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

 

The first letter

There's something I haven't been telling you. Even now, I'm reluctant to talk about it. There are a dozen things I would rather be doing than writing this post, like reading a book, editing a new video for the site, or finishing my half-written blogpost on the latest nonsensical Tory porn block proposal. But it's been over six weeks now, and I really do need to tell you.

In late February, I got a letter from ATVOD.

They addressed it to my legal name and sent it to my business mailbox in central London. I wasn't expecting any mail to that address, so it took over a week for me to pick it up - in fact, it was D (who shares the mailbox) who ended up being the bearer of bad news, bringing it with him when he came to visit one evening.

The letter referenced www.DreamsofSpanking.com and basically said: 'we think you are serving content which we would define as Video on Demand, so please reply and confirm whether you are or not'. The implication being of course, that if I admit I am serving that sort of content, they will claim that I need to register with them and pay them to censor me. The whole thing also says, implied but crystal-clear, We Know Who You Are and We Know Where You Live (or at least where my company is registered).

D thought I was going to be devastated to receive the letter, but when I opened it I just felt numb. I'd known it was coming. It was inevitable. I'm one of the most visible producers in the UK porn scene who is standing up and opposing the new laws. I've been writing blogposts, appearing on TV, distributing free protest videos and generally making a nuisance of myself. They joined my website for 5 days in January, so I already knew they were aware of me. It was only a matter of time before they sent the letter.

I consulted Backlash, followed their advice, and filled out the form and sent it to the return address a couple of weeks later. No point moving things along quicker than necessary. That was mid-March. Backlash advised me to tick yes, Dreams of Spanking allows users to view video content (vague wording, much?) but no, the site does not fall under UK jurisdiction for the purposes of the AudioVisual Media Services Directive. I sent it off.

Since then, I have been under a bit of a shadow. I don't know whether I should tell you this, but it's true, so fuck it: I've gone back on on anti-depressants for the first time in ten years. The depression is situational, and it's a direct result of ATVOD throwing their weight around. I have sunk five years of my life and thousands of pounds in this website - my creativity, my energy, my passion. Anyone who has met me will confirm that the Pandora you see on these pages is not a persona - this is who I am, and what you see is what you get. Dreams of Spanking is the authentic expression of my fantasies, my sexuality, my truest self. To have all of that labour, all of that investment, whisked away... 

I feel like I understand, now, why exile from the Roman Empire was considered a fate worse than death. I feel displaced; not geographically, but creatively. The site into which I have invested my labour, my identity, my creative and erotic energy, has become unstable and might be moved from underneath me. I have built my emotional and financial security and my professional and creative career on this project. Now, it is no longer under my control. I might have to take it down; I might lose everything.

To protect myself, involuntarily, I've retreated. I've emotionally disengaged from the day-to-day running of this site, a pre-emptive strike so when they take it away, it won't hurt as much. But who am I kidding. It will still hurt.

So I'm on anti-depressants. I'm talking to a lawyer. When ATVOD issue their Determination, if it is not in my favour, I intend to appeal to Ofcom. Meanwhile, if the updates are a little late sometimes, or if I publish more guest videos than usual, please bear with me. And please don't write helpful suggestions in the comments that I move myself or my basis of operations overseas. Trust me, I've talked every possibility through that you could think of with my lawyer, and I'm choosing the course of action that's best. It's just a shitty situation.

We are living in interesting times. If you haven't yet joined the site, do it now, while you still can - time is running out, and legal fees are expensive.

Comments

Hugs Pandora. We're all so proud of you.

In terms of fairness, it's rather like some one building a home completely in accordance with the planning regulations. Then being told it has to be demolished because a bunch of people no one has elected have changed the rules.

With You

Pandora,

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and to your team. I haven't been nearly as supportive as I ought to have been, due to some serious challenges in my own life, but I can honestly say hardly a week has passed by that I haven't thought of you and wished you much success as you deserve and have worked so hard for. Your personal vision and your heart informs this site with beautiful, erotic, heart-felt life and humor as one would expect had they read your original blog - "Spanked, Not Silenced".

Having loved ones in my life who face the challenge of depression, I understand there's little I can say in the way of actual help. But I want to offer some faint light of love and hope by letting you know I'm with you, emotionally and in spirit. I truly despise censorship and what's happening is particularly insulting as it seems their motivation is to "protect" women participating in it or viewing it, without regard to their right to participate as they see fit, out of their own wisdom and desire to do so.

I still view you as a friend. And though it sounds perhaps weird to say so, as we have never met, I love you as a friend. But then again, in this age of Internet, maybe that's not so unusual. At any rate, as a kindred, I'm feeling a portion of the weight of the oppression you find yourself dealing with. I believe that pain shared becomes smaller and love and joy when shared, grow.

Stay you and stay strong. Please accept this hug.

Love,
Quai Franklin

I posted a comment before, but it didn't show up, so I'm going to try again. Thinking about you and wishing I could give you a hug. I'm so sorry for all this!

This is outrageous, especially as your site is so conspicuously ethical. I acknowledge the difficult situation you are in and that your most likely course of action if ATVOD and OFCOM can't be beaten off is, sadly, closure of the site, but I note that some owners have managed to find ways of transferring ownership or moving their sites offshore....

I'm so very sorry that this is happening to you. (Sigh)

Very sorry this is happening to you. What a horrible situation. And so unfair on a high quality decent operation based on consent and respect.

Very sorry this is happening to you. What a horrible situation. And so unfair on a high quality decent operation based on consent and respect.

(don't know why that posted as 'anonymous')

Recent Communication ATVOD

This is persecution. Keep your chin up Pandora. We're with you. Hope the medication works and helps. You are right and they are wrong. Bless x

'Save Our Dreams' - an open letter to all Dreams members

I have been a member of Dreams since day 1 and have met up with Pandora on a number of occasions. I know her to be a staunch supporter and articulate spokesperson for her industry and it is simply appalling that Pandora's efforts to provide all of us with a top quality product may come to nothing in the near future.
There is very little that we members of Dreams can offer in terms of useful advice - that much has already been said. However what we can offer Pandora is additional financial support towards her legal costs. So not just our routine subscription fees but a one-off additional contribution. (And yes I will be making my own contribution early next week). Obviously it is entirely up to each of us how much that could be, but every little helps as they say. Otherwise, sadly, our favourite spanking site may soon be no more.
The best way to provide financial support is via the Dreams Pay Pal account ( [email protected] ) or by sending an an Amazon gift card to the same email address.
Thank you.
John Phillips

email you

Hi Pandora,

I'd like to send you a personal email, with thoughts and support, if you don't mind. What's a good address to use.

Jim

What can I say ...

... that might make you feel a little better in this dark time? Maybe nothing.

This is all so sad. And wrong.

No advice. Only you can decide what is your best way forward. Whatever the outcome, I shall always cherish the private video you made for me.

And the 3 times we "scened". Three so far, with more to come, I hope.

James M

I hope this isn't entirely lame...

I guess I'm over twice your age; have seen times when I lost almost everything except life itself; still haven't recovered from those catastrophes... but of course I can't be "in your shoes"... maybe shouldn't presume to offer any advice, but would like to join those here who would like to offer encouragement. I think you are smart, brave and beautiful. I think the "forces" that oppose or threaten you are wrong, to put it mildly. Do your best, and take care of yourself.

You have my respect

I am so sorry to hear the news about the letter from ATVOD. Don't know you personally, but what you write on your blog and on Facebook impresses me. You express yourself so clearly and you have really thought your position through. I can only imagine how you must be feeling.....I know a bit about depression first hand. Anyway, whatever happens, you can be proud that you stood up and were counted for what you believe in. That is inspiring. Take the comfort that those who love you offer at this time. You have certainly helped me with your work, in its various forms. Pandora, just remain true to yourself. Even in the worst case scenario, you will find a way to express what you believe. I will not forget how you have touched my life!!

You have my admiration and respect

Pandora

What can I say that hasn't already been said. I really hope this has a happy ending for you. You are fantastic person and I admire your bravery and openness. You have touched a lot or people. The quality of what you do and the way you promote ethical behaviour and consent is in marked contrast to so much else which is out there.

The fact that this is depressing you to the extent that you need to take medication really makes me sad.

It is clear a lot of people love what you have done and, because of your openness, feel for you as a person.

The videos you have produced, which are works of art, you can always feel proud of even if the worst happens and they are no longer on this site.

Thinking of you.

you will be in my thoughts xxx

So sorry to hear this but thank you for sharing with us. I’m so grateful to have met the real Pandora who started me on my journey...you are a wonderful gorgeous lady....you will be in my thoughts xxx

you will be in my thoughts xxx

So sorry to hear this but thank you for sharing with us. I’m so grateful to have met the real Pandora who started me on my journey...you are a wonderful gorgeous lady....you will be in my thoughts xxx

chin up!

Pandora,

You have so much to be proud of. You have consistently created sexy, ethical, inclusive work on this site. In fact, it's the only site I've ever chosen to subscribe to. I make that choice because you, personally, are a source of encouragement and inspiration for me even though we've never met. Your willingness to live bravely and openly means a lot to those of us who can't. Your thoughtful reflections on what it means to be both kinky and feminist went a long way towards helping me reconcile those two parts of my identity. Thank you for all of your hard work, honesty, and courage. Thank you for sharing your intellectual process. Really, thank you for being you.

There's no shame in seeking treatment when you're suffering from depression. The ATVOD should be ashamed of themselves for doing this to you!

I wish there was more I could do to help, but all I can think of is to echo John Phillips's suggestion that we chip in some more financial support if we're able. I certainly intend to.

Fight the power, lady.

Pandora what annoys me about this is you have committed no crime D.O.S. is your personal passion and business ,all the very best spanks , love , Tim x

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