So far this has been a good year for Dreams of Spanking in the media. We've had a few mentions - even if the promised Guardian article which we spent ages chatting to Zoe Williams for never actually made it to press.
First there was this mention in the Sun newspaper:
I can't link to the full article as it's pay-walled, but interviewee and journalist Nichi Hodgson has reposted the full text here.
Pandora Blake has a brilliant spanking website which shows you how to do it. Women like these more educational porn sites, so they can put it into practice in real life and let fantasy bleed into reality. Men tend to use porn in isolation, women want the porn experience to enrich sex with their partners.
I do have some issues with the gendered generalisations in that paragraph, which I explain in more detail here. But it was good to see a positive take on ethical porn for women, even in a conservative right-wing paper. And I'm glad our instructional videos are getting attention! We have two so far, both with Molly Malone - one on how to use the cane, and the other on effective communication and negotiation in spanking scenes. Let us know if you have any requests for future demos!
The second press mention was even more exciting - in a piece for BBC News Magazine on the Feminist Porn Awards this year, by Daniel Nasaw. It's a very positive article about the awards and the feminist porn movement, which mentions Dreams of Spanking performers Zahra Stardust and James Darling as well as the submissive solo shoot with Ms Naughty which Daniel sat in on.
"The internet has democratised porn in a big way,” says Blake, who that morning shot a solo spanking scene with Ms Naughty, the Australian founder of BrightDesire.com. “It’s empowered a lot of performers to produce their own content – it’s empowering performers, which means its empowering women."
Finally, Dreams of Spanking and feminist porn are the topics of conversation in the latest spanking podcast, or "spankocast" by This Week In Spanking. Joe and I talked over Skype for an hour about the feminist porn awards, sexuality, queerness, diversity, my video with James Darling, the spanking scene, the new hardcore project I'm working on with Nimue Allen, and more. You can listen to the whole interview on This Week In Spanking. Enjoy!
The Honey Trap begins with Pandora confronting James over his betrayal – he's been contacting other women for femdom, under the (mistaken) impression that his girlfriend Pandora wouldn't want to dominate him. Having replied to one of his online ads under a different name, Pandora arranges to meet him, and when she turns up at his hotel room to confront him, sparks fly.
This isn't one of those subtle, slow build-ups during which we all ache with anticipation. The Honey Trap is intense, angry, and in-your-face. Pandora orders James to strip naked and get on the bed so she can spank him like a naughty boy. James – clearly delighted that she's embracing her dominant side – obliges eagerly. He arches his back, begs for extra strokes, and moans deliciously throughout the hard spanking with hand and belt.
When I talk about the 'unngh' feeling, I mean that impossible-to-describe kick in the gut of lust that strikes you when someone does something just right. It might be a firm hand smacking your arse or pushing your face into the bed, or the way someone runs the belt along your spine before delivering a stinging thwack. All this and more happens in this film, and at each moment James perfectly expresses that hot feeling with moans and happy groans that punctuate every stroke.
Pandora certainly makes the most of getting her hands on one of her porn idols - this is one of her most explicit scenes to date. She gets physical with James, gripping by the throat, running her hands all over his gorgeous arse, and she even makes him lick and worship her patent fetish heels while she decides how best to punish him.
What is it about high heels? I always find that wearing them makes me feel that bit more dominant. I walk taller and carry myself in a more confident way. For Pandora, they clearly provide inspiration for humiliation and pain – she not only makes him kiss them, but trails the smooth patent leather and sharp heel teasingly down his body, and even presses the toe into his crotch, teasing him with threats of being trampled. The heat rises as James submits, and the result is a very sexy femdom spanking.
I love the dialogue in this scene. James' surprise that Pandora is willing to dominate him is contrasted with Pandora's angry indignation that he'd try to get his spanking needs met somewhere else.
“I've never seen you like this before.”
“You've never made me this angry before.”
She shows her anger not just with words – calling him a 'slut' and a 'dirty boy' – but with actions. She pushes and holds him firmly in position for punishment - on his hands and knees on the bed for a bare bottom spanking, with his face pressed submissively into the bedsheets for the belt... and she even wraps the belt around his neck to pull him upright for a kiss.
There's a raw intensity here – a chemistry born of excitement and novelty. James admits in his interview that although he loves to be spanked he hasn't been seriously worked over in some time, and based on his post-shoot tweets, this scene seemed to hit the spot. Having read Pandora's write-up of filming with James Darling, I can feel what it was like to be there. Late at night, tired but excited, keen to put on an awesome performance with one of your porn crushes.
Towards the end, Pandora sits on James and pins him to the bed as she fingers him and rubs his trans dick. It's clear from the behind the scenes materials how much fun they're both having. I get the distinct impression that Pandora at least doesn't want the scene to be over quite yet...
There's nothing like meeting porn icons in person - and discovering they're just as charming face to face as they are on camera. I met a lot of people at the Feminist Porn Awards whom I'd previously admired from afar, and in every case the reality exceeded expectations.
I think I first bumped into James Darling at the press conference on the Friday. There weren't many actual members of the press there, but it was at least a good opportunity to meet all the other porn people - and discover that yes, they all really are that hot in person!
I got chatting to James and Wolf Hudson about depictions of men and masculinity in porn, and just as we were about to leave for lunch James dropped into the conversation, "If you're ever looking for a spanking bottom, let me know." Holy shit. James Darling wants to shoot with Dreams of Spanking? Really?
I wasn't sure if we'd actually be able to make it happen. That night was the awards gala, and Saturday and Sunday were fully booked with the conference and afterparties - and I still needed to finish writing my presentations. Here's an indication of how busy things were: James, Wolf and Zahra Stardust ended up shooting their threesome scene in the early hours of Saturday morning after the gala, and didn't finish until nearly dawn. (And wow, I cannot wait to watch that one.) I'd already squeezed in two early morning shoots - both booked in advance, by email - and if I stayed up all night I wouldn't be well rested for my conference talks. So although we were both keen, fitting something in seemed like a tall order.
It wasn't until Saturday night that we touched base and decided we wanted to make it happen. It would have to be late Sunday night after another shoot James was doing - maybe 10pm. On Sunday at the afterparty we confirmed we were both good to go, and brainstormed some scene ideas. James said he was interested in doing a roleplay, something a bit edgy, a bit sexy. He came up with a hotel room honey trap scenario, combining punishment, revenge, and sexy reconciliation.
All we needed now was camera people. I put a call out in my final conference presentation, and immediately started getting replies via Twitter. Dayna and Bee of Cherry Stems offered their services, and we were set. I couldn't believe we'd actually pulled it together.
I negotiated use of the hotel room with my roommates, and met my new camera ladies at the hotel. James had texted to say he'd been running late. While I'd been enjoying post-conference dinner and debrief with fellow pornographers, he'd been operating the camera for Zahra's fisting scene with April Flores. We started tidying and setting up. At midnight there was still no sign of James, but April had tweeted me to say he was on his way.
Dayna went to the shop for Red Bulls. This was the least organised, and least awake, I'd ever been for any shoot ever. My roommates came back and asked if we'd finished; I told them we hadn't even started yet. "Do you mind if we go ahead?" I asked, not wanting to deprive them of sleep. "Oh, sure!" replied Kitty, "but do you mind if we stay and watch?" Not at all.
Then James arrived, bringing lights and cameras. "Are you good to go?" I asked, not wanting to insist if he was too tired.
"I'm better than good. I've just filmed the hottest scene - and now it's my turn. I'm excited!"
We filmed a couple of interviews. I'd got dressed and put my makeup on but I was still feeling very tired. I wanted to do a good job with this scene, make it fun for James, make a good impression. It was funny, I'd been talking all weekend about ethical production, how to create a good experience on set - and now here we were at 1am, fraying with lack of sleep and buzzing with caffeine and adrenaline, ready to launch into a hastily organised scene we'd barely prepared for. At the last minute, on a whim, I swapped out my knee boots for my tallest patent fetish heels.
But I needn't have worried. As soon as the cameras rolled and the roleplay started, the rest of the world fell away and it was just me and James. We played jealous lovers having a domestic quarrel. I shoved his chest and pushed him onto the bed, ordered him to undress. He was a pleasure to roleplay with, giving me everything I needed and more, and the improvisation flew. I pushed him facedown, smeared his face into the mattress and snarled in his ear. I spanked him, pressed my high heel against his naked skin and ordered him to lick it - a command he obeyed with sensual enthusiasm.
James made it very easy to dominate him, and the dynamic clicked beautifully. His submission was gorgeous to behold; the willing surrender of a strong person who takes great pleasure in their body and sexuality.
His bottom coloured as vividly under my hand as if he'd never been spanked before, but he took a hand spanking and strapping like a born spanko, lifting his hips and begging for more. I used with my soft leather strap and doubled belt, wrapped the leather around his neck and made him gasp, pushed my fingers into his mouth.
I won't be back in the US any time soon, but I hope I get to shoot with James again in the future. The chemistry was great, and next time I'd love to switch with him and get a taste of his dominant side. James is a gorgeous guy and I think you're going to love him just as much as I did. I'm planning to publish this next month, but in the meantime if you want more of James, check out his hardcore site FTM Fucker. I know I will be!