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2016 year in review - highlights and reflections

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:

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Tags: Bright Desire, Charlie J Forrest, Digital Economy Bill, Dreams of Spanking, Eroticon, media, Nimue Allen, Parker Marx, politics, porn, School of Erotic Mysteries, Tai Crimson, year in review, Zak Jane Keir

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Porn performers talk about the UK porn laws

Posted at 12:32 on 7 Aug 2016 by Pandora Blake

I made this documentary about the UK porn laws about a year ago, using interviews that were shot as part of my sponsored caning fundraiser to raise money for Backlash, the non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting for sexual freedom in the UK. In case you weren't following at the time, this protest project was intended to help fund them to provide legal support to producers affected by the AVMS regulations, which had recently criminalised the depiction of a whole slew of consensual fetish activities in online porn. Myself and nine other spanking enthusiasts volunteered to take one hard cane stroke per £10 raised, to a maximum of 50 strokes per person. We made a colossal £3836 in total, which was donated in its entirety to Backlash.

Each of the ten sponsored canings was filmed and released under Creative Commons - you can view them for free at Dreams of Spanking. We shot an interview with each participant before the caning itself, giving them the opportunity to talk about porn criminalisation, censorship, and why they cared about the UK legislation enough to put their bottoms on the line to help fight it. It amused me no end that when ATVOD were investigating my site, they had to sit through these interviews and listen to lots of well-articulated criticism about themselves before getting to watch the free caning scenes that they were so incensed about.

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Tags: Alex Reynolds, Ariel Anderssen, ATVOD, AVMS regulations, BBFC, censorship, classification, documentary, Jilly Boyd, Nimue Allen, Ofcom, Pandora Blake, Paul Kennedy, porn law, Rosie Bottomley, Sarah, sponsored caning, Vincent Brennan

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I criticised the porn laws - and was targeted for censorship.

Posted at 02:08 on 17 Dec 2015 by Pandora Blake

Last November my friend Nimue Allen and I got together with our partners for a week to shoot some porn. We’ve both worked in the BDSM porn industry for years as performers and producers, and we were ready to delve deeper. We spent three days shooting a feature-length explicit documentary about our queer, kinky, polyamorous sex lives. We filmed interviews, video portraits, narrative sequences and hardcore sex scenes, capturing the intimacy and affection of BDSM play between people who love each other. The scenes were spontaneous and unscripted, a natural representation of the sex we have in private, and in the natural course of events they ended up including facesitting, fisting, squirting, caning, needles, breath play, dominance and submission and plenty of hardcore sex. It was authentic, caring and beautiful.

A week later, full of happy excitement about our new project, we learned that every scene we had filmed had just been criminalised under new UK porn laws. It would now be illegal for us to publish any of them. These honest depictions of our sex, pleasure and intimacy had been deemed so extreme that even informed, paying adults couldn’t legally watch them.

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Tags: ATVOD, AVMS, censorship, Dreams of Spanking, Nimue Allen, Nimue's World, politics, porn, Restrained Elegance, sex worker rights, sexual freedom, sites and studios

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We did it!

Posted at 15:44 on 13 Feb 2015 by Pandora Blake

I'm still reeling from the news. Thanks to our 105 generous funders, we raised a whopping 3836 for Backlash, and the money was transferred to their account yesterday. I met with David last week and he tells me the cash will be invaluable for funding legal support for producers affected by the UK porn legislation (which might well include yours truly).

I want to extend a personal thank you to each and every person who supported our sponsored caning campaign - whether by donating, sharing the link or writing a newspaper article. I had no idea when I launched this campaign  that it would turn into such a wild success, and it's heartening to learn how many people in the UK and worldwide support the stand we're taking against this unjust attempt to censor our freedom of expression.

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Tags: Adele Haze, Alex Reynolds, Amelia Jane Rutherford, atvod, AVMS, Backlash, cane, censorship, D, Extreme porn legislation, Hwyel Phillips, Kink activism, Michael Stamp, Nimue Allen, Performers and producers, Politics, Rosie, sponsored caning, Vincent Brennan, Zoe Page

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Charity caning campaign update

Posted at 14:41 on 31 Jan 2015 by Pandora Blake

Wow, what a week it's been! Thanks to you, the kinky Indiegogo campaign I launched with Nimue Allen has raised more than five times our original funding target to help fight UK porn censorship - and there's still 18 hours left.

The fundraiser is running until midnight tonight PST (that's 8am on Sunday for us Brits), so there's still time to donate. Every penny raised will be donated to Backlash to help fight the UK's regressive new porn laws. Please do contribute if you can!

2000 stretch goal reached!

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Tags: Alex Reynolds, Amelia Jane Rutherford, atvod, AVMS, Backlash, Extreme porn legislation, Fairtrade porn, fundraiser, Hwyel Phillips, in the news, Kink activism, media, Michael Stamp, Nimue Allen, Paul Kennedy, Performers and producers, Photos, Politics, Zoe Page

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Amelia Jane Rutherford joins our sponsored caning

Posted at 01:19 on 28 Jan 2015 by Pandora Blake

Our sponsored caning fundraiser to fight against UK porn censorship has now raised 1400 - thank you so much to all who have donated so far! But we aren't stopping there. All proceeds raised (and I mean literally all - we aren't keeping a penny) will go to Backlash, who campaign against laws that restrict sexual freedom - and maintain a legal fund to help defend those prosecuted under such laws.

No UK fetish porn producer can afford an expensive court battle. We are all small independent businesses operated by solo kinksters or couples, working from home and barely making a living after the costs of running a website. Any producers affected by these regulations will desperately need Backlash's support - and it's up to us, the kinky community, to help ensure Backlash have the resources they need.

Encouraged by the amazing support we've received so far, we are continuing to promote the campaign and are adding new stretch goals. Every pound will help in the battle against the UK's draconian new censorship of consensual kinky porn.

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Tags: Amelia Jane Rutherford, ATVOD, AVMS, Backlash, Bars and Stripes, censorship, extreme porn legislation, Hywel Phillips, kink activism, Michael Stamp, Nimue Allen, performers and producers, politics, porn protest, Restrained Elegance, Rosie Bottomley, sites and studios, Zoe Page

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Video blog about UK porn censorship

Posted at 11:23 on 20 Jan 2015 by Pandora Blake

I finally got round to making a video blog about the new UK porn censorship laws. The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations (AVMS) 2014 impose dramatic restrictions on the sort of online porn that can be published in the UK, disproportionately targeting fetish, queer and feminist porn with no reference to whether the content was ethically and consensually produced. These laws criminalise me and my site Dreams of Spanking, and put me and other independent UK porn producers in a very precarious position. If you want to know more detail about the laws, exactly what is restricted, and how they affect me, watch this.

I recorded this at 1am a week ago without notes, because I've talked about this damn issue so much in the last six weeks I no longer need a cribsheet. As a result it's a little longer than I wanted - I might make some bullet points and attempt a 5 minute version at some point. I sent it to Backlash UK before posting to check I wasn't saying anything glaringly inaccurate, and they replied with a few clarifications as follows:

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Tags: atvod, AVMS, Backlash, censorship, Dreams of Spanking, Extreme porn legislation, Kink activism, Ms Tytania, Nimue Allen, Performers and producers, Politics, Sites and studios, Urban Chick Supremacy Cell, video blog

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Help me fight the new UK porn laws

Posted at 23:14 on 18 Jan 2015 by Pandora Blake

When there's important stuff happening, there's usually not much time to write about it - and that's how things have been the last few weeks.

In December, what I was mostly writing about was the new UK porn laws that mean that I, along with countless other independent fetish and feminist porn producers in the UK, am now a criminal. There was a protest and a bunch of media coverage. I talked about the new laws on Channel 4 News. The petition collected a few thousand names, and then the signatures stopped coming in (If you haven't signed it yet, please do). Christmas happened. And now it's 2015, and I'm still a criminal, these regulations are still in place, they still haven't been debated in Parliament or been subject to any democratic scrutiny by elected officials. Many of my colleagues have signed their businesses over to international producers, and I have no idea whether that will be enough to save them. I'm still producing exactly the same material I always have, and the Sword of Damocles is still hanging over my head.

It's a new year, and now the best chance for me and every other producer affected by this is to join forces and support Backlash, the campaign group who are lobbying against these regulations - as well as defending freedom of sexual expression on many other fronts. The best way to support them, if you can, is by donating hard cash. They explain on their website:

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Tags: atvod, AVMS, Backlash, censorship, Extreme porn legislation, Kink activism, Nimue Allen, Photos, Politics

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Strength through humiliation

Posted at 01:07 on 31 Dec 2014 by Pandora Blake

One of the things I love about working with Nimue is that she always opens my mind to new kinks. She is, hands down, the most interestingly filthiest person I know, which given the company I keep is quite an accolade. I love her mind, her acceptance of the darkest facets of her kinky psyche, and the way her fetishes and play personas combine strength and vulnerability in such fascinating ways.

On our most recent shoot she wanted to shoot a scene that was new to me - a point of view humiliation scene with me providing instructions and verbal abuse from behind the camera. This wasn't something I would normally consider, but I always feel very open to new ideas when I'm working with Nimue. She showed me the props she'd brought - a cheap blonde wig, make-up, high heels - and we discussed what she wanted, particularly the language.

Nimue is one of the few people I know who fetishises abusive language relating to her size. "Piggy" is her pet name from her top, and she enjoys "fat pig" humiliation play that criticises her body. As a submissive, this is a huge no for me - just as food control and starvation is another hard limit, another thing Nimue enjoys toying with. I admire the strength of character in someone who can choose to reclaim fatphobic slurs as a form of kinky play, thereby stripping them of their real-world power to hurt. Nimue described the mentality to me as follows - "I know I'm fat, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Call me fat, and you aren't insulting me, just stating a fact." She is no more immune to insecurity about her looks than the rest of us, and it takes a real strength of mind to resist and subvert the body-shaming messages we are bombarded with in media and advertising by turning them on their head, and using them as tools for kinky head games of her own devising.

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Tags: Body positivity, Fairtrade porn, Gender politics, humiliation, Kink activism, meta-analysis, Nimue Allen, Nimues World, Performers and producers, Politics, shoot writeups, those crazy kinksters, verbal abuse

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Hyperkinks: 'strange' fantasies, ethical porn, and sex work

Posted at 20:31 on 11 Nov 2014 by Pandora Blake

Kink

 

Porn

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Tags: Body positivity, Bright Desire, camming, Dreams of Spanking, Erica Scott, ethical porn, Fairtrade porn, feminist porn, Gender politics, Kink activism, Ms Naughty, Nimue Allen, Nimues World, Paul Kennedy, Photos, Politics, sex work decriminalisation, Sex worker rights, Sites and studios, Videos, wooden hairbrush

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