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Instructed in Berlin

Posted at 23:05 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

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LA spanking shoots and continued adventures

Posted at 18:43 on 6 May 2014 by Pandora / Blake

I'd better wrap up the rest of my social time and spanking shoots in Los Angeles in a single post, so I can get on with telling you all about Boardwalk Badness Weekend. This one is going to be full of photos!

The day after my shoot with the Clare Fonda Network, I finally got to realise a long-term dream: meeting the wonderful Erica Scott. I can confirm that she is just as warm, genuine and hilarious (not to mention hot) in person as she seems in her blog and videos. She took me and Alex to the most amazing cafe for brunch, on a cute street filled with arty little boutiques. There were flowers and little decorative touches everywhere, the sun was shining and the place was thronging with people and little dogs. "This is the authentic south California experience!" Erica assured me. I can certainly see why she's never wanted to leave.

The Aroma Cafe - Pandora Blake

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Tags: Alex Reynolds, Clare Fonda, Dreams of Spanking, Erica Scott, featured photos, making a scene, Paul Kennedy, Performers and producers, Photos, Sites and studios, Spanked Call Girls, Spanking Veronica Works, The Cameraman CFW, those crazy kinksters, US trip 2014, Veronica Ricci

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On leaving the USA, and loving without fear

Posted at 01:38 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

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Feminist Porn Awards and Conference 2014

Posted at 06:45 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

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Spanking Korey in the kitchen

Posted at 20:55 on 19 Apr 2014 by Pandora / Blake

Last week we spent a lot of time hanging out with our friends James and Korey Johnson. I first met them at the Texas All State Spanking Party in 2012, where we bonded chatting about selling porn, running websites and content management systems. At Boardwalk Badness Weekend last year I was lucky enough to play with Korey on the last night, but disappointingly, I was so sleep-deprived by that stage in the weekend that my accuracy as a top was not up to my usual standards and I wasn't sure I'd made a great first impression.

Still, the friendship was cemented in the UK last autumn when they came to visit and we spent an enjoyable evening hanging out. We didn't play that time, but it turns out that this was due to a miscommunication rather than a lack of interest on either side. Funny how even seasoned spankos can still miss an opportunity because both of you are too shy to ask straight out, "Would you like to play?" Lesson learned - I'll be more direct in future!

Thankfully, Alex Reynolds has no such shyness and as such is an excellent facilitator of play between her friends. We all had fun during James and Korey's stay in LA, and some of it was even captured on camera. Alex has written an in-depth shoot report on the Northern Spanking forum.

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Tags: Alex Reynolds, Dreams of Spanking, featured photos, James Johnson, kink, Korey Johnson, Los Angeles, making a scene, Northern Spanking, OTK Spanking, Paul Kennedy, Performers and producers, Photos, shoot writeups, Sites and studios

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Adventures and shoots in California

Posted at 19:09 on 18 Apr 2014 by Pandora / Blake

My week in Canada for the Feminist Porn Awards and Feminist Porn Conference was intense. I want to write more about it here, and I'm intending to post the text of the two talks I gave, too, but in the meantime you can read a short recap on the Dreams of Spanking blog.

I flew straight from Toronto to LA, and landed amongst palm trees, blue skies and sunny weather. As Chris would say, I felt tumble-dried after my flight - jet lag was still chasing me from the UK and in Toronto it would have been nearly bedtime even if I hadn't been skimping on sleep the last few nights.

Still, I was on the West Coast, and on our way to get some food Alex and Paul suggested that we drive to the beach for my first proper sight of the Pacific ocean. (I glimpsed it from Vancouver a few years ago, but never made it down to the beach). The sky and sea were very blue, the beach was surprisingly full of people for a Monday afternoon in April, including families and a dude sitting cross-legged to meditate. I really was in California.

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Tags: Alex Reynolds, Clare Fonda, featured photos, Los Angeles, making a scene, My Spanking Roommate, Naughty Diaper Girls, Paul Kennedy, Photos, shoot writeups, Sites and studios, Spanked Call Girls, The Cameraman CFW

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A whole room full of filthy minds

Posted at 23:14 on 11 Mar 2014 by Pandora / Blake

Eroticon 2014 - photo by Cara SutraLast weekend I was at Eroticon 2014, the conference for sex bloggers, sex writers and writers of erotic fiction. I travelled to Bristol on Friday night to attend the meet and greet, and avoid a crack of dawn start on Saturday morning, as I was scheduled to speak in the opening keynote at 10am. Conference organiser (and all-round good egg) Ruby Kiddell had kindly offered to let me stay in her hotel room on Friday night, to make things easier. Given we had never met this was incredibly lovely of her. Ruby is a very impressive woman and it was an honour to get to know her this weekend.

She had sent me the room number by text, so when I got off the coach I found the hotel, made my way up to her floor and just knocked. She opened it and without bothering to introduce ourselves we leapt into each other arms for a massive hug: "HIIII! It's so good to meet you!" Travelling to a random hotel in a new city and opening the door to hug someone I'd never met before: I love that these things have become normal in the world of the online sex community.

That surreal combination of newness and familiarity continued all evening. I walked into the bar and a dozen unfamiliar faces lit up with recognition. Total strangers waved me over: "Pandora! Hi!" I had no idea who any of these people were, but they knew me, and I was looking forward to getting to know them. Most erotic writers and sex bloggers protect their anonymity online, so as one of the few people present whose face is attached to my name, I stood out. I'm actually pretty shy in groups of people I don't know yet, so this suited me fine. In fact I was grateful when people came up and introduced themselves; it made me feel instantly welcomed, and was so much easier than standing around trying to work out who to approach. When no-one was coming up and saying hello, it gave me the confidence to do the same, and so I got chatting to a lot of new people that night.

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Tags: Eroticon, events, making a scene, Politics, public speaking

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Eroticon 2014 and other stories

Posted at 01:14 on 24 Feb 2014 by Pandora / Blake

Towards the end of last year I hired a part-time personal assistant, and it was one of the best professional decisions I've ever made. It's freed me up to spend less time on admin, and more time networking, campaigning and working on the creative and political projects I'm passionate about. Just what I needed to re-inject some inspiration and enthusiasm into my work.

Since hiring AJ, I've been able to follow up several exciting opportunities to talk to people about ethical porn, spanking and sexual freedom - from the FHM feature and QueerDiscOx radio show recently, to being interviewed about feminist pornography for a Masters thesis, and appearing in both a BBC3 documentary shoot about young people and porn (I don't know when the program will be aired, but will keep you updated), and a Guardian article (I was told it would be published six weeks ago, which leads me to guess that it might have been cancelled). All this has led to some tricky conversations with friends and family, and lots of thinky thoughts about the media, identity, visibility and the potential consequences of sticking my head above the parapet. Living in interesting times.

These changes have allowed me to get more involved not only as a content creator, but as a consumer as well. For instance, I've been making a conscious effort lately to buy (and watch) more feminist porn, which has been a thought-provoking and very horny process, even though I haven't yet found time to write all the reviews I want to write. It also freed me up to attend a fascinating evening of talks on sex workers rights hosted by Gender Sex Talks, which not only taught me a lot but left me feeling affirmed, supported, and keen to get more involved in the campaign for full legalisation of sex work. If this is something that interests you then a) you should read this Storify which contains many, many learnings, and b) let's talk more - follow me on twitter and say hi!

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Tags: Alex Reynolds, BBW, censorship, Dreams of Spanking, Gender politics, making a scene, Paul Kennedy, Performers and producers, Politics, Sex worker rights, Zoe Montana

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Sex with friends, sex with strangers

Posted at 16:57 on 6 Nov 2013 by Pandora / Blake

I mostly prefer to have sex with friends.

My two long term partners, Tom and D, were both originally friends-of-friends through the goth scene, back in 2003-2005 when we were all a lot more goth than we are now. Before that I tried the dating thing a few times, rarely successfully. Since meeting them, I've never really bothered.

By dating I mean going out of an evening with someone you don't know very well, to find out if you fancy them enough to have another date. Lots of people I know use online dating sites like OKCupid to find new sexual partners, but personally I've always preferred to look within my existing circle of friends.

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Tags: D, Fetish clubbing, group sex, kink, making a scene, other pictures, polyamory

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Philadelphia and Punished Brats

Posted at 00:53 on 26 Apr 2013 by Pandora / Blake

I arrived home from eight days in the US yesterday and I've done very little so far except eat, nap, and fall asleep in the bath. Attempts to reset my body clock so far have failed dreadfully. For the last week I've been sleeping for 3-5 hours out of every 24, at times of day that feel utterly random due to the time differential. My sleep cycle is now so screwed I wouldn't even know how to start mapping it, let alone fixing it. I arrived home at midday UK time, after snatching a couple of hours on the plane. My initial intention was to struggle through to the evening and reset everything, but I couldn't do it; I crashed out from 5-10pm, which is how I came to be up until 4am last night cuddling the cat and writing this.

During that five hour nap I dreamed of the party; of having breakfast with everyone on the last day, of hugging Alex and Vincent and Jade. In my dream we were all unable to tear ourselves away from each other, and everyone decided to stay just one more day. Wishful thinking. Strangely, over the last couple of days the people I've found myself thinking of the most aren't those who were closest to me or who provided the best memories, but the people I didn't get to spend as much time with as I wanted. The ones I wanted to play with, but the timings or whatever didn't work out. Cee-cee and Jerry, Ten and DrLectr and JC.

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Tags: Amber Pixie Wells, BBW, David Pierson, F-F, making a scene, paddle, Performers and producers, Photos, Punished Brats, shoot writeups, Sites and studios, spanking parties, Subbing to women, those crazy kinksters, Veronica Bound

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