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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 … 

Nine months pregnant

Being pregnant was an extraordinary experience. It was always something I’d wanted. I’m interested in discovering the awesome things my body can do, and pushing myself to my physical limits. It was one of those life experiences which I knew I’d regret missing out on if I hadn’t done it. I didn’t think it would be easy - but I’ve always been up for a challenge.

Even so, I was astonished at how difficult the first trimester was. But once the sickness and fatigue faded I found a new vitality and energy. Yes, there was constant backache, pain in my ribs as they stretched apart to accommodate this new life being nurtured inside, and other limitations. But there was also a rising excitement. Feeling my baby moving inside me was awe-inspiring.

Pregnant Pandora Blake shows off their curves at Dreams of Spanking

I found the latter part of pregnancy a very sexual experience. My curves and breasts swelled. I was filled with horny energy. I felt very close to my partner, and eager to fuck and play. And my mind danced with kinky submissive fantasies. As well as my usual favourite imaginings - being bound, spanked, fucked in the arse - I discovered a new fetish in the idea of lactation. I fantasised about having my swollen breasts bound tightly until the milk squirted out of them. My nipples became large and sensitive, and I begged my partner to tease them with fingers and nipple clamps.

Pregnant Pandora Blake shows off their swollen nipples at Dreams of Spanking

I wanted to take some photos to celebrate this momentous period of my life. The end of something, and the beginning of something different and wonderful. This shoot took place at the start of my ninth month of pregnancy. Less than four weeks later, my child was born.

These photos are a celebration of my pregnant body. Wearing a skimpy little black dress, I flaunt my curves, showing off my long legs in high patent black heels. My favourite wine-red silk night-gown takes on a new beauty, as the long slit parts to reveal my bump. The shoulder straps just keep slipping off - oops! - giving you a view of my swollen nipples.

You get an even better look at my round pregnant belly in an elegant lingerie set that lifts my full breasts. When I turn around, you can glimpse the naked curve of rounded buttocks through a tantalising cut-out in the sheer knickers.

Finally, fully nude, I show off every curve and line of my heavily pregnant naked body. During this amazing journey I fell in love with my body all over again - and I hope you do too.

Pregnant Pandora Blake shows off their curves at Dreams of Spanking

Pandora / Blake xx

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days

Back to School is a super sexy two-part scene starring Molly Malone and Nimue Allen. Nimue is a young teacher who has started working at her girlfriend Molly’s old school, and when Molly comes to pick her up one day they decide to have a little after hours fun.

I love everything about this scene, and I am not alone in that love. It's received more than one fan post; such as this one by Onanist-online, who described it as "one of the sexiest, and beautiful spanking films I have seen in a good while."

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking

What makes this film, I think, is the sexy and intimate relationship between Molly and Nimue's characters. Although they aren't a couple in real life, the chemistry sizzles between them. They are so completely and comfortably at ease with each other, and that familiarity makes this a real treat to watch. Alex Reynolds, writing in her blog Spanking Wishes, commented that "because of the obviously strong chemistry between Molly and Nimue, and the romantic elements in the scene, it feels legitimately intimate.” From lingering kisses to sensual caresses, the pair obviously enjoy the opportunity to play together on camera, and seem completely uninhibited.

I particularly thrilled to hear Molly reminiscing about her school days, explaining how she didn’t necessarily enjoy the spankings she received but would still be thinking about them later in the day. This film is a thoughtful exploration of the difference between the fantasy of a non-consensual childhood school punishment, and the sexy reality of an adult couple enjoying consensual spanking roleplay.

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking

Combining these two sides to spanking gives this scene a taboo element. Spanking Wishes picked up on this; "They’re actually *at* the school, snuck away to have this spanking adventure in a common room. Which is an incredibly hot idea.” I have to say I totally agree. The very appealing way Nimue persuades Molly to put on an old school gym kit (complete with white cotton knickers and knee high socks), adds to the taboo feeling of this scene. While the teasing little conversation about the kit adds to the naughty sexiness, it also reminds us that these are two consenting adults - even if they are playing in a real school, with real school uniform. There is something beautiful and very hot about the smile on Nimue’s face when Molly reappears, blushing, in the gym kit. 

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking

I adore the way they connect with each other throughout the spanking, switching roles and positions. Taking time to kiss, stroke, and whisper to each other. They look like they are really enjoying themselves. This connection and consideration of each other just makes the whole scene that much hotter.

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking
Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking

I love the moment when Nimue is strapping Molly to the spanking bench, and Molly quips “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere”. The bench is a gorgeous antique that evokes so many suggestions of old school halls, Headmaster's offices, and school students tightly strapped in place for punishment. Molly surrenders to the experience beautifully, from the first moment she goes over Nimue's knee, to the point where even the stingy wooden ruler melts her into a puddle of submissive bliss. By the time Nimue picks up the cane, Molly is in a state of total submission. There is something about the way she has completely gives herself over that is very sexy.

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking

I can’t talk about this scene without mentioning the really delicious noises that Molly makes when being spanked, the way they grow in tempo and pitch as the session continues is so hot, it goes right through you. Truly sexy noises.

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking

I'm quite into symbolism and for me, there's a lot of it in this scene that reminds me of being at school myself. The white cotton knickers and knee high socks are the white of a virginal veil, and contrast so well with the bright red of both Molly’s bottom after the spanking, and of her painted nails. I love the symmetry of those things, and for me nothing says sexy like bright red nails scraping over a freshly spanked bottom.

Molly Malone and Nimue Allen relive their school days at Dreams of Spanking

I adore this scene; it brings so many different elements together but still manages to fill simple and coherent, and the combined effect of school uniform, a wood and leather spanking bench, sensual kisses, switch roleplay and hard spanking is very hot.

Victorian pin-up perfection

Despite containing nakedness, over the knee spanking and hard caning, there is something almost innocent in these images. Maybe it's the Victorian setting, or Pandora's white flouncy underskirt. Whatever it is, it really gives this scene a romantic air that I love. It's a sort of nostalgia for a time I only know from books and films.

The Victorian Brothel starring Pandora Blake and Thomas Cameron is a gorgeous sepia photoset that manages to perfectly capture a sort of mentor/protegee experience. I think the slightly cheeky but nervous smile on Pandora's face as she looks up at him is one of the things that make me think of the asymmetrical power dynamic between a strict teacher and student who is eager to impress.

Pandora Blake and Thomas Cameron in The Victorian Brothel at Dreams of SpankingPandora Blake and Thomas Cameron in The Victorian Brothel at Dreams of Spanking

There is an innocence in the photos of Pandora as a Victorian wench getting ready to meet (and please) her new client. I love the image of her kneeling at his feet; the way her hands are tucked under her bottom, and she is looking at the floor but still turned towards him, and the smile on his face as he sits relaxed. It holds possibility; his hand resting on his knee looks like all he has to do is lift a finger and he will be touching her breast. It’s powerful; charged with sensual tension but not overtly erotic…and despite not being submissive, I find I can’t decide if I want to be on the floor or in the chair.

The sequence of photographs where Pandora is showing herself off for Thomas is fascinating. There is an air of confidence but also uncertainty. It conveys the feeling that she is proud of her body but not quite sure if the person she is showing off for approves. Even when she is laid over his knee she seems confused by his lack of apparent response to her charms - which makes her reaction to the first spank so delightful...

Pandora Blake and Thomas Cameron in The Victorian Brothel at Dreams of Spanking

I love the careful way Thomas explores her; lifting her skirt, parting her white bloomers, stroking her bum, and skimming past her more delicate area before teasing with a finger, as if he is testing her readiness. The way he lines up the paddle while Pandora tenses, her face crunched as she prepares for the first impact of leather.

I think my favourite image in this set is the one of the cane impacting on Pandora’s bare bottom. The pose, composition, the way the heels lift her bare bottom, and the stocking tops frame the ‘impact zone’. I love how the cane is pressing into her flesh, bending slightly with the force of the stroke. Plus, it is a very lovely bottom, especially with that pattern of bruised stripes across it. It’s an image I have gone back to more than once.

Finally her punishment is over, and Thomas gathers Pandora on his knee. There is something really sexy about the way Pandora bites her lip as Thomas bites her nipple. The way he has her arms pinned behind her back just adds to the feeling. This is a really hot image, that gave me all the right kind of shivers. The film that goes with this photoset has just been released, and I can't wait to watch it because I think it will be hot hot hot.

The last image in the set reminds me of those collectable cards you used to get in cigarette packet, of the sexy ladies in their underwear. It has that air about it, Victorian pin-up perfection.

Pandora Blake and Thomas Cameron in The Victorian Brothel at Dreams of SpankingPandora Blake and Thomas Cameron in The Victorian Brothel at Dreams of Spanking

This is an elegant, evocative photoset with so many beautiful images in it. Which is your favourite?

Orgasm control and what feels natural

A couple of weeks ago, when I had the pleasure of introducing you to Zak Jane Keir and Charlie Forrest’s style of loving dominance, there was something pretty significant I was holding back: the ending.

Part one was a gorgeous sensual spanking – with all the kissing, touching and caressing that makes me fall in love with spanking videos that feature real-life BDSM play partners. But I was also itching to tell you about part two…

I held back from revealing too much of what (and who) comes in part 2. There are so many moments of hotness: Charlie’s straining erection, aching desire, and that subtle gasp-moan as he tries not to come. Sometimes it’s hard to hold back, but I managed it, so today I get to talk to you about the second part of Zak and Charlie’s scene, and the beauty of orgasm control.

Femdom orgasm control in Please, Mistress at Dreams of Spanking

Orgasm control is one of those kinks that I feel everyone must understand. Regardless of whether they participate in it, the key lust triggers are things that most sexual people have experienced at some point in their life. The look on the face of someone who is desperate to orgasm, or the throbbing sensation in your own cock or cunt as you’re balanced precariously on the edge. At points wondering if you’ll be able to restrain yourself or you’ll just explode everywhere.

The second part of Charlie and Zak’s scene captures all of this – much of it through Zak’s eyes. We get her point of view, looking down or up at Charlie’s face as he bites his lip. We get lingering, delicious close-ups of his cock, which is rock-solid and twitching in anticipation of permission.

“Please may I come, mistress?”

That phrase is loaded with so much – especially in light of the playful way Zak’s been teasing Charlie with her hands, mouth, and breasts. It’s not just a polite request, or a ritual, or an impassioned plea: it’s also performative. Charlie knows, even in the moment when he’s so turned on he has to rush to get the words out all in one quick breath, that he has a role to play too. His role is to come exactly when – and only when – Zak allows it.

Femdom orgasm control in Please, Mistress at Dreams of Spanking

But the beauty of Zak and Charlie’s style of loving dominance is that orgasm control doesn’t have to follow the strict (and samey) roles that you’d expect from mainstream porn: he begs, she says no, he comes anyway, she beats him. Or from a Top 10 Ways To Dominate Someone advice guide: tease, deny, let him come explosively, then reward him afterwards. No, Zak pushes Charlie through one explosive orgasm, as he moans and screws his face up at the cathartic feeling of pleasure and failure. And then… she comforts him and consoles with the same soft words and gentle admonishment that you’d expect from a partner who knew their lover well.

Orgasm control is often something that you think of in one particular way: we know the rules and how it goes, and expect certain things. But Zak and Charlie have a natural flow, and their natural flow seems to come not from a standard checklist of things to do or say, but from what feels utterly right to them in the moment. Yesterday Charlie wrote an incredible blog post – about belonging and not belonging, and how his experience shooting porn with Zak and Pandora made him feel.

“I felt indestructible after that, a feeling that what we'd done was something I could be truly proud of. I was filled with the idea of a sort of defiant vulnerability, if that makes sense? Because in that moment I was utterly unapologetically me. Not the cleaned up compromised presentable version, but me as I am.”

Femdom orgasm control in Please, Mistress at Dreams of Spanking

Defiant vulnerability is such a brilliant way to put it. The way Charlie looks when Zak pushes him through his first orgasm, and even as she contemplates wringing a second out of his trembling body. I won’t spoil the surprise as to whether that happens, because the incredible thing about Zak and Charlie is that whatever unfolds, it all feels natural. From the initial teasing and sensual spanks right through to orgasm – somehow not what you expect, but so perfect that when it happens you know it’s exactly right.

Sorry, I’ve gone on about it there in probably far too much detail when I’m sure you’re itching to just watch the awesome, orgasmic scene already. Like I said at the beginning, though: sometimes it's hard to hold back.

Shooting in a cinematic style - the story behind our new film 'Houseboy'

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?

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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. 

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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. 

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

In conclusion

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.

Dominated by two men at once

I think the photoset that went up on the site last week - Surprised in the Garden - is one of the best galleries on this site to date. I certainly had great fun shooting it with Thomas Cameron and Michael Darling, and Nimue Allen captured every hot moment in beautiful compositions.

Pandora Blake is tied naked and birched in the garden at Dreams of Spanking Pandora Blake is tied naked and birched in the garden at Dreams of Spanking

This scene is based on my oldest fantasies - of being surprised by my lover in the garden, tied up and blindfolded. It's not until I'm being punished that I realise there is not just one two pair of hands caressing and smacking my body, but two...

Pandora Blake is tied naked and punished in the garden at Dreams of Spanking
Pandora Blake is tied naked and punished in the garden at Dreams of Spanking

This scene is actually inspired by an erotic story I read when I was ten years old. This was a milestone moment for me because although I already knew I was fascinated by corporal punishment, I thought I was the only person on the planet who had this fetish. It wasn't until I discovered the theme in an naughty book that I realised other people eroticised spanking and caning too.

Pandora Blake is tied naked and punished in the garden at Dreams of Spanking
Pandora Blake is tied naked and punished in the garden at Dreams of Spanking

I thought it would be fun to record a video blog talking about the significance of this scene for me - and reading a snippet of the erotic story that inspired it.

I hadn't read that excerpt since I was a child, and it was surprising to discover the ways in which my memory of it were different - and the ways in which it was still incredibly fresh in my mind. Our recreation turned out pretty different, in the end, but I still find both scenes very hot.

Do you have a similar "milestone moment" when you realised that you were not alone in your kink? And if that was an encounter with a kinky fantasy or reference to corporal punishment, does that scenario still have the power to arouse you?

Bare bottom spanking with a real life couple

What do you get when you put the Dreams of Spanking team in a house with a giant hot tub? Wet spankings! In this week's film David Weston and Talia Lane are let loose on a mountain of bubbles, for a playful, performer-driven switch spanking scene.

Bare bottom spankings with a real life switch couple at Dreams of Spanking

I'm not sure what there's more of in this update – kisses or bottom smacks. Talia and David have such a giggly, loved-up vibe that watching them playing together feels like a realy intimate moment. They're sharing their delight at being able to explore each other's bodies in a luxurious bubble bath, and you almost feel like the camera isn't there.

Bare bottom spankings with a real life switch couple at Dreams of Spanking

I know there are plenty of people who love homemade porn – what's often known as 'amateur porn' although it's often anything but. I can totally see the appeal of this, because while sometimes it's a shorthand for shaky camera work, most frequently it is a signifier of chemistry. Homemade porn is usually made by people who have serious desire for each other and who want to capture that on film.

In this scene, David and Talia's natural playfulness shines through, and it's a glimpse into how this real life couple are in... well... real life. It's something they brought spectacularly to their first video together – in which they played the naughty schoolboy and schoolgirl punished by strict Ms Blake – and this scene takes it to the next level.

Bare bottom spankings with a real life switch couple at Dreams of Spanking

I think my favourite bit in 'Bubble Butts' is David's gleeful cry of “more spanks please!” - it sums up perfectly the joy he takes in a good bare bottom spanking, and his excitement at playing on camera with his girlfriend. Perhaps the only thing that tops it is Talia's demand for more kisses.

Bare bottom spankings with a real life switch couple at Dreams of Spanking
Bare bottom spankings with a real life switch couple at Dreams of Spanking

This film came out in time for Valentine's Day last weekend, so it's a perfect excuse for glorious, unashamed cuteness: and I know of very few porn couples who embody sexy spanking cuteness quite like David and Talia.

Bare bottom spankings with a real life switch couple at Dreams of Spanking

Over the knee erotic spanking

I adore Matt Christie's photos - his gift with natural light makes every image glow, and he has created some gorgeously erotic pictures of me and my partner D. I think my personal favourite will always be Tangled With You, but I love this new gallery of Erotic Spanking photos in which D takes me over the knee. My hot topless boyfriend and a long, indulgent hand spanking - two of my favourite things!

Erotic spanking with real life couple Pandora and D at Dreams of Spanking

It always feels like a treat I get a spanking from D. He knows how much it turns me on, and when he takes the time to spank me it makes me feel very loved. But that pleasure is always twinned with a certain amount of shock and indignance, because he has a hard hand - and his spankings really hurt!

He has ways of easing the pain, though. I love it when he rests a comforting hand on my back to soothe me through a series of hard spanks - but it turns me on even more when he puts a hand over my mouth to stop my cries, or reaches around to squeeze my breast.

Erotic spanking with real life couple Pandora and D at Dreams of Spanking

I love that Matt Christie took the time to capture little details from this scene - like the delicate lace of my knickers, or the moment after D took them down, when they got caught hooked around my six inch stilettos.

Erotic spanking with real life couple Pandora and D at Dreams of Spanking Erotic spanking with real life couple Pandora and D at Dreams of Spanking

But my favourite photo from this set is this one of me glancing up, just after a spank has landed. The look in my eyes tells you everything you need to know about how I feel in that moment.

Erotic spanking with real life couple Pandora and D at Dreams of Spanking

It's easy to see that when I'm getting a bare bottom spanking over his knee, I am very much in my happy place.

Erotic spanking with real life couple Pandora and D at Dreams of Spanking

Calligraphy and caning

Our new years eve photogallery was a very special one, finishing 2014 on a high note. It was created with Adele Haze and photographer PWPimages on our photoshoot just over a year ago.

The finished gallery is called Sing, Muse, and here's what I wrote about it after the shoot:

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.

Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake

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.

Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake

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.

Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake

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.

Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake

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.

Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake
Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake Calligraphy and caning at Dreams of Spanking with Adele Haze and Pandora Blake

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