Audio porn is such a wonderful invention. You can curl up (with your hands free!) close your eyes and enjoy listening to Pandora Blake’s lovely voice narrating a naughty story just for you - like this one by Spanking Theatre.
Image from Instructed, another sexy spanking scene centred around a letter.
Message in a Bottle is an alluring story that pulls you in and stimulates your imagination. It’s a sexy little mystery with a wonderfully devious twist. We hear a tale of punishment for the previous night’s misdemeanours. It's hot, and oh so carefully delivered (the story, I mean - although the punishment is that too). This spanking audio story teases with a delightful mix of sensory deprivation, touch, anticipation, pain, taste and the pleasure of wanting.
We begin with a mystery letter. The recipient has been ordered not to open it until she is told to do so; hoping to be able to sneak a peek, she turns the envelope to find the same warning on the reverse. She has to sit through boring work meetings wondering what the letter contains; what promises or torments does the letter hold? When she is finally given permission to open it, the anticipation of the unknown shifts to the eagerness of arousal, and she spends the rest of her work day distracted by the instructions she has been given.
The description of her naked wait with senses deprived, perfectly builds the same expectation in the listener as in her. I love the way the writer has managed to convey the build-up of emotions, the careful detailing of the indiscretion she is now being punished for, and the lesson that is being delivered in the punishment.
A game is played. The picture that is painted in words of the rich scent of wine is heady and almost intoxicating. You are on tenterhooks waiting for her guess of the age of the wine, you can almost taste the mouth-watering aroma - and that’s when it happens…
I won't spoil the twist for you, but this erotic audio story tantalises in more ways than one. Give it a listen - it's a sensory delight on so many levels, and if you're anything like me it will arouse your imagination as well as other things.
The Spanking Rep is a playful girl/girl switch scene starring spanking superstars Amelia Jane Rutherford and Caroline Grey alongside Pandora Blake. I understand Caroline Grey doesn't make many spanking videos any more, so this film (the last one she had lined up on Dreams of Spanking) is a rare treat.
Normally one finishes a spanking scene by applying cocoa butter to a bruised bottom but in this case, the film opens with Pandora rubbing lotion into Caroline's red bottom - and it works. The premise is a fourth-wall breaking look behind the scenes on a spanking video set. Director Pandora has just finished shooting with performer Caroline, and they are both tired and happy after the day's work. Since Pandora tells me this was also the last scene they shot that day in real life, I don't think it took much acting!
Watching this film, I found that it was really easy to forget that it was a scripted storyline; I found it totally believable. Everything feels so natural; from the slight awkwardness of Amelia, the spanking implement saleswoman who knocks on the door to show off some samples of her company's new range, juxtaposing perfectly with the casual ease of Pandora and Caroline, who seem utterly at home with the world of spanking. The combination made it easy to become completely invested in what was happening.
This film is great fun. All of the women seem to be really into spanking and being spanked. I particularly liked Pandora’s calm confidence, and the way she tested each item on her palm before using it to spank her friend's bottom.
My favourite part however was Caroline’s anxious excitement. Her bottom is already well roasted after her shoot, but since Pandora seems hungry to receive a spanking herself, Caroline eagerly steps in. I loved her gleeful delight at delivering a punishment, combined with the nerves due to lack of experience. It was adorable, relatable, and Caroline's acting is absolutely perfect. I’ve been the one who was learning how to spank, and I know how hard it is to gauge strength and aim, so Caroline's performance really put me in her shoes.
The camaraderie between the three ladies is delightful, and it genuinely feels that they are having fun. I spent a fair part of this video wishing I could join in, and the rest marvelling at these gorgeous kinky ladies and their wonderful chemistry. I love how they take turns trying the different implements on each other, it was fascinating to watch the various techniques and methods they had for taking aim.
As someone who very much enjoys delivering a punishment that leaves a nice reminder on a bottom, one of the things I loved about this scene was getting to compare the different implements, and the way they leave very different marking patterns. This video contains an abundance of pretty red stripes on very sexy bottoms.
If I had to choose, I'd say my favourite was the light tan coloured strap. I think the soft suppleness of it is very deceptive. Almost immediately after the first hit you can see a red stripe appear where the end has hit Caroline’s bottom, and after a few more strokes it has developed into a lovely red mark. Plus, it makes such a great swooshing crack. I think this strap is as close as I’ve seen to an implement that makes a whip crack noise without being a whip. I really liked it - if Amelia knocked on my door with these spanking implements for sale, I think this is definitely a toy I would buy to use on someone myself!
Three gorgeous ladies with a great kinky connection, enjoying switchy spanking fun - why wouldn’t you want to watch this video? The Spanking Rep is a light-hearted spanking roleplay that combines silliness and believability with some great spanking action. Check it out - and when you've watched it, leave a comment and let me know which implement you'd want to take home with you!
Our latest male/male spanking video Turn That Music Down is a domestic punishment scene starring Fauni Cate and Richard Barton. In this hot little film Fauni plays a rebellious young metal-head who plays his music far too loud at home. After yet another call from neighbours complaining about the noise, Dr Barton decides to make sure that this time he will get to the bottom of things. He is determined that the punishment, and the lesson, will be well learned.
Fauni and Richard have a really great on screen connection that plays perfectly into this scene. The combination of Richard’s frustration at having to apologise to yet another neighbour, and Fauni’s resentful attempt to avoid punishment, creates a lovely sense of suspense. I found myself watching closely, waiting to see who would ‘break’ first. As someone who can be a bit of a brat I really felt for Fauni; he has a "I know I’m wrong but I have things to do and you won’t really hurt me” attitude which Ifound very familiar. But the side of me that loves dishing out a punishment was totally with Richard on this one; sometimes you just need to make sure your lesson is delivered in such a way that makes sure it sinks home.
Fauni’s protests, and complaints as the punishment starts, are lovely but not as lovely as his mumbled apologies that get louder and clearer as his punishment continues. There is a moment where he kicks his legs up, and is quickly reminded that he needs to keep those heavy boots on the floor and away from Richard's face. I love it when a sub wriggles while they’re being punished, even though they know it will only increase their punishment; they just can’t help it. It’s why I don’t always use restraints, watching a spankee wince and apologise as they try to control their involuntary movements is so much fun, and it is one of the things that I loved so much in this scene. At various points Fauni is lying over Richard's lap completely helpless, dangling and kicking with his legs in the air, and it is such a sexy position for a spanking.
The slight gleeful grin we see flash across Richard’s face as he punctuates his demands - that the young man gets some headphones - with spanks is terrific. Almost as though he slipped out of character for a second and was just revelling in the sheer delight of delivering a thorough spanking. He also leaves Fauni’s bottom a very gorgeous shade of red, you can even see slight bumps and purpling at the end. This is a simple and very appealing m/m spanking scene between an older man and a cute younger boy, and the punishment is hard enough to make an impression.
We are thrilled to have sex blogger HornyGeekGirl, an erotica author and self-proclaimed spanking enthusiast, as a new contributor to this blog. Please give her a warm welcome!
I love wax play. Delivering it, I love the feeling of joy at every little squeak and wiggle your partner makes. I especially love dripping hot wax onto a freshly spanked, flogged or caned bottom. Receiving it, there's the split-second sting of the heat as it hits, that lovely warming feeling as more is added, and then the sheer pleasure of it being picked, peeled or scraped off. It’s delicious.
Hot Wax starring Tai Crimson and Pandora Blake really captures the deliciousness of wax play. Right from the first photo, we see Tai’s smile of anticipation ... which turns to slight trepidation when Pandora pulls back her hair to whisper in her ear. Then there's the small smile on Pandora’s face as she lights the first candle. You can really feel the tension as Tai awaits that first droplet of hot wax.
For me that anticipation is half the fun of wax play, and this image shows that perfectly. It’s the deep breath before the first stinging drip falls. I like the symmetry of being able to see a profile of each performer’s face. They both seem to focus on the candle, even though I know Tai probably can’t really see it.
Tai's face is a study in this photo gallery. There is something almost blissful in Tai’s expression as Pandora drips the first trail of colour from higher up, which changes to lip-biting pain as the wax - and the heat - get closer to her skin, until the wax leaves pink heat marks on her upper back.
I love the dynamic between the two of them. The comfortable ease expressed in Pandora’s gleeful enjoyment of Tai’s pain, and the total trust Tai shows even when wax is being dripped in very intimate places. Which brings me to the other hot thing about this photo gallery. After all that build up, the pay off is a sequence of incredibly naughty photos as Pandora teases apart Tai's bottom checks, tantalising her with the idea of hot wax being dripped into that most sensitive spot... and then lands drop after fat drop right onto her exposed hole. That range of photos made me wince and wiggle, and witnessing Tai’s pleasure at the pain really appealed to the domme side of me that likes to hurt people just the way they like it.
The final two images in the set are the perfect finish. It's lovely to see the two performers basking in the afterglow of the scene they’ve just shared - and it's clear from their faces that they loved every minute.
One of the things I've occasionally thought about, as a feminist who runs a spanking site, is content warnings. Fundamentally, the idea behind these is that if something might include content likely to trigger someone recovering from serious trauma, it's respectful to give notice in advance that the topic is likely to come up, so anyone who needs to can prepare themselves and isn't caught off guard.
I think it's a really great way of making material more inclusive. Yet I've never gone ahead and instituted content warnings on Dreams of Spanking, at least not overtly. What I do instead is to make the content of each scene very explicit in the tags and copy surrounding the film. I try not to spoiler plot twists, but I do often remove the element of surprise from how the story of a film unfolds, in the interests of pre-warning viewers what they can expect - both to catch the attention of people with particular niche tastes, and to pre-warn people who might find certain content distasteful or upsetting. So far, I've been happy with that system. But if any film on Dreams of Spanking has made me wonder if it should include a content warning, it's our latest film starring Tai Crimson.
When I was editing Caned at Home, I found parts of it so extreme - both in terms of the severity of the physical punishment and the nastiness of the verbal degradation and emotional abuse - that it made me feel uncomfortable. The whole scene was shot in a single take, so I didn't see any out-of-character interactions to break the tension and reassure me that Tai was okay with what was happening until the scene was over. However, I needn't have worried. The moment "cut" is called, Tai bounces up and enthusiastically tells me that she could have taken double the number of strokes. In fact, she almost seems disappointed that the scene hadn't been harder.
So I decided to reuse a film format that I trialled during our ATVOD investigation (and which may have played a part in our successful appeal win, although it's hard to be sure); showing snippets of out-of-character performer interviews or behind the scenes interaction both before and after the main film, to contextualise the fantasy in the real-world context of the performers' tastes and desires. Since we won our appeal, I hadn't particularly felt the need to do this - especially with films where the fantasy shows pleasure spankings and explicit consent. But Caned at Home is definitely not one of these.
If edgy domestic scenarios showing the disproportionately severe punishment of a helpless girl aren't a turn-off for you, Caned at Home has much to recommend it. In particular, the sequences of hard and fast cane strokes falling one after the other without a break are some of the most convincingly severe thrashing I've ever seen on a UK spanking site. Tai has a high tolerance, and this was the third time we'd played together; she'd asked me to push her to tears, and this was our last scene of the day, so there was no reason to hold back. As it turned out, even the nastiest verbal abuse I could come up with - and one of the hardest canings I've ever delivered on camera - weren't quite enough to break her.
Perhaps you love severe caning and verbal degradation as much as Tai does, in which case Caned at Home will be right up your street. But if, like me, you prefer to know for sure that the performers were into it before watching a scene of this intensity, I recommend watching the performer interview and behind the scenes video first, to reassure yourself that no only was Tai unharmed by the making of these scene, but actively enjoyed it. It's lovely to work with a young woman who is so in touch with her kinky sexuality, and so articulate at expressing her fantasies and fetishes.
Besides, severe canings that leave livid welts are most definitely not BBFC-compliant. Dreams of Spanking is currently the only UK spanking site where you can watch material like this, and we will remain so until the Digital Economy Bill means we have to stop, too. So enjoy it while you can.
Something as dark and sordid as blackmail is ripe for kink. Firstly there's the power-play element: where you're never quite sure quite who's got the upper hand. Secondly, the subversion of society's inclinations to make sex something dirty and sordid: excellent blackmail material.
In this week's scene, Ten Amorette take all of that darkness, wraps it up in her tight, smart, dress, and sashays over to politician Paul Kennedy's house with the aim of entrapping him in a sordid spanking scenario.
You can probably tell that this scene is inspired by House of Cards: when Pandora emailed me about it, she explained that she'd been watching a lot of the devious Netflix series at the time. I was delighted, because I personally find House of Cards a massive turn on: the machinations, the double-crossing, the fact that you never truly know what Frank Underwood is thinking, until he turns to camera and beckons you closer, giving you a keyhole glimpse into his evil plans.
In this scene, it's Ten Amorette who has the power, and politician Paul Kennedy who's caught in her honeytrap. But her exposition at the beginning of the scene is borrowed straight from those intimate moments during House of Cards, where the audience is invited to both fear and root for the 'bad guy.' Ten sits on the bed, putting the finishing touches to her outfit – tight dress and high heels, a real femme fatale costume - and explaining her hopes for the afternoon. She wants to make sure that she gets enough material to blackmail Paul. She's heard he's into some 'freaky stuff' in bed, and if she can draw his spanking kink out, then she should get the evidence she needs to truly screw him over.
Pandora explains that this technique was a new idea, which came up during a discussion at the feminist porn conference. The dilemma: how do you make performer consent explicit in a non-consent scene? Blackmail is a great test case for this, because either character can be the one doing the blackmailing. While you may have a spankee who is feigning reluctance to get spanked, in a blackmail scenario they're there because – like Ten Amorette in this scene – they want to get the payoff when they gather the blackmail material.
Of course in a scene with more characters, or one with a longer story arc, you can use conversations with other characters to make the blackmail plot explicit. But the House of Cards-style discussion means you can break the fourth wall without needing more characters, and it also gives it a delicious conspiratorial air. You, the viewer, are being invited along with Ten Amorette as she carries out her plan.
I think this conspiratorial atmosphere is one of the things that made House of Cards so sexy, and it's one of the things that adds to the hotness of Ten's blackmail porn scene. She gets to Paul Kennedy's house, and teases him into giving her an over the knee spanking. To someone who wasn't involved in the back story, it may look like your average playful sexy spanking scenario. But to us, the audience – Ten's co-conspirators – we know that she'll need a much harder beating if she's going to get the evidence she needs...
Our new film Houseboy is a departure from the usual videos on Dreams of Spanking - and most other spanking sites. This is our first attempt at a cinematic short film, aiming for a higher standard of cinematography and storytelling than we are usually able to achieve. I wasn't planning to shoot this way from the start - it came about from a convergence of factors that created the perfect opportunity to try something new.
Casting Tai Crimson
It started last year, when I met an enthusiastically kinky and ridiculously cute young person from San Francisco. He was gorgeous, he loved spanking - he could certainly take it - and he expressed an interest in shooting for Dreams of Spanking. He wasn't old enough at that point to perform in porn, but I said that once he turned 18 I'd be very happy to work with him. We made plans to shoot together when he was next in the UK - which happened to be May 2015, less than a week after his eighteenth birthday. How's that for a coming-of-age celebration?
I normally prefer to work with kinksters who are a little older, simply because I value emotional maturity and experience in the people I shoot with. I think the common fetish for "barely 18" performers in porn is partly based on the idea that young performers are vulnerable, and so it's easier to take advantage of them and push their limits. I find this sleazy and totally unethical, and I'd always much rather work with older players who know their own minds and are able to look after themselves. It's important to me that the performers I hire can take responsibility for their own limits and communication, are experienced enough players to know their bodies and their preferences, and are secure in their decision to appear in fetish porn - because once you've done it, there's no going back.
When I met Tai, however, he exploded all of my preconceptions. Although a teenager, he has a rock solid sense of his kinky identity, and he's been exploring his interest in private for years. He is calm, confident, intelligent, self-reliant, and very emotionally mature. So at eighteen and a few days, Tai officially beats Talia Lane to the position of youngest performer on Dreams of Spanking - and yes, we do have his ID on file to prove it!
We put a date in the diary, and meanwhile Tai and I exchanged emails discussing his interests and preferences. But by March this year, when I needed to start firming up plans, I already knew that ATVOD were investigating Dreams of Spanking and that I was likely to have to stop updating the site for a duration of several months while my appeal was underway. I had lots of scenes already shot starring Fauni, Mike, Talia and David and others which I wasn't going to be able to publish, so there was absolutely no point spending money and energy shooting more material that might never see the light of day.
Towards a cinematic style
Meanwhile, I'd attended the British Fetish Film Festival in February and the Berlin Porn Film Festival last October, and I'd been thinking an awful lot about shooting styles, production values, and the budget and time constraints under which I was shooting.
Over five years I have developed a shoot style that produces one 10-15 minute spanking film per hour, in a remarkably stress free environment, with plenty of breaks. This is based on improvised scenes filmed live by one or two handheld camera operators, with perhaps some close-ups or cutaways to enhance anticipation in the build up to the spanking scenes, but otherwise shot with as few cuts as possible - unless the performers themselves need to cut. Lightweight, consumer-grade cameras make handheld shooting manageable without the camera operators getting too tired, and using auto-focus allows us to get visual variety by roaming around the scene shooting different angles, rather than stopping the action to reset each shot.
This non-disruptive shooting style allows the performers to get into an immersive scene space and stay in character, which helps the roleplay flow more smoothly, and also helps the bottom stay in their headspace and makes the spanking itself easier to take. It's a system that Nimue and I have got down to a fine art, and I was pleased that we'd reached a point where we could create nice-looking films within budget, while maintaining a relaxed and fun shoot environment for everyone involved.
The downside of this low-key shooting style is that the resulting films would never achieve the cinematic quality that I was seeing at the film festivals I was going to. I'd had a couple of films rejected from international festivals, presumably because the videography, audio quality and storytelling wasn't up to scratch. I found myself wanting to level up, and see if with a bit more money, time and effort, I could raise my production values and put Dreams of Spanking on the map as a credible producer of cinema-quality films.
So rather than hire Tai for a day shooting a number of improvised ten minute website updates, I decided to use him to do something different. I booked amazing boudoir photographer Matt Christie to help out with the videography - he'd expressed an interest in shooting video last time we shot together, he has a commercial-grade camera and he also had access to an amazing location perfect for the scenario I had in mind.
I started penning ideas for a single 10-15 minute short film. Not five films, or six films, or seven. Just one.
Developing the story
With Tai, I had an articulate and gorgeous masculine-of-center performer with a submissive streak a mile wide, who loved being spanked. I thought about the films I was seeing at festivals, and the lack of beautifully-shot female/male BDSM films shot from a female perspective, with a male submissive who is both beautiful and interesting, and not just a cipher propping up a sexually objectified female dominant. Instead of this I wanted to make Tai the lust object and protagonist of the film, focussing both the lens on his body, and the story on his character's journey.
I started with a fairly traditional plot - a young man applying for a submissive role in the household of an established mistress. I brainstormed ideas for visual storytelling, thinking about ways to focus the storyline on the tension and anticipation Tai's character feels before he takes the plunge towards fulfilling his submissive desires. I considered ways to create an interesting power dynamic between his character and mine. I quickly realised that I'd need a third performer, another submissive serving the mistress - someone to make his arrival at the house feel more formal and more intimidating.
I'd already talked to my friend Eliza Grey about having her on set as a shoot assistant, helping out behind the camera (she had planned to be with us on our shoot in November, but had sadly been unable to make it). I realised she'd be perfect for the role of a bitchy receptionist, enhancing Tai's nerves before his interview with the Madame... and once I'd cast Eliza, the rest of the story fell into place.
Writing the script
Ten days before the shoot, I was hurrying to finish the script on my laptop on the train. I'd never written lines for characters to say before, and I was finding it surprisingly difficult. I'd write a line, then agonise over it. What if Tai doesn't feel comfortable saying that? What if that's not what Eliza would say? I've always made a political point of not putting words in my performers' mouths, and suddenly that was what I was literally doing. At the same time I was all-too-aware that they were going to need to memorise their lines, and time was running out.
I closed my eyes, wrote some lines telling myself they were only placeholders, and sent it off with an apologetic email saying this was a very rough draft, and inviting them to make any changes they wanted. But my anxiety proved unfounded. In the end, bar one wording change, that script was the one we used - and Tai and Eliza rocked it.
Working with a storyboard
A week before the shoot I was on D's sofa after a fetish party, scribbling a 'storyboard' in biro on A4 paper from his printer while my friends chatted around me. After writing the screenplay I had a strong visual image in my mind's eye of what most of the shots would look like - now it was just a case of creating a visual reference so I could communicate my ideas to Matt on the day. I'd visited Matt's location a week ago, so the rooms were fresh in my mind. It was a useful exercise to think through camera angles and compose the shots, but I'm pretty sure it was the crappiest storyboard anyone has ever worked from. The most hilarious of my terrible stick figure drawings was this sketch of Eliza being spanked over my knee and feeling sad about it:
Professional production all round, innit.
The day of the shoot
The shoot day approached. I bought food and props, looked up travel options, packed suitcases, selected implements, printed scripts and release forms. Shortly before the day I realised that I'd inadvertently booked our shoot on the same day as the London Marathon, and the location we were using was only one block away from the route. That meant that not only would transport potentially be disrupted, but the exterior shots would all have a huge amount of background noise. Still, at this late stage there was nothing to be done about it. I booked an 8am taxi, the traffic at that hour was fine, and I was on set at 9am. Matt and I drank coffee and looked through the storyboard, then Tai and Eliza arrived - and it was all go.
Shooting from a script was a totally new experience for me, and a steep learning curve. I'd worked out the best shooting order, shooting the story in as close to chronological order as possible while minimising room and lighting changes. After that it was just a question of staying calm, following the callsheet and taking it one shot at a time.
I was using an external mic for the first time, and was grateful to have Eliza helping out and sharing the responsibility for making sure the mic was a) close enough, b) not in shot, and c) recording each time. She was also an absolute star helping out with moving lights, checking camera batteries and memory cards, making tea and tidying up behind us. A+++, would work with again. Plus it turned out she could seriously act...
It was a full day, perhaps a bit too full - nerves started to fray after a few hours, and everyone was feeling tired by mid-afternoon. The shoot would definitely have been easier with more camera crew or fewer scenes to fit in. After a few hours, Matt noticed a round smudge in the middle of the lens, and wiped it off - but of course there wasn't time to go back and re-shoot the shots we'd already done. By the time we came to shoot the confrontation between Tai and Eliza in the kitchen, everyone was so tired that that scene took about seven takes. Some of the shots ended up out of focus, and we got through so many cans of tonic that I was worried we'd run out!
Editing the film
Still, despite all that, when I came to look at the footage I was pleased to discover that most of it looked how I'd expected. There were a few surprises in the edit - such as that moment when I realised the reverse shot in one dialogue scene crossed the line and was therefore unusable, and was suddenly grateful that we'd shot three angles of that particular scene, even though at the time it felt like overkill. It was a monster of an edit, but satisfying too, sorting through all the footage, plugging it into place, and seeing how the scenes I'd envisioned in my mind played out on camera.
Choosing the music was another daunting prospect - I knew I wanted to avoid re-using the same creative commons soundtracks that you hear time and time again in indie porn, and that meant spending money. But how to start looking? First I worked out where music was needed - in the intro sequence, the montage, and the closing credits, which meant I needed two or three pieces in total. Then I did a rough edit of those sequences so I had a vague idea of how long the music would need to be. After that, I set a day aside to browse SoundDogs, typing in different keywords and playing pieces with my eyes closed, visualing the film, until I hit on a genre that felt right. I realised that for this story my usual taste in piano and cello-dominated classical and film score music wouldn't work - Tai's character needed something moody and masculine, guitar-led, energetic and driving. Finally I whittled down a selection, downloaded some samples and started laying them over the edit to see what worked.
Primarily, this film was intended to be screened at film festivals - which meant that the narrative would have a different structure than standard spanking films. In a film intended for someone to watch while having a wank, you need a carefully paced build-up and pay-off that sustains uninterrupted shots of climactic spanking action for long enough for the viewer to reach orgasm. In a longer film, there might be two of three of these build-ups and climaxes, separated by character-driven story. But at a film festival, the audience are watching to have their minds stimulated, not their genitals. Fast-paced editing is preferable, providing lots of new visual information with every shot. Explicit sequences need to be edited down to the bare minimum necessary to develop the characters and progress the story. So that was a new challenge: cutting the 15 minutes of high quality spanking action in, for instance, Tai's audition scene, down to the three minutes earmarked for it in the festival edit. The only way I was able to do it was by promising myself that I'd release the full, uncut scene as an extended edition on Dreams of Spanking later. But meanwhile the deadline for the Berlin Porn Film Festival was June 30th, so I had to get the shorter edit finished first...
In the end, thankfully, it was finished in time to submit to Berlin, and I'm hopeful that they'll accept it. I'll be submitting it to various other film festivals over the summer as well. I'm really happy with the finished film, and completely honoured to have been trusted with Tai and Eliza's porn debuts - and thrilled that they had a good time.
And that's a wrap!
It was a really long shoot day. We finished the scheduled shots around 7pm, 10 hours after I'd arrived on set. But then we cracked open the champagne and ended up chatting and buzzing on a total high, which led to another two hours shooting performer interviews, and even a behind the scenes caning for Tai when he confessed he still didn't think he'd been spanked enough...
By the time we finally turned the cameras off, sat down for some supper and tidied everything away, the sun had gone down - and it was 11pm before I finally got into a cab. Matt and I had been on set for fourteen hours, Tai and Eliza for thirteen. I am so grateful to the three of them for their enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism. It was a long fucking shoot and everyone put in so much energy and creativity it was kind of overwhelming. Overall, this production cost ten times as much as an average Dreams of Spanking video, but even so I still came away feeling like I hadn't paid people enough for the amount of work they'd put in.
Overall, this was a very satisfying project, and I'm really happy to have it under my belt. But it also taught me a lot about the trade-off that arises when you move towards a more cinematic shooting style. My previous method gave my performers more breaks, less stress and a much more satisfying kink experience. Shooting Houseboy, we did the bare minimum of spanking needed to get the shots I wanted - and stopping to move the camera, check the focus and lighting, consult the storyboard every few seconds made it hard to get immersed into a satisfying spanking headspace. I'm glad I hadn't scripted any particularly hard spanking scenes, because I think severe corporal punishment would be much more emotionally and physically challenging to take in this context.
I hadn't realised it before, but shooting in a more amateur style results in a much more rewarding experience for the performers - with more opportunity for top and bottom to develop an in-scene chemistry, focus on each other rather than the camera, and time for the bottom to sink into a yummy submissive headspace, without constant distractions.
So what can I take away from this? Well, I've learned that shooting in a cinematic style is something I can do, and that's good to know. I've learned that it's hard work, at least ten times as expensive as my usual shooting style, and considerably more time-consuming to produce and edit. It's also exhilarating, exhausting, and very creatively satisfying. I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a go, and I'm hopeful that the finished film will be screened in Berlin this year. But I've also learned that I don't want to start shooting this way every time. Perhaps I might be able to put out one cinematic film a year, but this experiment has restored my faith in my usual low-key way of shooting, which it turns out is preferable experience for me and my performers - and a much better environment to ask people to take hard spankings in. Our standard Dreams of Spanking shoots emphasise process over product, and trying something new has re-affirmed my faith in that process.
You can watch the long-play trailer for Houseboy below - and if you're a site member, please watch the full film and tell me what you think - and make sure you also check out the extended editions of Tai's and Eliza's spanking scenes, performer interviews and Tai's off-the-cuff behind the scenes caning.
Sometimes protesters wear scowls a clear expression of anger against an unjust system. Sometimes, though, they wear defiant grins – as Adele Haze does in her sponsored caning.
Nimue Allen wields the cane, and in between strokes Adele flashes cheeky smiles at the camera, and occasionally asks for some even harder strokes. She curls her toes with each crack of the cane, and by the end her gorgeous bare bottom is covered in neat red welts.
This scene is the final in our series of sponsored canings, and Adele clearly wants to make the most of it – insisting that the caning be more than 'transient and trifling', as a real act of resistance against the UK porn censors.
Our sponsored caning climax
In case you've missed it, here's a quick recap: in December new rules came into force that meant that many porn websites (including Dreams of Spanking) would be scrutinised by ATVOD – the Association for TV On Demand. This organisation – not democratically accountable, by the way - objects to a whole host of sexual things, from facesitting and squirting through to pain play that leaves any marks beyond 'transient and trifling'. Hence Adele's request.
ATVOD has already made its move on Dreams of Spanking, and as a result the site is under threat of censorship so irrational and strict that it would potentially force Pandora to shut the site down. In response, she and Nimue Allen set up a kickstarter with the aim of raising money to mount a legal challenge against the new regulations. The idea was simple: they'd take one hard cane stroke for each £10 donated, and release the resulting films for free online. They anticipated a maximum of £1000... but they got so much more.
The final total of over £3,800 meant they had to recruit more bottoms to take the extra cane strokes, with the result that there are now ten free caning videos online, each starring a different brave volunteer.
Let's take a trip down the sponsored caning memory lane...
It's a fitting climax – Adele's combination of seditious glee, rage against the 'ridiculous nonsense' of the new porn rules, and eagerness to take harder strokes on the bare bottom – all of these sum up perfectly what our sponsored caning fundraiser is all about.
Adele explains that she tumbled onto the spanking scene as soon as she discovered it existed – in the late 90s, when internet groups started taking off. Initially focused on bottoming, she now mostly plays as a top, as well as doing and other work as a fetish performer. This free caning film marks her first time bottoming in well over a year, a mark of how important it was for to her to join in with the UK porn protests:
“I'm not personally affected because I don't make my own material.... although pretty much any work I've done that's on the stricter side would fail the ATVOD test,” she explains. But this sounds, Adele says, like corporate censorship – by cutting off the ability to make a living from kinky porn, you're essentially trying to wipe it out. She highlights the fact that ATVOD's jurisdiction only falls upon studios that they deem to be suitably 'TV-like' – which often comes down to production decisions such as including opening and closing credits, scripts and music. “So if I did want to start a studio, the only way to go around the criteria that you are TV-like is to make really terrible porn.”
Please go and watch all of the sponsored caning videos – every single one is available for free on Dreams of Spanking, and licensed under Creative Commons (so share them around if you can!). In protest against porn censorship, a lot of people were willing to put their bottoms on the line and make unique, personal, caning scenes that reflect their own frustrations about porn censorship.
From Adele's seditious smile to the curl of her toes as she accepts a hard cane stroke, from the bright red marks on her bottom to the gasp of breath when she takes stroke thirty eight, this caning film is the perfect finale to the sponsored caning series. Three hundred and eighty three cane strokes in total, and each and every one sends a clear message to ATVOD: We might get beaten, but you'll never beat us.
Although many people love to watch a spanking in motion, for me there's something irreplaceable about still photography. Spanking photography is something of a dying art - in fact Northern Spanking is the only other spanking site I know of that still produces spanking photosets purely as photosets, rather than as promotional tools to accompany a video.
In my opinion standalone photo galleries have three chief benefits.
Firstly, they make for a different experience on set. When you're shooting both stills and video, you need to either shoot the stills first, blocking out the story based on the (usually quite vague) script - a bare-bones run-through before you get stuck into the more exciting business of roleplay and improvisation. Or you do the video first, and then, before the marks fade, you quickly retrace your steps for the stills - at which point everyone's tired, the energy has already peaked, the magic and excitement is fading away and the performers are counting down to the moment when they can flop out of character and have a cup of tea.
When you're shooting both stills and video, video by necessity takes priority, and the stills are a routine afterthought. But when you're only doing stills, all the energy and excitement that would normally go into the video goes into the stills - and the photos take on a life of their own.
Then there's the fact that stills are easier to get right. When you're shooting video there are so many details involved in capturing a scenario - the location, the costumes, the dialogue, the pacing, every little decision made on the fly and constrained by time and budget limitations - that however hard you work, you'll never get every detail right as far as most viewers are concerned. I know that when I'm watching a video I might be really into the premise of the scene, but then some niggling detail turns out to be a distraction or a turn off.
With stills, there is far less to get wrong. An image captures a single moment - and that's all you need. Besides, when you're working on an indie porn budget with fairly basic cameras and lighting, it's much easier (and cheaper!) to create sensational photography than it is to shoot professional-quality cinematic film.
The other advantage of still photography is this: you can make up your own story. Stills stimulate the imagination. They suggest a starting point, a fleeting moment - leaving the viewer to fill in the gaps.
I love to create films with complex, interesting plotlines, but with stills, less is more. You don't need an elaborate story, and you don't need to fill in all the details. Just set the scene, and let the viewer do the rest.
All this is by way of introducing our photoset Caned in the Parlour, a lovely little historical vignette starring me and Thomas Cameron, who was my real life partner at the time of shooting. It's a domestic setting,with me - perhaps - a young wife, nervous about having displeased her intimidating new husband so soon into their marriage - sent to the parlour to wait.
I don't know what I've done to deserve such an embarrassing punishment, but it must have been bad. Not only does Thomas instruct me to lean forward and place my hands on the mantelpiece, I must also humiliate myself by lifting my skirt, exposing my bottom to the dreaded swish of the cane.
But it gets worse - I am obliged to remove my outer clothing entirely, until I stand nearly naked before him, chagrined and blushing. I clutch my dress against my chest, prolonging the inevitable moment when I must lean forward again, bare and exquisitely vulnerable under his stern gaze.
But maybe that's not quite what happens... perhaps in your mind, it plays out differently. That's the best thing about spanking photography - the story is in your hands, and the details are up to you.
Michelle Knight is a bondage fan and activist against porn censorship. Despite not being a fan of corporal punishment, she volunteered to take fifty hard cane strokes in protest against ATVOD. Why? Well, as Michelle explains:
“I'm doing this not for my own pleasure, but to help raise the money to take them to court.”
Bravely, Michelle bends over the sofa and calmly takes every single stroke – her first caning on camera. Her reasons for doing so are more complicated than you might think, and her pre-shoot interview gives some fascinating background on the history of UK porn censorship, as well as her personal reasons for taking on this challenge.
Reason 1: Show the truth, not the fiction
“There's a lot of fiction out there,” explains Michelle. She's spent the last twenty years educating people on issues to do with sexuality – running bondage website RealBondage.co.uk and writing books, as well as taking part in support groups for trans people. “There's a lot of fiction out there, and people are making decisions based on that.”
Her website and books are aimed telling the truth about bondage for people who are curious. Michelle explains that, when not given the right information, people are reliant on a fiction about BDSM and sexuality that encourages them to 'panic, panic, panic!'
What better way to challenge that fiction than by showing a real-life caning scene, complete with discussion, negotiation, and occasional breaks for tea and banana cake?
Reason 2: It's not the first time
Protesting the UK porn laws is not new to Michelle, who confesses that “ever since 2008 I've been a thorn in the side of the CPS, Home Office, Lords, my MP – oh boy!”
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act in 2008 (often referred to as the 'Extreme Porn Law') sought to ban 'extreme' porn, and as you might have guessed, the word 'extreme' includes plenty of bondage, spanking, other forms of BDSM – things which kinksters engage in safely and consensually all the time.
The latest furore, with ATVOD, could see sites like Dreams of Spanking under the jurisdiction of a censor which hates any but the most gentle form of spanking. But it's certainly not the first - just the latest in a long line of attacks on kinky porn.
Reason 3: They haven't done the proper research
That 'Extreme Porn Law' – in 2008 – was subject to a rapid impact assessment before being passed. The key word here is 'rapid' - as Michelle explains, the organisation responsible for reviewing it mentioned that it did not have enough time to do a proper job.
This is a criticism that comes up frequently when looking at how the government makes changes which impact pornography and sexuality – lack of consultation with people whose lives will be affected by changes means that those making decisions rarely – if ever - get the full picture.
Reason 4: It's undemocratic
These are not policies which have been put forward in manifestos, or offered publicly for debate. In the case of the 'Extreme Porn Law', it was buried in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, which tackled a whole range of other topics completely unrelated to porn.
The recent changes are no different – they are primarily being made by ATVOD and the BBFC: statutory bodies which hold no direct democratic accountability.
Michelle explains: “They are operating as a law unto themselves – they are not fit as a body. They're making it up as they go along.” She adds that, from the government's point of view, this is almost certainly not an accident: “They don't want discussion on this. They want to oppress us. That's one of the major things I'm against.”
Reason 5: This is the only way to do this
There are lots of ways you can protest against democratic changes – you can stand in the street with a placard, or write to your MP. And while these things may help raise awareness of the changes, ultimately Michelle believes that the solution is more drastic:
“It looks like the only way we're going to be able to do this is to drag them through the courts.”