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Shooting porn in a pandemic

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, we're thinking about how to produce new spanking content while keeping our cast and crew safe. Is there such a thing as a COVID-safe set when you're shooting spanking porn?

Towards the end of last year, we spent three days filming. One was during the November lockdown and the other two were just before Christmas when we were in Tier 4. Even during lockdown it's legal to travel for the purposes of work if you absolutely can't work from home. My job was to comply with the guidelines to make our indoor workplace as safe as possible. 

Facemasks and COVID safety in spanking porn

What does it mean to run a COVID-safe porn set? 

Firstly, it means being careful with our behaviours and activities in the days leading up to the shoot, and being transparent with each other about our risk exposure and activity level. Fundamentally, how much activity feels okay before the shoot is up to the cast and crew. This isn't about me prescribing an organisation-wide policy, but about fostering communication between the people who are going to be sharing space, so that everybody in the room is comfortable. 

It means preferring to work with people who drive rather than take public transport, to minimise risk exposure.

It means maintaining social distancing wherever possible. When somebody is over your knee of course this isn't possible, but the rest of the time we can maintain a safe distance. Crew can distance from performers. 

It means ventilating the space. That might mean having a window open at all times and cranking the heating up to compensate. And we can open the windows wide between scenes to blast as much air through as possible.

It means people wearing face masks if they feel safer doing so.

Facemasks and COVID safety in spanking porn

Face masks in porn

This is a controversial subject. I did a Twitter poll a little while ago asking how people felt about seeing face masks in spanking videos, and I was actually reassured to find that the majority of respondents felt that safety was sexy, and that they were happy to see facemasks in a porn film, because then they can feel comfortable that the performers aren't being placed in undue risk, and are only having as much contact as they're comfortable with. 

However, I know for a lot of people, porn is an escape from the real world. I understand if viewers don't want to be reminded about the pandemic when they're watching a fantasy. I also know that for many viewers facial reactions are important, and face masks can make a scene less erotic. 

There's no pleasing everyone, and I suspect preferences will vary from scenario to scenario as well as person to person. In some films, a face mask might be a lot less intrusive; in others it might feel more of an impediment, depending on where the emotional charge in the scene comes from. 

Facemasks and COVID safety in spanking porn

Dreams of Spanking is founded on principles of consent and performer-centric production ethics. We also try to make films which are aligned with our values in one way or another. I think we have a role to play in modeling good practice. I wear my mask when I'm going to be in contact with people outside my bubble: if I ever go to the shop or if a tradesperson has to come into the house. We won't beat this virus until everyone takes the same level of care. Porn is fantasy, yes, but it can also play a part in normalising mask wearing and making it sexy. 

Plus, facemasks open up possibilities for all sorts of hot scenes. How about medical scenarios featuring sexy nurses? Or historical scenes set during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic? When the masks are part of making the setting more believable, it can add to the fantasy rather than intruding on it.

Facemasks and COVID safety in spanking porn

We need to talk

What safety protocols are needed on a given shoot is really up to the people who will be taking the risk. There are lots of things to consider.

I won't shoot with anyone if they've shown symptoms or been in recent contact with someone who has. But other considerations are up to the performers. How vulnerable or susceptible do they feel they are personally, and how at-risk are the people in their bubble? How immune are they - have they had COVID? Have they had the vaccine? If so, how recently? Finally, how big is their bubble, and how porous is it? Can they name everyone in it? Do they know the risk exposure and activity level of everyone they share contact with?  

For example, two people who both work from home and socially distance in all other situations will present a lower risk to others than someone who's got a child in school or nursery, or a key worker who can't socially distance at work. COVID safety isn't about me as the director laying down the law, but about asking everybody involved in a shoot to be honest with each other and make an informed decision. 

It's similar to the conversations we have before having sex. Before having sex with someone new, or directing a sex scene, the people involved need to talk about their sexual health history, and share any relevant information about their risk factors. They might talk about previous infections, recent sexual activity, and the date of their last negative test result. Armed with this information each individual can then make an informed, consensual, risk-aware decision about how to proceed.  

Facemasks and COVID safety in spanking porn

As we navigate this pandemic, we need to talk to each other. This is true in every scenario where we might share air, not just porn sets - but as directors and producers, people making porn have a special responsibility towards the people we employ. As adults we're allowed to take risks if we all agree, but it's crucial that this is done consciously and intentionally - and when money comes into the equation, especially during a time when sex workers are struggling for work, there's a power balance to be aware of. I don't want anyone to feel pressured to shoot in an unsafe way because they feel they need the money. So my job is to create a permissive space which encourages and normalises strict safety protocols, so that performers know that they aren't under pressure to take undue risks.

It's not possible to live a completely risk free life. Following the government guidelines isn't enough to stay completely safe - early years childcare settings remain legal, although they are a significant transmission risk. For myself, my policy is to only take risks that are essential or extremely valuable - wanting to see my friends isn't sufficient reason, but keeping my business above water is. All of us need to inform ourselves about how the virus spreads, and be upfront and transparent with other people about the choices we're making. Who have we seen lately? Have we gone to the shops? Have we sat indoors with someone and talked? What are our childcare arrangements? Who's come to the house lately? Who have the other people in my bubble seen? If performers are going to be working together, all this information needs to be exchanged. 

Facemasks and COVID safety in spanking porn

Testing and self-isolating

One option we're considering going into 2021 is suggesting that performers test and self-isolate before shoots. But this is a big burden. Tests cost £100, and in order to give a useful answer you need to isolate for three days before taking it, and then continue to isolate until you get your result and go to the shoot.

If someone lives alone or in a closed bubble, self-isolating might not be a big deal. But for someone who's got a child attending school or nursery, or one member of the bubble works outside the home, it might not be possible. And the expense is a significant one, whoever pays it.

So with all that in mind, as we continue to shoot in 2021 we may sometimes need to mask up. 

Does this mean that everything we produce this year will be masked? No. Does this mean we'll stop shooting entirely? Also no. We're planning to shoot, and in a way that keeps our cast and crew as safe as possible. Yes, we have already shot some face masked scenes, which you can expect to see over the coming weeks. Depending on who we're shooting with, sometimes it will be necessary, and sometimes it won't.

Let us know your thoughts! Do our safety precautions sound good to you? Is there anything we haven't thought of? And how do you feel about the idea of face masks in spanking porn? Our first scene with masks comes out this weekend, and we look forward to hearing what you think!

Facemasks and COVID safety in spanking porn

It's coming...

After a quiet year, I have some big news.

Chelsea Poe and Blake in queer porn film Velvet Touch

I filmed this scene in March with queer porn stars Chelsea Poe and Courtney Trouble. Here's what I wrote after the shoot:

I’m stretching my creative wings again with some new queer porn collaborations. Last weekend I filmed a scene with Courtney Trouble and Chelsea Poe with me and Chelsea performing together, which was a dream come true. I have a massive porn crush on Chelsea and we had so much fun. Our scene was (of course!) very kinky and involved butch/femme dynamics, spanking, flogging, makeouts, Chelsea making me squirt everywhere with her fingers and tongue (she kept asking me to cum on her tits, which I’ve never done before - it was very horny) and me sitting on and fucking her face with my cock until we were both drenched in jizz. Chelsea had to hop in the shower afterwards to rinse my cum out of her hair. It was so great to connect with her and I hope we get to work together again.

Courtney, who was our videographer, was so great to work with and made everything super easy. They were warm, sweet and welcoming, delightfully enthusiastic about my gender expression, and helped me get over my nerves. I stopped getting regular pre-shoot anxiety ages ago, but it was a bit scary shooting with two porn icons whom I’ve admired from afar for years. I’m so so glad to have worked with them both and can’t wait to release the finished scene, which is a collaboration and will be distributed through QueerPorn.tv, Dreams of Spanking and other channels.

It's coming. And so are we...

Chelsea Poe and Blake in queer porn film Velvet Touch

Shooting in a cinematic style - the story behind our new film 'Houseboy'

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?

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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. 

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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. 

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

Houseboy - a new cinematic short fetish film by Dreams of Spanking

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.

In conclusion

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.

Real life couple caning - D and Pandora

If you've been following this site for a while, you might have noticed something missing. Although the archive is crammed with hot spanking videos, and many of them show me playing with real life partners and lovers (particularly my top of ten years, Thomas), one person has been conspicuous by their absence: my long-term boyfriend and dominant, D.

Real life couple D and Pandora indulge in erotic spanking at Dreams of Spanking Real life couple D and Pandora indulge in erotic spanking at Dreams of Spanking

D and I have created plenty of photosets together, but he's never topped me on video. As a dominant he is relaxed and spontaneous, and the idea of following a script, playing a character and pretending to scold and punish me isn't really him. He's an exhibitionist, but unlike me, he doesn't enjoy performing.

It's a point of principle for me as a director not to pressure anyone to do anything they aren't comfortable with. So we've always stayed within D's comfort zone, shooting occasional photosets that didn't make him feel like he was acting. Until now.

Now, there is a spanking video starring me and D on Dreams of Spanking - and with a 50 stroke cold caning, he certainly knows how to make an entrance.

50 cold cane strokes for Pandora Blake from her real life partner D

When I set up my fundraising campaign to raise money to help non-profit organisation Backlash challenge the new UK porn laws, D was behind me every step of the way. Our shared political values are one of the fundamentals of our relationship, and we've both always been active in politics in different ways. When I told him I needed someone to beat me on video to fight internet censorship, he was happy to step forward - no acting necessary.

This was the longest, hardest caning D has ever given me. Dishing out fifty hard cane strokes on film purely for the sake of it was never going to be his cup of tea - but as an act of political protest? Sure.

50 cold cane strokes for Pandora Blake from her real life partner D

Speaking of cups of tea, one of my favourite moments in this free caning film is jjust before stroke sixteen, when I insist on pausing the caning so I can finish my half-drunk cuppa. It turns out that taking fifteen hard cane strokes on the bare bottom is the perfect way to pass the time while you wait for your tea to cool to the ideal drinking temperature. What better pick-me-up to boost my spirits for the remaining strokes? This is a protest film about the new UK porn laws, after all - and I don't think there's any combination more British than tea and caning.

50 cold cane strokes for Pandora Blake from her real life partner D

I love the playfulness and affection between D and me in this video. We were both being ourselves, no roleplay, no characters, and watching it back the dynamic feels very true to our relationship. He doesn't usually watch my spanking videos, but he watched this one and chuckled his way through it at our banter and in-jokes. "It feels very us," he told me. "We're adorkable."

50 cold cane strokes for Pandora Blake from her real life partner D

If you've ever looked at my steamy photosets with D and felt curious about our relationship, and wanted to meet the man behind the pictures, watch this film. It's about as honest a portrait of the two of us as you can get.

Apart from the caning, of course. That bit's completely out of character.

50 cold cane strokes for Pandora Blake from her real life partner D

5 reasons why Dreams of Spanking is better than 50 Shades of Grey

There's no stopping the freight train that is 50 Shades of Grey. Since the film opened in cinemas this weekend, you can expect a million more articles about it from kinksters and non-kinksters alike dissecting the story, the acting, and above all the consent.

Naturally the book is pretty controversial. It's a fantasy scenario, sure, but as the 50 Shades juggernaut rolled on and more people read articles about how to 'do' BDSM like Christian Grey did, a lot more people started getting worried that, you know, perhaps this weirdly stalky, abusive lead character wasn't the best role model for people just beginning to explore their fantasies.

I've been told I'm wrong on this, so feel free to angrily disagree with me, but as a general rule I'm uncomfortable telling people what they can and can't fantasise about. And while 50 Shades is clearly not the template for a healthy relationship, I'm not going to stand outside the cinema with a placard telling people it's causing them harm. Erika Moen put it brilliantly:

“I have faith in people to understand that the fictional book they're reading is just a trashy two-dimensional fantasy to get their juices flowing and not the blueprints by which to construct their actual relationships.”

But while it's certainly not a template for real-life kink, it's definitely a handy comparator when identifying mistakes, and looking at how we can do real-life kink better. So without further ado, here are five ways in which Dreams of Spanking is a hell of a lot better than That Bloody Book.

1. We're way better at negotiating

There's surely nothing less sexy than Christian Grey's bizarre 'sex contract', with bullet points and legalese obscuring the hotness of the acts he wants to perform. Loads of people have pointed out that the idea of an irreversible, non-negotiable 'contract' is laughable in BDSM, and they're right – no one gets to claim you as their sub 'forever' or hold you to clauses once they've stopped being sexy for you. But on top of that, there are much better ways to negotiate what you want in a scene. Let's see what we've got...

How about this amazing kinky spanking scene starring Caroline Grey and Will Savage? After blagging their way into a fetish club, they realise they haven't a clue what they're doing. With subtle questions, gradual escalation, and some aroused feedback from Caroline, he escalates to a full-on, knickers-down, over the knee paddling. They both have an amazing – all while trying not to let on that this is the first time they've ever done it - and not a contract in sight.

Sweet and sexy first-time kink at Dreams of Spanking

Or perhaps this beautiful bit of negotiation between Nimue Allen and Andrew Shada? The pair are on their first date, and there's clearly a spark that will appeal to romance fans. Andrew's shyness and Nimue's encouraging requests for a spanking are both cute and incredibly relateable. If Nimue can ask her beau for what she wants, so can you.

2. It's all consensual

I mean, this one should really go without saying. But the point I mainly want to make here is that, because Dreams of Spanking fulfils fantasies via roleplay, it has a broad scope to enact darker fantasies in an ethical, consensual way.

Scenes that involve an abuse of power or a particularly severe thrashing are always published with behind the scenes interviews and discussion. 50 Shades doesn't come with a separate interview in which Christian and Ana talk about how his abusive behaviour was just play-acting, and so it's much harder to draw the line between which aspects of a fantasy are hot because you'd never want them to happen for real, and which are things you'd like to do in real life. At Dreams of Spanking, we're able to make that distinction clear.

Edgy tawse punishment fantasy brought to life at Dreams of Spanking

3. We switch it up

I read a lot of kinky erotica and watch a fair amount of porn, and one of the themes I often think about is the idea of roles. You play Christian Grey, I play Ana, and never the twain shall switch. But while there's certainly a place for strict roles that never waver, I love a bit of switching. Spanking someone who's going to spank you next adds a whole level of trust, as well as a frisson of sexy tension – if you spank them hard, are they going to get their own back? Not to mention a chance for some non-verbal negotiation as you show them exactly how you like it.

In 'Prove your Love' Michael Darling and Pandora Blake do one of the most balanced switch scenes I've ever seen, and in 'Beat the Recession', Nimue Allen and Sebastian Hawley take turns to spank each other on a money-saving celebratory night in. The best part of the second video, in my humble and pervy opinion, is when Nimue smacks both palms flat on Sebastian's beautifully-presented bottom.

Cute girls and boys spanking each other at Dreams of Spanking

4. Our romance is just more... interesting

Guy meets girl, guy wines and dines her, stalks her until she says yes and then they shag: as the premise of pretty much every mainstream romance ever, it's not exactly original. How about guy meets girl, girl gets a birch for Christmas and asks him to test it on her? Or perhaps guy meets girl, girl has hot fantasy about being a mistreated maidservant, and he surprises her on a Saturday morning by dressing up in period costume - and bringing a cane?

There's a time and a place for more traditional romance, of course – although you'll never see the “stalking is sexy” theme on Dreams of Spanking. One of my personal favourite photosets is Tangled With You – a stunning explicit gallery with Pandora and D being so hot and horny for each other it burns into every image. Which brings me neatly onto point five...

Real life couples in love and lust at Dreams of Spanking

5. Our cast has chemistry

A couple of people have told me disdainfully that Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson (who play Christian and Ana in the 50 Shades of Grey film adaptation) don't really like each other that much. I don't know if this is true – to be honest I think I'd struggle to spend months working with someone I didn't like, so I doubt it. On the other hand, perhaps they've been put under so much pressure to capture a 'spark' that they're sick of the sight of each other by now. Either way, there's an easy way to get around the 'chemistry' issue when you're shooting porn: find people who really fancy each other, and ask them what they really want to do.

Dreams of Spanking scenes and ideas come from all manner of places, but the most vital is the performer fantasy element. When the people acting in a scene can help shape it with their own kinks and desires, what comes through is inevitably going to be natural and hot.

A giggly pleasurable caning for Pandora Blake at Dreams of Spanking

A beautiful example of this is Pandora's giggly caning at the hands of Paul Kennedy (who, by the way, I have a gigantic crush on). Not only is it something she's specifically requested, but it's so clear from her sexy sighs and excited giggles that Paul's catering to a genuine and heartfelt desire. Likewise with the gorgeous double caning that she begs from Nimue Allen and Thomas Cameron – you can watch the bliss suffuse her face as she counts out the strokes with audible pleasure, and moans in delight when she gets a bottom rub in between whacks.

What's more, Dreams of Spanking shoots porn performer couples like David Weston and Talia Lane, who are together in real life as well as on camera. In scenes like our latest Valentine's Day spanking special David and Talia just can't hide their natural flirty dynamic. And why would we want them to?

Sensuous real couple switch spanking at Dreams of Spanking

In case you'd reached the end of this and hadn't realised, every single link above goes to a different Dreams of Spanking scene. If you watched each scene, that'd still be less than 5% of what's available on the entire site. So if you're eschewing the cinema this weekend, grab yourself a subscription and have a rummage through our archive. All our films are downloadable, so once you've got them they're yours to keep forever, and watch whenever you like!

I now have a huge crush on Zahra Stardust

If you’ve read Pandora’s updates from the Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto, you’ll already know a bit about Zahra Stardust. Sexual activist, champion pole dancer, and scorchingly hot porn star, Zahra’s been making waves all across the world. This year, she won ‘Heart Throb of the Year’ at the Feminist Porn Awards (very shortly after this shooting this scene, in fact!) and it’s clearly well deserved, because having been introduced to her through this orgasmic spanking film I have a massive crush on her myself. 

Click to view trailer for Spanking Zahra Stardust

Zahra Stardust is utterly gorgeous, with beautiful piercings, tattoos, hot pink hair and a delightfully filthy grin - dressed in sheer knickers and a pink latex microskirt, I can see why Pandora was so excited to take her over the knee.

She's not just a pretty face, but an exceptional activist too - she’s run for parliament three times in her home country of Australia, and is currently doing a PhD on pornography.

Zahra's mission is to change the world, one orgasm at a time. Through artistic porn depicting authentic queer sexuality and female pleasure, her work celebrates consent, bruises and bodily fluids, and self-deterministic representation. And in this spanking video, with a firm helping hand from Pandora, some slow and hard strokes with the strap, and her Hitachi Magic Wand, she does just that.

An orgasmic queer spanking for Zahra Stardust at Dreams of Spanking

I think one of the things I love most about Zahra is that when you watch her you get these amazing hot kicks of lust at each moment when she expresses pleasure. She’s never stoic or silent: she gasps and sighs with arousal, gripping the pillows tightly as the strap bites into her flesh, with blissful smiles and happy moans when she’s being pleasured in just the right way.

An orgasmic queer spanking for Zahra Stardust at Dreams of Spanking

This scene isn’t just a spanking (although of course there are plenty of opportunities to admire Zahra’s gorgeous bum as she gets spanked through sheer knickers and in just a tantalising pearl thong), it’s the build-up to an explicit and delicious orgasm. We get to watch Pandora squeeze and touch Zahra all over, see what she loves and how she reacts to the spanking sensations she was so curious about. And for those who - like me - enjoy a bit of consensual choking and breath play, the climax to Spanking Zahra Stardust is off the end of the hotness scale.

An orgasmic queer spanking for Zahra Stardust at Dreams of Spanking

Nude, sensual and giggly

Naked bisexual girls Mila Kohl and Pandora Blake enjoy sensual girl/girl spanking

Our recent scenes Caning Makes Me Giggle and Spanking Sensuality were shot one after the other, in that order. After her final film of the day (Caned Before Dinner) Mila had some lovely stripes, but was a little wiped out. I didn't want to pressure her to do another video straight away, so I volunteered my own bottom for a candid scene with Paul to give her a breather (entirely altruistic on my part - hated it), and afterwards she and I showed off our cane stripes in a sensual bedroom photoset.

Click to view trailer for Caning%20Makes%20Me%20Giggle

Caning Makes Me Giggle

I have recently bought a new cane I want to try, and I ask Paul for a taste of it. He is more than happy to oblige. I willingly bend over and lift my bottom for a hard, consensual beating that makes me giggle with pleasure.

I hope this fun little candid scene leaves you in no doubt that I really, truly love being caned - the harder the better.

Pandora Blake lifts her bottom for hard cane strokes at Dreams of Spanking

The cane I brought back from Atlantic City in April, courtesy of UK company Correction Collection. It has rapidly become my new favourite, especially when I'm on the receiving end. There's just something about the way it feels that is pure pleasure. It's long, thick, flexible and seems to wrap itself lovingly into my flesh with enough bite to make me jump, and enough thud to make me purr.

Pandora Blake lifts her bottom for hard cane strokes at Dreams of Spanking

Speaking of purring, aside from Paul's lovely topping the star of this scene is my cat Fatface, who occupies the foreground throughout with nose down and ears tilted back. She barely moves a muscle throughout the whole video, nor acknowledges the weird stuff the humans are getting up to behind her. Spanking Blog has written a hilarious analysis of my cat's reactions in this scene which I enjoyed hugely (spoiler: they are much less dramatic than mine).

Pandora Blake lifts her bottom for hard cane strokes at Dreams of Spanking Pandora Blake lifts her bottom for hard cane strokes at Dreams of Spanking

The truth is that sometimes, caning really does make me giggle - especially the rapid fire, all-at-once style which I request right at the end. I really enjoy making these out of character, “just because” films from time to time. They represent my real life more than my fantasy life. I will probably always fantasise about non-consent scenarios, but the consensual stuff is a much more honest representation of how I play with my real play partners 99% of the time. I think it’s important to give that a showing in porn as well as fantasyland. I hope that knowing that the strokes, the scenario, the emotions, the relationships and the reactions are all real makes the resulting video hot in a different way from a staged, fictional narrative.

Whatever your fantasy, the truth is that spanking can be, and usually is, conducted in a fun, safe way between consenting adults who find it physically pleasurable. Caning can make me yelp or cry or scream, but sometimes it makes me purr - and sometimes it makes me giggle.

Naked bisexual girls Mila Kohl and Pandora Blake enjoy sensual girl/girl spanking

We took the photos in Spanking Sensuality immediately afterwards, while my cane marks were still fresh. Sadly, Mila's had faded, and after examining the state of each other's bottoms I decided that hers needed a top-up, and took her over my knee.

Naked bisexual girls Mila Kohl and Pandora Blake enjoy sensual girl/girl spanking Naked bisexual girls Mila Kohl and Pandora Blake enjoy sensual girl/girl spanking

We go on to explore an unscripted and spontaneous exploration of sensual spanking for mutual pleasure. By this time Mila and I had been shooting together all day and had grown very comfortable with each other, as well as perhaps developing a bit of an attraction for each other. (Well, I can only speak for myself, but I had a good old crush). I have very fond memories of shooting this scene, and at the end of it I think all three of us were rather hot and flustered!

Naked bisexual girls Mila Kohl and Pandora Blake enjoy sensual girl/girl spanking
Naked bisexual girls Mila Kohl and Pandora Blake enjoy sensual girl/girl spanking

"Please don't, Miss!"

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:

Click to view trailer for Negotiation

Negotiation

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.

Molly over Pandora's Knee at Dreams of Spanking

These shades of green and pink do go together well, don't they?

Molly gets the paddle...

"Please don't, miss!" Pandora bends over for a demonstration of the principles of consensual non-c0nsent.

...And Pandora gets a bare-bottom tawsing.

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 feels the tawse.

Kitchen Punishment

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 is paddled in the kitchen. Pandora is paddled in the kitchen. Pandora is paddled in the kitchen. Pandora is paddled in the kitchen.

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!

Fake it 'til you make it

Our latest film is based on a scene from "Kinky" by Justine Elyot. I reviewed this erotic novella in January and enjoyed it very much, particularly the first spanking scene where the two main characters blag their way into the fetish club, and are challenged to prove that they are legitimate pervs and not tourists. It's an unusual premise for a first-time scene, and succeeds in being sweet, funny and hot all at once. I thought it would make an awesome spanking film.

Luckily, this is the age of the internet, and after Justine Elyot replied to my review on twitter, I asked her if she'd mind if we used her idea. She was kind enough to grant permission, and so we went ahead and filmed our version of 'Kinky during our shoot with Will, Caroline and Amelia in February.

Click to view trailer for Kinky

Will and Caroline walk past a mysterious building on their way to work, which often has people dressed in strange costumes coming in and out of it, carrying oddly shaped bags. They've always wondered what was inside, and one day adventurous Will decides to find out. He tells Caroline to meet him there in ten minutes, and together they manage to blag their way into Club Kinky.

However, there's a catch. Club owner Amelia is friendly and welcoming enough, but to ensure they're legit she asks some questions about "their dynamic". Will and Caroline's vague replies aren't enough to reassure her, and so she requests that they show her how they play. Suddenly the pair realise they are in way over their heads, but to save face, they decide to follow it through. They are suddenly forced to negotiate a kinky scene on the spot and play it out - for real - for the first time ever, in front of a very experienced total stranger. No pressure then!

Kinky starring Amelia Jane Rutherford, Caroline Grey and Will Savage - Dreams of Spanking Kinky starring Amelia Jane Rutherford, Caroline Grey and Will Savage - Dreams of Spanking

The more confident Will finds himself taking the lead, but how much does Caroline actually want to do this? When it comes to the world of kink, can you really fake it 'til you make it?

Kinky starring Amelia Jane Rutherford, Caroline Grey and Will Savage - Dreams of Spanking Kinky starring Amelia Jane Rutherford, Caroline Grey and Will Savage - Dreams of Spanking

We had a lot of fun shooting this one, as you can probably tell from these behind the scenes screengrabs:


I love Will's "cracking up" face in number 2.

The cast all gave superb performances in this. Ms Elyot herself seems pretty happy with the results, too! Will and Caroline really captured the sensitivity and intimacy of a couple trying kink for the first time, and I love their spontaneous negotiation and communication in this. The ever-delightful Amelia turns out some of the best comedy moments in the entire thing, and her kinky club owner is both amusingly stereotypical and sympathetic.

Kinky starring Amelia Jane Rutherford, Caroline Grey and Will Savage - Dreams of Spanking Kinky starring Amelia Jane Rutherford, Caroline Grey and Will Savage - Dreams of Spanking

The result is an entertaining, affectionate and very hot spanking scene, showing how in the process of pretending, two curious newbies discover they might be kinky for real.

'Kinky' is available to buy as an e-book for only 99p. If you enjoy this scene, I can highly recommend it.

Kinky starring Amelia Jane Rutherford, Caroline Grey and Will Savage - Dreams of Spanking

Strap-ons, birching, and spanking games

Well, I'm back from my week in the US, connecting with my kinky chosen family and getting up to all sorts of adventures at Boardwalk Badness Weekend. I have lots of spanking and travel-related stories to tell, and I'll be posting them over at my personal blog over the next few days.

Meanwhile Dreams of Spanking has been kept updated, with a video and a photogallery last week, and a brand new scene that I published from my hotel room in Atlantic City. We've got a mixture of new F/M and F/F scenes for you including sexy strap-on domination, historical birching, and a hilarious unscripted spanking card game.

On Your Knees has received a lot of positive attention so far, and it's not surprising when you consider that this photo gallery features the stunning Ten Amorette in red lipstick, high heels and a lacy dress that shows off her body to perfection.

On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette

Not only that, but this lesbian domination scene includes the riding crop, face slapping, and making Ten suck my big purple strap-on. Hot!

On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette
On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette
On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette

On Your Knees

Ten kneels on the bed wearing high heels and a dress that reveals more than it hides. Pandora caresses her body and teases her with her strap-on, smearing it across Ten's lips. When Ten refuses to suck it, Pandora slaps her face and shoves her over the end of the bed, then spanks her with her hand and lays on strokes with the whippy riding crop. Finally compliant, Ten accepts a kiss, and Pandora's cock.

A very sexy lesbian dominance and submission photo gallery starring two ladies with sizzling on-screen chemistry.

On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette
On Your Knees, starring Pandora Blake and Ten Amorette

In The Undergardener's Birching, Sebastian went well above and beyond the call of duty in the face of the English weather, lowering his underwear for 30 strokes of the birch on a cold bottom.

Click to view trailer for The Undergardener's Birching

The Undergardener's Birching

Spotted sneaking back below stairs after a night out drinking, a lowly undergardener is taken to task by the stern Housekeeper. He has disgraced the household, and the punishment that follows is no more than he deserves.

Braced against the trunk of a tree in the grounds where he works, Sebastian bares his bottom for 30 stinging strokes of the birch. By the end of this short, sharp film Sebastian's bottom is striped with vivid welts. A tantalising glimpse into the strict discipline of a bygone age.

The Undergardener's Birching, starring Pandora Blake and Sebastian Hawley The Undergardener's Birching, starring Pandora Blake and Sebastian Hawley
The Undergardener's Birching, starring Pandora Blake and Sebastian Hawley The Undergardener's Birching, starring Pandora Blake and Sebastian Hawley
The Undergardener's Birching, starring Pandora Blake and Sebastian Hawley

Running at only eight minutes long, this is a "short sharp shock" style punishment film, with some scolding and 30 stinging strokes of the birch, hard enough to draw blood, crammed into that timeframe. Sebastian had always wanted to try the birch and he took it manfully, but it was nearly freezing on an English December day and even we aren't sadistic enough to want to make the experience last any longer than necessary.

Afterwards we bundled him up nice and warm and he snuggled up on the sofa for some well-deserved recovery time.

The Undergardener's Birching, starring Sebastian Hawley - Behind the Scenes

Finally, our latest update Ring of Fire showcases likeminded switches Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and myself in a fun and frivolous spanking game that gets increasingly intense as the play goes on.

Click to view trailer for Ring%20of%20Fire

Ring of Fire

Join three likeminded switch ladies in high heels and 50s dresses for fun and frolics in this self-indulgent spanking card game. With four implements and 52 cards dictating the play at random, the result is an hour-long, candid, uncut, unscripted spankstravaganza! Includes a total of over 350 strokes of hand, tawse, strap and cane.

No-one watching this film can have any doubt that these three ladies just adore giving and receiving corporal punishment for the sheer joy of it.

Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake
Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake
Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake

The rules of the game are as follows: take a pack of cards, and spread them out in a circle. Choose four implements and assign each suit (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs) to an implement - in our case, hand, tawse, strap and cane. Take it in turns to draw a card, youngest goes first, and each turn the number of the card defines the number of strokes from the implement assigned to that suit.

Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake

Punishment is given by the player on your left, but when a Jack is drawn, this swaps to the person on your right, until another Jack is drawn. When you draw a Queen you remove an item of clothing. Aces are a "waterfall" - form a circle and the player whose turn it is starts spanking. The spanking is passed around the circle, and no-one can stop until the first player stops.

The first player to draw a King receives 6 strokes of the first suit (ie hand) from each player; the second King is 6 of the hand and 6 of the tawse from each player, the third King is 6 each of hand, tawse and strap, and the player who draws the final King receives 6 strokes of every implement from every other player.

Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake

We played with three of us, which meant we were all very active, both topping and bottoming - if you had more players you would get a longer rest between turns. But the more players you have, the more extreme the King cards become, so think carefully before starting a game of ten players!

The total play time was almost exactly 1 hour, and including the pre-game negotiation and after-game hugs, this film is an uninterrupted, uncut 71 minutes of non-stop spanking action, friendship and hilarity. We were totally sober but as the endorphines kicked in we all became high and giggly on spanking, and the game proved to be exactly the right length as by the end we could barely wield a cane!

If this sounds like fun to you, I can assure you that the reality is even more brilliant than you might imagine. There's no winning and no losing, just mutual give and take of spanking for the sheer joy of it. Round up some switchy mates and give it a try, we can highly recommend it. And if you do, stop back and leave a comment to tell us how it went.

Ring of Fire, starring Molly Malone, Nimue Allen and Pandora Blake

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