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On white dreads and cultural appropriation

Posted at 17:00 on 13 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Yesterday I retweeted a tweet about white people wearing dreadlocks. Specifically, it was from a sex worker of colour addressing white sex workers who accessorise their look with locks.

The tweet called this out as cultural appropriation, and I retweeted it in solidarity with the anti-racist sentiment it expressed. Unfortunately this seems to have triggered several defensive responses from white people - including some surprising hostility.

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Tags: anti-racism, Black hair, cultural appropriation, dreadlocks, racism, white supremacy

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Content roundup #1

Posted at 22:12 on 6 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Hello friends! If you follow my Twitter you'll know that I regularly post articles, pictures and videos around the place, and it's high time I started gathering it together on my blog each week to make it easier to find.

I'm writing my first book at the moment, and made big progress last week, writing 8000 words which brings me up to 20 000 in total - a fifth of the way towards my goal! If I can sustain this pace, the first draft will be finished in three months. I'm setting myself a grounded deadline of the end of the year, and I'm excited. It's taken me a while to gear up and get into flow with writing, but now I'm there, I don't want to stop.

Still, I've managed to lift my nose out of my manuscript long enough to post some content on my Patreon and fan club.

Keep reading »

Tags: book, content roundup, IWantFanClub, Patreon

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Welcome to the Mystic Hole

Posted at 11:02 on 4 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I'm honoured to have been asked to chair a panel after Queenie Bon Bon's next London performance, Welcome to the Mystic Hole.

Part comedy, part lecture, part consciousness-raising story-telling, 'Welcome to the Mystic Hole' is an exploration of one sex worker’s lived experience with the world of the body. How do we navigate the world when we feel our body is failing us? What do we store in the body and what do we release? How do we clean it off the rug? What shame do we hold when trying to give a nice rim job while one’s sweet hound watches? And why can’t we all be adult about adult industries? Inspiring, intriguing, tender and true, Queenie Bon Bon is your curious guide on an exploration of embodiment, and will take you deep within the wondrous wonders of the unique vessels we travel in.

Queenie is a dear friend, and her work is amazing - so fresh, real and fierce. I've seen her perform twice before and each time she makes me laugh, cry and rage against whorephobia. Her last performance in London introduced me to the English Collective of Prostitutes - one of their members stood up to speak about the need for decriminalisation, and distribute #pledgedecrim flyers. 

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Tags: English Collective of Prostitutes, events, panels, public speaking, Queenie Bon Bon, sex work, sex worker's rights, talks

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Radio AvA's 26th show: today, Fri 3rd August @ 6pm on www.radioava.org

Posted at 10:19 on 3 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Radio AvA: Sex Workers Radio

A show full of spritz from tropical London, with dispatches from Amsterdam and Bogotá.

On our bubbly list:

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Tags: politics, Radio AvA, sex work, sex worker's rights

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Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity at Housmans

Posted at 10:29 on 25 Jul 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I recently chaired a panel at Housman's Radical Booksellers in Kings Cross, discussing Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity. This was a bittersweet opportunity. The event had been devised by journalist and author Catherine Scott, author of Thinking Kink: The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture. Catherine had just finish her second book, To Deprave and Corrupt: Obscenity Battles in British Law and Culture

Catherine organised this panel to bring together feminist thinkers, sex workers and activists, to discuss the issues facing women around sex and obscenity today. It was with great sadness that I learned that Catherine suddenly passed away a couple of weeks before the event.

Her friends knew how much she had been looking forward to the panel, and how much it meant to her. They felt that these were important issues that deserved a platform, and they wanted to honour her memory by making sure it went ahead.

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Tags: Catherine Scott, censorship, feminism, gender politics, Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, law, obscenity, politics, porn, Zak Jane Keir

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New spanking shoot with Sarah Gregory and Triple A

Posted at 23:27 on 2 Jul 2018 by Pandora / Blake

How long has it been since I performed for a spanking site other than my own? I didn't realise it had been such a long gap. I've done a few shoots for new spanking clip producers - such as The Havering Collection, but I hadn't realised that it had been over four years since I had last worked for one of the big spanking subscription sites.

Normally I have a policy of not working on my birthday, but when Sarah Gregory said she was coming to the UK, one of my clients was determined to arrange a duo with us both. Sarah and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity, and spend some extra time together shooting for her site, and her fiancé John Osborne's site Triple A Spanking. Sadly, in the end the client was unable to make it for family reasons, and asked us to shoot him a custom video instead. So I got to spend my birthday at Dodgy Dave's Spank Towers, creating hot spanking scenes with Sarah and John, and shooting a custom for our client - which I decided just had to include a birthday caning for me!

Pandora Blake bends over for a birthday caning from Sarah Gregory

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Tags: cane, Dodgy Dave, hairbrush, John Osborne, nude, otk, photos, queer, Sarah Gregory, shoots, spanking, Triple A Spanking

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Do you want to join my fan club?

Posted at 19:00 on 31 May 2018 by Pandora / Blake

This is a promotional post - feel free to skip it if you don't want to give me money in exchange for cool stuff :)

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I'm a bit addicted to social media. I love sharing photos and updates about my life. Unfortunately, social media doesn't love sex workers like me.

Facebook and Instagram won't allow any explicit content at all (I've been Facebook banned several times - and in fact I'm currently serving another yet another 3 month YouTube ban for trying to promote Dreams of Spanking there through the medium of edited "worksafe" trailers). Tumblr doesn't let anyone see rude posts unless they're logged in and explicitly consent to seeing them. And Twitter - the last bastion of publically accessible adult social media - will soon be asked by the UK porn regulator to ban accounts that post porn unless they comply with the new age verification rules. In fact Twitter have already started shadowbanning sexy accounts, and deleting accounts that mention sex work, in the wake of FOSTA and SESTA, the horrifying new US laws that criminalise the promotion of sex work online.

Keep reading »

Tags: iWantFanClub

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BBFC told it isn't up to the challenge

Posted at 13:00 on 12 May 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Age verification has been hanging over us for several years now - and has now been put back to the end of 2018 after enforcement was originally planned to start last month.

I'm enormously encouraged by how many people took the opportunity to speak up and reply to the BBFC consultation on the new regulations.

  • Over 500 people submitted a response using the tool provided by the Open Rights Group, emphasising the need for age verification tech to be held to robust privacy and security standards. I'm told that around 750 consultation responses were received by the BBFC overall, which means that a significant majority highlighted the regulatory gap between the powers of the BBFC to regulate adult websites, and the powers of the Information Commissioner to enforce data protection rules.
  • The Open Rights Group also submitted a weighty response that offered a deep dive into the privacy and security risks of age verification.
  • Security expert Alec Muffett, who also sits on the Board of Directors of ORG, wrote this punchy response highlighting the discrepancy between the security protocol in place for credit card transactions, and the lack of security requirements for age verification tools - which collect far more sensitive data with no means of redress in the case of someone being publically outed.
  • Backlash submitted a tremendously forceful response emphasising the extraordinary risk to individuals' privacy, and holding the BBFC to account for preventing another "Ashley Madison" style hack of even greater magnitude - which would have devastating consequences for millions of UK adults.
  • As well as helping out behind the scenes with the ORG and Backlash responses, after talking through the issues with Myles Jackman I submitted a response on behalf of both of us, which attempts a thorough review of the freedom of expression, privacy and security risks of age verification. It goes into detail about the impact of the policy on low traffic porn sites and independent sex workers, and the lack of credible evidence supporting age verification.

I'm delighted to hear that many other notable community members including Professor Clarissa Smith and Vex Ashley submitted responses which no doubt add their own forceful arguments against the implementation of age verification in its current form. I wanted to highlight a couple of exceptional responses from individuals which were shared publicly.

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, Backlash, BBFC, consultation, Myles Jackman, Open Rights Group

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Behind the scenes with intimate.io

Posted at 14:16 on 9 May 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I've been featured in a behind the scenes interview by the folks at intimate.io. Intimate is a new cryptocurrency explicitly designed for the adult industry. Click through to the interview to find out how I got started in the adult industry, my favourite thing about it and the biggest myth about the industry I'd like to dispel.

Read on to the end of this post to read a quick explainer about cryptocurrency, what intimate is and why I think it's a good idea.

Keep reading »

Tags: cryptocurrency, interview, intimate

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Response to the BBFC consultation on age verification

Posted at 08:00 on 24 Apr 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I sent a response to the BBFC consultation on their draft guidance on age verificationon behalf of myself and obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman.

Table of Contents

  • Do you agree with the BBFC's Approach as set out in Chapter 2?

    • Child protection

    • The scope of the legislation

      • Out-dated classification guidelines
      • “Frequently visited”
      • Extreme pornographic material
      • Indecent images of children
    • Right of Appeal

    • Sanctions and disproportionality

    • Impact on low-traffic websites

      • Financial impact
      • Lack of technical resources
      • Social benefits of online sexuality communities
      • Impact on diversity and freedom of expression
      • Proposals
    • Impact on independent sex workers

  • Do you agree with the BBFC's Age-verification Standards set out in Chapter 3?

    • Privacy “recommendations” are unenforceable

    • Risk of social exclusion

    • Collection and retention of data

      • Conflict of interest
      • Risks associated with data breaches
      • Lack of redress
  • Do you have any comments with regards to Chapter 4?

    • Insufficient security standards

      • PCI-DSS
      • PAS 1296
      • Data protection
    • Regulatory oversight

    • Conclusion

Click here to read the full consultation response.

Keep reading »

Tags: age verification, AgeID, BBFC, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, ICO, MindGeek, Myles Jackman, privacy, security, sex worker rights

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