Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kaelah's Corner (Mar 2011):
R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Ludwig and I at the end of our first amateur clip.

Zille recently asked an intriguing question on her blog: What do YOU want from spanking porn? She got loads of responses and I eagerly read all the comments. And ended up in a roller coaster that has occupied my complete thoughts for about three days now.

I would like to take a closer look at the attitude towards spanking models that shows in some of the comments. At first, I only found some phrases that caused a negative gut feeling because they seemed to be a little thoughtless and could easily be misinterpreted. But then I came across one comment that was the straw which broke the camel's back and finally led to a discussion about spanking porn and ethics. I'm going to list the posts I am talking about and you can decide for yourself.

Let's start with a selection of rather harmless comments, which caused me a certain uncomfortable feeling nonetheless, because I wasn't always sure whether the writers clearly distinguished between the fantasy of a spanking scenario and the reality of a spanking porn shoot.

Mark described his preferred intensity of a spanking as follows: 

"I’d would MUCH RATHER see 2 minutes of spanking that is uncomfortable for the spankee then 20 minutes of drawn out diluted action! Give her 10 spanks that are outside her comfort zone rather then 300 she can take!"

What Mark obviously (hopefully?) meant, at least that's my guess based on the other things he wrote, is that he doesn't want long spankings that don't hurt at all with purely faked reactions, but rather short spankings which the model really feels and which cause genuine reactions. But to my mind the phrases “outside her comfort zone” and “she can take” are very misleading because it sounds like Mark would like to see the models taken beyond the limits they have agreed upon.

John Williams answered the question “What is the single most important thing to you to have in spanking porn?” like this:

"I’m gonna ignore the 'single' part and say 1) Non-sexual 2) Realistic/Genuine 3) Punishment-oriented and 4) The spanker continues uninterrupted, unfazed, and not pausing for reasons of her comfort as she begs/pleads/cries/sobs uncontrollably."

Again, if that's what the model is comfortable with, fine. But once again to me this sounds like what the model is comfortable with might not matter so much and that this is what is supposed to happen for real, not only within the storyline. The thing that made me interpret the sentences which I have quoted here in Jon Williams's favour, though, is the fact that he also talked about mouth soaping during a spanking in his comment and pointed out how important it is to take some safety measures to ensure that "it is not the least bit dangerous". So it seems to me that he in fact cares about the models' safety. Which means that he either doesn't think that crying uncontrollably could be a hurtful experience or beyond anyone's comfort zone, or that he has the implicit understanding that the model who does the scene he is talking about is one who is comfortable with these things.

The favourite spanking scene of Gilgamesh goes like this:

"I want to see real punishment of a woman by a man in a domestic situation. Age is irrelevant. Preferably caning and hard enough to leave stripes that last for a couple of weeks. There can be hand OTK before the cane. Tears and real heartfelt apologies. A description by the spankee of what she has done to deserve it. Good camera work helps too; but how you get the camera and its skilled operator to the preferably spontaneous scene I leave to the video maker. I guess the punishment might have to be postponed a few days but that doesn’t hurt."

When I read this comment (the first one of two which Gilgamesh wrote), I assumed that Gilgamesh was talking about real life DD because he even highlighted "real punishment". And my thought was: Is there any woman who is living in a DD relationship who would be comfortable with doing such a scene in front of a camera? Stripes that last for a couple of weeks? Even the cane stripes from my two very severe canings last(ed) only for about two weeks! I assumed that Gilgamesh maybe hasn't ever played for real, though, and that "stripes that last for a couple of weeks" only meant that he wanted a real spanking and not only love taps. Interestingly, Gilgamesh couldn't find his comment in the thread a bit later, so he wrote a new one. In that comment he used a different wording and it became very clear that he was indeed talking about "realistic looking" punishment scenarios, not  necessarily about real punishments. Phew, another case solved!

George's description is very nice as well:

"I like to see authentic spanking with whatever instrument is necessary to carry out the discipline, also I like to see sex and all the female parts on show, it is important to see that the female is receiving what she deserves and not some silly set ups that we see in some of the films today."

Another "deserving" woman humiliated and properly disciplined! Once again justice has been served! Joking aside, I hope George is talking about what goes on in character, not for real. He certainly did not make it in any way clear.

I did not really take offense at any of these comments. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were always merely talking about the scenarios they want to see, rather than the reality of the performers, even though they often did not make that distinction very clear. And as you can see, in some cases a follow-up comment also confirmed my assumption. Still, there were many other comments like the ones I quoted, and the endless stream about "deserving women", "real punishments", "real tears", "relentless spankings", reactions of "shock" and "desperation" was a tad disconcerting.

Adele and Niki behind the scenes at Lupus.

And finally we have Bill, who is into crying as well. In his first comment he suggested that the producers could use onions in order to help the models to cry even before the spanking begins. So far so good - if the model in question is comfortable with that, why not? But then Bill was scolded by Trollheart for his idea because Trollheart neither wanted to see faked nor forced tears. When I read Bill's answer, it was the straw which broke the camel's back:

"I said the onion thing just because I think most spanking models don't want to cry because they are too in control. It's not that I want fake tears it's that I think with a little teary mist in the air it will be enough to remove that boundary and the tears will flow whether they like it or not. Of course the best route is to find newbie models that are nervous and can't control themselves once they realize just how much it hurts and how little prepared they were but I think that is likely not going to happen."

So, what Bill obviously suggested was to bring the models to showing reactions with which they obviously aren't comfortable (“whether they like it or not”) and to take advantage of newbies' inexperience in order to get the reactions which he desires. I think that Bill's suggestions were at least utterly disrespectful towards the models who try to make his kinky dreams come true. Actually, to my mind, what Bill suggested would even be real abuse.

When Ludwig and I wrote comments pointing out the importance of respecting the models' limits during a shoot, Zille defended Bill with the following argument:

"[...] what you both are missing is that Bill has no idea about really making spanking porn. Nor should he -- the point is that he is a consumer, not producer. And the consumers deserve to have their fantasies about the porn industry left in place. If they become producers of porn, they may (and possibly SHOULD!) be in for a disappointment or other rude awakening ... but until they cross that line, Bill's idea of making a girl cry from onions is, in it's way, as valid as if he'd prefaced with, 'So here's a porn plot idea....' [...] I can tell you that the idea of the model 'forced to cry, despite herself' IS very important to Bill. And that's the veil of fiction we need to leave in place for consumers. As a model, I need to know I'm being taken care of, and I will only work with producers who will be ethical (and generally fun to work with, but that's because I can just do this for fun, now). But customers don't have those details to worry about (unless they want to) and it shouldn't be forced on them. None of us can help what turns us on. If Bill likes thinking about shoots that are possibly less consensual then they ought to be, that's his right, and he never needs to have reality get in the way of that. As makers of porn, we DO have to worry about it. He doesn't."

I strongly disagree with Zille. The point is, I have no problems with any kinds of fantasies people have and I am aware that Zille asked her readers about their fantasies and not about the question of how to bring these fantasies to life in an ethical manner. So, if Bill had written something about wanting to see models who totally let go and cry without caring about the camera, or if he had written about storylines that fulfil a "the spankee is forced to cry despite of herself" fantasy, everything would have been perfectly fine with me.

But Bill wasn't talking about a fantasy here, he was talking about the reality of a spanking porn shoot and made suggestions how a spanking shoot should be done in order to create the results he wants to see. And that's the point where to my mind ethical questions come into play and where it is in fact our duty to destroy any fantasies about the porn industry which assume that any form of real, i.e. non-consensual abuse is taking place and that this is in any way morally acceptable.

And in my opinion, even in a discussion about viewers' wishes and preferences, it is important to remember that the ones trying to make these wishes come true are human beings who don't want to get hurt (of course I'm not talking about physical pain in this context) and whose limits have to be respected. To my mind customers have a responsibility to care about whether the products they buy have been produced under ethical conditions. For me this goes not only for cosmetics and animal experiments or clothes and child labour - just to name two famous examples. It also applies to spanking porn and model abuse. 

Interestingly, Bill, after some initial raging against the people who were "attacking" him, later modified his position: "I am not talking about forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do. [...]  I'm talking about willing 'actresses' and intelligent creative directors working together to make a great video. [...] I want the actress to WANT the onion there because she wants to make a great video." I'm perfectly fine with that.

However, it was obvious that he still had little consideration for models' personal feelings. In Bill's mind, there are certain things a spanking model just has to be prepared to do for the viewers' pleasure, or else, she is not worthy of respect: "If crying on camera is too personal for her then what right does she have to be respected as an actress in spanking videos? [...] I believe people in a creative industry should be dedicated to what they do. I really have no clue why someone would have a problem with this comment. As far as I'm concerned a spanking model who does think tears are too personal to show on camera really has no grasp of what customers actually want or the dedication to the genre needed to make a great video."

So, not being willing to satisfy the viewers' fantasies (Bill assumes here that his preferences represent those of the majority of spanking video consumers) means that a model obviously doesn't show enough dedication to her work and, of course, to the paying customers. I wonder if he would still feel that way if he had ever been in front of a camera himself - as a bottom! To be honest, Bill's attitude is one of the reasons why I only do those things in front of a camera with which I'm absolutely comfortable and why I still sometimes feel awkward when publishing clips, despite of my precautions.

In any case, the more general question about the ethical responsibilities which do or do not go along with watching spanking porn is, in my view, a very interesting and important one.

As far as I understood Zille, she doesn't want her "What do YOU want from spanking porn?" thread turn into a discussion about ethical questions because that might scare people away from telling her about their fantasies. I respect Zille's point of view. But I would love to discuss the topic here on our blog. So, please, if you have any thoughts on this topic that you like to share, use the comment section here and don't flood Zille's comment thread with this moral discussion. If you want to tell her what you want from spanking porn, though, her thread is of course the right one!

33 comments:

Ursus Lewis said...

Inspired by you, I will read through all of Zille's post and comments. It might take a while, but it seems worth it.

Therefore I won't talk about what I want or don't want to see in spanking movies here, but about what is important for me how such movies are produced.

Indeed the ethical condition a spanking movie has produced in, is very important to me. Ludwig described my moral baseline in numerous posts and comments already. All actors have to be consenting adults and no permanent harm has to be done.

If I don't trust the product will meet these criteria, I won't buy from this producer. Even I'm into non-consensual stories, I could not enjoy the movie any more, if I had the feeling there is real non-consensual activities going on.

A bottom has to have to possibility to stop the scene by safeword anytime she/he has to. This is the thin line between consenting work and abuse. And I don't want to see any real abuse and of course I don't want to support anyone who abuses by buying their products.

Respect is most important not only in the spanking community, but of course also in the spanking porn industries.

Rayne said...

Thank you for this post, Kaelah. I admire your honesty, and continued clarity of your own values and standards -- I think, too often, people are not held accountable for their more anonymous actions in the virtual online world, and it is refreshing to read your posts, and remember the interconnected web of humanity that exists behind the technology.

I think what struck me most about the comment you cited as "breaking the camel's back" was this: "Of course the best route is to find newbie models that are nervous and can't control themselves once they realize just how much it hurts and how little prepared they were, but I think that is likely not going to happen."

Firstly, as someone whose inexperience was in fact taken advantage of in a similar fashion (though not having to do with porn or any filming industry), I can speak personally to the psychological damage that is very possible as a result of this. To me, this is a clear and solid step into the realm of abuse. Why does he think that this is not likely to happen? Right there is a clue into what really could lie behind his comment, and that troubles me very deeply.

I can also speak, however, to the advantages of nervousness -- I still get very genuinely nervous before any type of punishment or even more severe play without a punishment overtone -- it is natural, because I know pain is coming and I know parts of it will be difficult for me to handle. But the key difference is that I am mentally prepared, for the possibility of being unprepared. If that makes any sense :D I'm not simply naive and therefore more likely to unwittingly step into an abusive situation -- I am willingly placing myself into a situation where I know my limits will be pushed, and which therefore will produce real and genuine reactions even though I know what is happening.

What I think I am trying to say is that: I think I understand the desires behind this individual's comment about what he wants to see in spanking porn. I, too, am more attracted to what I would consider to be genuine reactions, rather than obvious acting, and barriers to emotions or cameras broken down. But I think this can be achieved quite spectacularly within very ethical parameters -- the model need not be inexperienced or unprepared. In fact if she/he were, that would reflect very poorly on the producers of the product and should be faced quite frankly with lawsuit and abuse charges. Instead, a model can be fully prepared and therefore fully consenting to put her/himself in a situation that will produce these genuine reactions, and always with the knowledge that she/he can stop it at any time with a safeword.

Dan said...

Kaelah, I don't think I quite agree with you, but it's a matter of degree.

For instance, there's a commercial spanking site out there with the word "abuse" prominent in the brand and URL. I won't link to or promote that site, because I think it gives spanking porn consumers very much the wrong idea and casts the whole industry into ill repute.

On the other hand, I do not think it's my obligation as a blogger and spanking-porn-selling affiliate to educate the surfer about all nuances of ethical porn production. Many people fantasize about spanking situations that would be unethical if real, they know they wouldn't want to enact them in the real world, and it's legitimate, in my view, to make and sell spanking porn that supports those fantasies, as long as the conditions of production are themselves ethical.

Thus I think it's fair for people to say -- in response to a question like Zille's -- "I want to see spanking models pushed way beyond their limits and punished in XYZ manner that clearly makes them uncomfortable." The challenge of course for the porn producer is how to film that fantasy without actually treating the models in that fashion, but that's a technical and artistic challenge, not an ethical one.

So, the way I see it, Zille asked the question and she got honest and useful answers. And you are responding by saying "but yuck, we've learned something unpleasant about the attitudes of the people who answered her!"

Yup, we have. But it's very hard to make people think right. So, I'm not sure what you think should be done about that.

Ludwig said...

@ Rayne: Of course, nervouseness can have its advantages. I would say that there is "good nervousness" and "bad nervousness". The good kind (and I think many, if not all, spanking models feel this kind before a shoot no matter how experienced they are) is the kind that can really add to a scene. The bad kind is destructive and inhibiting, however. It only arises when something is really wrong, and it should of course be avoided. Models need to be fundamentally comfortable in order to help produce a good video.

In any case, to suggest, as Bill did, that inexperienced models should be taken advantage of in order to get them to cry and to get strong reactions is taking the "advantages of nervousness" angle too far in my view. If acted out in reality, it would be pretty abusive.

Like you, I can see the desires behind Bill's suggestion. I understand what he is going for, and I think he was being dumb and insensitive rather than deliberately mean. But that is not much better. He really should have put more thought into what he was suggesting, and he clearly has no idea of what it is like to make oneself vulnerable as a bottom on camera.

@ Dan: I understand your point, and it is in fact much the same one that Zille made in her reply to us. But I have to strongly disagree.

As Kaelah wrote (and I think she made this abundantly clear), she has no problem whatsoever with what people fantasise about. What she objects to is when people, like Bill, suggest that models should be pushed past their hard limits at a video shoot just so that viewers can get the reactions they want to see. Because here, we are obviously no longer talking about mere fantasy, we are talking about reality.

You write: "Thus I think it's fair for people to say -- in response to a question like Zille's -- 'I want to see spanking models pushed way beyond their limits and punished in XYZ manner that clearly makes them uncomfortable.' The challenge of course for the porn producer is how to film that fantasy without actually treating the models in that fashion, but that's a technical and artistic challenge, not an ethical one."

The very crucial point which I think you are missing is this one:

If viewers suggest that models should be pushed "way beyond their limits" and treated abusively at video shoots, and if we fail to speak up against such suggestions (or even actively endorse them), then we are creating the impression that:

1) This really is going on in the spanking video industry, and
2) we think it is morally acceptable

Sorry, but that is not an image I want to create, and it is not the kind of industry that I as a performer would want to be assoicated with.

Which is why, when someone comes to me with a suggestion like that, I say: "Look, dude, I understand what kind of intense CP and what kind of intense reactions you want to see. I like that kind of video myself! And there are ways to do this in an ethical manner, with some models and with their consent. But you have to understand that real abuse of models and violation of real, hard limits is not okay, and that we will never ever do that."

If we create the impression that we condone real, i.e. non-consensual abuse, then how are we going to defend ourselves againstz the anti-porn crusaders who claim that all porn is evil and abusive, anyway? Could you possibly give them a better angle of attack?

We have to make it clear that the industry does operate by, and care about, ethical standards. If we take the "Oh, let the viewers have their fantasies about models being abused for real at shoots!" approach which you and Zille suggest (which in my opinion is, frankly, quite thoughtless and naive), we would deserve all the hammering which we would get for it.

Dan said...

Ludwig, I don't think we disagree about the concept, I think we disagree about where it kicks in. See, e.g., my comments about spanking sites with "abuse" in the name. Your arguments are the long version of why I won't promote sites like that.

But we are doomed to differ about where and how to draw the line. It's easy for you to throw around epithets like "thoughtless and naive" attached to an inaccurate summary of my argument, but harder I think for you to explain why condemning someone's fantasy is appropriate in a thread that explicitly sought to draw those fantasies out.

I start from the premise that the internet is full of sexually broken people and ethically broken people. This, in most of ten years of moderating blog comments, I am convinced is the case.

As a blog owner, I am at liberty to moderate their comments if I find them sufficiently pernicious, or to respond to them, or to ignore them. As a blog reader, I have only the latter two options. But what strikes me as seriously confused and weird is your suggestion that anybody has an obligation to respond to the broken people. Even weirder is your suggestion that if we don't, we're somehow endorsing the views of the broken people in the eyes of the greater world. To me that's obvious rubbish; you endorse things by positive statements, not by silence in the face of comments that clearly don't merit the attention of civilized people.

Indy said...

I tried to read the responses to Zille's post and just couldn't make it very far, as I think I was more annoyed by the responses than you were. I suppose I've got used to reading intelligent discussion about porn rather than watching much, but I found most of the fantasies described to be utterly unappealing and some very disrespectful of women.

I accept that much of what I found objectionable could stem from a complete lack of experience with real life play on the part of those making the suggestions. If you've never played for real, then perhaps the person being beaten beyond her limits isn't real either. I've heard a spanking film producer comment that the vast majority of his customers never play at all in real life.

So perhaps it's a bit unfair for me to see their attitudes as violation of the spirt of a community in which they simply don't participate. Nonetheless, there's something particularly jarring to me about trite, male-gaze porn made in a community as small as ours and in which the female performers play such an important creative role. Amelia-Jane Rutherford recently wrote quite compellingly about the issue of community in the context.

Still, I agree that if the films are made ethically, if the spankee's being forced beyond her limits is merely an illusion, then I see no moral problem with the film. Fortunately, that doesn't mean I ever have to watch it.

Annapurna said...

Hi Kaelah,

Once again you have delivered an intensely interesting and personal exposé, this time dealing with ethics and spanking pornography. I am consistently amazed by your perception, intelligence, and articulation, especially your command of the English language, which I presume is not your native tongue.

To the casual observer, pairing pornography of any kind with ethics might be considered an oxymoron at best. One may wonder whether there’s anything ethical about sex for hire or the pandering to male sexual fantasies in exchange for money, whether that transaction occurs face to face or over the Internet when a spanking video is downloaded.

There may be no immediate solution for the pornography−ethics conundrum, but it may be worth noting that if one wants to increase spanking video sales by conducting a customer survey to find out what’s hot and what’s not, then one will need to be prepared to witness a galaxy of responses, some of which might be quite gut wrenching in their brutality and degradation of women. While I would be among the first to voice abhorrence of such treatment of women, even if it’s only in fantasy, the fact remains that sex and violence sells, especially to some men; the trick of course is to present this debauchery in a believable way without ever compromising the well-being of the cast and crew. Hollywood has been doing just that for years by relying on make believe. The same may be true of spanking videos, compelling spanko producers to rely more heavily upon special effects to convey increasingly more severe spanking scenes, which border more on the bizarre than the real.

If we can put aside the purely commercial aspect of spanking videos and concentrate on the ethics of coercion, then the verdict should be self-evident to anyone who is not a sociopath: spanking is an activity to be undertaken by fully consenting adults in a safe and sane manner, which include whatever safeguards are necessary to protect the bottom. To conduct a spanking scene in any other fashion would violate the inalienable civil rights of the participants, which would be tantamount to committing a crime. It’s beyond pathetic that some clamor for realism that strips the bottom of all dignity, humanity, and self-determination in pursuit of some misguided and twisted desire to experience authenticity of someone else’s pain, suffering, and emotional anguish. Such requests are, at their very nature, sadistic to their core, for they show no empathy whatsoever to the one receiving the spanking. The bottom is reduced to an expendable object to be used and abused as seen fit by the viewer simply because he has paid money to witness what is nothing more than a beating.

It stands to reason, Kaelah, that you would and should feel discomfort after reading the sadistic machinations of some men. I do, and I’m not even the object of this sadistic lust to which we speak.

(To be continued)

Kaelah said...

@ Ursus:
Thanks for your comment! I'm totally with you concerning the distinction between non-consensual scenarios and consenting adults who bring these scenarios to life.

@ Rayne:
Thank you very much for sharing your point of view and your personal experiences. And I'm totally with you about genuine reactions, I prefer them as well. And of course there can be a good form of nervousness prior to acting out a spanking scenario! But as you said, all these things can be achieved within ethical parameters. And I think it is important to recognize that not all people who are putting themselves out there – amateurs and professional models – are similar. I, for example, usually don't cry during my private spankings either because it doesn't fit to my spanking fantasies. Being forced to do it on camera would be an extremely unpleasant and hurtful experience for me. Of course I am no professional model, but I think they should be allowed to have their limits as well. There might be limits concerning storylines, level of severity, reactions, level of nudity/close-ups, additional aspects like sex, bondage and many more. And I don't think having and accepting one's own limits makes anyone a less dedicated spanking model. Spanking porn is something highly personal and intimate, so I think that everyone who participates in it should have the right to have limits which of course must be respected at all times.

@ Indy:
Don't worry, you are not the only one who was disturbed on an emotional level by some of the comments. I distinguished very clearly between my emotions and reason in my post because I think this is my duty as a blogger who claims to look at this topic from an ethical point of view. It took me three days, several discussions with Ludwig and several rewritings of the post, though, to get to a point where this distinction was as clear as possible. And I decided not to write very much about how reading the comments affected me on a personal level. But in short – I'm totally with you about strong emotional responses!

Kaelah said...

@ Dan:
I think your point of view indeed isn't much different from Ludwig's and my point of view. I try to explain what I mean and what I think Ludwig meant as well:

1) I agree with you that many of the fantasies kinky people have would be abusive when carried out in reality between non-consenting people. That goes for spanked schoolgirls and -boys as well as for caned prisoners and so on. And I think that most of the people who wrote to Zille about their fantasies clearly had that distinction in mind. I take no offense at any of their fantasies. Even if some scenarios make me feel uncomfortable on an emotional level, to my mind that doesn't give me any right to judge them on a moral level - as long as we are talking about fantasies. And I think I didn't let my emotions get in the way when I wrote my post (which took me three days and several rewritings) and made that distinction very clear.

2) I am aware that porn producers of course want to fulfil their costumers' desires and therefore often use a certain language for their advertising “most brutal punishments”, “abuse”, “real pain, real tears”, “deserving men and women”. I don't like this kind of advertisement and I would most probably ask Ludwig not to link to those producers who are overdoing it from my aesthetical (not moral!) point of view. It's nice to hear that you handle that in a similar way. But to my mind we are talking about advertising language here and not about reality. And I think/hope that most customers can make that distinction as well. Ethics might come into play here at some point as well, but that is a very complicated topic and I am very careful about that because I haven't thought this through carefully enough to have an informed opinion. What I definitely expect from spanking porn producers, though, (besides a production process that is ethical of course) is a disclaimer somewhere on their website or maybe in their videos saying that all participants are adults who subscribed to a legal contract to do that shoot. And I think that the producers usually have something like that on their site. If they decide to shoot behind-the-scenes material, to give interviews about the reality of their porn shoots or let others (like the models) write behind-the-scenes reports, that's a great bonus. But then of course they shouldn't fake it and tell people that they are forcing their models to things they don't want to do.

(to be continued...)

Kaelah said...

@ Dan:
(...continued)
3) What I am objecting to, though, is Zille's suggestion that if customers really think (we are NOT talking about a fantasy here!) that spanking porn is produced in a non-consensual way, it is their right to do that and that it is a “veil of fiction we need to leave in place for consumers“. Because that means, following her argument (just turn it around), no one has the right to confront these people with reality! And that is something that I can't subscribe to. I am of the opinion that people who are interested in spanking porn, who write about behind-the-scenes stuff and ethical questions and who have some behind-the-scene experience should have the right to confront people who have a wrong picture of what is really going on.

But my point goes indeed further. I am not of the opinion that EVERY blogger/consumer or whoever has the obligation to participate in EVERY discussion of that kind and I don't think that YOU have the obligation to do so. And I don't think that was Ludwig's suggestion, either. But to my mind those people who want ethic porn, to whom this topic is important and who actively want to do something for it, have indeed the obligation to stand up for it as well. I'm with Ludwig concerning that point: Not participating in the discussion of course doesn't necessarily mean that you are okay with non-ethic porn. You can't participate in every discussion, anyway. But if no one who reads comments like this and disagrees with them speaks up, the ones for whom ethic porn is important leave the field to those who suggest that it doesn't matter how porn is produced.

There are many examples for products that were produced under morally questionable conditions until consumers spoke up, pointed out these conditions to others and told the producers that they wanted a change, otherwise they wouldn't buy their products any more... And there are many examples in our history which show that people who decided not to speak up and to remain silent indeed helped those who had unethical points of view by not speaking up against them. Mind you, I don't want to compare the question of ethic porn with big historical events, but I think that a look at history shows very easily that your assumption that “you endorse things by positive statements, not by silence in the face of comments that clearly don't merit the attention of civilized people” isn't correct.

So, my point is: a) I won't let anybody tell me that I have to be silent and leave the fiction that spanking porn is produced in a non-consensual manner in place for anyone. Especially because others who want to learn about spanking porn might read these threads as well and I want to give them the chance to read arguments from both sides. So, this is not only about the ones who have those wrong pictures in their minds, it's about the silent mass as well. b) And I think if people want to change opinions and production processes, they have to speak up! Because they don't only respond to “broken” people, as you call them, they also respond to the silent mass who is reading these threads. You can't actively fight for everything you believe in, but if something is really important to you and you see yourself as someone who stands for it (like Ludwig and I, some other hobby bloggers and many of the people who are working in the spanking industry do concerning ethic porn), you have to raise your voice! Those were the people I was referring to when I said: “WE have the obligation...”

(to be continued...)

Kaelah said...

@ Dan:
(...last part)
4) The second point is that Bill wasn't talking about a fantasy. His fantasy was to see models cry. That's alright with me! It was even okay for me when he made the suggestion that one way to achieve this could be to use onions. That might not be practical, but it was only a suggestion for those who are okay with the idea, so that's fine as well. But from this point on, Bill wasn't talking about his fantasies any more (and I think his comments showed that clearly, you can have a look at his full comments on Zille's site). He was making suggestions of how to achieve the crying he wants to see (his fantasy) in a real spanking shoot (reality). And one of his suggestions for the real spanking porn business was to make models cry with the help of onions “whether they like it or not” and the other one was to take advantage of newbies' inexperience. And his suggestions would mean real abuse. I think there is no other way to see it, there is no way to see this as a fantasy, it's about reality! Zille's argument was that Bill might only be talking about a fantasy here, but Bill himself made it quite clear that that wasn't the case. He modified his comment and said that he doesn't want anyone to be pushed beyond their limits. He simply wants real tears and is looking for real practical ways in which his fantasies could be fulfilled. And then he made it very clear that from his point of view as a paying customer he has the right to expect every spanking model to fulfil his desire to see real tears (which he thinks the majority of spanking porn consumers want as well), otherwise she doesn't have any dedication for her job and isn't worth any respect from him. And, sorry, there is no way you can tell me that we are talking about fantasies here! This is a real attitude towards real people and one I clearly object to because it disrespects human beings (no matter whether they are models or not). And that is my second point in this discussion.

Ludwig said...

@ Indy: Indeed, in my view, one of the main insights that can be taken away from the discussion on Zille's blog is that it illustrates, once again, the great divide between the people who watch spanking porn, most of whom have no experience with play in real life, and the people who make spanking porn, who (unless they are hired "vanilla" models) are active members of the Scene and lead an active spanko lifestyle.

Of course, only watching videos and not being interested in making any practical experiences with spanking does not make one a lesser human being in any way. But it means that many of the pure "voyeurs" have a lack of insight into the practical and emotional aspects of real play, and into how easy or difficult it is to do certain things on video.

Which is precisely why discussions like this one are important, because they can help to bridge this divide between the viewers and the doers.

I must say that I was not as annoyed by the thread at Zille's as you or Kaelah were. The only one I found really objectionable was Bill, because he was talking about the reality of spanking porn production. The others I took as mere fantasy, i.e. that this is what they want to see on screen, but obviously without the models being treated abusively for real.

Like you, I found some of the described fantasies utterly unappealing, but that is a matter of personal taste, not ethics, so it is not the point of this discussion. Fantasies are just fantasies, and people are entitled to fantasise about whatever they want as long as they don't suggest that it should be done for real.

@ Annapurna: There is no inherent "pornography-ethics conundrum", unless you subscribe to an antiquated Victorian view of sexuality and morality.

If you don't, then pornography is really like any other business from a moral / ethical point of view. It is immoral if it is exploitative,. For instance, if it takes advantage of desperate poverty. If it is not exploitative, however, and if the exchange "sex (or sex on video) for money" is made by adults on the basis of free and informed consent, then there really is no reason why it should be morally more problematic than any other exchange of "goods".

Of course, one can ask if something as deeply personal as sex and sexual fantasy should ever be "commercialised". But this, I think, has to be a matter of personal choice - if people want to make a business out of sex and sexual fantasy, then they should have the freedom to do so, as long as they are operating in a morally sound manner.

As for Kaelah and me, we don't do spanking videos for commercial reasons, anyway. We make them for the love of the art and we have never earned any money from them.

So, thank you for your long comment, but I think it takes the discussion into a direction that isn't really necessary. There are no furndamental problems with porn and ethics. There only are problems with some people's ideas about how porn should be made.

Dan said...

Kaelah, thanks for taking the time to respond at such length. I think we really are in agreement about most of what's in your #1 and #2 paragraphs, at least.

When it comes to your #3, I'm hampered because I'm just not reading Zille the way you are. To me it's all a question of context. If you are not arguing that the obligation to speak up is general and universal, then it follows from that that there are places and times where it makes more sense and is more appropriate than other places and times. And to me, Zille's thread was clearly the wrong place for that discussion, simply because of its clear underlying purpose. You've obviously recognized that at least to an extent -- by bringing the discussion over here -- and I think we just have different views of how important context is and how much to respect different contextual frames. And I didn't understand Zille to argue that nobody should disabuse confused spanking porn consumers of their cherished illusions anywhere or at any time ... I just understood her to be arguing that her thread was not really a very sensible place to be doing it.

As for your #4, I consider Bill to be one of the broken people. I don't think you're wrong, much, about what's in his head; I just don't think there's much point in engaging with broken people. They never change their opinions, it leads to flame wars, and I'm not sure it does a lot of good with the mass of silent readers, either. Ultimately this isn't a "you shouldn't" claim on my part; it's just a "I generally don't, because it strikes me as a waste of time." There's a saying attributed to Robert Heinlein: "Never try to teach a pig to sing ... it wastes your time and annoys the pig." That's how I feel about engaging with sexually broken people on the internet. I by no means claim nobody should do it -- although I do think it's one of those areas, like arguing about politics and religion, where one should think twice before commencing the argument, with extra sensitivity to the question "Is there another conversation going on in this place that my pig-singing-teacher hobby might disrupt?"

Ludwig said...

@ Dan: I did not condemn anyone's fantasy. I am on record many times supporting the freedom of sexual fantasy and saying that people are entitled to fantasise about whatever they want. What I objected to was Bill's suggestion re: the reality of how spanking porn should be made (pushing models to cry "whether they like it or not", taking advantage of new, inexperienced models).

Kaelah and I were trying to make this distinction abundantly clear, trying to make it very clear what, exactly, it was that we were objecting to.

The issue of collective responsibility, if we want to call it that, is an interesting one. You write: "But what strikes me as seriously confused and weird is your suggestion that anybody has an obligation to respond to the broken people. Even weirder is your suggestion that if we don't, we're somehow endorsing the views of the broken people in the eyes of the greater world. To me that's obvious rubbish; you endorse things by positive statements, not by silence in the face of comments that clearly don't merit the attention of civilized people."

I understand your position, but again, I have to disagree. Responsibility and moral obligation are not only about the things you do, but also, sometimes, about the things you fail to do. This is well established in law (obligation to help people in mortal distress, obligation to report if you know that someone else is planning a crime, and so on). We are not talking about anything so serious here, but in discussions like this one, too, there is a responsibility that results from the failure to act. Not in a legally relevant sense, but in a morally relevant sense.

Of course, you can't respond to every idiotic comment ever posted in every discussion in the spanking community. There are far too many of those, as you and I both know! But when it is a discussion on your blog, then yes, I think you the blog owner do in fact have an obligation to speak up. Or, when it is a discussion about spanking videos, then I as someone who has appeared in spanking videos feel an obligation to speak up (the closer your are assoicated with something, the bigger the obligation to speak up if others have mistaken ideas about it).

If someone makes an idiotic comment on my blog or suggests something abusive, and if I the blog owner fail to address it, then I bear part of the responsibility if an outsider sees the comment, assumes that no one has any objections (after all, no one said anything!), and concludes that the spanko community is full of idiotic and abusive people.

You say that some comments "clearly don't merit the attention of civilized people". But the point is that what may be clear to you may not at all be clear to an outside observer, who doesn't know much about the spanking and BDSM community. As you and I both know, there is no shortage of misconceptions and prejudices about BDSM in our society. And if we fail to speak up against the lunatics in our community, then we only have ourselves to blame if these misconceptions persist and if society believes that we are all like that.

Mind you, I believe that we will, of course, never get rid of misconceptions and prejudices entirely, because the world is filled with stupid people (inside and outside of the BDSM community). But we can at least try not to make it worse than necessary.

Annapurna said...

Hi Ludwig,

“There is no inherent "pornography-ethics conundrum," unless you subscribe to an antiquated Victorian view of sexuality and morality.”

Perhaps there’s no conflict in your mind about pornography and ethics, but there are those who genuinely struggle with this issue, and they are not Victorians.

If one is not bound by any ethical or religious creed forbidding pornography or spanking, there is no conundrum. But much of the world does, indeed, follow a religious belief of some kind so you may have to admit the possibility that for those who have an interest in both pornography and ethics, especially ethics of a religious nature, a conundrum may very well exist for more than just a handful of people.

“There are no fundamental problems with porn and ethics. There only are problems with some people's ideas about how porn should be made.”

To say there is no fundamental problem with porn and ethics is a debatable proposition. You, personally, have no issue, but there are those who do, as I have said before.

While my initial response was directed to Kaelah, who encouraged participation, I do welcome your feedback; after all it’s your blog. With that said, and with my wish not to veer any further off topic, I will end my post here.

Ludwig said...

@ Annapurna: You are of course right about the fact that some religious people have objections to pornography (or to certain sexual practices, like homosexuality), based on their religious beliefs. Personally, I am an agnostic (and I lean closer towards atheism than towards theism), so I obviously have no such beliefs.

I don't even think that, as far as I understand these belief systems, there is a fundamental ethical contradiction between being, say, a Christian or a Buddhist and making erotic films. Again, as long as these films are not exploitative, I do not see why any fundamental problems should arise. But that is a very complicated debate, and I am admittedly no expert on religious sexual morals.

In any case, I think that it comes down to a matter of personal choice. Religious people are free to view BDSM and porn as inherently evil, if they so choose, and we are free to disagree with them. And we should leave each oher alone and not try to force our views on each other.

If someone reads my blog and watches my videos, I assume that they have already made the decision for themselves that BDSM and porn are not fundamentally morally problematic. Or perhaps I am being naive, and there really are people out there who are into spanking porn, but conflicted about it because they do consider it morally problematic? It's an interesting question. There probably are a few people like that.

I enjoy your comments, and I am not saying that they are not interesting - they are. But they really lead into a whole different discussion. Perhaps I will address the religious question with a post of its own sometime.

Kaelah said...

@ Dan:
Thanks for your reply and sorry for having given you so much to read! :-) This is a topic that moves me a lot personally and I want to make sure that my arguments can't be misunderstood. Which isn't always easy, given my emotional state and the fact that I'm writing in a foreign language.

You are right, there are places and times where and when it is more appropriate to discuss these topics. That's why I decided to take the discussion away from Zille's thread to our blog. But Bill's comment moved me so much that I simply had to write a short answer to him on Zille's blog as well, for everyone else to see. Because I think Bill was the one who used the thread for off-topic disrespectful comments (that hurt me personally, to be honest) and I just couldn't accept his statements without a word of protest. And to my mind that should be okay, even in a thread that originally had a different intention. Furthermore I hoped at first that he was just overdoing it a bit and that my reply might lead to a modification of Bill's statement. After all, it could have been merely a “tongue-in-cheek” comment, and I wanted to know whether I maybe just got him wrong. And to get a reply from him, I had to post my comment in the original thread.

I think you are also right about broken people. This topic has now cost me several days of my life and that's most probably not worth it. I'll try to become a bit cooler in the future to protect myself better. But I guess I will always speak up if someone says something that I consider being abusive or disrespectful. Even if that means I'm wasting my time with that person. Maybe at least another reader finds his/her peace of mind by reading my comment and thinking: At least I'm not the only one who finds this disrespectful. At least that was my reaction when Trollheart participated in the discussion on Zille's blog, someone who seems to have quite similar preferences as Bill (tears, real looking spankings) but who very eloquently talked about the difference between his fantasies and the real situation of a spanking porn shoot. When I read his comments, it reassured me that there are many intelligent and decent people out there, which gave me a very good and peaceful feeling and helped me to let go and to leave the discussion on Zille's blog after I had expressed my opinion in that one comment.

Kaelah said...

@ Annapurna:
Don't worry, as Ludwig already wrote, you are of course welcome to share your thoughts on the topic of ethic porn! It is just a bit difficult to discuss the points you made about ethics and porn/sex in general in all their facets here in this thread as well, because my original topic (respect for the limits of those who participate in spanking clips and the distinction between fantasy and reality) is already so complicated. I'll try to write a reply to some of your suggestions nonetheless:

Concerning religion and porn: Of course there are people who might struggle with the concept of porn because of religious beliefs. I already watched spanking porn (for example the clips Ludwig posted on Spanking Tube) when I still considered myself to be a believing Christian. And I didn't have any problems with it. But others might see it differently. That's a really complicated topic and I would have to gather a lot of information first, before I could write a post on that topic!

Concerning porn and respect for women: I think that someone who has fantasies towards women which would be abusive in real life doesn't necessarily see women as lesser people for real. As I already wrote in my reply to Dan who rightfully brought up that point earlier and with whom I agree: When you think about it, many of the fantasies kinky people have would be abusive when carried out in reality between non-consenting people, even the ones that don't look so horrible at first glance. That goes for spanked schoolgirls and -boys as well as for caned prisoners and so on. But I think that most people clearly know the distinction between fantasy and reality. Ludwig for example has some very dominant and sadistic fantasies towards me, but one reason why he can think about enacting these fantasies in our play at all is that he knows that a) they are my fantasies as well and b) I'm a strong woman and we are equal partners in real life. If he had to worry about me being weak and really dependent, he wouldn't be able to play out these scenes with me because he needs to know that this isn't real in order to enjoy it! Of course you are right and there are men out there who really have disrespectful opinions towards women. But I think fantasies don't necessarily say something about the real attitude people have. Sadly comments stating that a spanking model isn't worth any respect if she isn't willing to cry on camera do...

By the way, I have been told that in the spanking porn business it's often the male bottoms who are treated disrespectfully by some producers who don't even pay them and don't take good care of them during the shoots! Luckily there are exceptions from that rule, producers who treat male spanking models with respect, but every producer who doesn't is one too much.

Kaelah said...

@ Dan:
Sorry, I realized that there was a little mistake in my last comment. Of course I wrote two comments (not only one) about the question of ethic porn on Zille's blog, the initial one and a second one to tell her that I would be writing a post about the topic on our blog and to explain to Bill that I'm not a model and that I didn't criticize his fantasy about tears but his suggestions how to make these fantasies come true. I wrote two more comments in Zille's thread, the first one being about what I want from spanking porn and the second one to thank Trollheart for explaining his point of view so eloquently and therefore giving me the chance to set his initial comment about his fantasies into the right context.

Thomas_III said...

While I don't have much to contribute to this discussion, I would like to touch on something that was mentioned early in the main body of this post. That portion of the post referred to women consenting to be filmed in scenarios that were beyond their comfort zone. Of course, one can argue that anything consented to is therefore "within the comfort zone," but that's not always true, particularly in some areas of the spanking realm. There is a smaller subsection of the spanking industry that focuses on actual punishments (not portraying them, but filming real punishment sessions). Just speaking of myself, three of the girls that I have seen for discipline/punishment have consented to have one or more of their sessions on video. The spankings are real, and the tears are real. These are true punishment spankings without a safeword, so they can certainly be considered to go beyond the girl's "comfort zone." Again, though, since they knew what would occur, it could be argued that it's still within a certain level of comfort zone. Perhaps you could think of this as two separate comfort zones, one for the spanking, and one for having it on video. Regardless, these women have enough trust in me that they are willing to allow me to push their comfort zones. Is it possible, then, to be comfortable with being uncomfortable?

In any case, if you ever see this "Bill" again, feel free to suggest some of my videos. Only a small number might be to his liking, since I also do portrayed scenes with actual models, but maybe some of the others will strike his fancy. I can always use the business. ;)

Ludwig said...

@ Thomas: You should head over to the post on Zille's blog linked to here and make your suggestion to Bill there. He reads Zille's blog. I don't think he reads this one.

Regarding the comment you are referring to, the one (by Mark) talking about a model getting spanks "outside her comfort zone": that one did not explicitly mention consent or lack of consent. But I believe that Mark was talking about this as a consensual activity, and that he simply meant that he wants to see spankings on video that produce real pain and real reactions. Nothing wrong with that.

I would say that, when someone agrees to be spanked "outside their comfort zone", then that is actually and obviously within their comfort zone. When someone agrees to be spanked "beyond their limit", then that really is within her limit. We could talk about two different comfort zones, then, as you suggest. Or we could call it "soft limits" and "hard limits". At the end of the day, it is a matter of semantics. Regardless of what we call it, what matters is that we understand what is meant by these terms in this context, and that we understand that, in this context, the activity is consensual.

There are people who are into edgy, "beyond the limit" play like that, or into play without safewords. See for instance Emma Jane's Back before the Court scene with Mistress Switch, which she wrote about some time ago. That's perfectly alright as far as I am concerned. If people are into this and if they are experienced, responsible spankos who know what they are doing, good for them. If they don't know what they are doing and someone gets hurt, they only have themselves to blame. Either way, the participants here are all consenting.

Annapurna said...

Hi Ludwig and Kaelah,

Thank you for allowing me to post on your blog.

I’m not sure if I have anything more of value to add to what you have both articulated so well. I understand your concerns about Bill’s comments, or comments of a similar ilk.

Clearly, I don’t know anything about making spanking movies or movies about extreme BDSM play. I will simply defer to your experience concerning such matters. I think we can both agree, however, on the importance of safe, sane, and consensual practices, but even these stipulations do have some degree of subjectivity and may be open to interpretation, which goes beyond the initial scope of your original post.

Even though we may agree on the fundamentals of BDSM play, I’m now uncertain whether someone like me should be posting on your blog. Perhaps I am simply too different? Perhaps I’m not a good fit for the audience you would like to attract? Perhaps I should consider my basic BDSM position a little more carefully before posting again? I think these are reasonable questions, don’t you?

Ludwig said...

@ Annapurna: Of course you should continue to comment on our blog! It's not like Kaelah and I are only writing for a particular, narrow "target audience". We write for everyone who is interested in spanking and BDSM. We know that this is a diverse community with many different kinds of people, which is precisely one of the reasons why we like it. We are curious about different types of spankos, about their mindsets and views, and we welcome all contributions here.

I regret if my replies somehow gave you the impression that your comments are not welcome here. Needless to say, that is not at all what I intended. They are very welcome!

Dan said...

Kaelah, Ludwig, I think we've pretty well explored our differences and from my perspective, it boils down to the fact that we just have different views about our obligations in the world and what we need to do about them. We won't be changing each others' minds about that, and there's no point in beating a dead horse.

However, I do have one small factual insight that may explain how we got to these different places. I'm not sure how much the formal legal systems we live in inform our thinking about what's right and proper, but it's got to have an effect ... and we do live in different legal systems with fundamentally different assumptions. I noticed this when Ludwig wrote:

"Responsibility and moral obligation are not only about the things you do, but also, sometimes, about the things you fail to do. This is well established in law (obligation to help people in mortal distress, obligation to report if you know that someone else is planning a crime, and so on)."

I have a bit of formal legal education in the US system, and those two examples are interesting precisely because they mostly don't exist in US law. They were discussed in my classes as "European rules" not applicable in most of the 50 states of the United States. (To be sure, most people in the US do admit to *moral* obligations along those lines.)

If the law can serve as a set of examples from which we work when doing moral reasoning, it may help explain why you two feel a stronger obligation to challenge people who are wrong on the internet than I do. For me, that impulse is sharply constrained by considerations of futility, civility, and context-appropriateness: Is it worth my time? Would it be inappropriate in this place? Would it derail the conversation my host/hostess is trying to have? Whereas you two may consider those issues, but you apparently weigh them less heavily against what you see as your obligation to speak.

Nothing right or wrong about that, I just find this sort of cultural differences fascinating.

Ludwig said...

@ Dan: Interesting to hear about the different legal systems. Mind you, I have had no formal legal education at all, and I wasn't really trying to argue from a legalistic point of view. I was merely bringing up these "European" laws as illustrations of a certain moral point of view. But you are right that growing up in different legal systems could, at least to a certain extent, explain the differences between your point of view on the one hand and Kaelah's and mine on the other.

I understand your views on futility. Having been in a couple of internet debates like this one over the years, I remain skeptical about what, if anything, they achieve. Most of them probably aren't worth the time and effort. You really can't teach a pig to sing, so the best you can hope for is that the discussion helps to educate some of the other, undecided people, the ones where it isn't futile to begin with. But even that is largely a matter of coincidence.

In any case, I still enjoy a debate like this one every once in a while. If nothing else, it is fun and a good writing exercise.

(The "wrong on the internet" picture is hilarious, by the way!)

Kaelah said...

@ Dan:
In my opinion you might be right about the cultural differences! To my mind this isn't only an American – European thing, though, the German school education system might play a role here as well. At least this is true for me. Because of our awful historical experience with WW II and the Nazi regime, one important goal that was followed by my teachers was to teach us to respect different opinions and philosophies of life but to raise our voice and stand up against any form of disrespect towards human beings. I don't know whether this is true for others as well, but I think that this form of education has definitely had a strong influence on me.

Annapurna said...

Hi Ludwig and Kaelah,

There seems to be yet another "Bill-style" diatribe on Zille's blog that matches the insensitivity and callousness of Bill's critical remarks. I would like to know what is attracting such reactionary comments from these bitter "customers?"

Ludwig said...

@ Annapurna: If you are referring to the recent comment by Lucipher_T, I did not find that one objectionable at all. He is saying that he does not want to see "schoolgirls" with garter belts or "prisoners" with mini skirts in spanking movies, that he does not want to see ultra-light, fake canings and that he is tired of spankings that consist of a lot of teasing and little action. I sympathise with what he said. He uses some strong wording, but that is his prerogative. All in all, he is talking about the scenario aspect, not about pushing models beyond their real limits or about not giving respect to models who aren't fulfilling all of his fantasies, like Bill was.

What prompts spanking video viewers to such bitter comments? Well, the fact is that there is a lot of bad, unimaginative, lame spanking porn out there. So people can get frustrated with wading through all of it and not finding anything they like. Again, I can sympathise with that. But I would contend that anyone claiming that there is "no" or very little good spanking porn just hasn't looked hard enough. Because there is in fact plenty of good, high-quality stuff, even if you have to search for it a bit amidst the even more plentiful lesser fare.

In any case, you raise an interesting question: where do these angry, irritable, short-fused comments come from? Rather than just say "Oh, that guy is a rude moron!", it is fruitful to stop and think why he is acting that way. Kaelah is much better at this than I am.

When people act aggressively, they are usually masking certain fears and insecurities. Bill was an interesting case. I think that, behind the rudeness and the condescension which he displayed, one could sense a lot of fear of being exploited by spanking models who only want his money, who look down on him because he is not part of the Scene, who are snotty and greedy and don't take him seriously... He kept alluding to things like that, even though they had nothing at all to do with the discussion and with why Kaelah and I were criticising him. But he just had this picture in his head. Maybe he made the experience with someone else he once had a discussion with.

Annapurna said...

Hi Ludwig,

Thank you for your comments.

I agree that there’s plenty of good material if one is just willing to look. I have had no trouble sorting through video that seemed contrived or poorly acted from those video clips in which the action was riveting to say the least.

I understand what you’re saying about Bill, but I wonder if something else is at play? I wonder whether any spanking video is going to be good enough for him and his narcissistic demands?

If Bill is only a spanking voyeur who has a “crying fetish,” there may come a time in which no spanking DVD is going to be authentic enough for him.

Bill could very well be the type of individual who would travel to a developing nation to take an active part in the abuse of an under-age minor just to see her cry. An acquaintance of mine did something similar, but his lust was for sex with under-aged and unwilling virgins.

Like Kaelah, this whole episode has been emotionally upsetting for me. I play at spanking, usually on the receiving end. If someone were to shove an onion in my face to see me cry, I would safe word out immediately.

Ludwig said...

@ Annapurna: Well, I would not want to engage in speculation about whether Bill would be the type of individual who abuses minors in developing nations. Much as I disagree with some of the things he has said about spanking videos and spanking models, I think such speculation would be extremely unfair. We can't make these kinds of guesses based on a few internet comments by someone.

harangutan said...

Hi there. I've only just discovered this fascinating discussion, which touches on a few of my main interests. A lot of my own thoughts have already been expressed, but for the record ...

I agree that there's nothing intrinsically wrong in wanting to see scenarios realistic enough that allow one to suspend ones disbelief that they are non-consensual. But that suspension should be temporary. For a variety of reasons, legal and moral, no-one should be leaving your site believing they have just witnessed a real sexual assault filmed for their gratification.

We do not choose our fantasies, and as long as they remain in our heads, we do not have to justify them to anyone else. If Bill enjoys seeing realistic depictions of severe suffering, well then, so be it. My tastes lie towards the milder, more 'fun' end of the bdsm spectrum, but as I say, those are only matters of taste; aethetics, not ethics.

But if Bill (or whoever) thinks it appropriate that women should actually be coerced & hurt (more than they're happy with, anyway) just to pander to his tastes, then that becomes an ethical matter. Whether it's ethically incumbent on spanking porn producers to set him straight on this depends, I guess, on what you consider to be the limits of your moral responsibilities. For my part, though, I'd have more respect for those who make it clear that they are providing fantasies, and nothing more.

(Dan is quite right that 'common law' jurisdictions like the USA and UK have a fairly minimalist attitude towards duties to rescue, but I hope this wouldn't always be reflected in our moral standards.)

harangutan said...

Or, to put it simply, it's one thing to help Bill *fantasize* that he's watching non-consensual spanking. But to help him *believe* that's what he's watching is quite another.

Kaelah said...

@ Annapurna:
I think you don't have to worry, Lucipher_T's comment seems to be completely harmless and Bill is surely only looking for movies with dedicated adult actresses and creative producers. As Ludwig already wrote, I've got a theory about where the aggression in some spanking discussions that you find on the internet (not only about movies and not only in comments made by video consumers) comes from and why we are so easily unsettled by some things we read. I'll most probably write a post about it soon.

@ Harangutan:
Welcome and thank you very much for your comment! I absolutely agree with the things you said. :-)