The very first post on your blog is titled A Spanking Model at Work. You describe a shoot and end with the words: "The crew makes a fuss over us, and I slowly glide down from the endorphin high. But I don’t let myself come down too far: I have a video to make next. Change outfit, touch-up make up. Plait hair." That was two years ago, and here you are, still busy. What keeps you going? In other words, what is the main appeal of being a spanking model, for you?
Adele: On the one hand, you could say that I'm chasing after a perfect spanking video. When I first started reading and watching erotica, I realised that none of the films I saw pushed my buttons in exactly the way I wanted. Therefore, to get my kinky fix, if you like, I would need to write my own stories, act out my fantasies in my own films, and hope that the hard material copy would end up close to the glorious pictures in my mind. My spanking modelling is a way of playing out my fantasies, and having some pictures to play back afterwards.
On the other hand, I like digging in people's brains, figuring out what makes them work, tickling sensitive spots. Creating an erotic work that somebody enjoys, that gets under somebody's skin, gives me a powerful rush. I'm interested in how sexuality works, and making spanking films has turned out to be a great way to study it, not least because people hear me being open about my quirks and fancies, and become willing to open up to me in return Obviously, I didn't discover this until I had modelled for some time. Initially, it was all about fantasy fulfilment. The rest came later.
Before we touch on how you got into this line of work, let me go back a little. You live in England, but you originally come from Eastern Europe. Can you tell me which part, and when you left?
Adele: I come from a former Soviet Union country. I've moved here in 2002, I think.
Many nations used corporal punishment in the old days. But for some reason, spanking and caning in particular are often called "the English vice". Do you have a theory on why that is? Is there really a stern headmaster inside of every Englishman, who gets off on punishing cheeky girls? Or are they not all that different from the rest of the world after all?
Adele: If there was a headmaster inside every Englishman, I wouldn't have so many single friends in search of a man to spank them! Seriously, though – and I'm thinking out loud here, because I've never really questioned it before – it has something to do with corporal punishment at schools not having been outlawed until very recently. Even if it wasn't part of your personal experience, you grew up very aware of its existence. And that's the thing about kinks, isn't it – if it's around, it's somebody's fetish.
Most CP fetishists discover their unusual interest at an early age. We often know "who we are" and what attracts us before we have any erotic experiences, let alone knowledge of terms like "BDSM". Is that true for you as well?
Adele: Yes, and it actually took me some years to realise there was anything unusual about it. As a little girl, I was convinced that everybody had fantasies of being punished, and I was really surprised when my friends didn't want to play them out with me. I don't remember a time when I wasn't interested in spanking, although it took me some years to put a name to the desire.
Could you be a little more specific about these early fantasies, about the scenarios or types of punishment? Was it all about spanking or were there other fetishes involved? And were there any stories that inspired you, in books or movies?
Adele: The first fantasies were about spanking in a family environment, because that was the sort of thing I heard being talked about. Then, as I learned to read, started to watch films and so on, I started to place my imagined self into any scenario where a punishment would be plausible. A Victorian schoolgirl, a Roman slavegirl, a serf. Mentor/charge fantasies have always been my favourite. Tom Sawyer and David Copperfield were the main inspiration for me, and I'm still cross that Becky Thatcher got away with what she'd done.
Did you have any non-consensual experiences with corporal punishment, at home, for instance? You just mentioned that it was all fantasy, so I guess it wasn't the case?
Adele: None at all. I dropped heavy hints with my parents that spanking would be really effective if they felt like using it, but they laughed it off.
Eventually, you found people who did want to play along and shared the same kink. When was your first spanking and how did it come to pass? Most importantly, what were your feelings at the time?
Adele: I got a computer for my 18th birthday, and I was posting to online spanking message boards within months. I met my first spanker on such a board. We corresponded for a while, and then he invited me to stay for a few days. He tried to tell me that we didn't need to do anything if I didn't want to, and I remember thinking: "Are you insane? I came all this way to be spanked, and I'm getting a spanking, dammit." I was bubbling with glee, and couldn't get enough.
When you started modelling, you named yourself after the character Adele Varens from Jane Eyre. Now, Adele's experiences in the book are somewhat different from Jane's. Rochester pampers her with gifts whenever he returns from his travels. Then she gets Jane as her governess, and later on, she is sent off to boarding school. Why did you find her character more interesting? Why not "Jane Haze"?
Adele: Quite simply, I've never fancied myself as Rochester's lover. He is a bit of a bastard, so Jane can have him. I'd much rather have him as my adopted father, even if he was unattentive towards Adele, and largely incompetent at being a dad. I also rather like the idea of Jane as my governess.
The other part of your name comes from Dolores Haze, the girl from Lolita. Ageplay seems to be your most beloved fantasy. What excites you about this particular fetish? It must be more than the fact that you are barely 5 feet tall!
Adele: When I role-play, I see myself as a girl who is, on the one hand, free from the complexities and implications of adult relationships, and on the other hand, denied choices in how her life is run. She is somebody else's reponsibility. She gets told what to do. It's the ultimate non-consensual scenario for me, and non-consent is what pushed my buttons.
Not too long ago, the Spanking Art Wiki ran into trouble. It wasn't about ageplay, but about the fact that they posted some pictures of real, actual children in a history article. Personally, I thought it was a stupid thing to do, because it opens the door for all sorts of misconceptions about who we are, even if the pictures themselves aren't erotic at all. I'm interested in your opinion. What did you make of that controversy?
Adele: As far as I understand, the images in question were legally licensed for public use, but I thought it was unethical for the Wiki writers to use them in an adult context. There is no way for the kids in the pictures, or for their guardians, to have given truly informed consent for the pictures to have been used to illustrate this article. It was not illegal to use them there, but legality didn't make it right. The host was unnecessarily paranoid to have taken the Wiki off even after the pictures in question had been deleted, but in the end, it's their server and their party.
Apart from ageplay, what other scenarios do you like most? Do they all evolve around "being in someone's care", or are there totally different story elements that push your buttons in a major way, too?
Adele: Being in somebody's power, legitimately or not. I like being a prisoner, or a kidnap victim, or a slave. Any of these will do, as long as my character is not consenting.
Since this is your first interview, there is also the old standard question I have to get out of the way: do you have any favourite spanking implement or position?
Adele: I like the intimacy and helplessness of the hand-spanking over the knee, particularly if the spanker happens to be tall, and I can't reach the floor with my feet. This makes me feel deliciously vulnerable. If I'm after pure sensation play (and sometimes, I don't need a role-play scenario to have a good time), I will usually pick the cane.
Let's stay with the physical aspect. You have a very interesting post on your blog where you write: "I don't like pain. I just like suffering." You need pain to get to the right place in your head, because you want to see yourself lose composure, break down and cry on film. So it seems that while you don't like the pain itself, you enjoy watching yourself in it. I find this very interesting, because it seems to be similar to my own feelings.
Adele: I may disappoint you with this answer, but this isn't quite it. Watching myself doesn't do anything for me. I do need to get into the helpless, suffering place in my head, as you say, but doing it on camera is more about showing it off to others – having a witness to the suffering if you like - than about having a record for myself.
You also mention that one of your favourite spanking positions is across the table from another girl, holding her hands. And in Girls and Boys Spanked Together, you dream of being in a F/MF or M/MF movie where you get thrashed "alongside a nice-looking lad". There seems to be a sort of empathy or, shall we say, camaraderie in suffering at work here that turns you on immensely. Is that what it is, the idea of suffering together?
Adele: In part, yes it is. Also, I'm a bit of an emotional vampire, feeding off other people's catharctic experiences. Call it indirect sadism, or simple voyerism, or whatever, but when I'm punished side by side with somebody else, I experience both sympathy with their suffering and pleasure from it. Sometimes I'm quite happy to be present at somebody else's punishment without being involved myself. My friends worry that I feel left out, whereas I'm just being lazy and selfish, drinking up all the emotions without doing any work myself.
Speaking of submissive camaraderie, you and Niki Flynn were starring in The Red Reformatory: Old Friends by Lupus Pictures together, which was very severe. Niki told me that, when it came to the choice of who was going to cane you, you really wanted to explore your limits and selected Pavel Stastny. For someone who professes to have a love / hate relationship with pain, you seem incredibly determined to push the envelope. How do you look back on that shoot now, almost a year later?
Adele: Actually, I asked for Pavel because I knew from watching his videos and speaking to Niki that he was a very safe and precise caner. Using the cane takes skill, and if I was going to get caned harder than I ever had before, I was going with the most skilled caner I could find. So it may look like bravery – or foolishness – but I was actually protecting myself from straying strokes.
The Lupus shoot was a dual role-playing experience for me: on the one hand, I was playing a victim of the communist regime, and on the other hand I got to play an actress, with all the props, direction and scripts and so on. That in itself was a treat. I was surprised how long the marks from that caning stayed; I have done no professional work since, bar a couple of parties. But I'm just about healed now, and I can't wait to go back.
You have several posts on your blog that proudly proclaim: "Watch me suffer!" With pictures of your contorted face. To play devil's advocate: in light of all of the above, could it be said that, rather than a bona fide masochist, you are really a sort of auto-aggressive sadist? Who just loves to watch herself in pain? I'm going out on a limb here...
Adele: Oh, no, the "watch me suffer" business is more of an expression of exhibitionism and long-distance whore tendencies. I could put it as: "I know you readers like to look at pictures of girls in pain, and I like that you do, so watch me suffer." If that makes sense.
You certainly seem to have a sadistic streak somewhere. Holding another girl's hands while she is getting thrashed, for instance - that is a very intimiate position, the front row seat for you. And you like male submissive videos, too. Are you a switch? Have you ever tried playing as a domme?
Adele: Oh yes, I switch. My dominant fantasies are completely different from what pushes my buttons as a spankee. When I top, I enjoy a much wider range of BDSM activities than just spanking role-play. As much as I don't like pain for the sake of itself, I enjoy causing it to willing victims, and as much as submitting to somebody else doesn't attract me, I enjoy being worshipped. I'm not an experienced domme, but I'm a very enthusiastic one.
What do you do when you are not a spanking model? Are you a student?
Adele: Yes, I am. I'm in the last few terms of graduate school.
What sort of books and movies do you like? And what other hobbies do you have that aren't kinky in the classical sense?
Adele: I'm a speculative fiction fan – science fiction and fantasy to non-geeks – and I watch and read it obsessively. My main interest has always been in storytelling, in all the various ways humans use to tell stories. I love theatre, and ballet, and exploring the Internet. All of it is coloured by kink for me insofar as the stories I most enjoy are kinky, but I like taking them apart and seeing how they work. My favourite book right now is "To Kill a Mockingbird". And not just because it has a spanking scene – though that helps, of course.
When I read your blog, it strikes me how often you mention mainstream films and TV series, music videos, computer games, exhibitions of erotica, "Sadomasochism on Broadway"... You seem to be interested in a remarkably wide range of artforms and media. Many CP enthusiasts are, because we tend to be creative, imaginative people. But the scope of awareness is rather outstanding in your case. Was it always like that with you?
Adele: Yes, it has. Growing up with no source of kinky reading or viewing other than what I could pluck out of the ether (good old Tom Sawyer!), I've become very sensitive to spotting even the mildest erotic overtones in mainstream media. As I grew older, I've become interested in how sexuality is portrayed in the media. What is OK to show on TV and what isn't? What's a saucy music video, and what is filthy, dirty, no good porn? What do vanilla people think of us pervs? I like to keep an eye on that.
Final question: in the beginning of the interview, you described how your main motivation for being a model lies in chasing that elusive "perfect spanking video". If you ever reach that goal, how would the result look?
Adele: I don't expect ever to reach that perfect result. Frankly, if I knew what it had to look like, I would have shot it by now. I'll just keep experimenting, and see what happens.
I will be watching. Thank you very much for the interview, Adele.