I reckon the hottest thing about this week’s release - Beating the Competition, starring Pandora Blake, Rebecca Belacqua and Kelley May - is in the tension and contrast between how Kelley is speaking and what’s actually going on in the room.
Because the thing is, she’s perfectly calm. Her tone is rather dry, in fact; she’s delivering a standard training session to one of her employees, making sure they’re up to scratch for an impending promotion. The way she speaks is measured and informative, like this is just another day on the job for her.
Rebecca, on the other hand, is exposed and squirming, deeply humiliated and blushing bright red on both sets of cheeks. She’s gasping and crying out, struggling with impacts both physical and psychological. This is a brand new experience for her, and one she hadn’t imagined would be quite this intense.
There’s something deeply intriguing about that contrast - particularly given that, by the conceit of the plot, Kelley herself must have had this experience too at some point in the past. Her face sometimes betrays her real feelings; her voice is calm, but from the way she’s looking at her compromised employee you can tell she’s enjoying this as much as we are.
Of course, this isn’t the only spanking in the film - and Kelley’s lesson gets an immediate reprise as power rebalances itself once again! After all, it’s only fair that Rebecca gets a chance to put her new skill into action now she’s officially Pandora’s superior.
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!
This week I edited the second scene we shot with Vincent Brennan back in August. It went up last night, and I'll tell you more about it in my next post, but first I wanted to talk about that shoot. I haven't previewed the scenes from that day yet because I made a really stupid mistake.
Shooting always involves risks. Usually they pay off. For instance, it was my first time working with Vincent, and he was great, coming up with some intense scenes, and sticking with it despite struggling with first-time nerves. No, the mistake was mine, behind the camera, and mine alone. Halfway through the afternoon, I accidentally deleted footage from three of the five scenes we'd filmed that day.
In retrospect, it's obvious what I should have done differently. I'd majorly overcommitted myself that month and was tired and suffering from burnout. I'd barely slept the night before, got up before 6am, lugged all my filming equipment singlehandedly on public transport from northernmost Greater London to Woking, despite having previously promised myself that it was hire cars or nothing from now on. I don't mean to complain, these were all my own silly decisions, but they perhaps explain why I wasn't at my best.
During the morning, we shot three scenes on two cameras. I operated camera 1 handheld, and Dave Dodgy operated camera 2 on a tripod. Two were F/M scenes, a light-hearted nurse/patient punishment and the judicial caning.
As part of my whole female gaze thing, for these scenes I kept my camera focussed on Vincent, capturing his facial reactions. Meanwhile I directed Dave to zoom in on his bottom during the spanking, and on Molly and Zoe's faces during the dialogue.
We also shot an F/F scene that morning - an instructional video on hand spanking, presented by Zoe and Molly direct to camera. My camera, of course. Dave filmed a second angle to be used for drop-ins and cutaways, but apart from when the ladies are looking at each other, in most of his shots Zoe was looking off to one side, addressing my camera, out of shot.
After lunch we were running late - the last scene of the morning, Vincent's judicial caning, had over-run considerably. (I have a tonne of outtakes to share from that one!) Just as we were ready to start filming The Loose Hem, I noticed I only had a few minutes left on my memory card. Stupidly, I didn't have any spare cards with me. So I used the interface on my video camera to delete some clips from a shoot in July. I knew I had multiple backups of that footage, I just hadn't cleared the memory cards yet. There were a few dozen clips, so rather than spend ages deleting them one by one, I selected the "delete all scenes from this date" option. It previewed the scenes, everything dated 20th July, I confirmed, they were deleted. That cleared enough space on the card that we could press on, and so we had two cameras running for the last two scenes of the day.
When I got home that night on 12th August, I transferred the files from the memory card to my computer and realised that as well as the clips from 20th July, that click had also deleted all the footage we'd filmed that morning. The only clips remaining on the card were from the scenes we'd filmed that afternoon.
I suppose we live and learn. I know, now, to always have spare memory cards with me - in fact I immediately bought some more after this happened. I know now to always do file management tasks via a computer, and never using the camera interface. I know to clear memory cards at home before a shoot. Mistakes are life's best teachers.
The result is that of the five scenes we filmed that day, for the first three I only have one angle, camera 2, Dave's camera. I don't have any of my shots in the F/M scenes, focussing on Vincent's face during the dialogue and the spanking. Dave had followed my direction to zoom in tight on Zoe or Molly's faces, trusting me to keep Vincent in shot, so for half the dialogue I don't even have him in shot as he says his lines. And in the F/F instructional video, all I have is Dave's shots of Zoe talking to someone off-camera. I don't have any of her eye contact .
I've been kicking myself pretty hard about it, you can imagine.
Editing Drunk and Disorderly, Vincent's judicial caning scene, was a pretty miserable process. In the behind the scenes sections I could see myself setting up shots and all I could think about was the lost footage.
Dave snapped a few photos, mostly of the ladies. I was the one shooting Vincent, getting close-ups, capturing details and crucial moments in the strip search, the cuffs going on, the face-to-face interaction between Vincent and Molly as she holds him in position, the look in Vincent's eyes as he anticipates a stroke. And all of my footage is gone.
On the day, Vincent's nerves resulted in us stopping and starting a lot during the dialogue, and we ended up shooting multiple takes of the opening section. I didn't mind at the time, but as we re-started for the third time, I was concerned that the delays would increase Vincent's anxiety before the caning. In the end, those multiple takes saved the film. Dave, seasoned pro that he his, got a different shot each time, which made it possible for me to piece something together that just about covered all the cuts. Vincent's nervousness turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. As a finished product, it's not anywhere near as bad as it might have been.
The thing that still bothers me, about both Drunk and Disorderly and the nurse scene, is that even if I can salvage both of them, they will still look like prototypical 'femdom' that focuses on the female top rather than the male spankee. It's the opposite of everything I'm trying to do with my F/M productions. Given the amount I've griped about the way that many F/M films treat their male spankees, this accident not only damages the quality of my product, it makes me a hypocrite. To say I'm gutted is an understatement. I went out of my way to capture Vincent's experience on his first ever spanking shoot, the effort he put in, his expressions and reactions, and I can't show you any of it. It's a damn shame.
I've captured 60 screengrabs from Drunk and Disorderly, in which I've gone out of my way to show Vincent's face as much as possible. He has his back to Dave's camera for most of the scene, but still, he has some good lines, and you can see enough, I hope, to know I'm not hiding his face deliberately. I have a video interview with him which I'll upload on Sunday, and I'll publish an outtakes video, too.
So despite my self-recrimination, the day was far from a total loss. I have footage from both cameras for the final two scenes, both of which went well. I've already released The Loose Hem, a lovely subversive little domestic teasing/cross-dressing scene.
The other film we made that day was a candid, out-of-character, deep dominance and submission scene between Molly and Zoe, best friends and real life play partners. They approached me about doing a film like this and I left all the details up to them, with Dave and I simply trying to capture their intimacy and interaction as closely as possible.
I was honoured to be admitted into their private scene space, and I think the resulting film is going to be beautiful. I am so, so glad I didn't lose any of that.
Likewise, although I'm missing the primary camera for the hand spanking instructional video, I might be able to do something with it. I'm thinking of taking the audio of Zoe's presentation, and layering it over video from other Dreams of Spanking productions which illustrate her points. It would mean lots of additional work for me as editor, but I only have myself to blame for that. Zoe and Molly's hand spanking demo was a great presentation and I want to do it justice if I can. Hey, at least Dave got some great photos of the two of them.
I've learned some sharp lessons. Hopefully this will be a salutory experience in the long run. Meanwhile, Drunk and Disorderly went up last night and the nursing film is yet to come, and I wanted to tell you in advance why they don't look the way the rest of my F/M productions do. I wanted to show you Vincent's face, his expressions and his reactions. I didn't want the camera to linger exclusively on Zoe as she delivers the caning. I wanted to tell you the whole story. But I can't, because I stupidly deleted Vincent's half.
Still, give it a try. It's a believable setup, with plenty of hot moments, some cheeky backchat from Vincent, and fantastic ad libbed scolding by Zoe. Not to mention a 30 stroke full force cold caning hard enough to satisfy the severity fetishists, which Vincent took magnificently. I've done my best with it, and in the end, I don't think it's turned out badly. And while the finished cut may not treat the male spankee as sympathetically as I wanted, you do at least get more face shots and dialogue from Vincent than in some F/M productions.
I know I'm indulging in perfectionism. It's likely that no-one will care as much as I do, and that I am, as ever, my own worst critic. Thanks to my performers, all three compromised films were good spanking scenes, and even with one camera angle missing, with careful editing they will hopefully be salvagable.
I suppose something like this happens to all us producers sooner or later, but I will definitely be making every effort to ensure I never make a mistake like this again.
This week's updates include something from mine and Pandora's early archives, and something fairly new and very attractive from Pandora and Molly Malone. Our latest video is a second instalment in their instructional series which debuted with Introducing the Cane. In this scene the lovely ladies demonstrate the process and practicalities of scene negotiation. Here's the trailer:
In this instructional video Molly and Pandora discuss the best ways to negotiate within a spanking scene. They demonstrate techniques including in-role ways for bottoms to express their needs, ways for tops to check in with their bottoms, and ways to deal with ending or taking time our from a scene if necessary. Finally the ladies discuss how to say "please no" when you mean "please yes". Molly and Pandora demonstrate all these techniques while spanking each other, including thigh spanking, the leather paddle and the tawse!
I particularly liked this moment for Molly's entirely blissed out expression.
These shades of green and pink do go together well, don't they?
"Please don't, miss!" Pandora bends over for a demonstration of the principles of consensual non-c0nsent.
This is both a hot spanking scene in its own right and a useful, sensitive exploration of consent and negotiation.
For your additional pleasure, we also have a new photo gallery, Kitchen Punishments.
Pandora has been daydreaming about spanking rather than doing her chores. When Tom comes home and discovers the kitchen still a mess, her fantasy is about to become reality.
This is the sequel to Messy Kitchen, and is the last set of photos from that shoot in 2006. It was our first attempt to shoot our own spanking photos at home, with a photographer recruited from Net-Model (who preferred not to be named), no lighting, and not even much idea of what we were going to do during the shoot.
Pandora had only done a couple of spanking shoots for other producers, and had already been bitten by the bug to shoot her own material. She had a vague idea she might want her own site "one day", but no concrete plans, or even a name, as yet. Still, I liked spanking her and even better doing so on camera, so we decided to have a go regardless.
We've come such a very long way since those early days, with a clearer vision, higher production values and a great deal of hard work and laughter along the way. We would never have made it without support from our members, so thank you all, and we hope you enjoy looking back to where it all began!
I've been running around like a mad thing lately, shooting lots of hot spanking video and getting up to various other mischief. Amid all the excitement, I haven't been keeping you up-to-date with the latest corporal punishment films on Dreams of Spanking, so I'll catch you up over the next few posts.
In this 24 minute instructional video Molly Malone and I discuss the nuances of the most loved, hated and feared implement in the spanking world; how the cane makes us feel and what we each like about it. We demonstrate caning techniques for beginners, including how to warm up your spankee with the cane, and deliver a sensual, erotic caning which will make them eager for more. We also discuss various aspects of giving a nuanced, accurate caning, including some safety pointers and other tips and tricks. Molly finishes by giving me a firm, school punishment style six of the best.
This is a 50/50 switch scene, which is something I'm hoping to do more of on Dreams of Spanking. Introducing: The Cane also includes a seven minute behind the scenes video in which Molly and I steal kisses between shots, and a subspaced Molly has to take a little time to recover from her caning before being ready to administer one of her own.
I got the idea for this video at the Texas Spanking Party 2012, where after having given my first demo that morning on erotic spanking, I was put on the spot by being asked to give a quick caning demonstration over dinner. I discovered that I had loads to say about good technique with my favourite implement. Over the course of the weekend various people came up to me and asked for a private caning lession, which I was more than happy to deliver. It's an amazing feeling to discover you are in a position to be able to help people explore their kink. I thought it would be fun to express this new side of myself by creating a few instructional videos for this website on various aspects of play.
We aren't the first people to have this idea - Kink Academy and Spanking 101 are way ahead of us - but hopefully some of you will be interested in my personal perspective. I think the erotic chemistry between Molly and I probably adds something to the learning experience, too! This video is already proving very popular on our clips store, and the preview is receiving good comments on Spanking Tube, so it seems like there is interest in this sort of video.
I'd love to film more kinky demonstrations. Let us know what you'd like to learn about!