It’s almost always a shame to take sex too seriously. Let’s face it, fucking is kind of an inherently ridiculous thing to do: it’s messy, it’s often unflattering, it’s practically inevitable that someone will get a painful cramp at an inopportune moment. The ability to laugh with our sexual partners is what makes all these things okay, and it can be a bonding experience in and of itself.
So sometimes I think porn could do with a bit more humour. Not all the time, of course - we all love our severe, headspacey scenes too - but why shouldn’t porn sometimes be funny? Life is funny. Sex is often funny. If porn is an art form in its own right (and I believe that it is, or can be) there’s no reason it shouldn’t imitate life in all its ridiculous glory.
A Spot Of Bother is a male/male bare bottom spanking film in a historical setting. It is also, at times, genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a sort of Jeeves & Wooster (or perhaps Holmes & Watson) period pastiche, a queer trans sendup with a sense of humour as uniquely British as caning itself. “They insulted the Queen, I suppose?”, asks Blake at one point, trying to work out what has caused his dutiful manservant to act with such uncharacteristic impulsivity. You can see the twitch of Charlie’s lips trying to keep a straight face as he replies: “In a manner of speaking, sir.”
This is a guest director film, produced and edited by Charlie Forrest himself. He clearly had as much fun with the editing as he and Blake with the ad libbing. The result is a rollicking gay spanking film with some jolly good jokes. That doesn’t take away from the hard caning we all love to see here; in my opinion, it adds to it. This scene is as well-rounded as Charlie's bottom, and there’s no denying that Blake makes a fabulous queen.
OK, so this one was a particular treat for me: not just because I absolutely love a bit of genderqueer action with subversive undercurrents, but because both performers happen to be people I regard as pals. Charlie Forrest and I made our Dreams of Spanking debut together in Please May I Come, Mistress, a couple of years ago (and we ended up winning an award for it – have I told you that already?). In Carpe Posterium, though, he’s playing an irascible Latin tutor who has been requested by the father of lazy student Blake to provide some old-fashioned discipline.
Blake, though first appearing somewhat nervous (and well you might be, lad. Well you might be!) is in no mood to accept Mr Forrest’s criticism and reacts with sulky petulance which turns into outright rudeness. Naturally, this can’t be allowed to pass, and it isn’t long before Blake is obliged to bend over and submit to a sound thrashing. This is expertly administered with a proper old-fashioned tawse: first over the trousers, then on the pants, and finally the tawse is applied to Blake’s bare bottom, which blooms with delicious red marks.
There are many fun touches to this film which lift it out of the ordinary: Blake’s gorgeous tailcoat-and-trousers ensemble, suggestive of the young rake about town, certainly works on me and anyone else with a thing for a bit of badly-behaved posh. Charlie’s extraordinary waistcoat and cravat (and distinctive sideburns) give the perfect impression of the faintly-eccentric academic.
Though both performers are playing it straight, there’s a nicely snarky, even absurdist atmosphere, which is something you tend to get in all the best spanking erotica. Sure, some people prefer hardcore disciplinary spanking to be intense, serious and quite dark, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m always more drawn to stuff that’s either full-on fun or has a satirical edge rather than a sadistic one.
As it happens, the background music here is slightly discordant and gives a feeling that things are teetering on the edge between funny and a little bit frightening: after all, the out-of-control posh boys are often the ones who end up wrecking the place, and it’s perhaps a pity that certain real-life ones don’t have the equivalent of a Mr Forrest around to teach them that actions – or inactions – can have painful consequences.
La Fete du Slip is a gender and sexuality film festival in Switzerland (I think it's slip as in panties or underwear). It's been running for a few years and has gained prestige in the international porn community, and Dreams of Spanking is joining them for the first time this weekend.
I first tried to take part in La Fete du Slip in 2015. After Houseboy won the Berlin Porn Film Festival short film competition, I felt encouraged to submit it to other festivals. But sadly it seemed that it wasn't to La Fete du Slip's taste. I figured that I was unlikely to make a better film than that any time soon, so perhaps my work just didn't suit them. I didn't think it would be worth trying again. But I was pleased and surprised in Berlin last October when Stéphane, one half of the brother-and-sister organising team, found me after the Fetish Porn screening to tell me that she'd loved Please May I Come, Mistress, starring Charlie J Forrest and Zak Jane Keir; and that she wanted to screen it at La Fete du Slip. Well!
So here I am, on the Eurostar to Paris, where I'll change trains and venture to Lausanne - my first visit to Switzerland. I am curious to discover whether the home of milk chocolate and cheese fondue will have vegan food I can eat. I'm sharing an airbnb with porn friends Livia and Parker Marx, and I'm so looking forward to catching up with them both, seeing other international porn fam, and immersing myself in queer, sex positive community.
When I watched Please May I Come, Mistress in Berlin I was pleased by how it came across, despite the appalling picture quality. (It was a DIY porn shoot; I hadn't intended to shoot porn that day, didn't have lights, and only had my oldest camera with me. If you don't know the story of how I came to shoot spontaneous porn at Eroticon with two brand new porn performers you can read it here.) But it was noticable that it was hard to catch what Charlie and Zak were saying. They both speak quite fast, and I hadn't had a proper audio recording setup; despite my best efforts to boost the dialogue, it was still hard to make out. So I'd already decided that I was going to need to create English subtitles for it at some point.
For La Fete du Slip, however, I needed French subtitles. I ran my English transcript through Google translate, but was well aware how lacking the result would be. I turned to Twitter to see if I could recruit a native French speaker who wanted to help with the translation in exchange for free porn. Big thanks to @bdsmfreq who valiantly stepped in. Did you know that the French for "come" is jouir? I do now.
Despite BDSMfreq's generous support, turning the French transcript into actual subtitles was a different ballgame. La Fete du Slip prefer hardcoded subtitles, and I would have liked to have had that much control over the aesthetic, but when I tried to use Premiere's built in subtitle feature the formatting and positioning looked terrible, and I couldn't work out how to fix it. Free subtitle software was equally frustrating. In the end I created a .srt file and hand-noted the timecodes for each line of dialogue, which the organisers kindly accepted. But this was my first time creating subtitles, and I'm nervous that I haven't left enough time for each line to be read. I'll be watching it on the big screen with my heart in my mouth to see if anyone can follow what's said.
Hopefully my efforts will be legible. But even if not, the bondage, spanking, teasing and orgasm control is still pretty hot.
This time last year, our short film Houseboy was awarded first prize in the Short Film Competition at the Porn Film Festival Berlin. Given Dreams of Spanking was offline at the time amid our struggles with ATVOD, this was a glorious fuck you to the censors, and powerful proof that porn depicting spanking that leaves marks can have cultural and artistic value. So we are beyond excited to return to this wonderful festival, now in its eleventh year.
The submission deadline was in June, before we re-opened the site; so we submitted the one film that had been shot during our ten month hiatus - Please May I Come, Mistress, the special Berlin edit of which is now available to watch online. It's a gorgeous, erotic docu-portrait of a real life BDSM dynamic, and the new edit combines the whole scene into a single short film, including intimate interviews with the performers, bondage, spanking, orgasm control, and lots and lots of love.
We're thrilled that Charlie Forrest and Zak Jane Keir's porn debut has been selected for screening, and it's lovely that Dreams of Spanking will be featured at the festival even though the site was offline during the submission period. And we're particularly pleased that the film will be opening the Fetish Porn Shorts programme. We've always felt that Fetish Porn was our spirital home in Berlin, but somehow or other our work has always been listed in other categories before. The rest of the line-up looks exciting too, including names like Ben Berlin and work by new performer-directors such as Nenetl Avril (whom we are hoping to shoot with at some point!)
Please May I Come, Mistress is screening at 00:15 on 28 October (Thursday night), and 11:15 on 29 October (Saturday morning). Pandora and Charlie will both be attending in person for a Q&A after each screening, so if you have any questions for them (or you just want to admire Charlie’s moustache in the flesh) please do come and say hi.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Like a lot of people I've been plagued with a rollercoaster of thoughts and feelings since the UK voted to leave the EU.
The outcome of the referendum has left me feeling, more than ever, that this isn't really my country, or at the very least, not the country I thought I was in. I got a similar sense of shock and confusion after the general election last year, a feeling of "how can everyone else's view of the world be so different from mine?"
So what to do in the face of a huge sensation of not-belonging? There is a part of me that's seriously contemplating moving up to Scotland. I was born north of the border and have some friends and family ties up there. But also I feel like the political climate in Scotland is one I prefer, having voted strongly for Labour historically and overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
However, leaving feels like running away. I guess makes sense because the referendum left myself and many others feeling confused, powerless, frightened of the changes and the attitudes I see rising up around me. Bigotry, racism, hatred, all given that bit more voice, that hint of legitimacy. It worries me; it scares me.
But I don't want to give in to that fear. When I think back to Eroticon Live in Bristol this year and shooting porn with Zak and Pandora, I felt so, so different. 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.
I worry about where this country is going, and of what I can do. But there's a part of me that knows that running isn't the answer and that maybe, just maybe, being myself and refusing to apologise for it can make a difference. So I guess I wanted to say thank you to Pandora, and everyone who helps at Dreams of Spanking, for doing what they do, being who you are, and helping me find a space to be me.
I love public displays of affection – when you as a stranger are treated to a little glimpse of how people are when they're alone.
After they'd shot this intimate spanking scene, Zak and Charlie sat whispering and cuddling on a sofa in the pub, and when I walked in you could see them radiate intimacy and warmth and happiness. I sidled up to Pandora and she couldn't contain her excitement: “we've just shot some amazing porn!” Then, with Zak interjecting occasionally, and Charlie 'mmm'-ing and nodding in a blissed-out state of happiness, she proceeded to tell me all about it.
So to say I've been excited to see this one is a bit of an understatement. I've known Zak and Charlie for a couple of years, having met in 2014 at Eroticon. They're both erotic writers, and so I'm more used to chatting to them about the written word than about the kind of intimate, explicit video they created that day. But there's something incredibly cool about hearing two lovely friends go over the details of the scene they've filmed – and how excited they are to share it with others.
If you want to get a sense of this feeling, you can read their blogs alongside watching the scene – Zak's Eroticon, Erotica and Porn and Charlie's 'Love, Camera, Action!' which explains how the scene came about:
Pandora Blake, having given a presentation on how to go about making your own porn, happened to mention that she was available if anyone was interested in shooting something that evening. Suddenly a few disparate thoughts coalesced and I sent a text message to the delightfully devious Zak saying, roughly, “I know this sounds a bit weird, but how do you feel about shooting a porn film?”
There are so many brilliant moments in this scene that work in exactly the same way as that public display of affection on the sofa in the pub: they show you how Charlie and Zak play in private. They are little flags of intimacy and closeness – from the way his toes curl when he's taking sharp smacks with the paddle to the murmurs and moans that Zak reads so skilfully to work out when to comfort and when to keep spanking.
If you're a fan of loving domination, and watching real BDSM play partners, then you'll adore this scene. And with two incredible people – Charlie's smart, debonair moustache contrasts so beautifully with his naked vulnerability when he presents his red bottom for a spanking. (Extra bit of behind the scenes gossip: Charlie's bright red because he was given a spanking by Pandora a little earlier in the day – it was an awesome day, I'm telling you). Zak is simultaneously controlled and eager. She uses skilled hands to work Charlie's cock into a rock-solid erection, but although her face shows that she's hungry to let him come, she holds off until he's trembling under the effort of keeping control.
It's a really subtle, flowing form of tease and denial – one which is only possible when a dominant knows a submissive so well that they can read their expressions like a book. Pandora tells me that they didn't need to cut at any point during the whole scene (of which this is just part 1 – part 2 is coming soon), as both performers just got immersed in the familiar flow of spanking, caressing, kissing, and touching.
So watch the scene, fall a little bit in love with Zak and Charlie, and then picture how they looked on the sofa when I went to meet them in the pub. Arms around each other, relaxed, happy looks on their faces, and a glowing remnant of the intimacy they'd just captured perfectly on camera.