Dreams of Spanking: fairtrade spanking, corporal punishment and discipline fantasies by Pandora Blake. Join us »

 

What they're saying

Since we launched, several bloggers have written reviews on the site so far. Some of these were completely unsolicited surprises, either by interested passers by or paying members; others were prompted by my inviting someone to join our affiliates scheme and, in some cases, giving them a review membership.

Reading people's comments has given me far more pleasure than perhaps it should have. What can I say, I love feedback. Sharing my creative work and hearing how people respond to it is the other half of the joy of creating it in the first place. I gain great pleasure from making things I think are beautiful, but being able to share them with others enhances that pleasure. The more enjoyment others gain from my work, the more my own joy multiplies.

(I enjoy feedback so much that if I could get away with sharing my work for free, I would, because then more people would be able to see it. The only reason I'm charging for it at all is because being paid means I don't have to spend all my time earning food/rent money in other ways, and frees me to focus fulltime on my favourite thing: making more pretty things. 

Basically, you could call me an attention slut. Or an artist, I guess. Take your pick.)

Collecting feedback has been fascinating, especially seeing where reviewers agree/disagree with each other. I love constructive criticism: it means people are taking my work seriously. Good criticism which helps me improve can be better than praise. Sometimes criticism is aimed at a decision I've thought hard about, and rethinking the issue in the light of public feedback can cast new light on my choice, or re-affirm it. There are issues on which I'm flexible and happy to follow the popular preference, and there are issues on which I have a firm stance, even if it costs me custom. Feedback, especially critical feedback, can be the fastest way to find out the difference.

So what are people saying?

Secret Spanko wrote the first unsolicited review after joining the site the week we launched. He picked out Caned in Jodhpurs and Caning Merit Badge for special comment. Criticism included the presence of M/M scenes, photo galleries which did not have accompanying videos, and the large size of some files (particularly Caning Merit Badge, which is an hour long movie). Overall, comments were positive:

There are only a handful of movies, so far, but in that handful contains better dialogue, better build up, and a better variety of spanking scenes than is found in five years of updates from some of the more well known and established spanking sites mentioned earlier in this post. ... Wide variety of good stuff, flashes of absolute brilliance better than any that have come before, but just hoping/wondering if they can maintain it.

Fred, also a paid member, had been following the pre-launch blog quite closely. After the long wait, I was very interested to hear what he made of the site. He picked up on a couple of teething errors (broken file links) for which I was very grateful, and otherwise seemed pleased:

I really like the feature that non members can look around the site and see a shoot preview. A prospective member can get a feel for what the paid content will deliver. Very open and transparent. Full marks here! I love the browse by keyword, that will be very useful when the site has thousands of features. [...]

My partner is from the USA and she has a thing about cute British boys with British accents. She was ecstatic over “A Bet’s a Bet”. [...]

We both liked “Sexual Dominance and Submission”; this is an interesting mix of sex and spanking. If you had told me about it I would have probably said it was not my thing. However: photographs taken in a mirror, it’s arty, and I like the idea of porn as art. I like subtle as well, so slightly rude pictures taken in the mirror work very well.

One of my aims was to produce scenes which couples could enjoy together, so this was lovely to hear. I was very gratified that he picked out two of my more risky scenes (including the controversial M/M and kinky, sexy play in addition to "pure" spanking) for positive comment. If I'm aiming to appeal to women and couples, this suggest I'm doing something right.

Dana Kane wrote the first review I really hadn't seen coming, from the perspective of a fellow professional - and, of course, a female top, one of my target audiences - who hadn't paid for access but had spent some time on the free areas of the site:

We get some insight into the seriously impressive work which has gone into building the site itself, including a genius little bit of code which allows the site to operate without a restricted members' area.
We also find out that Miss Blake's website includes all sub-genres (including M/M spankings) within one site, which I'd like to stand up and applaud. We're too small a group, us spankos, to go around breaking ourselves up into even smaller groups, in my ever-so-humble opinion. And you know my motto: This is about your backside, not your front side.   

Dana, what a brilliant motto! I couldn't agree more :)

The best thing about this review was that it got me talking to the delightful Ms Kane, who as it happens is visiting the UK in March and interested in working with us. I love her classy demeanour and intimate approach to F/M, and have booked her for a video shoot in London. I'm really excited to meet her and work with her.

Yeowch Spanking, who independently joined our affiliates scheme, didn't say a great deal, but it made me smile:

Even though it's still taking shape, it looks absolutely fantastic with a hint of romance in its tone. Anything Pandora does is top quality spanking stuff so this is one new adventure you should definitely check out asap.

A hint of romance! Yeah, I like that.

Brushstrokes emailed and offered an honest review in exchange for an access code. He's very widely read, particularly in America where I'm not well known, so I was happy to provide one and curious to hear what he'd say. He promotes M/F and F/F spanking sites and tends to prefer the more mainstream, popular style: very pretty, young and slender models, hard spankings, OTK position, domestic and school scenes. I expected him to react with bafflement to quite a few of the choices I was making. But he was surprisingly, and pleasantly, complimentary:

I was quite guilty when I started in this business of viewing [many spanking models] as wayward girls just out to make a buck. The truth is I have been fortunate to meet many a girl that blows Your Humble Narrator away intellectually. One I have always suspected was our dear Pandora but viewing her site for the first time simply enforces my suspicion. Our Dear Pandora and her rather lucky significant other and able spanker Thomas Cameron have decided to take a less traveled route. While the site is overwhelmingly M/f and F/f Spanking she apparently knows some naughty boys as well and have included a few F/m and M/m. [...]

While that might not be my thing, I indeed applaud her for trying something different but as I explored her site I discovered how unique Dreams of Spanking really is. [...]

The scenes are probably some of the most well acted I have seen consistently on a spanking site. You can indeed tell that someone took the time and love to write many of the scripts. Likewise the outfits are simply excellent spanning from period pieces to my personal favorite schoolgirls. [...]

Film Quality is simply excellent. I will indeed made a confession, I didn’t even need to download the videos to see the quality since the streaming option that Pandora has is simply excellent. Some of the best I have ever seen.

So that was unexpected, and rather gratifying.

Dreams of Spanking - Cherry Red Award Winner for Best New Spanking SiteMy friend Dave has also followed the project since the beginning and been highly supportive of my goals, so I hoped that the site would meet his expectations. It seems it did. I sent him a review pass and invited him to join the affiliates scheme, but he took me quite by surprise when he emailed to tell me he'd given us a special "Cherry Red Award" for Best New Spanking Site on his blog. How lovely of him! And awesome, because now I can tell people the site is "award-winning" ;)

More seriously, the award was attached to a review that quite took my breath away. I'm actually too embarrassed to quote it here - it's so very warm and glowing, and he taps into every single thing which I am most proud of, and the decisions I am most invested in. Dave, it seems, shares a lot of common ground with me in terms of our aesthetic and political preferences (his motto, I think, is It's all good, as long as it's cherry red - I quite agree!), and he approves of many of my less popular, and more personal, choices. So that was utterly lovely of him, and very validating. Thankyou, Dave, for having so much faith in the project - I will do my best to live up to it!

Then today, blogger and site member Tim the Tum wrote another unsolicited review - always the most interesting. He had positive and negative comments to make. He praised the design, the orderly site navigation, the Cast section and film quality. I was very pleased to notice that he appreciated the range of inspiration the scenes draw from, not only picking up on the somewhat obscure Stross scene but also correctly identifying the TV show which gave me the idea for Need to Know.

Caning Merit Badge was singled out again for comment ("almost painfully intimate" ... "not one for the fainthearted" ... "can be a little hard going" ... "ultimately rewarding" - which was very interesting) and I was absolutely delighted to see someone finally give Tom's work the recognition it deserves:

Thomas, who appears in a number of the videos, is the site's revelation; I'm not aware if he has appeared in videos before, but he comes across as very natural, and comfortable in his role. When he scolds there is little of the bombast that I find repellent in many male spankers; he is authentic and effective. Nice job!

The criticisms are the same as those made by others: he wishes the standalone photogalleries included videos, and he's not into M/M. I find it very interesting that these two aspects, along with the large file sizes of the videos, are those most commonly picked up on by paying customers. I want to talk in more detail about these choices and why I've made them, but this post is long enough already, so I'll save that for another day.

The most strongly positive response, so far, has been from bloggers who received a review pass (perhaps not surprising), but also from a female industry insider, and a spanko couple. That's very interesting. Male viewers who are connoisseurs of spanking sites and perhaps used to the way other websites do things have provided the most criticism, mostly on aspects where I differ from the status quo; but these same people have also appreciated other choices I've made. I've loved finding out what works for people, what doesn't; what scenes they pick out, what they expect. It's been particularly affirming to see so much positive response to the acting, costumes, ambitious plots and involved storylines - and lovely to hear the films described as having "high production values" given our low budget and my inexperience!

I'm also pleased every time someone mentions the website design and user interface; a lot of work, thought and expertise went into the branding and site structure and navigation, and it's what D and I do professionally in the vanilla world, so it's lovely to see site users respond positively to our proposed improvements on the usual way of doing things.

Thanks so much to everyone who have reviewed the site so far, and the site members who have left the fantastic and very useful feedback on individual scenes. I appreciate every comment, positive or negative. Most of the time, criticism helps me learn and improve. Sometimes it helps me realise that I feel strongly enough about something that I don't want to change it, and that's really helpful too. Every piece of feedback is a learning curve for me, and I'm grateful to each and every person who has taken the time to share their point of view.

Comments

Curious sensation

Okay then, this is a first for me; I've never had one of my reviews reviewed before!

I'm glad that you took my comments in the way that they were meant; while I did have a couple of reservations my overall impression was extremely positive, and I look forward to doing a follow up review at some point down the line.

I'm a big fan of Charles Stross, who is a really nice guy as well as a tremendous writer, and I'm glad I got the Hustle reference right. The US sort of version Leverage is well worth a look too.

Tom left a nice comment on my review; I've often mentioned my problems with most male spankers so I think it's important to mention when I actually appreciate one!

Incidentally my review got me into Chross's Spankings of the Week for the first time, so this has been a good day for me all round.

All the best

Tim

I really enjoyed the first two seasons of Hustle, but it started going downhill a bit. Charlie Stross is one of my favourite authors and I really want to sit him and Tom down in a pub sometime and watch them history geek. I'm still mustering the courage to email him and let him know about the scene, with my apologies... :)

Congrats on being linked by Chross! A nice feeling, isn't it?

On the subject of M/M clips

A very interesting overview, Pandora! Here is a link to another rather short post about Dreams Of Spanking which I have come across.

Again this one mentions the existence of M/M clips as a rather negative aspect. The question that comes up and which was raised by Tim the Tum in his review is whether there are many viewers who like all the clips you offer or whether the mixture of different gender constellations means that there are always some clips which don't suit the taste of a certain viewer. From the perspective of someone who isn't into M/M that means that there are currently two videos which don't do anything for that particular customer. Since the site is very new and there aren't so many clips available in total, the question of whether one gets enough value for money has been raised. Luckily, the reviewers all answered that question with “yes”.

But still I would like to add a few personal thoughts on the topic of M/M clips and the question whether they are of interest for anyone. I already posted that comment in a slightly different version on Tim's site but I think that it might be interesting for the readers of this post as well:

I am one of those who have a strong preference as video viewers for M/M. And I know several women for whom this is true, and even some straight men who enjoy M/M scenes as well. Plus, of course gay and bisexual men. I can understand that those who aren't into M/M would prefer to have two more scenes available that cater to their tastes, instead of the two M/M scenes which do nothing for them. But I think that this will be much less of a problem in the future when Dreams Of Spanking will feature so many videos that it doesn't matter whether some of them don't suit the taste of a certain viewer. From the perspective of someone who very much enjoys M/M, I can say that I'm very thankful for every M/M clip Pandora produces. The reason is that there are almost no videos available which suit the taste of those who enjoy M/M, especially when it comes to formal, non-sexual scenarios (without any erotic tension between the participants and without any explicit sex). There is one very good producer called Spanking Central but that's all I know about. I guess you can imagine how thankful I am to have a second source, with different tops and bottoms. So, there are definitely people who enjoy M/M spanking clips and who are very thankful for them because they are much rarer than x/F videos of a similar kind.

Well, so far it's only been straight guys who don't like the M/M scenes, and that's fine by me - they aren't my only audience. My most immediate response to this is, how many F/F and M/F sites are there where they like every single scene? Wherever that's true, I'd hazard a guess that the site is quite niche and happens to cater to a particular one of their tastes.

Most people's tastes are quite particular. Trying to cater to a lot of different tastes means that it's inevitable that most people will only like some, or most, of the scenes. I'm producing scenes based on what I find hot, not out of the desire to cater to an already saturated market. I expect that the only person who likes all of the scenes I produce is likely to be me. ;)

The more pertinent point, to me, is that the audience for F/M and M/M tends to be much quieter - none of my male spankee scenes have received user comments yet - and the female audience doesn't tend to pay for porn, although they'll happily link to it on twitter. So the vocal audience are men who already pay for spanking porn, and who are used to the standard way of doing things. That means I have all these voices clamouring for this site to be exactly like the majority of other sites (er - no thanks, go join them if that's what you want) and the people I'm actually producing the male sub scenes for are, so far, staying silent. I'm hoping that will change over time - there was certainly a good reception to the idea of M/M before I launched, mostly from women.

I know the scenes I've produced so far are imperfect (new models, new genre for me) so perhaps that's why people aren't commenting, but I'm very open to constructive criticism and feedback. So anyone reading this, if you've watched the F/M and M/M scenes, please comment and let me know how to improve!

Now, as a straight guy, I feeI obliged to add my two cents. I can say that I do indeed like your last update, "Non-Violent Resistance". I think the story is quite interesting and the chemistry between you and your co-actors is intriguing as you obviously like each other but you have to punish them nonetheless. Your topping style reflects this, not brutalizing or humiliating the bottom, which I don't like in any scene, be it M/F, F/F, F/M or whatever.
I must admit that I haven't watched M/M of F/M scenes before joining your side, so I probably was a bit narrow-minded concerning my kink, but I came to like these scenes on your site, too. "Taking the Blame" is also nice, as it caters to my fantasy of taking chivalrously the punishment for a lady.

So, just keep your style, one is always best at things one likes. Shoot every scene you want to shoot. One of the differences between art and commerce is that in art, you express yourself, while in commerce, you try to please the taste of the public. Of course, you have to earn money with your site, but there are hopefully enough people who are open-minded enough to explore new shores.

Fenris, thankyou for this comment - and please know that I absolutely did not intend to imply that no straight men enjoyed /M films! I'm pleased to hear that the sympathetic vibe of the recent one resonated with you, and really rather flattered that my films were the first male spankee ones you've watched.

The chivalry fantasy is a big one for me too - I'm sure I'll revisit it at some point.

Did you read Hywel Phillips' recent article on the difference between selling art and creative business? I definitely feel like I'm doing the former rather than the latter, not because I think my work is more artistic than other people's but just because I'm doing what pleases myself, not what will be most profitable. Still, positive feedback is always nice :)

Confirmation Bias

As widely discussed at various points in our political shennanigans, even among pro or semi-pro net writers, it is very noticeable that men comment in public more, and more assiduously, than women. They are also statistically and significantly more likely to link to work produced by other men than they are to link to work produced by women.

I suspect this is a secondary causal factor here rather than a primary one, but, I think yoiu're entirely right to draw attention to the trend that toppy, male people on the internet are disproportionately representated as commentators, and are accustomed to that being normalised in a much broader arena than just porn commentary.

it is very noticeable that men comment in public more, and more assiduously, than women.

Yes. The exception would seem to be on personal blogs, which are overwhelmingly (in my experience) written and commented on by women. The same is true of spanking blogs when they're personal... but as soon as a blog becomes professional/political, commenters tend to skew towards male. It's a weird phenomenon.

I also wonder, as well as gender divide of author, if the lack of comments on my male spankee scenes isn't related to - how to put this - a lack of a common vocabulary for appreciating malesub scenes. We have a cultural language for perving over femsub, and femdom, but not for talking about how male performers are hot, or how it's hot watching this guy's face as he's caned.

When you're commenting on stuff on the internet, you're drawing from all the other comments you've read on the internet, and if you've not seen a post like this before, or read many comments on posts like it, phrasing your response might take more thought. I know I leave tabs open on posts I mean to reply to, but the ones that get written are the ones I can do off the top of my head... and those are usually familiar conversations.

The thought on common vocabulary is a very interesting one. There is such a vocabulary in French. There really isn't in English. Go figure...

I think I more meant a common idiom rather than specific words.... what are you thinking of in French?

Long time ago

However, I was thinking that there is a cultural mode & linguistic idiom for the appreciation of young men by mature women in French literature in a way that there isn't in ours. If you think about Memoirs you see there that French culture had an expectation that younger men would investigate sexuality with older, socially superior women as a learning experience, in parallel to the equivalent happening with young women and older men. Our culture for some reason only did one of these.

It seems to have been as natural to the French that the young officer should be seduced by the Colonel's wife as it was that the Colonel's daughter should be seduced by a dashing Captain. Both make sense; an experienced partner who can teach the naif both the rules of the boudoir and the discretion of gentle society.

Interestingly enough, you do see this kind of behaviour in English culture in, say, the 1830s, and particularly in the Raj; Macdonald Fraser's Flashman as a young man is very clear on how much he enjoyed learning from experienced women. What is completely lacking in our literature of sexuality is any such narrative by the lady in question.

Hi Again Pandora,

I have been suscribing to spanking sites since the beginning, and I don't think I have ever been so pleased as with this one. You seem almost embarrassed to charge to join, but I think I can speak for many when I say this is the best value I have ever seen. You donl't have thousands of hours of video yet, but what you do have is very interesting and as others have said, very well done and top quality video.

I too do not care for the M/M, but I can step over them and move on to something else. It's hardly dominating your site. And I also don't care for pictures much, but that is okay too. It's not that I dislike them but I have a terabyte of spanking stuff and after while....

I am not where I can download right now but when I join again I will comment on your F/m videos. One thing I need to say is that I am one of those that is more interested in the woman doing the spanking than the man getting it, which I know is the opposite of what you like. That does not mean I don't want him in the picture. As long is he is in reasonable physical condition I don't care too much about him.

I have two things that I wish where different: Punishment spankings dont' start over clothes and progress to the bare, and it looks silly, or contrived, when that is done. I know about the issue of already red bottoms, but I can live with that. If you are going to punish someone you want it to hurt (duh) and if you have the authority to bare the butt then you do it right away. Or at least it seems so to me, in my (rather extensive) experience.

The other tihng is this obsession with OTK. I know I'm in the minority, but a woman taking a grown man over her lap borders on silly to me. Every school teacher I've known bends 'em over and paddles them. I'm talking about punishment, not erotic. In erotic spanking you do what ever turns you on.

I love the long videos, bandwidth and storage are just not problems any more for most. I no longer join sites that just have little clips. One reason I want to rejoin is to see you scrub a floor nude for an hour! (Off the subject: One of the things I love is to see a bare breasted woman with her chest facing down. Where she's on all fours, or OTK, or bent over. I love to watch hanging down boobs move as she does, or when the implement strikes her ass. I'm a perv, what more can I say.)

Anyway I will think of more later but I just wanted to say you have exceeded my expectations, and I really mean it I think you deserve an A+.

My biggest complaint, what took so damn long!!!!!!!! :)

Eric

What a lovely comment! I'm very pleased to hear that you're happy with the films so far and consider them good value. I think perhaps I know more women who prefer photography as a medium to film - many women tend to be perfectionistic about video, and on small budgets it's hard to produce film which they'd consider satisfactory. Photography is cheaper to do well, and can fire the imagination. I think for pornographic purposes I usually prefer video or drawings, personally, but I'm very interested in photography as erotic art.

Interesting to hear your views on punishment spankings. I think I agree that in real life, punishments usually start out more severe than they do in spanking video - there's less of a build up. On the other hand I think it's possible to incorporate a warm up in a plausible way. In the recent F/M film I made a decision to have the two hand spankings over the seat of the trousers, but the canings on the bare. The spankings were off the cuff, and I think school spankings would be more likely to be over clothes, so that felt more realistic to me. Plus I can imagine a female teacher being able to justify caning on the bare, but not the skin-to-skin contact of a hand spanking. I know that many people will wish I'd spanked them on the bare, but I guess I'll just have to make more F/M videos to explore the full range of available options!

Dana Kane

Hi Pandora,

I am not surprised about the many favourable reviews for your labour of love.
Although I had only a few days licence to start with, it was clear that I would come back very often.
Today, I want to congratulate you for choosing Dana Kane as one of your next partners in crime ;-).
I discovered her on Spanking Tube and started to collect her clips immediately.
What a perfect mixture of strictness, sense of humour, friendliness even at someone over her knees, you name it! I love her work and wish you some of your best creative ideas for the joint venture.
I am especially interested in the time honoured relationship mother-son. For this to be authentic (talk about Kaelah's thread on anachronism), there has to be a certain age gap between the two.
If you can find a "boy-like" model, a good visagist would be able to add 10-15 years to Dana's present age. That would be a perfect set-up (If she won't mind looking middle aged on camera LOL).
As ha been said before, the balance between the standard role plays (F/F, M/F) and the scenarios with male bottoms will be acceptable as soon as more and more videos are produced.

Have a good time
Don

Dana does indeed seem wonderful and I'm sure she'll be a hit in the UK. It's a real honour that she's interested in working with us and I'm quite chuffed to have got in there early!

I'm still working out availability with my male spankees for this shoot so not quite sure who we'll have yet. I imagine the scenarios will be along the lines of teacher/student, boss/employee, governess and some domestic discipline scenes.

a good visagist would be able to add 10-15 years to Dana's present age

If you can find and fund one, I'm happy to ask her!

The visagist

Pandora,
I did not want to push you into bankruptcy :-).
The scenarios you are thinking about do not need excessive ageing.
What I had in mind was my very personal favourite scene which might not be easy to create. Lack of perfectly fitting actors or expensive technical support makes it difficult.
But as the say: let's always strive upwards to the unobtainable instead of complaining about the way to it.

Love
Don

I think it's more likely I'd find a lady of the right sort of age. I enjoyed working with Miss Smith, even though it was for SOL - not sure if she's still in the scene but I think I have an email address for her somewhere. Also I'm about to meet Spanking Sarah's Auntie Katie, I'm intending to ask her if she's available to work for other sites :)

Female Spanker

Well, I am quite aware that I am probably following my own dreams about a motherly, loving, caring and still strict disciplinarian.
I have a lot of downloaded files with Miss Smith. She and Miss Hastings-Gore are not fitting in, Sarah's Auntie Katie, I do not know at all. I thought there would not be many sites I hadn't visited over the decades :-).
Dana Specht would have been a good choice once, but not any more. A mother/son spanking must by definition not move through an armory of toys and result in a black and blue bottom. For that scenario you need quite a bit of (as we say in German) feeling in your fingertips.
Don

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