There's no stopping the freight train that is 50 Shades of Grey. Since the film opened in cinemas this weekend, you can expect a million more articles about it from kinksters and non-kinksters alike dissecting the story, the acting, and above all the consent.
Naturally the book is pretty controversial. It's a fantasy scenario, sure, but as the 50 Shades juggernaut rolled on and more people read articles about how to 'do' BDSM like Christian Grey did, a lot more people started getting worried that, you know, perhaps this weirdly stalky, abusive lead character wasn't the best role model for people just beginning to explore their fantasies.
I've been told I'm wrong on this, so feel free to angrily disagree with me, but as a general rule I'm uncomfortable telling people what they can and can't fantasise about. And while 50 Shades is clearly not the template for a healthy relationship, I'm not going to stand outside the cinema with a placard telling people it's causing them harm. Erika Moen put it brilliantly:
“I have faith in people to understand that the fictional book they're reading is just a trashy two-dimensional fantasy to get their juices flowing and not the blueprints by which to construct their actual relationships.”
But while it's certainly not a template for real-life kink, it's definitely a handy comparator when identifying mistakes, and looking at how we can do real-life kink better. So without further ado, here are five ways in which Dreams of Spanking is a hell of a lot better than That Bloody Book.
1. We're way better at negotiating
There's surely nothing less sexy than Christian Grey's bizarre 'sex contract', with bullet points and legalese obscuring the hotness of the acts he wants to perform. Loads of people have pointed out that the idea of an irreversible, non-negotiable 'contract' is laughable in BDSM, and they're right – no one gets to claim you as their sub 'forever' or hold you to clauses once they've stopped being sexy for you. But on top of that, there are much better ways to negotiate what you want in a scene. Let's see what we've got...
How about this amazing kinky spanking scene starring Caroline Grey and Will Savage? After blagging their way into a fetish club, they realise they haven't a clue what they're doing. With subtle questions, gradual escalation, and some aroused feedback from Caroline, he escalates to a full-on, knickers-down, over the knee paddling. They both have an amazing – all while trying not to let on that this is the first time they've ever done it - and not a contract in sight.
Or perhaps this beautiful bit of negotiation between Nimue Allen and Andrew Shada? The pair are on their first date, and there's clearly a spark that will appeal to romance fans. Andrew's shyness and Nimue's encouraging requests for a spanking are both cute and incredibly relateable. If Nimue can ask her beau for what she wants, so can you.
2. It's all consensual
I mean, this one should really go without saying. But the point I mainly want to make here is that, because Dreams of Spanking fulfils fantasies via roleplay, it has a broad scope to enact darker fantasies in an ethical, consensual way.
Scenes that involve an abuse of power or a particularly severe thrashing are always published with behind the scenes interviews and discussion. 50 Shades doesn't come with a separate interview in which Christian and Ana talk about how his abusive behaviour was just play-acting, and so it's much harder to draw the line between which aspects of a fantasy are hot because you'd never want them to happen for real, and which are things you'd like to do in real life. At Dreams of Spanking, we're able to make that distinction clear.
3. We switch it up
I read a lot of kinky erotica and watch a fair amount of porn, and one of the themes I often think about is the idea of roles. You play Christian Grey, I play Ana, and never the twain shall switch. But while there's certainly a place for strict roles that never waver, I love a bit of switching. Spanking someone who's going to spank you next adds a whole level of trust, as well as a frisson of sexy tension – if you spank them hard, are they going to get their own back? Not to mention a chance for some non-verbal negotiation as you show them exactly how you like it.
In 'Prove your Love' Michael Darling and Pandora Blake do one of the most balanced switch scenes I've ever seen, and in 'Beat the Recession', Nimue Allen and Sebastian Hawley take turns to spank each other on a money-saving celebratory night in. The best part of the second video, in my humble and pervy opinion, is when Nimue smacks both palms flat on Sebastian's beautifully-presented bottom.
4. Our romance is just more... interesting
Guy meets girl, guy wines and dines her, stalks her until she says yes and then they shag: as the premise of pretty much every mainstream romance ever, it's not exactly original. How about guy meets girl, girl gets a birch for Christmas and asks him to test it on her? Or perhaps guy meets girl, girl has hot fantasy about being a mistreated maidservant, and he surprises her on a Saturday morning by dressing up in period costume - and bringing a cane?
There's a time and a place for more traditional romance, of course – although you'll never see the “stalking is sexy” theme on Dreams of Spanking. One of my personal favourite photosets is Tangled With You – a stunning explicit gallery with Pandora and D being so hot and horny for each other it burns into every image. Which brings me neatly onto point five...
5. Our cast has chemistry
A couple of people have told me disdainfully that Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson (who play Christian and Ana in the 50 Shades of Grey film adaptation) don't really like each other that much. I don't know if this is true – to be honest I think I'd struggle to spend months working with someone I didn't like, so I doubt it. On the other hand, perhaps they've been put under so much pressure to capture a 'spark' that they're sick of the sight of each other by now. Either way, there's an easy way to get around the 'chemistry' issue when you're shooting porn: find people who really fancy each other, and ask them what they really want to do.
Dreams of Spanking scenes and ideas come from all manner of places, but the most vital is the performer fantasy element. When the people acting in a scene can help shape it with their own kinks and desires, what comes through is inevitably going to be natural and hot.
A beautiful example of this is Pandora's giggly caning at the hands of Paul Kennedy (who, by the way, I have a gigantic crush on). Not only is it something she's specifically requested, but it's so clear from her sexy sighs and excited giggles that Paul's catering to a genuine and heartfelt desire. Likewise with the gorgeous double caning that she begs from Nimue Allen and Thomas Cameron – you can watch the bliss suffuse her face as she counts out the strokes with audible pleasure, and moans in delight when she gets a bottom rub in between whacks.
What's more, Dreams of Spanking shoots porn performer couples like David Weston and Talia Lane, who are together in real life as well as on camera. In scenes like our latest Valentine's Day spanking special David and Talia just can't hide their natural flirty dynamic. And why would we want them to?
In case you'd reached the end of this and hadn't realised, every single link above goes to a different Dreams of Spanking scene. If you watched each scene, that'd still be less than 5% of what's available on the entire site. So if you're eschewing the cinema this weekend, grab yourself a subscription and have a rummage through our archive. All our films are downloadable, so once you've got them they're yours to keep forever, and watch whenever you like!