Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School Report Time

It's been awhile since you heard about Josephine, my kinky friend whom I first introduced in April. I also wrote about her in Careless Cyclist Caned and Conventional Weekend. After our BoundCon V visit described in that last piece, three months ago, she fully immersed herself in her economics studies with no distractions whatsoever. Actually, I had to urge her to take at least the occasional afternoon off, because over-preparation can burn you out and leave you in almost as bad a shape for the exams as no preparation at all. Sometimes, the more you know, the less you can recall it under pressure!

But obviously, I had nothing to really complain about as Josephine's motivational coach. You might remember that this is the role she asked me to fill at the beginning of the semester - to make sure that she goes to class regularly, finishes her homework and doesn't slack off. It all went pretty well. The girl worked hard, always busy with her books and exercises. She never missed a class all year except for a single day when she was genuinly feeling sick. Most importantly, she seemed to like the subject and her industriousness came naturally.

Except for the "careless cyclist" punishment and our play at the convention, none of which was related to Josephine's studying, I only caned her once during these months. It was after she told me that she'd had a hard time concentrating on one particular Monday and had almost fallen asleep during class. After a bit of questioning, it transpired that she had been on the phone with a friend until half past three the night before. It was an emergency, Josephine insisted, the friend needed counsel with a relationship (a job she often finds herself doing).

Helpfulness is a nice trait, I said, but honestly, that's overdoing it a little. Unless the guy is threatening to kill himself right then and there, I see no reason why you need to talk for half the night. Keep it around twenty, thirty minutes, that's more than enough for a bit of reassurance. Then say "Sorry, but I really have to get up early!" and that you will just call him back the next day. He'll understand that you have your own life to take care of, and if he won't, maybe he doesn't deserve your help in the first place.

So I thrashed her for it and she didn't play nocturnal heartache hotline again. Apart from that, though, I never had to lift a finger. Perhaps what Josephine suggested in the beginning came true - that my mere presence and the threat of punishment would be enough to keep her focused. The flattering little snake! I thought it was more likely that she simply enjoyed the course and her exuberance was the natural result. She found that she had made the right choice and didn't need to force herself all that much.

I have no big interest in economics and don't know much about it myself. But that wasn't really necessary. My job was simply to keep an eye on Josephine and her work ethic, not to help her with the actual material. I only gave her a few general tips as the exams approached, the ones that apply everywhere. Little things I picked up back when I started university.

The one thing I was most worried about is that Josephine might be channeling her enthusiasm in the wrong directions. She was studying hard, no doubt, but she had a tendency to get lost in her immense textbooks and interesting new discoveries. I mentioned my concern that maybe she wasn't preparing herself specifically enough for the actual tests she would have to write. It's a mistake I made during my first year, I said - reading too much, getting ahead of myself and not practicing the "easy, boring" basics properly. That kind of snobbery can bite you.

But Josephine assured me that she knew just what was required and had a good feeling about it. In fact, she was so confident of good grades that she made a pretty courageous suggestion. We had always agreed that she would get a caning after the exams, a certain number of strokes depending on how well she did. Just to finish off the semester in style and provide the right amount of incentive for the next. There were six written tests with grades ranging from 1,0 to 5,0 in increments of tenths. Basically, it's the German equivalent of A to E, with 4,0 or D as the minimum passing grade (or you have to repeat the class).

Now, my original idea had been to give her one stroke for each tenth above 1,0. We'd do it in several sessions, probably one for each test, and the worst case would be 40 strokes at a time, obviously. More along the lines of 10 to 20 per exam if she performed according to my expectations. But Josephine had a different plan. She proposed two strokes per tenth above 1,0. However, as long as the grade was "one point x", she would get no punishment for that particular test at all.

In other words, she was hoping for a couple of A's and fairly sure that there wouldn't be any really bad marks. I cautioned her: "You realise how draconian that gets if you mess up? Not that I expect you to, but I'm just saying..." Yes, she nodded, but she wanted to take her chances. I advised her to reconsider and stick with my original proposal, just in case the coveted one point something grades failed to materialise. But Josephine was adamant: "I'll do really well, you wait and see!" And if she didn't? Well, then she would be very angry with herself, anyway, and she would gladly take 60 plus strokes for a failed class instead of 30 plus.

Fair enough, I said, fortune favours the brave. I didn't want Josephine to think that I don't believe in her abilities. She had studied hard, she knew what she was doing and it was her decision to make. If she got only A's and not a single cane stroke, no one would be happier than me, actually. I told myself that maybe the double or nothing approach was just the right bit of extra motivation she needed. On the other hand, if it all went horribly awry for the poor girl, she could at least consider it a valuable lesson against overconfidence...

The exams were held in July and Josephine went on a well-deserved extended summer holiday after that. Goes without saying that I had to give her the grades by phone as soon as they became available online. A fairly exciting moment for us both. Now she's back and I'll be seeing her tomorrow - school report time, so to speak. Watch this space to find out if the economist's calculations paid off.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Website Review: Firm Hand Spanking

Featuring an archive that goes back to 2002 and over 700 film clips at the time of this writing, Firm Hand is one of the grand old spanking sites on the net. It recently underwent an overhaul resulting in easier navigation and a more polished look. With a large number of different models, punishment scenarios and implements, most CP enthusiasts should find something to their liking amidst the tons of content.

Firm Hand Spanking is updated three times per week. As of May this year, every new clip is available in five formats: Windows Media Video and Real Media in two different quality levels each, and a version for the iPod. The high quality .wmv has a resolution of 640 x 480 and a bitrate of 1500 kbps. Older videos are in .rm format only, the resolution ranges from 640 x 480 down to 352 x 240 for the earliest ones. Every clip also comes with a photo gallery, and there is a section of standalone "Star Photo-stories" without accompanying movies.

There are three main paths to surf the content: a long "All Movies" index which lists everything chronologically, an "All Models" index with link pages to all the shoots a girl has done, and a series of themed sections with titles like "English school" or "Pageant Punishments". In addition, you get a "Candid Confessions" page with about a dozen video interviews and another section with a similar number of written "Firm Hand Star Profiles".

Two American models by the names of Shannon Carson and Amy Denison used to be the most regular performers, with several of my favourite Firm Hand scenes between them. But the latter is officially retired now and the mainstay of the site these days is the lovely Samantha Woodley. Abigail Whittaker and Amelia-Jane Rutherford have added frequent and hot contributions over the past two years, I like both of their work here a lot. Other spanking regulars like Leia-Ann Woods, Kailee Robinson, Niki Flynn, Pixie Wells and Sierra Salem also make appearances. In total, there are some sixty models in the archives at this time, ranging from scene stars to unknowns.

Most clips are between 5 and 10 minutes long, a brief exposition followed by a punishment of some sort. Instruments include the hand, strap, paddle, cane, pretty much everything that classic spanking scenarios have to offer. On the jeans, the panties, the bare - there is fairly good variety here, also in the type of scenario. Scenes include MF and FF, the severity is light to moderate.

I really enjoyed the "themed" sections because most of them bring out the personality and the personal fantasies of a model in an interesting way, or simply because they are inventive. "OTK Air" is a video series featuring Miss Wooley and Michaela McGowen as flight attendants. Leia-Ann stars in a sequence of "Military Discipline" clips. Amelia-Jane does some ballet-inspired scenes. Two sexpots going by the handles of Sofia Celli and Cassandra Campbell thrash each other in several "College Girl Discipline" movies.

Firm Hand doesn't have the oomph of the Eastern European producers, but quite a few of the clips delight my inner sadist simply because of the pained reactions of the victims. Miss Denison and Miss Carson both get some interesting thrashings, with good chemistry. A girl named Lane Chapman has an edgy encounter with a cane-wielding mistress, resulting in real tears... And so forth. Not every scene is outstanding (at several hundred videos, that would be a lot to ask), but there are true gems to be found if you look for them. A members' forum, a collection of "Spanking Tales" short stories and a section with "Spanking in the Movies" movie stills round out the archives. In sum, well worth checking out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pandora Blake's Blogiversary Caning

Plebiscites are a popular pastime in the spanking blogger community, especially when they result in public floggings. This week, Pandora Blake has offered herself to the sadistic mob to celebrate her second blogiversary. She will get a caning to honour the occasion, there will be a free video of it on her blog, and you, the readers, can contribute to the number of strokes. At the same time, you get to help Lucy and Paul of Northern Spanking after their recent troubles.

That's what I call a great two-in-one deal. Here is how it works:

- To add a stroke to Pandora's blogiversary caning, please join Northern Spanking and leave a comment on her blog entry with the username of your account (not the password!).

- If you're already a member of Northern Spanking and would like to get involved, please leave a comment on her blog entry with your username. Existing signups will still contribute a stroke, but probably with a different implement.

- If you'd like to vote on which implements are used for each set, please let Pandora know your preference in your comment. Hint from Ludwig: vote for the cane for new signups, and for the strap for existing signups.

- If you've already done the above and still have the urge to hurt the girl (of course you do!), then repost the link and spread the word. Remember, it's for Lucy and Paul as well.
(How many stripes is she going to get? Join Northern Spanking and make your mark.)

Needless to say, I was only too happy to help out. The more so because it allowed me to exact a bit of revenge for Pandora's vote on my own comeuppance caning. It must be said that unlike the cruel majority, she voted for the less severe 12 stroke option back then, which didn't win. Perhaps I should have been equally merciful with her in return? In theory, I could have tried to use my free reviewer account at Northern Spanking to add one stroke with the lighter implement. But that would have been incredibly cheap, and certainly against the spirit of the good cause.

As a sadist, I tend to believe that generosity is a far nobler virtue than mercy. So I signed up for a proper, paid membership. It's a support gesture for Lucy and Paul which I wanted to make, anyway. And if it contributes to Pandora getting the sort of no-nonsense hard chastisement I enjoy watching, all the better. She is not going to die from it. Actually, I think she would be disappointed with anything less than memorably painful. At least that is the way I felt about my own trial at the hands of the readers.

In our world, clemency is a sign of neglect, while cruelty is a proof of affection. My inner sadist believes that, if any spanking model deserves the honour of a severe thrashing for her blogging, it's Pandora Blake. Her writing is literate, fluid and beautifully structured, her observations are frequently captivating and never less than interesting. She is passionate about her work and quite prolific, too - often writing even longer posts than I do, but with an effortless clarity I wish I had.

In sum, one of my favourite kinky blogs, run by a very spankable young lady. Let's give the Fräulein a proper set of welts so she can celebrate her blogiversary in style - happy, contented, and sleeping on her belly for a week thereafter.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mystery Mail

I recently made a backup of my emails. It's a safety measure I take semi-regularly, every couple of months or so, just in case the harddrive crashes or something. Except for spam, I archive every single mail I get (or send). Even when someone sends me the same mail twice ("Hey, I'm not sure if you got this..."), I keep both of them. You gotta have standards. Regular correspondents get their own folder, the rest goes into "Others". When I write to several recipients, I archive a copy of the outgoing mail in each of their folders. Ah, I love my German order...

Anyway, here is something I rediscovered in "Others". I received this one about half a year ago and he didn't write again (I assume it's a guy). I never replied - not out of laziness or spite, I assure you, simply because I had no idea what to respond. I wasn't even sure if he expected an answer. But it was undeniably an interesting mail, in a puzzling and amusing sort of way. Maybe you can make sense of it. The subject line read "Spanking and more":


Very nice blog you have and I hope you continue to write and produce it. I live in the USA, and have an Aunt living in Munich (very attractive lady) and one I have fantasized about - she is very pretty and quite hot, and if she knew of my kinky thoughts, she might want to whip me with the strap.

She is a very kinky lady - busy with being very naked for her man when she is required to - and parading around with oiled skin and no clothes is indeed a hot scene to watch. Spanking your own aunt over your knee with a paddle is a very hot thing...

And there it ends (no signature). What do I make of this anonymous mystery mail? First off, I am glad that he enjoys my blog. Thank you. I also like the style, especially the augmentation form "very naked" (as opposed to "a little naked", I guess) and the trailing off "..." finish. This is not some moronic illiterate troll, it is madness with a method. I appreciate that, even though I'm not sure what the method is...

But I can't for the life of me figure out the purpose of the mail. Is it an edifying story to entertain me? An invitation to spank his aunt, who supposedly lives in the same city as I do? Is it a riddle, should I try to guess how much of it is fantasy and what, if anything, is real? Can the author even tell the difference himself? And what is the "more" referred to in the subject line?

See, I've studied philosophy for years, but there are many mysteries that still elude me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Movie Review: Judicial Caning

Pain4Fem (released in 2006)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Fare dodger learns a valuable lesson

Victim Appeal:
The flick features two Czech models, Miss Sheron and Katty aka Kitty Saliery. At least one of them has a career in vanilla porn (I wonder what "Chew On My Spew #5" is all about...). But fret not, they are as yet unafflicted by the silicone epidemic which is crossing the Atlantic and threatening the Old World. Both have a neat and pretty girl next door look. I like Miss Sheron in particular, who is blonde, slender, wears glasses and has a most spankable bottom - in terms of visuals, there are no complaints from my affectionate inner sadist. Moreover, the acting isn't bad, either. Unlike many other pornstars turned spanking victims, they actually make an effort.

The story is set in a society where judicial corporal punishment is reintroduced as a measure against petty crime. It begins as one of the girls, played by Miss Sheron, receives a letter informing her that she has been sentenced for repeatedly sneaking rides on public transport. As an alternative to a prison term, she can choose a caning. Terrified, the young woman calls her friend who got caned for shoplifting six months earlier. While the two of them sit in the kitchen, the friend recounts her tale and we see a flashback of the ordeal. Afterwads, Miss Sheron decides to opt for the CP instead of prison and gets her own thrashing.

Gratuitous Sadism:
Before the punishment, each of the girls has her pulse and blood pressure examined by a (ridiculously young and cute) female doctor. Then they have to use the toilet and "empty themselves" so they don't urinate during the caning. Naturally, that takes place before the doctor's eyes, too. The tone is matter-of-fact and and rather polite, actually, but it is of course a humiliating experience. Finally, the victim is tied to a crossframe and an official administers the caning. At random intervals, the doctor yells "Stop!" and exmines a girl's marks or pulse before the thrashing continues. When it is all over, the stripes are treated with salve before the girl is allowed to get dressed and leave.

The canings are moderate in severity, neither too light nor very hard, but quite long. Katty gets 50 strokes and Miss Sheron receives 45. By the end, their bottoms are thoroughly covered with clear red lines and there is also a hint of bruising. Nothing vicious, but a proper punishment nonetheless.

Best Reactions:
Both girls show nice reactions, rather vocal and loud, but not irritatingly so. In addition to the screaming, Miss Sheron throws in a bit of desperate gasping and sobbing. But Katty is my choice here. I can't put my finger on why, exactly, but there is just something about the sound of her screams and the way she sometimes lets out two or three in succession after a cane stroke. Her wide-eyed pained expression as she looks into the camera is also very satisfying.

Best Line:
There really isn't anything of note in the dialogue. The best I can think of is Miss Sheron's lame excuse for dodging the public transport fares: "I couldn't afford a ticket at the time." Yeah, we've heard that one before, haven't we? An extra ten strokes for lack of originality, please.

Nice Psychological Touch:
Like many other Pain4Fem titles, this one is very heavy on procedure - the letter informing the girl of her impeding chastisement, the medical checkups before and during the caning, the mandatory emptying of the bladder, and so on. Nothing really happens in terms of story, it's more like a training video on "How to Follow the Official CP Regulations". Some people will probably be bored, while others like me while find it quite captivating.

A few of the scenes are a bit overlong, but generally speaking, I like the dry documentary apporach and the almost clinical feel. It's a perfect portrayal of clean "civilised" corporal punishment in the modern age - even the caner is wearing a doctor's overall! There's a jarring contradiction between the brutal primordial nature of the beating and the various precautions surrounding it, like pulse checks and aftercare with salve. Arguably, such niceties only serve to make the punishment more sadistic, and the mad scientist in me is loving it.

Another contrast that works well here is the one between the action in the sterile white CP room and the cozy kitchen scenes where the two girls sit and talk. Plus, I thought it was a good idea to show one caning as a "flashback" while the other is "still about to happen". This way, while you have two almost identical action scenes in succession, one of them disinctly feels like the main course.

How Good Is It Really?
I liked "Judicial Caning" a lot. The technical craftsmanship is good, the two models do a fine job and the thrashings are pretty solid. I love the setting most of all, the idea that someone receives a letter in the mail and then reports to the "Palace of Justice" for corporal punishment in these surroundings which are more reminiscent of a medical practice than a correctional facility. Interestingly, one of my own erotic fantasies that goes back to adolescence also involves CP for dodging fares - maybe because it's the one petty crime pretty much everyone commits at least once. So I'm happy to see this brought to the screen. One of my favourite Pain4Fem movies.

What You Learned:
There should be technical awards for spanking movies. You know, like the Academy Scientific and Technical Awards they give out annually just before the Oscars. And the caning bench in this video should get one, because it is among the best I've seen. The white frame, the seven different restraints, the slightly raised position of the victim's bottom, it's all very sexy indeed. Oh, and one more thing - Eric Clapton must have written the flm music, because one of the themes sounds just like "Tears in Heaven".

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Glitch in the Matrix

I originally had a post here titled "Tourism Gone Wrong". I decided to delete it for reasons I will go into below. But first, here is what I wrote as the opening:

One thing which all of us spankos and CP fetishists seem to have in common is that we draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources - novels, history books, movies, TV soaps, music videos, cartoons, paintings, Shakespearean dramas, museum exhibitions, advertising... Everything from the ridiculous to the sublime, from High Art to trashy popcorn entertainment. News reports about real events are another popular source, and often an especially interesting one because of the "This actally took place!" factor.

Now, there is debate about whether or not it is appropriate to eroticise real suffering, be it historical or contemporary. I reserve that discussion for another time. Suffice to say that I don't think there is anything wrong with taking inspiration from such events, or else I wouldn't be posting this, obviously. The fact that I can eroticise the following story, shaping it into an exciting fantasy through a process that involves a great deal of fictionalisation and abstraction, doesn't mean that I support real judicial CP - I don't. Neither does it mean that I am "mocking the victims", which would be a very superficial and simplistic reading. Actually, even though I'm a kinky sadist, I often empathise more strongly with the victim than with the perpetrator.

I certainly do in this case. Here is one of my all-time favourite news stories, as reported by Associated Press:

Then I reprinted a report about two female Australian tourists who were caned in Malaysia, probably sometime in the 1990s (it was part of a longer article on judicial CP and didn't specify a date). The two tourists pleaded guilty to possession of a small quantity of marijuana which the maid had discovered in their hotel room. A magistrate sentence them to eight cane strokes each. There were various details of the story which I find incredibly hot.

However, there is one significant problem: the tourists were both aged seventeen. Actually, that was a prerequisite of sorts - CP of adult females is not permitted in Malaysia, so if the girls had only been one year older, the whole story wouldn't have happened in the first place. I was aware of the sensitivity of the issue when I posted it, but I figured that the girls were "adults in all but name", anyway. Here is what I had to say about it at the time:

To begin with, the girls were... just young enough to be still eligible for a caning under the Malaysian law, but old enough that I can picture them as "all grown up". If they had been younger, that would be an emotional obstacle to eroticising the news report, but here I can pretend that they are adults. That's where the aforementioned abstraction and fictionalisation come in. Actually, in my fantasy, the girls are around 20 or 21 and the juvenile law extends to that age. Which makes it even more interesting.

Clearly, what excited me was not the fact that the girls were juveniles, but the opposite - that they were almost adults. The maximum female age eligible for CP, which made it all the easier to turn the story into a fantasy where the age limit is higher and the girls are in their early twenties. Another fantasy version I have - I could have mentioned it at the time, but left it out for the sake of brevity - is that the CP law applies to all women, regardless of age. Okay, maybe not 89... But you see my point.

The point is, I didn't think anyone in his right mind could interpret my post as eroticising minors or the abuse of minors. I still believe that such an interpretation would require a great deal of simplemindedness, or malice, or both. However, we know from experience that there is no shortage of those qualities in the population, especially among self-appointed moral guardians who oppose our kinky lifestyle. And so, after I got a mail from a well-meaning, concerned reader, I reconsidered the issue and decided to take the post down in an act of self-censorship.

Ironically, I expect the decision to attract more controversy than the original post was ever likely to. After all, it is pretty irrational, even self-contradictory: philosophically speaking, it is hard to see why the "fantasy is totally seperate from reality" argument I mentioned briefly in the beginning should, all of a sudden, not apply here. If eroticising reports of real events and blogging about it is okay in principle, then what is wrong here? And does one year of age really make any difference?

Logically speaking, there isn't a problem, because the fantasy vs. reality argument still applies, of course. But as I already indicated, my decision has to do with experience rather than logic. There are two emotional hot buttons the zealots love to use: 1) Nazi crimes, 2) abuse of minors. Because allegations that someone has sympathy for either of these atrocities, no matter how unfounded, far-fetched and absurd the allegations are, are a sure-fire way to provoke emotional outrage and kill off any semblance of calm, reasoned debate. The Mosley story and what happened to Spanking Art Wiki are only two examples.

In the case of Spanking Art Wiki, some of you might remember that it was me who argued (rather loudly as usual) that, while the allegations against them were of course nonsense, the authors had also been pretty damn stupid. They should have been more careful to avoid misconceptions and deliberate misrepresentations. So I should swallow a bit of my own medicine, I suppose.

Maybe it is the oppressive spirit of the upcoming Berlin, err, Beijing Olympics invading my corner of cyberspace, too. And once again, my meticulous four day posting routine is completely messed up. Ah well. One day, I shall have to restore the order in the matrix with a long philosophical post about freedom of speech vs. self-censorship.