I recently travelled up to Manchester to shoot with the lovely Phil Mairs in a fantastic studio located in an old industrial mill building. We had great fun exploring some evocative art nude (he wanted a sort of "abandoned" feel to them - oh no! As I'm sure you can imagine, I didn't like that idea one bit) and even some spanking-themed photos.
I'm still a bit shy about doing this sort of photographic modelling at the moment. Although I'm a bit happier with my body now than I was earlier this year since I started working out a bit more intensely and improving my strength, my body seems determined to stay a size 12-14 without resorting to unhealthy starvation tactics - which, sorry, no - and I do still struggle with the idea that I should be more slender than that.¹ My current plan is simply to carry on getting fitter and trust that as long as I'm healthy and strong, over time I'll learn to accept whatever shape I end up. Improving my upper body strength is proving very satisfying in itself, so it's not all foolish vanity!
Anyway, Phil was great to work with and very affirming, and although I felt a bit nervous and out of practice I really enjoyed the shoot. The resulting photos included some beautifully atmospheric images which I liked very much, and with his permission I wanted to share some of them with you:
I'm having a cranky, doom-mongering, post-viral, pre-menstrual, oh-god-my-website-might-not-launch-before-Christmas sort of day. So right now, I'll take any little spark of positivity I can get. Even silly blog meme positivity. Why not be arbitrarily nice to each other at this rubbish time of year? Better than being arbitrarily horrible, right?
Anyway, when Fred listed my blogs not once, but twice in his Versatile blogger award post, it brought a smile to my cold-ridden little face. Apparently I'm a "very clever lady" and Dreams of Spanking is "going to be the next big thing in spanking porn". Whee! Well, that's sorted then. No more worrying for me! ;)
Having been given a smile by this small act of kindness by a fellow blogger, the least I can do is pass it on. Thanks Fred for the compliments, your faith in me and your good wishes. I'll try to live up to them!
Well, so far December hasn't improved much on November. My run of shitty luck has continued: a horrendous hangover on Sunday (I might have had a hand in that, I suppose) and today, my computer contracted a Trojan virus. First I knew of it was the AVG notification. Then it said it could only fix one of the identified problems. Next thing I know, my screen's full of popups and Windows is giving me crazy system errors. When I turned it on and off again and ran all the antivirus and spyware checks again, Windows is missing half its shortcuts and explorer can't see any of my data any more.
So that was fun.
When we plugged the discs into D's machine we discovered the data was all still there, my OS had just got fucked beyond the point of being able to read it. So we backed the data up and I spent the next few hours playing the Re-installing Windows Game. So much for my work plans today. I'm still waiting for my data to copy back onto the reformatted discs over the network, a process which will apparently take several hours. It's alright, it's not like I have a crazily tight deadline to launch a new business while people still have spending money, or anything. Ohwait.
In part 2, Amelia and I are very, very annoyed that the Headmaster doesn't believe that the two of us were clever enough to have written under multiple pseudonyms, using different writing styles, in our secret underground school magazine. He wants us to name the other girls involved and in detention that day we'd told him that there aren't any other girls, it was all us. When he says that he'll punish us every night before bed until we confess, we decide we have to act, and hatch a plan to tell him there were two other girls involved - but giving him the names of two classmates who have since left the school, so he won't be able to do anything about it.
Like many submissives (and, I think, many women) I'm susceptible to anxiety and perfectionism. I tend to set myself unrealistically high standards, and then succumb to stress at the fear I'll fail to meet them. It's arrogant in a way - trying to be the best rather than aiming for a more moderate achievement. But there's the desire to please in there, as well as to excel. And if left unchecked it can amount to self-sabotage, as the pressure mounts up and negatively affects performance.
When I experience this in my working or creative life, D/S can be a remarkably efficient tool to help me break the cycle. But when D/S is the subject of my anxiety, the usual solution isn't so straightforward.
Tom was coming to visit early last week, and I knew that he and D had been plotting. Both of them had let slip, independently, that the plan was to give me the opportunity to earn my Domestic Servicekinky merit badge. A roast dinner was mentioned, to be served in sexy lingerie and heels, and while the debauchery to follow wasn't explicitly mentioned, it was certainly implicit.
Editing scenes for Dreams of Spanking has had one major drawback this week. Watching films of Tom spanking me has made me instantly, painfully, physically miss him.
I miss him anyway, of course. I miss him every day since we started living apart for this temporary, between-jobs period of time. I miss making food and music and love with him. I miss talking to him over breakfast and watching him fuss my cat. But watching him spank me on video makes me yearn, with a deep belly and throat ache, to be close to him.
His forearms are something I miss more than you might expect. Strong, patterned with hair, defined with the musculature that gives him such a firm grip. I miss them while he's playing the guitar, and I miss them while he's spanking me.
Yesterday was the first time in a while that I found myself sitting on a train home, bottom sore, welts tingling and itching under my clothes, my senses still full of what had just taken place. Dreamy, overstimulated, sated and reeling. Well, all of that energy had to come out somehow.
There was the belting on the evening I arrived, inspired in part (at least for me) by this hot write-up of a seven minute whipping. He started from cold, but warmed me up with the belt, layering stroke upon stroke until the throb intensified and I was squirming and sobbing over the pillows.
Then there was the twenty-four strokes with the birch which were captured on film on Thursday - this time without any warm-up at all, in the interests of producing more dramatic stripes. They were hard. But the difficulty of taking those strokes didn't undo me, didn't make me anxious or upset. It was a big, strong, challenging sort of pain, the sort of pain that inspires you to be brave, and leaves you feeling capable and proud. (If you're interested, you'll be able to watch the resulting video and photos on Dreams of Spanking from December 23rd.)
I've just announced, with great pleasure and no small amount of trepidation, the launch date of my long-awaited spanking website. Dreams of Spanking will finally go live this Friday, 23rd December.
Tonight, I want to share with you the first F/M scene I produced for Dreams of Spanking, and the only "pure" F/M scene we're launching with (if you exclude F/MF). It's called "Her Ladyship's Breakfast" and it represents a whole heap of firsts, actually:
Unlike previousyears, this Christmas saw me doing the family thing in a big way. I'd been hermitting so much in the run-up to my site launch that I'd barely left the flat. I haven't talked to my parents about my new baby business yet (although I want to soon, if I can muster up the courage) and after not seeing much of my family for ages, I was looking forward to some time with them. We spent Christmas day with D's sprawling, extended family, most of whom I hadn't met before, and then drove to my parents' on Boxing Day for a couple of days with them, my siblings and close family friends.
So I didn't really get any space to breathe: site launch on the 23rd, frantically baking, doing long overdue housework and wrapping presents on the 24th while diving online every few minutes to check my email, Twitter and CCBill account, then heading out on the 25th on hardly any sleep. It was a hardcore context shift, and I was convinced that I was going to slip up in a moment of tiredness or drunken distraction and accidentally let slip what's been going on with me for the last six months. I'm close to my parents and hate lying to them, which makes answering the "so how's work going?" questions an endless mess of half-truths and vagueness.
To my enduring relief, I managed to get away with it, and didn't say anything I shouldn't.