House of Milan

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House of Milan (better known as HOM, Inc.) was a successful publisher of bondage magazines and BDSM videos, managed primarily by fetish photographer and producer Barbara Behr. HOM was considered one of the three big houses during the so-called Golden Age of Bondage productions, along with Harmony Concepts and California Star in the Eighties and Nineties. They began in the late Seventies making crude bondage and spanking film loops before moving on to full-length features with live sound a few years later.

House of Milan was originally founded as a fetish clothing company called Futura Fashions. The business started in 1964 and continues today as HOM. During the 1970`s HOM became one of the main producers and suppliers of fetish /SM magazines, videos and sex toys. House of Milan was founded by Yogi Klein, cousin of Lenny Burtman, and Barbara Behr. House of Milan followed fairly closely the mix of products available through Burtman`s businesses. Whilst offering products such as contact magazines like "Latent Image", House of Milan also offered products such as fetish clothing through a retail outlet at their Chicago business premises, becoming the first retail fetish clothing outlet in the United States. House of Milan`s first fetish clothing catalogue, sold in adult bookstores throughout Chicago, was in fact the unsold copies of a 1960 Burtman catalogue with House of Milan`s name and address printed in an unused white space on the cover. They then set to work in sourcing manufacturers of fetish items and marketing them through their retail outlet in Chicago. Barbara Behr slowly assumed control of House of Milan and in the 1970`s moved the business to California, changed it`s name to HOM and diversified into publishing and expanded greatly, producing glossy color magazines. Yogi Klein stayed in Chicago.

The explosion of the VCR home video market in the early 1980s led to more sophisticated productions to meet this demand. HOM responded with an extensive line of F/F "Whips and Chains" BDSM videos that were slickly produced on a moderate budget and included many of the most well-known performers in the industry. These were nearly all mistress-punishes-slave stories featuring flogging, spanking, paddling, bondage, suspension, and breast torment. (They also produced a few femdom titles.) Most of their videos were filmed in the same well-equipped dungeon set complete with rack, slant-table, stocks, St. Andrew's cross X-frame, and an elaborate suspension apparatus. House of Milan was originally founded as a fetish clothing company called Futura Fashions. The business started in 1964 and continues today as HOM. During the 1970`s HOM became one of the main producers and suppliers of fetish /SM magazines, videos and sex toys. House of Milan was founded by Yogi Klein, cousin of Lenny Burtman, and Barbara Behr. House of Milan followed fairly closely the mix of products available through Burtman`s businesses. Whilst offering products such as contact magazines like "Latent Image", House of Milan also offered products such as fetish clothing through a retail outlet at their Chicago business premises, becoming the first retail fetish clothing outlet in the United States. House of Milan`s first fetish clothing catalogue, sold in adult bookstores throughout Chicago, was in fact the unsold copies of a 1960 Burtman catalogue with House of Milan`s name and address printed in an unused white space on the cover. They then set to work in sourcing manufacturers of fetish items and marketing them through their retail outlet in Chicago. Barbara Behr slowly assumed control of House of Milan and in the 1970`s moved the business to California, changed it`s name to HOM and diversified into publishing and expanded greatly, producing glossy color magazines. Yogi Klein stayed in Chicago.

Because of their relatively small circulation, compared with mainstream adult magazines, most bondage magazines were printed in black and white, except for the cover and centerfold. In the 1980s and 1990s, experiments were made with adding more color content, but most magazine content remained black and white. They contained little advertising content, and were therefore entirely supported by the cover price.

Typically, each magazine consisted of several multi-page pictorials of tied-up women, often with a fictional narrative attached, and one fictional story of three or four pages in length. Sometimes pictorials were replaced by artwork by a fetish artist. Another type of magazine was the "compendium magazine", usually consisting of a large number of individual photographs drawn from previous magazines, without any linking story.

Directed by photographer Barbara Behr in the '80s HOM was well known for the work of Robert Bishop which graced the covers of their novels and were collected by them for publication. They published work by Brian Tarsis, SMS, Lou Kagan (who also did a photo series for them) and authors Frank Campbell , John Savage and Geoffrey Merrick. During Barbara Behr's creative leadership in the 1980s, House of Milan developed into one of the best bondage companies in the United States.

As a magazine editor, Barbara was known for her willingness to lead the magazines in new directions. Many of the magazines she helmed had "Letters to the Editor" sections that were just as fascinating as the photo spreads. In terms of content, the rope work became tighter and more varied, and Barbara photographed some of the most beautiful bondage models of the time. Barbara's magazines are now long out of print, available only through collectors or search services. Barbara sold her interests in HOM and the company is now owned by Lyndon Distributors Limited and continues to publish material today.

The name "House of Milan" came from the city of Milan, Illinois, a city about 100 miles south-west of Chicago.

One notable exception is Slave Farm, partly filmed outdoors at a horse farm (and includes scenes of cart-pulling pony play). This also has a classic "turnabout" ending with the mistress overpowered and turned into a slave — a plot device used in many of their films.

While the majority of the stories were contemporary, many titles were costumed period pieces such as Dungeon of the Borgias, Prisoners of the Inquisition, No Mercy for the Witches, Terrors of the Inquisition and the futuristic Zena: Mistress of the Universe. These reflect writer/director Brian Tarsis's interest in historical settings. From 1991 to 1997 Tarsis directed (and often wrote) every video for HOM and its parent company London Enterprises, over 150 titles in all.

Casting

Many of HOM's performers became stars in their own right with their name featured in the film titles. A few, such as Tanya Foxx and Sharon Mitchell, already had a following as sex stars in pornographic films. Alexis Payne made frequent appearances as the cruel, whip-wielding Domme. Be Be LeBadd was also a stern dominatrix in many features, but also played submissive roles. HOM's stable of recurring players included Kiri Kelly, Greta Carlson, Ashley Renee, June Bauer (aka Julia Parton, Nina Alexander), Desi d'Angelo, Patricia Kennedy, porn star Marilyn Rose, and Fawna (aka Tori Sinclair).

In Spell of the Whip (1993), Pacific Force founder Jacqueline Omerta made a rare guest-star appearance as Mistress Jacqueline.

Sale to London Enterprises

HOM produced videos from 1985 until 1998 when the company was sold to London Enterprises Ltd. London reissued the bulk of HOM's titles under their own brand name, London Video, on DVD. This has compounded the difficulty in separating the two companies — especially since London also produced scores of nearly identical films using the same performers and sets as HOM. Some of the re-released HOM videos have "London Video Presents" or "From the London Library" appearing before the title credits.

Selected Films


Also see the page [ HOM mags ] and/or [ House of Milan - MMP ]


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