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BDSM, bondage and six pairs of pants

Posted at 01:13 on 4 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

To my delight, more and more spanking models are launching their own sites. This isn't a new phenomenon - some of the oldest and best sites around are performer-led - but it's pleasing to see the numbers increase. After all, what better way to ensure that the porn you're watching is ethical than to know it's independent and homegrown, with no directors or decision-makers other than the primary spankee? When, like me, you prefer to watch scenarios with a non-consensual edge, that security becomes all the more important.

My own baby will be some time in coming, but US model Sarah Gregory has recently launched her own site, Sarah Gregory Spanking, which I've been watching with great interest, and which seems to be reaching a consistently high standard with a strong sense of authenticity and fun. And to my great pleasure, other UK models are getting in on the action - such as the geeky, poly, switchy Nimue, whose forthcoming site will be live at NimuesWorld.com sometime in the next few months.

Like mine, Nimue's kinks bridge the boundaries of BDSM and spanking, and her site will reflect her broad range of interests from traditional CP to bondage, D/s and hot queer action. When she had a model cancellation last week I jumped at the chance to help out a fellow lady entrepreneur, and get a sneaky preview into what her project was about while I was at it.

In the intervening week I managed to come down with a hell of a cold, and even after three days of reluctant bedrest I still wasn't quite 100% come Monday. The situation wasn't improved by a night of bizarrely persistent insomnia, despite the help of Night Nurse and D's very comfy bed. Still, I made it onto the early train, and in the event my croaky voice was more of a hindrance than the sleep deprivation. Nimue was very understanding about the lack of voice (huskiness is less forgivable in schoolgirls than vanilla adult porn!) and I kept tiredness at bay with performance adrenaline, and a constant stream of cups of tea.

The first clip went through several changes of plan. Originally it was meant to be a piano lesson with some hand caning - until we found out that the piano space in the studio was more industrial decay than schoolroom. Nimue suggested a student sneaking into an old junkroom or attic to play without permission, but that lovely idea was scuppered by the loud building works taking place overhead. So we moved into the classroom setup - but now I needed something to be punished for.

I floated an idea based an email I'd received, a true school story of the day my correspondent wore two pairs of pants to detention, fearing that they'd get whacked. They weren't - but oh, what if they had! We decided to take it to extremes: I put on as many pairs of knickers as I physically could.

The trickiest bit was getting it to look reasonably inconspicuous from the outside. If I'd had advance warning I'd have packed some gym knickers to go on top, but I had to make do with layering a pair of black shorts with a pair of black briefs; one covering the hems underneath at the top, one at the bottom. Below them I had three pairs of patterned knickers and one pair of white shorts. A knicker fetishist's bonanza! They felt slightly odd to sit on, delightfully silly and ever so naughty. I had to struggle to keep a straight face as I sat in detention, writing out lines.

As I bend over for the inevitable tawse, the teacher's suspicions are raised by the unusual sound it makes - and the fact I'm taking the strokes far better than he expected. My cunning ruse is rumbled! So, of course, I'm taken over the knee and spanked over each pair of knickers in turn, the spanking becoming increasingly effective until it reaches bare flesh.

Not only that, but I'm awarded a stroke of the cane for every pair until I've learned that 'cheats don't prosper'.

I actually ended up getting about 12 strokes so we could get the different camera angles we needed. Not that I minded. I don't usually need much persuasion to take the cane.

The next scene was Nimue's chance to get in front of the camera and be a prize bitch. We were two fashion models, conveniently allowing cameraman to play photographer and our real photographer to take stills while we were filming, with flashes for once in character.

Jealous of being put in flat shoes while her taller co-model towers over her in heels, Nimue gets her revenge - and gives the photographer some shots he wasn't quite expecting.

Finally, we did something new for me, although not so much for Nimue. Although BDSM activities are a regular part of my private sex play, they aren't something I do much on camera - and until now, only if I was shooting with one of my partners. When I found out that Nimue was after some BDSM content, I realised that my habitual reticence is mostly my reluctance to do this sort of thing with male tops - I hadn't had the opportunity to film a BDSM scene with a woman before.

We discussed my limits: no intimate touching below the waist, but breast play is fine; pinwheels and electricity aren't hot for me; bondage clamps, gags, blindfolds, kissing, throat/breath play and whipping all good. I was also up for some hot wax, but the candles didn't get packed. Next time!

We set up a simple little D/s scene on the four poster bed. No acting, no complicated plot, just two people connecting. I wore wrist and ankle cuffs, and crawled in at my lady's summons. She put me in a chest harness and tied me spreadeagled on the bed. The position was superficially comfortable, but I quickly realised what a strain it put on my thighs, and by the end they were shaking. I was teased, tormented, and thoroughly toyed with. Nimue experimented on me playfully, carefully, always measuring my reactions, her eye contact warm and constant. I quickly developed a healthy respect for her sadism, but it still felt natural to grin and make the occasional pert remark.

It was the first time I'd explored a new D/s connection with someone on camera, and it was fascinating. It was clearly bounded by professional limits, and didn't contain the depth or passion of my romantic partnerships - but the energy and trust we exchanged was real, and I felt very comfortable and safe in Nimue's hands.

And, I'll admit, it was hot. She whipped my vulnerable chest and belly with a tiny, sharp-thonged flogger; made me jump and squirm with cruel smacks on the front of my stockinged thighs; attached clamps to my nipples and hung weights off the chain; slapped my breasts a lot and caned them with a thin switch. Yeah, it was hot.

As I headed home, hindered by tiredness, it took me some time to get my head around the newness of the experience, the things it was and the things it was not. I felt unusually chaste that evening, despite the company of the lovely Penny; played out for the day, perhaps, or just physically exhausted. But that was just an adjustment process; I have no regrets whatsoever. What a lovely treat to enjoy such pleasures as part of one's job. I definitely wouldn't object to doing it again, if the circumstances are right.

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Tags: bondage, learning curves, Nimue Allen, Nimues World, otk spanking, Photos, shoot writeups


The neurological connection between pain and pleasure

Posted at 20:35 on 6 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

What happens in the brain during orgasm? I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to know. It turns out to be pretty cool. Did you know that the clitoris alone has more than 8,000 nerve-endings? Or that women with a severed spinal cord can still enjoy vaginal orgasms?

Interestingly, they discovered that there aren't too many differences between men's and women's brains when it comes to sex. In both, the brain region behind the left eye, called the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, shuts down during orgasm. Janniko R. Georgiadis, one of the researchers, said, "It's the seat of reason and behavioral control. But when you have an orgasm, you lose control" [source: LA Times]. Dr. Gert Holstege stated that the brain during an orgasm looks much like the brain of a person taking heroin. He stated that "95 percent is the same" [source: Science News].

This research doesn't seem to have included any non-cisgendered participants. Other studies show that the brains of transgendered people have more in common with their chosen gender than the gender they were born as, but it's unclear what extent the differences in the nervous system would have on orgasm at a neurological level.

There are some differences, however. When a woman has sex, a part of the brain stem called the periaqueductal gray (PAG) is activated. The PAG controls the "flight or fight" response. Women's brains also showed decreased activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, which deal with fear and anxiety. The team theorized that these differences existed because women have more of a need to feel safe and relaxed in order to enjoy sex.

I'm obviously cagey about the team's reading of the decreased activity in the amygdala and hippocampus. I'm not a neuroscientist, but I've written before about the problems inherent in the assumption that women need to feel "safe" to enjoy sex. Most people need to feel reasonably safe to enjoy sex, in the sense of trusting that your partner will respect your boundaries - and it doesn't match my experience at all that women are any more likely to enjoy risky play within those boundaries than men. I don't know enough about the amygdala or hippocampus to make a sensible theory myself, but it seems possible that the causation there is the other way round - i.e. the pleasure of orgasm temporarily decreases fear and anxiety, rather than vice versa?

The most interesting part for me, of course, was this:

In addition, the area of the cortex associated with pain was activated in women, which shows that there is a distinct connection between pain and pleasure.

It won't come as a surprise to any spanko that there's a connection between pain and pleasure in the brain. What's interesting is that the research picked up this difference on gender lines. Since not all women are into spanking or pain play, and of those that are, not all of them are into receiving it, this is a curious finding indeed. I'd be fascinated to see some research which compares the level of activation in this part of the brain during orgasm between men and women who identify as kinky or non-kinky, dominant or submissive, sadistic or masochistic. It would surprise me to discover that masochistic women had more in common with non-masochistic women than with masochistic men. If the neurological connection between pain and pleasure is not universal among humans, I'd expect the differences to along lines of preference rather than gender. But I suspect we won't see much of this sort of in-depth research conducted in a gender-neutral and kink-positive way quite yet.

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Tags: in the news, Kink activism, Politics, those crazy kinksters


The evolution of punishment; or, how I came to like it

Posted at 02:21 on 9 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

If I were to tell you that historically, punishment has not been something I've enjoyed, I'd appear to be stating the obvious. Of course no-one enjoys punishment, that's sort of the point. But even within the familiar paradox of kink, punishment has not been a framework that I've tended to find fun to play with. Hot, undeniably; but in the context of a real dominance and submission agreement, coupled with a hopelessly strong desire to please those I love, earning a punishment has never been a fun way to initiate play for me. It's been rare, and when it's happened it's been about genuine upsets or disappointment, it's been tearful and it's not been pleasant for either of us.

Of course that mode of punishment also has value: catharsis; the putting to bed of heartfelt remorse, relief from guilt; the raw intimacy that comes from undergoing such an ordeal together for the sake of maintaining good faith. The self-respect that can be earned by bravely facing the unpleasant but necessary consequences of regretted actions.

Until now it's only ever arisen in two contexts; the breaking of pre-negotiated agreements, or the resolution of relationship conflicts where I came to see myself as being in the wrong, and craved some sort of absolution before I could forgive myself and move on. Neither an experience I'm inclined to seek out.

Recently, this sort of "serious" punishment hasn't been a feature of either of my primary relationships. Tom's health problems are well chronicled, as is D's reticence about adopting the more ceremonial aspects of D/s.

So the deal I've made with D this year has been an interesting experiment. My first punishment under our new agreement took place in a highly sexually charged context, and wasn't, to my surprise, the edgiest aspect of our play that day. Since then, at my instigation, we've expanded our agreement so that he's helping me keep track of more than just my drinking levels. I'm currently trying to improve my health and fitness more generally, and regular exercise is part of that, as well as the exercises I've been given by my physiotherapist to address my particular back problems. So as well as booze, I'm now reporting in on two additional counts: if I do my back exercises every day, and if I visit the gym three times a week.

Of course, as soon as he agreed to help me keep track of these extra factors, I immediately came down with a filthy cold, so I had a temporary reprieve until I was better. I was still not at all well the last time I visited D, which led to the punishment for the two missed days of back exercises before I got ill being postponed. Then once I recovered, I was working all hours of the day trying to make up for lost time on various client projects, I'd got out of the habit, and finding half an hour a day to do back exercises was not top of my priority list.

When we came to deal with things yesterday, then, I had quite a lot accumulated. One missed daily report. Six missed days of back exercises. To my relief, it turned out that I'd been doing really well with drinking moderately (thanks in part to the cold!) and I hadn't missed any gym sessions - but still. He'd already told me it would be six whacks with the bath brush for every missed day of exercises. Plus twelve for the missed report, adding up to a colossal 48.

So you'd think that I'd be a mess of nerves, leading up to it. But to my surprise, when he mentioned that he was packing the brush, when I saw it waiting for me on the pillow in the morning, when he came up behind me at my desk and softly kissed the back of my neck to give me my 15 minute warning, I didn't feel anxious, or upset. My primary emotion was one of reassurance, of security.

I felt loved, knowing that he cared enough to put energy into keeping his side of the bargain, even though it's not his normal style. My fear of the brush translated into a thrill of arousal. I knew I wasn't going to get shouted at. I knew I wasn't going to have personally disappointed him. The goalposts were set by me, and the only person I was letting down was myself. And I - well, I was doing my best, and working out this deal with D and accepting my punishment was part of that endeavour. There was no point feeling guilty about it. Half an hour of exercises every day is a tough habit to get into straightaway. I knew I wasn't going to manage it straight off. I'd done worse than I hoped, but there weren't going to be any recriminations or hard feelings. Just a quick punishment to deal with past 'failures', and the chance to do better next time. It felt honest, and straightforward, and strangely liberating.

When I reached a stopping point in my work, I joined him on the bed. He let me look at the spreadsheet and we discussed how I'd done. He was impressed with me for going to the gym while I was still ill; and my drinking had been lighter than my stated aims. But the back exercises were a problem. We talked about ways to help me get into the habit. Setting a time each day, and an alarm on my phone. It feels strange to stop working when I'm being productive, but I should justify it by thinking of the break itself as a health benefit; the consequences of doing computer work all day will be lessened if I get up and move around regularly. They only take half an hour, less time than the washing up, less time than a bath, less time than it takes to tidy my room or go to the shop.

After a little while I realised I was using the talk to put off the inevitable. Our eyes met. He stood up and held out his hands, and I joined him. A kiss, and then his eyes scanned me, and with a quirk of his lips he said quietly "Take off all your clothes, I think."



I did. Then I lay down, as instructed, over pillows on the bed, and he told me that I'd be counting these in sets; not each stroke, but each misdeed, starting with the missed report.

I felt so safe in his hands, so reassured by his gentle manner, that I forgot how much that damn brush hurts. It doesn't seem to have much weight to it but every stroke is a targeted, stinging punch and I am incapable of thinking while it's going on. It just gets to me, pure and simple. The pain is startling, shocking; even when I know it's coming it takes me aback.

Tom was in the next room, so I tried to be quiet. I hissed, I took deep breaths, I yelled silently into the pillows, I grabbed fistfuls of duvet, and when one set of six landed hard and fast I couldn't do anything except twist and howl and involuntarily clench both buttocks and try to flinch away. In between he stroked my back with a tender hand, and I gasped and thanked him and gritted my teeth for the next.

Then it was over; and as I cuddled up to him I realised that I hadn't cried, hadn't had the catharsis experience I usually associate with punishment. This was less distressing and less complex than that. On one level it was wholeheartedly, straightforwardly consensual. This whole thing was my idea. D wasn't being domineering, making me do things I didn't want to do; he was my team-mate, my equal partner, working with me to help me achieve my aims. On another, my crime was not emotionally distressing; a minor blip in my striving for self-improvement, but I hadn't hurt anyone and had no reason to be overwhelmed by remorse or regret. This punishment was a tool in my arsenal; it was part of the plan. It wasn't anything to feel bad about. And I didn't feel bad. I felt relieved, satisfied, loved, reassured, safe.

And - oh, my treacherous cunt - actually really turned on.

It turned out I wasn't the only one. Of course, snuggling up to him, naked and trying to rub the persistent itchy sting out of my bottom, it was easy to get distracted. More kisses didn't help. When my hand brushed against the hot bulge in his jeans I asked "Is that from kissing me or spanking my bottom?"

He smiled. "Yes."

His hand, exploring in due course, discovered what I'd suspected - that all my protestations of being a good girl who hates being punished were belied my by body's reactions. I was slippery wet. "My cunt and I disagree on the question of the bath brush. It thinks it's hot."

"Your cunt," said D, around promising kisses, "thinks anything you're afraid of is hot."


He told me to put on black and white stripy stockings, and spanked me again just because he could, making me kneel with my arse stuck right out so there was no padding to bounce under his palm, just taut skin. He smacked the backs of my thighs, too, and at various points my breasts. Our enthusiasm was mutual, and our lovemaking an excruciatingly pleasurable mix of tenderness and violence.

I can't help feeling that there's something wrong with this positive feedback loop; that if we have so much fun every time I'm punished, won't it be self-defeating? I do genuinely want it to help me improve. But those objections are theoretical. Deep down, I'm not conflicted at all; my satisfaction is too self-evident to argue with. Yes, I'll try to earn less punishment next time. If I get some, I'll take it and it'll bring us closer together. If I don't, he'll probably find an excuse to beat me anyway. Or perhaps I'll just keep raising my goals to stay slightly ahead of my progress, so I'll always fall slightly short of them - all in the name of self improvement, of course. It's all good.

(I'll leave you with one final image: me, just after D had put his jeans back on and returned to his work, doing my back exercises on the floor in knickers and a t-shirt, bottom still glowing from my recent spanking and the carpet feeling very rough where I was tender. The whole thing probably helped me loosen up, but if I'm going to used that method regularly I'm going to need to get a yoga mat.)

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Tags: D, dominance and submission, kink, Real life punishment


Getting Medieval on her Ass

Posted at 23:50 on 10 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Northern Spanking have a new video online, featuring two of my favourite spanking models - Amelia Jane Rutherford and Zoe Montana - appearing together in the same film for, I think, the first time. It also stars Paul Kennedy, Stephen Lewis (flagellant monk par excellence!), and Zoe's husband Nick. I really like watching real couples interact on film. Plus a historical context with flowing medieval costumes. What's not to like?

The scene represents a public fantasy; a sort of punishment free-for-all. Zoe is displayed in the 'town square' and a herald announces that all whom this wench has wronged should come forward and deal with her as they see fit. Hot. The scenario is immediately made more edgy by the presence of Amelia's character, the virtuous lady spectator whose role in events is unclear. Her glee pointedly contrasts with Zoe's suffering, and her prurient smirks and faux innocence ("'Tis my sad duty to bare her wicked flesh!") made me grin from the offset.

When it comes down to it, this film is NSI ham at its best. Amelia-Jane strikes saintly poses in the corners. Everyone looks fabulous in their costumes (and we get a rare glimpse of Paul without his glasses!). The actors deliver snort-inducing lines with exuberantly serious dramatic flair. (At one point Amelia's shrieks of outrage max out the treble on my speakers, but her facial expressions throughout are so entertaining that I didn't mind one jot). And as a straightforward public humiliation/victim fantasy, it's extremely appealing.

Catch the full video and photostory at Northern Spanking

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Tags: Amelia Jane Rutherford, Northern Spanking, other pictures, Paul Kennedy, Stephen Lewis, Zoe Montana


A long-awaited scene

Posted at 13:52 on 14 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

I've noted before that positive sexual energy seems to flow through my polycule; when I have fun with one partner, it can precipitate unexpected good times with the others.

It felt a bit like that last Wednesday. Even while D was still at mine, I was stealing occasional kisses and cuddles from Tom which held far more promise than I've been able to expect of him since his health worsened last November. On Wednesday evening, after D headed home, Tom caught me in an unexpected embrace. From the way he kissed me my hopes that he might be feeling a bit more like his usual self started to soar; and as I drew back enough to look into his eyes I discovered to my delight that his domly twinkle had returned.

It's a tough balancing act, a relationship with chronic health problems. The person who isn't ill has the job of not putting any pressure on their partner to do more than they're capable of, and reassure them that it's totally okay and they should take whatever time they need - even though you desperately miss being physically close to them, would kind of like some physical reassurance, and want to show your partner that they're wanted. Likewise, the person who is ill has to be honest about their limitations, clearly express their boundaries and reassure themselves that they aren't a failure for being ill (probably while feeling humiliated, guilty or angry or a mix of all three), at the same time as reassuring their partner that the issue isn't lack of desire or interest. It's tough.

We've been getting better at it, I think, although initially I was so keen to reassure Tom that I wanted him lots and lots and lots that I ended up making him feel even worse about not being able to give me what I wanted. Poly helps; having other partners I can turn to has enabled me to put less pressure on Tom, and having a nice time with another partner gives me an energy boost which I can then feed back into my relationship with him.

Over the winter I got used to not expecting Tom to be well enough for the sort of play I knew we both wanted, and I was happy to put those desires to one side and simply enjoy his company and closeness until he told me otherwise. So when that twinkle reappeared in his eyes, I wasn't expecting it - and my surprise made it all the sweeter.

It was the first time we'd played for weeks, so he was understandably cautious. I on the other hand was in high spirits, and being as cheeky and flirtatious as I thought I could get away with. The combination turned out to be remarkably successful.

Over his knee, I peeked over my shoulder every chance I got, and encouraged him as he started out with gentle warm-up smacks. He set a leisurely pace and I had no desire to rush him; I just wanted to let him know it was all good with me. As he slowly stepped up the power I found my joy at being back in this beloved, familiar situation bubbling over. Every time he elicited an "oww" from me I couldn't help laughing. I loved the strength of his thighs bearing me up, loved the warmth and promising pressure between them, loved the rough smoothness of his big work-hardened hands. I didn't go wanting for rubs and caresses, and when he made me yelp with his trademark strong, full-bodied, fleshy smacks - and, next, with the hairbrush - rather than feeling fear I found myself giggling with delight.

It was a joyful, positive vibe. I kept making eye contact with him and grinning. As I lay down over pillows in the middle of the bed I knew this was going to be an extended session, a making-up-for-lost-time sort of scene, and my heart was singing.

I'd been slowly, methodically warmed up with hand and hairbrush, Tom taking care to colour my bottom evenly from thighs to dimples. So I was more than ready for his belt; felt not a jolt of terror as it increased in force; watched the shadow of his arm lifting on the wall in front of me with lip-biting anticipation. The razor strop was next, broader and heavier but old, old leather, and I lifted my arse and groaned gratefully at each impact. He used the wooden ruler almost full force and I sighed into the pillows. I was eating up everything he could give me. My masochism light had been turned up as bright as it goes, and I couldn't get enough.

At some point - just after the strop, I think - I flashed a smile at him and asked if he was taking requests. Why, what did I have in mind? I mentioned that all the canes in our collection were in my room, apart from one, which was in his. I was referring to the Master cane, the 12mm dragon I bought him for his 30th birthday. He made no promises, and when the ruler came out I complained, laughing. Next, though, he picked up one of our favourite medium-strength canes, and I knew he'd get to where I wanted, in his own sweet time.

Two canings. I think he made me count the first one, but did the honours himself for the second, harder one. I have the number 24 in my head but I can't remember if that was one or both. I just remember my hunger, my voracious appetite for impact.

I wish I could predict what will put me in that mood. The warm up helped, as did the long build-up since our last play session, but neither of those factors can be relied on; just as love, submission and desire alone aren't always enough. I do think that poly can play a part - I was feeling loved and rejuvenated from a happy two days in D's company, which meant I didn't need comforting or looking after by Tom, I was coming to him from a place of strength and happiness.

The warm up had another effect, which was purely physical. After a long session of hard impact play I woke up the next morning without a mark on me. (Despite the fact I have a kink for being marked, I was glad - I've just spent the weekend with D and am seeing Penny tonight and tomorrow, and it seems politer not to be pre-battered when I visit them.) Tom warmed me up so thoroughly that I barely even welted at the time, even though the final caning alone would have left me seriously bruised had it been given cold. The weirdness of this fact continues to fascinate me. Aren't bodies wonderful?

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Tags: featured photos, health and disability, kink, Photos, Thomas Cameron


Green Porno

Posted at 14:20 on 15 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Yesterday the lovely Penny and I celebrated Valentine's Day by going to the Sexual Nature exhibition at the Natural History Museum. It's good fun, and well worth the money, revealing lots of beautiful and gross details about the sexual habits of various animals, with a refreshing emphasis on the variety inherent in nature and the weird restrictiveness of human sexual morality. Did you know that homosexual orangutan sex is much more cuddly and affectionate than hetero encounters? Or that spinner dolphins mate in large orgies known as wuzzles? Bisexuality, homosexuality, transexuality, polyamory - the animal kingdom has it all.

The highlight of the exhibition was a selection of Green Porno videos by Isabella Rossellini, a charming series of shorts in which she dresses up and demonstrates the bizarre mating habits of different creatures. Such as this delightful take on sadomasochistic snails:

You can view the whole series online at the Sundance Channel's Green Porno page. Look out for lesbian lizards, necromantic praying mantises, and the decombobulating vaginas of ducks...

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Tags: films and TV, funny

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My edible Valentine

Posted at 16:25 on 18 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

I like food a lot. It will therefore come as no surprise that my Valentine's celebrations this week have involved some truly excellent cookery. The remarkable thing is that I didn't do any of it myself. Normally I'm the feeder in my relationships - but this week I've been thoroughly spoiled with some delicious dinners.

D, at the weekend, was the exception. He's not a big chef. But that was okay; after an all-nighter on the town, we'd digested too many stimulants to have much appetite for food in any case. Instead we took to bed for a luxurious, lazy Sunday - snuggles, sleep (well, I managed some, I'm not sure D did) followed by hours of slow, drowsy debauchery. He also gave me a card which entertained me no end:

Think of the possibilities! I can place it pointing at my work desk; pointing at my bed; pointing at friends I want to annoy amuse. First, though, of course, I had to arrange it pointing at D's butt. Which is, I have to confess, fairly edible.

On Monday I saw Penny, and I've already written about what we got up to during the day - which was certainly adult and very entertaining, but not especially appetising. The evening, however, was a gastronomic triumph in five courses (although we never actually got as far as the cheese). Baked pumpkin risotto balls with parmesan; broccoli and stilton soup; pasta with mushrooms, garlic and pancetta in a cream and wine sauce; bread and butter pudding with homemade Seville marmalade. She knows the route to a lady's heart, alright - and she's pretty tasty herself.

Then last night, Tom treated me to a belated Valentine's dinner at home. We'd had an extended scene planned which it turned out I was too tired for (to my disappointment - but we'll find another date), so I was prepared for a quiet evening. At the last minute he decided to spoil me rotten, and surprised me with an unexpected three course dinner. Tsatsiki, houmous and pitta dippers to start, then pan-fried marinated lamb steaks in garlic and rosemary, with roasted vegetables and cheesy cauliflower. Plus strawberries with vanilla cream for dessert. Oh, man.

*brief interlude to eat leftover toasted pitta strips and red pepper houmous (nomnomNOM)*

But the biggest and best surprise came later that night - after we'd repaired to the bedroom and I'd been lavished with affection, cuddles, and an over-the-knee spanking which didn't push my tired body too far. As if all that wasn't enough, he then presented me with the best. Valentine. EVER:

They're giant chocolate biscuits with icing and HANDPRINTS. Edible spanko valentines! OMG!

Would you be wooed by this man?

The first hand and spanked ass disappeared quite quickly. Luckily, there were two more sets in the bottom of the box :)

(They're by a kinky friend of ours who's just setting up shop as a confectioner. Aren't they awesome? As a thank you to her I thought I'd let you know she was taking orders, in case there's anyone who fancies giving their own partner a delicious spanko gift. They're 10 for one hand/heart or 20 for three, including P&P. Let me know if you're interested and I'll pass it on!)

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Tags: funny, kink, other pictures, seasonal spankings

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'Discomfort me with apples': a fantasy shared

Posted at 13:02 on 21 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

I love the two most recent posts by Abby Williams, telling the story of an impromptu roleplay scene in which she's punished for scrumping apples.

Escalation is a fairly common consequence of sharing a fantasy with a top. It's your fantasy, in which everything is arranged to your liking. Emma Jane has recently written articulately about the difficulties involved in this, how much detail to go into, how faithful a reproduction it's reasonable to expect. As a bottom, it's not usually realistic (or fair!) to expect a top to become a cipher, to play their role exactly as you imagine it; and it's unfeasible and unsatisfying for the bottom to micro-manage a scene in advance. So offering a fantasy to a top is very much a gift - you're not asking them to reproduce your vision exactly, but opening it up to their personality and contribution. After all, most self-respecting tops prefer to inject a little surprise into a scenario, rather than merely reciting lines agreed in advance.

In my experience, when I've asked one of my doms to do something I've fantasised about, one of two things happen. It's either a very fluffy, very consensual, very instantly gratifying scene where I get what I want and there isn't much of a D/s dynamic in action. Or they take the opportunity to turn the tables on me - change something, do something I didn't expect, go harder than I expected - anything to unsettle me a bit, to swing the balance of power their way. Ironically, if my fantasy is of an edgy, intense scene, this is pretty much the only way to give me what I've asked for. Reproducing my fantasy exactly as described may tick all the boxes, but it won't have the same psychological impact as a scene in which I'm given something real to overcome, some genuine fear or uncertainty.

I know this, and yet I'm still not used to the way it makes me feel. When an asked-for scene makes me struggle, I'm swamped with feelings of inadequacy. I asked for this, I fantasised about it, why can't I take it? Even after the scene is over, I can dwell on that initial resistance, wondering if it means I'm a wimp, or not submissive enough. And yet, over time, I have come to realise that without initial difficulty, the scene would lack impact - would lack that psychological journey which gives it meaning.

Abby's writing describes this experience perfectly. When her husband initially springs on her the apple-scrumping punishment fantasy she's told him about, she doesn't react as positively as she expected.

I bent over, fingertips to toes, shifting my body weight from side to side as if I really was an impatient young thief, ready to receive her spanking so she could be on her delinquent way. "Thirteen strokes, then," said Mr. Williams. "You will count."

"Yes, sir," I murmured, but at the first stroke of the belt, I found myself angry, irritated with the pain and the situation. I huffed, letting him know I was irritated with the punishment. "One, Sir," I sneered.

I find roleplay can liberate me to feel anger and irritation with a top in a way I wouldn't be comfortable with in most of my romantic D/s dynamics. But it's not just an in-character fabrication - it's a genuine reaction to the pain.

The fifth and sixth strokes were less shocking. I counted them properly and I didn't make a scene. Stroke seven would mark the halfway point. I had started to relax after the two strokes I could handle; I thought I had shown that I was willing to take the punishment and that he would be less forceful about the punishment, in kind. I was wrong. The seventh stroke crossed my thighs in a painful amalgamation of cruelty and curiosity. Mr. Williams knows that I detest any spanking upon my thighs, and I know he's always interested in my reaction. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I was being tested. Instead, I screamed. I don't know if I was speaking to Mr. Williams or myself when I followed the scream with, "What the fuck?" I just had not been expecting that level of pain in our apple farmer scenario.

The silence then was so strong that I began to twitch. "I'm sorry, Sir," I whispered. "That's seven."

"That's right," he said tersely. I was in for it.

Strokes eight through twelve were hard, but my submission was no longer an act. I wasn't going to fight the belting any longer.

This passage really resonates with my experience. The hottest scenes are often the one in which the bottom can't "win" - in which we can't predict or manipulate how things will go. But it's not an easy ride, and I wouldn't want to do it with someone I didn't trust utterly.

I love how effortlessly Abby blends fantasy and reality; how her innocent apple farmer scene turns unexpectedly nasty - and then unexpectedly sexual. My favourite bit is in the second part of her write up, the perfectly captured moment where all the tension is broken:

As wife, I know I'm wet, know I'm ready for Mr. W to take the scene where it always leads, but the swish of a cane through the air behind my poised backside lets me know the farmer is not ready to let the apple thief off so easily. I clutch a pillow just before the cane lands.

Thirteen strokes of the belt have not properly warmed my bottom and I lurch forwards into the pillow to stifle my howl of pain. A tap on my lower back reminds me to return to position, kneeling on my hands and knees properly with my back arched and bottom presented. I tensely shift back, not ready but not wanting to seem unwilling.

The next stroke cuts full across the spot where bottom meets thigh, and though I begin to wimper, the thief, who can say the things I would not, says through clenched teeth, "That. Fucking. Hurt."

"Maybe this will help with the pain," Mr. W says. He goes to the nightstand and I think he's going to pull out one of the smaller paddles, something to finish warming me before the remaining eleven cane strokes I know he still wants to give me. Trusting in my husband, I close my eyes.

He returns to his place behind me, stroking my bottom, then clutching the flesh beneath his palm, pulling me open so that I feel even more naked than I already am. His finger touches the orifice between my reddened cheeks, pressing just a little. I relax into the touch. He presses deeper, then pulls out. I think I am about to receive a gentle leather paddling, something sexy, something that will finally send the farmer and the thief from the room. Instead, he presses into me again, this time with something thicker, firmer. It's not flesh. I recognize the toy we bought just weeks ago specifically for this purpose, for this spot, and irrationally, indignantly, the apple thief rears back. "Sir! I hardly think I know you well enough for that!"

Mr. W, clever farmer that he is, pushes me back down. "You've been on this farm before," he says.

I can't hold back. I snort, then giggle, then I'm all out laughing. He begins to laugh too, and the tenseness of the entire scenario is broken. I wiggle my bum at him. "You're right," I say, "I have been on this farm before. I remember now why I came back."

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Tags: dominance and submission, meta-analysis, other pictures


#ladypornday: Porn as a public service

Posted at 23:47 on 22 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Today is Lady Porn Day, a new initiative organised by sex blogger Rabbit Write to encourage and empower women to share and discuss porn. Rabbit describes the project to the Huffington post as follows:

Lady Porn Day is essentially to celebrate porn and masturbation. I'm inviting everyone to talk about their porn experiences, share stories and to ultimately share their porn recommendations. This is about not only opening up a dialog about how porn is good, but also how porn is hard, how it can be an issue for women, in terms of dealing with guilt or body image or their sexuality.

I haven't really participated in the twitter conversation, which is still going strong if you want to pitch in, but I'm thinking of using the excuse to write a few blogposts this week about what the concept of "porn for women" means to me (actually I'm quite liking the coinage 'ladyporn', I might start using that more regularly). The page on Rabbit's site seems to be acting as a hub for contributions, and her interview with Jiz Lee today (the most recent post as I type this) is well worth a read. Jiz talks about the positive social contribution ethical and queer porn can make and has made, emphasising its role in education (for example in normalising safer sex practices) and in personal affirmation and validation, reassuring people that their sexuality and orientation is normal and okay.

This is obviously very close to my own relationship to porn. Looking at porn gave me the vocabulary and courage to think about - and come to accept - my own queerness and my own kink. Working in fetish and spanking porn has expanded the way I think about my kink, improved my relationship with kink and my body, helped me make more sense of what I like and how I like it, introduced me to more and more things that it turns out I like, improved my confidence, my physical fitness, my professional skills, my writing, my self-knowledge and self-belief. My relationships have benefited. My mental and physical health have benefited.

My inbox is a testament to how valuable what I do is to other people. This is pretty amazing given that what I do is essentially self-indulgent. I like performing, I like recording experiences through creative media, and I like spanking, D/s and BDSM. I've been writing scene reports for as long as I've been playing. The urge to record, share and discuss my sexual and kink experiences is not a commercial one - it's an essential component of those experiences. The fact that I can get paid for performing my fantasies on camera, and the fact that men and women across the globe find those performances affirming, reassuring and empowering continues to baffle - and delight - me. It feels like the biggest stroke of luck in the world that doing this thing I like doing can bring pleasure and validation to other people. But after receiving countless emails from people who have been affected by watching me reflect their own fantasies, who have been helped to understand that those fantasies are normal, healthy, less unusual than they feared, I'm no longer in any doubt that porn can have enormous social and personal benefits, particularly to people with alternative sexualities.

To my surprise, the Cambridge University Student Union recently agreed with me. The House voted in favour of the motion that "pornography does a good public service" by 44 votes. Feminist pornographer and former Parliamentary candidate Anna Span led the team debating on behalf of the motion, and feminist anti-porn writer Gail Dines spoke in opposition. I can recommend Anna Span's write up of the debate for AVN News. The BBC World Service invited Span and Dines to recreate the debate on air, and you can listen to a six minute excerpt from the show here.

Anna Span's initial answer to the question of how pornography does a good public service was that "it democratises the body" - otherwise known as the Rule #34 Social Benefit (list that one under phrases I never thought I'd type). If you don't like an aspect of your body or sexuality, she says, Google it plus 'sex', and you'll discover sites which think this is the most attractive thing about you. Anna Span argues that porn is much more varied when it comes to body type, gender and types of beauty and sex appeal than mainstream advertising, films, TV, fashion photography and the other images we are surrounded with in public spaces. It is also broader in its representation of alternative sexualities. There is porn for everyone, if you care enough to put a little effort into finding it.

Span cited the recent UK study Comparison by crime type of juvenile delinquents on pornography exposure, which found no correlation between exposure to pornography and sexual violence. Both USA and UK governments have funded extensive studies into the social harm of porn, with no conclusive findings.

Gail Dines responded that mainstream porn isn't varied, and is often violent, dehumanising and debasing to women. To which of course the answer is: support indie, queer, feminist and alternative porn! As Lynn Comella writes for Las Vegas Weekly,

Dines takes a slicethe world of hard-core "gonzo" porn, which, according to her, is porn that depicts hard-core, body-punishing sex in which women are demeaned and debasedand presents it as emblematic of an entire industry. This is akin to talking about Hollywood while only referencing spaghetti Westerns; or making sweeping glosses about the music industry when what you are really talking about is hair metal. Its an approach that makes for neither a sound argument nor good sociology.

When Gail Dines says "porn" she means the stereotype of porn, the sort of thing you get in top shelf magazines or if you type "porn" into Google; big-busted, narrow waisted female bodies; big cocks; shaved genitals; simplistic storylines and limited dialogue; straightforward, vigorous penetration; cum shots; unconvincing expressions of pleasure.

When Anna Span says "porn" she seems to mean what I mean - a broader spectrum of possibilities including all representations of human sexuality; incorporating indie, alternative, amateur, kinky and feminist porn. Mainstream porn might be easiest to find, and, statistically, the thing new viewers are likely to see because there's more of it and it's been the 'norm' for longer. But that doesn't mean it's sensible or useful to assume that all porn should be judged by the same standard, or to ignore the ever-increasing range of alternatives which are available.

Instead of railing against the evils of sexually explicit imagery in general, anyone dissatisfied with mainstream porn is better off creating or supporting better, healthier alternatives; porn that's more ethical, interesting, humane, respectful and egalitarian. Which is exactly what Anna Span - and I, and the long list of positive porn projects endorsed by Lady Porn Day - are trying to do.

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Tags: Anna Span, Gender politics, Lady Porn Week, Politics


His hand; my mouth

Posted at 23:09 on 23 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

So last night I was sitting down to write my #ladypornday blogpost, feeling kind of achy and creaky and grumpy about the idea of sitting at my desk when my back already hurt. I know, I thought, I'll have a drink, that'll ease the aches and help the words come forth. Except I was due a teetotal day. So I didn't have one, I went and bothered Tom instead.

He's been poorly again this week (after that brief sunlit ray of health) - just a cold, but enough to frustrate us both all over again. But he was very sweet. We cuddled, and he asked if I wanted a backrub. I regretfully turned him down - I didn't really have time for a massage AND writing a blogpost before dinner, plus I'd feel guilty getting him to look after me when he's the one who's sick. But it occurred to me, sitting on his lap enjoying a cuddle, that I could perhaps ask for a spanking.

So I did.

We started with him sitting on the edge of the bed and me over one knee, but that made my tummy ache, so after a little bit I asked if I could go over both knees instead. He spanked me carefully, with restraint, not wanting to push too hard but knowing that if I was going to get the endorphins-as-painkillers I was after I would need to be pushed a bit. Even over my knickers, even at a fraction of the strength I know he's capable of, I couldn't take it. I owwed and winced and sucked in my breath and tried to be brave and knew full well I was being a total wimp. I hung on, waiting for my body to catch on and start to mellow out, but the switch didn't flip.

Tom reads me well. He knew that it wasn't quite getting where I needed it to, so he put a pillow on the floor and got me to kneel on it, bending over the side of the bed. This was more comfortable - but it made my bare bottom all the more vulnerable, the skin seeming even more sensitive. For whole sequences of smacks I managed to be brave and not yelp, face screwed up and hands tightly squeezing the bedding, but it never got to the point of actually feeling good. He layered the smacks so cautiously and thoroughly, interspersing them with such tender rubs, that surely I must have been properly warmed up - but the harder smacks, when they came, just made me yell "OW!" in a tone of voice that was more annoyed than anything else.

I was too stubborn to want him to stop, but I didn't know why this wasn't working for me. Was I too tired? He paused to rub my back again. I instantly relaxed into the bed, grateful noises muffled by the duvet. He stroked me and kissed the back of my neck. "This isn't really helping you much at all, is it, love?"

"Mmmmmf." I didn't want him to stop stroking.

He didn't stop; but his other hand did move within reach of my lips, so I kissed his fingers and his palm. He rubbed a particularly achy spot between my shoulders, and I leaned forward, mouth pressing against his hand. He kept it resting lightly over my mouth and I felt myself softening, mellowing. There was something intensely, tenderly vulnerable about it. It made me feel sort of little, but not really in the "little girl" sense, just suspended between those two strong, clever hands. My awareness focussed in on these points of contact; one hand on my back, one gently resting against my lips. I suddenly knew that if he were to start spanking me again now, it would be lovely, and I waited to see if he would; but he was still being careful. So in the spirit of enthusiastic consent, I murmured, "if you wanted to spank me again, that might be nice."

He did. And it was suddenly perfect, everything I'd needed it to be. He spanked me hard, slow, fully, and I breathed deep and my body filled up with sensations. Everything slowed right down and the pain washed over me. His hand wasn't stopping my mouth, but the light touch of his fingerpads against my lips was deeply arousing. When the pain got intense I focused on that sensation, his hand over my mouth, and it was enough. He gave me big, powerful spanks and I gratefully kissed his fingers.

Such a tiny thing; such a huge impact.

Afterwards I knelt on the pillow between his knees and we clung to each other, all filled up with love. Then I took my laptop through to the lounge and sat my spanked bottom on the sofa, to write my blogpost in comfort.

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Tags: dominance and submission, health and disability, kink, other pictures, Thomas Cameron

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