Posted at 13:35 on 11 Jan 2017 by Pandora / Blake
Happy new year! It's traditional to do an end of year review, and I've been chewing over my 2016 one. Damn, it was a hell of a year; comparable in craziness only to the year before it. Here are the headlines:
- I won my appeal to Ofcom against the ATVOD ruling that Dreams of Spanking was in breach of the 2014 porn regulations (the Audio Visual Media Services Regulations, or AVMS), and was able to reopen the site in June
- I researched and wrote over ten-thousand words in response to the government consultation on age verification for online porn
- I launched a Patreon campaign to crowd-fund my political activism, and did more campaigning than ever as a result
- I attended meetings in Parliament with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport discussing the age verification policy, and with the Liberal Democrat policy committee to consult about sex work and porn policy more generally. On request, I submitted my research into age verification to the Lib Dems to help inform their policy on online porn.
- Since the Digital Economy Bill was presented to Parliament in July, I've actively campaigned against it. I've written numerous blogposts, an article in the Guardian, given countless interviews to the media, organised a protest and a petition, sent int two responses to the MP Select Committee consultation, and supported the work of the Open Rights Group to challenge the Bill.
- Myles Jackman and I gathered protestors outside Parliament for fisting volleyball and a squirting waterfight in a pastiche of the UK's outdated obscenity laws
- I worked with Backlash UK, UK Adult Producers, and the Adult Provider Network
- I taught a workshop on how to get started making DIY porn for The School of Erotic Mysteries (I still owe the participants the promised showreel from the shooting we did at the end of the day; what with reopening Dreams of Spanking and campaigning against the Digital Economy Bill, I sadly haven't had time to edit anything extra)
- I went to Eroticon 2016, gave two talks, shot a documentary (see above; I'm hoping to finally find time to edit and publish it before Eroticon 2017, but we'll see), gave a spanking and caning demo, and shot a spontaneous porn film in a hotel room
- I edited and published a new spanking film, photogallery or audio story on Dreams of Spanking every week for the second half of the year - and the new content includes some of my favourite to date
- I produced and directed three shoots for Dreams of Spanking - with Zak Jane Keir and Charlie J Forrest at Eroticon in April, with Nimue Allen and Tai Crimson in London in July, and with Adele Haze, Molly Malone and Amelia Jane Rutherford for a super-exciting (and very nearly finished!) Victorian feature film, which was written and backed by a private sponsor and will be out on Dreams of Spanking soon...
- I worked as a wet and messy performer for Slymfords Sploshers, and as a spanking switch for Everyone Loves Spanking and The Havering Collection
- I went to Berlin, where I developed new porn crushes, watched a lot of amazing porn, and saw two films I was involved in being screened; Please May I Come, Mistress with Charlie and Zak, and Since You Asked So Nicely, my spanking, cunnilingus and pegging film with Parker Marx for Bright Desire
- I shot a new scene with Parker for Bright Desire which will be out in 2017, this time a slightly more traditional boy/girl scene which was super sweet, slow and sensual
Plus a lot more besides! For more details about my political efforts, check out the updates on my Patreon page - and become a Patron to receive my (worksafe) monthly mailout and news items in your inbox.
I don't have as much time for updating this blog as I used to. But it's not just that I'm busy; it's that the more media attention I get (which is useful for raising awarenss and helping advance my political cause, so I'm reluctant to turn it down) the more I relish my privacy. After ten years blogging my spanking adventures, shoot experiences and kinky sex on this blog, nowadays I'm finding myself appreciating having a private life.
A lot happened in 2016 over than the above; new romantic partners, new kinks, holidays, big life decisions and plenty of personal time. But wince I started regularly being recognised when out on the 'scene', I'm finding myself less inclined to share details about my personal sex life online. Making porn is one thing, but as my sexuality and relationships evolve, I'm discovering I don't want to broadcast the changes. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's become important to me to keep some things just for us.
That's not to say I'm going to stop blogging entirely; I'll continue to post political updates when I can, and perhaps write about other kink or porn topics if I ever get time. I do miss the ritual of writing here. Being able to process what happened in writing has always been valuable for me, so it would be nice if I could do more of it in 2017. But you can't do everything. At least, not all at once.
So what does 2017 have in store for me? More big changes, that's for sure. The Digital Economy Bill looks set to pass this spring, which will mean no more Dreams of Spanking - not for UK viewers, anyway. If I want to keep the site online in any form I'll have to sell it to an overseas partner, after which I won't legally be able to view my own website. So that will make updating it tricky. Once I've run down the content already filmed, I'm not planning to maintain a regular update schedule. I might make the occasional spanking film for film festivals, but running a membership site of prohibited porn from a country where censorship is tightening year on year doesn't sound like my idea of fun. The Dreams of Spanking archive will stay online in one form or another - unless you're in the UK, of course - but it won't be practical for me to keep on doing weekly updates.
Then what? Well, given the state of UK porn law, continuing to produce erotic films in this country feels like a bit of a fool's errand. My current intention is to take a break from making porn to finish writing my book about it. Plus, of course, the political campaign is ongoing - I mean to keep fighting for freedom of sexual expression, for better workers rights in the sex and porn industries and for the decriminalisation of sex work. I'm sure that'll keep me busy enough until I work out in which direction my porn-making is going next.