It's been a strange year, that's for damn sure.
When Pandora first asked me to come on board at Dreams of Spanking back in 2013, I really didn't have a clue where it would lead me. I'd been struggling to find the right job for many years; something that both fit my own needs, and played to my skills seemed like an impossible dream. But though it started humbly, it soon went from something to fill a couple of hours a week answering emails, to having actual creative and intellectual control in a business. I could never have known back then how much it would mean to me and how proud I'd be of the work I've done since. I've learned so much, worked with so many incredible people, and it was a wonderful thing to discover that my decade long friendship with Pandora was able to survive the curse of mixing business with pleasure - on the contrary, I feel like our working relationship has actually strengthened our bond and that's a rare treat.
I really felt like I was getting comfortable with the job when the news came down from on high that we were to be regulated past the point of reason, and it hurt. It hurt a lot. We'd worked so hard, how dare they stop us? I remember making comment at the time that I had spent years being harrassed by the government to find work despite being disabled, and then as soon as I found a job I could manage, the government took it away! The whole thing made me so angry, and angrier still that I felt helpless to fix anything. We spent nearly 8 months holding our breath and crossing our fingers waiting for the decision that would take our site down, and for a while after the judgement, I really believed that would be the end of my time at Dreams of Spanking. There was so much we didn't know about how this was going to turn out that it almost felt dangerous to feel hopeful. Once Pandora and Myles had submitted the appeal, there was nothing to do but wait.
And then we won. Just like that, we won, and far sooner than we'd ever imagined. When Pandora first told me, there was a palpable waft of trepidation, confusion, and frustration, but we barely had time to adjust to our feelings when suddenly we were able to actually open the site and talk about it again. I won't pretend that I didn't spend the few weeks between first hearing we might win and the day our billing was reinstated assuming that somehow we'd still end up having it taken away. But once the new subscriptions started rolling in, there was no stopping my delight. I think I smiled that whole day!
In some ways, I've fallen back into the job so easily that it feels like I never stopped, and in other ways, that 10 months we waited to hear about the appeal felt like a decade. But now we're back, and I'm so stoked about the future. In addition to flexing my PA/customer service muscle regularly, my photoshop skills have come on in leaps and bounds since the very first set Pandora ever gave me to edit, "Introducing Alexander Knight", and I've learned to make animated gifs, which I can't wait to make more of. If you've not seen the Dreams of Spanking tumblr, you'll find many of them there, along with a great selection of some of our favourite images from the site. Plus, I've had the chance to work with some outstanding people; determined, devoted and talented in so many ways, cultural and political voices who I'm honoured to have heard first hand, and I'm looking forward to meeting even more of them. I also hope to make my screen debut at some point. Who knows what form that will take, but finding out will be a lot of fun! I never imagined myself working in porn, but now, I can't imagine doing anything else.
I know Pandora has already made her gratitude to our followers known, but I'd like to back that up by saying that I am also immensely grateful for the opportunity to dive back into the world of ethical porn, and I'd like to thank every single person who has supported the Dreams of Spanking team - before, during and after our ban. This community has come to mean so much to me, and I'm so happy to be a part of it again.
Peace out folks, and stay tuned; we've got so much more to show you! :)