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horns and leather

Posted at 13:39 on 1 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

London is fresh, dazzling and summery. I'm looking forward to a lazy long weekend of music and picnics and sunlit sex with my boys. Have a sizzling May Day photo that's as hot as the city:

Not sure about the trainers, but that figure with that strap will do me just fine.

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Tags: other pictures


Linden flowers

Posted at 20:41 on 4 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I came home from a magical May weekend to discover this beautiful post by Abby Williams. She wrote a 250-word story for a writing challenge, "based on a dream I had a year ago about Pandora telling me she'd 'dreamed about the linden tree again.'" Of course I am a sucker for hearing about myself, but I would have found this story compelling and haunting anyway.

It's funny that I should be associated with the linden tree. I can't remember if Abby wrote to me about that dream when she had it, but linden has a special meaning for me. The tea is well known for its healing properties; I prefer the taste of it to camomile and often drink it at the end of the day. But mostly I drink it for the profound sense-memory associated with it, of the first weekend I played with Tom.

I was nineteen, still an undergraduate, and it was our first date. We'd ended up in bed sometime the previous year, in complicated circumstances that led to us falling out of touch for a few months. When we picked things up he decided to do things properly. My young self was thoroughly, expertly woo'd. I can still remember the tingling excitement of receiving his love letters in the college post. He dressed me up, took me out and swept me off my feet.

Here's what I wrote in my personal journal when I got home:

Everything about the last three days has been almost feverishly acute, from the moment I collected my post on Friday to find a white lily corsage had been delivered for me only an hour before, chosen to perfectly complement the antique jet-beaded jacket I would be wearing that night. And then that moment when we stepped through the doors of Simpson's in the Strand wearing full Victorian period costume; the way he passed his umbrella and top hat to the cloakroom attendant with absolute gravity while I couldn't keep from grinning. And the champagne cocktails and madeira and wine and port and cigars, and the most extravagant dinner I have ever had bought for me, and not getting to sleep until 6am (at which point he had to go to Oxford to see his other partner) and sleeping until mid-afternoon in his bed that was specially built to comfortably sleep four (including provision for two of them to be tied down to it), and making myself linden tea in that huge empty house and reading the Iliad in a room smelling of pipe tobacco and sex.

And, of course, the utterly inexpressible contentment of having to sleep on my front each night so as to avoid putting any weight on the new bruises. And, then, this morning, coming back from the bathroom wearing Thomas' black silk dressing gown to find the low-backed, oaken chair arranged exactly as it had been on Friday night - white silk scarves for my wrists and ankles, a red knotted one for my mouth - and my sheer, animal terror at the thought of my already welted and swollen skin. And him sitting in the armchair with the cane resting, unobtrusively, on his lap, waiting for me.

Linden has long been "the tree of lovers". When I drink it now, I'm taken straight back to that sunny, sleepy Saturday, almost five years ago to the day. Lazing in his bed, still half-drunk with desire, drinking linden tea and falling in love with him.

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Tags: kink, seasonal spankings, Short stories, Thomas Cameron


are you mentally disordered?

Posted at 21:25 on 6 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

The DSM, the official diagnostic list of mental disorders for medical practitioners in the US, gets updated every so often. It's about to undergo its fifth major re-write; each revision so far has resulted in the list of recognised mental disorders substantially increasing. Whether this expansion constitutes discovery or invention is an open question.

Obviously there is a need for constant revision and improvement of criteria, especially in areas where new research and knowledge is available. But the overseeing body that writes the manual is the American Psychiatric Association, an academic group who have very little interaction with patients. Practicing psychologists, licensed professional counsellors, and clinical social workers are not directly involved with defining diagnostic criteria.

The suggested revisions to the gender and sexuality section of the DSM are a cause for alarm. They propose hugely expanding the "paraphilia" section to include any sexual interest that is not:

a) an interest in genital stimulation or preparatory fondling;
b) an interest in anyone other than phenotypically normal, consenting adult human partners.

This new language risks classifying anyone who has alternative sex or who is attracted to gender-variant people, disabled people or even fat people as mentally disordered. Julia Serano writes on Feministing:

Blanchard and other like-minded sex researchers have coined words like Gynandromorphophilia (attraction to trans women), Andromimetophilia (attraction to trans men), Abasiophilia (attraction to people who are physically disabled), Acrotomophilia (attraction to amputees), Gerontophilia (attraction to elderly people), Fat Fetishism (attraction to fat people), etc., and have forwarded them in the medical literature to denote the presumed "paraphilic" nature of such attractions. This tendency reinforces the cultural belief that young, thin, able-bodied cisgender women and men are the only legitimate objects of sexual desire, and that you must be mentally disordered in some way if you are attracted to someone who falls outside of this ideal.

The proposed revisions on cross-dressing are quite simply revolting. They classify any transgender or transvestite behaviour as a "fetish", regardless of whether the individual's motivations are sexual. They also set up a sexist double standard whereby "heterosexual males" who experience "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving cross-dressing" are classified as paraphilic.

As Kelly Winters explains:

Curiously, women and gay men are free to wear whatever clothing they chose without a label of mental illness. This criterion serves to enforce a stricter standard of conformity for straight males than women or gay men. Its dual standard not only reflects the social privilege of heterosexual males in American culture, but promotes it. One implication is that biological males who emulate women, with their lower social status, are presumed irrational and mentally disordered, while biological females who emulate males are not. A second implication stereotypically associates femininity and cross-dressing with male homosexuality and serves to punish straight males who transgress this stereotype.

The proposed revisions risk stigmatizing countless sane individuals with erotic tastes outside a strictly-sanctioned norm. They would lend credibility to those who wish to condemn or discriminate people on these grounds. They would also risk adversely affecting people who are happy in their alternative sexuality but seeking treatment for other mental health problems, by giving judgmental medical practitioners authority to mis-diagnose their sexual practices as being the source of the problem. Labelling any form of gender or sexual expression as a "mental disorder" has the potential to be hugely damaging, and ignores the vast spectrum of natural sexual and gender variation that exists in the world.

Some argue that the criteria would only apply if the individual were deeply distressed by their sexual interests, but this is problematic for two reasons. Firstly, someone might only be upset because of the social stigma attached to their fetish; if it were widely understood and accepted they would have no need to fear. Secondly, the wording is vague enough to allow scope for abuse of the criteria by unethical or ignorant practitioners imposing their personal morality on a diagnosis.

This is worrying whether you're in the US or not. If you agree, Feministing has some suggestions about what you can do to help.

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Tags: health and disability, in the news, Kink activism, Politics, rant


Dormitory discipline

Posted at 19:17 on 8 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

Two naughty girls in a dark, draughty dormitory.

We knew we'd messed up. We knew we weren't allowed to creep downstairs to the kitchens after midnight, giggling as we stole cake and biscuits from the pantry and tried to smuggle them back up to our room. We knew what the consequences were of getting caught.

The worst part was the waiting. First waiting for the Night Master to come upstairs, after we'd been sent back to bed by the angry porter, and told to sit up, shivering in our nighties, and wait.

Then, when he finally opened the door, waiting - and watching - as my friend was dealt with first.

I couldn't bear to watch, but I couldn't look away...

Niki hid her face in her hands as he peeled down her knickers. Part of me wanted to do the same, and spare her blushes - how awful it must be, not only being spanked on your bare bottom, but knowing your friend was watching everything.

But I couldn't help it. Even though every second made my heart pound louder in my throat. I couldn't tear my eyes away...

As she sobbed into the mattress, he turned around and fixed me with the most evil smile I have ever seen. My heart seemed to catch in my throat as he looked at me. I knew it was my turn next...

(Many thanks to Northern Spanking for the pictures, starring Niki Flynn and Michael Stamp.)

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Tags: Niki Flynn, Northern Spanking, Photos


life without bruises

Posted at 20:04 on 12 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I've commented before on the similarities between kink and sport. Both are activities where one consents to physical discomfort and potential injury for purposes of enjoyment, social bonding and personal satisfaction. The only real reason I can see that one is more acceptable than the other is the taboo against any sexual activity not sanctioned by strict cultural 'norms'.

Nonetheless, it's interesting to know that sportsmen and women use very familiar language when discussion their relationship with pain. Martin Johnson, the new England manager, said in an interview today with the Guardian:

"People say, 'I bet you don't miss all the bumps and bruises' but I do. It's an honest feeling in the morning after a game, whether you've won or lost, to think, 'Yeah, I've put the effort in'. And that's why when a game is over a player can usually switch off. But as a manager the head keeps spinning. You can't leave it alone."

That sense of honesty will be familiar to many submissives; immersing yourself in a physical experience, striving to do your best, is both satisfying and liberating. However a scene ends - whether it pushed you beyond your limits, went in an unexpected direction or was ultimately disappointing - you can feel proud of knowing you were wholly focussed while it lasted. That you put the effort in.

When I first read the interview, I compared Johnson's experience as a new manager to my own experiences producing and directing spanking porn. As a model, my role is to be wholly present in the moment while the cameras are rolling: a certain amount of angst is common after a shoot, but mostly, if I stayed in character and took my strokes, I can feel pleased with my performance. As a director, there are far more things to worry about, and a far greater sense of responsibility.

But I wonder whether this also applies to Doms. I can't speak for myself, not being one, but I've seen Doms angst about a scene afterwards, wondering if they did the right thing. The analogy is a complex one. Johnson's comment about his relationship, as a player, with the opposing team might have been spoken by any sadist:

"When I played you could simply feel what was happening in a game," he remembers with a suddenly concentrated gaze. "You could feel if their intensity was dropping. And then that great feeling comes when you know you've got them, when you know you've broken them."

Is the experience of playing team sports closer to submission or dominance? What about managing a team? The themes of physical intensity and risk run strong through both types of experience, but the interpersonal roles are very different. I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts.

In general, though, I have to agree with Johnson: life without bruises is far less interesting.

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Tags: corrupting the innocent, in the news, meta-analysis


auctioning the Shambles

Posted at 19:55 on 13 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

If you're in the UK, did you ever visit the Shambles Museum? It was a recreated Victorian town in Gloucestershire that was open to the public, complete with cobbled street, shops, workshops and houses.

I'm not entirely sure, but unless there are two places like this in England, I think I visited the Shambles some time in my early teens. I remember being overwhelmed by the number of tourists, and shops full of Victorian posters and bootblack and rows upon rows of old-fashioned streets. (I guess they knew their market: school children, for the most part.) It was nowhere near as exciting as the Victorian school I'd visited a few years before, but the rows of tightly-packed, red brick terrace houses filled me with a faux-nostalgia, which I still get on certain London streets. I devoured all the stories about poor families sleeping six to a room, women doing laundry, factory workers and fed them to my kinky hindbrain. (Although disappointingly, there wasn't an actual factory you could look round.)

Today, I discovered not only that the Shambles museum has been closed down, but that all its contents are being auctioned off next week. This is surely the most exciting event for period-fetishists this decade! Of course, I can't go; even if I could, I probably couldn't afford more than a matchbox. If I'd found out about this earlier, perhaps we could have scheduled the Edwardian drama I'm shooting with Roué next week to be in June, so we could have raided the auction for historical props in advance.

I wonder what homes all those Victorian town plots and collectables will find? I hope that at least a few of them end up being appreciated by people like us.

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Tags: corrupting the innocent, in the news


checking in before I check out

Posted at 17:30 on 14 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

It feels like everyone has taken a break from blogging lately. I've been hard pressed to keep up with posting myself: lots of different deadlines have converged this month, so not only have I been working flat-out at the office, but I've had hours of work to do every evening on other - more interesting, but no less demanding - projects.

Next week I'm filming my third film with Roué, which in some ways is also the first that counts: it begins an ongoing period drama, featuring Edwardian debutantes, political intrigue and intensive discipline. The previous two films I've shot with them were both prequels, in different ways, and they have been saved up so that all three can be released together. This new film is also the first I've ever produced for someone else, and man, if I ever said production wasn't hard work, you had every right to laugh yourselves hoarse. This one has been in the pipeline for over a year, and while I feel like I could have done much more, it's been a long and eventful road.

Still, it all seems to be coming together, and I'm excited: the plot is fun, the location is amazing, we have custom-made period costumes and I get to work not only with my wonderful Dom, but with the luscious Adele Haze. I find it hard to believe that I've never actually worked with Adele, and am very much looking forward to it.

As if that wasn't enough, tomorrow morning I'm flying out to see the lovely folks at SM Circus again, to help out with the live stage show at BoundCon. I've never done a live BDSM performance before - informal playing in public doesn't really count. Right now I feel like all I want to do is sleep, but I know I'll have a blast once I'm there. I've never been to an international fetish convention either, and I'm really looking forward to dressing up, indulging my exhibitionist streak, and hanging out with my German and Bavarian friends.

I never did write the second half of my post about the SM Circus shoot, about the Russian Roulette and the bullwhip. (I still intend to, although it might be a bit redundant after BoundCon.) In the meantime, here's a clip from the shoot which Director Sands uploaded to SpankingTube last week. It's called "Morning Post":

Pandora Blake is our newest petgirl in the SM Circus. Unfortunately she has not yet learned how to bring the Director his newspaper. That calls for a lesson - both with the newspaper and, naturally, once again the bull whip is used. As always masterfully wielded by the Gladiator from Hell. I hope you enjoy this small glimpse into our circus life.

(Translated by Google, so please forgive any errors!)

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Tags: Adele Haze, pet play, Roue, SM Circus, Thomas Cameron, Videos


filthy gorgeous things

Posted at 16:49 on 19 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

Well, I'm back.

BoundCon was difficult and tiring and amazing by turns, and I have about 5000 words of personal journal on my netbook about it, which I will sort through and turn into something postable when I get time.

This week is all about the kink, but I don't have much time for writing. Yesterday I got home from the con and spent hours telling Tom all about it, showing him my photos and the new toys I bought. Then we sat down and watched the working edits of the first two films we made with Roue (one in 2006, one last year), which neither of us had seen before. Today and tomorrow I'm working flat out on last minute preparations for the shoot, Adele arrives on Wednesday night and we're spending the next two days in 1911.

Then this weekend we've been invited to a kinky party, where we intend to spend time with lots of lovely people and try out the new toys I bought at BoundCon. We may be exhausted after the shoot but after two days in character we'll both be raring to play as ourselves. Play is like buses: you can wait for weeks without a spanking, and then lots come along at once. Anyway, by next week I should be even tireder, covered in pretty marks, and with many many stories to tell you all, but I can't promise I'll find time to write much before then.

In the meantime, I want to recommend a beautiful new website: F/lthy Gorgeous Th/ngs. It's a new artporn/postmodern porn magazine created by Kasia Xavier and debauchette. Its first edition launched today, and is available for free; future issues will work on a subscription model.

Kasia calls it "haute porn with a heart". debauchette writes:

Our interest was in creating a space for expression thats too explicit for mainstream media channels and too experimental/creative/beautiful/challenging for the adult industry. Our thinking was that if we built a space for it, then maybe wed see more inspiring sexual content in the future, the sort of content that turns us on, makes us think, and leaves an indelible impression. Or to use Kasias words, to house a space that gives permission. To publish kinky shit, beautiful cunts, dirty thoughts and unspeakable fantasies.

The first issue is beautiful. Combining photography, articles, stories, poetry and video, it presents an evocative, arousing, intelligent meditation on the theme "voyeur". The site design is elegant, coherent and visually rich, although somewhat inaccessible if your browser/OS doesn't support Flash.

It won't please everyone. I don't like all of it: some of the content (like Chip Willis' "Strip Noir" video) is a bit self-consciously 'arty' for my tastes; some of it strikes me as the politically uncomfortable kind of objectifying more than the kinky fun kind, although heaven knows there's hardly a clear dividing line. But for the most part it is beautiful, intellectual, fascinating and hot. I was already a fan of the creators, so it's not surprising that I loved The Client Voyeur by debauchette and Throatfucking by Kasia, both ridiculously erotic pieces of writing. If photography is more your thing, I recommend Nude Interlude: Katie by Seyma Bayram: a shiveringly delicate study in sunlit skin which makes you feel like you're in the same room as the model, comfortably naked together, enjoying each others warmth. I also keep coming back to look at Beholder, Beheld by Cynthia Cortes, a self-portrait series pulsing with tension.

Apart from this endearingly playful photo by Mofo, there's not much in the way of spanking in Voyeur, but given the kinkiness of its creators I wouldn't be surprised to see our favourite topic in future issues of FGT. (Hey, they're looking for contributors; maybe I'll submit something myself.) Anyway, go, feast your eyes and your brain on this celebration of stylish hedonism while it's still free, and tell your friends.

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Tags: Boundcon, fetish art, other pictures, Roue


lost causes

Posted at 05:33 on 22 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

We're halfway through the Edwardian shoot, and are heading out shortly for the second long day of filming. Yesterday was fabulous. I was nervous as all hell - about whether everything would go wrong, about acting for fiddly, real camera shots rather than one-take immersive roleplay scenes, about not being able to swap headspace from producer to actor and finding myself unable to take any real punishment. But it was fine! More than that, it was fun! And we finished on time and did everything we'd written down and the costumes turned out brilliantly and it was hot, hot, hot.

Today I get to disrupt a class, get spanked by Adele (writing scenes for my friends that I've been fantasising about for years? Whatever do you mean), cry a lot, and have a Sunday Reckoning. We filmed the BBFC-safe version of the final caning yesterday morning, but we'll be filming the scene again for international release and we can be self-indulgent with proper strokes and everything. I'll be even tireder by then, but I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Roué very kindly let me have a couple of preview shots:

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Tags: Adele Haze, Photos, Roue, shoot writeups, Thomas Cameron


foam-born Aphrodite

Posted at 17:38 on 24 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

There's so much I want to tell you, but my head is so full I don't know where to begin.

I'll start with yesterday. We didn't make it to the kinky party in the end. Tom was held at work for a series of frustrating and bizarre reasons, and by the time he got home he was (understandably) too exhausted to contemplate getting a train.

I'd been waiting for him all day; not in a needy way, but I liked the idea of spending the day relaxing in his bed, steeping in the memories of the last few intense days and not pushing myself to leave the house or do anything, really, apart from relax and recover. Home was where work and stress resided and I wasn't ready to face it alone quite yet. So I lazed in bed and read, cooked myself breakfast, drank juice and chatted to his housemates. After I was up, Jimmy came home from his first session as a pro spankee, drained but enjoying the straightforward sense of achievement. We swapped stories and I lent him my aloe vera gel.

When Tom got home that evening, I was in bed, reading and dozing. I was sleepy, but also much more relaxed than I've been for most of the last two months. I'm still, however, thinking in film ideas, and during my bath I'd come up with a concept for an erotic D/s clip. While I was enjoying my bathtime fantasy I'd mentally cast Tom as the top, so I showed him the notes I'd written up on my netbook:

Aphrodite rising from the foam

Slow pan/closeups of girl in bath, shot moving up her legs and body to reveal she is tied with wrists above her head probably to something outside the bath (towel rail?) with her feet at the tap end. Ideally a clawfooted bath long enough to let her stretch out. She is twisting dreamily in the water, covered in bubbles.

Her Master comes in while she is dozing. He is carrying a thin, whippy straight-handled cane; almost a switch. He leans over her in the bath and strokes it over her body. She does not respond much at first, dozing and dreaming, but as he flicks it slowly up her inner thigh she opens her eyes and looks at him. She murmurs, whimpers as he continues to whip her lightly, all the while looking into her eyes. As the strokes get harder she protests a little, not seriously. In response he takes firmly her by the throat, tells her she is his. He switches her breasts, fondling them roughly between strokes with a wet and soapy left hand. She arcs in the water, surrendering.

When her breasts are hot and stinging, and she is flushed with steam and sweat, he carefully twists her onto her front and tells her to keep her bottom lifted out of the water. He canes her slowly, methodically, flicking foam with the tip. Her bottom is a red globe, rising smoothly out of the water and surrounded by white bubbles. She moans and struggles in the slippery bath, her head pillowed on one of her bound arms and her feet kicking. He grabs her ankles in one hand and continues to cane her with the other. When he has whipped her to his liking, he pulls her head back by her hair and kisses her deeply. His hand rubs suds over her welted bottom and he reaches beneath her to caress her breasts...

Tom liked the idea, and we spent a little while debating whether we should try to persuade AJR to model for it (because she looks so pretty covered in bath bubbles, as the above photo from Northern Spanking demonstrates) or whether we should cast ourselves because then the ending could get as steamy as we liked.

I mean, okay, I'm not daft. I knew that showing him my writing would put him in a certain mood, just as I knew that when I asked if he could put aloe on my bruises from the shoot, it would inevitably result in a spanking for me. We were both tired, but we were attuned to each other after the intensity of the last few days, and throbbing with sexual tension. I was still sleepy from my doze after the bath, and physically worn out: when he arranged me over his knee I flopped on either side as if there was no strength in my body. I was so dozy I can't remember how he began: with his hand? With the little switch/cane that had featured in my fantasy? If he didn't start with it he certainly moved onto it quickly, playing it over my skin in tiny, precise strokes that spoke to his training as a fencer.

I remember that I had been longing for him so acutely, all the time I'd been at home on my own, that I never resisted. I remember that all the desire to indulge ourselves alone, at home, which had built up while we were shooting exhaled and found release. I know he was gentle, very gentle, wary of my bruises and my physical fatigue, building me up oh-so-slowly with a delicate flickering over my sensitised cheeks. I moaned, I gasped, I purred, I arched my back, every movement slow and languorous.

I can't remember what order things happened next. He arranged pillows for me in the center of the bed, and I eased myself over them, hands clasped above my head. He continued to switch me for what felt like hours, barely hurting me, dancing the tip over my skin in a pattern that awakened every inch of flesh. When the harder strokes came, on the tops of my thighs and the curve of my bottom, I welcomed them, panting as I lifted my hips for more. He stroked my bottom continually, hand and switch swapping in an endless caress of pleasure and pain.

He got the riding crop out and gave me twenty-four harder strokes, swapping sides every so often and wrapping several stinging strokes around my left cheek, which had been less touched by the shoot. At first he asked me to count the strokes, and thank him for each one: I did so quietly, gratefully, without the usual pause between the stroke and my response. My body arced and twisted as the sensations increased but I never once cried out in fear. Time seemed to lengthen as I floated in a haze of dark, brimming over with peacefulness and trust. He paused after the first six to rub my sore bottom, and in those long seconds I drifted away completely, into another universe, populated by deep currents and sparks of light. When he asked me to remind him of the count so far I was dragged back to my body with a wrench. "Six, sir." I inhaled. Exhaled. "Sir, is the counting intended to keep me in my body?"

He paused, and I sensed him extending his awareness, understanding my meaning. "No," he said, very quietly, after a while. "I will keep the count for you. You may fly free, my beloved."

I rocked on the ocean of the next eighteen, floating with no resistance as wave after wave crashed over me. The kinetic energy of the impact was immediately transformed to something else, some other electricity that crackled through my body before earthing itself in a place I could not name.

Ironically, of course, after that one quick conversation, I didn't fly away completely. I didn't enter that trippy, trance state where my sensory experience ceased to be bodily at all; where pain ceases to register as pain and is absorbed by the body as some other kind of energy. But I was close. As I think back, the primary sensory memory is not of lying in that bed, but of being suspended among starfields. At the last few hard strokes, my spine twisted and my head snapped back, but I barely made a sound.

Afterwards - or maybe before, I honestly don't know - he turned me over and lightly whipped my breasts and nipples with the switch. My whimpers turned to moans of purest pleasure. As he moved between my legs and my feet curled around his head, he picked the switch back up and continued to whip my breasts as he entered me. I remember being impressed by his co-ordination, just before the sensations overwhelmed me completely and I abandoned myself to his steady hands.

Now I'm home. I miss him so much. Our relationship has been re-forged in the fires of this week, and after sharing so much together being away from him hurts like a physical ache. I'd already decided to write this before he asked me to, but because he did this is dedicated to him.

For my hard-working, talented, beautiful Sir, from his devoted and wanton wench. x

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Tags: Amelia Jane Rutherford, dominance and submission, Fantasies, Jimmy Holloway, kink, other pictures, Photos, Thomas Cameron

1 comment

I love it when a plan comes together...

Posted at 19:02 on 25 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

Lost Causes (provisional title) is the third film I've made with Roué. The first two weren't much, really. The first was back in September 2006; my fourth ever spanking film shoot and my first longer film. The producer (let's call him Jack) found us a fantastic little location - a school hall out in the country, dusty and sunlit and full of those long low benches and padded gym horses. Tom and I filmed a simple school story in very few takes. It wasn't complex, as films go. In fact, it was mostly a private D/s scene in costume with the cameras rolling. Watching it recently, I was astonished at how brutal it was. Tom pushed me as far as he thought he could, and it's shockingly severe for the context; in fact, by the time the final punishment scene starts, most pretense that this is a schoolgirl/teacher relationship has been dropped, and you're basically watching an intense punishment session between Dominant and submissive.

The second film was with the same producer, using the well-known Headmaster's Study at CP Services London. Jack was not the most organised of film professionals: we'd originally planned a naval shoot, but he didn't arrange anything in advance and called me the day before to cancel the shoot. I'd been counting on the money from the shoot that month, and talked him into going ahead if Tom and I could come up with a new story. We quickly constructed a script based on an Edwardian school roleplay we'd done a few months ago; the character Tom had played in that roleplay was actually the origin of the name Thomas Cameron.

The film wasn't bad in the circumstances, and we're both very fond of the characters and plot, but given we'd made it up on the spot and were working with limited technical resources, the results weren't stellar. Roué liked the work Tom and I were doing together and approached us about a third film; higher budget, better planned. We were both keen to have more creative control over the results of our labour, and were thrilled when Roué agreed to take us on as a director/producer team.

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Tags: Adele Haze, learning curves, Photos, Roue, shoot writeups, Thomas Cameron


BoundCon VI: teaser

Posted at 19:04 on 26 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

I have a three or four-part series of posts on BoundCon VI planned, but I don't want to overwhelm you all with too many good things at once, so I'm taking a little break today. I'll start filling you in on all the juicy details from the con tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are some tasters from a friend I made while I was there:

Keep reading »

Tags: bondage, Boundcon, other pictures

1 comment

I put on my robe and wizard hat...

Posted at 19:10 on 27 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

J sent me this artwork the other day. Sometimes I wonder if our entire friendship is founded on sharing select pieces of porn; he certainly has a good eye for what I'll like. I love her harem pants, her slutty toenail polish, and especially I love the little mouse.

My question is: is she wielding that cane herself - or carrying it to the magician to whom she's apprenticed, to be used on her own supple, sulky self?

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Tags: Fantasies, fetish art, J


the empathic rollercoaster

Posted at 19:52 on 28 May 2009 by Pandora / Blake

Emma-Jane and Haron have both written thoughtful posts recently about the Ryan Report. I'm going to ramble a bit: hope you don't mind.

I'd heard about the report from my vanilla Irish friends, but hadn't read it. When I read Haron's post just now and saw it linked, there was something inevitable about my clicking it, opening the page, skimming the titles until I found the section on eye-witness accounts of female abuse. I read a few pages and then I had to stop. I felt sickened, nauseated, distressed. And yet only a few moments before I'd consciously sought it out, skipped straight to the bits that would affect me most.

Reading this material is uncomfortable in several different ways. The first and obvious is basic human compassion and empathy: we are horrified to hear of suffering, particularly prolonged cruelty visited on the most vulnerable. At the most basic level, it's painful to imagine torture because the idea of experiencing it ourselves is horrible.

As a pervert, it's uncomfortable because of the superficial resemblance between the horrific reality and the sex games we enjoy. Never mind the consent boundary, the crucial factors of choice and agency; the difference between an experience that one chooses and can stop at any point; that is short-lived; that one shares with loved ones - and an experience that one does not choose, that is inflicted by people you hate, that is ongoing. The idea that we enjoy something which looks like something real and tragic and horrible makes us feel doubtful and guilty. The idea that we might be selfishly exploiting the suffering of others adds to that guilt.

(We're not, of course: people who made money off cruel institutions were exploiting the suffering of their inmates; we are merely telling a story which bears a shallow resemblance to their story. Writing a novel or film about abused children is arguably no less exploitative; sexualising a story doesn't automatically mean you're behaving unethically.)

But for me, and I expect millions of other people, kinky and vanilla, there is a third circle in the Venn diagram of discomfort: the fascination of the horrific. I am drawn to stories of child abuse, serial killers and human tragedies in the way that other people watch horror films. I have no interest whatsoever in horror fiction but I find stories of human suffering/cruelty/torture very difficult to look away from. I seek them out, and it's not a kinky interest - just a fascination. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

I have a very strong sense of empathy, and a very vivid imagination. Some people like watching weepy movies or ultra-violent horror flicks. This is, I think, similar. When I read accounts of what people - real people, people like me - experienced, I engage very deeply with what I'm reading. As I imagine myself in those circumstances, my heart rate accelerates and I experience a sense of vertigo; as if I am perched on the edge of a precipice of suffering, and if I were to tumble into the abyss then that reality would become my reality, and I would never be able to escape. It feels as though if I'm not careful, that vividly imagined suffering could become real, could really affect me. Gasping, I stop reading, put it away and return to the real world, shaking and slightly (very, very slightly compared to the reality I'm reading about) traumatised.

It is horrific, upsetting, distressing; and my compassion and sense of injustice is certainly awakened. But I can't, in all honesty, pretend that justice is my primary motive. This is an empathic rollercoaster. It's a game I can play because I'm lucky enough not to have experienced these things for real. I don't know what torture real torture feels like. Humans cannot remember or imagine physical pain; we remember and imagine the fear and horror associated with it, but we cannot re-live the sensation itself. There's a gulf the imagination cannot cross, but you can't seem to stop yourself standing on the edge and looking down. That sense of emotional vertigo, of encountering a dizzying alien reality, is, in a way, exhilirating.

At no point is this experience sexual for me. In fact, if the report I'm reading contains elements too familiar to my kink, it disrupts the process; I'm filled with distaste and can't engage in the same way. Reading about people being spanked or caned is distracting; the emotional trip is most successful with stories about forms of torture or suffering I don't ever fantasise about. And yet ... there must be some connection. Why do I spend shivering hours immersing myself in factual accounts of Tranquillity Bay or children locked in cellars or Irish State institutions or the Holocaust? Why am I most powerfully drawn into reports of rape and torture and systematic, particularly institutional, abuse? Why not sate my cravings for imagined suffering by reading about, say, earthquake or flood victims?

Sometimes it is entirely, unquestionably sexless. I found myself reading eye-witness accounts of the Hillsborough tragedy recently, and the trip was the same: putting myself through a vivid identification with the victims of an horrific event, feeling disconnected and shaky afterwards, haunting myself with the residual images. There is no way that you can possibly connect anything that happened at Hillsborough to my kink, and in this case my sense of injustice was rather more personal, because it happened so recently, in my own country, and because I was already angry about the police's lack of accountability. But I think I let myself drown in it, sought out more and more material to feed my sickened imagination, for the same reason that I seek out stories about mistreated children; and the emotional consequences were very similar.

When I was growing up, one of the things that inhibited my acceptance of my kink was that I used to daydream (or lie awake at night) vividly imagining horrific things. One favourite was the death of loved ones especially my parents or brother. I would play out events in my mind, fully inhabit the imagined grief of the experience, let it overwhelm me. There was nothing sexual about it, and yet I put this kind of "fantasy" in the same category as wanting to be spanked or caned. I thought I had some sort of generic unhealthy victim-wish. These days I know enough about my kink to know what it isn't I'm not turned on by the idea of my parents dying, or of children being starved and tortured. But my desire to immerse myself in emotionally extreme experiences, to ride that empathic rollercoaster, is common to both my fascination with this kind of story, and also to my kink.

In a sense, I think it's healthy to confront the idea of suffering rather than shy away from it. But this is more than curiosity or acceptance of an unpleasant reality. I wouldn't call it a fixation, but it's a powerful fascination, and I'm not comfortable with it. It seems so selfish to me, to use the suffering of others in this way. That discomfort is what stopped me reading on in the Ryan report after the first page or so, despite wanting to keep going: I felt too uncomfortable with the intensity, and inappropriateness, of my response.

It bothers me that I can't clearly describe the boundary between the empathic rollercoaster and my masochistic fantasies, any more than I can define the connection between them.

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Tags: corrupting the innocent, Fantasies, in the news, meta-analysis


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