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...
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.
Some people know how to make an entrance. They arrive at a party and do something so memorable that you know you won't forget their name any time soon. Mike Pain's debut on Dreams of Spanking – in which he takes a beating so hard and so thorough it makes my eyes water - is exactly that kind of entrance.
This is one of the more traditional female domination scenes I've seen on Dreams of Spanking, and the story - suggested by Mike himself - is the kind of fantasy I expect many kinksters can relate to. Married man Mike Pain is secretly into BDSM, and femdom in particular. When his friend Pandora Blake teases him about his fashion sense, she discovers that beneath his buttoned-up shirt he's wearing a leather collar... and a bondage harness, and a studded leather thong.
For some, who for whatever reasons prefer to keep their kink secret, this could be a terrifying moment - but this is Mike's fantasy, and in his and Pandora's hands a potentially nightmare scenario turns into an intensely hot tongue-in-cheek femdom porn scene. When Pandora phones Mike's wife, the two ladies are clearly amused as much as angry, and it turns out that both of them share Mike's secret to some extent. Mike's wife asks Pandora to deal with her husband until she can get back to beat him herself.
Mike, in fact, gets exactly what he's been fantasising about – a gorgeous woman beating him black and blue.
Pandora is in full-on femdom mode, giving Mike a thorough bollocking laced with verbal humiliation, and stern admonishments when Mike tries to twist away from the burning strokes of the strap. She takes a gleeful delight in choosing exactly how many strokes to give him, and laying on paddle, strap and cane as hard as she can.
Mike takes the kind of beating that had me wincing in sympathy, as well as shivering with delight. I have to admit that there's a deep and specific joy in the sound a thick leather strap gives when it's whacked with full force onto a bare bottom.
It's rare that a top has the opportunity to hit someone has hard as they can, but Mike's pain tolerance is high. Pandora steps back and leans into each whack with the strap, putting her back into getting exactly that gorgeous 'thwack' sound. As Pandora remarks towards the end of the scene, "You can certainly take a beating."
As for the climax of the punishment - eighteen severe strokes of the cane - watch the behind the scenes video to learn whether they were as hard as Pandora could give - or as hard as Mike could take.
When you've watched the film, please do welcome Mike in the comments. After taking a thrashing this impressive, I think he deserves a very warm welcome to Dreams of Spanking.
My personal favourite, however, was the third photoset of the afternoon. Two topless girls in long skirts, velvet, mood lighting. Old books and ink, hand-lettered typography, words on skin. Adele and I have this kink in common. I copied out the first six lines of the Iliad onto her back in the original Homeric Greek, and it was the most peaceful, zen experience I have ever had on a spanking shoot. As the minutes ticked by, no-one spoke a word, PWP moved around us quietly snapping photos, I think she and I both entered a kind of subspace. There was an element of psychological bondage to it; she had to stay perfectly still, or the work would be ruined. And I entered a trance-like state as I lost all my awareness of the camera, and focussed on finishing the calligraphy as quickly and neatly as possible.
I don't know what story these images might tell. Perhaps we are lovers, or witches; perhaps I'm an artist decorating her for some sort of show, or perhaps she's my submissive and I've set her the challenge of stillness and obedience. Perhaps we are students in some strange alternate universe where punishment lines are written not on paper, but on skin.
When AJ sent me the edited photos to look at, my jaw dropped. They are heartbreakingly gorgeous, just as dreamlike and evocative as I had hoped. PWP did an amazing job with these photos, and AJ more than did them justice in post. As I emailed Girl on the Net to let her know they were ready for copywriting, the scenario started to take shape in my head.
This gallery is a visual poem; a lyrical, abstract dream sequence exploring the sensuality of ink on skin. Inasmuch as there's a plot behind them, it's this: Adele must lie still while I write the text on her. Maybe she's my lover and I just like setting challenges for her. Maybe I'm a witch using body-writing to cast a spell. Maybe writing lines on her is my punishment. I wasn't sure, but one thing was clear: if Adele moved, smudging the lettering, she would get a cane stroke for every error.
Girl on the Net took this idea and ran with it. I love the scene description she came up with.
Two topless women are engaged in a sensual game: one plays the canvas and the other the artist. Adele Haze lies on cushions, exposing her breasts and bare back - and it's the latter that her lover will write on. Pandora Blake uses black ink and a brush to adorn Adele with intricate Greek lettering.
As Pandora's calligraphy winds around Adele's gorgeous curves, Adele must stay completely still, hardly breathing to avoid nudging Pandora as she writes her lines. In a Victorian school, ink smudges would mean a punishment for the writer. Here, the responsibility to avoid error falls on the writing surface. Pandora weaves her spell in words, and the magic of the moment mustn't be broken. For each smudge, Adele will get a stroke of the cane.
When the text is complete – the first few lines of Homer's 'Iliad' – Pandora carefully examines her work, stripping Adele naked so she can admire the slick black script that covers her body. Afterwards Adele bends naked over the punishment bench in the Scriptorium, exposing every inch of her bare skin. Pandora's found some smudges, and every error earns Adele a hard cane stroke.
Each cold cane stroke makes Adele yelp, biting her thumb to hold back her cries. But after three strokes the punishment is over, and Pandora can step back to admire her work – the neat black lines of text curving round Adele's beautiful body, and the vivid red welts left by the cane.
Sometimes a lover will whisper a particular fantasy in my ear, and my heart beats extra-fast because it presses exactly the same buttons as fantasies I've had myself in the past. This week's scene is that feeling made flesh.
Alex Reynolds likes edgy scenes and harsh roleplay where there's a struggle or an abuse of authority. She likes disproportionate punishments and begging and screaming and beating.
And so do I.
'Playing Truant' doesn't just float my boat, it's almost measure for measure one of the scenes that's played out in my head ever since... well... ever since I started fantasising.
Paul Kennedy plays an angry, predatory truant officer, who's been watching Alex behave like – his words – a 'little slut.' She skips school and fools around with boys, and he's been watching her, clearly enjoying the show and scheming how to take advantage. He collects enough information that he can not only scold her, but blackmail her to submit to his violent, nasty urges.
As she squeals and begs him to stop, he punishes her far more severely than she deserves – a vicious tawsing across her naked buttocks and oh-so-sensitive thighs.
Alex Reynolds and Paul Kennedy are a couple in real life, and I really appreciate their candid discussion in the performer interviews accompanying this film. Alex explains that this is the kind of scenario she enjoys most – rough scenes where Paul abuses his authority to dish out cruel punishments. Paul's demeanour in the interview is so different from his character in the film that it's clear this sort of role is very different to how he actually is – and both partners explain what they find so liberating, and so rewarding, about exploring these different roles in scene.
Paul's character is certainly a nasty piece of work in this scene, as he strips Alex to the waist and roughly fondles her breasts, before bending her over for the tawse. He frequently shoves a hand between her legs as she squirms away, and grins with evil delight as he paints vivid red stripes onto her bottom and thighs. And in case you're worried, the camera stays on the couple after Pandora calls “cut”, to show Alex snuggling up to her lover, thanking him for bringing her desires to life.
I might start using this film as an instructional video. As someone whose most often-used phrase in bed is 'be mean to me', I've now got this bookmarked so that when I want to show just how mean I can say 'like this'. Beat me like I'm a naughty schoolgirl caught playing truant. Beat me like I'm a helpless young woman entrapped by a very nasty man.
It's not often we get to see a spanking film that shows sexual coercion as well as corporal punishment – and it might make me uneasy if the love Alex and Paul have for each other didn't shine out of the screen. If you are worried, I recommend you watch the interview before you watch the film – it's an in-depth discussion of kinky sexuality by two very articulate, experienced players, who are perfectly comfortable sharing their darker side with each other – and with us.
It's a seriously sexy treat for me to see have two talented performers act out something that's so closely matches one of my own fantasies, and if you're keen on this type of edgy, harsh punishment then I'm sure you'll love it too. From the words Paul chooses to humiliate Alex, to her well-acted misery and fear, there is so much in this scene to love.
I don't think there's any way to end this post other than with a huge thank you to Paul and Alex, for sharing this aspect of their play dynamic, and for such a smoking hot interpretation of the things that happen in my head.
Have you had a similar experience with a particular Dreams of Spanking scene? I love the idea of sharing a specific film with a lover, and saying 'look! This is what my fantasy looks like!' Which scene is your closest match?
When the new UK porn legislation came in, criminalising films showing any spanking that leaves lasting marks, we were advised to edit some behind the scenes footage showing performer consent together in the same video as the main scene. While it's frustrating to have to jump through hoops like this, when the whole concept of Dreams of Spanking is to make performer consent explicit in the surrounding contextual materials, this mode of working does have one silver lining - it means I've had to edit the behind the scenes videos at the same time as the main film, rather than leaving it until later. As a result, I'm staying on top of the behind the scenes editing for the first time ever, and we've uploaded behind the scenes videos, performer interviews or both alongside the fantasy film for the last seven weeks running!
The Surprise Present: Behind the Scenes
Performers: Pandora Blake, Ten Amorette
Behind the scenes during the filming of The Surprise Present in Los Angeles with Paul Kennedy and Alex Reynolds, including lots of making-of detail showing you the work that goes in to shooting a spanking film. Favourite moments in this include Ten exclaiming over how many bows Alex owns, 'flogger fondling', and some hilarious reactions to Pandora's directons - Ten saying "oh no!" when Pandora suggests she flog her some more, Alex mishearing "I'll give you permission to touch" as something else entirely, and Ten completely cracking up at "maybe Paul could pull out..."!
This was a fun shoot, and there are some really amusing moments in this out-takes film. Ten and Alex are a hoot to work with!
As well as the behind the scenes video, I've also uploaded twelve hand-captured behind the scenes screengrabs, highlighting some of the best, funniest, sexiest moments. Enjoy!
Merry Christmas! OK, I'll admit it – I'm feeling a teeny bit festive. I hope you're all enjoying the holidays, and that everyone enjoyed the gifts you got them. When I was spending the last week trying to rustle up Christmas presents I was disappointed I couldn't just buy everyone a subscription to Dreams of Spanking. (Although if you've a kinky friend or two, and you're looking for an ultra-last-minute present...?)
So in my festive state of mind I naturally honed in on the 'gift' aspect of our latest film. The story goes like this: Pandora is on the way home from work when she gets a text from her lover – gorgeous, mischievous spanking star Ten Amorette. Ten tells her she's got a surprise present for her, and from the grin on Pandora's face you can tell the gift is going to be smoking hot.
It is, of course, and Ten's utterly beautiful body is the perfect surprise gift. Stripped naked on the bed, and on all fours ready for a spanking, she's even unwrapped already! Who wouldn't be tempted, as Pandora is, to settle in for a long session of teasing play – spanking Ten with her hand and using the flogger to whip her into a hot, writhing mess of arousal?
Thing is, some of the best presents you can give are gifts to both of you. Ones your partner loves, but you also get pleasure from. Well, that's my theory at least – gifts that delight both the giver and the receiver mean you get two times the joy for the price of one.
So when Pandora starts spanking Ten's bottom, and Ten wiggles and moans with lust, it's pretty clear that the gift is one for both of them.
As it's the festive season, I thought I'd end on something a bit different this week. So instead of just giving you a link to this video and saying 'enjoy' (which I'm sure you will, by the way – it's steamy and intimate and oh so hot, and if you love girl-on-girl erotic spanking then it's pretty much tailor-made for you) I thought I'd also open up a bit of a discussion about surprise presents.
Personally, if I got a text like Pandora receives in this film, I'd hope to arrive home to find my guy (perhaps accompanied by a friend or two) standing over the bed with floggers and straps, ready to turn me bright red from neck to ankle. Or possibly ready for some intimate tying and torture, like in this smoking-hot interrogation photoset.
I imagine that he, if he got a similar text from me, would be hoping for the kind of spontaneous, sexy surprise which Erica Scott gives to Paul Kennedy in The Workaholic - and I expect he'd be a bit more appreciative than Paul was! What can I say? He loves lingerie and heels.
So: naked on all fours, sexy lingerie and high heels, a belt ready to dish out a thrashing, or something I haven't mentioned yet? If you got a text that primed you to rush home for a surprise present, what would you hope to see when you open the door and step inside...?
Can you tell that Talia Lane and David Weston are a couple in real life? I think it's hard not to, because the whole of their first film together is infused with a close flirtation and a crackling chemistry, which makes their school romance all the more real, and all the more intense.
I get a bit nostalgic about these school moments – when there was a guy I fancied so much I couldn't stop thinking about him in class. A guy who I just needed to touch me. Those stolen moments – kisses and gropes when teachers weren't looking ... sigh.
Talia and David play a couple just like this – horny students with ties askew, shirts untucked, and eyes only for each other. As is to be expected when you're young and hot for someone, they fondle and kiss behind the bike sheds for so long that they miss the start of lessons.
They hardly care, of course – they're far too wrapped up in their own teenage world of giggles and snogs. But this is Dreams of Spanking, after all, so from the moment their lips touch we know they're going to get caught by a strict teacher. Enter Pandora...
Pandora (aka the stern Ms Blake) is formidable in this scene, but then she has to be to keep the pair in line. Talia and David joke around even as Ms Blake explains that they're in for a punishment more severe than the usual detention or lines.
They can't quite bring themselves to believe that she'll put them over her knee for a hand spanking, and as a result their insouciance just gets them into deeper trouble.
Everyone remembers those kids at school who – no matter how stern the teacher – just would not behave. Talia and David in this scene are exactly like that - holding hands and messing around and making exactly the kind of exasperating retorts that teenagers seem to think are oh-so-funny. They play that casual 'you can't touch me' attitude to perfection - to the point where I, as a bit of a meanie, couldn't wait for Pandora to dish out the spanking just to show them she means business.
When she does, Talia's shock and outrage is amazing.
This is Talia's first ever spanking scene - in fact, she says in her interview that it's her first ever proper spanking. David's starred in a few Dreams of Spanking videos before (I particularly enjoyed David's Strict Governess) and he was keen to share the experience with her, and watch her discover why he loves spanking so much.
Taking the behind-the-scenes connection together with the scenario, it's a gorgeous shared moment. I loved seeing the dynamic between the couple as they stay strong against the teacher determined to punish them. Keep watching after the credits for more out-takes, including Talia's infectious giggles - and her genuine reactions to her first ever punishment spanking.
That David and Talia are a real couple serves to highlight one of the best things about this type of joint scene. When two lovers or close friends are punished together, there's an added dynamic: the support and sympathy between the two spankees. There's an amazing example of it in Punishment by Proxy, too, in which Pandora and Jimmy are forced – against their wishes – to actually punish each other.
As David and Talia comfort each other you can see that what started as humiliation is actually making them stronger. Initially David is reluctant to pull down his pants in front of his young girlfriend, but by the end the pair are united in solidarity against their teacher.
Facing the wall and baring their bright red bottoms after their spanking, they exchange shy, loving smiles. You know, I'm not sure they've entirely learned their lesson. Some things are just worth doing, no matter what the punishment.
Well, this one isn't exactly new - in fact it's been up on the site for a couple of weeks. But what with campaigning against the new porn legislation, unexpectedly being invited to debate the legislation on Channel 4 News, sessions, spanking parties, and spending a couple of days in Birmingham pair-editing some of the scenes for our new joint project with Nimue Allen, I'm a bit behind on blogging! Which means that I've got quite a few blogposts lined up for you over the holidays - what better time to get a daily dose of spanking updates to while away the Christmas break?
When it's the stunning Lola Marie in front of the camera, it's always worth looking back a couple of weeks to show you some new behind the scenes goodness...
Performers: Lola Marie, Pandora Blake
Out-takes and fun behind the scenes during the shooting of Provocative Housework - including Lola's impression of Patsy from Ab Fab, Lola admiring the old-school oven and iron in the shoot kitchen, scene planning, sexy wiggling, funny faces and silly voices, Pandora admiring Lola's bruises, and both of them actually cleaning the oven!
Lola is her usual bubbly self in this behind the scenes video, which includes quite a few silly voices and faces. She was such fun to have on set. I can't wait to work with her again in 2015!
One of the things I find hottest – whether it's during a kink scene or sex itself – is distraction. Having to perform one task while someone else tries to distract you, or being the one doing the distraction. This can be something really simple, from cleaning the oven (as in last week's playfully sexy Provocative Housework) to reading out loud.
This week, the amazing duo Molly Malone and John Beecroft are back. With their trademark flirtatious chemistry, they act out a spanking scene that's based on a true story. Molly rents the village hall to host kinky workshops, although she hasn't told John, the hall manager, exactly what she's using it for.
Unfortunately, she accidentally leaves a bag behind - and when John looks inside, he finds a book entitled "Curious Pleasures" alongside a selection of even more cuious implements. Molly squirms as he quizzes her about her erotic spanking hobby, deliciously embarrassed at having to explain that her corporal punishment workshops are ... umm... "relationship counselling".
Molly looks like she wants to sink into the floor as John demands to know if her parents know what she's doing - or what if someone took photos? He tells her it's disgraceful to treat it as all fun and games - in his day, punishment was a serious matter, used for discipline. John gives her a choice: accept a real punishment from him, or he'll tell everyone her secret.
It's clear that John is simply itching to have a go with Molly's kinky toys - and as she realises that his motivations aren't as strict as he claims, Molly quickly accepts, and willingly bends over the sofa for a beating.
And this is where the distraction bit comes in: in between lashing her bare bottom with the flogger, John asks Molly to read out passages from the book he found in her bag. An old-fashioned text explaining how some people corrupt corporal punishment to use it for 'carnal purposes', it's perfect to be read aloud by a giggling, teasing Molly.
When John steps things up a notch, and picks up the strap for phase two of Molly's punishment, he insists that she keeps reading it as he beats her. I'll be honest: as soon as the book came out at the start of the scene I'd been waiting for this moment.
I think it's mainly so arousing because the distraction of reading highlights just how hard the strokes are. As each whack lands, we hear a sharp intake of breath, and Molly jerks at the impact, pausing briefly in her recital as she takes a moment to absorb the pain.
Distraction doesn't make the spanking more painful, necessarily – it just makes the pain more apparent. The impact, the involuntary reactions all call delicious attention to that moment when the strap connects with her bare bottom.
With Molly's increasingly teasing comments, it soon becomes clear that John's as kinky as she is. For all his claims about "depravity" and "discipline", it's obvious to Molly, and to us, that John is loving every minute of the experience. And with the gorgeous juxtaposition of Molly's calm, measured reading voice and her gasps as each stroke of the strap leaves its mark, I can't say I'm surprised.
Alongside the element of distraction, I should also mention that I love the whole look of this scene. When Molly takes off her jacket to reveal a tight corset, tiny skirt and leather collar, the contrast between the two is perfect - John as the distinguished disciplinarian, and Molly as the coquettish, cheeky madam. She giggles and flirts, and is clearly delighted that rather than reporting her, John has decided to take an interest in her hobby.
I've said before how much I love the chemistry between Molly and John (and if you keep watching after the credits on this video you'll see more of it in the out-takes). I think one of the best things about spanking performers who are play partners in real life is that everything feels so natural - from the initial reprimands to the order to bend over, the playful flirting and the dialogue. Oh, especially the dialogue.
When he's finished with the strapping, John turns to Molly and declares:
“You may put what passes for your clothes back on.”
I'll be distracted by the thought of that line for a pretty long time to come.