Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's On the Menu?


(Picture courtesy of SpankPass)

So, what am I going to write about here? In good philosophical fashion, I will not address the issue directly. Instead, I will launch into an extended monologue on a seemingly unrelated subject and give you the answer at the very end (by which time most readers have forgotten the original query). There is actually some merit to this. Often, the key to getting a good answer lies in simply asking the right question. Which is, in the present case, how did this blog get started?

I've been surfing the internet for almost ten years (barely left the house since – I mean, what for, except groceries?). Naturally, I also searched out a lot of erotic spanking material. It's a fascination I've had since childhood - even though, or maybe because, I was never spanked as a kid. But that is another story. On the net, I not only found a lot of masturbatory fun, but also a virtual spanking community that was interesting and thought-provoking and inspiring on a purely human level.

Over the past decade, I watched this subculture grow from a handful of galleries and story collections to the myriad of video producers, high-content paysites, forums and blogs we have today. I also progressed from being a mere voyeur and became an active disciple, starting to meet people and gathering my own spanking experiences, both dominant and submissive (I had always been a switch in my fantasies, too).

I don't think I would have become active without the internet community, the advice and self-exploration I got there – at least, I would probably have made the step much later. I still watch a lot of spanking movies and read the forums and blogs regularly. And I've made some great online friends, some of whom I got to meet in real life. I feel very fortunate and thankful for that. It's no surprise that I eventually developed the desire to contribute more and give something back.

I first got the idea of doing some kind of website well over a year ago. But being the German academic type, I don't rush into anything – I ponder and deliberate and vacillate and come up with all sorts of schemes that I knock down again the next week. That's a big thing with us Europeans, the "pre-planning" stage. It's a great work avoidance tactic (and a nonsense word, by the way – what is it supposed to mean, to plan something before you plan it?). Americans, on the other hand, are much more prone to rushing in head-first without a clue as to what the hell they are doing. But at least they get the damn thing off the ground. Naturally, none of the approaches is really better than the other. History shows that the European and the American way are equally adept at messing things up real good.

My main problem was that I didn't really know what I could contribute. I write pretty well and I like spanking movies. So the first thought was to do a site like Spreview.net, maybe in German. I'd actually done some reviews there under another nickname. But the realization that I had neither the time nor the inclination to learn the necessary webdesigning skills, for the quality I wanted, came quickly. I rationalized my failure by telling myself that a pure review site would have been too limiting for my vast writing prowess, anyway.

So that is where the idea for a blog came in. It's easy to set up and allows more variety of topics, in a diary sort of way. I could still write movie reviews, but also stuff about myself, my friends in the community, and philosophical musings on BDSM and erotic spanking in general. It's a more personal, open-ended format. More importantly, it encourages a certain exhibitionism and feeding of my intellectual vanity (two very valid and necessary motives).

Verbose self-indulgence aside, I do aim to keep you readers entertained. That is, of course, the only responsibility shared by all bloggers: thou shalt not be boring. Besides, I have to work against the terrible misconception that we krauts don't have a sense of humour. As Germans go, mine is great (there are more than five documented occasions when I've even laughed in a public building).

Actually, humour (the black comedy, politically incorrect, hopefully non-lame kind) will be one of the main themes here. If BDSM isn't fun and a little tongue-in-cheek, something is wrong. Mind you, I take our kink awfully seriously – it's dark, obsessive, edgy and highly erotic. But at the same time, all these delightful fantasies of ours (the sassy schoolgirls, military tribunals and damsels in distress) are also ripe for some good affectionate lampooning. So I hope to add my own contribution to that.

It will offset the lengthy theoretical ramblings somewhat, which I also aim to provide. To me, spanking goes beyond the mere immediate turn-on, it is utterly fascinating on a psychological and philosophical level. And it leads to all kinds of tantalizing questions about us as human beings, individuals and members of society. There is a danger for these explorations to get all analytical and lose sight of the eroticism. Avoiding that, though, and keeping it in balance, they can be just as much of a kick.

Above all, BDSM and erotic corporal punishment is an artform to me. Both the "performance" itself and the "artifacts" we make, the films, images and stories. I've always been particularly intrigued by movies because they are a sort of hybrid - "slice of life" and yet a "permanent item". Naturally, being a film buff makes me a spanking film buff as well. Notwithstanding the fact that the genre as a whole is inherently goofy (as it should be), I view the good spanking movies as genuine works of art. So that will be the third theme of the blog, reviews and armchair criticism.

If I can get a harmonious (and at times interestingly dissonant) chord going with those three, I'll be content. So much for the planning stage, time to do some work.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Mad King

Welcome to my home! Enter freely of your own will and leave some of the naughty thoughts you bring (to paraphrase Dracula's line from the sumptuous Coppola version - I reckoned it would be an appropriately dramatic entrance).

I'm in my late twenties and live in Munich, Germany. In "normal life", I study history and philosophy with a passion. This blog, however, is dedicated to a darker, more unusual kink of mine: erotic spanking and corporal punishment. Under the pseudonym Ludwig, I will write about my own experiences and friends in the community, about movies and books, about fantasies and philosophical ramblings on the subject of spanking, flagellantism and BDSM.

In this first post of mine, I won't tell you more about myself, but I'd like to write about why I chose the name Ludwig and the strange title for the blog (which you probably can't pronounce, let alone translate, unless you're German - "Rohrstockschnitzelwhat?"). It's always an interesting question: what is in a name? My answer might reveal more about me than any random detail of my everyday life.


My nickname is a reference to Ludwig II. (1845-1886), who was King of Bavaria from the early age of 18 to his mysterious death some twenty years later. I didn't pick it for the pompous "royalty" value, but because he was a very fascinating guy. Ludwig was an eccentric and somewhat disturbed man with a passion for daydreaming and romantic flights of fancy. He is best remembered as the patron of composer Richard Wagner and for the extravagant "fantasy castles" he built. The most famous of them, Neuschwanstein ("Swan Stone palace"), became the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland. That's not very BDSM, is it? But bear with me.

What always intrigued me about Ludwig is that he just refused to be a man of his time. He felt out of place in the Victorian Age with its "English machinery" like steam trains and textile factories. Ludwig would have much preferred to be a Medieval emperor, a French king during the ancien regime or a Turkish sultan. So, he simply acted out his fantasies! He built palaces in the exotic architectural styles he admired and ordered his servants to play the roles of "Germanic warriors" or "harem dancers".

Ironically, he was also a man ahead of his time, because the castles that once ruined Ludwig's treasury are now very profitable tourist attractions. Wagner's late operas (sorry, Richard, "music dramas") are regarded as some of the finest examples of romanticism. Of course, most of Ludwig's contemporaries didn't see it that way. There was much speculation about the sanity of the reclusive "mad king" and he was officially declared incapable of executing his governmental powers in 1886. Ludwig's death a few months later, when he drowned under controversial circumstances in Lake Starnberg, didn't help to clear things up - it's still debated whether it was an accident, murder, or suicide. What can be said for sure is that his legacy is very much alive in Bavaria today, and that many look upon him with a mix of admiration and puzzlement as the proverbial "fairy tale king".

(For the movie buffs among you, there is an opulent
Ludwig film by Italian director Luchino Visconti, and a much weirder (but interesting) German one named Requiem for a Virgin King. Both are very watchable, but the German title might be hard to get these days.)

I may not be quite that eccentric, even though I live just a few miles from the lake where Ludwig drowned. But I've always felt sympathy for the mad king, and not only because he generously sponsored one of my favourite composers. As a devotee of erotic corporal punishment (a BDSM person, a kinky guy, a spanko or whatever you want to call it), I also often feel out of place in a society that is predominantly "vanilla" and still regards what we do with some suspicion. Like any other spanko, I have a rich fantasy life that I yearn to act out. And I have a special fondness for the art made in our community, the films and stories. Since I happen to be a Bavarian as well, the choice of nickname came naturally for me.

The name of the blog, "Rohrstockpalast", could be translated as "caning palace". It sounds somewhat less corny in my native language than it does in English. A bit of schtick is intended - I've always regarded erotic spanking as something that should be fun, above all things, even and especially when we're talking about cane welts and broken skin. No schtick, no risk, no fun. And while "Rohrstockpalast" started as a joke, I've come to like the name. Names are like politicians, whores and ugly buildings - they grow respectable with age (if you recognize the movie where I stole that line, you must have seen a lot of neo-noir). In case you can't pronounce the word, just think of it as "Ludwig's blog".

It's obviously a reference to the castles Ludwig built, but also to the beautiful things which we all construct in our minds. As kinky people, we share the same passion (well, it's all roughly in the same ballpark, let's say). But our erotic fantasies also make each one of us unique. The variety and wonder (and sometimes the sheer weirdness) of what makes us tick never ceases to amaze me. And sometimes, with a bit of good fortune, we can turn these dream-stuff castles from "within our heads" into stone. Or into well-whipped, reddened flesh.

The image is from "The Warlock's Revenge" by RGE / Lupus Pictures. Note the fairy tale theme and the gentleman with the crown. Fitting, isn't it?

And with this joyous sight, I'm ending my introduction. I suppose it tells you quite a lot about me in its way. Next time, I'll let you know what, exactly, I want to write about here on the subject of erotic corporal punishment - the short version is, a good bit of everything.