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Pardon me, but my straight privilege is showing

Author’s Note:
I’m going to do something I try to never do when I write: I’m going to preface this article. I wouldn’t usually, but the material is personal and incomplete and may seem a bit rambling and disconnected. However, I suspect that I’m not alone in the questions and conclusions that I’m mulling over, so please bear with me and hopefully there’s a kernel or two that resonates or contributes to a bigger conversation. 

When I set out to watch Fetish Fvckdolls 2 (which if you haven’t watched it, I’d encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience) I wasn't expecting it to be a big deal. I’ve blogged here before about how watching porn that’s “not your usual taste” or incongruent with your own desires is interesting and can be enlightening. I was pretty sure that a collaboration by queer and trans performers like Fetish Fvckdolls 2 would be just that: interesting, but not my cup of tea. 

Why? Well, I’m a straight-identifying, dominant-leaning cisgender woman who almost exclusively watches gay male chastity porn. Specific? Yup. And really kind of a world away from transfemme submission, which is the overarching  main theme running through the four vignettes in Fetish Fvckdolls 2. You can see then how I might have thought that my interest in the film would be purely academic. Interestingly, it was not.   

River Enza at the mercy of Goddess Kyaa and Dominic Rystan at Dreams of Spanking

Now, I’m not here to say that this film changed me, nor should the incomplete epiphanies on sexuality that I’m sharing here be mistaken for me jumping on a bandwagon. Neither of those are true. What does feel true, is that I’m feeling really aware of my straight privilege after watching this film. 

If you’re a straight person and that term makes you uncomfortable … I feel you. But it should make you uncomfortable. Privilege is a pervasive and dangerous thing when not acknowledged. Honestly, how two-dimensional of me to discount a film like Fetish Fvckdolls 2 as something that couldn’t touch me, something that I wouldn’t be able to identify with! How ridiculous and heteronormative of me to presume that I wouldn’t relate to these scenes. If it was mainstream lesbian porn (you know, the kind performed by cis women for the straight male gaze) would I have been so dismissive? Probably not, because I’m a straight woman who has had sex with other straight women and I’m blisteringly aware of the weight of the male gaze. But I presumed that I wouldn’t relate, or be aroused, by this. 

Confused and intrigued, I discussed my bias with my husband, who has recently (or in his words: finally) self-identified as asexual. He watched part of Fetish Fvckdolls 2 with me and commented immediately that he hadn’t even noticed that the performers were trans until the fourth vignette because he was witnessing them as human beings, rather than sexual fantasies. I was surprised by that, because for me transfemme visibility is the point of the project. He asked what would make a film like Fetish Fvckdolls 2 more “my kind of porno”. I didn’t have an answer because I was processing that actually, this is my kind of porn.  

Confused? Me too. 

Chelsea Poe sucks Pandora Blake's strap-on at Dreams of Spanking

How could I think that gay male chastity porn is more relatable to me than porn that has trans women at the heart of it? Am I secretly kind of a bigot? But I know and love so many queer and trans people! Am I not as straight as I thought? Maybe, but that’s not the primary concern for me. The concern is that even though I think I know so much about sexuality, it turns out I don't know as much as I thought. 

Yes, yes, we like what we like. The heart/loins want what they want. But it’s becoming evident to me now that the shackles of straight privilege (ie: never having to consider your sexuality or have it challenged, because it’s the cultural default setting) are just that: shackles. 

What Fetish Fvckdolls 2 taught me about myself is that heteronormative thinking is limiting because the definitions are so static. “Straight” doesn’t leave much room for variety. Any “exploration” within straight sexuality is expected to be episodic, or at the most, a phase. So when, as a “straight” person, I watched this film, it was a bit dizzying to not see the performers as fantasy objects, and to relate to them on a human level. It revealed to me things I hadn't known before about how objectifying my gaze tends to be.

Fetish Fvckdolls 2 is radical and fresh. It puts trans women at the center of each encounter. Not only are they the subjects of their own experience, they are shown in willing and delighted submission. Not here the degrading porn tropes that cast trans women as exotic freaks with hard cocks, or strip them of autonomy - no, the trans women in Fetish Fvckdolls 2 are very clearly represented as the people they are. Full stop.

Cookie Cosmos submits to Rae Cosmos at Dreams of Spanking

I learned that my erotic appetite, regardless of whom I choose to get frisky with, is essentially about the treatment and experience of the people involved, not the combination of bodies I see on the screen. I began to reflect on what turns me on and what turns me off in adult entertainment: it’s not the bodies at all. It’s the dynamics. I haven’t ignored trans porn in the past because it was trans. I've ignored it because when it’s badly done, it’s so likely to be dehumanising.

Fetish Fvckdolls 2 has been made with such smart and mindful intentions by everyone involved that the sexiness absolutely transcends all notions of genre and the limitations of what I thought I could be into. I  watched the film three times. It’s 90 minutes long. It took me almost 5 hours of watching this film and then more time processing the experience for me to begin to get my head around these personal biases and blindspots. 

What I have learned from Fetish Fvckdolls 2, what I’m so glad to begin to understand about myself, is that I like porn because I watching people fuck. Not just men, not just straight people, not just cishet couples. What I don’t like in porn is mindless and narrowly conceived narratives, and hegemonic control of my gaze. I’m not comfortable knowing that I have been a contributor to that mindlessness, a cog in the wheel of a cultural and artistic system that holds people back, misrepresents them and strips them of humanity, no matter how subtle the effect seems to be. 

Having realised that, I want to do better. I know that I won’t always get it right, but only good can come from growth and empathy. And besides, if nothing else, a whole new world of porn just opened up to me, so if you’ll forgive me, I have some catching up to do … 

No beasts were harmed in the making of this scene

Ron Beastly lives up to his name this week, because in our latest film he plays an actual wild beast – growling, furry, dangerous and almost impossible to tame.

Wild beast Ron Beastly whipped and tamed at Dreams of Spanking
Wild beast Ron Beastly whipped and tamed at Dreams of Spanking

This scene is a pretty rare thing – a kink that's almost totally new to me. But the more I think about it, and google around beast porn and beast sex play, the more of it I find.

Beast porn has a pretty long and colourful history, and when you start looking you'll find it in a fair few places. From Marian Engel's famous 1976 novel 'Bear' (in which a librarian falls in love with, and is ravished by, an actual bear) to tamer modern hints, like the sexy werewolves in the Twilight books. I know it's not really on to mention Twilight, but I'm throwing it in there because it's surprising just how often particular kinks bubble up in our popular culture.

In fact, when you start looking for it, there's plenty of beast porn on the internet, but most of the fantasies are either animated or slashfic (there's plenty of Beauty and the Beast porn written by eager online writers, for example) – it's rare to be able to watch a beast fantasy played out on screen by real people.

Wild beast Ron Beastly whipped and tamed at Dreams of Spanking Wild beast Ron Beastly whipped and tamed at Dreams of Spanking

Ron makes a perfect beast – partly because, with his furry body draped in more furs, and chained up in a sleeping pose, he looks every inch the slumbering creature. But more so because beast play is one of Ron's own fantasies. He suggested the idea for this scene, and so it's his own desires that are played out – giving him the chance to be the beast that he fantasises about.

As Seani Love tries to tame him, he's whipped, collared, and led around the room on all fours. He's even fed strips of meat from a bowl, as his master alternates the food treats with whippings in an attempt to make the beast behave.

Wild beast Ron Beastly whipped and tamed at Dreams of Spanking Wild beast Ron Beastly whipped and tamed at Dreams of Spanking

Ron's own take on the scene can be found on his blog here – and it's well worth a read, to get a glimpse inside his head as he's performing as 'the beast.'

Next we did a scene that was a suggestion from me, in which I was a beast that was captured by a magician who wanted to harness my power to use to his own ends. I really got into the performance, though it got pretty intense for me, partly because it was very physical and partly because there were a couple of moments where it felt very real. I realised that, while it was fun to let the beast out of me, I really don’t want to be doing scenes where they are punished and subdued. I would really like to do a scene that was a kind of sequel to this, where the magician’s wife/daughter/whatever finds me tied up, cowering and subdued, then unties me and encourages me to be wild and to ravage her in a rather exciting and filthy manner (if anyone wants to shoot this let me know!). I was a little bit shaken afterwards, but the after care was awesome, with Pandora giving me a marvelous happy spank then feeding me carrot sticks and hummus while I was curled up on her lap (do all directors provide this service?).

The happy aftercare spanking Ron mentions was also captured on film, and if you're interested you can watch it here.

Ron's proposed follow-up, in which the beast is released from submission, and encouraged to ravish the kindly person who's released him, brings the fantasy neatly back round to the focus of much of the slashfic and other beast porn that I found in my research. Beast fantasy seems, for the most part, to eroticise the wild, untameable nature of the beast. The darker things that can be done by creatures that have no moral agency, no code, and which are essentially untameable.

I like the fact that this scene is a bit ambiguous as to whether the magician succeeds in taming the beast. He can whip and punch the creature into submission, put on a collar and lead and to all intents and purposes look like he's subdued it, but ultimately we can tell from Ron's growls and snarls that he's still a wild animal. Perhaps a wild animal just looking for a chance to let his instincts take over again...

Wild beast Ron Beastly whipped and tamed at Dreams of Spanking

I now have a huge crush on Zahra Stardust

If you’ve read Pandora’s updates from the Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto, you’ll already know a bit about Zahra Stardust. Sexual activist, champion pole dancer, and scorchingly hot porn star, Zahra’s been making waves all across the world. This year, she won ‘Heart Throb of the Year’ at the Feminist Porn Awards (very shortly after this shooting this scene, in fact!) and it’s clearly well deserved, because having been introduced to her through this orgasmic spanking film I have a massive crush on her myself. 

Click to view trailer for Spanking Zahra Stardust

Zahra Stardust is utterly gorgeous, with beautiful piercings, tattoos, hot pink hair and a delightfully filthy grin - dressed in sheer knickers and a pink latex microskirt, I can see why Pandora was so excited to take her over the knee.

She's not just a pretty face, but an exceptional activist too - she’s run for parliament three times in her home country of Australia, and is currently doing a PhD on pornography.

Zahra's mission is to change the world, one orgasm at a time. Through artistic porn depicting authentic queer sexuality and female pleasure, her work celebrates consent, bruises and bodily fluids, and self-deterministic representation. And in this spanking video, with a firm helping hand from Pandora, some slow and hard strokes with the strap, and her Hitachi Magic Wand, she does just that.

An orgasmic queer spanking for Zahra Stardust at Dreams of Spanking

I think one of the things I love most about Zahra is that when you watch her you get these amazing hot kicks of lust at each moment when she expresses pleasure. She’s never stoic or silent: she gasps and sighs with arousal, gripping the pillows tightly as the strap bites into her flesh, with blissful smiles and happy moans when she’s being pleasured in just the right way.

An orgasmic queer spanking for Zahra Stardust at Dreams of Spanking

This scene isn’t just a spanking (although of course there are plenty of opportunities to admire Zahra’s gorgeous bum as she gets spanked through sheer knickers and in just a tantalising pearl thong), it’s the build-up to an explicit and delicious orgasm. We get to watch Pandora squeeze and touch Zahra all over, see what she loves and how she reacts to the spanking sensations she was so curious about. And for those who - like me - enjoy a bit of consensual choking and breath play, the climax to Spanking Zahra Stardust is off the end of the hotness scale.

An orgasmic queer spanking for Zahra Stardust at Dreams of Spanking

Honey trap beating for James Darling

If you've been reading Pandora's blogposts from the Feminist Porn Awards, you'll already know how excited she was about shooting with James Darling, the gorgeous FTM porn star who runs FTM Fucker.

The Honey Trap begins with Pandora confronting James over his betrayal – he's been contacting other women for femdom, under the (mistaken) impression that his girlfriend Pandora wouldn't want to dominate him. Having replied to one of his online ads under a different name, Pandora arranges to meet him, and when she turns up at his hotel room to confront him, sparks fly.

Click to view trailer for The%20Honey%20Trap

This isn't one of those subtle, slow build-ups during which we all ache with anticipation. The Honey Trap is intense, angry, and in-your-face. Pandora orders James to strip naked and get on the bed so she can spank him like a naughty boy. James – clearly delighted that she's embracing her dominant side – obliges eagerly. He arches his back, begs for extra strokes, and moans deliciously throughout the hard spanking with hand and belt.

James Darling spanked and dominated by Pandora Blake

When I talk about the 'unngh' feeling, I mean that impossible-to-describe kick in the gut of lust that strikes you when someone does something just right. It might be a firm hand smacking your arse or pushing your face into the bed, or the way someone runs the belt along your spine before delivering a stinging thwack. All this and more happens in this film, and at each moment James perfectly expresses that hot feeling with moans and happy groans that punctuate every stroke.

Pandora certainly makes the most of getting her hands on one of her porn idols - this is one of her most explicit scenes to date. She gets physical with James, gripping by the throat, running her hands all over his gorgeous arse, and she even makes him lick and worship her patent fetish heels while she decides how best to punish him.

What is it about high heels? I always find that wearing them makes me feel that bit more dominant. I walk taller and carry myself in a more confident way. For Pandora, they clearly provide inspiration for humiliation and pain – she not only makes him kiss them, but trails the smooth patent leather and sharp heel teasingly down his body, and even presses the toe into his crotch, teasing him with threats of being trampled. The heat rises as James submits, and the result is a very sexy femdom spanking.

James Darling spanked and dominated by Pandora Blake

I love the dialogue in this scene. James' surprise that Pandora is willing to dominate him is contrasted with Pandora's angry indignation that he'd try to get his spanking needs met somewhere else.

“I've never seen you like this before.”

“You've never made me this angry before.”

She shows her anger not just with words – calling him a 'slut' and a 'dirty boy' – but with actions. She pushes and holds him firmly in position for punishment - on his hands and knees on the bed for a bare bottom spanking, with his face pressed submissively into the bedsheets for the belt... and she even wraps the belt around his neck to pull him upright for a kiss.

There's a raw intensity here – a chemistry born of excitement and novelty. James admits in his interview that although he loves to be spanked he hasn't been seriously worked over in some time, and based on his post-shoot tweets, this scene seemed to hit the spot. Having read Pandora's write-up of filming with James Darling, I can feel what it was like to be there. Late at night, tired but excited, keen to put on an awesome performance with one of your porn crushes.

Towards the end, Pandora sits on James and pins him to the bed as she fingers him and rubs his trans dick. It's clear from the behind the scenes materials how much fun they're both having. I get the distinct impression that Pandora at least doesn't want the scene to be over quite yet...

James Darling spanked and dominated by Pandora Blake

Entangled

For Valentine's Day this year I published a very special photoset - some candid, hardcore shots of me and D in the bedroom, doing what we do best.

The plan was to shoot a series of arty couple nudes with photographer Matt Christie, body shapes and so on - and that's how this photoset starts out. But it wasn't long before things started taking a very different direction.

Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion...

Tangled With You

We started out shooting couple nudes, but D and I can't keep our hands off each other. Skin to skin, our bodies tangle as we kiss and the temperature rises. Real love, real lust, and real, spontaneous sex. 

Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion... Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion...
Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion... Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion...

Leaning in for a kiss, I was surprised when D grabbed a fistful of my hair. Sparks flew, and suddenly a sweet romantic photoshoot took on a kinkier flavour. 

Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion... Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion...
Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion...

Gentle spooning and cuddling became D pinning me facedown on the bed, hand over my mouth. Laughter mingled with the sizzling chemistry of our dominant/submissive connection.

Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion... Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion... Tenderness, humour and spontaneous passion...

We didn't plan to shoot explicit sex photos, but when D and I are in the room a hot fuck is only ever a heartbeat away. These pictures document real love, real lust, and real, joyful sex.  

Serene in her surrender

Our latest photoset, Dominance and Submission, is from my shoot with D and Matt Christie in July last year. I'm remiss in still not having previewed the other scenes we shot that day, but I'm going to make up for it today by sharing a bumper load of free photos from this new gallery. 

I wanted to create some iconic male dominant, female submissive imagery, exploring themes of clothed male/nude female, bondage, human furniture and objectification, erotic breast teasing and whipping, nurturing dominance, throat grabbing and breath play, as well as corporal punishment with leather belt and crop. The depth of my connection and chemistry with D provided the ideal opportunity for these explorations, and Matt's trademark evocative imagery bathed in warm, soft light perfectly set the scene. I love every single photo he took, and had difficulty picking out just a few for the thumbnails on the scene page. I'm so delighted with Matt's photography that I just can't resist the urge to show you more here. 

A naked, cuffed and blindfolded submissive kneels and awaits her master's attentions. A naked, cuffed submissive walks towards her master as he beckons her to come closer.

Cuffed and collared, naked and vulnerable, she kneels and waits.

A naked submissive kneels at her master's feet, as he teases her with the riding crop. A kneeling submissive is kissed by her master as he cups her breast with his hand.

She kneels at his feet and he tells her to open her legs - wider - wider. She obeys. He squeezes her nipples and her breasts, wraps a cool hand around her throat. 

A naked submissive on hands and knees is used as a footstool by her master.
A naked woman surrenders and offers her bottom submissively to the crop.
A naked girl on hands and knees submits to the sting of the crop. A naked girl on hands and knees submits to the sting of the crop. A naked girl on hands and knees submits to the sting of the crop.

He arranges her on hands and knees and uses her as a footstool. She is aware of the weight of his feet resting in the small of her back; breathing in and out, concentrating on posture, poise, stillness. Back arched, bottom raised. When she feels the crop land sharply across her upturned buttocks she cries out. She flinches, she can't help it, but as soon as she realises it she arches her back again. Her bottom feels exposed, sensitive. The position is not easy to maintain as he whips her, but she does her best. 

A naked submissive knees on a chair and offers her bottom to the belt. A dominant comforts his submissive after her beating.

Cool hands soothe and squeeze her throbbing skin; their kisses are heated. She kneels to present her bottom again, offering herself to the belt, and he paints her cheeks red. 

He does not need to use words to tell her she is his. Serene in her surrender, she lets him direct her, trusting that whatever she does, she will be safe with him. He plays her body like an instrument. Even the pain, when it comes, is a treasured gift, a sign of love. 

A dominant kissing his kneeling submissive with passion and affection.

Love, lust and a leather belt

I'm still a bit behind on my blogging, but I'm going to bump our latest photoset to the top of the queue just because.

This is the second ever hardcore scene I've made, and it was shot on the same day as the first one, Snip Snip, with our good friend Tricia behind the camera.

D and I played this scene straight after Snip Snip, and it was significantly less staged; I'd known more or less what I'd wanted out of the scissors scene, but for this one we just moved the mirrors from D's bedroom into his living room, where we had a bit more space to play with, and improvised. All I knew was that I wanted to capture something of D's and my sexual relationship, a candid glimpse into our real life play. Mirrors, high heels and leather belts are all recurring features. (The bookcase porn is fairly emblematic, too.)

D and I looked at these photos together in chat this evening, and aside from a bit of light-hearted self-deprecation, we both enjoyed going through the finished gallery. He particularly liked the frequency with which we grin at each other in these photos (no serious BDSM porn here!); the scratches on my back by which he had marked his ownership; and the interesting effect of seeing himself reflected in the mirror, but not in the foreground.

I complimented him on his good belting action, ably photographed by Tricia, and told him how hot it was to see his erection tenting his jeans while he thrashes me. I also enjoyed the erotic subtlety of the photos in which our fucking is not visible in the foreground; only glimpsed in the mirror, out of focus.

My hope is that these photos express genuine love, lust and affection in a real life dominant/submissive power exchange. They also feature a far wider range of activities than most scenes on this site (as the tag list suggests!). From foot kissing to cock worship; the way D wraps the belt around my throat and uses it to control my breathing and movements as he kisses me, slaps and licks my breasts, and guides my head to his cock; being spanked with that wooden ruler over the knee, colouring not only my upraised bottom but my tender inner thighs as he spreads my legs and slowly smacks his way up each one, his other hand pressing into my wetness.

D and I very much enjoyed looking through these photos together, and are inspired to organise another couple shoot. (I'm still not sure he's comfortable appearing on video, and don't want to pressure him, but perhaps one day he'll surprise me.) I think this photo gallery encapsulates something real, and very hot, about our relationship. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our intimate kinky lives.

Interrogation

Today's update is one of my favourites of the scenes we've shot so far, and one of the edgiest. Darker and nastier than your usual spanking scene, this noir interrogation scenario includes struggling, stripping, bondage/takedown, groping, breast slapping and breath play as well as belt whipping. After all that, the belting needed to be fairly convincing, and it was. I'm not sure what I liked most: struggling on the floor with my wrists bound and D kneeling in the small of my back, or being tied down over a bar stool while he continued his work.

Shooting this was hot, hot, hot. D and I both enjoy this sort of violation roleplay, but are both a bit self-conscious to go for it in private most of the time. Taking photos offers us the perfect excuse to explore some of our darker fantasies.

Unlike many of my fantasies, this one is more or less context-free. It's an interrogation, and I think my interrogator might have sadistic impulses outside the strict remit of his brief (unless he's playing a very long game), but other than that, there's no back story to this one, no plot exposition. Like D's topping style, this scene moves from moment-to-moment, and is all the more intense for it.

There's a part of me that loves struggling, resistance and takedown, but my inner sub likes being a good girl too much to do it for fun most of the time. I love D in a long leather coat, and I love (and hate) the cold distance he establishes between us when he's taking me on a real rollercoaster ride. I love, love, love having one of his hands over my mouth while the other explores my body, and I love that he took me up on my old, filthy fantasy of having my head trampled into the floor with the sole of his boot.

Shooting this was exhilirating, a slow wordless dance following D's lead. I had no idea what was coming, although we'd talked about the appeal this sort of fantasy had for each of us before, and he knew what I was likely to enjoy. Roy Tersley, the Janus photographer we were shooting with, had no clue what he was in for and had just expected to be shooting some nice spanking scenes, so I hope we didn't upset him too much! It was rough, violent, cathartic and absolutely drenched in sexual tension. By the time we'd finished I was flushed with arousal, and more or less failing to pretend I hated it (this is a problem I often have with ravishment scenes!)

D and I took a moment to reconnect in the changing room, and before we really knew what was happening we were fucking right there on the dressing table. Turns out he'd found it just as hot as I had. It was one of the most raw, intimate, downright unprofessional moments I've ever had on a shoot - normally I manage to retain a modicum of self-control, no matter how much fun I'm having! - but it's also one of those precious memories which I think I'll look back on with a grin for the rest of my life.

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