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How do you watch spanking videos?


Still from The Garden Party by Lupus Spanking

Kaelah and Ludwig have recently posted a fascinating series of posts on how they watch spanking porn, handling the topics of compartmentalisation (can you ignore aspects of a video which aren't quite right and enjoy the rest?), gaze (where are you in the scene: a participant, a voyeur or a fly on the wall?) and sexual explicitness. Their comments and the ensuing discussions are well worth a read.

As a producer on a steep learning curve, however, I'm curious about the practical aspects of how people view spanking films, as well as the philosophical ones.

Firstly there's the technical question of how people access the video. Personally, when I join a spanking site, I'm usually too busy to watch everything straight away. I'll try to put aside a couple of hours as soon as possible - say, that evening - to browse the archive and set multiple videos downloading. I grab everything I'm interested in, watch a couple straight away, and save the rest. Then when I want an, um, private moment, I look on my computer for a video I haven't seen (or a favourite I want to revisit) and work my way through the collection that way. If I can persuade a lover or kinky friend to join me, I might watch several videos in a row. But I don't usually feel like I have time to "indulge" in watching several films in a row if I'm on my own, unless I can call it work as well as pleasure (say, if I'm writing a review). 

However, I know that lots of people prefer to watch films in their browser rather than downloading them - and several people who have joined Dreams of Spanking seem to have watched a lot of films at once. I'm actually quite jealous of this way of doing things, it sounds much more fun! Perhaps now that I've launched I'll be able to make my work/life balance a bit more healthy, and make more time for myself to watch videos I'm interested in.

Then there's the question of how you enjoy the film itself. When we watch mainstream films we start at the beginning and stop at the end, each time we watch it. But, just as there's a difference in the way I read erotic books to the way I read non-erotic fiction or non-fiction, I don't always watch porn this way.

Personally, the first time I sit down to get to know a video, I'll watch it from the start, all the way through. I have to get really bored before I'll hit fast forward - but it's been known. I'm more likely to pay attention to something else and leave it running with half an ear, just so I don't miss anything that might be worth watching. But most films, I'll watch from start to finish. Then, if I'm on my own and if the first viewing has turned me on, I might immediately rewind and revisit the best moments while I seek my climax.

The next time I watch the film, unless it's a really well-crafted story without a dull moment, I won't tend to re-watch the whole thing; I'll skip straight to my favourite parts. The exception would be if I was showing the film to a friend or lover, at which point I'd insist on them watching it all the way through, like I did. (This has not endeared me to people who didn't share my tastes, in the past!)

But then, I'm not an average viewer: I'm interested in the porn industry and how other people make movies, as well as in finding material I'll personally find hot. On a first viewing I'm usually watching with a professional eye, and making notes for my personal interest later. On a second viewing, I'll zoom right in on the bits that are sexiest to me. Depending on the quality and length of the video, that might be the whole thing, or it might be very specific moments. 

There are lots of ways you could watch a spanking video, and in my opinion none of them are right or wrong. You could re-watch the whole thing each time, like a mainstream movie. Or the first time you watch, you could skip straight to the 'action' and just watch that bit, ignoring the rest. I know at least one person who 'channel hops' their way through a porn video each time they visit it, fast-forwarding until something catches their eye, but never watching for very long before they get bored and skipping ahead again. This way you get a different experience each time you watch the video, but you probably won't pick up any nuances of storyline. 

I know that not all porn videos are alike. Those which are primarily a visual experierence with very little plot or context might fare better being fast-forwarded. If you skip dialogue you might either miss the boring bits or crucial plot, depending on the quality of the script and acting. Full length features such as those produced by Lupus Spanking often rely on visual storytelling and clever plot twists, and skipping part of the story might mean the rest of the film makes very little sense. In some scenes the spanking is the best part, but in others it's witty banter, or a moment of meaningful eye contact or body language between the performers. 

So I'm curious. How do you watch spanking videos? Is it different for different types of film? What does it depend on?

Comments

Very intersting question. I will answer, but now I have to run to work... I'd rather stay home and browse your site!

Aww, work always has rubbish timing. Hope it's not too bad!

Yes, it does. But honestly I did not work form then to now without break...

How I watch spanking films really depends on what the "purpose" is. If I want to relax and enjoy a good spanking movie, possibly together with a friend, I want to see a good made piece of art, with a good plot, set and actors. In this case I will not fast forward anything and watch it from beginning to end. I mostly do so even if I rewatch a movie I really like.

On the other hand if I want to play with myself, I usually fast forward to scenes I really like. But in this case I might even skip spanking parts I don't like so much and not necessarily scenes with talking/scolding.

This is really interesting. From the sound of it our usage patterns are quite similar! In the second case, I've been known to skip spanking parts that don't grab me too...

Purpose and atmosphere

I'm a bit of an oddity here, because I'm not really the target audience for the material you produce. In so far as porn is used as masturbatory material, I don't really watch film, and if I do, I'm with you on the 'skip to the action'.

What good film does is create a titilating atmosphere or mood. It's an excellent way, either independently or in company, to get into mood for a scene; probably better when watched together.

What film does do, when done well, is provide a strong sense of character and emotional texture. Very good stills or art is an excellent spring-board for mental fantasy narratives, in which you provide your own emotions or characterisation for the sexy images you're looking at. Film does that for you, but because it does, it is less likely to press exactly the right buttons for a good wank.

So; when I watch spanking films, I tend to be watching them as erotic art, more than as masturbation aides, which means I'm very strongly in the camp of watching a whole film and looking for plot, character, setting, immersiveness.

Oooh, this was really interesting to read! Yes, I think I forget at times that film isn't your preferred ouvre for masturbation: one of the fascinating differences between us (all the more so because it goes against the gender stereotypes). I can find artwork or photography very erotic and exciting, and I love appreciating them as erotic art, but when I'm having a wank they're just not quite enough: I like live action. But I'm fussy about the sort of live action I like, which is why I started this website ;)

I definitely agree that even for me, though, film serves two purposes: social and private. For masturbation, I need an erotic, stimulating buildup without anything offputting or distracting, followed by physically severe or emotionally edgy spanking, ideally hard or fast or both, that lasts a couple of minutes at least. I can provide the buildup myself (such as by looking at spanking art) and then visit a tube site for the climax, but I much prefer it if the same film does both jobs.

The social purpose of film is different, and exactly as you describe: setting a mood, establishing atmosphere, making you want to play a scene. I have somewhat higher standards of the production values of a film if I'm watching it for this purpose, but I'm still quite picky when I'm on my own, too.

(My aim is for every scene on this site to fulfil one or the other purpose: either be a good erotic warmup for couples, or meet the needs of an individual. They aren't all quite hard enough for me to use as masturbation aids, and in any case I'm incapable of wanking to film of myself, but otherwise I'm making what I'd watch, for one reason or the other.)

Intention

For me the difference between "mainstream" entertainment and "porn" is their intended effect, or as Mr. Cameron puts it very well; their purpose. I won't get into the complexities of what was intended versus what the consumer use case is, but I feel that in general a mainstream movie, intended for entertainment without an overtly sexual theme, is far more reliant on dialogue and character building to fulfil it's mandate than a film which has sexuality, not so much to "fall back on" but as its primary objective.

When I watch porn I often skip about within the film, one reason I much prefer to store videos locally on my machine (faster loading times). This works best for me with films that have little important dialogue and are mostly visual without any plot per se. This is because the goal of said film is to be sexually exciting and if it is not doing that at a particular point in the clip, I move past it. That being said I have gotten into spanking films before and enjoyed them as entertainment, sometimes almost forgetting there is going to be some spanking. Once it starts my mind goes into "spanking-video" mode and I am likely to begin skipping about within the feature from that point.

I am fascinated by this post, I had always known that I watch Mallrats in a different way than The Story of O, but I never thought at any length about how other people might "use" porn. I now wish there was a scientific type study of this, complete with eye tracking to determine point-of-focus and maybe an arousal monitor as well (these exist, lol). [As a side note: Story of O was one of the first fetish films I watched, and I did so, enraptured, from start to finish. It is also probably the last feature length spanking type film where I have done so.]

Oh, this is fascinating! How interesting that you have a "spanking video" mode and the same film can trigger both your "entertainment" and your "porn" reflex (not that porn isn't entertainment, but the distinctions here are really hard to draw clearly).

In general I think the spanking production studios I admire most are invested in blurring the boundary between porn and entertainment. I wonder if this confuses everyone's viewing instincts? If porn houses gradually gain bigger budgets, better skills and technology, will our viewing instincts evolve as we get used to seeing porn that is more like mainstream films? Or will mainstream films always be enough ahead of the game, in terms of budget/tech, for there to be a clear context gap?

"the goal of said film is to be sexually exciting and if it is not doing that at a particular point in the clip, I move past it."

Nodding... this makes perfect sense. Sometimes we spanking videos for "erotic entertainment", as a mental warm-up, as it were... but when our desires reach that point of urgency, few of us are inclined towards patience. That's not a bad thing - it's a reality which good porn should strive to meet.

This is really clarifying my thoughts on the pacing and intensity required to satisfy in a good spanking video. Thankyou!

Multipurpose / Multiple Viewing Habits

As a writer, particularly as one interested in screenplays and teleplays, I find a need to make a distinction in my mind for the purpose of getting the most enjoyment out of a spanking film and not be annoyed by it; that distinction being whether I'm watching to fulfill the spanking fetish/sexual need or to see a good video/film. Sometimes I get lucky and the same video fulfills both purposes, but that is rare.

One positive thing for me is that the producers of spanking/CP videos often understand and attempt to create some level of back story and dramatic tension that moves the story along. Of course I feel lucky that many producers think a setting or story is important at all. But often the writing and acting are second rate or worse. I don't want to judge that though or be affected by it in my viewing. Hence the distinct categories. After all the makers are not generally claiming to be "filmmakers" as such.

Once I have my mind set for low/specialized expectations with regard to writing, acting, and directing I then start to watch the video from the beginning. I want to be aware of how long the video is, so that I can know if I have time to watch it in one viewing and so that I can gauge the ratio of plot to action. If I see that a video is 5 minutes long and we're on minute 3 with no hint of spanking to come, I start to worry. Can I be satisfied with a 2 minute or less spanking scene? It's possible, if the scene is executed well and filmed reasonably well. But it's not likely.

In the case where it's a longer video, if there's a lot of "plot" but the dialogue seems nonsensical or repetitive or unbelievable, I feel like I have to skip to the action. I realize if I continue to listen to Mr Schoolteacher say "You shall be punished..." and ms. schoolgirl says "No! Please don't..." and they're saying pretty much the same thing for the third or fourth time in a row, I'm going to start to believe they're either teasing the audience to fill time or they don't really want to be in a spanking scene together.

Access - I prefer to download as much as I can onto my local storage and watch later (generally) when I'm more relaxed. Besides loading speed, I'm also trying to maximize the money spent on membership.

Kaelah and Ludwig's categories:
Compartmentalization - I can compartmentalize pretty well. I have had to do so because the dramatic and emotional aspects of spanking/CP videos are so important to me and I've come across so many bad examples in my time. However, if there are too many "bad elements" (e.g. creepy Top, bad positioning, annoying crying, no face shots, etc.) I have to just not watch. My time is too precious to me. The one "bad element" that I tolerate best is inappropriate clothing. It's annoying when there's a teacher or parental/guardian spanking and the spankee is completely nude or wearing lingerie, but I can usually hide that away from my awareness. I've had to because it happens so often. One reason it's annoying is because such a scene could so easily be transformed by framing it as a couple or group playing a scene while we get to watch.

"Where are you?" - Part of my kink makeup is to be a voyeur. My first experience with associating arousal with spanking was watching a female classmate get spanked at school. Also there are so few Tops I could identify with. Thomas Cameron is one. I can relate to his energy. Other than that I'm fine with just seeing the scene play out.

"That's too sexy" - I touched on this already in talking about the appropriateness of clothing. Now that I think about it, I think this is the other big distinction that I make. Once I put a video in the "kink" category, I then need to make a choice about whether it's about punishment or play. I prefer to see punishment only because that's my fetish really, but I can enjoy spanking/CP scenes that are explicitly sexual, particularly (and I'm not proud of this) if the models/actors are attractive.

Thank you for the query and the discussion. This is fascinating!

Lot of irrelevant rambling

Fascinating question and discussion. But let me start by saying that it has been a privilege to read back through this blog (which I only discovered today). I haven't actually watched any of the movies yet because I always download and save. Indeed my downloaded porn collection is so large that my problem is storage - I keep having to buy yet more external hard disks! :). There is quite a bit of it I have never watched and lots more I will never watch again - but I have an aversion to deleting it, nearly as bad as my aversion to getting rid of books (even when I have them on Kindle :)).

For me the fundamental purpose of porn is masturbation. The attitude I which I really despise (I suppose from self-interest but I genuinely consider it utterly ignorant and stupid) is that which - and I met this on a spanking forum - argues that all spanking videos (or BDSM or whatever kink) are for sad losers (like me) who are not real players and thus an inferior sub-species. While I have played in rl I found out a long-time ago that I could not do so except commercially (I won't bore you with reasons but they are political/psychological) and, as I am not one of the super-rich, magazines, then tapes, then - joy of joys - the internet and downloads would have to do (how I envy spanker/ees who are 20 now). So my ultimate test is does it turn me on?

Of course it is not as simple as that because the particular things which push my buttons are going to be different from everyone else's. But I think many viewers like to see high production values etc. - and there is, for me and I know others from discussions I have witnessed, a unique thrill when a spanking scene makes it into a mainstream movie/TV show (Happy Valley, Leaving of Liverpool, By the Sword Divided, Lady Jane etc. even if the scene is 15 seconds long!). Those scenes I replay again and again.

Not sure I am going anywhere at all with this except to say that (tech laggard that I am) that I have just invested at last in a smartphone and now have a new way to watch videos. This actually is very conducive to watching a story (because it is less visually arousing on a 4inch screen than a 23inch one) but also offers fascinating possibilities (not yet experimented with) for watching spanking porn in public thus adding a further illicit thrill (or I think it will) - which will obviously cut off the masturbatory option!!

Not relevant to this thread but just to say that I think your stance on M/M is brilliant even if I have no interest myself.

And finally - why not be selfish? - my own preference for stories is always where a power reversal takes places by which I mean someone socially powerful is made submissive to someone 'beneath' them - gender is irrelevant here: blackmail, shoplifting etc. etc. (AJR has taken this kind of story to new levels).

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