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.


Karl Friedrich Gauss said...

I subscribed a while back at which time there seemed to be one older guy doing most of the spanking. I was a little underwhelmed.

But they might be worth a second look now that Samantha Woodley has taken up the role of artist in residence and seems to have brought with her a whole new cast of characters.

Anonymous said...

My favourite model at this site, apart from Samantha Woodley, is a real hottie called Michaela McGowen. Fantastic bottom, beautiful face, and good punishment tolerance.

My only difference of opinion with your review is that I think you under-estimate the severity of some of the punishments. I'd say it ranges from light through moderate to hard. The best thing about it, as you say, it that they have credible characters who actually speak! Most of the Eastern European sites offer ritual thrashings with little dialogue and no drama to speak of (except Lupus, who do drama but in a rather eccentric way that rarely connects with real life!)

My other pleasure at Firm Hand is that you see models there whom I haven't ever seen on other spanking sites, which is refreshing. This means you sometimes get a lot more genuince reactions than some of the "pros" in the business!

All in all, it's one of the best out there.

Colin, UK

Ludwig said...

Colin, you are right that there are some punishments on Firm Hand that are reasonably hard. At the end of the day, these are highly subjective standards, anyway - what is "hard" for you might be "moderate" for me, or vice versa.

My own benchmark for when I describe a punishment as "hard" is fairly high. For instance, there are some Lupus films which I would rate as merely "moderate" when most other spankos would probably rate them as pretty extreme.

The reason for this is not that I'm into the more severe kind of play myself (both as a top and bottom), and it isn't dumb "tough guy" machismo, either. My reason is simply that I want to keep room on my scale, so to speak. If you describe "The Exchange Student" by Lupus as "very hard", then how do you describe "Schizo - The Black Part" by Mood? "Ultra super hard"? So instead, I use a more conservative terminology, and I rate "The Exchange Student" as "moderate to hard", or as "fairly hard", or whatever.

Ultimately, it's quite subjective, as I said. Basically, what I wanted to say by reviewing Firm Hand as "light to moderate" is this: if you are a single-minded, bloodthirsty severity freak, there are other sites which you will like more. But Firm Hand has its own, different assets.