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Michael Darling on Sarah Spanks Men

Exciting news! UK spanking producer Sarah Bright, who specialises in original, engaging storylines that combine edgy complex consent fantasies with a playful sense of humour, is launching a new F/M site.

The first shoot for the new project took place this week with our very own Michael Darling, and by all accounts a good time was had by all. The previews look great:



This is exciting for me not only because I think Michael has tremendous talent and deserves wide recognition, but because it's amazing to see a shift starting to take place in attitudes towards male spankees.

Remember that this is still an industry where 99.9% of studios don't pay their male performers fairly, or even at all - tops and bottoms both. Not only is this profoundly unjust, but it has knock-on effects throughout the industry, alienating skilled actors and professional male models, and fostering a non-professional atmosphere in which it is assumed that men in spanking films are motivated by personal gratification.

I know many volunteer workers in this industry, and of course most of them behave decently, and some have admirable skill and talent. But that still doesn't make a culture that expects or demands unpaid work fair. When that expectation is gendered, it is sexist.

Generally speaking, you can't expect someone to behave like a professional if you don't treat them like one. If you want to attract high quality professional performers, you have to offer fair pay.

As well as the business ethics and fairtrade angle, this is also a female gaze issue. As someone who is trying to create spanking porn that will be erotically and aesthetically appealing to women, including women who are attracted to men, I believe that hiring hot, good looking male actors is crucial. And, generally speaking, men who look like professional models and actors won't work for you unless you're paying decent rates - and nor should they. It's as simple as that.

So congratulations to Sarah and Michael on their shoot, and kudos to Sarah for bucking the trend and understanding that quality male spankees are worth their weight in gold. I wish her all the best for her new venture, and I can't wait to see the results.

If you want to see more hot, talented male spanking stars, support studios that pay all performers fairly, regardless of gender, and maybe we can start a revolution in gender egalitarian porn.

Comments

I cannot agree more with what you've said here. In the past I've had people message me, eager to shoot with me, only to then say that they don't pay their male performers, as that's not what the customers are paying to see(?!). I've had people defend this by saying that not every producer can afford to pay all of their performers, but can you imagine if someone suggested not paying the female performers instead? Or not paying the crew?

I'm a huge fan of people willing to make art that respects the female gaze enough to put stuff women want to see front and centre. That is something I will always support.

The thing about voluntary labour is that there's nothing wrong when it's consensual, but a culture of it is damaging. This whole situations is making me think of the ethics of, for instance, police special constables vs unpaid internships. The former are choosing to put in part time hours voluntarily, but could pursue a fulltime paid career instead if they wished. The latter is a culture that expects unpaid labour in certain professions.

I can't help but be reminded of the workfare debacle, although I know it's not a close analogy.

I genuinely think this is a labour rights issue. Yet another reason why porn performers need a union!

An interesting debate

Very interesting debate but perhaps mix two different perspectives of analysis. One is related with ethics and the other with business. From the first angle, I totally agree with Pandora and Michael and male subs deserve a decent salary. After all we live in world of "genre equality".But from the business perspective , we must be aware that the law of demand and supply always works. And although the "spanking market" is very opaque, it seems to me that there are more men wishing to see female bottoms spanked, that women wishing to see male bottoms spanked. If my hypothesis works, then the Pandora´s idea of a"decent salary" is questionable from a commercial perspective.
At any case Michael is an excellent good looking young actor bottoming and also topping. Although to be a marvelous top when Pandora is bottom, it seems to me that is not complicatedLOL

Sheldon, I don't think your argument holds up. Hiring high quality performers of both genders raises the value of your entire product. Skilled acting and appealing aesthetics has nothing to do with sexuality. Since launching this website I've had enough comments from straight men who only watch female spankee material on how much the quality of my tops improves the films to know that, for instance, Tom is a good investment for my male customers as well as female.

People talk about market forces as if it was fact, but it's mostly speculation. "If you did it differently it would be less successful". Well, how do you know until you try? That this website was profitable in its first year of business is, however, fact - and I'm pretty sure it invalidates your argument that unpaid (which is often, although not necessarily, also unskilled) labour is always more profitable in any circumstances.

Think about the difference between an item mass-produced from slave factory labour, and a handcrafted artisan piece. The former keeps costs low at the expense of quality, artistry and uniqueness. Yes, emphasising quality mean higher costs, but many successful businesses run on this principle.

There's also the factor that studios which do not pay male actors often aren't keeping costs down overall - they are simply choosing to spend money on high tech filming equipment or expensive locations or crew or something else. So it's not about the profitability of low cost production vs high cost, but simply about budgeting choices and what producers choose to spend their money on. I'm choosing to invest in quality performers of both genders, rather than high tech camera equipment, and so far, that decision is paying off.

Did you read the two articles I linked in the last paragraph? You might find them interesting.

Misunderstandings

Pandora I am afraid today I am thick and because of that you have misunderstood me. I do not claim that unpaid labour is always more profitable , not at all. This is not ethic and has not any economic sense.I only claim, as an hypothesis, that if there are more demand for female subs than for male subs the wages of the former will be higher than of the latter.

I understand your point about demand and supply, but let's deconstruct it a little.

There is demand for spanking porn. More demand for women getting spanked, but still enough demand for men getting spanked to create a big market. So there is a need for male spanking models.

There is a large supply of nonprofessionals who cannot act, are not willing to show their face, do not have model good looks, willing to do it unpaid. There is, however, a very short supply of attractive, skilled actors willing to do it unpaid.

So far, whether or not there is demand for skilled goodlooking actors has not been much tested, because no producer has taken the risk of raising their costs when they do not have to. However, my experiment has suggested that there is, in fact, demand for skilled good looking male spanking actors. How much demand remains to be seen until more producers take the risk, but Sarah's site increases the scope of the experiment, and is therefore very exciting to me.

Another thought. Market forces alone do not create fair business ethics. There is a large supply of Chinese workers willing to work in appalling conditions in the factories, but that does not mean that labour rights are unimportant.

The market is not an isolated, clinical entity that exists independently of human ethics - it arises within a human society that is unequal and still needs much improvement. We should not use the market as a tool to judge what is fair or right. Instead, we should be trying to improve social justice, and as we do, the market will evolve.

Agreement

I totally agree with your commeent made at 18:13. The experiment undertaken by Sarah´s site will give some light to the main point of our discussion.
Market forces and ethics are things totally different. Market has not heart. But with good regulations it is a good system to allocate scarce resources. Perhaps the best system devised by human being up to now. What happens in China is a real shame and implies social dumping that is an horror from an ethics perspective. But you know Hillary Clinton said "I cannot discuss with the Chinese politicians about human rights because they are our bankers". No comments, real bullshit. Pandora a real pleasure to discuss with you.

I pretty much agree with what Pandora says about the market. People treat 'market forces' as if they are natural laws, like gravity and thermodynamics. But they're not - they're human constructs, and the market is only cruel because humans allow it to be so. And because market forces are the result of human activity, they are subject to human fallibility. In general, from they way I see the market operating, it tends to close down variety and opportunity, rather than, as its supporters allege, opening it up, as everyone, instead of seeking out their own corner, goes after what is perceived as the biggest market with the largest profit margins. This tends to leave the largest part of the market, which is not usually the majority, overcatered for, and the minority undercatered. So, in spanking terms a pure market-led approach would mean there would be nothing by M/F NC scenes featuring thin white 18-25 year old bottoms dressed as schoolgirls. Now, there's nothing wrong with M/F NC scenes featuring thin white 18-25 year old bottoms dressed as schoolgirls, but it's not what everyone wants to see, or what everyone wants to see all the time. My own personal preference is for consensual F/F scenes with switches in their twenties and thirties acting their age, and I feel a bit undercatered for (though not on this site!).

Most people who say 'that's what the market wants' haven't really done the research - they just fall back on the mantra. And when somebody tries to do something that the 'market' allegedly doesn't want, they often find that there is an eager audience there after all (compare the BBC's Doctor Who, deliberately made for families to watch as a family, a market that allegedly no longer existed, but turned out to be there once the attempt was made). And sometimes, pernicously, it's an excuse for 'it's not my kink and I don't want it on my website'. Now, I'm actually fine with 'it's not my kink and I don't want it on my website' - that's a matter of personal preference - but I'd rather people were honest.

Anyway, I'm glad to see Sarah getting involved in this area. I've always liked her site for the willingness to go beyond the usual age and body shape of spankees, and this seems a positive next step.

Really clear summary of the situation, and I agree entirely. I think the market is a lot more broad and flexible than people give it credit. It feels less risky to appeal to the "mainstream" audience, but actually if that market is already oversaturated, it may well be less profitable than doing something new.

I love that the decreasing cost of access is allowing more and more people to start producing their own porn, but it does mean that the old, big studios who have previously defined the mainstream may have to let themselves be influenced by new trends if they want to compete.

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