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defiant obedience

Posted at 12:32 on 1 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

It took me a while to get into the pet headspace. Marlin had injured her knee, so was only going to take part in a minimal number of scenes; I wouldn't be able to follow her example the whole time. I'd never done petplay before, never even seen an SM Circus clip, and I felt completely thrown in at the deep end.

This would have been fine if we'd shot sequentially, but we started halfway through, with a solo scene in which I had to be an aggressive watchdog. It was just me and Director Sands, who doesn't speak much English, and I have no German at all; I had no clue what I was meant to be doing. I had to guess, warring with my own awkwardness, and trying not to feel humiliated when I got it wrong. I tried to stay calm, ask for clarification when I didn't understand, not beat myself up about it. But barking aggressively at a camera is enough to make anyone feel self-conscious, and I really don't have a dog kink. Without clear instructions or reassurance, I couldn't help feeling uncertain and out of my depth.

The next clip was more my style; Marlin and I were catgirls, playing with a computer mouse, and I could follow what she did until I was comfortable enough to start improvising. I found the cat play much easier than the dog play; I just imitated my own cat. So much fun! I ended up gnawing the 'tail' of the computer mouse as I pinned it between my paws. What can I say: my cat has a weakness for cables.

Next the petgirl was taught to do tricks. We started with juggling oranges. I can't juggle, which is of course the point. Herr Sands was impressive as the strict Director, and I felt very small and vulnerable kneeling beside him. I was allowed to start with one, then progressed to two, which was fine but every time I tried to add a third, I dropped it straight away. Each mistake was immediately punished with smacks either on the paws with a riding crop, or on the bottom with a heavy leather glove. The CP was measured in increments; so the first mistake is six strokes, the next twelve, then twenty-four, forty-eight, sixty.



The glove wasn't particularly harsh, but it was humiliating to have the practice interrupted for another walloping every time I dropped a ball, especially when when it's inevitable that you'll drop them dozens of times before you manage your first proper catch. Part of my brain was revelling in how deliciously unfair it was; but my in-character pet self was sullen and resentful. I wanted to learn to do the tricks, I wanted to do well. How could I learn if I kept being interrupted, and if I was never actually shown how to do it, just forced to make the same mistake over and over again? On top of all of this was the deep-seated feeling of gracelessness and self-consciousness I get whenever I try to learn a new physical skill. Part of me still feels like a gangly teenager avoiding sports at school. The tests were designed to be impossible, but even though I knew that I still let them get to me. I felt unfit, I was aware of my own inflexibility and back problems. It's a hot kind of shame, too deep and real to be safely toyed with.

I thought that perhaps the pony training would help. I love the aesthetics and psychology of pony play. I've never played it before, but I've read a lot of ponygirl porn, and it strongly appeals to my proud, well-behaved style of submission. I like the idea of being a noble, well-groomed, well-trained creature; of being shown off as a status symbol. My vanity and dignity had both been stripped away during the dog play and circus training, but putting on the beautiful plumed pony head-dress returned some of my usual confidence.

Three different animals in as many clips; my body language didn't know which way was up. First we had to set up the obstacle course, which involved lifting the wooden blocks between your teeth, carrying them on all fours and dropping them in place. Biting the wood made my teeth hurt, but carrying something in my mouth felt precious and pleasing. We had to balance the bamboo on the wooden stands, also with our mouths you can't see both ends of the bar from such close quarters, so it's tricky and you miss the first few times.

Before the pony training, Director Sands said to me that I should get angry during the scene, and rather than obeying the command to high-step over the bars ("Trab!"), stomp on one of the bars and break it. Then I would get a punishment with the bamboo rather than the leather glove. He suggested that I should do it earlier on in the scene, as sixty with the cane would perhaps be a little too many.



By the time I was in harness, plume in place, being told to Hoch mit den Hufen! and Zu mir! and Und zurck!, learning how to Trab in my rather wobbly 4 spike heels, and how to step over the bars without stumbling, I was completely immersed in the experience. The harness, the heels, the limited vocabulary, the repetitive exercise it all combined to put me so successfully into the headspace that I couldn't conceive of disobeying. I was given ever more difficult commands, and although I felt shaky and graceless, every nerve in my body thrilled at the challenge.

When I was blindfolded, when the commands were coming ever faster, when I was shouted at for not understanding German they had no reason to expect me to understand the injustice of it was exhilirating, and I found a sense of purpose starting to crystallise around it. I became, without thinking about it, determined not to let them trip me up. Sure, it was unfair, and so you might think that angrily refusing to do as I was told would be easy. But having a strop would have been giving in to provocation, rising to the bait. I was too proud for that. It was obvious that they were setting me up for a fall; that was the point of the exercise. Well, I wasn't going to give them the satisfaction. I'm a perfectionist, and a stubborn one at that: I had been set a physical challenge, and I was damn well going to obey every command to the letter, for as long as my body could stand it.

Of course, it was desperately unprofessional of me. I'd been given clear instructions by the producer, and I failed to follow them. By the time the camera ran out of tape the clip was 25 minutes long and I was flushed all over, sweat streaming off me, trickling between my thighs and into my boots. My quads and ankles were shaky from lifting my weight again and again on those ridiculous heels. Director Sands was bewildered had I forgotten what he'd asked me to do? It was difficult to communicate my state of mind through the language barrier. I felt guilty for failing as a model, an actress but defiantly, fiercely proud for completing the test. I didn't know when I should do it, it wasn't the right time, I said, trying to explain. Marlin nodded. She understood how I felt.

When we restocked the cameras and started filming again, my instructions were clear. I had to have a tantrum, and storm through the bars rather than high-stepping over them. We were already at sixty strokes for the next mistake, so they would be with the glove rather than the cane. (I think I may have got a small number with the cane as well, but my memory is a bit blurred.) When the time came, I gazed helplessly at Herr Sands. My mind went blank. For a long moment I wondered if I was going to refuse to do it. And then Pandora took over from the pet, and I shook myself and went through the motions of wilful disobedience. I was punished for it, the scene ended, and then I could get on with the inevitable angst about my unprofessionalism and trying to work out what had gone wrong. But even as the actress belatedly did as she was told, the pet mourned the loss of the pride and security that she had build through her own defiant obedience.

--

The rest of the shoot involved being given to the Circus by my despairing boyfriend Ludwig, trained to sit and beg and fetch, limbo, games with ropes and guns and balloons, and the dreaded bullwhip. But for that, you'll have to wait until my next post.

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Tags: Fantasies, learning curves, pet play, Photos, shoot writeups, SM Circus

23 comments

lunar spankings and naughty nursery rhymes

Posted at 19:12 on 3 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I dreamed last night about making a spanking movie on the moon. Amelia-Jane and Niki were there, and probably lots of other people, and it all had this retro, 2001: A Space Odyssey type feel, you know, surreal empty corridors and a poignant sense of nostalgia. Most of the dream was taken up by trying to get around the mechanics of spanking in reduced gravity. It wasn't easy.

It has been a bit of a Week. I've been planning to write my second post about the pet play shoot, and I've also wanted to write about the G20 protests, although if I do it won't be about kink. I've also wanted to celebrate Tom's birthday, which was on Wednesday, but we didn't have much evening left after I finished work at 9pm. I did get a spanking, throughout which I kicked and squealed and made a tremendous fuss, because there's nothing worse than a wooden hairbrush when you're tired and your back hurts. But he seemed to enjoy it, which is what counts.

I ended up having to do contracting-work today as well, and Fridays are normally my day for catching up on my own projects and email and things, if I'm not modelling. So I'm sorry if I haven't written back to you, it's not personal. I'm a little peeved that I'm not going to be able to make progress on my new movie site until late April because J and I are both ridiculously busy at the moment, but that's life I guess.

I have, however, just finished work for the weekend, and I'm hoping it'll be a good one. We have Tom's birthday to celebrate, since we didn't get much of a chance on Wednesday, so hopefully I'll get soundly beaten before the weekend is out.

On Saturday we'll be going to Club SubVersion in London. D and his other partner go semi-regularly, and so do quite a few of my friends, but it'll be a new experience for us. The theme this month is "Naughty Nursery Rhymes".

I've spent the last couple of weeks racking my brains for costume ideas. Mary Mary, quite contrary, perhaps? After all, the "silver bells and cockle shells" refer to instruments of torture. But I couldn't quite translate the idea to an actual outfit, let alone one for Tom as well.

I toyed with the idea of going as the Knave of Hearts, who was, of course, "beaten full sore" by the King of Hearts for stealing the tarts. But again, unless we turned up in crowns and playing cards, I wasn't entirely sure what we'd actually wear. And Tom isn't into me dressing as a boy as much as I am. (Boo.)

So, since I've been going around making cat noises and scent-marking my boyfriends' knees ever since I got back from Germany, I've decided we're going as a couple of characters local to my bit of London: Dick Turpin and Puss in Boots. (Well, if Puss in Boots was female.) Tom's got a tricorn, sash, pirate shirt and prop pistol, and we're going shopping tomorrow to get some kitty ears and lycra to go with my thigh-high leather boots. I didn't have time to order a properly fitted tail,¹ but I'll get to have fun with facepaint, so that's me happy.

How about you guys? Do you have any exciting spanking adventures planned for this weekend?

1. I JUST found this link, and OH MY GOD. So beautiful! And cheap! I think I'm going to have to treat myself regardless of what I end up wearing on Saturday. WANT.

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Tags: corrupting the innocent, kink, making a scene, pet play, those crazy kinksters

6 comments

"I give you water"

Posted at 19:32 on 6 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I have had a delightful weekend. I spent large parts of it feeling very very subby, and I love Tom massive amounts, and, yeah. Happy. I'm waiting until my friend can send me the pics she took of our costumes before I write about the club, but in the meantime this seems as good a time as any to re-post this beautiful photo that Chross called to my attention last week:



I've seen a lot less good D/s photography than I have good spanking photography, but this diptych really nails it for me. During scenes, when I get thirsty, I ask permission for a drink - and if I am allowed one, Tom always holds the cup for me while I sip. There is something so tender, so vulnerable about it. I keep my hands clasped behind my back and we judge each other's tiny movements without speaking, careful not to spill a drop. When I'm blindfolded it's even more intimate. Tom's movements are courteous, ceremonial. If you've ever taken Catholic mass (and I have, years ago) it's hard not to be reminded of that.

Sharing drink has always been a powerful bonding experience for humans: from communal toasts; exchanging of sips between a bride a groom; strangers passing around bottles of water at a rave; to Robert Heinlein's ritual of giving water in Stranger in a Strange Land. It speaks to something deep within us, I think.

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Tags: dominance and submission, other pictures

5 comments

Subversion

Posted at 18:50 on 7 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

We went to Subversion with my beautiful friend Jimmy, who looked deliciously debonair in silver-framed sunglasses and a matching corset.¹ We were there early, despite a leisurely getting-ready that involved me spending an hour on totally experimental facepaint.

I've only ever done cat-face once before (my ex-girlfriend and I made masks based on Mungojerry and Rumpelteazer when I was 14) and it clashed horrendously with the cutesy, 'Gothic Lolita' clip-on kitty ears and joke-shop tail, but I got lots of compliments despite the weird fusion, so I think I pulled it off.



Of course, I realised before we actually got to the club that Puss in Boots was the companion of Dick Whittington, local North London hero, not Dick Turpin, infamous highwayman. D'oh! So, er, not only was I inhabiting a weird-ass fusion of Rumpelteazer and Hello Kitty, but also I was sidekick to the wrong guy. Like some strange crossover fairytale fanfiction.²

It was okay in the end, though. No-one noticed, not least because mostly people assumed Tom was a pirate. (This happens to him quite a lot.)


In which I look manically evil, and Tom looks somewhat tired. Oh well, at least my red kitty ears match his bandanna.

My highwaymen friend and I spent a while exploring and getting the feel of the place. The venue, Hub, is the Metropolitan University Student Union, or at least one of them. When it was empty at the start of the night, the atmosphere was slightly jarring. Dancefloor and cloakroom downstairs, dungeon with bar area/sofas upstairs, and another dungeon on the floor above that, lined with diner-style booths. The posters on the wall are all vanilla and studenty, and not much effort had been made with decoration - it was basically a student union full of fetish furniture and fetishists.

But oh, what furniture! One glance was enough to convince you that this was a player's club, in a way that no other London club I've been to really is. As if two floors of playspace wasn't enough, there was a seriously thoughtful (and expensive) range of furniture, including at least three suspension cages, a gallows, two medical chairs, numerous crosses and spanking benches and trestles ... and no-one was sitting on any of it, and there was space for scenes to take place next to each other, and honestly, it was like being a six-year-old in a sweet shop. The range of choice was overwhelming.

It was mostly empty when we got there, and there were only a couple of people we knew, so we mostly interacted with each other. We started playing in the top dungeon. I was bent over the spanking bench in the corner, which held my thighs apart like the ones in these photos, and we'd barely begun when several camera flashes, seen out of the corner of my eye, made me jump. I'm used to a strict no-cameras rule in dungeons, and the idea that people might be photographing me made me horribly self-conscious. Of course, I'm used to being photographed, but only when I'm working, and I wasn't meant to be working, I was meant to be being Tom's sub, and suddenly I couldn't relax and argh.

He stopped shortly after that, and cuddled me while I sobbed into his shoulder, smearing my facepaint everywhere. Of course I wasn't hurt badly - it was just the usual shock of having a scene end unexpectedly, of feeling like the worst sub in the world, despite his reassurances.

Eventually, though, I felt better, and we tried again. We waited for a different spanking bench to become free, Tom lurking by the wall of the playroom and me kneeling at his feet. The couple using the bench were twice our age, faces lined with laughter and sorrow, and every inch of their bodies alight with love. Her ample behind was well marked, and we watched as he gently brought her back up out of what must have been an incredibly intense scene. She was floating, semi-conscious, leaning on him for support. We tried our best not to intrude, or make them feel rushed. It was beautiful to watch their tenderness with each other. Tom and I exchanged a glance, wordlessly, that meant I hope that's us in thirty years' time.

Despite our intimacy, the second scene was difficult. Tom was patient with me, but my pain threshold had plummeted and the tiniest smack made me jump. I just couldn't seem to relax. Eventually he gave me eighteen with my medium tawse, which is normally a warm-up implement, and I jolted and wept my way through them as if they were the most vicious of canestrokes. Afterwards I was rewarded with compliments and cuddles, but I felt silly for being such a wuss.

But I'd got through it, and that helped center me. I was up for playing again later in the evening, but mostly we were aware, now that the place was filling up, of how few people we knew. Subversion lacked the showiness of many London clubs, but it made up for it in sociability. Everyone, it seemed, knew everyone, and the atmosphere was warm and friendly.

Still, we were nervous of starting up a conversation with strangers, but Tom soon took the plunge with a good-looking couple we'd admired earlier in the evening: a wiry, sharp-eyed man and his red-haired, beautifully tight-corseted sub.

We clicked; we flirted. They were from Dublin, and kinksters to the core. We were soon swapping stories and talking about some surprisingly intimate topics. When Tom asked me surreptitiously if I'd be interested in a double scene, I nodded at him, eyes alight with anticipation.

The Irish couple said thankyou, but no; on any other night they would, but tonight they had stuff going on, and weren't really in the right headspace to play. Of course, we said, not a problem, and carried on the conversation, enjoying getting to know each other anyway.

After a while, however, Tom (he's a sneaky bastard when he wants to be) drew me to my feet and rested my hands on the outside of the cage we were seated next to. I arched my back as he started to crop me. Everything felt right; the wine and the conversation had relaxed and stimulated me, and I was enjoying being watched and showing off to the crowd that started to gather. No problems with my pain tolerance now.

Afterwards our new friends were very complimentary, and I knelt by Tom's feet, nuzzling his thigh, enjoying the high of my recent whipping. After a little while I went to the bar to fetch people's drinks, and when I came back Tom had that look in his eye, the one that means, I've got plans for you, wench.

I barely had time to hand him his drink before I was over his left knee, facing into the corner of the group seating. I don't remember what was said but soon two hands were spanking me - Tom and S, the Irish Dom. I gasped and wriggled enough to show my appreciation, but not enough to put them off - I was well warmed up now, and S was being understandably careful with a new sub. Soon enough, however, S had got some toys out, and I was treated to a very fast, light whipping with a hand-tipped riding crop (I had no idea what it was at the time) and various other crops and paddles, often two at once. None of it was particularly severe, but it was rapid and tingly and delicious, and sharp enough to keep my interest.

When I felt soft, small hands start to tentatively stroke my thighs and flanks and the tips of my breasts, I thought I might melt.

I don't know how long I stayed there, being spanked by the two men and stroked by P, the red-haired sub. I know that when P started kissing me the sensation was so overwhelming I couldn't even feel the strokes landing on my bottom any more, although they were hard, and I had welts the next day. I know that watching Tom kiss P, slowly and deliberately, was deliciously hot. And although I'm not usually sexually interested in men who aren't my Doms (two is enough for me), being kissed by S was extremely pleasant. He held me lightly in his narrow hands, and his body rang with restrained power.

I submitted to being tied into a rope harness by him. I felt light-headed with pain and pleasure and desire. He worked quickly and skilfully, and with my arms pinioned behind my back and my breasts peaked and swollen I felt like I was floating. The three of them played with me a while, but my attention was rapidly closing in on Tom. Our new friends were delightful, but what my Dom and I wanted and needed was to go home and fuck each other senseless. So we did.

Happy birthday, Sir. It was my pleasure to serve you this weekend, and I hope to many more times in the future. And I think we'll definitely be going back to Subversion again.

1. Jimmy continues to be the only boi in my life I have any interest in spanking, and I still can't work out how much of the desire arises from my own kink and how much arises from me empathising with his need to be spanked. I considered suggesting a three-way scene to Tom on Saturday, but we were out to celebrate Tom's birthday, and I felt that as his sub it behoved me to put him first, just for tonight. (Later, when I mentioned the idea to Tom, he said he'd had pretty much exactly the same sequence of thoughts. Next time, then.)

2. I told this story to D. last night, and he grinned at me. "If anyone asked," he said, "you should have told him that you had two Dicks, and the other one was at home."

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Tags: dominance and submission, Jimmy Holloway, kink, making a scene, Photos, Thomas Cameron

4 comments

corporate whore

Posted at 15:41 on 8 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake



(By fetish photographer Chris Ayres.)

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Tags: funny, other pictures

14 comments

Olivia Manners

Posted at 21:05 on 15 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

My friend Olivia has moved to a new home. She used to blog as A Well Disciplined Girl; now, she says,

Olivia's submission and obedience is now something that she wishes to keep treasured and close to her heart; shared with people within the walls of privacy. Something to be talked about with those dear to her or those trusted to her, and certainly those known to her.

The other aspects of Olivia are what will become known here.

Having experienced the other aspects of Olivia a little already, I know how elegant and compelling they are. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to say about it. You should too.

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7 comments

Asking for it: I

Posted at 16:43 on 16 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I'm finding it hard to get back into the swing of spanking blogging. It's not like I've been short-changed by my Doms lately, either; while I haven't been the victim of a big scary scene since Subversion, the last couple of weeks have been delightfully full of casual, informal spankings that don't take much time or energy, but leave me feeling loved and attended to. Or should I say tended, in the way that you might tend, say, a rosebush? You know, regular watering and occasional trimming to keep me in check. (I think I may have extended this metaphor too far.)

Over the weekend, some misdemeanor or other prompted D. to start pulling me over his knee - I can't remember exactly what, but we were laughing so it was probably one of our endless geeky in-jokes, or some computer-related crime. (He's always telling me off for misusing my home PC. My argument is that since it runs Windows it's already a lost cause.) I was cooking at the time, and had to dance out of reach to tend to things before they burned, but I kissed him as I excused myself, and made it clear I wasn't trying to get out of the spanking entirely.

By the time I'd got the food to a state where I could leave it a while, however, D. seemed to have lost interest in spanking me. I swallowed my disappointment - I didn't want to pressure him, and if the moment had been lost then so be it.

The next morning we were curled up in bed with books, enjoying a Bank Holiday lie-in, and I started acting up. I hadn't really thought it through or anything; bratting isn't part of my usual style. But I still wanted that spanking, and if I couldn't get a spanking then snuggles would suit me fine, so I started bothering D. while he was reading. Play-pouncing his shoulder and going "OM NOM NOM" as I worried it. Giving his ear and nose big wet licks. Climbing under the duvet and blowing raspberries on his tummy. You know.

It took a while for him to get the message, but eventually my efforts were rewarded. I was hauled over his lap and my panties were pulled up in the middle to reveal my bottom. Soon I was on the receiving end of a series of shockingly hard spanks. I'm a more avid spankee than D. is a spanker, so normally being over his lap is an exercise in wordlessly encouraging him, but this time he was really going for it. I squealed and kicked involuntarily, and then relaxed into the delicious knowledge that I could struggle all I liked, and he'd keep going anyway. Mmmmmmm.

Afterwards I was picked up and kissed, and I grinned at him from under tousled hair. "Are you sure you should be rewarding my attention-seeking behaviours?"

"I'd rather have a girlfriend who demands attention and gets it, than one who sulks because I'm ignoring her and leaves me not knowing what's wrong," he replied.

So that's alright, then.

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Tags: D, dominance and submission, kink, otk spanking

6 comments

Asking for it: II

Posted at 08:18 on 17 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

The highlight of last week, in terms of play, was definitely the belated birthday spanking I got from Tom. (I still think it's horribly mean of him to beat me for his birthday as well as mine, not least because he's seven years older than me...) We hadn't planned to play that evening; in fact, I'd forgotten that I'd been promised 32 strokes to mark the passing of another year. I was working from home, and I still had work to finish when he arrived that evening. He relaxed with a book while I wrapped things up as quickly as I could.

By the time I'd emailled my client the finished project, I was feeling tired and frazzled. Tom was already installed on my sofa, so I couldn't use his arrival as a way to signal to my brain that it was time to stop concentrating on work and start relaxing. I went over and gave him a cuddle, but I couldn't seem to chill out, and the prospect of starting to cook dinner without a proper break was daunting.

So, I asked for a spanking. Politely and submissively, of course; despite my tentative bratting with D., I still hate the idea of being a demanding sub, all BEAT ME NOW. Tom smiled, kissed my hand, and said he was pleased with me for asking. So that was okay.

Upstairs, I obeyed his instructions to pull down my jeans and stack up pillows in the middle of the bed. I'd expected to go over his knee, but instead he held me in place with a firm hand on the small of my back while he spanked me with the other. It was lovely. Some of my thoughts were still snagged on work stress, but I tried to ignore it and focus on the sensations. He started lightly enough that I was soon squirming and making appreciative noises, and then he built it up, holding me in place the whole time, until each slow smack was so hard it seemed to melt my flesh to the palm of his hand for an instant. It hurt like hell, but only for a second or two, and then there was that hot stinging, spreading glow, and his hand on my back was warm and reassuring, and after a while I was definitely not thinking about work any more.

When he finally stopped I was flushed and giddy and full of energy. I wanted to bounce onto his lap, or make dinner, or do something else affirming and wenchly, but he had other plans. One gentle kiss, and back over the cushions I went. He found my medium straight-handled cane, and started to deliver my - his - birthday strokes.

They were swift, crisp, and shocking. By the end of the first six my giddy mood had fled, and I was clinging to the pillows for dear life. The next six and I was silently begging him to slow down, give me time to recover between each one, but I didn't dare plead out loud, and he kept on at the same relentless pace. Each biting stroke elicited a gasp that turned into a sob as soon as the next layered it, and the next, so that at the end of each set of six tears were running down my face. I struggled, helplessly, against the hand that still had me firmly pinned to the bed.

I felt well and truly sorry for myself. This wasn't what I'd wanted. I'd wanted a friendly, loving spanking, enough to ground me in my body and rejuvenate me for the evening. I didn't want to be pushed, I didn't want to cry, I didn't want my recently-achieved good mood to be torn apart by the flashing cane. This wasn't what I'd asked for!

But, of course, that was entirely not the point. This wasn't about what I wanted; this was my Dom's birthday caning, and my duty was to accept it with good grace. So I tried my hardest to be obedient. What my body wanted to do was jump up and refuse to go on, but my head and heart forced it to stay in place. I sagged onto the bed, weeping hot tears into the crumpled pillows.

Four firm strokes to round it off and it was over, and I was being cuddled, and it was all okay. I don't know if Tom would have preferred me to enjoy his birthday spanking unreservedly, but I didn't resist (even if I wasn't particularly brave) which I guess is what counts.

I suppose if I'd been allowed to keep my temporary euphoria I would only have crashed back down later on. The security of being caned whether I wanted to or not was rewarding in a different way.

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Tags: dominance and submission, kink, seasonal spankings, Thomas Cameron

17 comments

Madame de Sade

Posted at 13:39 on 20 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

A few weeks ago I got an email from Abel and Haron, asking if Tom and I wanted to join them at the theatre to see Judi Dench in Michael Grandage's staging of Yukio Mishima's 1965 play, Madame de Sade. We accepted enthusiastically. Seeing lots of kinky friends and Judi Dench in one night? How could we refuse?

That Judi Dench was in it was pretty much the only thing I knew about Madame de Sade. And that it was about the infamous Marquis, of course, a character about whom I know surprisingly little given my predilections. I've never read any of his books, and most of my information has been gleaned in passing, and from Quills, that silly movie with the delicious costumes and disappointing whipping.

Madame de Sade is an interesting combination of minimalism and melodrama. It has six characters, all female, who converse in either dry, many-layered court conversation, or richly symbolic, floral poetic monologues. A hell of an acting challenge getting those to sound emotionally convincing while at the same time conveying all the levels of aesthetic and philosophical meaning the Japanese author had in mind. I missed at least half of them, but I could tell they were there, underneath an even dryer layer of intercultural references, arising from the translation into English of a Japanese play set in 18th century France.

The play takes place in a single, gilded, high-ceilinged room in a Parisian mansion. The staging was visually fantastic, but simple - the only furniture was three chairs, unless you count the enormous fabric galleons each of the characters carried around with them. It opens with a conversation between two acquaintances of Judi Dench's character, Madame de Montreuil, the mother-in-law of the infamous Marquis. Frances Barber plays the fictional Comtesse de Saint-Fond, a hedonistic courtesan who is supremely proud of her poor reputation, and describes the Marquis' sexploits with lascivious relish to the prurient Baronesse de Simiane, played by Deborah Findlay. The Comtesse illustrates her lavishly explicit descriptions with frequent swishings of her riding crop, and the comic contradiction between her companion's prim disgust and fascinated curiosity is well played.

It's a predictable, promising start, establishing the stylised dialogue and clash of moral philosophies which characterise the play. The six characters seem initially to be symbolic puppets, representing various positions in a debate on ethics of de Sade's behaviour. Little attempt is made to encourage suspension of disbelief; the play is aware of itself as an abstract, philosophical discourse rather than a realistic story.

After the opening scene, a screen falls across the stage to denote the passing of six years; a couple of scenes later we suddenly skip ahead another twelve years, landing us during the French Revolution. Between each section, passionate music accompanies storm-swept lighting effects and the frenzied galloping of horses. It's all a bit Wuthering Heights, an impression not helped by the curling script declaring "Six years later..." which is projected, silent-movie style, on the screen. The screen then lifts to reveal exactly the same actors, aged not a bit, in much the same postures as before, sporting slightly different dresses and hairstyles. The dresses and hairstyles become progressively more elaborate during the first half of the play, and then massively simpler in the last scene, to represent the Suffering of the Nobility during the Revolution, although there's still enough silk to clothe an elephant.

I think the artificiality of the costumes and unconvincing scene changes, much like the wooden, self-conscious gestures and delivery of the actresses in the opening scene, were deliberate. The stylised speech patterns draw both from French high court 18th century fashion and 1960s Japanese aesthetics. That the action takes place in a single room, almost a single moment, is significant to the play's role as a commentary on events, rather than a straightforward telling of them. The characters show an awareness of the implausible passing of time, in a series of almost-but-not-quite fourth wall moments: "I remember it like it was just yesterday!" they exclaim of a conversation that took place eighteen years ago in their timeline, but half an hour ago in ours. One speech (I think by Madame de Montreuil, but I'm not sure) went on about how time was a swallow flickering through the room; an illusion, whirling around them while they stayed in the same place.

Despite the lurid descriptions, Greek-chorus style, of extraordinary events that happen off-stage, the play contains remarkably little action. Apart from the Comtesse's brisk crop strokes, highly formal curtseys and fan work are about the extent of it. Not only does this physical constraint reflect on the mores of de Sade's time, but the contrast highlights the increasingly explicit experiences that the characters tell each other about.

Dench's performance was controlled and resonant, but understated; either showing her exhaustion or stepping back to so as not to overshadow Rosamond Pike, who dazzled in the starring role. As Clamorous Voice has pointed out, for a play with six strong, interesting female characters, Madame de Sade spectacularly fails the Bechdel test: the only thing they talk about is the Marquis de Sade, whom they mythologise in increasingly dramatic ways. As the play progresses, and their vision of him becomes more and more ridiculously, religiously theatrical, you start to realise that actually this isn't a play dominated by a man. Rather, the Marquis is defined by his absence; he is, in fact, a non-entity, a tool used by the women to flesh out (as it were) their own narratives. His pedestal becomes ever more precarious as their worship of him is gradually revealed to be objectification, and it's refreshing to see this dichotomy expressed, for once, through the female gaze.

The black humour of the play culminates in a hilariously ironic juxtaposition: Madame de Sade herself, played with conviction by Rosamond Pike, and whose changing verbal portraits of her husband reveal her own character more than anything about his, launches into a monologue where she describes the revelation that she experienced while reading his novel Justine. I haven't read it, but I suspect that this sensationally perverse book was largely written because the imprisoned Marquis was very bored. However, Madame de Sade finds in it the resolution of her own internal struggle between her Christian morality, and her devotion to her husband despite his incurable sinfulness. She uses Justine as evidence that her husband has built a "back stairway to heaven" (I sniggered); constructed an alternative route to God; achieved gnosis through his perversions. She creates a new vision of him as the most liberated individual in Creation, inventing a new mode of freedom from behind bars; and thereby achieves her own independence. Her soliloquy is accompanied by more of the histrionic sound and light effects which throughout the play have echoed around any speech that touches on the supernatural. She becomes ecstatic, elevated, framing her experiences with a new personal enlightenment even as she talks, still, only of her husband.

The spell is broken by a knock on the door. The Marquis, described in a dozen different terms by the women of the play but never seen on stage, is outside and craves entry. Charlotte, the stoic, opinionated family retainer, describes his ruined appearance. Madame de Sade tells her to send him away. The surface impression is that she is shallow, rejecting him on the basis of his alleged age and ugliness. But her character is too complex for such an analysis to stick. Rather I think that her husband's apotheosis, as she described it, was a projection of her own transformation.

The play began with a ritual burning of his portrait by the governors that could not find him to hang him. Portraits of the Marquis, throughout the play, are not about his person at all, but only a useful language for those who paint them.

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Tags: reviews, those crazy kinksters

13 comments

Lucy Baxter and Adrian

Posted at 21:46 on 22 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

This week I am overworked and underspanked. I got home from work half an hour ago (yeah, look at the timestamp. Not impressed) to find my cat had expressed her displeasure at my late arrival all over my sofa. Cheers kitty, I missed you too.

Since I am a big tired ball of flump with no kinky energy in me, I hope you won't feel neglected if I spend the next couple of days reposting a few spanking site updates I've enjoyed recently.

How about this recipe for hotness from Sound Punishment?

Take one sulky goth teenager in Japanese school uniform:



Apply one vigorous boyfriend:



Add a dash of resistance play, and what do you get? One very red bottom, and some brilliantly dynamic spanking photography:



You all know how keen I am on scenes starring genuine kinky couples, especially if the bloke is young and fit. I'm familiar with Lucy Baxter's work, but this is the first time I've seen her partner Adrian. Is it me, or can you just feel the sexual chemistry pouring off these images?



I haven't seen the film so I don't know quite how explicit it gets at the end, but that last photo just makes me tingle. There is nothing quite like kneeling at your lover's feet with a sore bottom. Except, maybe, kneeling at his feet to perform a certain intimate service...

There, see? I feel better already.

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Tags: Male spanking models, other pictures, otk spanking, Sound Punishment

11 comments

the ballet lesson

Posted at 22:20 on 23 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I had a schoolgirl photoset lined up to post tonight, but Tom and I have just watched the first part of Wheatley Manor, the epic new film from Northern Spanking, after which I am not at all in the mood for schoolgirl scenes. But that's okay.

I don't have time for a full review right now (I suspect that Tom is about to drag me upstairs and cane me, and I've only begged a couple of minute's reprieve to post) so suffice it to say that the ballet lesson scene is one of my favourite all time scenes in the whole of spanking, and I wish I could do that, but since I can't, I am very glad to know people who can so I can watch.

Honestly, I don't normally get off on watching my friends in porn. I tend to watch their films because I'm interested, and if I'm actually looking for a porn fix I'll find something more anonymous. But, er. Yes. As you can tell, I am quite out of words, so I shall leave you with a picture instead:



I'll have more to say tomorrow, no doubt. I'm think I'm going to get my Dom to drag me upstairs now.

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Tags: Amelia Jane Rutherford, Fantasies, Northern Spanking, other pictures, reviews

9 comments

an arse by any other name

Posted at 16:59 on 27 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I took advantage of the sunny weather this weekend to do a marathon gardening session. I had a fantastic time getting my hands dirty and communing with nature, but when I got to work this morning I realised that my sunny pastime had its price. After limping to the office kitchen and back I whined at D. on IRC, "God, my legs and ass are totally seizing up."

"Ass?" he asked. "Your donkey?" I couldn't see the raised eyebrow, but I could sense it. I found myself the recipient of a good-natured cyber-spanking (on the arse, naturally) for using Americanisms. "You've been reading too much Yank porn, wench."

The thing is that it's not a word I usually use. And I realised, when I thought about it, that for me ass is an entirely sexless word. If I'm talking spanking, I'll say arse, or bottom, or bum, or something more descriptive. If my gluts are throbbing after a workout, I'll say ass or butt. The American slang words appeal less to my traditionally-English spanking aesthetic, so I tend to avoid them in erotic contexts. But they're great for whinging. Complaining that my backside ached from hunkering down over my planter beds all afternoon sounds terribly stuffy; likewise with the other old-fashioned English words - such as behind, rear or rump. (Although I don't think it's possible to use the word "rump" without sounding like a stereotypical British Colonel, mustaches and all.) If I'm whining about my lack of physical fitness, the casual words fit best.

When I explained this to D., he was surprised that a throbbing bum was a sexless thing for me. "Aching thigh muscles from shagging don't make you grin?" he asked.

I pondered. "They can be satisfying, but they're not hot per se." When I thought about it, I remembered that I hadn't found my aching muscles after the Pain4Fem or SM Circus shoots sexy either. I was proud of what I'd endured, but the actual throbbing in my muscles just made me feel sorry for myself. Even if the reason for muscle pain is hot, the ache itself isn't something I fetishize - not in the same way that welts from the previous night's caning will make me tingle. Which is kind of odd, when you think about it - but whoever said masochism was rational. ;)

How about you? Do you use different words for your, or other people's, bums depending on the context? Are your preferred words different from mine? The English language has a ridiculous number of words for the posterior - which ones do you like best?

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Tags: funny, meta-analysis

5 comments

threatened with the crop

Posted at 18:14 on 29 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake



I love this lesbian photo from the 1920s. The eye contact between the two women; their voluptuous curves; the contrast of the thin, whippy crop pressing into the soft side of the sub; her wordless plea for mercy, which she will quite clearly not receive...

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Tags: other pictures, Vintage

7 comments

"SpankOut Day" 2009

Posted at 15:41 on 30 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

Today is the 11th Annual SpankOut Day in the US. (Thanks to Prefectdt and Natty for alerting me to this.) Smacking is still legal in the UK, although it is illegal to use punishment on a child that leaves "physical marks or mental harm". I've spoken out before on inappropriate legislation governing issues that are better left to personal conscience, so I'm not about to stand on a picket line crying out for yet another repressive Bill or Act of Parliament. But if smacking children were made illegal in the UK or US, I'm not at all sure that I'd object.

Like many spankos, I find this subject massively uncomfortable. I have fetishized corporal punishment since long before I reached puberty; I was getting turned on by thoughts of spanking when I was still a child, and I cannot easily separate the concept from my sexual response to it. As such I have a strong internal taboo against associating corporal punishment with actual children. The idea is inescapably sexual for me. Of course, children absolutely do have sexualities (no matter how much our society pretends that if we ignore this fact it will magically go away) and I'm not saying that children should never play sex or spanking games with each other. But adults in a position of authority have a duty of care which should not, in my opinion, engage with that child's sexuality directly. And spanking games and punishment are two very different things.

The primary issue, for me, is consent. As a feminist, consent is absolutely central to the realisation of my kink. It is what separates fantasy from reality. I might lie in bed at night telling myself stories about being enslaved, raped, abused; but my enjoyment of those stories, in the safe space of my own imagination, gives no-one permission to enact them.

Informed consent relies on experience, to some extent; to make a meaningful choice, one must have an awareness of what the other options entail. People accumulate this experience slowly and at different rates. Of course some people under the age of consent are morally capable of it. Some legal adults seem incapable of it. But I think the law in this instance is a justifiable compromise to protect the majority.

I know, better perhaps than the vanillas discussing this legislation, what the benefits of loving discipline can be. I can see the point of view of those who argue that loving, responsible corporal punishment is occasionally the most effective and appropriate option for a parent. I've had some lengthy debates about this in the past, and the responsible physical punishment of children looks remarkably similar to my adult D/s relationships. It goes like this: Discipline is only ever administered with prior warning. The consequences of an action are made perfectly clear in advance; and once stated are always followed through as promised, to ensure stability, predictability and security. Discipline is never administered in anger. It provides cleansing and catharsis; it is quick, it is memorable, and once over it is over, forgiven and forgotten. These rules apply to most methods of responsible discipline, but they are particularly important when it comes to corporal punishment, where the line between discipline and abuse can be so hard to make out.

I can see the argument in favour of the "responsible smacking" of children. I can see its virtues as a consequence of bad behaviour that is swift, fair, and leave no room for later guilt-tripping or emotional manipulation. But even so, I cannot condone it.

I, as an adult with a developed sense of personal agency and responsibility, can consent to physical discipline. And even I would never, ever want my Dom to hurt me in anger, or for anyone not my Dom to think they had the right to punish me physically. I have chosen my partners and explicitly negotiated a bargain that will benefit both of us. Children cannot choose their disciplinarians and even if they could, they cannot truly consent until they have a fuller understanding of personal responsibility and the consequences of their choices. I'm not saying this automatically happens at 16 or 18 or 21. But children's choices are so limited by their personal and legal dependence on their guardians that they cannot give meaningful consent.

Which is irrelevant to the central, pragmatic point, that most children who endure physical punishment are given no choice in the matter whatsoever. Most corporal punishment of children is not loving, negotiated and responsible. I would not wish that on any adult; it seems inhumane to me that I should wish it on someone so particularly vulnerable as a child.

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Tags: in the news, rant

7 comments

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