Posted at 13:13 on 24 Jun 2012 by Pandora / Blake
Last week I was in Texas for the Texas All State Spanking Party! Not only had I never been to TASSP before, but I'd never been to any big spanking party, and on top of that this was my first ever visit to the USA. So all in all, it was pretty epic.
A quick lowdown on the "big spanking party" thing, for those who don't know already. There are several of these parties in America every year - others include Shadowlane, Florida Moonshine and Boardwalk Badness. I'm told there are differences between each of them, but as far as I can tell there's nothing like any of them in the UK.
In England, if you want to do spanking in public, you have a couple of options. You can go to all-night fetish clubs in a big city, with loud music and people dressing up in kinky outfits and getting up to all sorts of BDSM play, including spanking. If you know other spanking enthusiasts, you might get invited to a private house party which combines spanking play and socialising, or a roleplay event organised by a group of friends. Or there are commercial spanking parties offering a group 'pay to play' experience, consisting of male guests paying for tickets, and female professionals (tops, spankees or switches) paid to play with the guests. But if you're a woman, or a couple, or you just want to meet other people in the scene, there aren't any public, daytime, relaxed spanking-oriented events. There certainly aren't any big convention-style weekend parties in hotels with hundreds of guests, welcoming industry professionals and amateur enthusiasts, where everyone attends for the fun of it. I don't know if that's a glaring gap in the market, or simply a consequence of the UK scene being so much smaller in absolute terms than the US one.
The other purpose of the US spanking parties, and the reason so many industry professionals attend, is the vendors' fairs. The UK has several fetish/kink/BDSM fairs, which usually include some CP implement stalls, but there aren't any fairs which are purely geared towards spankos. This is partly because (as far as I can tell) a lot of the business at the US vendors' fairs is selling spanking DVDs, and selling homemade DVDs is illegal in the UK: you have to get films classified by the BBFC to sell them legally on DVD, and this costs hundreds of pounds per film and requires passing their stringent censorship. I know a number of UK film makers who have made milder versions of spanking films specifically for the BBFC, and still not achieved classification.
So there's nothing like this in the UK, but as of this year there is something in Europe. The first European spanking party is taking place this October: the World Spain Party, organised by implement maker The London Tanner. Tom and I are attending; and yes, Dreams of Spanking will have a stall at the vendors' fair.
Anyway, enough backstory. I was going to tell you about Texas.
I flew out from Heathrow at lunchtime on a Tuesday. The night before I'd stayed at D's place, and the biggest mishap of the trip occurred before I'd even left the country: accidentally leaving my phone on a tram on my way across London. Oh well - I wasn't going to be able to use it in America anyway. On the morning of my flight D surprised me by keeping me company not only to the tube station, but all the way to Heathrow, which sent me on my way feeling very looked after and loved up.
Remembering how hungry I'd been during my only previous transatlantic flight (to Canada a few years ago), I stocked up on food at the airport. This turned out to be a mistake, as the flight to Texas was well catered. I ended up eating all my purchases on top of the three in-flight meals, since I wasn't going to be able to take it through Customs anyway, and I hate wasting food. Mostly during the flight I watched Juno (highly recommended!) and read; I'm not too good at napping during daytime flights.
I was flying via Detroit, and the two hour stopover was completely eaten up by a crazily long security queue to be allowed into the USA. I was terrified that they were going to search my bags, sending my carefully-packed canes springing out of my suitcase in a shower of knickers, or that they would be able to somehow tell I wasn't only travelling for leisure purposes and send me back home. But luckily, they let me in. Still, it was exhausting and I had to dash through the airport to make my connection in time.
My first glimpse of America from the plane was breathtaking. This is going to sound stupid but my first and abiding impression was the sheer scale of the place. It's so big! Land stretching from horizon to horizon, all covered in neat, regular roads and buildings in a perfect grid formation. America is forty times bigger than the UK, and for the first time I started to appreciate exactly what that meant.
Not only that, but passing through Detroit airport it seemed like everything was bigger: the rooms, the shops, the art on the walls. I know that airports are disproportionately huge, but still - even the floor tiles and the blocks the walls were built out of were enormous, the size of whole rooms in London.
I couldn't see anyone I knew when I arrived at the airport, so I waited by the baggage claim. A few minutes later I bumped into a familiar blonde lady - Amelia! It's so weird that we live relatively near each other, but I usually have to travel halfway around the world to see her. We were quickly joined by Paul, Sarah and Kelley bearing a handwritten "Welcome to America" sign with my name on! Everyone was so sweet and welcoming and started talking at once, and it was amazing to see Paul and Sarah again and meet Kelley for the first time. I was a bit overwhelmed by how gorgeous everyone was, and in the car we all chatted and laughed incessantly.
They wanted to take me out to a restaurant, and it was all so sweet of them, but I'd been travelling for 17 hours, it was 2am according to my body clock, and I was frankly exhausted. After eating so much on the plane I wasn't hungry in the slightest, and I desperately wanted a shower and sleep, but I was too tired and confused to know how to express my needs. I did, however, start to worry I was going to fall asleep on my plate before we'd even ordered our dinner. Thankfully Paul noticed and drove me back to Kelley's place, where I was staying with Amelia for a couple of nights. Bless that man. I got cleaned up, put my earplugs in and crashed out on the couch for a blissful, much needed eight hours of sleep.
It was a good thing too, because the next day was a long day shooting with Amelia for Sarah's spanking site and Paul and Kelley's clip stores. To my relief, the sleep did me good and I felt surprisingly fresh and awake. I started out topping Amelia in a couple of scenes, then got spanked by Paul and Sarah later in the day. Overall we shot about a billion short scenes, and by the end of the day I was wondering if my own slow, arty shooting style of 3-4 scenes a day was very efficient. (I've since decided that continuing to film these longer, high quality scenes, but adding in a few quickies as well, is probably a good compromise; I've got a shoot for Dreams next week so we'll see how it goes!)
I really enjoyed the scenes we filmed for Sarah's site. These included the first of the day, in which I played a professional disciplinarian visited by a new client, who had never been spanked before and wanted to try it out. Since this client was played by Amelia Jane Rutherford I think it's safe to say she would be every pro-domme's dream come true.
I got spanked alongside Amelia by Sarah in 'Trust Fund Babies'; Amelia and me playing spoiled heiress brats, and Sarah playing the attorney who is tasked with carrying out the corporal punishment clause in our grandfather's will.
We had a lot of fun with this one, and I loved being spanked by Sarah; it was amazing seeing how much her topping style has developed since the last time I worked with her.
Fun fun fun! On top of those, Amelia and I also did a naked demonstration of riding crop technique for Paul's site, a bunch of other short clips, and some scenes for Kelley's site which I really liked. In the first one I played the unstable mistress of the house unfairly punishing my poor maid, Amelia; and in the other Amelia and I were evil school prefects tormenting poor little exchange student Kelley, and telling her that we had to cane her as part of a dormitory 'initiation' to make sure that she could take corporal punishment without disgracing herself. It turns out Amelia and I make a freaking scary sadistic, purring double-act. Of course the evil prefects got their comeuppance in the end.
In the evening I was feeling buzzy and up for the group dinner outing I'd missed the night before, but Paul and Sarah had plans, and ever-popular Amelia was booked for a bondage shoot across town, so Kelley and I went back to her place, gossiped and talked shop. She reminds me a lot of me at her age, and it's awesome to talk to ambitious new up-and-coming spanking producers. I got a relatively early night and another good night's sleep.
On Thursday, Kelley was shooting with Amelia and a bunch of other models, but they didn't need me so I had a day off. It was absolute bliss, and allowed me to get some solitude and charge up for the crazy party weekend that followed. Kelley let me have the run of her place, so I did a bit of blogging, hung out with her cat, and swam in the amazing, beautiful outdoor pool in her apartment block. Then Kelley came back from the shoot at 3pm, and we packed our bags and drove to the hotel for the party registration.
The swim was great, but guess who forgot to wear sunscreen before going out to the pool? (I know, I know). Luckily I didn't get badly burned, I just went an unnatural shade of pink. Don't worry, I got paddled for my stupidity, and I didn't forget again. But that's another story.