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How to come to terms with a kinky sexuality

Posted at 15:00 on 10 Dec 2020 by Pandora / Blake

As I'm revising my manuscript, I'm cutting out sections that don't fit and posting them here. Become a Patron to get access to cut sections about my personal kink journey, and excerpts from what I'm keeping.

Coming to terms with yourself is a lifetime’s work. For me, it took twenty five years to reach the point where I started to really accepted the kinky sides of my sexuality. Since then, I’ve spent a decade deepening my enquiry, and introducing more complexity and nuance as my understanding has evolved. Rather than killing my desire, this deep dive has had the opposite effect. I’m pleased to say that my kinks have survived the process - in fact in some ways I'm kinkier than ever.

When we embark on this enquiry, we might trip over areas where our sexual desires seem complicated by our politics and our values. “I used to enjoy weird sex, then I became woke and stopped” would be a sad story. Luckily, that's not my story, and it doesn't need to be yours. I enjoy kinky sex, my wokeness is a work in progress, and the combination sizzles with delicious complexity.

The book I'm writing is a call for social and self-acceptance of kinky sexuality, and it’s a manifesto for consensual sexual expression and ethical erotic practice.  I’ll come straight out and say it, because you’re going to find out in the first chapter anyway: my sexual fantasies often involve coercion or violence. I've struggled with the question of how to relate to them in a way that feels aligned with my values. Even the thought of enjoying some fantasies in the privacy of my own imagination has made me uncomfortable at times.

If you don’t have these fantasies, and you feel horrified at the idea of someone getting turned on by such a thing, trust me: it doesn’t make us monsters. Just complicated humans, with complicated wants.

If you do have them: welcome. You’re in the right place.

Maybe you have sexual thoughts that you bury because you're worried about causing harm, or because you don’t want to perpetuate violent social patterns. I've met many principled, compassionate kinky people are concerned by the apparent disconnect between their ethical principles and their dirty fantasies. Tops worry that they are terrible people, and bottoms worry that they are self-destructive. But our ethical principles and our dirty fantasies are not only compatible, they can actually mutually support each other.

How kinky fantasies and interpersonal ethics intersect is a complex and fascinating topic. It’s not as simple as “Free expression means I can do what I like”, and nor is it as simple as “Hurting people is wrong”, or “Violent fantasies mean you’ve been brainwashed by the patriarchy”. The truth is, it’s more complicated than that.

I want to inject some nuance into the conversation. Self-acceptance - and even self-love - doesn’t have to be blind or uncritical. It doesn’t have to be based on the idea that ‘anything goes’. The most productive self-criticism comes from an exploration of our own ethics and values, rather than from comparing ourselves with social norms.

I reject the narrative that says because my fantasies are deemed ‘unconventional’ by the risk-averse mass-media entertainment industry, I should feel shame. I am queer, I am trans, I am kinky, and I am not ashamed.

It’s okay to be kinky. It’s also okay to critically examine our sexualities in their social context. Let’s do it together! I’m eager to discover what we can learn by situating our fantasies in wider culture, and using that analysis to develop healthy boundaries and ways of relating.

Creating a more functional, compassionate society starts with the self. Understanding, accepting and loving our whole self, including our sexual desires, is a necessary step to become whole, balanced humans.

Being kinky and principled isn’t a weird accident, or an unresolvable paradox. Rather than contradicting our principles, kinky fantasies can support them by providing a release valve for repressed desires in a controlled, consensual, and pleasurable way.
Kink offers us opportunities to learn about consent, intention setting, negotiation and boundaries - all of which are essential parts of the toolkit for healthy interpersonal relationships.

This is just a taster cut from draft 1 of the introduction, which I ended rewriting in different words. If this tickles your interest, join my Patreon and keep an eye out for updates on the progress of my book. I'm revising 12 chapters which fully dive into the details of how to come to terms with kinky fantasies - watch this space.

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Tags: drafts, excerpt, kink, manuscript, Patreon, patron

0 comments

Why we need to talk about sex - and why it's hard

Posted at 15:00 on 4 Dec 2020 by Pandora / Blake


 

For many people, sex is uniquely confronting. Many of us carry trauma, baggage or shame about sex. These difficult feelings make sex hard for us to talk about.
 

Where do this traumas and discomforts come from? They come from a society which is deeply dysfunctional about sex. In this post I'm going to talk about the post-colonial Anglophone culture of North America, Canada, the UK and Australia, but some aspects of human culture are distributed throughout the globe, and a lot of it applies to other societies and countries too.
 

Keep reading »

Tags: BDSM, boundaries, communication, consent, kink, queer, sex positivity, sexual freedom, sexual liberty, sexuality, shame resilience, trans, trauma

3 comments

Yay annual membership!

Posted at 15:00 on 2 Dec 2020 by Pandora / Blake



Patreon has had a spanking new update! Some of you may have seen that they can now facilitate annual membership, paid up front with a tasty discount to give you access to your favourite creators for the whole year ahead. This feature was in beta with selected creators for a time, but it’s been rolled out Patreon-wide which means you can benefit from it!

 

What does this mean for you? Well, that depends. Maybe it suits your finances better to continue paying monthly, and that's totally fine and dandy. For some though, this could be really neat. There’s a fair bunch of you that have been here for years. With the annual membership, you can pay for the entire year in one go and know that you’re set up to enjoy my content without interruption. Not only that, but the annual membership option saves you money! It’s available for every tier, and you get a 16% discount on your membership.  So it’s cheaper, more convenient and entails less work - a win all round!
 

It would be remiss to suggest that the benefits are all on your side. There are also advantages for me as a creator. The first benefit is financial security; by securing funding for the year, I can invest in longer-term projects in the knowledge that the money is there, rather than planning in the short-term. The second is cashflow. As a wise person once said, money now is always better than money later. 
 

Keep reading »

Tags: Patreon, rewards

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November Roundup

Posted at 15:00 on 1 Dec 2020 by Pandora / Blake



It feels like yesterday I was clicking “Publish” on the October Roundup, and here we are again checking in at the end of the month! These roundups are a great opportunity for me to reflect on the past 30 days and remind myself that I actually get quite a lot done in a month.
 

Patreon Posts

My Patreon special offer ended on November 6th and it has been great getting to know all the new patrons on the team. A lot of this month’s content features chapters cut from my manuscript that you get to devour instead. 

Keep reading »

Tags: November, roundup, update

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Celebrating 500 Patreon Posts!

Posted at 15:00 on 24 Nov 2020 by Pandora / Blake

It’s hard to believe it, but I now have over 500 on my Patreon! I actually hit this milestone a few weeks ago and in all the chaos of life it passed me by. To be precise, this will be my 512th post to Patreon since I started in April 2016. We’ve been on a rollercoaster of activist causes, legal battles and kinky fun, and I don't intend to stop any time soon. Here’s a highlight reel of some of my favourite moments over the last four years.
 

April 2016 - Did a week of research and sent a ten thousand word response to the Government consultation on age verification - as long as my MPhil thesis!
 

June 2016 - Gave interviews to dozens of publications including The Guardian and The Independent about winning my legal appeal, and Ofcom’s ruling to allow my porn site Dreams of Spanking, to reopen after being criminalised the previous year.
 

Keep reading »

Tags: book, campaigning, media, Patreon, round-up

4 comments

How the word "kinky" helps tackle BDSM stigma

Posted at 09:50 on 18 Nov 2020 by Pandora / Blake

As I'm revising my manuscript, I'm cutting out the sections that don't quite fit and posting them here. Become a Patron to get access to cut sections about my personal kink, and excerpts from what I'm keeping.

 


The word ‘kinky’ is a useful one. It sounds reassuringly harmless: playful, quirky and unthreatening. It’s my preferred term when I’m discussing my fetishes with people who don’t share them. (We can move on to the question of whether or not we want to reclaim ‘pervert’ later.)
 

I never imagined I’d talk about my kinks outside of my close-knit fetish community - let alone write a book about them. It’s an endless source of surprise to me that I find myself doing this.

 

Keep reading »

Tags: advocacy, BDSM, book, cut section, fetish, freedom of expression, kink, sex, sex positivity, sexual freedom, sexual liberty, sexuality

2 comments

5 Ways to Build Trust

Posted at 16:00 on 9 Nov 2020 by Pandora / Blake

As my patrons know, I've just moved house, and am now living in an amazing community with friends. Forming this community has been a powerful experience. It happened surprisingly quickly, from realising during the March lockdown that none of us wanted to live in isolation again, to moving in together at the end of September. In between were five months of weekly Zoom calls, two in-person socially distanced park meets, and some of the richest group work I've ever done. It's transformed the entire way I think about relating. 
 

Several of us have previous experience of attempting to form a community like this, myself included. It turns out that if you want to make it work, you have to do the work - both within yourself, and with the group. We've taken our learnings from our personal experience, from self-development work and our studies into how to form high-functioning relationships, and evolved an organic process which seems to be working really well for us. It's challenging, but so worth it.
 

I've identified five key principles which I think are absolutely essential if you want to build trust and connectedness with people, that will withstand all the difficult things that come up in our lives. In this post I'm going to share them with you, and I hope you find them useful.
 

Keep reading »

Tags: communication, community, power, relationships, trust, vulnerability

3 comments

A Special Announcement

Posted at 15:00 on 25 Oct 2020 by Pandora / Blake

I'm so excited about this news I'm jiggling in my seat! Hold onto your hats (or whatever other part you want) because I've got a very special announcement to make.
As I've been unpacking my stuff in the new house, I've found a box of sexy postcards featuring some of my favourite photography prints from my work over the last decade.  I want to send them to my favourite people - you!
I'm immensely grateful for your belief in my work, your support for my activism and for all the writing I've been able to do this year thanks to you. I want to treat all my Patrons with a handwritten personalised postcard to say thanks!
I'm offering this for a limited time only, from now until Friday 6th November. Anyone who is a patron pledging $5 or more on 6th November will receive a postcard in the mail written by me personally, tucked into a discreet plain envelope.
This is also a super exciting moment though, because I've just got some lovely designs made for a t-shirt. I've been thinking about this all year and I'm thrilled that it's finally happening. I wanted to create a design expressing my political values that I can wear when I'm out and about, and that you can wear too! It's been fun thinking of possible slogans, and I've settled on a Love Heart style design with the words SHAME LESS. 
It's available in three colourways - they're based on the Kink Pride (red, purple and black), Bi Pride (pink, purple and blue) and Trans Pride (blue, white and pink) flags. They're subtle enough that you won't be outing yourself if you don't want to, and they're suitable for shameless allies to wear too! As well as choosing your SHAME LESS colour palette, you also get to choose the size and colour of the t-shirt, produced ethically and responsibly from 185gsm cotton.
Patrons who are at Advocate level (or above) will not only receive a post card, but will also get one of these new t-shirts. Become a cheerleader for yourself and others, supporting my activism against shame culture!

Keep reading »

Tags: Patreon, reward, shame resilience, special offer, t-shirt

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No, you can't shoot your documentary on my porn set

Posted at 15:00 on 19 Oct 2020 by Pandora / Blake

Image is from Oh Joy Sex Toy, who are definitely not who this post is aimed at.

Over the years many journalists, television producers and documentary makers have wanted to talk to me about my work in the sex industry. In the past I did my best to give them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve spent hours on the phone giving interviews, I’ve helped producers sort out venues and performers for documentary work, I’ve sent backstage content for TV companies to use. I believe strongly in demystifying and destigmatising sex work, and I’ve tried to help when I can.

But I've reached a point where I'm extremely wary when it comes to my dealings with the mainstream media. And I've never once said yes to one of their most common requests: to shoot a behind-the-scenes documentary about ethical pornography on a set where I am the director. 

Keep reading »

Tags: documentary, ethical porn, media, porn, rant

3 comments

What I want

Posted at 15:00 on 5 Oct 2020 by Pandora / Blake

I want a femme daddy. A soft butch top. I want to be nurtured, protected, enveloped in softness.

I want to be spanked soundly, have my hair strokes, and be tucked up in bed.

I want someone I can lean on. Someone who'll say: stay there, I'm coming over. Who will wrap me in a blanket and cook me dinner, massage the knots out of my neck and shoulders.

Right now I'm spending all day in the caregiver role. I work, parent, keep house. I did the physical tasks my partner couldn't do while they were waiting for surgery to resolve their mobility issues, and now I do all the tasks they can't do while they're recovering.  Since lockdown started I've leaned into my strength and endurance, my role as a responsible, reliable, supportive partner and parent.

I'm tired of being load-bearing. I want to be taken care of. I want to be picked up and carried to bed. I want bear hugs and orgasms and cups of tea. I want someone who can hold me in my smallness and vulnerability. I want a big spoon who's into my Little mode, who likes me cute and excitable, who'll lustfully squeeze my bum and kiss me pressed up against the wall. I want a giver with love and energy to spare.

Do I sound ungrateful? My partner is all of these things, when they're well. But chronic pain saps a person. They don't have it to give right now. I try not to complain to them about how their health problems are affecting me. I try to support them and be gentle with them and reassure them it's okay and their needs are valid.

But it does affect me, and I have needs too.

Keep reading »

Tags: dating, dominance & submission, fantasy, pandemic, parenting, polyamory, real life, vulnerability

 

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