the British nickname was “the Duke of Exeter’s Daughter”. Whatever the name, it was a fearsome device that broke countless prisoners. Indeed, a person stretched on the rack presented the ultimate spectacle of the body in pain. A victim would often be placed on the rack naked or nearly so, and their taut skin would run with the sweat of their agonies.
Probably the most widely used instrument of torture, the rack is to date back to the ancient Greeks. The basic idea of the rack may have originated in the Greek legend of the giant bandit Procrustes. It was rumored that he possessed a bed made of iron that was the right size for any guest. After luring unwary travelers to sleep on the iron bed, he would stretch them to fit – tall travelers had their legs or head lopped off and fed to a giant tortoise. The rack was used since antiquity, being used on St. Vincent and mentioned by the Church Fathers Tertullian (on extraction of confessions from criminals and on persisting Christian “sacrilegers” against the state religion) and St. Jerome (used on a woman according to his first letter).
The garrote, also known as garrote vil, garotte and garrotte – the execution device used by the Spaniards until the end of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship as recently as 1974. In Spain, it was abolished, as well as the death penalty, in 1978 with the new constitution. Originally, it was an execution where the convict was killed by hitting him with a club (“garrote” in Spanish). Later, it was refined and consisted of a seat to restrain the condemned person while the executioner tightened a metal band around his neck with a crank or a wheel until suffocation of the executee. With the handle the executioner slowly crushed the victim’s neck causing death from asphyxia.
This device has a Spanish name because it was improved in Spain. It is not clear how complete earlier records are and even modern ones are somewhat patchy. But at least 736 people, including 16 women, were executed in Spain in the 19th century. 65 men and 2 women were executed by garroting between 1950 and 1974 in various parts of Spain. The first woman to be garroted was Juana Rivero in Madrid on the 3rd of November 1824 for robbery. Twenty seven year old Mariana Pineda became the first woman to suffer for treason when she was executed on the 26th of May 1831 in Andalusia. It was reported that the spike of the garrote pierced her neck and protruded through her mouth. Garroting was last used on the 2nd of March 1974, when two men were executed on the same day for the shooting of a police officer during a robbery.
The chair of torture, also known as the witch’s chair, the chair of spikes, the interrogation chair – a commonly used torture device from the Middle Ages contained a lot of spikes or needles that would pierce the skin of the victim everywhere their skin touched the chair. There was no rest, for the wicked or anyone else who sat in this thing. The chair of torture dates back to the Middle Ages but may have been used till the late 19th Century. These implements were used in Germany up until the 19th century, in Italy and in Spain up until the end of the 1700s, in France and in other central European countries, according to certain sources, up until the end of 1800.
This instrument of torture comes in different versions. These chairs have different shapes and sizes, but they were all equipped with spines and immobilization of the victim. All of them have common characteristics, in that they are covered with spikes on the back, on the arm-rests, on the seat, on the leg-rests, and on the foot-rests. The chair itself contains up to 2000 metal spikes in addition to a means of fixing the victim into the chair, and applying pressure to force the person’s body, or appendages more firmly against the spikes. The bars, either made of iron or wood, fastened the victim around the waist, around the wrists, and around the chest or bust. It’s easy to comprehend the effect of the spikes piercing the victim’s body made even more effective by a screw bar system to immobilize the victim and make the pins penetrate more deeply. The seat was often made of iron that could be heated. Some spiked seat had holes to allow the victim’s bottom to be ‘heated’ by hot coals placed under the seat, causing painful burns, but still keeping the victim conscious.
The pear of anguish – also known as poire d’angoisser, the spanish mouth pear, the pope’s pears, the choke pear, the anal pear and oral pear – was an iron torture instrument shaped like a pear, which was inserted in the victim’s mouth, anus or vagina. It was used to rupture the sensitive membranes and tissues of these areas. Because it damaged the body only inside body cavities, it was sometimes used to extract “confessions” when there was a need to pass them off as freely given. Used during Medieval Times, the pear of anguish was an extremely painful device used to punish homosexuals, witches and women accused of inducing a miscarriage. The insertion of the pear depended on the crime the victim was accused of, while slanderers and blasphemers would have their mouths mutilated, homosexuals would suffer the same fate on their anus, and women who had induced a miscarriage, or been accused of witchcraft and carnal knowledge of demons would see their vaginas torn apart by it.
An Iron Maiden, German Eiserne Jungfrau, otherwise known as the Virgin of Nuremberg – one of the most well-known torture devices and one of the more bloodthirsty torture devices ever invented. A cabinet built with wood or iron, and usually has a small closable opening so that the torturer can interrogate their victim and torture or kill a person.
The iron maiden tortures the body with sharp objects such as knives, spikes or nails. These spikes impaled the victim in the eyes, the chest and the back, different parts of the body, but usually missed vital organs, so as to leave the victim bleeding profusely and in great pain, but still alive for a period of time. The person inside was forced to remain standing in one position, ultimately causing their demise. The victim is weakened slowly and dies of a combination of shock and blood loss, if not asphyxiation. Most victims ended up dying as a result of the torture as a liberal amount of blood often gushed out of their bodies after some time. However, this technique was not used primarily for executions. It is entirely possible that a subject would call out after having spent some time within the iron maiden for relief. This torture device combines physical pain and psychological trauma – all alone in a small space with sharp spikes threatening to kill you from every side.