Pandora Blake dreams of spanking... do you?

Rare vintage spanking photos

“Very few people have seen these, as they’ve just been left and stored away, unpublished. I was wondering if you’d be interested in them.”

I opened the email and saw the attachments: a dozen scans of 35mm prints of vintage spanking photos. I liked them so much that I wanted to share them with you – and I called the photographer, Jon Garrett, to get the inside scoop on these rare spanking pictures.

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

One of the first spanking photos Jon ever took, this striking impact shot was a lucky capture, with Jon himself wielding the paddle and the camera set on a timer. “I had to give her a few swats before we got it right,” he admits. The lady is a French professional model named Toril, and Jon went on to shoot with her several times, including for video on VHS.

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

Another timed capture while Jon took Toril over his knee. I love the energy and vibrant composition.

Jon didn’t just photograph women. Here’s a very well spanked male bottom belonging to a young man named Charles, who could clearly take a sound thrashing.

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

Charles played with this particular top a few times after she got in touch with her dominant side, and Jon got to watch him go over the knee. He recalls, “A proper hairbrushing she gave him. She really let him have it. He was squealing, but he enjoyed it – and she did.”

Jon also took this evocative photo of the lap in question.

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

The young lady bending over in school knickers is Samantha, who did a few shoots with Jon while building up her modelling portfolio.

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

She wasn’t into spanking, but on one shoot she did agree to bend over for a few swishy strokes of the cane.

The top in this next photo is Mistress Caroline; the bottom remains anonymous.

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

“This was my idea,” Jon tells me. “I set it all up for this shot, the stuff on the wall and so on.” Caroline was a dominatrix, and on at least one occasion Jon’s friend Charles found himself on the receiving end of her cane.

Fans of vintage lingerie will enjoy these photos of the same bottom; both clad in satiny vintage knickers, and bare.

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

“She was a professional model, but she was also actually into spanking,” Jon recalls. In these shots she’s over someone else’s knee, with Jon standing behind, aiming to capture the spanker’s point of view – a style of spanking photography that has now become so popular it’s almost the default.

This gorgeous art nude, with natural light creating a soft, painterly effect, features model Tracy Lomax:

Rare vintage spanking photos by Jon Garrett Photographer

This shoot was commissioned by a patron who saw the black and white over the knee photos above and called up asking for something similar. Jon loves working with natural light. He told me, “This is my natural style. If I’m in a good environment and the light is just right, CP is a fantastic opportunity to create some really great photography.”

Jon is available for private and commercial CP work. Check out my website Dreams of Spanking for more artistic spanking photos.

Sinful Sunday: first date spanking

I spent a lovely evening on Friday in the company of D, Molly Moore and her husband Signs, where the conversation over dinner ranged from blogging and SEO to spanking, fantasy and polyamory.

They encouraged me to participate in Sinful Sunday, so here’s my contribution for this week. This is a photo I took of my friends Nimue Allen and Andrew Shada last September on a spanking shoot.

It was Andrew’s first day exploring the wonderful world of creating spanking video and so for his first film, I came up with the idea of a newbie top trying spanking for the first time, encouraged by his more experienced date. Both of them are switches, which always lends a lovely empathy to a scene, and Nimue’s enthusiastic sensuality as she urged Andrew to spank her harder was incredibly sexy to watch!

Over the knee bare bottom spanking - photo by Pandora Blake

Sinful Sunday

Empower yourself through porn

How to empower yourself through DIY porn, by Pandora Blake

It’s weird to me how many producers in the adult industry are jealous about their knowledge. A lot of people are reluctant to share info that’s seen as “insider”, and it baffles me. How are we going to make porn more diverse, more ethical and more transparent if we don’t open the gates and let people in? I get people coming to me all the time asking me for info about how to get started in porn. My advice may not be perfect but I’m happy to give it.

It seems silly to me to be threatened by the idea of having more competition in the porn industry. Porn is inherently, absolutely personal and everyone has something different to offer. I have my audience, you will find yours and there’s more than enough to go round. There’s really no need to guard our “industry secrets” so closely.

I believe that the more people create their own porn, the better the porn industry – and society as a whole – will be. If more people start making DIY porn it will be good for the industry, good for the economy and good for the performers. Even consumers win, having a greater diversity of porn available and knowing that it’s fairtrade, homegrown and free-range.

I’ve written an article for the Frisky explaining how to get started making, and selling, your own DIY porn, and why I think more people should. I love the cover image they’ve chosen for it.

Read, share, and I hope you’ll be inspired to give DIY porn a whirl.

What with the recession, welfare cuts and increasing financial inequality it can be difficult to know how to make ends meet. I’ve got some advice for you which might seem controversial: empower yourself through porn.

It’s easy.

The internet, as the saying goes, is for porn. In fact the internet has not only increased access to pornography, it’s also democratized content creation in a way unprecedented in history. Aspiring filmmakers no longer need to spend thousands of pounds on expensive equipment – high definition video can be shot on a smartphone. Computer processing power allows you to edit video on a home PC, and free software is available to help you do it. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Read more »

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Newsflash! Feminist porn isn’t news

@MartinDaubney: The rise of social, ethical, shared porn for women. Today's @thesunnewspaper with @NichiHodgson

Given my general hatred of all things tabloid, I was surprised to learn that I’d been mentioned in the Sun newspaper. Even more surprised to learn that the article – on “the rise of social, ethical, shared porn for women” – has a positive spin.

Pandora Blake has a brilliant spanking website which shows you how to do it. Women like these more educational porn sites, so they can put it into practice in real life and let fantasy bleed into reality. Men tend to use porn in isolation, women want the porn experience to enrich sex with their partners.

(Full text here)

The piece quotes Nichi Hodgson, a journalist and activist dedicated to promoting awareness of ethical and feminist porn. The glaring gender essentialism and inaccurate generalisations in the above paragraph aren’t Nichi’s fault, although if you click through to read the full text, you’ll find plenty more. For the record, women use porn alone, men use porn to enrich sex, whether you like educational porn has nothing to do with gender. Okay, whatever. Misquotes and simplifications are to be expected from publications like this. I want to talk about why it’s important that this article exists.

Nichi and I are very much on the same page when it comes to what makes porn ethical, why it’s important, and the need to raise the profile of the fantastic work that feminist pornographers have been doing for years. These articles all want to seem ground-breaking, and so it’s common to read statements that “porn for women is hard to find”, implying that there isn’t much good stuff out there; or that feminist porn is a relatively new phenomenon.

Women are put off by the mainstream porn websites as they are seen as misogynistic and only about satisfying men.

The trouble is, there isn’t really anywhere we can go for female-friendly porn, so an increasing number of women are sharing links of porn that gets women off.

Actually feminist porn has been around for decades. Candida Royalle founded Femme Productions in 1984, the year I was born. Anna Span‘s first film aired in 1999 and Petra Joy launched Strawberry Seductress in 2003. The Feminist Porn Awards are going into their ninth year. Feminist porn isn’t news – but it is niche. Or at least it has been so far, despite the best efforts of feminist pornographers to promote their work.

So despite the misquotes, the generalisations and the inconsistency (saying “there isn’t really anywhere we can go for female-friendly porn” one moment; then listing female-friendly porn the next), I don’t want to complain too much about this piece. Yes, it’s annoying that it focusses on women “sharing” porn – presumably considered a less threatening activity than women making porn, or watching it, or y’know, wanking to it, any of which would surely be more relevant. But my desire to give feminist porn a wider audience is more important than tabloid coyness. The excellent work that politically-minded female porn directors have been doing for a generation deserves to be common knowledge. Articles like this help raise awareness that porn isn’t all aimed at men; and that can only be a good thing.

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Sex and censorship

Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara Sutra

When the opening panel of a conference comprises a writer, a pornographer and a lawyer, you know you’re set for an intelligent, stimulating weekend.

Kristina Lloyd – Eroticon 2014

There should be a joke that starts like this. “A writer, a pornographer and a lawyer walk into a con…”

When Ruby Kiddell invited me to speak during the opening keynote of Eroticon 2014 alongside Myles Jackman (better known as “Obscenity Laywer“) and renowned author and kinkster Zak Jane Keir, I wondered what I could have to add. Myles is an expert on the legal situation regarding censorship in the UK, and Zak would surely talk with authority about how censorship as a feminist issue, how it affects authors and perverts. What could I possibly say that wouldn’t already be covered?

Well, I suppose there was always that kerfuffle with CCBill last year – that might at least raise a laugh, through sheer absurdity if nothing else. And I’d be addressing a roomful of erotica authors, who would presumably be interested in the foibles of Amazon’s content guidelines…

My concerns proved fruitless when the civic-minded Zak emailed me and Myles to tell us what she was planning to talk about, so that we could plan around each other and co-ordinate. It turned out that there was no overlap whatsoever. Ruby had chosen her panel well. My intention to talk about my personal experiences of corporate censorship as a pornographer didn’t clash with anything they were planning to say; and if they laid the social and legal groundwork, that left me free to tackle the commercial side of things.

All in all, it worked out rather well.

As a porn producer my primary experience of censorship has not been legal, but corporate. Anyone who creates erotic media and wants to find a way to make it available to others is at the mercy of restrictions placed by financial institutions, publishers and distributors. We might all want to increase the diversity of erotic material available, but however innovative we are, unregulated commercial bodies still have the power to control the marketplace.

There are two fallacies at play here – excuses cited by corporations to justify censorship. The first is ‘what is legal’, and the second is ‘what will sell’.

A few years ago Suraya Sidhu Singh developed an erotic magazine called Filament. This was the first print magazine for women which combined erotic photography of male models with adult fiction and intelligent articles on subjects as varied as physics, music and Morris dancing.

Filament’s problems started with their second issue, the first one to contain actual photos of actual erections. Small fry, one might think, compared to the explicit imagery included in lads’ mags; but no. It turns out that there’s a total double standard between what’s permissible in sexualised images of women for the male gaze, and what’s permissible in sexualised images of men for the female gaze. When Filament’s printer found out that the issue would include erections they said they couldn’t print it, claiming that it would upset some of their other clients. Suraya needed to run the world’s first democratic “erection campaign” to raise the funds to hire a more progressive printing company.

Even once printed, Filament struggled with distribution. One distributor who was interested after the magazine was featured in the Independent changed their mind after seeing the second issue, claiming that printing erections was illegal in the UK. The thing is that it isn’t illegal now, and it wasn’t then. The CBS guidelines don’t even mention erections – it is considered so trivial a concern as to be a complete non-issue. But the actual legal status doesn’t matter when companies are setting their own rules. The law takes on a mythical status. When neither corporations nor producers are accurately informed, they often hedge their bets for the sake of brand image. The resulting uncertainty surrounding the law creates a chilling effect whereby perfectly legal material is tacitly censored.

The distributors who impeded Filament often used the excuse that the material “wouldn’t sell” – despite the fact that they themselves had expressed interest in the product. This is a fallacy I encounter time and time again when working to improve diversity in porn. “It won’t sell” is a self-fulfilling prophecy if publishers ensure that something is impossible to buy.

The internet is an empowering, liberating tool, but the truth is that everything online is controlled by corporate entities somewhere down the line. Everything has to be hosted somewhere, and the online publishing tools and marketplaces that make distribution so accessible for independent creatives have lot of power. In the 21st century we may not have to be accepted by an agency or publisher to distribute our work, but individual companies still impose restrictions that control what can be published online.

Any erotica writer will be familiar with Amazon’s foibles when it comes to adult content – and the loss of sales many authors experienced when the online bookstore stopped adult fiction from showing up in search. Likewise, Google is famous for its adult content restrictions; you may remember when Blogger gave users four days to remove any “adult advertising” under threat of having their blogs summarily deleted. In its search algorithms Google has recently started favouring pages which are linked to a Google Plus account – where pseudonyms and porn links are not permitted, effectively discriminating against sex workers and adult content producers.

Nothing about this has anything to do with law and everything to do with corporate prudishness. Trying to find an audience for your work can be an uphill struggle against restrictive and ever-changing terms and conditions.

These commercial controls doesn’t just affect over-18 content; they can also reflect the prejudices of the business owner by being gender discriminatory or homophobic. For instance, the tube site SpankingTube which hosts user-submitted free content (and makes money off advertising) accepts male/male spanking videos, but hides them from search – to protect the homophobic sensibilities of the straight male target audience. For fuck’s sake.

Then there are the problems that arise when you try to monetise adult content online. Paypal is famously harsh – and arbitrary – in its restrictions. Online financial institutions control our money, and they have the power. I had my Paypal account frozen last year for accepting donations via this blog; and Maggie Mayhem had the same experience when she was fundraising for disaster relief in Haiti.

Other payment operators have similar restrictions, and one hears numerous stories from sex workers of funds being confiscated or frozen, for instance Andre Shakti’s tweet above – regardless of whether the transactions themselves are adult in nature.

If you want to sell porn or erotica, you can’t use Paypal, WePay, Worldpay, SagePay or any of the standard credit card processors. You have to use a specialist service that caters to “high risk” merchants (a category which includes gambling and porn sites). I produce spanking porn which is openly and explicitly consensual and ethically produced, but which sometimes includes severe punishment, up to and including judicial caning. Despite the fact that none of my work is illegal under the UK extreme porn legislation, it is notoriously difficult to find a credit card processor willing to handle transactions. Most billing agents that serve adult sites do not permit images of vivid welts or bruises, both of which are a common feature of my personal sex life, and therefore of the porn I choose to make.

My site Dreams of Spanking uses CCBill, which officially does not restrict images of hard spanking, but has a very vaguely worded T&C which is erratically and inconsistently enforced. Your site has to be vetted before launch, but even once your content has been approved, you can be subjected to irregular, unexpected checks at any time. Decisions are made subjectively by individual CCBill agents, and so content which passes one check may fail another.

One frustrating example is blanket word bans. As erotica writers you will be familiar with this sort of control imposed by publishers; I was talking to a Mills and Boon author in the bar last night who was told to remove all instances of the word “cock” from her book. (Apparently you aren’t allowed to use “dick”, “prick” or “cunt” either. No wonder written erotica has a reputation for using stupid synonyms for genitalia.) Well, the same sort of thing applies online. In my case, CCBill told me to remove all instances of the word “non-consent” from the Dreams of Spanking blog, regardless of context; even from blogposts in which I was discussing how to communicate the consent of my performers. Other words subject to the same blanket ban included “little”, “daddy” and “rape”. The latter caught a sci-fi thriller inspired by the TV show “Fringe” in which a psychic villain interrogates someone by forcing their way into their mind. I had to change “telepathic rape” in the scene description to “telepathic ravishment”, which I think is my new favourite porn keyword of all time.

Other scenes which had passed previous checks were randomly flagged for removal. I was told to remove all scenes which featured sword-fighting. Now I’m producing historical porn for a female audience and let’s face it, guys duelling with swords is super hot. One update featured wooden bokken and capped fencing foils; another was a silly pirate scene that used rubber LARP swords (yes, me and most of my co-performers are massive nerds).

Both these scenes had to be taken down because they included the use of a “lethal weapon”. I’m serious. Rubber LARP swords. I remember sitting on the phone talking to a nice woman at CCBill called Clare, going through the site working out what I was allowed to keep. I pulled up one picture from the pirate set which showed the prop in close-up and said, “Look at that – does that look like a real sword to you?”

“Yep, that looks pretty real to me.”

Had she ever seen a sword?

Another example is Furry Girl, who runs a menstrual porn site called Erotic Red. Pretty harmless you might think – happy hippies, female empowerment, reducing body shame and so on. But no. It turns out it’s basically impossible to find a credit card processor willing to handle payments for menstrual porn, because blood is against all their terms of use. Never mind that menstrual sex and masturbation is totally legal and natural, and menstrual blood rightly belongs in a different category to injurious blood; this sort of blanket ban is not discriminating.

In fact Nimue Allen had a hot wax scene removed from Shadow Slaves because the red wax apparently “looked too much like blood”.

The takeaway here is that the content you’re producing can be perfectly legal, not obscene by any jury’s definition, and if you can’t find a way to publish it you can still be censored as effectively as by the government or police. Everything we sell online is controlled by unregulated, international corporate entities that are not subject to any particular legal jurisdiction. Online marketplaces have democratised publishing, but that ease of access is the very thing that permits them to censor our work.

We can’t ever escape corporate control entirely. The bottom line is that everything has to be hosted somewhere, so unless you run your own server you will be subject to some company’s terms and conditions somewhere down the line. But the more independent we can be, the less vulnerable we will be to corporate censorship. Host your own blog rather than using Blogger or WordPress.com. Distribute your work in as many places as possible, so if one outlet is shut down, you still have others.

The most stringent controls affect financial transactions, so consider alternative ways of monetising your content than a straight-forward sales-based business model. For instance, when I was no longer able to sell my sword-fighting and severe caning scenes via CCBill, I moved them to a self-hosted free download website, with donate buttons provided by fetish marketplace Clips4Sale. They take a hefty cut, and they still impose some restrictions (for instance, no menstrual blood!) but they haven’t objected to the caning welts or fencing swords so far, and the buttons still allow me to receive some payment for my work.

In fact free downloads are great publicity. Perhaps you could give away your fiction as a loss leader for paid commissions; or publish videos online to advertise your real-world performance or sex work. You might have a site that gives away downloads to attract traffic, and make money selling advertising or merchandise.

Independent creatives and small businesses will always be quicker and more flexible than global corporations, and as soon as one control is put in place, someone will discover an alternative method of doing the same thing. It’s stupid that we should be at the mercy of these ever-shifting restrictions. But if we inform ourselves about corporate regulations, and are smart in how we work around them, we can avoid making ourselves vulnerable to dependence on a single distribution method.

Above all, it’s crucial that we keep talking about censorship, raising awareness, and sharing ideas to inspire and empower each other.

Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara Sutra

(Photos: thank you Cara Sutra. For more tweets check out these collections on Storify.)

Why my breasts are sore today

Pandora Blake: wrists bound. Image from Dreams of Spanking

D bound my wrists and led me through to the spare room, smiling. He slung the rope over the top of the weights cage, pulled it down and my hands up, and tied it tight. The rope wasn’t thick enough for me to comfortably hang my weight from it, so instead I reached up and grasped the bar above my head. In the mirror I watched my torso stretch taut.

He kissed me, touched my thighs and my breasts, pulled my head back by the hair to kiss my neck. He spanked me as if to say hello to my body, and I exhaled slowly, feeling the tingling as my skin woke up. Then he walked away.

I shifted my weight in the high heeled shoes. I had time to notice the contrasts in my reflection – opaque black stockings and bare skin, small breasts and broad hips. I hadn’t expected a scene tonight. I wondered if I was supposed to feel scared, but I decided it was fine to feel happy and excited.

He returned with a few toys. A red ribbon which he tied around my throat, an old collaring symbol of ours. I wanted to kiss his hands, but instead I bowed my head to let him tie the bow. He had a flogger, too, and to avoid getting distracted by my reflection I closed my eyes as he began to play it over my body. Thighs, flanks, buttocks, then little flicks around my sides, the tips wrapping round to tease my front.

He turned me around and whipped my breasts. The flogger began moving faster, whirring and flickering over my (by now very hard) nipples. Was it supposed to hurt? It just felt good. I moaned, already wanting him to fuck me.

“Spread your legs.”

I have never been more ready to obey. Moving my feet apart made it harder to keep my grip on the bars above my head, so I let go and hung from the rope, feeling precarious, vulnerable – and sexy.

He reached down, eyes locked with mine, and slid a finger between my legs. A little movement and it was evident to both of us that I was soaking wet. He never took his eyes off my face, and I could see the desire shining in them.

I was disappointed when he withdrew his hand. He picked up the flogger again, returning to the theme of whipping my breasts, and between the hardest strokes he bent his head and licked at my nipples, which were already feeling stiff and sore. Waves of pleasure and pain.

I surrendered. He could do whatever he wanted.

He put the flogger down, but it wasn’t over for my breasts. He started to slap them, one by one. I shifted my feet so I could hang from the bar again, a more secure position. Each smack connected with the soft flesh in a way that felt thuddy and good, making them jiggle. My nipples hurt the most, as if tiny jewels were embedded in my breasts.

He held my gaze and drew his hand back. I knew it would be a hard one. I exhaled and prepared myself, but when it came, I cried out with pain and twisted my body, one leg drawing up involuntarily.

The smacks increased in force until they were rocking my whole body. I was gasping, and every time his eyes caught mine the air between us seemed to crackle. He hit me again and I wondered if it would bruise.

All the time he was hitting me hard and slow, I wanted it lighter and faster. I didn’t have to ask; he did that too. At first I felt the light, rhythmic slaps, landing on one breast again and again, as pure pleasure, jolts of lust making my thighs quake. My breast bounced and wobbled under his hand. Then all of a sudden the cumulative sting broke out of pleasure and into pain, and in one second it went from hot and exciting to acute and unbearable. I lost control and gave out a weird keen, bucking and writhing to try and escape the slaps. Eventually, he stopped. I whimpered. He moved to the other breast, and the whole thing started again.

We kissed as if we wanted to eat each other, both of us overtaken by desire even as he held me in his power.

His eyes were like galaxies as he stroked my dripping cunt. I was dizzy from the slaps and the kisses, and my breasts throbbed. He told me to spread my legs again.

Somehow I knew what was coming next. He smacked my swollen cunt and electricity shocked through my whole body. I let out a low groan. His fingers pressed against me again, soothing the tingle, and I felt my own wetness spill against his hand. Another slap, harder, and my legs shook as tremors rocked my body.

I could see his rock hard erection straining up until the tip touched my belly, smearing me. He drew back his hand and smacked my cunt a few more times. Each slap made lights flash inside my skull and arousal dribble down my thighs. Now I really, really wanted him to fuck me.

Luckily he was thinking the same thing. He slid his cock between my legs and I couldn’t help but moan. I realised I was going to need to concentrate as he tried to get the angle right, but teetering on high heels, thigh muscles trembling, it wasn’t easy. He kissed me to quell my nervous giggles and I felt his cock slowly push inside. He stayed there, kissing me, playing with my breasts, until I was desperate for him to move, to fuck me properly.

I couldn’t bear it. I needed him to move inside me. I shifted my hips and the change in angle pushed him out. So much for my idea.

Instead, he untied my wrists and re-tied them behind my back, suspending me bent forward from the waist. I was facing the mirror and I could see his face as he held my hips in both hands and finally, gloriously, began to fuck me. I had no way of stabilising myself so he had to hold on pretty tight to stop me rocking forward too much with every thrust. I moved my feet further apart, lifted my hips and exalted as he filled me.

Just as I thought I might come, I had to adjust my straining thigh muscles to keep my balance, and the concentration shift broke my curve. I sighed in frustration.

He knows me well enough to know exactly what had happened, and he didn’t waste time. Down came the rope, and down went I, no longer tied, bending over the weights bench while he fucked me from behind. Better; but I was still on my feet, and it was hard to relax in the high heels with legs straining to keep me stable.

And so we retired to the bedroom, and then it was just fine. On my back, legs in the air, his hard cock hitting that sweet spot again and again, hands grabbing and squeezing my sore and tender breasts, until his hips were slamming against me with every thrust and I came so hard I saw stars.

-x-

We didn’t stop there, but after that I basically didn’t stop coming, and so I can’t be sure exactly what happened next.

He fucked me on the bed on hands and knees, my arms stretched out full length in front of me, and he gripped my hips to keep me in position as I writhed on his cock and came again and again.

He fucked my face a lot, and later I wrapped my legs tight around him, my heels digging into his back, and licked his ear and kissed him until eventually he came too.

We rolled around on the bed in a sticky, sweaty tangle, unable to stop touching each other, aching with love. His cock got hard again and I sucked him and pumped him with my hand, not knowing or caring if he was going to have another orgasm, until he did.

-x-

The clichés have it, he fucked me senseless, he fucked me into oblivion. But the opposite is true. He didn’t fuck me into emptiness; he fucked me into fullness. We fucked until my whole mind and body was throbbing with sensation, until fireworks went off in my brain, blood roared in my ears, and kaleidoscopes danced behind my eyes. We fucked until my body was so full of pleasure, I was whole.

He didn’t fuck me into oblivion: he fucked me into consciousness.

A whole room full of filthy minds

Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara SutraLast weekend I was at Eroticon 2014, the conference for sex bloggers, sex writers and writers of erotic fiction. I travelled to Bristol on Friday night to attend the meet and greet, and avoid a crack of dawn start on Saturday morning, as I was scheduled to speak in the opening keynote at 10am. Conference organiser (and all-round good egg) Ruby Kiddell had kindly offered to let me stay in her hotel room on Friday night, to make things easier. Given we had never met this was incredibly lovely of her. Ruby is a very impressive woman and it was an honour to get to know her this weekend.

She had sent me the room number by text, so when I got off the coach I found the hotel, made my way up to her floor and just knocked. She opened it and without bothering to introduce ourselves we leapt into each other arms for a massive hug: “HIIII! It’s so good to meet you!” Travelling to a random hotel in a new city and opening the door to hug someone I’d never met before: I love that these things have become normal in the world of the online sex community.

That surreal combination of newness and familiarity continued all evening. I walked into the bar and a dozen unfamiliar faces lit up with recognition. Total strangers waved me over: “Pandora! Hi!” I had no idea who any of these people were, but they knew me, and I was looking forward to getting to know them. Most erotic writers and sex bloggers protect their anonymity online, so as one of the few people present whose face is attached to my name, I stood out. I’m actually pretty shy in groups of people I don’t know yet, so this suited me fine. In fact I was grateful when people came up and introduced themselves; it made me feel instantly welcomed, and was so much easier than standing around trying to work out who to approach. When no-one was coming up and saying hello, it gave me the confidence to do the same, and so I got chatting to a lot of new people that night.

Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara Sutra

The conference itself lasted all weekend, but sadly I could only stay until 4pm on Saturday before having to shoot back to London. I had a wonderful day networking, making friends and attending workshops, and wished I could have stayed all weekend.

I put together a Storify of the Friday and Saturday which you can read here, but it’s quite long, so here are the potted highlights from my time at Eroticon 2014:

  • Getting to hang out with Girl on the Net some more, which I’ve been itching to do since reading her excellent, filthy book. (I also managed to restrain myself from telling her all my latest sex adventures, as I’m pretty sure she must get that a lot.)
  • Giving people Dreams of Spanking business cards during the Friday night gathering – I get mixed batches of 50 from Moo.com with a different photo on each one – and the group I was sitting with spontaneously starting to play top trumps with them. (Apparently bare bottom trumps clothed, welts trump no welts and two bottoms trump one bottom!)
  • Meeting the lovely Harper and Gryphon of Bad Porn Club, and persuading them to throw the occasional good porn review into the mix, to promote the producers who are doing it right.
  • After my talk (which I’ll blog separately), having second breakfast, hobbit style, with Myles Jackman, and consulting him on the the legality of “pay what you like” porn, particularly regarding under 18 controls. Good news for a project I’d shelved – I’m better informed, and inspired to pick it up again.
  • Cara Sutra‘s professional copywriting seminar – on the back of which I’ve hired a new copywriter for Dreams of Spanking. Exciting!
  • Molly Moore’s photography workshop, in which she urged us to turn off auto-focus and learn by making mistakes; and also be more naked in public, because people are “spectacularly unobservant”.

Molly Moore presenting at Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara Sutra

At the end of this session Molly mentioned that one of the photos she’d wanted to take this weekend, if she could find enough volunteers, was of a line of bared bottoms, so maybe we could do that sometime this weekend? Not wanting to be left out of such an excellent idea, I piped up: “I’m leaving in two hours. Let’s do it now!”

Eroticon did me proud: A dozen bottoms, both male and female, lined up to join in. Good effort, Molly. Our work here is done.

@Pandorablake giving a demo of the Renee Rose Romance paddle at #eroticon2014

Renee’s ingenious idea of printing her details on wooden rulers rather than business cards, and handing them out as free spanking toys. While Renee and I were chatting CJ Forrest came up and said he wanted to sample one before taking it. Sneaky. Renee demurred: “I’m a bottom!” Lucky I was there to help.

Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara Sutra

I have no idea why I look so manic in this.

Finally I attended an informative, motivating seminar by DomSigns and RubyGoodnight on driving traffic, which has inspired me to fix various things about my sites, including load time and how they look on mobile devices.

Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara Sutra

It was all too brief, but my time at Eroticon charged me up with inspiration, motivation, happy-making brain fizzes and excellent chats with with creative, interesting, lovely people. I wish I could have stayed for the cocktail party on Saturday night and the second day, but sadly I had to dash back to London for vanilla work on the Sunday.

What a wonderful, interesting group of people erotica writers are. New friends, check. Connections, check. Learnings, check. Professional opportunities, check. Many learnings, check. I’ll definitely be back.

I connected with far too many people to name, but one I want to mention in addition to the above is Zak Jane Keir – an inspiring and remarkable woman.

Thanks to everyone who welcomed me with open arms, despite the fact I am not, in fact, an erotic fiction writer. But particularly, thank you to Ruby for not only being nice enough to invite me to speak, but also generously sharing her hotel room on Friday night.

Ruby, it’s a shame there wasn’t time, but if you were serious about wanting that spanking, come to London and claim it any time you like.

(Photos by the lovely Cara Sutra, Innocent Lover Boy and Renee Rose, and the title shamelessly nicked from a tweet by AM Harding. Thanks all!)

Eroticon 2014 and other stories

Towards the end of last year I hired a part-time personal assistant, and it was one of the best professional decisions I’ve ever made. It’s freed me up to spend less time on admin, and more time networking, campaigning and working on the creative and political projects I’m passionate about. Just what I needed to re-inject some inspiration and enthusiasm into my work.

Since hiring AJ, I’ve been able to follow up several exciting opportunities to talk to people about ethical porn, spanking and sexual freedom – from the FHM feature and QueerDiscOx radio show recently, to being interviewed about feminist pornography for a Masters thesis, and appearing in both a BBC3 documentary shoot about young people and porn (I don’t know when the program will be aired, but will keep you updated), and a Guardian article (I was told it would be published six weeks ago, which leads me to guess that it might have been cancelled). All this has led to some tricky conversations with friends and family, and lots of thinky thoughts about the media, identity, visibility and the potential consequences of sticking my head above the parapet. Living in interesting times.

These changes have allowed me to get more involved not only as a content creator, but as a consumer as well. For instance, I’ve been making a conscious effort lately to buy (and watch) more feminist porn, which has been a thought-provoking and very horny process, even though I haven’t yet found time to write all the reviews I want to write. It also freed me up to attend a fascinating evening of talks on sex workers rights hosted by Gender Sex Talks, which not only taught me a lot but left me feeling affirmed, supported, and keen to get more involved in the campaign for full legalisation of sex work. If this is something that interests you then a) you should read this Storify which contains many, many learnings, and b) let’s talk more – follow me on twitter and say hi!

So it’s all good: I’m re-connecting with my reasons for doing all this in the first place, and meeting and talking to so many amazing women, queers and sex workers along the way. It turns out that having enough opportunities to network and connect is good for my emotional well-being as well as for business. Community is important – who’d have thought it.

I’ve got several exciting opportunities yet to come; it’s going to be a whirlwind of a spring.

The kinky film festival Cinekink will be screening the Dreams of Spanking film My Inner Little Girl this Saturday in New York City. I won’t be able to attend, but it’s amazing to be included. The film is a solo masturbation and spanking fantasy scene, my first orgasm on camera, and you can find out more about it here.

Saturday 8th March will see me in Bristol for Eroticon 2014, the UK conference for erotic writers and bloggers. I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the opening keynote on sex and censorship, alongside the frankly intimidating expertise of Myles Jackman and Zak Jane Keir. I’m planning to make good use of the trip to attend as many sessions as I can on the Saturday, and will also be at the Meet & Greet the night before. It looks to be a great weekend, and tickets are available here.

Conference organiser Ruby (whom I can’t wait to meet) has organised a little online “meet and greet” before the event, so here’s my contribution:

What’s your name?

Pandora Blake

What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2014?

Being able to talk freely about sex, and about the minutiae of working in the erotic industries, with a community of wonderful, open-minded, likeminded people. After having to keep half my thoughts to myself in daily life, events like this are much-needed refreshment for the soul.

What are you most nervous of about Eroticon 2014?

I’ve got eight minutes to talk about how censorship has affected me as a pornographer, and I’m not so much nervous as absolutely certain that I’ll run over. I hope my fellow panellists will keep their poking sticks ready to shut me up in time!

What do you hope to get from Eroticon 2014?

Learnings, inspiration, new friends, and solidarity!

What is your bad erotica writer’s pen name?

Swarovski Zoneout. I guess that’s what the jewelry brand means by “unforgettable moments” ;)

But the really big event for me this will be in April, when I’ll be travelling around the US and Canada for the whole month. I’ve never been away from home for a month before, and the prospect is both delightful and terrifying. I’m really looking forward to it, and I can’t believe how much needs doing before I leave.

My tour will begin in Toronto for the Feminist Porn Awards and Conference, at which I’ve been invited to speak on non-consent scenarios in ethical porn. I’ve submitted a few films to the awards too, so we’ll see. I’ll then be flying to Los Angeles to stay with Alex (I’ve missed her SO MUCH) and Paul for a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping to squeeze in lots of spanking shoots and sessions while I’m there. Then another flight, to spend a few days visiting my friend Jade in her hometown, before I finally end up in Atlantic City for Boardwalk Badness Weekend.

The icing on the cake is that my dear friend Zoe Montana will be flying all the way from Australia to attend the party, and I’ll have the pleasure of sharing a room with her. I miss Zoe all the time and can’t wait to spend a long weekend with her, surrounded by our wonderful spanking community. I intend to play hard, party hard, stay up all night talking and hug all my friends non-stop. It’ll be the perfect way to round off the month.

I’m taking bookings for shoots and sessions throughout April, including double sessions with Alex in LA and with Zoe at Boardwalk Badness, so if you’d like to book me for anything in Toronto, LA or Atlantic City, get in touch!

Queer DiscOx Radio

I’m just on my way home from a lovely evening chatting to the folks at @QueerDiscOx radio, a sex-positive LGBTQ* discussion radio show based in Oxford. I’d never spoken on radio before but my experience with erotic audio recording must have stood me in good stead, because I didn’t feel nervous at all, and only at the end of my 15 minute interview did I realise my heart was thumping away at double speed!

It helped that my hosts Vishnu and Johnny were eternally sweet, including bringing me and my co-panellist gay porn star Lyle Boyce cups of tea from Cafe Nero when we couldn’t find a kettle. Caffeine makes the sex industry go round. To prove it they even gifted us both with Queer DiscOx branded rainbow mugs.

We talked about fairtrade porn, safer sex, consent, porn as sex education and so much more. You can listen to the hour-long podcast here:

Queer DiscOx Episode 12 – Queer Porn With Porn Stars Pandora Blake & Lyle Boyce

Afterwards the four of us went for pizza, wine and unabashed loud conversations about porn, sex work, gender, class politics, dating, sexuality and lube. Vishnu proclaimed that sex workers are the most organised and efficient of any of the groups he has worked with to date, way more than poets apparently. Lyle and I reckoned it was something to do with being paid by the hour. After that I may or may not have tried to recruit all three of my companions for forthcoming porn projects (about which more below). It was with regret that I finally tore myself away from the fascinating conversations with lovely queer people and started the tortuous process of getting the train home to London across the flooded Thames Valley.

My weekend of gallivanting began with a visit to Nimue and Rosie in their new home in the midlands, where my lap was decisively claimed by their smallest, friendliest cat (who has totally stolen my heart – sorry, Fatface, I have been cheating on you with another cat!) and Nimue and I stayed up far too late conducting “research”, viz. watching feminist hardcore porn and writing lists of what we liked (e.g. talking dirty) and what we didn’t (e.g. using spit instead of lube).

Nimue and I are currently firming up the details of a new production company through which we intend to launch our next porn site/s as a joint venture. I’m really excited about the collaboration and we’re going to start filming for the first project this summer. It’s going to be feminist, fairtrade hardcore, queer and trans* inclusive, but with an emphasis on masculine bodies sexualised under the female gaze, and the male/female encounters which are so absent from most queer/feminist porn. And of course, this being us, it’s going to be kinky, switchy, filthy and violent, with real dominant/submission dynamics, real couples and real intimacy.

That’s all I can say about that for now – in fact Nimue may tell me I’ve already said too much. But it’s exciting, no? In the meantime, please do go and listen to the podcast of tonight’s QueerDiscOx radio show, we covered some really important topics and Lyle had some fascinating things to say about a very different part of the porn industry from mine. Thanks to Lyle, Johnny and Vishnu for being so welcoming and interesting to talk to, and leaving me all charged up with happy excitement and queer solidarity! ♥

Spank me

Pandora Blake in spank me stockings

My late night fantasies vary a lot, from things that happened that day to things that will never happen, and nor would I want them to. Recently I had a bedtime fantasy which was less escapist than my usual fare; more of an expression of intent. I found myself imagining the scene negotiation I would have with Tom next time we played. Our relationship has been very positive lately, despite being long-distance, but we haven’t had much opportunity to connect on a deeper D/S level. We’d planned for him to visit me in January and I felt ready to take things a step further. Initially I was just thinking about what to say, and then I started thinking about the ideal scene we might play. It quickly turned from idle daydreaming to a full-blown masturbation fantasy – and yes, it was hot enough to get me off.

The images in my head were of ceremony, formality. I remembered the scene trappings from our intense-but-unsustainable D/S dynamic when we first got together nine years ago. The sheepskin rug for me to kneel on at the base of the Chesterfield armchair, the leather-padded desk chair with the curved wooden arms, waiting in the centre of the room with its blindfold and restraints. Remembering the delicious, heart-pounding fear as I walked in and saw it, knowing I was about to be caned, knowing it was going to be hard.

I told him about it the next time we talked. The specific formalities of our first D/S dynamic aren’t available to us these days – too much emotional baggage – but it was the atmosphere that I yearned for. I also mentioned that I had a new butt plug and was very interested in playing with it, and experimenting with combining it with CP. The idea of that fair kept me going until he came to visit.

The day came, a leisurely Sunday. We’d both bathed and were feeling fresh and relaxed. I poured us both a glass of wine.

I asked him first what he wanted today. He said he didn’t have a specific plan; he’d like to spank me, the butt plug sounded fun, but otherwise he was happy to go with the flow. I said I wanted to capture some of that thrill and anticipation of being about to be spanked. Lately our play had all been casual, overtly consensual, and I was ready for a bit more edge, be it from ritual, ceremony or some other form of psychodrama. I was interested in butt plugs, anal inspections, embarrassment, blushing, being told what was about to happen to me.

In the end, how things played out surprised me.

He suggested that I dress up for him, and I had a fun new costume I hadn’t shown him yet, so while he gathered implements and toys I put on a ra-ra skirt, corset, seamed “spank me” stockings and ribbon heels. Hardly a serious starting point for a scene – instead I felt playful, and a bit theatrical. Tom liked the effect so much that before we started to play, he took some photos of me.

Spank me in stockings - Pandora Blake Spank me in stockings - Pandora Blake

Last time we did this was for Dreams of Spanking, but this time it felt different. To my surprise, rather than triggering my “professional modelling mode” it put me into a shy and submissive headspace. I wasn’t wearing make-up and it made all the difference; I felt amateur and vulnerable in front of the camera. But I felt sexy too, and I enjoyed his appreciative gaze.

Spank me in stockings - Pandora Blake

He sat on the corner of the sofa and took me over his knee. It always takes me a little while to get used to the strength of Tom’s spanking, especially since I’ve not bottomed much over the last six months to try and let some old marks heal. He was happy to adjust when he realised how much I was struggling, and after a long warm up I began to relax and enjoy it. Sooner than I expected after that, I found myself sinking deep down. He placed occasional spanks onto my thighs, and each one was like a hand on my back pushing me deeper underwater. Rather than squeaking at the intense sting I went very quiet, processing the pain and dropping down and down. When it works, thigh spanking can make me feel very submissive, and very horny. This time it was definitely working.

He was going to use the leather paddle next, but I surprised both of us by asking for the wooden hairbrush. I usually hate hairbrushes. I love to hate them, but the experience of getting spanked with one is usually noisy, difficult and upsetting. This time, for some reason, every smack just made my cunt twitch. Even on the thighs. I flopped limply over his knee and ate the pain up.

Spank me in stockings - Pandora Blake

My knickers came down and he began to intersperse the spanks with stroking and touching. I was already soaking wet. He pulled my cheeks apart, stroked my arsehole in a way that made every hair on my body stand up on end, and finally lubed up the plug and slid it in. He made me move my legs apart while he continued to spank my bottom and thighs with the brush. The tops of the stockings and my suspender straps offered some protection, but the exposed skin in between felt even more sensitive.

The position also exposed the very sensitive spots on my inner cheeks and thighs. If you aren’t Tom or D, spanking me here is an instant way to make me jump up and never play with you again, but here and now it was the horniest thing that had ever happened to me.

Then I remember he increased the speed of the swats, and suddenly the wave broke over my head and I wasn’t surfing the pain any more, I was overwhelmed and I begged him to stop.

He stopped. He rested a hand on my back. I was breathing hard.

A cuddle, a sip of wine, and I was ready to continue. He helped me cover the old cane marks I wanted to protect from further damage with a Compeed blister plaster, and I knelt on the sofa for the strap. After that breather, somehow I couldn’t quite reconnect to that place of pleasure. We tried a couple of straps, my lovely long black paddle. I still had the plug in, and it was very interesting being strapped and paddled with it in place. The idea of it was super hot, but the sensations didn’t interact as much as I’d anticipated. The implement didn’t strike the handle of the plug (which had been a big aspect of my fantasy) and it was small enough that, now I was used to it, even when I clenched I didn’t feel overly full. Clearly we needed a bigger plug. When it comes to my anal kink, feeling overly full is kind of the whole point.

Blushing again, I confessed my idea of a spanking which struck or knocked the plug so I could feel it move inside me. He arranged me kneeling over the side of the sofa and began to tap it. I wasn’t being spanked at the same time, but the sensation was intense. In fact I felt like I was being punched in the arse. It sent electric jolts of arousal straight to my cunt. It was so fucking hot that I fell instantly back into that horny headspace, and in fact remembering it, I’m horny again now.

Spank me in stockings - Pandora Blake

I lay face down on the sofa for the cane. This is normally my favourite, but that time it was too much, too stingy, too sharp. I couldn’t process it into pleasure. I took one set of six, maybe two, but I wasn’t enjoying the sensations, and in the end I said so.

The thing is with spanking that not-pleasure can be fine, it can be the whole point. But it’s a different experience, a different headspace from spanking-for-pleasure, when every hit feels like a caress, and usually I need a bit of a run up to get the most of out it. When my body switches me from pleasure to pain halfway through a scene, as it did now, it can be a shock. Masochism is a tricky business.

We decided to return to what we knew would work, and back over his knee I went. This time my body stayed happily in pleasure mode as he gave me a thorough spanking with hand and hairbrush. The fact he kept stopping to finger me definitely helped. Pleasure, pain, pleasure, pain, repeated hard smacks to my oh-so-sensitive thighs, and I was wriggling and wailing and limp over his lap with my legs spread wide, skin pink and hot and tingling, my head hanging by the floor, surrendering and moaning with desire.

Spank me in stockings - Pandora Blake

I’m blushing again as I write this, but this scene was about overcoming shyness, embarrassment and exposure. I’ve already exposed myself once by posting the photos we took, which were never intended to be published. In the spirit of sex positivity it seems fitting that I not stop there, but tell you the rest.

I remember being fucked facedown over the sofa, knees on the floor and face smeared against a cushion. I remember admiring his cock rising big and beautiful over his strangely flat tummy. Although he lost the weight over a year ago, his new body shape still takes me by surprise and I haven’t yet tired of exploring his belly and chest with my fingers and tongue; both familiar and unfamiliar after ten years of intimacy.

I remember kneeling to suck him, teasing him and pleasuring his neck and nipples and belly and cock with my hands and my mouth; and I remember opening my throat to his hard cock and him grabbing me by the hair and standing up without pulling out until he was towering over me and I was on the floor as he shoved it more deeply down my throat. He fucked my face roughly while I looked up at him, eyes watering, and I loved him for it.

Straddling him on the sofa, leaning forward, my hair in his face and my breasts in his mouth. I reached down and worked my clit with my middle finger as his cock filled me. Grinning, I turned around and moved up and down with my back to him, enjoying the new angle, the feeling of fullness and the freedom to play with myself. His hands held my waist, helping to lift my hips before each thrust, and the moment my thigh muscles gave out and I couldn’t keep it up I laughed helplessly and both of us collapsed in giggles. Athletic pornstar I ain’t.

Then lying on my back with my stockinged legs in the air as he went down on me and gave me so many orgasms I lost count. He got me off with his tongue on my clit, then his hand inside me, then his tongue, then his hand again until I was like a rag doll, pink and floppy.

When I could breathe again I returned the favour. I was interested in fucking again, but going down on him was nice too. I asked if he wanted me to suck him off, and he did. The lovely thing was deliberately drawing it out to make him last longer, kissing up and down his shaft, swirling my tongue, playing with one rhythm and another before settling into my stride, and building him up to a long, delicious orgasm that seemed to go on forever.

Even after that he was still hard enough for me to sit on, so in the end we both got what we wanted – in more ways than one.

Spank me in stockings - Pandora Blake

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