New posts every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday!

Zoe Montana at Shadow Lane

I’ve been to a couple of different American spanking parties now, but I still haven’t made it to the longest-running and best known of all – Shadow Lane, run by the good folks who operate the spanking production company of the same name. The 2014 Shadow Lane spanking party is this coming weekend, Aug 26-31, at a casino hotel in Las Vegas. Eve Howard writes:

Part of the magic of being into an esoteric fetish is that it allows otherwise ordinary people to engage together in what are, by our lights, glamorous and exciting activities. Movie stars at Cannes don’t have more fun than cute girls in plaid skirts at spanking balls. It isn’t possible to be more excited than a spanking enthusiast is at the prospect of meeting someone they’ve been corresponding with for months and finally playing out a fantasy scenario with them, either one on one or with an audience. Actually getting to play, after dreaming about playing one’s whole life, is everything.

There is certainly something magical about the big US spanking parties. The sheer scale of them is both exhilarating and validating. When you’re among hundreds of over spanking enthusiasts in a big, glitzy venue, with lunches and balls and cocktail parties scheduled, it’s hard to feel alone – or as if your tastes are something to be ashamed of.

I’m hoping to be able to experience Shadow Lane for myself sometime, but meanwhile I wanted to give a plug to my friend Zoe Montana who will be there this year. Zoe is flying all the way from Australia to attend the party – no mean effort given it feels like she only just got home from Boardwalk Badness! Clearly she had so much fun that she can’t wait to experience the delights of a big US spanking party a second time. It’s a long way to come when you don’t know many people on the scene – I hope that all the Shadow Lane partygoers reading this will give her a very warm welcome.

Zoe Montana - traditional English discipline

While at the party, Zoe is offering private 121 spanking sessions to help fund her travel costs. If you are considering booking playtime with a professional at Shadow Lane, I can’t think of anyone better. Zoe is an accomplished switch who feels equally at home on the top or on the bottom, and she administers a spanking as well as she gives one. She spent years playing on the English spanking scene before she moved back to Australia, and is ferociously accurate with the cane as well as leather, wood and other CP implements.

Relaxed, funny, a brilliant roleplayer – Zoe has charm and warmth enough to put anyone at ease. You might not have considered paying a professional for spanking play before, but it’s worth doing: when you are paying, you are 100% the focus of the session, with your fantasies, needs and desires taking priority. The negotiation and compromise of playing with someone you meet at a party can lead to rewarding scenes, and I recommend doing that too, but it takes time and effort, and you may well end up servicing your playmate’s kink rather than getting your own needs met. Just like it’s nice to pay for a massage from time to time, there are few things more self-indulgent than hiring an experienced professional to bring your fantasy to life and blow your mind.

Zoe Montana - traditional English discipline

Zoe loves being spanked and is well-known as a bottom, and she is a fun and witty roleplayer. But I have to give my personal vote of confidence to her expertise as a domme. Zoe is one of my favourite tops, and one of the few people on the planet I trust enough to submit to. She is equally at home giving a strict telling off, a judicial punishment or a sensual pleasure spanking. You can see us playing together at Dreams of Spanking – I think this scene is probably my favourite, but there are plenty of hot moments to whet your appetite.

Of course, if you can’t choose between sub or domme, you could always book her for a switch session and enjoy the best of both worlds!

Zoe Montana - traditional English discipline

I wish I was able to join Zoe at Shadow Lane this year, but I’ve told her she has to have extra fun for me, and spank and get spanked enough for both of us. I’ll be helping D celebrate his birthday while you’re all having fun in Vegas, but I look forward to reading all the blog reports from the party next week. In the meantime, if you’re going to Shadow Lane and see Zoe around, please do say hi!

Loving discipline with James and Korey Johnson

My Sweet Wife - loving discipline with Korey Johnson and James Johnson at Northern Spanking

While I was staying in Los Angeles with Alex and Paul I was privileged to be present on Korey and James Johnson’s first ever spanking shoot. James and Korey are a scene couple whom I have really enjoyed getting to know at spanking parties in the US over the last few years. They are married with a real life domestic discipline dynamic, in which James uses spanking and other forms of corporal punishment to correct Korey if she breaks an agreement they have made, or acts in a way that is detrimental to her own wellbeing.

Neither James nor Korey had ever appeared in a spanking video, although they both certainly have the looks for it. However they are both exhibitionists and scene players who have played a lot at spanking parties, and who both find the experience of playing in front of an audience to be very exciting. Although neither of them is interested in making spanking videos professionally, they decided that they would be interested in trying it together for the sake of the experience.

The scene was based on a real life incident in which Korey had been instructed to take her medication according to a certain schedule, and failed to do so. As a disciplinarian James is firm but fair, with a strong nurturing streak, calling his young wife pet names and terms of endearment even as he punishes her. This is loving discipline at its most authentic.

My Sweet Wife - real life discipline with Korey Johnson and James Johnson at Northern Spanking

Korey is adorable – I’ve thought so for a long time anyway, but she’s particularly so in this film, initially trying to wriggle her way out of trouble by making cute remarks, then gradually surrendering to James’ authority. When James tells her to undress she is deliciously vulnerable, standing shyly before him, naked and pleading.

As James begins his solid, implacable hand spanking, quickly pinkening her bottom while calmly scolding her all the while, she is clearly trying to be obedient but can’t help whimpering and protesting. Korey is a wriggler, and she squirms beautifully over her husband’s knee, her body reacting involuntarily to the pain. But James knows how to keep her in position – and with firm hands and, eventually, a leg lock, he holds her in place until he considers her to be well punished and truly sorry.

My Sweet Wife - real life discipline with Korey Johnson and James Johnson at Northern Spanking

This is a beautiful representation of a real life loving discipline dynamic, and James and Korey are a pleasure to watch. The full film is now available at Northern Spanking, and it’s well worth a look – especially since it might be the only spanking film James and Korey ever make.

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Sinful Sunday – pleasuring Zahra

For this week’s Sinful Sunday I wanted to share a sexy moment from a very special film which I shot at the Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto this April. I opened the video to capture a screengrab from one of my favourite bits – but I ended up with so many amazing captures I couldn’t choose just one.

Zahra Stardust is one of the coolest porn stars on the planet – Australian pole dance champion, Penthouse Pet and political candidate for the Australian Sex Party – for House of Representatives, Senate, and for Lord Mayor of Sydney. She is a performer/producer of queer ethical porn, an activist, artist and she is studying for a PhD on pornography. An awesome woman and it was a huge pleasure to meet her.

In this collaborative film she expressed her curiosity about spanking… and confessed that she also loved to have her bottom punched and squeezed. Here I am after giving her a luxurious over the knee pleasure spanking and leather strapping, pummelling her perfect dancer’s bottom while she brings herself to orgasm with the Hitachi.

Explicit queer porn - Pandora Blake spanking and punching Zahra Stardust while she brings herself to orgasm
Explicit queer porn - Pandora Blake spanking and punching Zahra Stardust while she brings herself to orgasm Explicit queer porn - Pandora Blake spanking and punching Zahra Stardust while she brings herself to orgasm
Explicit queer porn - Pandora Blake spanking and punching Zahra Stardust while she brings herself to orgasm

Click on the photos to enlarge. You can watch this queer, feminist porn film – celebrating genuine, kinky female pleasure – at Dreams of Spanking and The Explicit Diary of Zahra Stardust. This film was a collaboration between me, Zahra and Ms Naughty, and will also shortly be available at Bright Desire.

Sinful Sunday

Erotic magic (expand, contract)

Annie Sprinkle: the Neo-Sacred Prostitute

It’s too hot for spanking sessions. London in the summer means hot tubes, buses, crowds and sweat. I love the heat if I can spend the day in my cool flat with the patio doors open, or out in the open air, but public transport and busy streets are pretty unpleasant.

The heat makes me lazy. Getting up in the morning before a day of domme sessions, I feel flat and lethargic. It’s a deliberate effort to psych myself up, find my toppy mojo. My usual pre-work grooming rituals help me get into a work headspace – showering, shaving my body hair even if it won’t be visible. An elegant summer dress, matching jewellery, and I feel more prepared to face the world. Presence is assembled slowly, layer by layer.

For me it’s the downtime before work that helps me find my focus – the meditative calm of washing, brushing, dressing, packing my implements. It takes time to muster erotic energy; if I was trying to answer emails or edit video up until the last minute I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Since learning the language of conscious kink this year, I’ve been inspired to introduce certain aspects of my private practice into professional sessions. I’m agnostic/atheist/humanist these days, but in my late teens and early twenties I learned a lot of ritual magic. I’m starting to discover how valuable the skills of grounding and centering, energy manipulation, breath, creating a ritual space and establishing intention can be to mindful spanking play. If I have a client who seems distracted, nervous, self-conscious or not fully present for whatever reason, I can use ritual to bring them into their body and help them open up to me.

I have lots to learn, I know, but even making it up as I go along using my old tantric and neo-pagan knowledge seems to be remarkably effective. A ritual of deliberate embodiment lays the groundwork for unexpected intimacy and erotic connection. It hasn’t failed me yet.

After a session like this, even after taking the time to wind down and disperse the energy, I leave the venue glowing with erotic magic. I walk down the street feeling like I’m floating, like I’m ten foot tall, as if light was shining out of my pores. I feel expanded, wide open, alert to every spark of sexuality. I am hyper-aware of every physical presence I pass in the street. Lust flares as I step towards someone, gaze at them, walk by. Brief moments of eye contact with strangers feel like tiny electric shocks.

Then I remember: this is London, the city of overcrowding and metropolitan blindness and never making eye contact, the city where you have to draw yourself so effectively within the boundary of your own skin that pressing sweaty physical contact with strangers on the tube doesn’t feel intrusive. This is the city where if you were to lie in bed and open your awareness up and out over the streets, rising up as you grow aware of every consciousness flickering below, you would quickly be overwhelmed by the intensity and volume of that many sapient beings squeezed in together and working living eating talking shouting dancing fucking puking running playing laughing crying singing swearing all on top of each other, in dozens of different languages, all the time.

This is the city where you close yourself up, look down, walk on by. It is not a place to walk down the street in rush hour broadcasting sexual energy like a beacon, with your receptors wide open, trailing long feelers of erotic magic that curl outward towards passers-by in search of openings and connections. That is not appropriate metropolitan behaviour.

So I reel it all back in, pull it down and button up the edges. I breathe out, deflate, close the shutters and contract. It takes an hour or so to tuck in every last tendril, but once I’ve finished drawing my energies back into my body and dimming the intensity to usual human operating levels, I’ve settled back down to my normal mundane self. Back to normal, like a good little city-dweller. Until next time.

Hyperkinks: scandalous literature, feminist porn and sex positivity

Kink

  • On Thursday I was lucky enough to be present at my friend Nimue Allen‘s most intense, ambitious scene yet – a forced headshaving fantasy incorporating psychological torture, betrayal, degredation, cold caning, belly punching, water torture and more. It was an ultra-small crew, just me, Nimue, her top (The Boss), and one other camera operator (her partner Rosie), which made the whole thing very intimate. It was one of the most electrically intense BDSM scenes I have ever taken part in, and I was honoured to hold space and bear witness as Nimue pushed herself to her limit.

Nimue Allen before her forced headshaving scene - photo by Pandora BlakeNimue Allen after her forced headshaving scene - photo by Pandora Blake
Twelve cold cane strokes for Nimue Allen from Pandora Blake

Porn

Daily Male Objectification on tumblr

Politics

  • It’s official guys, casual sex IS good for you, according to new study. “When it came to those who were sociosexually unrestricted, having casual sex was associated with higher self-esteem and life satisfaction and lower depression and anxiety.”
  • Some good stuff in this post Identifying As Sex Positive. “To really understand the term sex-positive, it needs to be contextualized in the history of sexual characterization.”
  • A fantastic post from queer porn star Chelsea Poe: Realness. “Like it or not porn is the biggest place in our society where trans people are visible.”
  • A few days ago it was the anniversary of the death of Petite Jasmine, a swedish sex worker who was murdered last year. Social services had taken her children away several years previously because she was a sex worker. Custody was given to her abusive ex who threatened and stalked her on numerous occasions, and refused to let her see her children. After four lengthy trials she finally won the right to access her kids again but she had to interact with her ex in order to do so. He killed her in front of her son. This is a really good post on what happened to Jasmine and why the “Swedish model” is so harmful to sex working women and their families: The Bloody State Gave Him The Power: A Swedish Sex Worker’s Murder.
  • The French Senate Select Committee have recently voted criminalisation of clients out of the bill that will be presented to the French Senate. I hope that other countries follow suit and reject the failed “Swedish model” and follow the lead of New Zealand and New South Wales in adopting the only human rights based approach to sex work: full decriminalisation.

Naturism and public nudity

I am basically a naturist at heart. One of my favourite things to do in London is visit Rio’s, the nudist sauna in Kentish Town. Sitting with friends in the hot tub, chatting with a random cross-section of other Londoners in a completely diverse, body-positive environment. Working up a sweat in a the sauna, then taking a skinny dip in the plunge pool to cool down. If it’s nice out, naked sunbathing in the garden with a cuppa tea and a biscuit – and even better, the tea and biscuits are free.

Pandora Blake - art nude in ivy. Photo by Paul Crusier

I love fetish clubs not only because of the handy dungeon furniture, cool outfits and interesting people, but because they are one of the few nightclubs where I’m allowed to indulge myself and get naked when I start getting hot and sweaty on the dancefloor. The other weekend Ivy and I enjoyed a topless dance at Club Decadence and the grins on our faces told the whole story. It’s not just about feeling sexy or getting attention – although I’d be lying ifI claimed that wasn’t at least part of it. But it’s mostly about the liberated feeling of being able to enjoy my body without shame, without being told to cover up, to “put it away”.

Last week I had a new experience: my first trip to a naturist club. This particular one was like a small village of chalets and cottages surrounded by little gardens, mostly occupied by retired hippies, with a clubhouse, swimming pool and communal lawns in the middle, including a kids’ playground. I didn’t realise it when we were planning the trip, but it happened to be the place fellow spanking blogger Fred is staying at the moment, so I got the insider tour complete with gossip and secluded little pathways (although we missed the naked beekeepers). There is something so freeing about walking around outdoors wearing only a pair of flipflops, feeling the sun and the wind on your skin, naked sunbathing and swimming. On a nice warm day in summer, that is. I imagine it’s less fun during the winter.

Pandora Blake - nude body art at summer solstice

I recently had a little midsummer party at my house and at one point (no idea how that happened) I ended up totally nude with everyone drawing on me with washable markers. I started it – actually thinking back, I believe I announced that everyone had to sign my body, much in the manner of a bossy child.

For some reason nudity just feels right at festivals like the solstice. I was delighted when I glimpsed one of my guests – a certain Seani – indulging in some solo naturism in the garden under cover of darkness. I joined him briefly, but it was chilly out there at 3am.

When a group of us went back outside for a ritual after the sun had risen, we were all fully dressed. My garden is overlooked and I don’t want neighbours to start phoning the police and complaining about public indecency.

Seani Love naked in Pandora Blake's garden at summer solstice

That’s the thing – in the UK, nudity (or even toplessness, if you’re female) is illegal in public, and “public” includes private property if it is visible to others. Indoor private spaces are fine, and outdoor private spaces are fine if no-one can see you – like the high-walled city garden at Rio’s, or a five-acre privately owned space like the naturist club. But most people in the crowded UK can’t afford gardens like that – or if we can, the necessary high walls mean they barely get any sun – and so outdoor nudity is a risky business.

It’s not only the risk of being caught. Consent is important. My whole lifestyle pushes against the edges of social acceptability, all the time -as a queer, a pervert, a relationship anarchist, a pornographer, a sex worker. I’m constantly trying to judge when I should do what I want (if my kissing a woman in public makes you uncomfortable then you can fuck off and take your homophobia with you) and when I should be discreet (if you’d rather I didn’t talk about sex in front of your kid/boss/vanilla friend, well, that’s fair enough).

The way I see it, if you have voluntarily entered a body-positive, sex-positive or kink-positive space, that implies consent to be exposed to a certain amount of bodies, sex or kink. However, if you are simply going about your business in public, you have not consented to be exposed to those things. Generally speaking, I want to be polite to strangers I pass in the street, and not make them uncomfortable by being overtly kinky, sexy or naked in front of them. When someone’s taking their kids to school or just trying to get home from work I it would be the height of rudeness for me to intrude on their boundaries by being overtly sexual in public.

Even within naturist spaces, there are boundaries. The outdoor nudist club had a posters up at reception saying “no overt sexuality”, and if you just want to hang out and be naked at Rio’s, you’re continually having to defend your space against guys trying ineptly to sex it up. Whether being naked is innately sexual or not is a hugely messy question, and even for naturists the lines are often blurred.

So it’s a conundrum. I wish public nudity was more acceptable in our culture, and that exposed flesh wasn’t interpreted as being inherently sexualised. But I also have to live in this society and not be an ass, so since nudity isn’t generally acceptable I don’t want to be totally selfish about it and make people uncomfortable.

This is my big theme at the moment as a gender and sexuality activist – those little judgements we constantly make about the comfort levels of others. If you are made uncomfortable by gender non-conformism I don’t feel the need to take your comfort into account, but if you are made uncomfortable by displays of public kink, well, maybe that’s fair enough, you know? I don’t want to indulge in sexy or kinky behaviour in front of you unless you’ve consented. Everyone draws that line in a different place and I get it wrong more often than I like. But when you live on the edge, making choices – and art – that seek to expand the boundaries of social acceptability, it sort of comes with the territory.

When D and I laid out blankets in my garden for a blissful afternoon nap in the sun, we carefully covered up the areas of our bodies deemed unacceptable for public exposure by society and the law. That’s just the way it has to be. I’d rather sunbathe naked, but it is what it is.

And then a campaign like #FreetheNipple comes along, demonstrating how arbitrary, sexist and ludicrous the taboo against female nipples is, and I remember that it doesn’t have to be this way. In some countries female toplessness is perfectly legal, nudist beaches and baths are common. Cultural mores are not carved in stone. Perhaps legalising female toplessness is within our grasp. Perhaps we can change this, after all.

href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/24/tata-top-free-the-nipple-campaign_n_5525668.html">Free the Nipple campaign

New feminist porn: ‘Instructed’

I made a film, and I’m pretty damn excited about it.

Instructed: an explicit new film by Ms Naughty and Pandora Blake

‘Instructed’ is a collaboration between me and Ms Naughty, which was filmed at the Feminist Porn Awards this year. The shoot was attended by a BBC journalist – and that wasn’t the only way this was a new experience for me. This is my most explicit video to date, exploring themes of remote dominance, anal eroticism, solo spanking and female masturbation.

I’ve written before about how I came up with the idea of keeping D’s instructions a secret, and reading – and obeying – them live on camera. If you haven’t read them already, you can find out more about the shoot in my blogposts Submissive solo shoot with Bright Desire and What will I be told to do? I’m really glad that D got involved so closely with the shoot – both in writing orders for me to follow, and in recording himself reading his instructions for me to use as a voiceover. The result is an intimate, erotic film which is as fresh and exciting for me as it was on the day of the shoot.

Instructed: an explicit new film by Ms Naughty and Pandora Blake

Instructed: an explicit new film by Ms Naughty and Pandora Blake

Ms Naughty and I shared the footage, but we each worked on our own edit, creating two unique perspectives on the story. You can watch her take on the film at her feminist hardcore site Bright Desire, and mine at Dreams of Spanking. If you watch both I would be really interested in hearing your feedback, as we will be collaborating on a joint version which we can submit to future film festivals. (Having finished hers before the deadline, Ms Naughty has already submitted her cut to the Berlin Porn Film Festival on behalf of both of us, which is awesome of her.)

After finishing my edit I was so impatient to show D. When I read his letter live on camera, feeling myself smile and blush when I read the filthy things he had ordered me to do, I felt self-conscious not because the cameras were rolling, but because I knew that he would eventually watch my face as I read it. When I touched myself, spanked myself, obeyed his orders, I did so because I knew that one day, he would be watching. My performance was for him. I reached back and whacked my own arse with the brush as hard as I could because I knew that if I didn’t, when he watched it, he would know that I was slacking. I wanted him to see that I was doing my utmost to please him. I wanted the film to turn him on.

Instructed: an explicit new film by Ms Naughty and Pandora Blake

Instructed: an explicit new film by Ms Naughty and Pandora Blake

The day it came out he was at my place, and I needed to make the trailer before I could put it live on Dreams of Spanking. D was sitting on the sofa, in the same room where I was using the computer. “Can I show you our film now?” I asked. “I want to show it to you properly before I start cutting the trailer, so you aren’t spoilered by hearing it in dribs and drabs.”

“Our film?” he asked. “You mean porns?”

“Yus.”

He smiled. “Okay.”

I pressed play and snuggled up to him. He had already released his cock from his trousers, and with a crooked smile he guided my head towards it. I had been looking forward to watching his face and his reactions as he watched it, but taking his erection into my mouth was even better.

I think he liked it. I hope you do too.

Instructed: an explicit new film by Ms Naughty and Pandora Blake

Wood nymph

I’ve always wanted to be a Pornsaint. A discussion on twitter with Kod about his custom spanking art led to him taking up the challenge. He turned me into a wood nymph of a magical forest, wreathed in ivy. How cool is this?

Pandora Blake - Wood Nymph by @333Spool333

Sadly Pornsaints don’t want it – they prefer handpainted art to digital graphics, I think. So if you like to draw and want to turn me into an icon, there is still time. I’m delighted with Kod’s artwork though – I think it’s the loveliest piece of fan art I’ve received to date.

In other news, I’ve got a new film coming out this Saturday which is rather exciting. Renee Rose has the scoop – Remote Dominance: Feminist pornographers Pandora Blake and Ms. Naughty collaborate on hot new film. There’s more info on the Dreams of Spanking blog and Ms Naughty has posted a free trailer too.

‘Instructed’ will be out this weekend, and the whole world will be able to watch as I do dirty, dirty things to myself on D’s command. Only an exhibitionist would find this as exciting as I do!

Pain, permanence, and laser hair removal

On Tuesday I had my first session of laser hair removal on my lower legs, bikini line and labia – “Brazilian” style, leaving my usual trimmed oval on the mons. The traditional shape to leave is a “landing strip” but I prefer curves to rectangles. I shaved my muff into a neatly trimmed oval, leaving plenty of hair-free space below for long, languid licks that explore every soft fold and curve. In the future, if I want, I can vary my look by trimming it down to a heart, a triangle, a diamond, the classic landing strip or by shaving it off and going completely hairless. The only thing I won’t be able to do is grow back my bikini line and the hair on my outer labia – which I have been shaving on an at-least-weekly basis for over a decade.

The laser treatment hurt less than I was expecting. You’re wearing dark glasses to protect you from the radiation, like in a tanning bed I imagine, not that I’ve ever used one. The machine blows a jet of cold air onto your skin at the same time as the laser, which doesn’t so much feel like burning as pricking like a needle as it encounters each follicle. The machine makes a regular “bip, bip, bip” noise which makes it hard to tell whether the pinpricks of pain are in time with the beeping or not.

Consensual, non-sexy pain like this, or like having a smear test or getting a tattoo (which hurt more than the laser, by the way), is always an interesting experience for a masochist. Without an eroticising context, pain is not enjoyable – but I still find the sensations interesting. The breathing exercises I use to endure a hard caning help me stay calm through the pain, but they aren’t enough to get me high on it.

In this case, I found my mental images made a huge difference to the perceived pain level. If I thought about lasers, zapping, burning, it hurt a lot – whereas if I imagined that someone was dragging a sharp felt tip along my skin, or scratching little dots with the nip of a fountain pen, it hurt much less.

The laser treatment works by the heat being transmitted down the hair to the follicle, which is why you need to shave, but not wax, beforehand – if the hair is too long it will absorb more heat, and burn you; but if there is no hair at all, the laser has nothing to transmit it to the follicle. That’s why the most painful bit by far was around the edges of my muff – every time it caught a longer hair by accident, the pain was excruciating. Even my breathing exercises couldn’t stop me tensing up until it was over.

And I’ve still got five more treatments to look forward to.

I might not have paid for lasering myself. I didn’t have to: it’s a gift from D. He has a strong aesthetic and sexual preference for hairless skin, both on himself and on the people he sleeps with, male and female. He keeps himself shaved too, so as far as I’m concerned that’s fair enough. I like to please him, so I do my best to shave before seeing him. It only gets problematic if I’ve made the effort specially, and we then don’t fuck. It feels like a waste of time. Unless he makes it worth my while by licking all the freshly shaved parts of my body until I shiver with pleasure, I find myself resenting the time I spent in preparation.

It’s not just D, though. I shave for sessions, shoots, fetish nights and, because I seem to have caught his preference for shaved skin, when seeing other lovers.

Sessions in particular have made me aware of the extent to which personal grooming is unpaid labour if we do it for the benefit of others. It’s interesting that since I started doing sessions regularly, I stopped wearing makeup to hang out with friends … but I’m no less likely to shave before sex.

For me hair removal isn’t about fashion as much as sensation. I like the feel of being touched or licked on hairless skin. It makes it more sensitive, more tingly. Personally I don’t have any preference about anyone else’s grooming regime, and will gladly touch and lick my lovers’ bits, hairy or not. On my own body, however, I have grown to love the feel of silky velvety smoothness.

This generous gift from D won’t just save me effort in our sex life. It will save me huge amounts of time and money in general. I will gain more time to spend on interesting things, and more money to spend on books or wine.

I’ve noticed, however, that when I’ve told people I’ve been getting it done, the reactions have been very similar:

“Are you sure?”

“How do you know you won’t change your mind?”

“Mmm, I could never do anything permanent to my body.”

“What if body hair comes back in fashion?”

I’m familiar with all these arguments (except the last one) from when I had my tattoo done in 2005. I’m planning my second tattoo as a 30th birthday present to myself this summer. I still love my first one and don’t regret it in the slightest – even when it has meant a bit of extra work covering it up to shoot Victorian period films.

In general, I think, I’m not afraid of permanence. Every body modification I make – and I’m sure I’ll add to the collection during my lifetime – dates from a period of my life which really happened, and which I still carry with me, which is still part of my whole self. This is true in general, not just about changes to our bodies. Every choice I make, everything that has happened to me, has informed my journey – and implies a multitude of paths not taken. We can never know whether any of those other, alternate choices might have been better or worse.

I learn, I evolve, I move forward – and, yes, and sometimes I make a mistake and hurt someone, and wish I had made a better choice. But it’s all useful data that can inform my future choices. It’s all part of the journey. It’s all part of my whole self, shadow and all.

Unless, through carelessness, I have caused actual harm and should have known better, I don’t regret choices I make along the way. Since they don’t affect anyone else, I make a policy of not regretting choices I make about my own body.

It’s not just tattoos and hair removal. Images of myself on the internet will be there forever. When I chose to follow the path of public porn performance, I chose to accept the future consequences of my decision. Probably one day I will want to stop performing in porn (or maybe I’ll carry on until I’m old and wrinkly and fabulous – you never know) and that’s fine. If I ever want to, I’ll stop. But I doubt I’ll want to undo the past, and regret having done it at all.

All choice is risk. My choices bring me pleasure and new experiences, challenges, opportunities for growth, new friendships, new skills, a sense of achievement, joy. My tastes and priorities will change over time, but I can’t imagine wanting all this intensity of experience to have never happened.

I make choices that will affect my future all the time, and each time I make the choice that seems best to me right now. These choices, and my reasons for making them, represent a valid truth about who I am in this moment. As I age and change, I will continue to carry these past selves with me. They will be part of who I am forever.

Everything leaves its mark. It’s funny – two or three times this week, while all this has been going through my head, people have asked me about the marks on my arms. I never forget they’re there, but I rarely get asked about them these days. They are the faded scars of a decade of self-harm, something I haven’t done for nearly ten years old. I don’t feel bad about it. You can get scars lasered too, but I don’t mind mine. They are part of my journey, an important part of how I got here.

The thing is that my choice to self-harm as a teenager – sometimes through masochistic curiosity, a desire to test my boundaries; other times as a coping mechanism during periods of acute depression and anxiety – was a valid choice at the time. Every time. I really do believe that; I’m not ashamed of myself for doing it. I think it’s a valid coping mechanism in times of need for panic attacks and disassociative episodes, although of course it’s not the only one. Similarly, my desire, aged 11, to explore my physical limits through pain is the same side of my character that now takes pleasure in fitness training and consensual corporal punishment. That urge to push boundaries and find my physical edge is an important part of who I am.

Each mark on my body is part of my story. The thing that put it there might no longer be part of my experience, but that time in my life will still have happened, those memories will still be part of my truth. Our past informs our future. We all carry our histories with us invisibly; why are people so afraid of carrying them visibly as well?

If, in a few years or decades, D and I part ways, or body hair suddenly becomes fashionably sexy, or I get a part in a retro porno, or for some other reason I find myself wishing I could grow a full bush, I will accept that I made this choice, and I’ll shrug it off.

Buy the ticket, take the ride. We make choices everyday. Permanence is unavoidable.

One thing that occurred to me as I was writing this was the double standard we have between pregnancy and other forms of permanent body modification. Of all the ways to change your body forever, that has to be one of the more dramatic; and yet if I was going to have a baby, people who would baulk at a tattoo would congratulate me without hesitation. It seems that some forms of permanence, some risks, some choices, are considered more acceptable than others.

Spanking sessions with Gala Vanting

This year, especially during my trip to the Feminist Porn Awards, I’ve become so much more aware of the work of wonderful fellow pornographers who are making beautiful, sexy art and revolutionising the industry. One such is Gala Vanting, an erotic film producer, sex worker, educator, pleasure activist, and erotic imaginist based in Melbourne. Gala is one half of Sensate Films, a high-end independent, feminist production company which is pioneering the concept of slow porn. You can watch some of her award-winning films at PinkLabel.tv.

Gala Vanting

Gala is visiting the UK for a few days in July, and she is offering 121 and 221 spanking sessions with me and Molly Malone for a short time only. (Or even a 321 with all three of us if you want to really treat yourself!) Gala is a true switch with a love of spanking, power exchange and creative roleplay. She is utterly stunning, very smart and totally charming. If you have sessioned with me I think you will love her. Let’s give her a very warm welcome to the world-famous London spanking scene, and send her home with a sore bottom, aching right arm, and some wonderful new kinky memories!

Gala Vanting

Please contact gala@msgalavanting.net to book Gala for a 121, or if you would like to play with me and her together, send a message to hello@pandorablake.com and let us know the sort of scenario you enjoy.

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