Sometimes a lover will whisper a particular fantasy in my ear, and my heart beats extra-fast because it presses exactly the same buttons as fantasies I've had myself in the past. This week's scene is that feeling made flesh.
Alex Reynolds likes edgy scenes and harsh roleplay where there's a struggle or an abuse of authority. She likes disproportionate punishments and begging and screaming and beating.
And so do I.
'Playing Truant' doesn't just float my boat, it's almost measure for measure one of the scenes that's played out in my head ever since... well... ever since I started fantasising.
Paul Kennedy plays an angry, predatory truant officer, who's been watching Alex behave like – his words – a 'little slut.' She skips school and fools around with boys, and he's been watching her, clearly enjoying the show and scheming how to take advantage. He collects enough information that he can not only scold her, but blackmail her to submit to his violent, nasty urges.
As she squeals and begs him to stop, he punishes her far more severely than she deserves – a vicious tawsing across her naked buttocks and oh-so-sensitive thighs.
Alex Reynolds and Paul Kennedy are a couple in real life, and I really appreciate their candid discussion in the performer interviews accompanying this film. Alex explains that this is the kind of scenario she enjoys most – rough scenes where Paul abuses his authority to dish out cruel punishments. Paul's demeanour in the interview is so different from his character in the film that it's clear this sort of role is very different to how he actually is – and both partners explain what they find so liberating, and so rewarding, about exploring these different roles in scene.
Paul's character is certainly a nasty piece of work in this scene, as he strips Alex to the waist and roughly fondles her breasts, before bending her over for the tawse. He frequently shoves a hand between her legs as she squirms away, and grins with evil delight as he paints vivid red stripes onto her bottom and thighs. And in case you're worried, the camera stays on the couple after Pandora calls “cut”, to show Alex snuggling up to her lover, thanking him for bringing her desires to life.
I might start using this film as an instructional video. As someone whose most often-used phrase in bed is 'be mean to me', I've now got this bookmarked so that when I want to show just how mean I can say 'like this'. Beat me like I'm a naughty schoolgirl caught playing truant. Beat me like I'm a helpless young woman entrapped by a very nasty man.
It's not often we get to see a spanking film that shows sexual coercion as well as corporal punishment – and it might make me uneasy if the love Alex and Paul have for each other didn't shine out of the screen. If you are worried, I recommend you watch the interview before you watch the film – it's an in-depth discussion of kinky sexuality by two very articulate, experienced players, who are perfectly comfortable sharing their darker side with each other – and with us.
It's a seriously sexy treat for me to see have two talented performers act out something that's so closely matches one of my own fantasies, and if you're keen on this type of edgy, harsh punishment then I'm sure you'll love it too. From the words Paul chooses to humiliate Alex, to her well-acted misery and fear, there is so much in this scene to love.
I don't think there's any way to end this post other than with a huge thank you to Paul and Alex, for sharing this aspect of their play dynamic, and for such a smoking hot interpretation of the things that happen in my head.
Have you had a similar experience with a particular Dreams of Spanking scene? I love the idea of sharing a specific film with a lover, and saying 'look! This is what my fantasy looks like!' Which scene is your closest match?
Storytelling is sexy. Whether it's written, audio, or dramatised on screen, storytelling can make the difference between something that's hot while you're watching it, and something that stays with you for a long time afterwards.
When I write the blogs for Dreams of Spanking, it's always important to pick the right key phrases so that people can find scenes during search. Judicial caning, hand spanking, over the knee, etc – it means that everyone knows what they'll get if they click through, and also serves to get people horny. If you're anything like me then the phrase 'over the knee' probably conjures instant hot mental images, so if a scene involves that kind of punishment I'll make sure to be clear about it.
But the problem with this kind of directness is that there are lots of other more nuanced things that might be particularly erotic, but that aren't as instantly recognisable. Let's face it – lots of people search for 'six strokes of the cane' but fewer people search for 'depersonalised punishment' or 'endurance punishment'. That's where storytelling comes in.
Depersonalised punishment is a really interesting thing to explore – the idea that someone is receiving a beating because they have to rather than because they specifically deserve it. Rituals and ceremonies are both great vehicles for this: the punishment can be impersonal because it's not an individual need but part of a greater story.
Our new film, The Clone's Training, is sci-fi porn that fully explores this concept. Clone number eight – played by the gorgeous David Weston – is being drilled in the nuance and detail of the behaviour of his progenitor, the Crown Prince. Identical genetically, the clone and the Crown Prince are impossible to tell apart just by looking. Birthmarks and scars have all been faithfully reproduced, and the clone now needs to perfect his behaviour so he can infiltrate the royal family and 'become' the prince.
Instructor Pandora Blake gives firm and strict directions: stride purposefully, keep your chin up, hand behind your back. Every movement, in other words, must match the Prince's own gestures. And, of course, he must also be marked so that any blemish on his body matches exactly the ones on the Crown Prince.
A punch to the hip should replicate a bruise the Prince sustained, but to truly fool the medical scanners, clone number eight will have to have a six stroke judicial caning, just as the military Prince received only the day before...
You don't often see sci-fi porn, probably because most people associate it with either huge budgets or crap special effects. But there's a wealth of hot potential in science fiction, and you don't need CGI to make the concept work. Dystopic worlds in which individuals must behave a certain way. 1984-style future societies where citizens unquestioningly obey. And, of course, the deliciously sexy possibilities of armies of identical human-looking robots (I'm looking at you, Battlestar Galactica, with your sexy Cylons) and cloning technology.
This film plays on the clone scenario to dish out an incredibly clinical, depersonalised punishment. While many will watch this because they just love caning stories, others will be aroused by the impersonal nature of the punishment itself. The medical officer and instructor, played by Pandora, is concerned only with shaping clone number eight into as close a copy of the Prince as possible. As a consequence, when she strikes him with the cane it's not in anger or lust, but with a calculated necessity. And when he bends over to receive the strokes it's not because he feels he deserves them, it's because he is so used to obedience that it doesn't occur to him to question why he has to go through this. He just knows he must fulfil his destiny.
When you've watched The Clone's Training, if you're after more porn with amazing stories, it's well worth exploring Dreams of Spanking's 'sci-fi and fantasy' tag. The Royal Wedding is an audio story about a medieval princess, featuring an amazing public flogging which – again – is an impersonal ritual, but has more significance when told from the perspective of the princess who endures it. I also really like 'Psychic Weapon C' – another sci-fi porn story, but here the pain is used as a means to extract information. It's not quite as clinical, because the victim is actively fighting against the beating, but the fact that it's administered by henchmen makes it – in my opinion – an awesome example of pain being dished out as a matter of unflinching necessity.
So that's why storytelling is sexy – it's not just about a simple act, it's about the before and after, the build up and the tension. I could watch any scene in which a beautiful guy gets six of the best, and be delighted to have seen it, but the story turns it into something I think about for a long time. Not least because I can't help imagining exactly what happened to clones one through seven...
A while ago Pandora and I were discussing the best positions for caning. She told me that one position is usually the most popular among Dreams of Spanking viewers: "bend over and touch your toes.'
Whether it's the view of someone's bottom, vulnerable and exposed, or the feeling of your own bum stretched tight and waiting for the crack of the cane, somehow there's something about this particular position that's incredibly arousing.
If you're one for whom the phrase 'bend over and touch your toes' sends filthy-hot shivers down your spine, you'll probably be a fan of our latest spanking film. Leia-Ann Woods plays a submissive secretary being trained by her cruel boss Thomas Cameron. She has been with him for over a week already - and is doing her best to remain obedient under the stress of his exacting regime.
He begins each day with an intrusive inspection, running his hands all over her, and examining the way she is wearing her tight-laced corset, tight pencil skirt, fully fashioned stockings and suspenders – a very traditional and deeply hot uniform for a BDSM submissive secretary.
As you'd expect, Mr Cameron is keen to find fault with poor Leia. She is subjected to twelve strokes every morning as a matter of course, simply to keep her on her toes - or touching them. Today, he finds six reasons to add additional strokes to her regular morning punishment, taking the total to an eye-watering eighteen. Leia tries not to show her fear as he tells her to assume the position for the cane.
Personally, I struggle with the touching-toes position. I love the feeling of vulnerability that it brings, being so exposed and so reliant on my own self-discipline - using my own strength of body and mind to hold the position so I don't topple over. But then the strokes fall, one after the other, and I wobble, and tense up, and grit my teeth, and it becomes harder and harder not to break position.
Touching my toes seems easy when I first do it, but as the pain accumulates and the heat and sting of the welts layering across my upturned bottom grow stronger, my muscles start to tremble and I worry that I'll either fall forward or – worse – involuntarily straighten up and earn myself extra strokes.
It's much easier if you're told to bend over a desk, the back of a chair, or even lie face-down on the bed to receive a beating. But then - as Leia-Ann's determined poise and Thomas Cameron's calm perfectionism show - a thorough caning isn't about what's easy, is it? It's about punishment.
I find it difficult to stay in position touching my toes at the best of times. Wearing a tightly laced corset, hobble skirt and high stiletto heels like Leia-Ann in this film, I would find it nearly impossible. Leia is justly famed among spanking fans for her grace and elegance, whether she is administering a thrashing or receiving one. But if you want to know just how poised she can be, even through the stress of eighteen searing cane strokes, watch Day Ten of her Training and find out.
I recently published a cold caning video in which I bent over for twelve hard strokes from Paul Kennedy. Paul is one of my favourite caners. He has a wonderful calm, stern manner which really puts me into the right headspace when we're roleplaying, and his use of the cane is expert, administering precisely calibrated, accurate strokes.
Few people are able to land twelve strokes of the cane that leave perfectly parallel lines, evenly imprinted across both buttocks and perfectly spaced from top to bottom of my preferred spanking zone. He enjoys aiming low strokes to land just above my crease - or even exactly on it - as much as I love receiving them, and he has a lovely habit of saving the best, hardest, lowest strokes til last. Caning perfection.
Anyway, it seems that several of you liked this scene as much as I enjoyed filming it, which makes me happy. One commenter asked:
I actually think that this needs a blog post, but in any case what I would like to know is what was going through your mind as you were reaching for your toes? "Now this will all be over in a week or so," or "What on Earth was I thinking," or "I need to get milk the next time I go shopping," or something else.
Good question! Let me mentally rewind, and imagine myself back in that room, bending over and nervously anticipating the first stroke...
Ugh, I wish I could touch my toes properly. I need to do more yoga. Okay, breathe through the pain in my hamstrings, concentrate on bending at the hip. That's as low as I can go. I guess it'll have to do.
I hope the cameras are all lined up correctly. No it's fine - we just set up the shot with my bending over, and James and Alex are keeping an eye on it. They'll let me know if something's not right. Relax, Pandora.
Oh gosh, this is going to hurt. I'd better be brave or my members will think I can't take it. But it'll be worth it - the marks will be really pretty. At least I hope so. I hope Paul does it hard enough. I asked him to be severe. If it's not hard enough to leave nice marks this will all have been for nothing.
Okay, breathe, breathe. Come on, Pandora, you've done this before. You can take it. Easy peasy. You love the cane. Okay, Paul is lining up the first stroke. Breathe in. Slowly. Count to four. And... just as I can hear the cane swishing down... breathe out. And there it is. Ow. Keep exhaling. Nice and slow. Good girl. Okay, ow, ow, ow. That really fucking hurts.
Come on, you can do this. Let it out. A bit of reaction is good for the video. You can make a bit of fuss. That's it.
Oh god, that's actually getting worse, it's getting more painful by the second. Can I really take eleven more of these? What the hell was I thinking?
As it turns out, I could take them. It helped that we cut after six strokes to change James' shot, and I admit I was not at all disappointed to have a minute to catch my breath!
The first six strokes were hard to take. The second landed higher than is pleasurable for me, and I jumped up and clutched my bottom, relieved that this wasn't a scene where I had to be completely stoic. Reacting physically and vocally to a caning really helps me process the pain. The next four weren't as high on my bottom, and that made them easier for me to take.
After six strokes and a breather, my endorphins had kicked in. The last six therefore felt delicious. Deep, thuddy impacts that made me groan with satisfaction. My breathing exercises moved me into a meditative, calm, floaty space where I ws glad I didn't have to think of any lines of dialogue, and could just be present in my body, in the moment, totally immersed in the intense sensations of a slow, hard caning.
By the end, those low, hard strokes on my crease were so erotically pleasurable that I had to focus on sounding like I was in pain, and not just deeply aroused. Somehow I figured that letting my natural, giggly moans of pleasure surface wouldn't quite have fit the mood of an office punishment scene...
So now you know what I was thinking as I bent over and touched my toes for a cold caning. Was it anything like what you expected?
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...
I know I've missed out a couple of scenes, but I just want to skip ahead and tell you about our latest film. This was a members request video submitted by Delicious Delight. I love each and every one of our female members (women buying spanking porn! Fuck yes! You guys are AWESOME) but DD has connected with me in the comment threads and provided a lot of useful feedback.
A year ago, she sent in a script set on a farm in the 1930s, in which the master and mistress punish their stableboy. Her fantasy casting for the characters were me, Thomas Camerona and Michael Darling, and I sent the script to both of them to see what they thought. They loved it, and I wrote back and told her that I'd definitely try to find a way to shoot it, although I wasn't sure when we might have access to a suitable location.
In the end, it happened by accident. We had a no-show on our location shoot last September and Michael gallantly stepped in to fill the breach. We needed to rustle up some scene ideas on short notice, and I dug this one out of my email. We had to put together thirties costumes on zero notice (luckily, I'd brought my whole dress-up box with me, so I had some options to pick through) and the setup needed changing a bit - we didn't have a barn, or a haybale, for him to lie over - but we thought we could make it work.
I actually love how this film turned out. Sometimes the scenes that come together at the last minute work best of all.
The stableboy is caught returning after an unauthorised ride into town to visit a lady friend. He is ordered to go inside, arrange the chaise in the middle of the floor, place a cushion over the end, take the family strap down from its hook and wait there. Michael obeys, shaking with nerves.
Once the mistress has worked out her anger with the strap, the master takes over. He applies a few strokes with the riding crop, giving the boy a taste of the sensation, before sentencing him to ten hard strokes.
The thing that stood out in the script DeliciousDelight sent was the sense of fear and anticipation, made worse by Michael being made to prepare for his own punishment. First there's the stableboy's dread at the moment he is caught, and realises he has no choice but to confess. Then the scolding, made worse when the man of the house is brought in to see what has happened. The poor boy knows he has made a bad mistake, and wishes the ground would swallow him up. He also knows exactly what's coming next.
Here's how DeliciousDelight described the next sequence, as she imagined it:
The man of the house gives him the following instructions: Go to the barn. Place a bundle of straw in the middle of the floor. Then place a carpet over it. You then take the leather strap and the horse whip and place it on the bundle of straw. (The equipment is probably hanging on the wall in the barn). And then wait for us to come over there.
(From my personal experience, I always thought that being instructed to prepare a punishment myself, was really terrifying and at the same time really exciting. It is also a little humiliating, I think. It is a real turn on for me, and I would love to see this in one of your films)
The stableboy nervously does what he is told, almost shaking whilst making the preparations. He is nervous as hell.
Okay, we didn't have a barn, but doesn't that just give you the most delightful shivers? We tried to capture that mood in the film, but really it was down to Michael's performance, and I think he did a fantastic job.
Period scenes always take a little thought, especially when it comes to the dialogue. There's a moment at the start of this film that makes me laugh every time I watch it, around two minutes in. Tom and I are in the garden, giving poor Michael a good telling off. During the scolding I start saying "You've been taking..." and stop, realising that "the piss" isn't exactly an authentic or appropriate 1930s turn of phrase. I flounder before Tom comes in neatly to my rescue: "...Liberties!" Nicely played, sir.
So what did our scriptwriter think of the finished product? Well, I'm glad to report that she likes it. Here's what DeliciousDelight said in email:
Loved the new film. Your performances are stunning and quite what I had in mind. Really liked how strict you were both being with Michael throughout the whole punishment and the way you were scolding.
The changes you made in the scene plot made a lot of sense I think. Starting outside in the beautiful garden and then moving indoors later. Gave a good flow to the scene I think.
In the plot idea I wrote to you back then, I remember my description of how nervous the boy is when being caught and waiting for his punishment is quite long and detailed, and I really think that Michael played that out very well! I could almost feel it on my own body.
Hope you enjoyed making the scene.
We certainly did, and we hope the rest of our viewers s enjoy this film too.
We love receiving scene ideas from site members. If you ever have a script you'd like to see filmed, send it over, and we'll see what we can do.
My film about feminist submission, self-pleasure and spanking fantasies, My Inner Little Girl, will be screened at the Cinekink festival on Saturday 1 March, at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. I won't be able to attend the screening but if you want to go and tell me how it went, you can register a ticket here.
Two young lovers find themselves caught in flagrante delicto by a master magician - and he isn't impressed. After thrashing his apprentice for failing to rein in his passions, Master Finlay informs Sophie that she has untrained magical ability, and must learn to control it or she will put herself and others in danger. He offers to take her on as his second apprentice. Sophie can't believe her good fortune - her old life was not worth clinging to, and she accepts the opportunity gladly, even though it means undergoing to a painful initiation ceremony.
I've always loved the idea of sacred or ceremonial kink; the use of blindfolds, restraints, whipping and flogging in magical ritual. There's something deliciously objectifying about being a ritual object or a sacrifice to the gods, body mortified to raise power for a higher cause.
On the other hand, blindfolds and flogging can play a part in an initiation ceremony or a rite of passage, where the focus of attention is very much on the celebrant - as with the ritual conducted to mark Sophie's initiation into the path of magical learning. Either way, this is about using pain and sensory deprivation to achieve an altered state of consciousness.
Now that she is officially subject to the magician's authority, Sophie must learn to control her passions and her powers. To teach her this lesson Master Finlay straps her bottom soundly with a razor strop of worn, thick leather.
But even the pain of Sophie's punishment - or the chores she is set afterwards - do not diminish her joy at finally finding a place where she belongs.
As you'll know if you read my posts after the shoot, our latest film was a big deal for me. Dreams of Spanking had already published one severe caning scene courtesy of Kaelah and Ludwig - now relocated at Darker Dreams. The last (and only) severe caning I had filmed with myself as the bottom, however, was with another producer. Since then I've known that my next full-force, judicial strength cold caning film would be for Dreams of Spanking.
Things are awry below stairs. A stolen coin has been found in the room of Blake, one of the maids. When confronted she pleads family trouble, and begs for mercy.
She has served the house well, so her employers hear her out. But they are stern in the face of her pleading: order must be maintained, after all. They would prefer not to take this to the authorities, and she is therefore offered a private punishment to suit the severity of her crime. Even family circumstances won't save her from 50 cold strokes of the cane.
I'll be honest with you: the premise of this one didn't take as much thought as some of our storylines. I knew I wanted to do a judicial strength, severe caning; and when I discussed it with Leia-Ann one sunny, boozy, scene-plotting afternoon last summer, it occurred to me that a double caning from Leia and Tom would be super hot. After that, it was just a question of what would make sense within the venue. I knew I wanted it to be historical; the location suggested a domestic setting. Victorian upstairs/downstairs power dynamics have always been a core part of my kink, and so it was that the idea of the whipped maid came to the fore. Hardly original, but every spankee deserves to have a go at each of the classics at least once, I think.
The plot emerged from a gift by a friend in the scene - a gold pound coin dating from Victoria's reign. It was too good not to use as a prop.
However, I hate the image of the low, thieving maid who deserves everything she gets - it reeks of out-dated class stereotypes, and as you all know, I prefer my spankee characters to be sympathetic.
So the theft became one that, perhaps, might be understandable... and Leia and Tom played the Master and Mistress as far more compassionate than my character had any right to expect. Rather than being summarily dismissed without a reference - or, worse, arrested - she is granted the chance to atone privately, and keep her position.
This film was shot with two 8mm canes; one kooboo (Tom) and one smoked dragon (Leia). If you watch the behind the scenes video you'll see me commenting that Leia's cane feels much nicer, to my taste; and that Tom's is almost too light to be used accurately at full force. (Denser canes are easier to aim; I've found that myself when in top mode).
My taste is for thud, and the hard canings I've taken have historically been with dense dragon canes, 10-12mm in thickness. The problem was that on this shoot we only had one cane that matched that description, and with its modern purple handle it didn't look Victorian.
I didn't want to receive a lopsided caning, and I didn't want the implements themselves to be anachronistic. So we opted for the matched pair of lighter canes.
I realised early on in this punishment that it wasn't going to be as intense as I'd envisaged. I promised myself there and then that the next time I did a severe caning scene as a bottom (and trust me, there will be a next time, and it will be for Dreams of Spanking) I'd make sure I had two 12mm dragon canes that looked the part.
Some commenters have said they find this scene overly brutal. For my tastes, and I know this might be weird, it was almost not brutal enough. When I envisaged doing another severe caning scene I imagined struggling, tears, violence, vivid welts. Not only was the atmosphere of this beating incredibly restrained and quiet, each character regretfully doing their duty while maintaining as much dignity as they could, but even my poor, over-spanked bottom didn't mark as much as I'd hoped.
I'd been playing hard without a break for a long time by the time this scene was filmed, and despite the pain, the welts don't look as dramatic as the other canings of similar severity I've seen other spankees take. I know it's not a competition. But I'm only going to do a few of these in my life, and you know me well enough by now to know I care about the look of the thing.
Still. In all other respects, this scene went out without a hitch. Leia and Tom were perfect, the caning was laser precise, and I managed to stay in control of myself throughout - which was just what I'd wanted. I love the maid's uniform I wore, and I love the finished film. I hope you do, too.
For what it's worth: since this shoot last September, I've been giving my skin a break and have barely taken any CP beyond the occasional hand spanking, professionally or privately. The next time I shoot, I expect both the marks and my reactions to be more dramatic.
For ages hand tawsing was on my list of "hard limits". Not that I would never, ever do it; I knew I wanted to try it sooner or later. But I was determined that the time, place and person I did it with would be right.
I've always been aware of hand tawsing as an intense, realistic, historical punishment. I learned all about Scottish schoolchildren getting "the belt"; English and American schoolchildren being caned or rulered on the hands. I even had my hands fake caned age 9 (for getting ink on my fingers while copying out the alphabet with a dip pen) on a school trip to a Victorian reenactment center, as we were told how unfair it would be, having to go back to your place and try to write neat letters with a throbbing, swollen hand. (In retrospect that school trip was pretty formative). In both school history lessons and a lot of the prim Victorian literature I grew up reading, hand punishment was far more mentionable than punishment applied to the buttocks.
It wasn't until I entered the scene that I encountered it as something people might do voluntarily. I read about fellow kinksters in discipline relationships having their hands strapped as a quickie punishment before being sent back to their desk. I once watched Lucy McLean teaching a mutual friend to do it, and I saw a number of friends get it during group roleplays with the Northern Spanking crowd. I even witnessed Leia-Ann Woods and another friend take double hand tawsings from Lucy and Amy Hunter, with both palms outstretched, crucifix style, and both tawses snapping down simultaneously. Holy shit.
I found it a fascinating punishment to watch, primarily because of the eye contact. An experienced hand tawser like Lucy can tell her victim to look into her eyes, and hold her gaze even as she lays on a devastatingly accurate stroke. There's something electric about it: the eye contact, the unique exposure and emotional vulnerability of your disciplinarian being able to watch every expression flicker across your face. You can't hide your head in shame; you have to hold it high. I love that, the way it encourages stoicism, especially when the whole room is watching. The position has always seemed a proud, brave one to me - standing tall, freely raising your palm, even though you know what's going to happen; even more so after the first strokes have been laid on, when you must do it again with your hand already sore. It takes a lot of courage.
I knew I wanted to try it, one day, but I also knew I didn't want it to be sprung on me in the middle of a light-hearted group roleplay. My fear was that I would find the whole experience incredibly intense, would cry and so on, and I didn't want to react that way in public unless the context was appropriate. It wouldn't be right for a casual fun punishment, and it wouldn't be right unless there was the opportunity for aftercare if I needed it.
In the end, that's not how it happened. First, I was asked to dish out light to moderate hand tawsings in sessions and custom shoots, and I needed to know what it felt like, so I ended up taking a few strokes privately, in a spirit of professional enquiry. None were hard enough to feel "real", but they reassured me that this was something I wanted to do.
When I was planning scenes to shoot with Leia, we were trying to think of more scenes for her topping me, and I mentioned the idea as a way to avoid marking my bottom before my big caning scene (or to avoid showing marks, after it). I knew she had considerable experience in both giving and receiving hand tawsing, so I trusted her to be safe and accurate. And having seen her take much worse hand tawsings than I was about to, I knew I'd have no excuse not to go through with it.
Dirty Hands is a witty, elegant, "short sharp shock" style punishment set in the world of the Ladies' Pony Club, the sequel to Lady Godiva. The prim and proper, "keeping up appearances" mood of this setting perfectly suited hand tawsing as a punishment. If you've Stephenson's Baroque cycle, you might recognise where I got the idea for the hand job on the yacht...
Fundraising Week is over at the Pony Club, and Miss Blake the Treasurer reports to her friend the President, Ms Woods. Leia has a bone to pick with Pandora. She knows Pandora has been messing around with her - Leia's - husband, and in fact Leia witnessed a rather unsubtle hand job taking place during the yacht cruise. Leia doesn't intend to take it lying down, and she means to make the punishment fit the crime. She knows a good way to ensure that Pandora's dirty hands don't stray where they shouldn't from now on...
I particularly enjoyed the dialogue in this, including some very sharp one-liners from Leia. I also enjoyed getting to play faux innocent, always good fun especially when you know you aren't going to get away with it!
For the tawsing itself, we negotiated 8 strokes, four on each hand, which we thought was the minimum to make for an interesting video. As a first timer, though, this meant they couldn't be full force, as even four at that severity is an extremely serious punishment. Instead Leia started out medium hard, and got a little harder towards the end. It still stung like blazes, and I couldn't help wincing as I held my tender palms up one after the other, knowing what was coming next.
Still, I survived, and I found the whole experience quite hot, more than I expected. This is definitely solidifying into an interest of mine. Now that I've done it once, I want to do it again. I'm tempted to try some properly hard strokes next time too. I really am my own worst sadist at times!
I first heard about the story called The Magician's Apprentice when Adele asked me how to create some arcane techno-babble which actually meant something for a new fiction piece she was working on. I have a few useful books on the subject, and was able to provide some names and references. At what point Pandora adopted the story for Dreams of Spanking I'm not entirely sure, but I've been looking forward to the publication of this one for quite some time.
Adele is an excellent writer, and the scenario she created gave us, as actors, plenty to work with. Our day with Daniel R had already included The Captain and the Tavern Wench, so we were well in the mood for high-camp costume drama. We were also looking forward to experimenting with stills to create some visual effects that would have been much more difficult on video. And as an added bonus, I got to play Mr. Sheridan, Court Magician to the Empire:
Apparently the Empire ran to large beards that season.
Setting up for this one was almost as much fun as actually shooting it. Quite a lot of the paraphernalia we dressed the set with is either mine or Pandora's, and digging out the Fifth Pentacle of Mercury from The Key of Solomon always provides a good laugh on a wet winter evening. The actual chalk-work was mostly done by Jimmy, who's a fine artist (which I am not) and can write in Arabic (which I can't). We had a whale of a time putting candles everywhere and drawing obscure rude (or geeky) jokes onto the chalkboards in the background.
It's extraordinary how going the extra mile in the set detail affected the atmosphere; what you might call the Weta Workshops effect. The room felt different. Dressing the set created a good deal of tension in itself, and I found it very easy to get into role, even without dialogue, when acting against those elaborate props and backdrop.
I'll try not to spoil too much of Adele's story, but suffice it to say that after the kissing shots, we halted for a protracted faff with candles, to the accompaniment of much giggling. And then, as if by magic...
... a hand-crafted special effect leads to the young couple's discovery by Mr. Sheridan.
The richness of both colour and texture in the "enlightening" shot really has turned out as well as we'd hoped; I'm impressed by how well Daniel caught the moment.
As well as being a pleasure to work with on a personal level, Daniel kept pace with our rather eclectic imaginations all through the shoot, and always seemed to be able to tune in to what we were looking for. The half gothic, half steam-punk feel of this photostory beautifully matches the texture of Adele's prose.
If memory serves, this was also the first scene ever in which Jimmy and I interacted directly, in a CP sense. Balancing a new scene dynamic with character acting can be difficult, particularly if you are already as well acquainted as Jimmy and me. But on this occasion, it presented no problems at all. The story had a pace and rhythm to it that made staying in role easy, despite the stop-motion logistics of shooting stills, and the CP itself did not seem at all strange within the compelling motivations of the narrative.
Also, it was just so pretty...
An enormous amount of fun was had, and you've only seen the half of it: the plot thickens for young Sophie soon enough once Giles has faced the Magician's wrath. I'm really pleased with the final results: luxuriant colours and cabbalistic symbols enough to brighten anyone's day. Watch this space for part two.