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A series of data disasters

Posted at 09:06 on 15 Jul 2020 by Pandora / Blake

Meme image: The Count from Sesame Street saying One disk failed! Two disk failed!Shooting porn generates a lot of data.

For years I bought another cheap external USB hard drive every time my storage filled up. I meant to sort out proper backups, but I never got round to it. I had loads of duplicate data on different drives, I couldn't afford the storage to back it all up without de-duping, and I didn't have time to de-dupe.

You can see where this is going.

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Tags: learning curves, personal, technology


Instructed in Berlin

Posted at 22:05 on 22 Oct 2014 by Pandora / Blake

I'm typing this at the airport, waiting for my flight to Berlin. I've had five hours sleep and I can't believe I've actually made it this far and nothing's gone wrong.

This is my third international trip this year and each time I feel like I'm getting away with something naughty. Like all self-employed business owners, I pay the price for time off in advance. All the work due while I'm away needs to be done ahead of time; plus I need to earn extra pennies to pay for the trip. I can't imagine the ease of having paid leave - but then, nor can I imagine the frustration of not being in control of my own creative work. Overall it's a trade-off I'm happy with. And after not being able to afford to take holiday for most of my twenties, it feels like an unimaginable luxury.

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Tags: D, dominance and submission, Dreams of Spanking, Fairtrade porn, Female gaze, film festivals, learning curves, making a scene, Ms Naughty, PFFB, Photos, Porn Film Festival Berlin


On leaving the USA, and loving without fear

Posted at 00:38 on 3 May 2014 by Pandora / Blake

This is the article I was sent by Zoe Montana (who I think got it from Molly Malone) last week, which pretty much sums up my entire trip:

Casual Love - Carsie Blanton

"Im thrilled that young people are beginning to feel they have the option of exploring sex, safely and consensually, outside of the boundaries of long-term commitment.

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Tags: feminist porn, Feminist Porn Awards, kink, learning curves, making a scene, Photos, polyamory


Feminist Porn Awards and Conference 2014

Posted at 05:45 on 21 Apr 2014 by Pandora / Blake

The Feminist Porn Awards and Feminist Porn Conference in Toronto were an incredible, intense experience for me. In the four days I was there I was challenged and inspired as a filmmaker, turned on by screenings of uber-hot new porn, affirmed in my politics and given a sense of community. I shot a lot of porn and made a lot of friends. I listened, shared ideas and explored areas of difference and common ground. As a producer I felt isolated in some ways and welcomed in others. I was emotionally exhausted every night from judging when I should let myself be critiqued and when I should offer critique of my own. I was invited to speak and I received acceptance, reassurance and validation.

Pandora Blake at the Feminist Porn Awards - photo by Kirsty BoyceIt's a funny marriage - the awards in their ninth year, a Toronto project which has exploded to become an international event; and the conference in its second year, aiming from the start to bring people together from across the world. The two events have different organising committees and aren't particularly cohesive. They sit next to each other but there's no combined schedule of events, no public communal areas, no central hotel where everyone stays. If you want to know what's going on, you have to know the right people.

The awards (over Thursday and Friday) are all about celebrating the best in feminist porn. What with the press conference, brunches, workshops and shoots the days filled up quickly. I saw some amazing, erotic, cinematic films at the Public Provocative Porn screening on Thursday night, which both turned me on and made me think hard about the craft of film-making. It was a brief, horny masterclass in how to make engaging short erotic films. I left feeling inspired and motivated.

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Tags: Fairtrade porn, featured photos, Female gaze, feminist porn, Feminist Porn Awards, Gender politics, Kink activism, learning curves, making a scene, Performers and producers, Photos, Politics, Queer politics, Sites and studios, Videos



Posted at 22:50 on 7 Dec 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Like many submissives (and, I think, many women) I'm susceptible to anxiety and perfectionism. I tend to set myself unrealistically high standards, and then succumb to stress at the fear I'll fail to meet them. It's arrogant in a way - trying to be the best rather than aiming for a more moderate achievement. But there's the desire to please in there, as well as to excel. And if left unchecked it can amount to self-sabotage, as the pressure mounts up and negatively affects performance.

When I experience this in my working or creative life, D/S can be a remarkably efficient tool to help me break the cycle. But when D/S is the subject of my anxiety, the usual solution isn't so straightforward.

Tom was coming to visit early last week, and I knew that he and D had been plotting. Both of them had let slip, independently, that the plan was to give me the opportunity to earn my Domestic Service kinky merit badge. A roast dinner was mentioned, to be served in sexy lingerie and heels, and while the debauchery to follow wasn't explicitly mentioned, it was certainly implicit.

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Tags: D, dominance and submission, hand spanking, kink, kinky merit badges, learning curves, meta-analysis, polyamory, riding crop, rough sex, strap, Thomas Cameron


The Spanking Collection

Posted at 22:15 on 31 Aug 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Today is a special day; one I've been awaiting for months. The Spanking Writers, Abel and Haron, are launching their anthology collection of spanking stories by twenty bloggers and writers, the proceeds from which will all be donated to cancer research. It's an ambitious, generous project, and I know they've both poured huge amounts of time and energy into it.

It's also personally exciting to me, because they were kind enough to invite me to contribute a story, and the opportunity prompted me to write my first ever piece of 'proper' spanking fiction (blog posts don't count).

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Tags: Blogging, learning curves, making a scene, Short stories


How to go swimming when you're marked

Posted at 18:25 on 20 Jul 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Tom took over responsibility for keeping track of my exercise routine the same week we went on holiday with Zille and Duncan. I didn't realise the potential clash until I was waiting for the bus on my way to the pool that Friday, and suddenly remembered that my arse and thighs were black and blue.

Shit! I couldn't believe this hadn't come up before, but I guess I don't mark easily these days, and the times I have must have been weeks I didn't manage to go swimming. I knew from catching sight of myself in the mirror that morning that underwear didn't cover these bruises, and neither would my swimming costume.

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Tags: corrupting the innocent, kink, learning curves, other pictures, Photos


New figure nudes

Posted at 18:26 on 17 May 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Last week I had my first art nude shoot in a couple of years; certainly the first since I put on weight and went up a size or two. However, I wasn't nervous about my shape. The photographer in question was one I'd worked with before, and he booked the shoot because he specifically wanted to shoot some figure work at my current size, so I knew he'd be expecting more curves than last time.

I was actually more worried about having lost my touch and confidence when it came to posing. I know what I'm doing with spanking stills, but figure posing is a whole different ballgame. Luckily, the photographer was keen to direct me closely, which made my job a lot easier. (In fact I got told off for trying to direct! Oops ... I guess working for my own productions has got me into certain habits.)

It was tremendous fun. I remembered why I used to love shooting art nude so much - and my taste for it has been thoroughly rekindled.

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Tags: al fresco spanking, art nude, Body positivity, featured photos, learning curves, otk spanking, Photos, shoot writeups, Victoriana, Vintage


Your body is not the enemy

Posted at 19:46 on 12 May 2011 by Pandora / Blake

My new exercise regime this year has been a wholly positive experience. I've felt less back pain since I started, and my physio tells me that my back problems have lessened. I've gained strength and energy - and there have been stimulating knock-on effects where my partners are involved.

For years, my back pain was a monster in my attic. Thinking about it made me ashamed and frightened. I didn't know how to confront it, or how to think about it. Since I became sexually active at about the same time as my back problems started to develop, in all that time, kink and sex have been my primary route to body positivity. It's only this year that that's changed.

I note now that I am coming to this from a position of able-bodied privilege. Not everyone's body plays by the rules; not everyone can benefit from exercise. My chronic back pain doesn't count as a disability (although if I'd left it untreated it probably would have eventually, once I developed RSI). I am lucky to have had a condition which was fixable, lucky to have had the means and the encouragement to start fixing it before it was too late. I empathise with people who aren't able to negotiate successfully with their bodies, and who don't have a clear path to improving their situation.

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Tags: Body positivity, health and disability, Kink activism, learning curves, meta-analysis


BDSM, bondage and six pairs of pants

Posted at 01:13 on 4 Feb 2011 by Pandora / Blake

To my delight, more and more spanking models are launching their own sites. This isn't a new phenomenon - some of the oldest and best sites around are performer-led - but it's pleasing to see the numbers increase. After all, what better way to ensure that the porn you're watching is ethical than to know it's independent and homegrown, with no directors or decision-makers other than the primary spankee? When, like me, you prefer to watch scenarios with a non-consensual edge, that security becomes all the more important.

My own baby will be some time in coming, but US model Sarah Gregory has recently launched her own site, Sarah Gregory Spanking, which I've been watching with great interest, and which seems to be reaching a consistently high standard with a strong sense of authenticity and fun. And to my great pleasure, other UK models are getting in on the action - such as the geeky, poly, switchy Nimue, whose forthcoming site will be live at NimuesWorld.com sometime in the next few months.

Like mine, Nimue's kinks bridge the boundaries of BDSM and spanking, and her site will reflect her broad range of interests from traditional CP to bondage, D/s and hot queer action. When she had a model cancellation last week I jumped at the chance to help out a fellow lady entrepreneur, and get a sneaky preview into what her project was about while I was at it.

In the intervening week I managed to come down with a hell of a cold, and even after three days of reluctant bedrest I still wasn't quite 100% come Monday. The situation wasn't improved by a night of bizarrely persistent insomnia, despite the help of Night Nurse and D's very comfy bed. Still, I made it onto the early train, and in the event my croaky voice was more of a hindrance than the sleep deprivation. Nimue was very understanding about the lack of voice (huskiness is less forgivable in schoolgirls than vanilla adult porn!) and I kept tiredness at bay with performance adrenaline, and a constant stream of cups of tea.

The first clip went through several changes of plan. Originally it was meant to be a piano lesson with some hand caning - until we found out that the piano space in the studio was more industrial decay than schoolroom. Nimue suggested a student sneaking into an old junkroom or attic to play without permission, but that lovely idea was scuppered by the loud building works taking place overhead. So we moved into the classroom setup - but now I needed something to be punished for.

I floated an idea based an email I'd received, a true school story of the day my correspondent wore two pairs of pants to detention, fearing that they'd get whacked. They weren't - but oh, what if they had! We decided to take it to extremes: I put on as many pairs of knickers as I physically could.

The trickiest bit was getting it to look reasonably inconspicuous from the outside. If I'd had advance warning I'd have packed some gym knickers to go on top, but I had to make do with layering a pair of black shorts with a pair of black briefs; one covering the hems underneath at the top, one at the bottom. Below them I had three pairs of patterned knickers and one pair of white shorts. A knicker fetishist's bonanza! They felt slightly odd to sit on, delightfully silly and ever so naughty. I had to struggle to keep a straight face as I sat in detention, writing out lines.

As I bend over for the inevitable tawse, the teacher's suspicions are raised by the unusual sound it makes - and the fact I'm taking the strokes far better than he expected. My cunning ruse is rumbled! So, of course, I'm taken over the knee and spanked over each pair of knickers in turn, the spanking becoming increasingly effective until it reaches bare flesh.

Not only that, but I'm awarded a stroke of the cane for every pair until I've learned that 'cheats don't prosper'.

I actually ended up getting about 12 strokes so we could get the different camera angles we needed. Not that I minded. I don't usually need much persuasion to take the cane.

The next scene was Nimue's chance to get in front of the camera and be a prize bitch. We were two fashion models, conveniently allowing cameraman to play photographer and our real photographer to take stills while we were filming, with flashes for once in character.

Jealous of being put in flat shoes while her taller co-model towers over her in heels, Nimue gets her revenge - and gives the photographer some shots he wasn't quite expecting.

Finally, we did something new for me, although not so much for Nimue. Although BDSM activities are a regular part of my private sex play, they aren't something I do much on camera - and until now, only if I was shooting with one of my partners. When I found out that Nimue was after some BDSM content, I realised that my habitual reticence is mostly my reluctance to do this sort of thing with male tops - I hadn't had the opportunity to film a BDSM scene with a woman before.

We discussed my limits: no intimate touching below the waist, but breast play is fine; pinwheels and electricity aren't hot for me; bondage clamps, gags, blindfolds, kissing, throat/breath play and whipping all good. I was also up for some hot wax, but the candles didn't get packed. Next time!

We set up a simple little D/s scene on the four poster bed. No acting, no complicated plot, just two people connecting. I wore wrist and ankle cuffs, and crawled in at my lady's summons. She put me in a chest harness and tied me spreadeagled on the bed. The position was superficially comfortable, but I quickly realised what a strain it put on my thighs, and by the end they were shaking. I was teased, tormented, and thoroughly toyed with. Nimue experimented on me playfully, carefully, always measuring my reactions, her eye contact warm and constant. I quickly developed a healthy respect for her sadism, but it still felt natural to grin and make the occasional pert remark.

It was the first time I'd explored a new D/s connection with someone on camera, and it was fascinating. It was clearly bounded by professional limits, and didn't contain the depth or passion of my romantic partnerships - but the energy and trust we exchanged was real, and I felt very comfortable and safe in Nimue's hands.

And, I'll admit, it was hot. She whipped my vulnerable chest and belly with a tiny, sharp-thonged flogger; made me jump and squirm with cruel smacks on the front of my stockinged thighs; attached clamps to my nipples and hung weights off the chain; slapped my breasts a lot and caned them with a thin switch. Yeah, it was hot.

As I headed home, hindered by tiredness, it took me some time to get my head around the newness of the experience, the things it was and the things it was not. I felt unusually chaste that evening, despite the company of the lovely Penny; played out for the day, perhaps, or just physically exhausted. But that was just an adjustment process; I have no regrets whatsoever. What a lovely treat to enjoy such pleasures as part of one's job. I definitely wouldn't object to doing it again, if the circumstances are right.

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Tags: bondage, learning curves, Nimue Allen, Nimues World, otk spanking, Photos, shoot writeups


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