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The wrong kind of pain

Posted at 16:49 on 21 Jul 2017 by Pandora Blake

My laser hair removal appointment was meant to be yesterday afternoon, but had to be postponed after my train stalled at a platform halfway there due to a track fault, and we had to disembark. I was grateful to be able to reschedule the appointment rather than lose it, but the delay did have one unwelcome consequence.

Before my appointment yesterday, I made sure to do a close shave of all the relevant areas. The heat from the laser is transmitted down the length of hair to burn out the follicle, so you need to shave beforehand to prevent burns - if the hair is too long, it will have more time to heat up and will hurt a lot more. Today, I have a light dusting of 24 hour stubble - barely visible, but more than enough to make me wince as the laser passed over it.

I love being smooth, but I hate sting!

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Tags: laser

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Tantra Punk podcast

Posted at 15:28 on 19 Jun 2017 by Pandora Blake

Tantra Punk logoI love recording audio. Since I haven't found time yet to record my own podcast series, I welcome the chance to appear on other peoples'.  Tantra Punk is a podcast devoted to sexual liberation, healing and empowerment, with a new episode released every week or so. He interviews a fascinating range of individuals, from shamans to social workers. I spent an hour talking to him on Skype, and our chat is now available on his site.

We talked about what it means to be a queer feminist porn producer, my ethos behind making films and creating Dreams of Spanking, my fight with ATVOD, the Digital Economy Bill campaign, age verification, what ethical porn means to me - especially when it comes to performer's rights - and lots more. Do have a listen!

Tags: activism, audio, digital economy bill, feminist porn, interviews, podcasts

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Dear Dreams of Spanking.... an announcement

Posted at 14:00 on 7 Jun 2017 by Pandora Blake

I've recently made some decisions about the future for me and for Dreams of Spanking.

'We've been together a long time. It's been six and a half years since you opened for business, and I was working and planning for two years before that. You are a labour of love, and before ATVOD came calling, you were a pleasure. I was passionate about you and preferred you to any other project. But under the present circumstances the weight of obligation is growing increasingly heavy'. 

Read the full blog here

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Tags: ATFOD, Digital Economy Bill, Dreams of Spanking, kink activism

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Sex work decriminalisation news

Posted at 21:23 on 6 Jun 2017 by Pandora Blake

It's two days until the UK general election, and the English Collective of Prostitutes have organised a drive to write to MPs and party candidates urging them to support the decriminalisation of sex work. Austerity, benefit sanctions and rising poverty are forcing more people into prostitution, particularly women and mothers. The UK's prostitution laws make it harder for sex workers to stay safe. People who lack other options shouldn't be penalised for making the best choices they can to survive and feed their families. When our government is letting down people with disabilities and mental health problems, defunding and selling off the NHS, cutting welfare and funding to public services, more of those people are likely to turn to sex work as a last resort - and the UK's deeply unjust prostitution laws make it illegal for sex workers to support each other to stay out of harm's way. I've just filled out the form to email my candidates, it's a model letter and only takes a minute or two.

It's too late for them to write back before the election, but it's not too late to take the opportunity to make candidates aware of this issue - and put pressure on whichever of them gets elected to support the recommendation of the Home Affairs Select Committee to decriminalise prostitution. If you have any time today or tomorrow, please take a second to contact your candidates and put sex work decriminalisation on their agenda. 

The ECP have also finally released the evidence report from their parliamentary symposium on sex work law at the House of Commons, which took place in November 2015. I was there; it was an amazing day that brought together academics, activists and sex workers from all over the world to to give evidence on the social and health impact of prostitution laws. It delves into the real world consequences of the criminalisation of clients (the Nordic model), full criminalisation as in the US, and full decriminalisation (the New Zealand model). It's an amazing resource which is available in the parliamentary archives for MPs to access - if you email your MP using their lobbying tool the link is included to encourage them to have a read. Do take a look and educate yourself, there's a lot of misinformation about sex work but once you look at the evidence it's really clear. 

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Tags: decriminalisation, English Collective of Prostitutes, politics, sex workers' rights, SWARM

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A new conversation about 'ethical porn'

Posted at 17:26 on 12 May 2017 by Pandora Blake

I'm really pleased to be featured on a newly-launched site, ethical.porn, a fantastic timely addition to the conversation about the politics of porn production - click here to read my contribution. This is a really important issue to me: as a producer and director my production ethos is always performer-centric, and prioritises transparency, explicit performer consent, and equal pay for equal work. My work as a performer has informed my politics about porn working conditions and I hope that even when I'm directing, I still see things from a performer's perspective.

I look forward to following the conversation - there are some fantastic contributions on the site, including by feminist porn pioneers such as Shine Louise Houston and Ms Naughty. I hope this will have some influence on the often overly simplistic mainstream and feminist discourse about porn, and complicate the standard takes on the issue with some much needed nuance and critical thinking.

The mission statement of the site is as follows:

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Tags: decriminalisation, ethical porn, fairtrade porn, feminist porn, politics, porn, sex worker rights, working conditions

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BREAKING: Digital Economy Act 2017 receives Royal Assent

Posted at 18:05 on 29 Apr 2017 by Pandora Blake

I'm told that a grand total of 13 MPs showed up to the House of Commons vote on the Digital Economy Bill. If so, it's a pretty damning indictment of the democratic process. Rushing to get legislation through before Parliament recesses for the election campaign, a total of 21 Acts of Parliament received Royal Assent yesterday - and the newly minted Digital Economy Act 2017 was one of them.

After it was passed by the Commons, the Bill bounced back to the House of Lords for final consideration. I've only skimmed the transcript of the debate  so far, but as far as I can tell there were no substantive changes to Section 3, covering age verification for online porn.

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Tags: age verification, Digital Economy Bill, in the news, politics, porn

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Talking to ORG London about age verification

Posted at 20:00 on 28 Apr 2017 by Pandora Blake

A few of you expressed interest in the Open Rights Group talk on the Digital Economy Bill and age verification with myself and Myles Jackman the other week, but couldn't make it. Well, I'm pleased to announce that the whole event was recorded and the video is now available to watch:

The event was hosted at Newspeak House, a political community space dedicated to helping technologists improve the way that we make collective decisions as a country. It has regular communal meals and there's lots going on, so if you can get to Bethnal Green and this sounds like your cup of tea, I recommend looking it up.

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Tags: age verification, Digital Economy Bill, events, Myles Jackman, Open Rights Group

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How the Digital Economy Bill will affect sex workers

Posted at 12:00 on 27 Apr 2017 by Pandora Blake

I'vee uploaded a new video to my YouTube channel, explaining in succinct and simple terms how the UK's forthcoming Digital Economy Bill and age verification for online porn will affect sex workers both in the UK and overseas. If you publish adult content (still images or video) online and receive any income from doing so, this will affect you. Please watch and share!

Videos like this are made possible by my Patreon supporters - if you want to help me create more free-to-access public resources like this about UK porn censorship, obscenity law or any other issues, please donate - even $1 a month is valuable, and every penny adds up to time I can spend campaigning on behalf of our community.

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Tags: age verification, Digital Economy Bill, politics, porn, sex worker rights

 

The final shape of the Digital Economy Bill

Posted at 18:37 on 18 Apr 2017 by Pandora Blake

Since the Digital Economy Bill passed to the House of Lords a few months ago, I’ve been following its progress closely. I’ve also been doing my best to intervene in the amendment of the Bill by lobbying the Lords - specifically, sending out a briefing on behalf of Backlash after the second debate, before the Bill was discussed in committee. Each time any transcripts have been published, I’ve read them - and started writing blogposts about each stage of the debate. But I’m not a lawyer, and the passage of a Bill through Parliament is a dense legislative process. Honestly, it’s taken all of my capacity to read, digest and comprehend the Hansard transcripts; I didn't also manage to write succinct, accessible reports on the changes as they happened.

I'm going to have to ditch those half-written drafts now, because the Lords have voted on their final amendments to the Bill, and passed it back to the House of Commons for approval. Section 3 on age verification for online porn has changed in some significant ways. In theory there is still the opportunity for MPs to disagree with the changes and propose amendments of their own; bills can be passed back and forth between the Houses until agreement is reached. But realistically, with a General Election just having been announced for 8 June, it's very unlikely that there will be time for an extended game of legislative ping pong. It's much more likely that the Bill will be rushed through in wash-up without any further changes. So this draft is probably the final shape of the forthcoming Digital Economy Act 2017.

I’ve spent a couple of days reading up on the Lords committee report and third debate, and I think I understand them as well as I’m going to. So here’s my overview of the final shape of the Digital Economy Bill.

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Tags: age verification, BBFC, classification, cybersecurity, Digital Economy Bill, extreme porn legislation, lobbying, online harassment, privacy, prohibited content, slut-shaming, young people

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Follow me on Instagram!

Posted at 10:00 on 7 Apr 2017 by Pandora Blake

Follow me on Instagram!

Last month you may have noticed a new link which appeared in my sidebar: I started an Instagram! I'm really interested in a medium based around images and am enjoying the focus on the visual; it's a combination of pictures from my trips, activism and events, selfies, and of course some glamour and spanking shots.

Of course like so many social media sites (*cough* Facebook *cough*) Instagram doesn't allow nudity, so that means I have to be judicious in my selections of exactly which spanking shots to share - no pictures of bare buttocks or nipples. However I think I manage to navigate it quite well. Do feel free to follow me at @pandorablake - there's also a new @dreamsofspanking account - and let me know what you think!

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Tags: instagram, social media

 

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