Our new film Houseboy is a departure from the usual videos on Dreams of Spanking - and most other spanking sites. This is our first attempt at a cinematic short film, aiming for a higher standard of cinematography and storytelling than we are usually able to achieve. I wasn't planning to shoot this way from the start - it came about from a convergence of factors that created the perfect opportunity to try something new.
Casting Tai Crimson
It started last year, when I met an enthusiastically kinky and ridiculously cute young person from San Francisco. He was gorgeous, he loved spanking - he could certainly take it - and he expressed an interest in shooting for Dreams of Spanking. He wasn't old enough at that point to perform in porn, but I said that once he turned 18 I'd be very happy to work with him. We made plans to shoot together when he was next in the UK - which happened to be May 2015, less than a week after his eighteenth birthday. How's that for a coming-of-age celebration?
I normally prefer to work with kinksters who are a little older, simply because I value emotional maturity and experience in the people I shoot with. I think the common fetish for "barely 18" performers in porn is partly based on the idea that young performers are vulnerable, and so it's easier to take advantage of them and push their limits. I find this sleazy and totally unethical, and I'd always much rather work with older players who know their own minds and are able to look after themselves. It's important to me that the performers I hire can take responsibility for their own limits and communication, are experienced enough players to know their bodies and their preferences, and are secure in their decision to appear in fetish porn - because once you've done it, there's no going back.
When I met Tai, however, he exploded all of my preconceptions. Although a teenager, he has a rock solid sense of his kinky identity, and he's been exploring his interest in private for years. He is calm, confident, intelligent, self-reliant, and very emotionally mature. So at eighteen and a few days, Tai officially beats Talia Lane to the position of youngest performer on Dreams of Spanking - and yes, we do have his ID on file to prove it!
We put a date in the diary, and meanwhile Tai and I exchanged emails discussing his interests and preferences. But by March this year, when I needed to start firming up plans, I already knew that ATVOD were investigating Dreams of Spanking and that I was likely to have to stop updating the site for a duration of several months while my appeal was underway. I had lots of scenes already shot starring Fauni, Mike, Talia and David and others which I wasn't going to be able to publish, so there was absolutely no point spending money and energy shooting more material that might never see the light of day.
Towards a cinematic style
Meanwhile, I'd attended the British Fetish Film Festival in February and the Berlin Porn Film Festival last October, and I'd been thinking an awful lot about shooting styles, production values, and the budget and time constraints under which I was shooting.
Over five years I have developed a shoot style that produces one 10-15 minute spanking film per hour, in a remarkably stress free environment, with plenty of breaks. This is based on improvised scenes filmed live by one or two handheld camera operators, with perhaps some close-ups or cutaways to enhance anticipation in the build up to the spanking scenes, but otherwise shot with as few cuts as possible - unless the performers themselves need to cut. Lightweight, consumer-grade cameras make handheld shooting manageable without the camera operators getting too tired, and using auto-focus allows us to get visual variety by roaming around the scene shooting different angles, rather than stopping the action to reset each shot.
This non-disruptive shooting style allows the performers to get into an immersive scene space and stay in character, which helps the roleplay flow more smoothly, and also helps the bottom stay in their headspace and makes the spanking itself easier to take. It's a system that Nimue and I have got down to a fine art, and I was pleased that we'd reached a point where we could create nice-looking films within budget, while maintaining a relaxed and fun shoot environment for everyone involved.
The downside of this low-key shooting style is that the resulting films would never achieve the cinematic quality that I was seeing at the film festivals I was going to. I'd had a couple of films rejected from international festivals, presumably because the videography, audio quality and storytelling wasn't up to scratch. I found myself wanting to level up, and see if with a bit more money, time and effort, I could raise my production values and put Dreams of Spanking on the map as a credible producer of cinema-quality films.
So rather than hire Tai for a day shooting a number of improvised ten minute website updates, I decided to use him to do something different. I booked amazing boudoir photographer Matt Christie to help out with the videography - he'd expressed an interest in shooting video last time we shot together, he has a commercial-grade camera and he also had access to an amazing location perfect for the scenario I had in mind.
I started penning ideas for a single 10-15 minute short film. Not five films, or six films, or seven. Just one.
Developing the story
With Tai, I had an articulate and gorgeous masculine-of-center performer with a submissive streak a mile wide, who loved being spanked. I thought about the films I was seeing at festivals, and the lack of beautifully-shot female/male BDSM films shot from a female perspective, with a male submissive who is both beautiful and interesting, and not just a cipher propping up a sexually objectified female dominant. Instead of this I wanted to make Tai the lust object and protagonist of the film, focussing both the lens on his body, and the story on his character's journey.
I started with a fairly traditional plot - a young man applying for a submissive role in the household of an established mistress. I brainstormed ideas for visual storytelling, thinking about ways to focus the storyline on the tension and anticipation Tai's character feels before he takes the plunge towards fulfilling his submissive desires. I considered ways to create an interesting power dynamic between his character and mine. I quickly realised that I'd need a third performer, another submissive serving the mistress - someone to make his arrival at the house feel more formal and more intimidating.
I'd already talked to my friend Eliza Grey about having her on set as a shoot assistant, helping out behind the camera (she had planned to be with us on our shoot in November, but had sadly been unable to make it). I realised she'd be perfect for the role of a bitchy receptionist, enhancing Tai's nerves before his interview with the Madame... and once I'd cast Eliza, the rest of the story fell into place.
Writing the script
Ten days before the shoot, I was hurrying to finish the script on my laptop on the train. I'd never written lines for characters to say before, and I was finding it surprisingly difficult. I'd write a line, then agonise over it. What if Tai doesn't feel comfortable saying that? What if that's not what Eliza would say? I've always made a political point of not putting words in my performers' mouths, and suddenly that was what I was literally doing. At the same time I was all-too-aware that they were going to need to memorise their lines, and time was running out.
I closed my eyes, wrote some lines telling myself they were only placeholders, and sent it off with an apologetic email saying this was a very rough draft, and inviting them to make any changes they wanted. But my anxiety proved unfounded. In the end, bar one wording change, that script was the one we used - and Tai and Eliza rocked it.
Working with a storyboard
A week before the shoot I was on D's sofa after a fetish party, scribbling a 'storyboard' in biro on A4 paper from his printer while my friends chatted around me. After writing the screenplay I had a strong visual image in my mind's eye of what most of the shots would look like - now it was just a case of creating a visual reference so I could communicate my ideas to Matt on the day. I'd visited Matt's location a week ago, so the rooms were fresh in my mind. It was a useful exercise to think through camera angles and compose the shots, but I'm pretty sure it was the crappiest storyboard anyone has ever worked from. The most hilarious of my terrible stick figure drawings was this sketch of Eliza being spanked over my knee and feeling sad about it:
Professional production all round, innit.
The day of the shoot
The shoot day approached. I bought food and props, looked up travel options, packed suitcases, selected implements, printed scripts and release forms. Shortly before the day I realised that I'd inadvertently booked our shoot on the same day as the London Marathon, and the location we were using was only one block away from the route. That meant that not only would transport potentially be disrupted, but the exterior shots would all have a huge amount of background noise. Still, at this late stage there was nothing to be done about it. I booked an 8am taxi, the traffic at that hour was fine, and I was on set at 9am. Matt and I drank coffee and looked through the storyboard, then Tai and Eliza arrived - and it was all go.
Shooting from a script was a totally new experience for me, and a steep learning curve. I'd worked out the best shooting order, shooting the story in as close to chronological order as possible while minimising room and lighting changes. After that it was just a question of staying calm, following the callsheet and taking it one shot at a time.
I was using an external mic for the first time, and was grateful to have Eliza helping out and sharing the responsibility for making sure the mic was a) close enough, b) not in shot, and c) recording each time. She was also an absolute star helping out with moving lights, checking camera batteries and memory cards, making tea and tidying up behind us. A+++, would work with again. Plus it turned out she could seriously act...
It was a full day, perhaps a bit too full - nerves started to fray after a few hours, and everyone was feeling tired by mid-afternoon. The shoot would definitely have been easier with more camera crew or fewer scenes to fit in. After a few hours, Matt noticed a round smudge in the middle of the lens, and wiped it off - but of course there wasn't time to go back and re-shoot the shots we'd already done. By the time we came to shoot the confrontation between Tai and Eliza in the kitchen, everyone was so tired that that scene took about seven takes. Some of the shots ended up out of focus, and we got through so many cans of tonic that I was worried we'd run out!
Editing the film
Still, despite all that, when I came to look at the footage I was pleased to discover that most of it looked how I'd expected. There were a few surprises in the edit - such as that moment when I realised the reverse shot in one dialogue scene crossed the line and was therefore unusable, and was suddenly grateful that we'd shot three angles of that particular scene, even though at the time it felt like overkill. It was a monster of an edit, but satisfying too, sorting through all the footage, plugging it into place, and seeing how the scenes I'd envisioned in my mind played out on camera.
Choosing the music was another daunting prospect - I knew I wanted to avoid re-using the same creative commons soundtracks that you hear time and time again in indie porn, and that meant spending money. But how to start looking? First I worked out where music was needed - in the intro sequence, the montage, and the closing credits, which meant I needed two or three pieces in total. Then I did a rough edit of those sequences so I had a vague idea of how long the music would need to be. After that, I set a day aside to browse SoundDogs, typing in different keywords and playing pieces with my eyes closed, visualing the film, until I hit on a genre that felt right. I realised that for this story my usual taste in piano and cello-dominated classical and film score music wouldn't work - Tai's character needed something moody and masculine, guitar-led, energetic and driving. Finally I whittled down a selection, downloaded some samples and started laying them over the edit to see what worked.
Primarily, this film was intended to be screened at film festivals - which meant that the narrative would have a different structure than standard spanking films. In a film intended for someone to watch while having a wank, you need a carefully paced build-up and pay-off that sustains uninterrupted shots of climactic spanking action for long enough for the viewer to reach orgasm. In a longer film, there might be two of three of these build-ups and climaxes, separated by character-driven story. But at a film festival, the audience are watching to have their minds stimulated, not their genitals. Fast-paced editing is preferable, providing lots of new visual information with every shot. Explicit sequences need to be edited down to the bare minimum necessary to develop the characters and progress the story. So that was a new challenge: cutting the 15 minutes of high quality spanking action in, for instance, Tai's audition scene, down to the three minutes earmarked for it in the festival edit. The only way I was able to do it was by promising myself that I'd release the full, uncut scene as an extended edition on Dreams of Spanking later. But meanwhile the deadline for the Berlin Porn Film Festival was June 30th, so I had to get the shorter edit finished first...
In the end, thankfully, it was finished in time to submit to Berlin, and I'm hopeful that they'll accept it. I'll be submitting it to various other film festivals over the summer as well. I'm really happy with the finished film, and completely honoured to have been trusted with Tai and Eliza's porn debuts - and thrilled that they had a good time.
And that's a wrap!
It was a really long shoot day. We finished the scheduled shots around 7pm, 10 hours after I'd arrived on set. But then we cracked open the champagne and ended up chatting and buzzing on a total high, which led to another two hours shooting performer interviews, and even a behind the scenes caning for Tai when he confessed he still didn't think he'd been spanked enough...
By the time we finally turned the cameras off, sat down for some supper and tidied everything away, the sun had gone down - and it was 11pm before I finally got into a cab. Matt and I had been on set for fourteen hours, Tai and Eliza for thirteen. I am so grateful to the three of them for their enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism. It was a long fucking shoot and everyone put in so much energy and creativity it was kind of overwhelming. Overall, this production cost ten times as much as an average Dreams of Spanking video, but even so I still came away feeling like I hadn't paid people enough for the amount of work they'd put in.
Overall, this was a very satisfying project, and I'm really happy to have it under my belt. But it also taught me a lot about the trade-off that arises when you move towards a more cinematic shooting style. My previous method gave my performers more breaks, less stress and a much more satisfying kink experience. Shooting Houseboy, we did the bare minimum of spanking needed to get the shots I wanted - and stopping to move the camera, check the focus and lighting, consult the storyboard every few seconds made it hard to get immersed into a satisfying spanking headspace. I'm glad I hadn't scripted any particularly hard spanking scenes, because I think severe corporal punishment would be much more emotionally and physically challenging to take in this context.
I hadn't realised it before, but shooting in a more amateur style results in a much more rewarding experience for the performers - with more opportunity for top and bottom to develop an in-scene chemistry, focus on each other rather than the camera, and time for the bottom to sink into a yummy submissive headspace, without constant distractions.
So what can I take away from this? Well, I've learned that shooting in a cinematic style is something I can do, and that's good to know. I've learned that it's hard work, at least ten times as expensive as my usual shooting style, and considerably more time-consuming to produce and edit. It's also exhilarating, exhausting, and very creatively satisfying. I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a go, and I'm hopeful that the finished film will be screened in Berlin this year. But I've also learned that I don't want to start shooting this way every time. Perhaps I might be able to put out one cinematic film a year, but this experiment has restored my faith in my usual low-key way of shooting, which it turns out is preferable experience for me and my performers - and a much better environment to ask people to take hard spankings in. Our standard Dreams of Spanking shoots emphasise process over product, and trying something new has re-affirmed my faith in that process.
You can watch the long-play trailer for Houseboy below - and if you're a site member, please watch the full film and tell me what you think - and make sure you also check out the extended editions of Tai's and Eliza's spanking scenes, performer interviews and Tai's off-the-cuff behind the scenes caning.
When I started blogging for Dreams of Spanking I felt a little overwhelmed by how much fantastic stuff there was in the spanking archives. Although I get to see the new hot spanking videos as they come out, I couldn't resist delving a little deeper to see if I could come up with a definitive list of my top five favourite scenes.
It's trickier than you'd think, probably because I find myself getting stuck in a particular mode for a while (“I love the strap – let's find all the videos that involve people getting strapped”) and then wandering off into another specific fantasy, before returning to one of my particular favourites and re-watching it a couple of times just to make sure it's exactly as fun as I originally thought it was (it always is).
I am also very aware how much my favourites are driven by my personal desires. When you read the list below you'll probably see deeper into my own filthy mind than even some of my partners have ventured.
My top five spanking videos will necessarily be different to your top five spanking videos, simply because porn is so personal, and everything pushes people's buttons differently. For me, anything that involves hot male subs, the strap, or a certain type of wittily brusque dominant will jump to the top of my own list. Other people might seek out a menacingly quiet top, the most severe caning they can find, or a very specific scene involving gorgeous historical costumes and a firmly-wielded riding crop.
So, after a lot of research (and by 'research' I mean exactly what you think I mean), here's an entirely subjective and quiveringly enthusiastic list of my top five spanking videos. Watch, enjoy, wander down your own avenues of spanking fantasy, then come back to the comments and recommend your own favourites.
“Am I making an impression on that smart mouth of yours yet?” Dana Kane is so far beyond superb in this spanking video that they haven't yet invented a word for her.
She plays a quick, witty, and very strict governess to two naughty youngsters – Pandora Blake and Michael Darling. I love her laser-accurate, painfully swift cane strokes and her withering, no-nonsense scolding. Her brusque, briskly efficient over the knee spanking with hand and paddle hits the spot too.
Above all, though, I am a total sucker for guys in make-up. The gender-bending elements in this scene and Michael wincing through his beautiful eyeshadow are a joy to watch.
When I started writing this post Pandora kindly sent me a list of suggestions to help me get started. This was the first one I clicked on, because she'd so temptingly titled it 'hot male spankees.' And she was not wrong.
It stars Michael Darling again (I cannot resist him - he has one of the most beautiful pain faces I have ever seen) and Sebastian Hawley, who has a gorgeously punky look that makes me weak at the knees. As they practice caning each other to see if they can take it, they get caught by their harsh schoolmaster, Thomas Cameron, who takes them inside for a much more severe punishment six of the best.
Punishment by proxy is an unusual scenario, and it grabbed my attention because there's a delicious thrill in two unwilling spankees being made to mete out discipline to each other.
Zoe Montana utterly rules (in both senses of the word) in this spanking video because she delivers such excellent, out-of-patience scolding, as well as a viciously effective over the knee hairbrush spanking.
But the real kick comes about four minutes in, when she orders the trembling twosome to punish each other. Properly. Pandora and Jimmy are both beautifully convincing as the terrified pupils caught breaking the six inch rule, and Zoe's special form of aversion therapy really hits home. Their teacher overrides their initial reluctance and ensures that they spank each other hard enough to really hurt.
A wet strapping for Andrew
This video was bound to be right up my alley because it contains two exceptionally gorgeous people. Andrew – a young, lean, beautiful submissive – and Thomas – a strong-armed, hotly angry top.
You might be able to tell, given that Thomas features in three of my top five videos, that I have a teeny bit of a crush on him. Teeny in the sense that the Amazon is a 'teeny' rainforest.
I love the scenario in this video - Andrew gets caught his sister soaking Pandora in a water fight, so he is hauled inside for on-the-spot punishment. This starts with a firm over the knee spanking over his wet underwear, before Andrew is made to bend over the table for some hard strokes with the strap. The beauty of his punishment is – as Thomas so rightly says - “It hurts more when it's wet.”
Lastly, I went on a really specific hunt. I wanted to find the video that – of all the amazing scenes on Dreams of Spanking – most captured one of my own fantasies.
When it's late at night and I'm lying in bed, one of the most common sex fantasies I reach for is that of the older guy punishing me as I try to struggle and get away. In the notes for this video, Pandora explains that one of the hot buttons for her is the severity of the beating which is disproportionate to her crimes. This tallies perfectly with what runs through my head when I'm alone at night: a severe beating from an older man, that makes me cry out in pain and anguish.
That's the primary reason I find this video so hot. The second reason, and the thing that made it leap out at me and give me that stomach-kick of lust, is Pandora's arse in tiny denim shorts. Tiny denim shorts being one of the hottest outfits in which to be beaten, and Pandora's arse being one of the hottest arses on the internet.
Tell me what your top spanking videos are...
So, there you have it – the top five spanking videos according to me. As I say, it took a lot longer to decide on my favourites than I thought it would, because every single time I thought I'd honed the list, I fall in love with yet another performer, or scenario, or implement (right now my fantasies involve Thomas Cameron, in the schoolroom, with a hairbrush).
But given that it's completely subjective, I won't spank you if you disagree. In fact, here's a perfect opportunity to do an archive tour yourself – pick a performer, implement, or scenario, and follow the trail of tags until you've found your favourites. Then come back and answer the sixty-million dollar question - which are your top spanking videos on Dreams of Spanking, and why?
We've had two very different scenes go up on the site this week; the first a classic M/F punishment scenario starring Pandora Blake as a stablegirl caught napping in the hay; the second an edgy, fast-paced F/FM interrogation scene in which Will Savage plays a captured spy, and Caroline Grey the agent accused of fraternising with him. James Bond eat your heart out!
A sleepy stablegirl is caught napping in the hay. She's hauled to her feet, and her leathers and underwear are yanked down for an on-the-spot punishment spanking.
The stablegirl wriggles and complains so much that her superior takes sterner measures. She is upended over a haybale, and her bare bottom striped with the cane.
Afterwards she is left with her hands on the wall and her bottom on display, for all to see.
I don't know when the association between stables and spanking was formed in my young mind, but I've always fantasised about equestrian punishments. When D and I had the opportunity to shoot in a real, actual stableyard, we couldn't pass it up. I didn't own a pair of jodhpurs in those days, so we decided to match in leather trousers, which I suppose is a kink all its own, and tailcoats. D in that outfit pressed my buttons, at least!
By contrast, our latest film The Spy is a more innovative scenario combining spanking, bondage and interrogation, with a man and woman spanked together.
Here's the storyline. Captured spy Will Savage is brought in and bound for questioning. Interrogators Blake and Rutherford suspect that their associate Grey has been fraternising with the spy, and they devise a loyalty test: she is ordered to beat him.
Her hesitation confirms their suspicions, and Grey finds herself tied in place opposite Savage, and subjected to the same punishment as him. Despite his defiance, it seems that this spy has a chivalrous heart. If he won't talk to save his own skin, he might to save that of his lover - if lover she is.
How much does Grey know, and how well do she and the spy know each other? Who is his contact? And who will break first?
Chross posted this amazing video, a scene from TV show American Horror Story. It's a period narrative set in a lunatic asylum run by sadistic nuns. Huge kinky potential - and it doesn't disappoint.
In this scene, one girl is punished by being made to watch two others get caned as a consequence of her actions. With additional cruelty she is made to choose the cane - and encouraged to "live large" when she selects one the Sister deems too light.
Fans of boys and girls spanked together will be as thrilled as me to see the hapless pair bend side by side over the Sister's desk, in identical hospital robes that expose their bare bottoms. Even better, at the last minute the boy jumps up and insists that it was all his fault, and volunteers to take the girls' strokes on top of his own. It's all rather deliciously horrible.
The caning itself is, unfortunately, fairly unconvincing - both in the positioning of the cane and the sound it makes. But anyone who's seen our F/M videos will know that boys and girls spanked together, girls being made to watch a boy's punishment and boys bravely taking the blame to protect their friend are all themes very close to my heart. If you liked this scene, you'll like these Dreams of Spanking scenes starring the gallant Jimmy Holloway:
A poor serving boy is whipped in his lady's place. She is far too well born to receive such treatment, or to dally with the likes of him. Taking her punishment is the best way he knows to show his love - and since she loves him in return, watching him do so is the worst torment of all.
Two young friends are often getting into mischief, and when Jimmy's aunt decides enough is enough, he leaps to Pandora's defense and takes the blame for both of them. But Pandora can't bear to watch, and confesses that it was her fault too... which unfortunately gets both of them into even more trouble.
I felt like I was taking a bit of a chance by filming a cross-dressing F/FM scene with Mike Stryker and Dana Kane. Being a little bit self-indulgent. Sure, we all love a bit of gender-bending, but would anyone want to watch it? Do people really want gender politics in their spanking porn?
Mike and I play siblings united in our rejection of default gender roles. Mike feels fabulous in eyeliner and lipstick, and I prefer the comfort of baggy clothes that free me up to run around and climb trees. Unfortunately, our absent parents aren't the tolerant sort, and they've hired an uber-strict governess for the summer to turn us back to the straight and narrow. The fearsome Ms Kane embarks on a harsh discipline regime, part of which is forcing us out of our preferred clothing and into more conservative garments. Once Mike is dressed in a smart suit and tie and I've put on a pretty frock and feminine underwear, she takes us both over the knee in an attempt to spank the non-conformity out of us.
This is a super-hot fantasy for me, but it's a tricky one too. Hypothetically, if someone were to find this hot scene because they actually believed that tomboys and transvestites deserved to be punished, I wouldn't be able to share their enjoyment. For me, this is one of those scenes where sympathy with the spankees as the mistreated party who are just trying to be themselves is essential. Once that's understood, scenes like this can actually stand as a reverse political statement in favour of freedom of expression.
Having said that, I wouldn't go so far as to call this a serious film. On the contrary, it's joyously light-hearted and camp. Mike played it up to the hilt, and the clash of personalities resulted in a lot of fun banter. I adored Dana's satirical performance as the repressive governess, precisely because I know that in real life we're on the same side.
And - well, Mike Stryker paddled in lipstick. What's not to love?
The New Governess runs at nearly 19 minutes and includes both F/M and F/F, with Mike and I both subjected to hand spankings, over the knee paddlings and the cane. It comes with 60 hand-captured screengrabs and 24 high definition photos by Tricia Sullivan.
Our other recent F/F film also plays on the theme of dressing up, and being dressed by undressed by a lady in charge. In After the Play Party, however, the mood is much more consensual and sexy. This is the steamiest Zoe and I ever got on camera, and it made for a highly memorable, intensely erotic scene.
This film is the sequel to Adornment. At the start of the evening, Zoe dressed me up to her liking, and gave me some vivid cane stripes to wear under my outfit. Now, we're home from the play party and fizzing with energy after the fun we had while we were out. But the night is still young.
Zoe toys with me and teases me, pulling at the nipple clamps I've been wearing all evening under my dress. She spanks, straps and canes me over the thin silk, then makes me remove the dress. She delights in cruelly removing the painful nipple clamps, and the sexual energy intensifies as both of us become increasingly excited by the pleasure she takes in hurting me. Finally, she takes her time giving me a hard beating with the riding crop and a thick cane.