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.