Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where No Man Has Spanked Before

Cyberspace... The final frontier. Endless. Waiting. This is the story of a most fortunate encounter. A story of two companions brought together by fate. Their mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new experiences. To boldly go where no man has gone before.

Ladies and gentlemen, K-Day is here! This is an auspicious day in the history of this blog. You are reading what is probably the most important, most illuminating message I have ever broadcast across the universe. Riddles will be solved, faces revealed, new and future journeys outlined! And not a moment too soon. Seriously, I think it's high time for me to shed some light on the mystery of kay, after all the scattered hints and allusions which I've dropped over the last couple of months, culminating in the K-Day is coming! post.

(Oh, and if you're looking for the winner of that competition: it's Arjuna with the big crystal ball, of course. My congratulations! Please send me an email so I can give you your prize.)

In a previous hint, I had said that the "great and exciting news" I was about to share with you soon is even better than the Lupus Pictures shoot. Which is quite a statement to make. What, I hear you asking, could possibly be better than dancing with werewolves? The answer: drinking tea with Klingons.

How I came to be involved in such alien pursuits is a rather long story, so before I cause even more mystification, I'm going to take you all the way back to the beginning now...

It all started on another auspicious day in the history of my blog, the Global Day of Delurk in November last year. I participated, for the first time, in this annual event organised by Bonnie of My Bottom Smarts (so, in a way, she's one of the people I have to thank for all the mayhem that would soon turn my life upside down - thanks, Bonnie!). The day went well for me - I got a fair number of comments, slightly exceeding my expectations, and while most of them came from other bloggers, a few were genuine "delurks". I was especially happy about those. Getting previously silent readers to step out of the shadows, that is what the whole thing was all about, obviously!

I remember being intrigued by a comment from someone by the name of K'Ehleyr: "Your invitation has just motivated me to write my first-ever comment on someone's blog. I'm about your age and live in the Rhine Main Area. I've just recently started to explore the internet concerning the topic spanking and have been lurking for some weeks." That was a cool thing to get - the first comment not just on my blog, but anywhere. And from a German reader, close to home. What a weird name, though, "K'Ehleyr"! I mused about the pronunciation. Kayelair? Kay-eh-LAIR, or maybe kay-EH-lair? No idea.

When you only know someone over the phone or through email, your mind still conjures up these vague, blurry, dream-like images. It's the same with bloggers and blog readers. With most people who leave a comment, you have no idea what they look like, or even whether they're male or female. "K'Ehleyr" sounded gender-neutral to me, but I decided it was probably a guy. The name seemed to have a Muslim ring to it. I pictured a dark-haired young man, probably of Turkish-German descent, reading my blog. It was a reader demographic I had never encountered before, so I was pleased with that.

About a week after Delurk Day, I got an email from K'Ehleyr the Kinky Turk, titled: "Personal hello and expert questions". Turns out that she is really a German woman. The mail was quite long, highly articulate, and very interesting - I get many mails, but few as interesting as this. Besides a nice personal introduction and, once again, saying thanks for the blog, it contained some general questions about spanking, the scene and such. While I read it, my mental image of the sender changed to a young brunette woman, medium build, well-groomed, probably wearing glasses. I don't know where the glasses came from - I suppose we just tend to visualise smart people that way, and K'Ehleyr was definitely smart.

I spent an hour answering the letter with the diligence it deserved, then finally googled the nickname. Of course, "K'Ehleyr" isn't of Muslim origin at all. The name is taken from a minor female character who appears in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a half-Klingon, half-human ambassador to the Federation. I'm pretty well-versed in science fiction geekery, but I was never much of a Star Trek fan and had never seen more than a handful of old episodes from the 1960's. So I didn't know that character, but I was happy to discover that, on a general level, this girl calling herself K'Ehleyr was apparently a kindred geeky spirit.

As she wrote in her Global Day of Delurk comment, she was only making her first, tentative forays into the world of spanking. Like most of us kinksters, K'Ehleyr had had the fantasies since childhood. Somewhere, they had always been around, but in the background, as pure daydreams. There wasn't really a desire, much less a practical opportunity to do it for real - the question simply never arose. Then, last summer, something changed. Suddenly, K'Ehleyr said, she felt an impulse, a slowly mounting curiosity to actually explore this long-held fascination. One day, she just googled the term "spanking", in English. The erotic stories from the St. Francis School for Girls site were one early and intriguing find, then the free video clips of Spankingtube. Among the latter, she also encountered a little opus of mine, and through it my blog. Delurk Day and the email were the first time she "outed" herself to other spankos.

So, that was the situation. K'Ehleyr had no practical experience, she had never been spanked in her life (neither at home nor in adult play), and even exploring the subject on the internet was a very new thing. But she had the freshly awoken curiosity and the determination to follow it. Also some freshly awoken anxieties, of course - where is all this going to take me? Is it really a good idea? And can I, should I try this stuff for real someday?

Of course, these questions weren't in the first mail K'Ehleyr wrote to me - she asked about other, more general things. Reading her story, though, I could tell that she was probably asking herself all this, in the back of her mind. It seems that I struck a nerve when I politely breached the subject at the end of my reply: "So, where do you think your exploration will lead you?" I promptly got another email, even longer this time, and everything was there in perfect delineation - thought processes, inner questions, tentative possibilities, pros and contras.

First off, I reassured her that, in my experience at least, the middle to late twenties were a pretty common age for all this - where the kink really "wakes up" and many of us start exploring it in earnest for the first time. So that was perfectly normal, as were her worries. But obviously, there is no single "right" way about this. No one among us, no matter how experienced, can claim to have a blueprint. So, instead of throwing out loads of "I think you should do this", "I think you should do that" suggestions, I just began to tell K'Ehleyr about myself - my own first steps, my own first experiences, years ago. Not as an example that had to be followed, but simply as a story: well, this is how it went for me.

Above all, I wanted to convey: see, I once had the same doubtful questions, the same anxieties myself. Or very similar ones at least. But it is possible to overcome them, to take the plunge - and it can lead you to a very, very beautiful new world. At the same time, my only practical suggestion to K'Ehleyr was to just take it slow. Continue to read some blogs, exchange some mails, maybe meet some people - and decide your own path in your own time.

What made everything a little more daunting, K'Ehleyr told me right away, was the fact that she didn't have any erotic "vanilla" experiences, either. That was fine with her - she simply hadn't found the right man yet, and one day, she would. But in the meantime, it didn't exactly make the exploration of her spanko-ness any easier! All the more so because she was basically a somewhat shy person, and a perfectionist, and someone with very high expectations both in herself and in others. Mostly in herself - one idea which K'Ehleyr found really, really difficult was going to a gathering of kinky people, and being the inexperienced "new girl", and not being on the same level.

Or what if she tried out spanking for real, and it didn't work? She was a bottom, she knew that much from her fantasies. If she tried it, and if it turned out that she can't stand the pain, or if she had to back out for some other reason, she would totally disappoint the top! That was another horror scenario.

There were so many things there that resonated with me, because they reminded me of myself. I had also been a late bloomer sexually, and even to this day, I had only had one or two proper, intimate relationships. For much the same reasons K'Ehleyr cited: I was usually very busy (and very happy!) on my own, I was somewhat shy around new people, unused to new contacts. At the same time, I was a bloody perfectionist who wanted to get everything right and didn't want to settle for half-measures. That combination had also initially made it difficult for me to explore my kinky side, and when I did, it certainly cost me an effort. An effort that was worth it, though. Also, while I am a top (and always knew that I'm a top), I had chosen to make my first spanking experiences as a bottom. So that wasn't really different from K'Ehleyr, either.

Again, I just told my own story, and kept reassuring K'Ehleyr in general. I said that she shouldn't worry, that everyone loves the "new girl". That most of us spankos (except for the handful of idiots you find in every scene) would be very helpful and understanding towards her, because we had all been in the same situation ourselves. That she certainly wouldn't disappoint anyone - actually, by taking the first step out of the closet and simply talking about her fantasies, she had already shown a lot of courage. Many would-be-kinksters never got that far. Now she should just wait and see where it lead her.

I sensed that, more than anything, K'Ehleyr was just glad to have found someone to talk to. I certainly enjoyed it, too - by now, we were mailing each other regularly, and it was always interesting. We were writing about all sorts of things: music, movies, religion, science fiction, martial arts, British comedians... We found that we shared many likes and interests, that we had a similar outlook on things in general and a similar sense of humour. At the same time, we had enough differences to be intrigued by each other. I really loved the correspondence for its own sake. And if K'Ehleyr found the things I had to say re: spanking helpful on her journey, all the better.

The more I got to know K'Ehleyr, the more I liked her. She was nice, thoughtful, witty... Cautious, but not timid. A bit nervous at times, but not letting it show much. Fundamentally, she had an openness and a quiet confidence about her that impressed me deeply - this natural clarity of purpose, how she had waited for the right time in her life, how she trusted her inner voices, how she was now following this newfound impulse with just the right mix of restraint and determination. She really was very courageous and very remarkable, and she didn't even realise it.

K'Ehleyr also became a fairly frequent commenter on the blog. In one comment, chatting about the fictional Klingon language with other readers, she actually wrote the sentence: "My heart is Klingon." I just thought, wow! That is probably the geekiest, silliest, coolest comment ever on my blog. My heart is Klingon! Unbelievable. And in a way, it even made perfect, serious sense. There really are those two sides to K'Ehleyr - the good-natured geek girl who names herself after a half-alien character in a TV series, and the martial arts adept who practises in the local park with her Tai Chi sword and seemingly pursues everything she does in life with total commitment. You might as well call them the "human" and the "Klingon" sides.

Around Christmas time, the brave warrior side sent me a couple of photographs with the latest email (nope, you filthy-minded perverts - they were just normal, everyday photos). K'Ehleyr wrote that, after seeing me in all those videos, she only found it fair that I should have a face to associate with her name as well. Months later, of course, she admitted that it was basically a "test balloon" to see if I would run off in horror. Of course I didn't, even though my preconceived mental image was shattered yet again - this time, the brunette girl, medium build, with glasses, was finally replaced by the real K'Ehleyr. Blonde, petite, no glasses... And rather attractive overall!

So far, I hadn't really seen myself as anything but a penpal and occasional helpful counsel. But the photos made me raise an eyebrow, and I wasn't really surprised by the next mail that followed a week later. In it, K'Ehleyr outlined all her latest thought processes. First off, as she also wrote in another blog comment, her new year resolutions for 2009 included getting her first spanking - by now, she was sure that she wanted to try it for real. She also had a fairly good idea of the kind of top and personal relationship she wanted, and presented it like this:

(1) Main equation: looking for an unknown top x, to practically introduce me to the world of spanking
(2) Requirements:
(2a) It should be a man => reduces the solution space by roughly 50 percent
(2b) I need the time and the opportunity to first get to know this person (as a whole) => no contact ads; instead, mail or chat as first means of contact
(2c) The whole thing should be personal and take place in a personal setting => no BDSM studios (even though I have no doubt that some are very good)
(2d) Top should be experienced and trustworthy => references?
(2e) A previous getting-to-know-each-other meeting (or several meetings, depending on how it goes?) should leave us both with the feeling that the chemistry is right => top should be prepared to invest the time to meet me and get to know me

K'Ehleyr went on saying that the German-language Spanking Liebe forum and the groups from SM-Finder, links I had once sent to her, were both potential routes to explore. However, there was another possible x in the solution space, and it was the one she had the best feeling about at this time. That x was... how to put it... and I probably knew where this was going, anyway... well, that x was me. Now, she didn't know what I thought of the idea. Maybe it was all a bit too much, too fast. Maybe I wouldn't be interested at all. But she just wanted to write down her thoughts, her feelings, and find out what I think. If I agreed, she would love to meet me and get to know me in person.

Of course I was interested! How could I say no to a such a sweet, half-human, half-Klingon offer? We met for the first time in early January, in her corner of Germany, and I came away from the afternoon with two new insights: one, the nickname was pronounced "kay-lahr" (we called each other by our real names by this point, but it was still interesting to know). Two, the chemistry seemed to be right, we both had a good feeling about this. Which wasn't really a surprise after all the mails, the previous impressions, but a welcome confirmation. The feeling became near-perfect certainty when we met again, this time, for two days in Munich. I showed K'Ehleyr the old Bavarian "village of millions", which she hadn't really been to before, and we had many long, deep, personal conversations along with the tourist stuff.

The third time we met, we played for the first time, and K'Ehleyr lost her spanko virginity to the Klingon arms master with the painstik. I will write about that day in a post of its own, which it richly deserves. Suffice to say for now that it was an awesome session - inventive, unusual, full of atmosphere, and very sexy despite the rampant geekery (or maybe because of it?). I wouldn't hesitate to call it the best play session of my life so far. If you've read about the Rite of Span'qIng, you already know what we did, anyway. It was all based on K'Ehleyr's ideas (with minor input from me), and needless to say, that "Klingon Encyclopedia" entry is her work as well (ditto). Oh, and she was very brave during the actual ritual. I wasn't disappointed in the least (pictures of gorgeous cane stripes will adorn the forthcoming narrative post).

We weren't quite a couple after that day, but a few weeks and other firsts later, we were. Now K'Ehleyr and I are girlfriend and boyfriend, lovers, companions... Whatever term you want to call it ("Klingon mates" is a good one, too). So, now that you know why my formerly sacrosanct posting routines aren't quite what they used to be, I hope you can forgive me. I simply have more important matters than blogging schedules on my mind these days. Isn't it wonderful how I met K'Ehleyr through the blog, though? Thinking back now, I still find that hard to believe. If you were to write a movie script like that, it would be deemed kitschy and unrealistic.

I also can't believe how perfect she and I are for each other, both in kinky play and everything else. Oh, rest assured - we both have our flaws and our annoying sides! I certainly have my grand share, and K'Ehleyr too. We're wise enough and already together long enough to notice those. But again, we just deal with them in such a natural, effortless way, it is almost frightening. They simply don't bother us in light of the radiant love we have for each other, a love that only keeps growing stronger and deeper. I'm fairly good with words, but they fail me when I try to describe it.

The closest I can get is by saying: I just like the person I am with K'Ehleyr. I've never liked myself better, or felt better with anyone. And that is how she feels about me, too. It's the feeling you get when you know that you've found something, and someone, truly special.

But even though we firmly belong to each other now, we are not going to keep everything entirely to ourselves. Of course, you will still hear from me on this blog - actually, everything will stay exactly the same around here, except for two things. A somewhat more irregular posting routine, and the fact that you'll be seeing a lot more from Kay from now on. Like the "pet play" and "witchcraft" pictures here, a fun little experiment and only the beginning. You will also hear from her - in a monthly column of her own.

Now, one last and rather important point before I finish my love hymn for today: we have decided to change the spelling of Kay's (full) name somewhat, to "Kaelah". The same pronunciation, basically, but the spelling is a little bit catchier and a little less cumbersome. Moreover, it will keep the idiotic movie studio lawyers of this world from suing us someday. So, her heart is still Klingon, but her name is Kaelah now. You'll get used to it - we already had to!

My dear readers, it's been a pleasure to introduce to you: Kaelah, my lovely mate. Say hi to her, and look forward to much more from her in the future.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Movie Review: Guilty Wives

Mood Pictures (released in 2004)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Cheating wives sentenced to the cane

Victim Appeal:
This early Mood title is the first appearance of one Betty Sweet, a blonde Hungarian sexpot with a slender figure and a spectacular, petite arse. As I noted in my critique of The Auction, it was Betty who inspired me to write my first ever spanking video review, five years ago, under another nickname. Then I did a couple more reviews, my writing got me in touch with all the wrong, sinister people, and voilà, here I am today, shooting videos myself! Better than any government report, my story illustrates the corruptive force of these films. And in her own way, Miss Sweet helped to set me off. Which goes to show you yet another thing, namely, how superficial and sex-driven men are (as if further confirmation were needed).

The other victim in "Guilty Wives" is a tall, black-haired lass named Eva Padlocki and very pretty in her own right. Nowadays, Mood and Pain4Fem churn out flicks with two, three or sometimes half a dozen girls like that on a monthly basis, but at the time, it was a rarity for anyone but Lupus Pictures. So perhaps my drooling fixation on the eye candy is forgivable. In any case, let's take a look back at this little "relic" and see how it holds up in 2009...

Gratuitous Sadism:
The story is quickly recounted: two young women who have apparently cheated on their husbands stand trial before a judge, the verdict says 50 cane strokes each, commence CP action. According to the opening text, the whole thing takes place in "Syberia, several decades ago...", and there's a big red star adorning the wall in the courtroom. I wonder how those good old-fashioned Siberians ("Syberians"?) treat men who cheat on their wives? Would they get caned, too? How about some socialist gender equality? Ack, never mind. It's just a movie! They didn't really have judicial corporal punishment in the Soviet Union, anyway.

Before this fantasy trial starts, we see the soon-to-be-chastised girls sitting in their cell. After some really lame lines of dialogue between them ("Are you scared, too?", "No, I'm innocent!"), a female guard wanders in. The actress playing the guard is of Asian descent, and she is called "Debbie Ulan Ator" in the credits. That has nothing to do with the plot, of course, but I thought I should still mention it in this review - "Debbie Ulan Ator", how cool is that? Anyway, the guard informs Eva and Betty that she has to search them before they go into the courtroom. A nice excuse for the girls to undress and show off their bodies in the very first scene of the film. We are beginning to look forward to the canings now.

The wives are taken before the judge (Maximilian Lomp). Eva pleads guilty right away, Betty claims that she is innocent and that an attorney will arrive soon to furnish proof (what type of proof, I wonder?). There's some verbal sparring with the judge. It goes back and forth for a while and is all kind of pointless, really. Needless to say, Betty's attorney never arrives, and the judge finds both women guilty. He announces that he will administer the punishments himself. A caning bench is brought in. How convenient for the scriptwriter that they don't seem to have separation of powers between judges and executioners in Siberia.

Gosh, I really am in a nitpicking mood today, aren't I? I'm not dissing the movie, though. As a matter of fact, it is quite amusing to watch. Especially now that we're getting to the action. Eva is the first to be tied over the caning bench - or rather, the caning stocks. I don't know what to call it. It's a strange device and somewhat flimsy, wobbling around while a victim is bending over it. Predictably, Mood Pictures didn't use it again. There's plenty of shaking, of benches and ass cheeks, as Max Lomp dishes out 50 hard cane strokes. Much howling and anguish from Eva to go along with it, too. Then, Betty receives the same treatment, with roughly the same results. Their asses are nicely covered in welts by the time it is over. Girls get dressed, exit, movie ends.

Best Reactions:
Obviously, I have to go with Betty Sweet's caning scene, which is still my favourite of the two. I don't know why I am so infatuated with the girl. Granted, she is beautiful and has an immensely cute, spankable bottom, but that can be said about so many models. As well as that, she has lots of tattoos and facial piercings, which I don't find all that attractive. No, there is something here that goes beyond mere looks and superficial drooling. What I liked about Betty, and still do, is this mix of doe-eyed vulnerability and subtle, sullen defiance about her. In all probability, she simply felt awkward and bored in equal parts during the shoot and couldn't wait to get the paycheck. But she's interesting to watch for sure - the demeanour, the postures, the monotone mumbling.

Moreover, her reactions during the beating are just magnificent. She's in pain and shows it rather clearly, with much crying, grimacing, short loud yelps and writhing of her body. At the same time, she's somewhat restrained and subdued about it, so again, there is this vulnerability with defiance lying underneath. A textbook example of how to make a sadist happy. What is also enjoyable about the scene is the fact that, unlike Mood's later movies with all those mute, robotic dommes, it has a fair amount of conversation between Max Lomp and his victim. Throughout the caning, he keeps talking to Betty and admonishing her. "Cry, comrade, crying will purify you!" "Yes, your honour!" "You weren't crying when you cheated on your husband, were you?" "No, your honour!" That kind of stuff. Not super-original, but it's nice to see a bit of interaction, adding to the eroticism.

Best Line:
At one point during Betty's CP scene, Max Lomp points at the tattoos on her back and asks: "What are these on your body? These drawings do not further the cause of socialist production."

Nice Psychological Touch:
We learn that the judge is so merciless towards "guilty wives" like Eva and Betty because his own wife cheated on him, and perhaps still does. In a flashback sequence, he discovers his wife in bed with a lover. Incidentally, she is also the court stenographer in the other scenes, and she is played by Pokemon, Mood's full-time hairdresser and part-time domme. The DVD also has a bonus "alternate cheating scene", where Pokemon gives the guy in bed a few licks with the cane, amidst howling laughter from the crew. He whimpers like a baby: "Waaah! Waaah!" In the credits, his role appears as "the really strong man in the bed".

Yeah, those sick and evil Hungarian sociopaths again... Shame on me for ever working with such people.

How Good Is It Really?
A good one among the early Mood Pictures videos. I wasn't blown away by it, the way I was back in 2004, but I still like it. I suppose "Guilty Wives" illustrates both the merits and the limitations of eye candy. After seeing countless spanking films with countless beautiful girls, the appeal just fades somewhat - such charms work easily, but they are also easily forgotten. Obviously, you need more to create a classic. On the other hand, once you dig up the DVD again, Eva Padlocki and Betty Sweet are as much lecherous fun to watch as they always were.

The canings, while severe, are not as over-the-top as Mood's later work. They should appeal to viewers who like proper, hard CP action, but not excessive "blood and guts". Also, there is some nice tension between Max Lomp and Betty here.

What You Learned:
I find it interesting to see how some movies stand up well against time while others don't. Of course, it's usually the setting, the atmosphere, the personal chemistry, the model personality that create lasting impressions. But things aren't quite that simple. Look at the first Wild Party video by Lupus, for instance. On the face of it, it's a similar case to "Guilty Wives": pretty girls, thrashed very hard, basic setting, rudimentary plot, no real qualities except for the most obvious ones, not much depth below the gorgeous surface... Really, it should look and feel just as dated. But it doesn't. Somehow, for me at least, it remains as strong and potent as the first time I saw it. Why is that? Food for thought for another day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Bride Wore Bruce

You have about three days left to post your K-day theories. The winner will get a free one-month membership to Bars and Stripes, the definitive "women in prison" spanking site. And while we're on the subject of competitions: do you remember this one from December last year? Since nobody ever found the correct answer (or posted any answer at all, for that matter), it is still open as far as I'm concerned. So, if any of you severity freaks out there want a shot at winning a free Mood Pictures video of your choice, all you have to do is watch their CP epic Sweet Revenge and spot the one specific Kill Bill reference it contains.

I was reminded of the whole thing because I recently watched "Kill Bill" again, both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. I liked it well enough the first time I saw it, years ago, and I like it a lot more now. On a second or third viewing, it's easier to look past the relentless pace and bombastic fight scenes. You begin to realise what an excellent, masterful film this actually is.

I know it's still fashionable in some circles to dismiss Quentin Tarantino as a hack, a glorified video store clerk. Indeed, he seems to intentionally invite that kind of reaction - even more than his previous films, "Kill Bill" combined all the ingredients which teenage fanboys worship and highbrow critics sneer at. Being Tarantino's distillation of the countless martial arts flicks and spaghetti westerns he grew up with, this movie contains:

1. Kung fu fighting

2. Samurai swords

3. Ass-kicking blonde chicks (Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah)

4. Lots of gore, severed limbs and severed heads

5. Gravity-defying leaps

6. Ass-kicking Asian chicks (Lucy Liu, Chiaki Kuriyama)

7. More kung fu fighting

8. Ennio Morricone music

9. A stereotypical, elderly martial arts master spouting lines like: "It's the wood that should fear your hand, not the other way around!"

10. Kato masks

But the impressive part is: it all works somehow! As a matter of fact, it works stunningly well. Underneath all the juvenile coolness and the endless pop culture references lies a brilliantly crafted film, a virtuoso display of skill and technique, and a heartfelt tribute to cinema. While it's easy to ridicule the pulp movies Tarantino pays homage to, the sincerity of his love for them is undeniable, as is his raw genius as a director. The result is slick and self-indulgent like the man himself, but it isn't shallow - as an exercise in "pure" filmmaking and stylistic syncretism, this is fabulously interesting stuff, I think. It only helps that the characters are cardboard and that the story is basically a comic book. Given the lack of substance, the style is all the more eye-catching.

Some people object to the "aestheticisation of violence" in Tarantino's film. I'm into spanking and CP videos of the worst sadistic kind, so I predictably don't have a problem with that. The violence in "Kill Bill" is so cartoonish and over-the-top, anyway, that I find it hard to see any connections to the real world (I also find it hard to see any connections between Mood's nonsensical "gorgeous, 20-year-old girls in prison" settings and the real horrors of Abu Ghraib!).

By the way, It's interesting to note that most of the complaints people have about Tarantino are literally the same ones they had about Sergio Leone 40 years ago: "no depth", "no story", "too much violence", "too much killing", "steals from other filmmakers"... Today, of course, Leone is commonly recognised as one of the all-time great directors. Will be interesting to see how Quentin holds up in this regard!

My own martial arts movie phase ended when I was about fifteen, but I still have enough of the adolescent male fanboy in me to enjoy a guilty pleasure like this ("male fanboy" is not a tautology, because there are female fanboys, too). As well as that, "Kill Bill" contains enough kink to keep both my past and present selves happy. I mean, how can you dislike a film where the very first shot is a facial closeup of a sweaty, bloodied, shaking damsel in distress and the first spoken line (from her tormentor) is: "Do you find me sadistic?"

That bloodied young woman, of course, turns out to be the main character of the film: "The Bride", played by the adorable Uma Thurman. Arguably the role of her life. Over the course of the next four hours, The Bride is battered and brutalised in every conceivable manner: beaten with fists, slashed with swords, bludgeoned with a mace, cut by glass shards, kicked around, stunned with a shotgun round, sexually abused while comatose, spat on, injected with tranquiliser, shot in the head, buried alive... Actually, it's hard to think of any other female character in a mainstream movie of recent years who gets abused so much. Oh, and that live burial scene is a claustrophobic masterpiece.

But in my view, people who scream "misogyny" and "degradation" are clueless. They have it completely wrong. The truth, I think, is very much the opposite. The Bride is enobled by her ordeal, by the trials and tribulations. Rather than being destroyed by them, the heroine - the superheroine - only emerges stronger at the end, true to Nietzsche's famous dictum. Stronger and victorious. In short, this is exactly the kind of kink I like!

If you're looking for something more traditionally CP-related, there is a hint of a glimpse of barely a "spanking" in the House of the Blue Leaves scene. But even though it has Uma Thurman in an F/M position, it is rather forgettable. No, my favourite scene of the film(s) is probably the walk across the desert. "Sunny Road to Salina" is an absolutely haunting piece of music, isn't it?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

K-Day is coming!

The door to another world,
do you dare open it?
And will you finally cross the threshold?
Once the door is open there is no way back!

Once through, our past will seem like a mere shadow.

This post is not about Fiona Locke. It is not about foxes with a fetish. It is about an altogether different mystery. The mystery of kay. In her own way, of course, kay is a fox, too. And a tigercat. And a dachshund. And a writer.

Are my readers as prescient as I would like to think? Search the past. Search and you shall find. Next week, it will be too late. I must be unusually brief today because I am on the verge of great things. Finally, almost there. I hope that you will be with me when the time comes.

K-Day is coming. July 29th, 2009. Be ready.

(Fancy a competition? Here's all you need to do to take part: leave a comment and write down your interpretation of what "K-day", the poem, the picture and the cryptic text mean - what in goodness' name am I rambling on about in this post? The reader with the most interesting, most artful theory wins. I will judge myself what constitutes "most interesting" and "most artful". I'll be subjective, but I'll be fair. It doesn't matter whether you're a long-time friend of mine or a first-time poster. All that matters is the idea(s) you come up with. Needless to say, I expect you to be fair as well - only one ID per person! Emails don't count, only comments, and it is your first comment / first theory that counts. The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday the 28th - right at the beginning of "K-day"!)

(The winner gets a free one-month membership to Bars and Stripes, the definitive "women in prison" spanking site featuring models like Leia-Ann Woods, Amelia-Jane Rutherford and Kami Robertson. You can read my review of the site here. My many thanks to The Governor for sponsoring this competition.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Movie Review: Crime and Punishment

Lupus Pictures (released in 2004)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Headmaster battles crime at his school

Victim Appeal:
From the single sentence synopsis I just gave, you could think that this is a remake of the James Belushi cult classic The Principal. But it's a Lupus video, so the action is set in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, not modern day California, and the headmaster chastises his unruly students with a cane, not with his fists. Which makes it all the more interesting, of course. Moreover, while Belushi is a cool guy (and a seriously underrated actor), he is not nearly as cool as Pavel Stastny. The protagonist of the From the Headmaster's Study series gives another superb performance here.

On the victim side, there is Niki Flynn in her second adventure with the werewolves, a couple of months after The Exchange Student was made. In my opinion, "Crime and Punishment" is among the best, probably the best, of her films. Not least because the other girls, three Czech models by the names of Klara Kopeckova, Kristyna Stankova and Katerina Flegrova, are all lovely to behold, too, and turn in some great scenes of their own. In terms of cast, it doesn't get much classier than this.

Gratuitous Sadism:
Lupus Pictures are among the tiny handful of spanking video producers who try to make actual, real films instead of mere wank fodder (not that there's anything wrong with wank fodder, mind you). "Crime and Punishment" has a proper storyline, period sets and costumes, over half a dozen supporting characters, and a slew of subtle comedic references. I'm not going to recount the whole thing here, you should just see it for yourself. Suffice to say that it is probably the only CP video in existence that opens with a full-blown gunfight and has an appearance by the young Dr. Sigmund Freud later on!

Like the other Headmaster's Study videos, this one is set around the turn of the 20th century, when Bohemia was part of the fading Habsburg Empire. In the latest turn of events, Headmaster Stastny discovers that some of his students have done nude pictures for an American photographer who preys on Czech girls. Needless to say, he decides to punish them severely for their "immoral blasphemy", the shame they brought on his school. One by one, he calls the three culprits into his office and orders them to strip down and reenact the poses they did - just to point out the indecency of their behaviour to them, you see, although I can't help but imagine that he is also having a bit of secret fun behind his stern, outraged exterior. One student shows him how she posed as the Greek goddess Diana with a bow, another how she played a clown, bending over and holding her head between her legs.

The girls are contrite and embarrassed. One of them confesses that it was Miss Czermak (Niki), a Czech-American student from the eighth class, who set them up to this. With her mixed family background and having only recently moved to Bohemia from the US, Miss Czermak was an ideal accomplice for the foreign photographer. She contacted the girls, arranged the shoots and brought them the money afterwards. Obviously, all four of them get soundly caned before the film is over. Strapped to the headmaster's wooden punishment bench, the three Czech girls receive 40 strokes each while Miss Czermak gets 50 (Niki's longest on-camera caning, as far as I know, and certainly one of the hardest).

The werewolves from the east are known for their no-nonsense approach and Pavel Stastny was one of their most severe tops. As one would expect, the CP action in "Crime and Punishment" is very, very vicious indeed, and what's more, it is delivered with Pavel's near-perfect style and accuracy (unlike some dommes from a rival Hungarian company I could mention). Truly a feast for the eyes and ears of sadistic viewers like me. All victims have beautiful bodies, all writhe and scream under the headmaster's cane until their asses are covered in gorgeous, vivid stripes. Even Niki, who is notoriously difficult to mark, ends up with rather nasty welts, some of them bleeding. History records that they lasted for well over a month.

Before Miss Czermak's ordeal is over, though, she receives yet another punishment, a forced haircut. Niki has wonderful, long dark curls here, and in their usual authenticity-obsessed manner, Lupus used antique scissors with blunt blades. It's probably one of the best forced haircuts ever filmed, a dream come true if you're into that kind of stuff. Even if you're not, the scene is interesting and a great finale to an already great title.

Best Reactions:
All four action scenes are good, but it is Niki's that really stands out. She plays the "villain", so her caning and subsequent haircut are scheduled as the main course, and that is exactly what they turn out to be. The dramatic buildup, when the headmaster questions an at first unsuspecting Miss Czermak in his office before bringing in the other girls and confronting her about the naughty pictures, is excellently done. Then there's the caning itself, 50 full-arm, full-force strokes from Pavel Stastny. I always love the Lupus punishment bench and how the girls' upper bodies jump up and struggle against the restraints. Niki is a particularly delicious sight in this regard.

In Miss Flynn's own words, this was the second-hardest caning of her life, to be surpassed only in 2007's "Red Reformatory: Old Friends". But the latter is an inferior scene for me and I consider this one here to be her best. The perfection of "Crime and Punishment", aside from the buildup and the chemistry, lies in the the fact that the beating is not just hard, but beautifully filmed as well. Great selection and editing of shots, showing the whole scene, facial reactions and closeups of that lovely bottom. Pavel's pace is exemplary as well - measured and deliberate, but not too slow, then speeding up at the end.

Moreover, I love Niki's reactions, and this isn't true of all her films. Sometimes, especially in her Lupus work, she simply gets too loud for my taste. I don't blame her, but that's the way it is. Here, she is basically screaming her head off, again - and somehow, I like it this time. The measured tempo prevents the scene from becoming too frenzied, and there's something in Niki's shrieks that is just really enjoyable. You can hear the agony and the growing desperation. My favourite moment comes around stroke 25, the halfway point exactly, when an already-battered Niki, perhaps realising how far she still has to go, starts wailing in both languages: "Please, please, pleeeaase...! Prosim!" Pavel's unmoved reply: "Cesty!" ("Fifty!")

Best Line:

As the video opens, the police break into the American porn photographer's studio. A gunfight erupts and they blow away both the photographer and a model who is there at the time, the latter by mistake. One of the policemen bends down, determines that the girl is dead, and glares reproachfully at his colleague: "It would seem someone has poor aim here!"

It would seem so, yes.

Nice Psychological Touch:
The scene with Sigmund Freud, of course. Before showing us the famous founder of psychoanalysis late in life in The Last Case of Dr. Freud, Lupus already had a "cameo" by a much younger doctor here (played hilariously by Jan Zacek). He explains to the headmaster: "I believe that all that naughtiness is actually caused by suppressed human sexuality. When the students at your school do something wrong, they know they'll be punished. And they want it! When you punish them, you actually... how should I put it... have sex with them." I'm not much of a Freudian myself, but as someone who believes that sadism is an expression of affection, I'd like to think that he has a point there!

How Good Is It Really?
In case you haven't noticed it by now from my lengthy, rave review: this is one of my all-time favourite spanking videos. Pavel Stastny at his magisterial best, Niki Flynn in her prime, a good supporting cast, wacky Lupus humour, ultra-severe canings and a forced haircut scene... What more can you really ask for?

We all have our own criteria and individual taste, but in my book at least, this is quite simply the best film of Niki's career. She has done others that were more interesting or unusual in terms of story and setting. She's done some that were just, or almost, as good in terms of CP action. But this is the one that, in my mind, achieves true excellence in both departments, and that is why I rate it as the best.

What You Learned:
Probably more than any other of his videos, "Crime and Punishment" is responsible for the PIC Syndrome (Pavel Inferiority Complex) I suffer from as a top.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Who in the World is Fiona Locke?

A reader emailed me recently, asking if I know who Fiona Locke is. It's an interesting deviation from the norm. Because I'm the spanking blogosphere's resident movie critic (one of them, anyway) and a part-time actor, most of the questions I get are about videos. "Who is Lady Vernon from the Calstar videos? Do you have any info about her?" Or: "Do you know any good videos where the girls get their clothes whipped off their bodies? Preferably in slow motion." Or, the perennial favourite: "Hey, Ludwig, what is the hardest, most severe video you ever saw?" That kind of stuff. So, what a nice change of pace, to find that I am now supposed to know all the inside details about spanking literature as well!

The truth is, when it comes to kink in the artforms, I'm a movie buff more than a book buff (as you can see by the fact that I've only managed one single book review so far). Not because I dislike reading - I love reading and I love books, actually. But I already read a lot in my "normal" (job, academic) life. Moreover, while I find that a mediocre spanking video can still be worth watching (for eye candy, if nothing else), I find that mediocre spanking literature is usually just that - a waste of time, with no redeeming qualities. And frankly, there's a lot of crappy literature out there! It might be that moving pictures are, because of their innate qualities, better suited as a medium for trashy entertainment than the written word. Or maybe I'm just biased and I don't have a clue. Either way, justly or unjustly, I find myself more lenient and gracious with videos, even the bad ones.

The point I'm trying to make is, I'm not much of a spanking literature connoisseur (yet?). But Fiona Locke is one of the genre authors whose work I know and admire. In other words, she's bloody damn good. I've been a fan ever since a friend of mine gave me this paperback titled Over the Knee a couple of years ago and said: "You have to read this." I actually mentioned Fiona, albeit briefly, in one of my very first posts after starting this blog. And this year, I devoured her second book, On the Bare, as soon as it was out.

It's not just that Miss Locke's writing style, the form, is superior to that of most other kinky fiction hacks I know. I also like the substance, the content, because many of the CP fantasies she chooses to explore are similar to my own. And even when they aren't, they are never less than interesting. Marketing babble aside, I'm inclined to agree with the publishers from Virgin Books that "Over the Knee" is probably "the definitive CP novel". Or one of the few definitive ones, anyway. I think every spanko should check out Fiona's work at least once, even if you're not much of a reader (or not much of a spanking fiction reader, like me).

The true identity of "Fiona Locke" has been a source of ardent speculation pretty much since her first story came out. Some of the theories making the rounds in our community include Emma Jane of A Painful Awakening..., Abel of The Spanking Writers or - a more adventurous guess, I'd say - Joanne K. Rowling, author of the world-famous "Harry Potter" series. Personally, I don't think it's any of the three. Emma Jane just denied being Fiona, as did Abel. Let's believe their word for now. As for Miss Rowling, well... I think we'd probably have heard about that by now, given how adept the parasites from the British tabloid press are at satisfying the public's supposed "right to know" (particularly when that knowledge involves - gasp! - unusual sexual fetishes).

Emma Jane's post inspired one of our mutual readers to email me, suggesting - as a joke, no doubt - that if she isn't Fiona, maybe I am! Let me respond diplomatically to that: at this time, I can neither deny nor confirm... No, seriously, folks. I am not Fiona Locke! Obviously not. My English is pretty good, but you can tell that it's a second language. Whoever Fiona is, she is definitely a native speaker. I also believe that she is really female, not a guy in disguise. My personal and totally unsubstantiated theory is that Fiona Locke is the nom the plume of someone fairly famous from the UK scene - a blogger and / or spanking model. Someone whom a lot of us know, someone who is laughing about us as we stumble around in the darkness of our ignorance. I don't even know why I believe this. It's just a hunch, I have no solid evidence to back it up. Maybe I believe it simply because I like the idea.

In any case, Fiona's writing is clearly the product of a genuinely kinky mind. I'm absolutely confident that she is a practitioner of CP, rather than someone who merely writes about it. So maybe the blogger / model theory isn't all that far off. Her website also claims that she poses for the covers of her books, that the faceless young lady we see there is really her. I'm not quite ready to swallow that part, though. I believe that it is a smokescreen, and that Miss Locke wouldn't give us such a clear hint about her identity.

So, to finish off today's post and just for the fun of it, I'm going to name my personal prime suspect: Pandora Blake. Why not? She fits the profile. English, great writer, very prolific, artistically minded, well-documented fantasies not too different from Fiona's, and plenty of personal experience which she can inject into her stories. Moreover, she already named her model persona after a famous English poet and painter, so she might as well name her author persona after a famous English philosopher. If nothing else, Pandora is certainly a better suspect than I am.

What do you think? Any more theories on who Fiona Locke is? She isn't me, that's for sure.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Foxy Fetishist

It looks like the coverage of the "great and exciting news" I announced in my last (non-review) post will have to wait just a little bit longer. I still have plenty of work to do in my "other life", and moreover, I want to make sure that the upcoming blog articles about this wondrous, important subject are as high-quality as possible. The same goes for the behind-the-scenes report I'm writing about Lupus Pictures, which will now probably go live in late July, rather than early July, as originally planned. Ah well. Perhaps I should just refrain from announcing dates (even unspecific ones) in the future, and stick to the old software programming motto: "It will be released soon."

Anyway, in the meantime, I'm throwing some smaller, but nonetheless amusing news at you. They don't have anything to do with me personally. Actually, they don't have anything to do with spanking or corporal punishment at all. Maybe, with a lot of good will, they could be misconstrued as being somehow related to the general phenomenon of "fetishism". In any case, this little gem of a story was simply too hilarious to pass up, so I felt I had to share it with you. It's a news item I stumbled upon in the Süddeutsche Zeitung ("South German Newspaper"), June 12th edition, page nine, the "panorama" section. I usually only read the international headline news, the politics section, the culture and science sections thoroughly, but I couldn't help noticing this article titled "Fox, you stole the shoe".

Apparently, the small rural town of Föhren (population 2,690) in the Rhineland-Palatinate area of Germany had been plagued by a mysterious shoe thief over the last year. The shoes always disappeared at night, from doorsteps, gardens and back porches. Neither the townsfolk nor the police had a clue what was going on until a forestry worker on a routine job solved the case: he discovered a fox's den in the nearby woods, and with it the stolen goods - in and around the lair, the fox had amassed no less than 120 shoes, a veritable footwear collection. The Süddeutsche Zeitung article ended with the words: "Why the fox - who remains at large - is so utterly obsessed with shoes, no one knows."

It has been theorised that the vixen fetched them as toys for her cubs. Or that, perhaps, she simply enjoys collecting shoes - why should female foxes be all that different from female humans? Gender stereotypes aside, I'd wager a bet that there is some kind of kinky fetishism involved here! Wouldn't you?

In a fitting epilogue to the story, the local count (they still have a count - it really must be an isolated town!) had the retrieved goods laid out in his palace so that the townsfolk could come and take their shoes back. I mean, it's brilliant, isn't it? Picture the good people of Föhren, sifting through dozens of old hiking shoes, flip-flops, boots and slippers. In the count's palace! Even David Lynch would be hard pressed to come up with a surreal, comic scene like this one.

I've written about a fair number of nameless vixens on this blog, particularly in my movie reviews. But few were as unusual as this one. Perhaps we really should re-write the famous German children's song "Fox, you stole the goose" in her honour:

Fuchs, du hast den Schuh gestohlen,
gib ihn wieder her!
Gib ihn wieder her!
Sonst wird dich der Jäger holen
mit dem Schiessgewehr.
(Fox, you stole the shoe,
give it back again!
Give it back again!
Or the hunter will get you
with his rifle.)
(German postage stamp, 1958, with a "Fox, you stole the goose" theme)