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Introducing the female gaze

Posted at 13:04 on 28 Jul 2013 by Pandora / Blake

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to speak at Gender Sex London on the topic of the female gaze in kinky porn, alongside male performer Michael Darling. It was a great evening, with a really positive reception and lots of thoughtful contributions from those who attended. You can read a storify of live tweets from the evening here.

I'll post the text of my one-hour talk in two parts.

 

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Tags: Anna Span, Annie Sprinkle, Body positivity, Dreams of Spanking, Fairtrade porn, Female gaze, Gender politics, Kink activism, Lucy McLean, Lust Films, Madison Young, Nimue Allen, Nimues World, Northern Spanking, Politics, Sarah Bright, Sites and studios, Spanking Sarah

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A truly epic party

Posted at 01:45 on 22 Jan 2012 by Pandora / Blake

I told you about my first spanking of 2012. The day before, I was lamenting my unspanked state and wondering how long I had to wait. By the end of that weekend, I'd been spanked so many times I lost count.

The occasion was Paul and Lucy's housewarming party, a grand occasion full of kinky friends, familiar faces and new people. Not everyone worth knowing was there, but everyone there was worth knowing. It's a rare scene event where I feel truly comfortable with all the people in the room.

Tom had originally hoped to accompany me, but when he was laid low with a cold I decided I couldn't miss this one - I'd go on my own. I knew that people would be playing, and I was fairly sure I wanted to join in given the opportunity. But I'm not used to going out without a spanker if I want to play, not least because I'm quite picky about who I play with. I was interested in a couple of prospects, but I wasn't sure if it was mutual, if they'd be available, and it's always an effort negotiating this sort of thing without offending anyone you don't want to play with.

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Tags: Adele Haze, Amy Hunter, bruises, cane, Caroline Grey, Finishing School, hand spanking, hand tawsing, Jimmy Holloway, kink, Lucy McLean, Northern Spanking, Paul Kennedy, Photos, switching

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We who would virtuous be / leave smut behind us

Posted at 20:04 on 7 Dec 2010 by Pandora / Blake

Perhaps unsurprisingly when your starting point is a group of adult women indulging in erotic roleplay, sexual misdemeanours became a bit of a theme during the Finishing School weekend.

Of course, our tutors Mrs Darling and Miss Hammond-Grant wholly disapproved of any crudeness or wanton behaviour. Those of you who read Amy Hunter's blog will already have been treated to the Darling's Academy anthem, in which smut (and its dangers) takes centre stage. The words of our beloved anthem were strangely prophetic. It's almost as if our tops expected modesty to be the thing we would struggle with most.

Twice during the weekend, Leia-Ann Woods earned herself a vicious tawsing for not wearing appropriate underwear. (I cringed a little as Miss Hammond-Grant tawsed her hands for not wearing a bra during class, as I never wear the things, but since I didn't fancy a hand tawsing, I thought it would be foolish to own up.) Several girls were punished for having illicit liaisons with 'bachelors' - and indeed other girls, despite Leia-Ann's protestations in Sunday assembly that the lovebite on her neck was the work of an unseasonal fruitbat.

My first punishment of the weekend, in fact, during Saturday morning assembly, was for making inappropriately sexual conversation during the drive to the castle the night before. Amelie Hammond-Grant targeted Violet Kynaston (as played by Adele Haze) first. "Could you explain, please, exactly what you mean by shagging, Violet?"

Titters from the girls. Violet kept her cool. "Um, it's when you get a very hairy dog, miss, and you have to shave it so it's less shaggy..."

Nor had our polyamorous gossip escaped their notice:

"Two boyfriends, Violet? Why would one possibly need two?"

"Well, Mrs Darling, it's useful to have a backup in case one of them is indisposed."

I hadn't got away with it either. I was informed that talking openly about sex, especially with multiple partners, is quite unladylike, and mention of same-sex encounters was quite disgusting (a fiction I am perfectly happy to indulge when both my tops have been known to partake of girly fun themselves!). Amy Hunter played the outraged teacher to perfection. "What do you have to say for yourself, Miss Blake?"

"Oh," I quipped, shamelessly stealing one of Adele's lines from the bus journey, "I must have come over queer..."

I was rewarded for my uncharacteristic cheek with giggles from my classmates. Somehow keeping a straight face, Mrs Darling asked me to step forward for my first whacking of the weekend - six with the tawse, over my (uniquely sensible) knickers.



Finishing School included some hilarious, imaginative pranks from my classmates which not only earned them well-deserved punishments, but provided excellent entertainment for everyone else. My personal favourite was the conspiracy to serve chocolate willies instead of after-dinner mints on Saturday night, which earned Caoilfhionn and Head Girl Catherine Thomas a blistering double caning each that was astonishing to watch. I particularly enjoyed Caoilfhionn's response when Mrs Darling asked if she was responsible for this outrage: "Responsible is a very interesting choice of word, Mrs Darling..."

Afterwards, though, as various miscreants were punished for a sequence of creative misdemeanours (nothing, it seems, escaped Mrs Darling's attention), I started to feel a bit left out. I'd been surrounded by CP all weekend, but received very little of it. I hadn't planned any outrageous pranks in advance. I'd tried my best to do well in my lessons. In-role eagerness to please clashes badly with an out-of-role desire to see some action.

I turned to Zille, who was watching the canings with a similar envy in her eyes. "Bad girls get all the fun," I whispered, and she vehemently agreed.

We looked at each other.

"Maybe we should be bad."

Thus a plan was born.¹ We'd intended to steal some alone time either way, but had left open the question of whether we wanted to be caught at it. Suddenly the idea of being interrupted mid-coitus behind the curtain seemed like the best of both worlds. But as we edged discreetly over to the tea table in hopes of engineering such a scene, we were waylaid by her 'guardian', Lord Buchanan-Defeu, who had picked up on our need for mistreatment and was attempting to make it happen in his own way. Frustrating as it was to be hindered from executing the Curtain Plan, he did manage to get us into trouble first.

I can't remember whether it was Zillah or her guardian who first started fussing with his bowtie. Did he ask us to neaten it or did we take the liberty ourselves? However it happened, before we knew it his bowtie, far from being tidied, was hanging loose around his neck. "It's alright," we told him, "loosened bowties are the fashion after a certain point in the evening."

Apparently our claims that he looked 'cool' didn't cut it. The next thing we knew, Miss Hammond-Grant was marching over. "Lord Buchanan-Defeu tells me you have been taking liberties with his dress!" she cried. "Am I to understand you have been touching him in an over-familiar manner?"

Our protestations fell on deaf ears. Lord Buchanan-Defeu nobly opted to help Miss Hammond-Grant correct her wayward charges, and thus it was that I found myself over the Deputy Head's lap while Zillah was dealt with by her guardian. It was the first over-the-knee spanking I'd received that weekend, and I found it very hard to conceal my delight. Everyone watched as Miss Hammond-Grant raised my ballgown and spanked me hard over my panties. Yes, my body was singing, finally, yes. I know I was supposed to be in the role of an embarrassed and petulant pupil, but I was jubilant. It was just what I needed. Amy Hunter spanks hard - it was actually the first time I'd ever bottomed to her, and it was lovely to engage with her on that level after watching her get her domme on over the last couple of years.

After that I took a turn over Lord Buchanan-Defeu's knee, which struck me as rather more familiar than merely adjusting a bowtie, but I was hardly going to argue at that point.

I'm sure Zillah and I were supposed to be chastened and sorry after our punishments, but I'm afraid to say they merely encouraged us. Happy and pleasantly buzzing with endorphins, we giggled on the sofa as we watched the party unfold around us. I was more than a little tipsy by this stage - I'd been so run down with cold over the previous few days that I'd nearly had to leave lessons earlier that afternoon, but somewhere during this evening, aided by champagne and the excitement of the experience, my energy had flipped into a slightly manic euphoria which I knew I'd probably pay for later.

Cuddling up to Zille, we revisited our plan. As Leia-Ann earned herself yet another public punishment (I didn't even hear what it was for this time) I whispered to Zille that we could probably get away with a quick snog while everyone else was distracted watching Leia-Ann. A quick snog, of course, turned into an enthusiastic makeout session, which lasted glorious minutes before a shout from Mrs Darling cut across the room like a knife.

We were in it. Caught red-handed. Despite having willingly leapt into trouble, when I stood up and faced the wrath of the Head and Deputy Head of the Academy my heart began to pound and I wondered if this had been wise. The heat of their scolding was like an onslaught, and I felt my face redden as we were told how much we'd disgraced Mrs Darling in front of her guests.

Zille and I were instructed to stand facing the tea table and bend over with our hands on it. To lift our evening gowns and pull down our panties. This would be a double caning, and it would be on the bare. I would receive my strokes first.

The caning itself is a blur. Mrs Darling and Miss Hammond-Grant arranged themselves either side of me and pulled no punches. It was hard - hard enough to make me clench my hands and gasp, although I didn't feel like I was making much sound compared to the buzz of the gathering behind me. I can't even remember how many strokes I got - I wasn't asked to count - 12 or 18, I think; but all I remember is a haze of sensation, intense, delicious, exhilarating. I devoured every moment. Perhaps I shouldn't admit to this where my tops can read it, but for me the experience translated as pure pleasure. I was flying so high that every searing stroke seemed to pour energy straight into my spinal cord.

I was left with a sequence of delicious welts which hardened to scabs over the next few days, proof that my memory of those slicing, burning strokes is not exaggerated. The marks are still there.

--

The next day, I felt a bit nervous about the fact that the only mischief I could manage was sexual in nature. Compared to the pre-planned pranks and exuberant naughtiness going on around me, it hardly felt imaginative. In our room, Adele remarked that she was glad I'd managed to land myself in trouble in a way that felt comfortable and natural for me, and that the incident with Zille had been "in character". I suppose, since I wasn't really playing a character, that this is true; but I couldn't shake the feeling that playing a different role next time and coming up with something a bit less predictable would have been more entertaining.

It wasn't until I re-read the lyrics of the Darling's Academy anthem a few days later that I realised the extent to which they focussed on sexual misbehaviour. Sluttiness, it seems, is one of the worst crimes the Academy can imagine:

We who would virtuous be
Leave smut behind us
Hereby learn decency
With sore reminders.
To Darlings we are sent
Our tawdriness repent
It is our one intent
To be a lady.

Out of character, I'm proud of my 'tawdriness' - I don't see anything wrong with it and I know Lucy and Amy don't either. It's certainly an aspect of myself which I'm disinclined to curb even when I'm trying to be behave, and it's a type of wrongdoing I'm perfectly comfortable with. So I'm reassured that, rather than 'cheating' the system by not behaving in-role, my misdeeds were perfectly in tune with the script.

Clearly, when it comes to smut, my protestations of being 'good' are less accurate than I thought. In this area at least, I fear I may be a hopeless case.

1. While Zille and I were plotting, I did manage to earn myself six of the best with the aid of Leia-Ann, but I'll tell you that story later. Far from satisfying my appetite for punishment, it merely left me wanting more.

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Tags: Adele Haze, Amy Hunter, Finishing School, kink, Leia-Ann Woods, Lucy McLean, other pictures, Zille Defeu

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Off to Finishing School

Posted at 13:24 on 26 Nov 2010 by Pandora / Blake



I'm on a train moving north through snow-covered fields, and when I think about where I'm going my stomach tightens in anticipation. My suitcase, as well as warm clothes and wellies for a few days in the Highlands next week, contains carefully-assembled items, ticked off the list I was sent earlier this week: smart daywear, white blouse, stockings, ladylike underwear, sensible shoes, high heels, evening gown and demure cocktail dress. I'm going to school, but it won't be like any school I've been to before.

This afternoon myself and a handful of others in need of "finishing" will enrol in Mrs Darling's prestigious academy for errant young ladies. The curious can discover more about this institution through the characterful Twitter accounts maintained by Mrs Darling herself (AKA Northern Spanking's Lucy McLean) and her capable deputy Miss Amelie Hammond-Grant (AKA Amy Hunter).

This will be my first foray into the world of immersive social roleplay, and I feel as if I'm jumping into the deep end. A dozen pupils, four tutors and half a dozen unknown "bachelors" whose role in all this is yet to be discovered. Two whole nights and days sleeping, waking and eating in character. I've only played short, small-scale roleplay scenes three or four times before.

My anxiety over the past couple of weeks has been off the scale. There's the practical concerns: Will I forget to bring anything? Will my health be up to it? (I've had a cold most of this week, but have had too much work to do before going away to be able to rest and recuperate.) How will I, a grown woman who prefers to manage her own schedule, cope with being told when to sleep, when and what to eat and drink? Will we be allowed tea and coffee? (I won't have much fun with caffeine withdrawal headaches all weekend.) Will the unfamiliar constraints be enjoyable, or will I just find the loss of independence annoying?

Then there's the whole reason, I guess, that most of us are there - the CP. My instinct, as a first timer, is to stay out of trouble as much as possible, observe until I feel comfortable participating. Will I have the opportunity, or will our tutors ensure that all of us are dealt with as a matter of course? Normally I strongly prefer unfair punishments to deliberately earning one through misbehaviour; will that be true this time, or will I want to reclaim some control over my fate? If everyone else embarks on a collective prank, do I suffer the embarrassment of being the goody-goody odd one out, or risk earning a punishment before I feel ready?

I wrote on my application form that I had no experience of hand tawsing, and if it were to happen it would be an extreme and intense experience not to be undertaken lightly. But in retrospect, I started to regret not putting it as a hard limit. What sort of behaviour would count as "extreme" in the rules of this unknown academy? The more I thought about it, the more it seemed that I'd set myself up. If I wanted to, say, steal intimate time with any of my attractive fellow students (including close friends I rarely get to see), I could probably expect the worst. With a disappointed sigh and a hard look at my comfort zone, I've decided it's not worth the risk. I'm resigned to being good - or at any rate, as good as possible.

Then there's the theme of the school itself. This isn't the comforting familiarity of a traditional school - it's an aristocratic finishing school for young adults, set in the modern world. Wearing stockings to class, smartphones not permitted outside the dormitory - it's a dizzying mix of old and new, and the unfamiliarity of it is scary and exhilarating.

I decided to apply as myself, Pandora, rather than a character, figuring that it would be easier to cope with assimilating so many news experiences without the added complication of presenting a new persona. My application was filled out with total honesty. Thanks to a privileged education I am, in traditional terms, relatively accomplished, and so the areas in which I need "finishing" are those relating to elegance, etiquette and social graces, the trimmings of class which few real people are trained in these days. Sounds like fun, I thought, and with luck I'll genuinely learn something. But as the event loomed closer I found things to fret about. What about posture and deportment? Would the tutors accept my real-life back problems as a valid excuse for imperfection? Would I be able to deal with a critique of my way of speaking and moving, or would it all be far too personal for comfort? Suddenly I began to regret not having a character to hide behind.

But I'm on my way, now, reassuring myself with the same things I've told myself all along. This is a fun event run my friends, who know my limits and aren't out to get me. I'm hardly going to be on my own, and once I'm there I bet I'll be disappointed if I don't get into trouble at least once.

It's weird, but right now my good girl kink and my eagerness to please feel like my own worst enemy. I may not be very submissive to most people on the planet - which is not proving helpful in accepting the loss of control for two days of my life - but my anxious perfectionism is rehearsing every possible way in which things might not go to plan.

Ultimately, of course, I don't know the plan - and I'm going to have to submit to the authority of the lovely, generous ladies running this weekend if I don't want to spend it champing at the bit. My difficulty in submitting to anyone other than my partners is why I've so rarely indulged in these group roleplay scenes in the past, and if I'm going to enjoy this one, I'm going to have to get over it enough to trust the tutors with my boundaries and person.

As the train crosses through blizzards into snowy Scotland, my anxieties slowly peel away along with the world I'm leaving behind. Underneath them is excitement and the happy anticipation of seeing friends old and new. Deep down I know that all my fears are daft, and I'm going to have the time of my life. Dressing up, shared world creation, watching others be punished - in many ways this experience is a dream come true.

I'm looking forward to getting so immersed in it that I forget my uncertainties. See you on the flipside.

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Tags: Amy Hunter, kink, learning curves, Lucy McLean, making a scene, meta-analysis

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