Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kaelah's Corner (Sep 2009):

This blog post is about my fantasies: how it all started in my childhood and how things changed and developed as an adult and in my relationship with Ludwig. Since this is a very complex issue, I decided to split the post into two parts. Part one will be about my personal fantasies and part two about current restrictions, hard limits and the question of how to deal with them.

I think there is nothing more personal in our lives than the dreams and fantasies we have. And I’m quite sure that most people don’t share their most intimate fantasies with anyone, not even with their partners. Telling somebody about those special pictures in our minds makes us vulnerable. On the other hand, acting out those fantasies with someone one trusts or even loves can be the greatest adventure one might explore in a lifetime. It can lead us to a beautiful new world, the “adventureland”.

Personally, I’m very glad that I’m still able to immerse myself in dreams and artificial worlds like I did in my childhood. In my opinion life isn’t worth living any more once one looses this ability. This is beautifully illustrated in an adventure of the cartoon figure Tabaluga, a young dragon. He is sent to a journey by his father to learn how to become reasonable. At the end of his journey he meets the old, wise turtle Nessaja. She tells Tabaluga about herself: “Somewhere deep inside me I remained the child I used to be. Once I can’t feel it any more, I’ll know that it’s too late for me.” And Nessaja finally ends with: “Grown up – what does that mean? Reasonable – who is reasonable? I am I, and you are you. That’s all I know. You are young and I am old, but does that make any difference?”

I had a lot of fantasies in my childhood and still have them today, both vanilla and kinky. Since this is a spanking blog, I’m going to focus on the kinky scenarios. But I’m also going to tell you a little bit about my other dreams because the desires they are based upon are similar. The settings which are the most important for me can be divided into four categories. Naming them with buzzwords I would call them “Caring Guidance”, “Saving The Ship”, “Rituals And Growth” and “Klingon Sex”.

Caring Guidance

This category describes the essence of my oldest kinky fantasies. These scenarios are based upon children’s books and movie scenes I watched as a child. Interestingly, they are usually M/m and I’m just in the role of an observer slipping into the minds of the top as well as the bottom. I guess there are two reasons for the M/m-setting: Reason one is that I loved reading books for boys and was mainly inspired by them. The other reason is that as a teenager, I had more male than female friends and wanted to be accepted by them as an equal.

In my “Caring Guidance”-fantasies, there is always a very close relationship between the boy (usually a cadet) and his guardian. And the boys in my fantasies are usually quite grown-up, sensible and determined to do well. Things just sometimes don’t work as planned, which gets the boys into trouble. Because of their special relationship their guardians put extremely high expectations on them. This, of course, leads to rather severe punishments. But although the guardians might be strict, they are never brutal or losing control. They are always calm and compassionate, and they never deprive their protégés of love. Their aim is simply to provide them with a good future. And since the boys themselves usually aren’t happy about their misconduct, the spankings are normally at least semi-consensual.

Needless to say, these are just kinky fantasies and I don’t approve of any kind of CP in the education of real children! I’m not sure whether I would actually like to act out those ageplay-scenarios. Maybe I’ll try that one day with Ludwig to see how it feels like. Apart from that, the “Caring Guidance”-fantasies are still the ones I’m immersing myself in when I’m lying in bed wanting to feel cosy and save. Especially on the days when Ludwig isn’t there to hold me and I have no one to snuggle against in order to feel safe and warm.

Saving the Ship

This title refers to an imaginary world which is at least as old as my “Caring Guidance”-fantasies. A world that is 95 % not-kinky and has been the most important fictional place I went to when daydreaming, for a very long time in my life. It is a universe of its own that has grown and changed over the years.

And I play an active role in that scenario; as a heroine. But not the flat type who is just good, sweet and helpful all day long. More the kind of heroine with a complex personality, who is aware of her dark, aggressive side and even embraces it. But at the end of the day, she always uses all her abilities, including her aggression, to fight for her beliefs and for others who can’t defend themselves.

This fictional universe contains institutions and characters from all the fictive books, TV series and movies I love. The most interesting point is how my character developed over the years. When I was younger, I imagined that I was a police cadet with very special abilities who was therefore allowed to join the academy at a very young age. Almost like Wesley Crusher in STTNG (what a surprise!). Actually, in my little fantasy universe, Wesley was one of my cousins… ;-) Being a police cadet I had caring guardians who helped me to grow. Without much disciplinary spanking – as I already mentioned this universe is 95 % vanilla. And I was part of a gang of friends who stood by each other and had a lot of fun together.

So my heroine-me had everything I longed for and was the person I wanted to be in real life. Like the fantasy-me I always tried to give my best und to fight for my beliefs. But in reality, it didn’t earn me much friendship and respect, especially among my peers. Being an eager beaver simply isn’t considered to be cool when you’re at school. And unlike the heroine-me I wasn’t that self-confident and I couldn’t release my anger and use it in a positive way. So in reality there always was that inner fight between my values and beliefs on the one hand and the desire to be liked and accepted on the other. I usually stuck to my beliefs and made being an outsider my profession, but it still hurt.

And then, during the last couple of years, things changed. The heroine-me developed from a teenager into an independent young woman and from a student into a teacher who passed on her knowledge to others. This character development correlated with my personal development, starting to stand on my own feet and feeling more self-confident than before. So the desire for guidance has become weaker while the part of me that wants to take care of others has become stronger. This makes me wonder, whether my kinky role plays also would have been different from what they are today if I had decided to live out my fantasies a few years ago? Maybe it’s possible to go back there during a scene?!

A little side-note on my heroine universe. Since I’ve become Ludwig’s mate I said goodbye to that little world which accompanied me for so many years. Why? In my fantasy universe I had already raised a family a long time ago with a husband, two children and a third one planned. When I became Ludwig’s mate I realised that this world didn’t fit into my real life any more. After all, I’m a monogamous person… I didn’t have to think a lot about that question, there just wasn’t any desire to enter that fictional universe any more. So I finally said farewell and started my new adventures in real life. I’ll always keep my little heroine universe in my heart, though, and treasure the memories of the time I spent there. But everything has got its time in life – and not needing my second life any more shows me that now with Ludwig I’m finally at home!

Rituals and Growth

The more elaborated scenarios I’m playing out today with Ludwig belong in this category. These fantasies are related to the “Caring Guidance” as well as the heroine world. They’re about personal development, challenges and accomplishing missions successfully. But in contrast to my older fantasies they are something that I can only describe as “more adult”. This means that the master of ceremonies and the aspirant are basically at eye level. The aspirant makes the wilful decision to accept the challenge and hand over control to the MC for the duration of the ritual. That kind of scenario appeals to my buzz for warriors. I love warrior cultures – the Japanese samurai as well as Klingon warriors. And performing a ritual has a special attraction of its own. Ceremonies offer the kind of structure and security I love and long for.

Ludwig believes in the theory that SM-play can be a way to successfully deal with problems one has encountered during childhood or as an adult. One can relive those situations during the role play and change them into something positive. If this theory is true, it best fits my “Rituals And Growth”-fantasies. They’re about taking challenges and growing from the experiences – things I always tried to achieve in my life. But in real life I often struggled with my self-confidence, didn’t always respect my own limits and instead kept setting my aims higher and higher until I nearly broke under the pressure.

In the role play, however, I have someone whom I deeply trust and who leads me through the experience. My limits might be challenged but I’m not pushed to a point where I break and can’t take it. The rituals provide the security I need to give up control and let myself fall. And instead of being pushed somewhere I don’t want to be, I’m encouraged to go as far as I can without the fear of making unhealthy experiences and getting hurt. And last but not least, it also offers the opportunity to set free the aggressions inside me that I can’t express very well otherwise, and to use them in a positive way – as a source of energy for my fighting spirit.

Klingon Sex

Maybe the most difficult, intimate and personal fantasy. It’s all about fighting, power and submission. While the spanking scenarios in my mind have always been caring and almost consensual, there have been different kinds of fantasies, too. However, those fantasies have always been related more to – how should I call it – “vanilla” sex than to spanking. They are about being subdued and controlled by a strong counterpart.

I love fighting with someone who is stronger than me. Ludwig and I are fighting quite often, not in resistance play during spanking scenes, but just for fun on different occasions. I know that I can’t win the fight, but I enjoy the rare moments when I can surprise Ludwig with an unexpected idea or move. These fights are very playful on the one hand, but they also allow us to release aggressions and turn them into a positive kind of energy.

I think that my fantasies of being subdued and taken are closer to those fighting fantasies than to something like rape fantasies. I liked the idea of being forced and controlled, but when I read something about rape fantasies it didn’t feel like the thing I was looking for. Then I thought about the concept of Klingon sex and suddenly realised: That’s it!

I don’t look for a scenario where I’m abused by someone (maybe even a stranger) for his own pleasure. What I want is giving up control to a strong partner – my partner. Being my partner he just gives me what I’m craving, showing his love in a powerful, rather dominant and sometimes sadistic way. Does that make any sense? The actual scenes might even be quite close to rape fantasies, but the mindset is different.

Before I knew what I was really longing for, I always thought that these fantasies were just mind games. I couldn’t imagine that I would enjoy them in real life. But actually, they are the fantasies that have developed the most since I’m with Ludwig. It’s something rather new for both of us that we are exploring together. And I know that Ludwig is the one I can hand over control to without fear, that I can enjoy whatever he decides to do.

So, these are my imaginations and the fantasies I’m currently exploring with Ludwig. When I read about the fantasies other spankos have, I sometimes have the feeling that, while the basic scenarios are quite similar, the mindset I’m seeking seems to be rather uncommon. The kind of scenarios I’m currently not looking for will be the subject of part two of this post.

In the meantime, I would of course love to hear about your fantasies and how they developed. Have you also started as a mere observer in your first fantasies? Have you ever evaluated which desires the scenarios in your mind are based upon, what you get out of them? Do you think there are “typical” mindsets and fantasies most spankos share? There are so many interesting questions… I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts!

(Note from Ludwig: since Kaelah took a fairly hard 12 stroke caning just for the little "comic strip" at the beginning of this post, I thought we should also show you a picture of the marks before we applied the comic book effects. So, in case anyone was wondering if the red stripes are painted on or real, they are of course real. Aren't they gorgeous?)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Farewell to the Final Girl

You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.

Come on you target for faraway laughter,

come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

- PINK FLOYD, Shine On You Crazy Diamond

When Niki Flynn informed me earlier this year that she was planning to retire soon, what was my reaction? Well, a great many things went through my head that day. Sadness, nostalgia, a sense of loss, also a sense of relief and optimism for her... Another thought I had pretty instantaneously was: "Oh, crap, that'll be another huge post I'll have to write!"

On second thoughts, I'm not going to do that, though. I'm not going to write a 4,000 word monstrosity (only a 1,500 word monstrosity). Because really, there isn't that much to add to what I've already said about Niki. The story of how we first met back in 2006 is recorded in Super Tuesday Serenade, one of my first blog posts. We made half a dozen video clips together, like The German Lesson and Who Has the Best Football Team?. We worked on German pet girl shoots in Life is a Circus and rampaged across the English countryside in The Wolfenstein Experiments.

So, if you've been reading my archives at all, you already know that Niki and I had a very special, deep friendship. If you've seen any of the clips, you know that we had a special creative and emotional chemistry. As I've said many times, she was my main inspiration for exploring my kink in earnest, for starting this blog and making spanking films myself - so in more ways than one, you wouldn't be reading these lines without her. Niki Flynn was a muse in the full sense of the word, to me and so many others. I once wrote: "How lucky we are that she exists. No mad scientist, no matter how big and complex his laboratory, could come up with a creature like this one." I still can't put it any better than that.

The only thing that now remains for me to say is: thank you, Nikita! Thank you for everything. It was a pleasure and an inspiration to see your work, and a privilege to get to know you as a friend. Of all the professional victims in the world, well, you were definitely one of them! And seriously... You changed my life. Niki Flynn will always haunt a special little corner in my heart - full of shadows, cobwebs, and whispers of Things Man Is Not Meant to Know.

Like everyone else who is both in the "friend" and in the "fan" camp, I have mixed feelings. As a friend, I'm truly happy. There is no doubt in my mind that Niki did the right thing, at the right time. I knew she had been feeling more and more burnt out, so when I got her mail, it wasn't actually a huge surprise. As well as that, nothing that really matters has changed - I'm still good friends with TAFKAN (The Antichrist Formerly Known As Niki), we still write each other and I'm sure we will meet again someday.

But of course, it's still the end of an era. There will be no more "Niki Flynn". As a fan and fellow blogger, I will miss her dearly. There won't be any more episodes of the "Niki and Ludwig Show", either. I'll never get to experience that particular creative buzz again, and neither will the viewers. Those days are over!

(On that note, a quick remark to the people who are already emailing me about how TAFKAN is and what she is doing: stop that, please. What TAFKAN really wants now is privacy. We should all respect that. Both Niki and Fiona are formally retired, and as sad as that may be, this is it. No comebacks, no more films, no more books, no not-blog entries, no email correspondence. And you're not getting any info from me, either. None, ever, full stop. So don't ask.)

The one thing I really regret is that Niki and I never made a "proper", i.e. full-length film together. Despite our long friendship and all the "public history" between the two of us, we never worked together professionally (unless you count my cameo at SM-Circus last year, where we shared about 20 seconds of screen time). Needless to say, we were always planning to make that big, awesome, epic CP movie. The culmination of the "Niki and Ludwig Show"! Our towering triumph! We had a finished script, a team of partners in crime, we even had the shooting date set once or twice... But it never happened. It wasn't anyone's fault, just unfortunate circumstances. For one stupid reason or another, we never got it together.

I'm still grumpy about that, and I suppose I always will be. But more importantly, I'm happy about what we did manage to create. It was just a series of little amateur clips, but as such, they were pretty neat. I'm proud of two in particular, Ludwig's Comeuppance and Shock Tactics Revisited. One is Niki's only F/M video ever, the other is just cute, laid-back banter and fun in a hotel room after a shoot. Neither is groundbreaking in technical or "CP action" terms, but both show sides of Niki which you didn't really see anywhere else. A very small, yet unique contribution to the Flynn oeuvre.

(On the subject of F/M videos, another footnote. This one for the sadistic pricks who have been pestering me about the football bet. Yes, I know that Niki still owes me a thrashing. No, we never got around to filming that, either. Trust me, no one would be happier than me if we had, because in that case, we would also have done the full-length (M/F) film! But TAFKAN's head just isn't in that world anymore, neither as a top nor as a bottom. I'll probably still do the clip someday, because betting debts are debts of honour. I'll find someone to take Niki's place. But I don't know who yet, or when, or where. Obviously, it would be most fitting if she was English. I'll keep you updated, but it will take a while for sure.)

I'm also glad that we managed to do the interview this month, the last ever interview with Garbo. I mean, Flynn. It turned out great and serves as another reminder of what we will all be missing now that she's retired to East 52nd Street. And while I'm tying up loose ends, let me throw this at you as well: with blessings from the Antichrist, a package of three short, previously unreleased video clips.

Farewell to the Final Girl clips: link

(Click on "Free Download", wait for the counter to count down, then solve the captcha and download the file. The video uses the Xvid codec and Lame MP3 for audio.)

Inside, you will find two more Dances with Werewolves promos we did last year, including the best one which I was saving up for last (after we shot all the supposedly Youtube-friendly stuff, which Youtube later pulled down, anyway, I wanted to film one "adult" promo at least!). The third clip is just a compilation of us goofing around outdoors. Again, the clips aren't groundbreaking, but who knows, they might be the last Niki Flynn videos that will ever be released. Unless the nitwits from the BBFC allow China Hamilton and Michael Stamp to release Enemy of the State, which I very much hope they do. In any case, these may very well be the last spanking video clips of Niki. And they are free.

The legacy of Niki Flynn is unique, and so was the woman herself. As a professional victim, a writer, a partner in crime, she really was one of a kind. When I first got to know her three years ago, I was struck by what we had in common. We both liked Lupus Pictures (obviously!), we both liked horror films, we both had an interest in history... We had (or seemed to have) similar feelings about spanking and CP. But looking back now, I am struck by the differences we found over time, and they are what made things interesting, I think. At the end of the day, we were two very different individuals, with a very different psychosexual makeup.

What I ended up doing as a blogger is very different as well (for one thing, Niki wrote shorter and less convoluted posts!). There were some people whose writing I tried to imitate, most of them outside the realm of kink. But I never did that with Niki. She always had such an individual style, even if you had tried to copy it, you could never have done it. Instead, she really was a muse - someone who inspired me to find my own voice. And that, in my mind, is the best kind of inspiration you can get.

Lebwohl, Niki. Und danke für alles.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Interview: Niki Flynn

Niki Flynn burst onto the spanking video scene in 2004 like a comet appearing in the sky. Her debut The Exchange Student marked the first time a Western model braved an encounter with the infamous werewolves from the East, Lupus Pictures. That film and everything that followed truly became history in the annals of kinky erotica - a history that is now recorded in Niki's autobiography Dances with Werewolves, in her not-blog, and of course in countless videos and photographs.

As if that wasn't enough for one kinky lifetime, it was recently revealed that Niki is also none other than Fiona Locke, much-celebrated author of spanking fiction. Actually, one should rather say that Fiona is also Niki Flynn, because Fiona really came first... Either way, she is certainly a woman of many talents, this Werewolf Girl (Who Also Writes Pretty Good Stories). Or as I like to call her, my crackpot American friend. In her various incarnations, she has entertained, inspired and affected the lives of kinky people around the world, including this author.

Two weeks ago, she retired. And we got together for one last interview.

(I should point out that roughly half the questions, especially in the "Reflections on spanking modelling / the Scene" and "Reflections on personal kink" parts, were thought up by my girlfriend Kaelah. She adds a welcome different perspective because she never met Niki personally, and they are some of the best questions of the interview in my opinion.)

Well, here you are! You've made your decision to retire from the world of spanking modelling, you've posted it on your blog, said your farewells... Life as Niki Flynn has come to an end. How do you feel?

Niki: Great, actually. I've been feeling burnt out on the pro side of things for a while and needing more and more frequent breaks from everything - shooting, writing, email, blog, etc. I thought it would be really painful to say goodbye and slip away, but I'm kind of re-learning how nice the Outside World can be when I'm not glued to my computer all day. And it's WONDERFUL to be out doing things without thinking, "Hey, I should blog this!"

How has the fan reaction been so far? Do you think that some of them, the real close followers, saw it coming? Or was it a total surprise to everyone?

Niki: I suppose it didn't really occur to me that anyone would be surprised. I figured most people would have seen it coming and been expecting it. But when I outed myself as Fiona Locke and then took a huge break from being online, so many people kept assuming I must be writing another book. (For the record: I'm not writing any more books and both Niki AND Fiona are formally retired.)

In your farewell post, you talked about how you worked your way through all your original spanko fantasies, how you've taken enough pain and punishment in your life, how you feel a sense of completion now and want to move on. Are there other, accompanying reasons for retiring, and for doing it at this time?

Niki: Well, things change, you know? People change. Life changes. Et cetera. I'd had my fill of "public" life, so to speak, and I was finding it less fulfilling as time went on. I started to feel like I'd already got the things I'd wanted from the Scene, that I'd done all the exploring of that particular arena I needed. I started wanting a quieter existence, more privacy and most of all - less pain!

You wrote: "I feel like 'Niki Flynn' has done what she came here to do." What, exactly, did "Niki" come here to do, what was her "mission"? Can it be put into one single sentence, you think?

Niki: How about: "To explore the further reaches of psychosexual experience and to come back changed but not damaged." I don't know. I've always been a bit reckless, just diving straight in at the deep end when I want to try something. I haven't always been successful, but falling on your face from time to time is part of the trip. What I AM good at is dusting myself off and trying again.

Can you talk a bit about the process? When did you first start feeling that Niki would reach the end of her path soon? And was there a specific moment someday, when you just thought okay, that's it?

Niki: I hear a "What happened?" question in there, but the truth is there was no bad experience or major event that made me want out. I'd been finding less and less fulfilment in Scene play for a while and I knew I certainly couldn't make films forever. I really do feel like my Scene self just grew up. First I stopped liking ageplay. Then I stopped liking school play. Then I stopped wanting and needing punishment and pain. I discovered the joys of pleasure - yes, what a revelation! - and have been evolving in different directions over the past few months.

Speaking of different directions: you talked about wanting a quieter life and more privacy, so you probably won't want to answer this. But can you give a small hint at least, about any plans you might have for your post-Niki, post-Fiona existence?

Niki: Sorry, but a lady has to keep something for her private life!

Looking back on career

Alright then, since this is your last interview, let's start by looking back on your life and your career as a spanking model. Professional victim, 2004-2009! What is your most prominent emotion when you look back on those five years today?

Niki: Fulfilment.

What are you most happy with? Is there a single aspect of having been Niki Flynn that you are proud of in particular?

Niki: Having faced so many fears along the way - not letting shyness or insecurity stand in the way of me doing what I wanted to do. Well, except for that moment when I froze onstage at Night of the Cane when I was asked to speak to the crowd about Dances with Werewolves. LOL

What is your biggest regret? If you could travel back in time, would you do anything differently about your career?

Niki: Started earlier!

If my count is correct, you've done 12 full-length films, exactly a dozen - with producers ranging from Lupus Pictures to Shadow Lane to China Hamilton. I'm going to ask you to pick some superlatives. One, which film was your favourite to make? Two, which one was the hardest one to make?

Niki: Oh dear, I always hate having to choose favourites. But here goes. Favourite to make – Wheatley Manor [by Northern Spanking]. That one covered the spectrum for me – having some creative input, doing a film with so many good friends, scenes with emotional moments, sexy moments, dark moments, offbeat moments… and being paid in banoffee pie! Hardest to make – probably Stalin 3 [by Lupus] because it was so physically and emotionally gruelling. Not that “hard” is bad in this context and really, it’s just what I needed and wanted at the time. But it certainly took the most out of me.

Which one do you think is the best of the bunch, artistically speaking?

Niki: Oh, now that’s the question I really hate. LOL I’m going to pick one that’s not even properly a film but a series: What the Dickens by Firm Hand. Amelia-Jane [Rutherford] and I had so much fun being victimised Victorian ladies in a historical melodrama, alongside the “behind-the-scenes” vignettes of us being total modern divas. That series stands out partly because of all the personal input we had and the work we put into it (especially Amelia-Jane, who wrote the whole convoluted story with interwoven timelines!) and partly because of the professionalism of the whole team. We really TRIED to make it a good one artistically, so I'm giving it the recognition it deserves.

As an act of courtesy towards our producer friends, I'm not going to ask you which one you consider to be your worst film. But let me ask you this: if you could do one film again, and do it perfectly, which one would it be?

Niki: I know you’ll approve of my answer: The Spy [by Pain4Fem]. I’d definitely brush up on my German so I could improvise the dialogue better! My character was supposed to be a TRANSLATOR, for god’s sake! LOL

Let's look at your whole body of work now - not just full films, but also shorter video clips, photo shoots, everything. We're going to pick five pieces of work, and we'll bury them in the ground so that archaeologists of future generations can find them and say: "This was the life of Niki Flynn!" Everything else gets destroyed, but these five things survive. Which pieces of work would you pick?

Niki: My werewolf transformation (by Drew Miller of Draconian Artworks)
Trial by Ordeal [by Strictly English]
A photo of me by China Hamilton
The haircut scene from Crime & Punishment [by Lupus Pictures]
The NSI clip of me reading the Shipping Forecast whilst being whacked by Paul [Kennedy]

My final "superlatives" question: now that it's over, what are you going to miss most about being a professional victim, and what are you most glad to be rid of?

Niki: I’ll miss the fun of shooting, certainly, and of just hanging out with friends in between takes. But I’m already enjoying being out of the limelight, having more privacy and being less tied to the computer.

Reflections on spanking modelling / the Scene

Let's move on to some general reflections about the profession. There is a saying that, if you make a job out of a hobby, you lose a hobby. By analogy: how does it change your life, and your relationship to your own sexuality, when you make a "job" of sorts out of something as intimate as your erotic fantasies / desires?

Niki: It does often happen that you lose your enthusiasm for something when it becomes a job and if I’d had to do a lot of shoots I didn’t want to I imagine I’d have started to resent it. I’m very lucky in that I always had the freedom to choose what projects I would do, so it was never a full-time job whose income I had to rely on. And as a result of only doing the projects I was personally involved in or otherwise excited about, it actually enhanced my private play.

As a spanking model, you sometimes had to interact and get "in tune", emotionally, with a top whom you only met for the first time at the shoot. Were there instances in your career where you found that difficult?

Niki: Oh yes! First of all I’m rubbish at meeting new people. I’m far more scared of that than the physical pain. Again, I was very lucky in never having any truly bad experiences (though I certainly heard horror stories from others). There were people I didn’t really click with and others I knew I probably wouldn’t even have a cup of tea with if we didn’t have to work together. And of course with Lupus it was always extra scary not having a language in common, which makes negotiating very difficult.

I remember Jan Zlatousty, the torturer in Stalin 2 being very aloof throughout the scenes leading up the canings. He didn’t speak any English but even when I tried to engage him in Czech he seemed distant. As a result I was even more intimidated and frightened. However, once the caning was over he was absolutely lovely! LOL What an ice-breaker, eh? Turns out he doesn’t really LIKE having to thrash us soft little females at all (he’d rather beat boys), so he was truly “just doing his job” and keeping his distance until he could relax. I think that’s brilliant.

I think they should have let me do the job, because I do like to thrash soft little females! Anyway.... To what degree does the personal chemistry have to be absolutely, fundamentally right, and to what degree can you substitute for it with experience and professionalism?

Niki: Honestly, professionalism ought to be able to sustain it 100%. Fun and intimate as it is, shooting is still a job, bottom line. You still need to be a professional. It’s always more enjoyable and satisfying when there’s some “magic” involved, and it probably makes for a better film overall, but you don’t always have the luxury of working with people you click with perfectly.

Of course, you not only did a lot of professional "work", but also a lot of play at parties, gatherings, in private... What were your impressions of the scene in general compared to the filmmaking / modelling scene?

Niki: There really isn’t a lot of difference between pros and amateurs when it comes to the shared love of the same activity. After all, most pros started out in private play or the party scene.

But what is it that makes them become "pros"? Some kind of additional exhibitionist streak that the others don't have? A love of spanking porn films? What was it in your case?

Niki: I can only speak for myself, but for me it was a bit of exhibitionism and a bit of my old acting bug.

What about the video audience compared to the literary audience? I imagine that Niki Flynn got quite different fan mails than Fiona Locke.

Niki: Oh yes - that’s one thing that always really struck me! Niki frequently got emails like “Hey Niki, u r hot – I want to slap your sexy ass”, etc. while Fiona would get “Dear Ms Locke, allow me to express my appreciation for your writing …” I guess it’s just the nature of the two different mediums and the different impressions they produce. One person’s a “porn star” who presumably won’t be fazed by crass over-familiarity while the other is an “author” and therefore “literary” and more formal. Go figure!

So, after everything you did (and saw others do) in the scene: what can you tell the closeted spankos out there, who are thinking about trying it out for real? Any advice on what to do, what not to do, how to avoid negative experiences?

Niki: Most important of all: MAKE CONTACT. Read the forums and blogs and literature so you’re informed. Write to people, post on forums, start a blog. Make yourself and your desires known and don’t get discouraged by setbacks or scenes that don’t go exactly as planned. Like anything, it takes practice to get it right and a lot of trial and error to find out exactly what you WANT in the first place. You’ll never know what something’s like unless you try it. And each positive experience is a memory to look back on one day and savour.

And what about the gals - and guys! - out there who might be thinking about a career as a spanking model?

Niki: Again: make contact! Write to your favourite model or producer for references. I answered several emails from people (mostly girls) wanting info on the pro scene and where to start. I know some of my fellow spanking models have too. We’re always happy to offer advice. The pro scene is really very small and incestuous, so a dodgy producer would get blacklisted pretty quickly if they tried anything funny. And models ALWAYS share info on who’s good to work with and who’s not. My rule of thumb was always – if the company has a big web presence and you see a lot of familiar faces on their sites, chances are they’re well known, trusted and safe. But don’t be afraid to ask. Any reputable producer is going to be as concerned about your safety as you are, believe me.

Reflections on personal kink

On to some private reflection. When you look back on all the spanking experiences you made as Niki Flynn, and before: now that you've done all that, do you have a clearer idea about what the main "drive" behind your fantasies was, and what kind of fulfillment you gained - specifically! - from living them out?

Niki: The Kafka quote I use at the beginning of Dances with Werewolves (“My fear is my substance and probably the best part of me”) really does sum me up. Psychologically, eroticising pain and fear has always been a coping mechanism for me. It grew into a fetish over time, but the basic primal drive was, I think, fear and the ways to conquer it – ie, face it! I think I’m a stronger and more confident person as a result. Not just for having “suffered and survived”, but for having chased down so many dreams and fantasies, met so many different people and made so many friends, all while battling the same fears (pain, trust, loss of control, strangers, language barrier, exposure, etc.) that once used to cripple me.

You played with many different people, in many different environments - in private, at parties, at shoots. What meaning did this variety have for you?

Niki: I think I just enjoyed the hippie-esque “free love” feeling of being casually intimate with so many people. In a way it’s how I learned to trust.

Our fantasies evolve and change over the years. You talked about how you went from schoolgirl roleplay and such to exploring a darker, more "grown-up" kink. Do you think that there were underlying desires or "patterns", though, which stayed the same?

Niki: I keep coming back to “survival”. Maybe a part of me was just trying to prove to myself that I could handle anything that scared me or intimidated me.

Now I'm basically going to ask you the same question, about life as Niki and life post-Niki. You said that you've had enough spanking, punishment and pain. You've discovered the joys of pleasure. But again, do you think that there is an underlying constant here that *hasn't* changed?

Niki: Wow, that’s a tough one and not one I’m sure I can answer without consulting my psychiatrist! I don’t think I’ll ever lose my natural affinity for the extreme; it just doesn’t necessarily have to be painful.

So, when you keep all that in mind and look at your own story, from childhood to today: do you think that the erotic desires we have are mostly "inborn", or that they are mostly a product of our environments and personal histories? Scientists haven't figured that one out yet, but maybe we can!

Niki: Oh, the German desire to quantify and classify! LOL The frustrating truth is that it’s unique to each person. Some people have a single defining moment when their kink was “awakened”, though we’ll never know if they had a predisposition towards the kink or not. Others feel it’s something you’re born with. Both are true.

Alter Egos

You juggled with several alter egos during your career. Niki, Fiona... Now that you are retiring, you are laying these characters to rest, so to speak. Are you mourning Niki and Fiona? Sure, you are glad to move on, get out of the spotlight. But is there are part of you that will miss having "them" around, in your life?

Niki: I’m definitely not mourning them. As they were aspects of me, they’ll always be there in some form. I have a sense of completion for each, so in a way it’s like putting the seal on a book or a film. I’ll always have their creative endeavours to revisit, but I don’t need to “be” them any more.

You once wrote in an email to me, years ago: "I think of Fiona as Niki's 'real' name." Do you still see it like that? What was their relationship with each other, from an "inner" point of view?

Niki: Fiona was my first Scene persona when I came out in the UK scene, so I always felt she was a kind of “core” personality while Niki was the public persona. That was also partly defined by the natures of the different mediums – Fiona/writing was more introspective while Niki/performing was more extroverted. That was reinforced by the perceptions of others. People wrote to Niki like they would to a playful party girl while Fiona was treated with more deference and seriousness. So it was very easy for Niki to become my shield to wear in public. I couldn’t go out as Fiona because as a shy reclusive writer I didn’t have the confidence, but people saw Niki differently, which gave me the courage to be more outgoing.

It's interesting that you speak of Niki as a "shield", because that was going to be my very next question: do these alter egos also offer a kind of protection? I don't just mean protecting your real name and such - that is obvious. I mean emotional protection.

Niki: For me they really only offered protection in the sense of being able to do things "in character" that I couldn't have done if I were "just me", if that makes sense. People assumed Niki would be confident and outgoing, so being Niki *made* me more confident and outgoing than I normally was.

Was there also an element of "protective compartmentalisation" to it? What I mean is, was it easier to be outgoing because, if you had a bad experience, it was only happening to "Niki" and not really to you?

Niki: Goodness me, I feel like I'm on the analyst's couch! It's certainly a good coping strategy, but no. All of "Niki's" successes or failures were entirely mine and she was never a go-between for real feelings or a gatekeeper for the "real me". A persona like that is simply a magic feather. I could have met strangers and done other scary things withOUT being Niki; I'd simply have been a lot more anxious and neurotic about it.

I got to know you personally, and other spanking models. I always felt that "Niki Flynn" was much more of an artificial character than most of the others. I'm not saying that she was fake - quite the contrary. But "Niki" wasn't just a scene name. She really was an alter ego, a second self, wasn't she?

Niki: Yes. Using that Myers-Briggs Scale we love so much, my core self (whoever she is!) is solidly INFP. Fragile, insecure, creative, dreamy and not wholly in touch with the Real World. Niki could be flirtatious and interactive in a way my core self never could. It helps to have a name to wear as a mask, but in my case the mask felt more like the “real me” than my more core (vanilla) self did. I took the Myers-Briggs test once AS Niki, trying to imagine how I’d answer those questions if I were on stage at a party, in “performance” mode. And I was surprised to find that Niki was an ISFP. The differences weren’t huge, but Niki was certainly less introverted than “I” was and much more impulsive and spontaneous when it came to experiences.

Do you think that this "separation" was more pronounced in your case than with most of your spanking model colleagues? Do you think that the personality differences between "Niki" and you were bigger than the personality differences between, say, "Amelia-Jane" and the woman known as Amelia-Jane?

Niki: I never really thought about it before, but you're probably right. I've always been good at compartmentalisation, but not everyone is. And not everyone is comfortable with different names/personae. Ultimately, it's just an extension of the roles we all play without thinking about it: Daughter, sister, employee, neighbour, etc. My ISFP "business suit", so to speak, just took on a life of her own.

Was there also a conscious element to it? You were a writer before you became a spanking model, and you just said that retirement felt "like putting the seal on a book or a film". Did you ever consciously think about Fiona or Niki in these terms, like an author would about a fictional character she created?

Niki: Did I set out to have MPD, you mean? LOL I think I CAME to think of Niki and Fiona as separate people (or at least personae) over time; that's the nature of having alter egos. But I didn't intentionally create a character in being Niki. She was just the me who could be 100% out about all things kink, so I was bound to feel freer and more secure in her skin.


How did your career as a spanking model shape the person you are today, at the end of your career?

Niki: I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to do so many crazy (occasionally even glamorous!) things and work with so many talented people. The person I am today is one who has a treasure trove of memories to cherish in the years to come. I'm going to be an eccentric old lady someday, in purple velvet bonnets and Victorian bustle skirts, with no regrets and no feelings of "Oh, if only I'd said yes instead of no."

Now that she's gone, what would be the most beautiful thing your colleagues and fans could say about Niki Flynn? What would you like her to be remembered for?

Honestly, I'd just like for people to have enjoyed having me in their life, whether as a friend or entertainer.

We certainly enjoyed that! Thank you for the interview. And let's give the last word to "Niki": if you were to write an epilogue for Dances with Werewolves today, what would it be?

Niki: Beware the Moon, September 2009

You never know what's waiting for you out there on the moors. Or what transformations are in store for you. I say: DON'T stick to the roads. No matter how forbidding the night may seem, don't let it scare you into playing it safe.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Movie Review: Wild Party 3

Rigid East (released in 2009)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Ballet teacher canes students for drunk lesbian orgy

Victim Appeal:
Wild Party and its sequel are two of the most popular and enduring Rigid East classics, from the old era before the Czechs started calling themselves Lupus Pictures. After a break of nearly seven years, they've now decided to make the series into a trilogy. I was wondering whether this was going to happen, and if so, when! Hey, they even revived the Rigid East label for the occasion. It feels nice to see the opening logo again after all this time, with flames playing around it while cane strokes and a girl's cries can be heard in the background. Ah, those were the days!

Needless to say, the fundamental "Wild Party" formula also remains unchanged: the great Jan Zlatousty stars as the cane-wielding top again, and five girls get to experience his not-so-tender mercies. As in the first two videos, the spankees make for a pleasant variety of looks. There are three blondes, one dark-haired girl and one redhead (veteran Lupus actress Ester Slaba). Some thin, some of them a bit more voluptuous, but all quite pretty. They do a decent acting job as well - of all three installments, I think this is the best one in terms of acting.

Gratuitous Sadism:
The first part was basically a domestic discipline scenario, the second one was set in an art school. This time, the spankees are students in an amateur ballet class. As the movie opens, one of them does a couple of moves to Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake". The teacher (Zlatousty) is not happy: "We've already been doing this, it was better last time! The head knows what to do, but the body doesn't listen!" The famous "Wild Party" top in a skin-tight dancing costume, instructing his students to lift their legs higher while he is awkwardly demonstrating the exercise himself, is probably one of the most comical sights RGE / Lupus have ever produced. It is even inspirational in its way: here is a man who is clearly not afraid of anything.

When the lesson is over and the teacher leaves, the obligatory "wild party" takes place. There is a shower scene, dancing, wine, dope, more dancing (naked by now) and, once the alcohol has removed all inhibitions, some unusually explicit lesbian sex. Finally, they all pass out. When the ballet teacher returns the next morning and finds five naked (and still quite drunk) girls strewn across the floor, he is of course furious. After a lecture about "enlightenment through art", how they have disgraced his ensemble and yadda-yadda, he sends them home to sleep off their stupor.

At the next confrontation, one of the students (Ester) plots to blackmail the teacher with accusations of sexual harassment (apparently, he has a bit of a past with that). What they didn't count on, however, is the fact that their little orgy the day before was caught by the security cameras - and so, the teacher has the upper hand. He issues an ultimatum: they can agree to take a dose of corporal punishment with the cane (like in an old-fashioned Russian ballet school), or he will expel them from the school and report them to the police for smoking dope.

So, the students tell him to sod off and call the police if he dares. Actually, no, I'm just kidding! Don't worry. Needless to say, they give in and the inevitable beatings follow. The girls bend over a gym horse for the punishment. The first one wimps out after only five strokes - she is expelled from the class as a result. The others take their canings until the end. They were supposed to get 50 strokes each, but they do in fact receive 45, 38, 52 and 53 - and there I was, freaking out over my minor miscounts during the filming of "A Garden Party"! The thrashings are certainly fun to watch, though, very hard as usual and leaving gorgeous purple marks.

Best Reactions:
Three of the four girls who go through with the punishment take it rather well - with quite a lot of yelping and crying, but without flinching too much. The other one (the short blonde) jumps up and away from the horse after literally every single stroke. It is amusing to watch for a while, in a sadistic sort of way, but after the tenth time, it just gets annoying. There is no sense of cohesion in the scene, it just falls apart. Fortunately, Ester Slaba is next and takes her thrashing, the final one of the film, in a much more dignified manner.

Actually, there is no spankee here whose reactions struck me like the defiant redhead did in the first "Wild Party". Or like the tough brunette girl who was the first to be caned in "Wild Party 2". Here, they are all fairly enjoyable to watch (except for the hysterical blonde), but there is no one who really stands out. At the end of the day, I'd probably go with Ester. Not because of the reactions, but because she gets the most strokes and the nicest welts.

Best Line:
Before the first girl bends over the gym horse, the teacher lectures them about how well these "Russian" methods work: "The methods are brilliant. Because they have brilliant dancers and soloists!" Sarcastically, the girl about to get it replies: "I guess the weals increase the range of movement..."

Oh, nice line! Was the improvised? It almost sounded like it. She's a smart girl. Too bad she couldn't take the caning (she was the one who quit after five strokes). If she had been able to back up words with deeds, I would have loved to see her again!

Nice Psychological Touch:
There is a subplot involving the teacher, the caretaker of the building, and a boxer (a hilarious cameo by producer Thomas Marco). I won't spoil the ending for you here, which puts a different twist into the whole story. But I can say that I liked it a lot. One of the two "villains" gets his own comeuppance, which is a typical RGE / Lupus touch, and Thomas shows his self-deprecating sense of humour with the boxer role.

How Good Is It Really?
In terms of CP action, this is arguably the weakest of the three "Wild Party" films. It certainly isn't bad - the four (full-length) caning scenes are all hard, well-filmed and fun to watch. The number of strokes is even higher than in the previous installments. But somehow, the intensity just isn't the same. None of the segments, no one among the spankees, nothing in the reactions really stuck in my memory.

As a film, however, this is the best one yet. The setting is great, the ballet lesson with Jan Zlatousty is a hoot, and the actual "wild party" sequence is very nicely set up and put together. Good cast (Thomas should do more cameos), good acting and some good use of music. Even though the action itself may not be up there with the two stellar predecessors, fans of the series will definitely want to see this.

What You Learned:
Seeing what a great, natural combination RGE / Lupus thrashings and ballet are, I am reminded: I really have to talk Leia-Ann Woods into working with the werewolves from the East someday. What a pairing that would be, eh?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Topping for Lupus

(This is the third and final part of my behind-the-scenes report on Lupus Pictures. The first two are The Company of Wolves and A Dragoon's Life.)

One popular question I get about spanking video shoots is: "When you met the girls who were to be caned, what were they like? What was their demeanour, how were they feeling?" Some readers seemed very curious about that after my first film, and I already had one or two mailing me about it after the Lupus shoot. It's basically the mirror image of the "How did you feel?" question which the models themselves get all the time - as long as they have a web presence. The Mood and Lupus models usually don't, so I get asked in their place.

It is self-evident why this would be such a focal point of interest. I enjoy wondering about it, too, as a viewer. Spanking fetishism is all about empathy, the identification with the feelings and experiences of others. Your own fulfilment and your own "kick" are really rooted in how the other person feels. This may not be true for all spankos, but I believe it is true for a great many of us. It could be the pleasure of connecting with someone and sharing an intimate erotic experience ("I want to know your fantasies and fulfil them!"). It could be something more self-centered, like good old-fashioned sadism ("I want to inflict pain!"). It could be a mix of both, or something else entirely. But in one form or another, empathy is often at the center of the kink.

It is also part of what makes these behind-the-scenes reports enjoyable. In addition to what happened, you also - and really - want to know how people felt. I already wrote a lot about how I felt in the previous two posts. Adele Haze wrote about how she felt in her own shoot report (parts one, two and three). And even though I can't speak for Ester Slaba and Vera Vranova, the two Czech "professional victims" in the film, I'll write about my observations and impressions in regards to them. Now that we are getting to the "CP action" part of the shoot, the insight (however accurate it may be) should be all the more exciting...

Victimology or "a little dark art"

I didn't really know anything about Vera Vranova before the shoot. I had noticed her in the previews of some newer Lupus films and I knew which girl Thomas Marco was talking about when he mentioned her, but I hadn't actually seen a video. I had seen quite a few videos with Ester Slaba, though, who started in 2003. As I wrote in the last part, I'm a fan and she is in fact one of my favourite Lupus models (had no idea she would be in "A Garden Party" - what luck, eh?). First off, Ester is a sexy girl. All the more so because she is not the stereotypical supermodel type - she's the "skinny redhead with a long face" type, and I find that very hot indeed. More importantly, she is interesting.

(Ester Slaba on the set of "A Garden Party",
smoking one of approximately 300 cigarettes.)

It is no secret that many spanking models are "vanillas" who do it only for the money. Virtually all Mood Pictures models are (even though a handful of exceptions exists), Lupus have a few, and the phenomenon is not unheard of with Western production companies, either. Now, I have no moral objections against thrashing vanilla girls as long as there is no exploitation, no desperate poverty involved - and contrary to the "starving Czech girls" legends on some forums, there isn't. I don't have any fundamental aesthetic or emotional objections, either: even when the models are mere "hired hands", it can still make for a good video, and I can still derive the same (self-centered) sadistic pleasure from it that I would from thrashing a kinky girl. When it comes to that part of my kink, there isn't really a huge difference (interestingly, I wouldn't want to be spanked by someone who is not into it, but I have no problems the other way around).

However, when it comes to the other elements of my kink, such as connecting with people, getting inside their minds, exploring fantasies together and making art, it is of course much more satisfying to work with genuine spankos. It also usually makes for a better video, at least if you want to see more than just the beatings. (It took me some time to fully come to grips with this distinction. I was initially a bit mystified after the Mood video: "Wow, I really enjoyed caning these vanilla girls - more than I expected. How can this be?" Now I understand that it is not a contradiction to the other parts of my kink. They are merely separate parts, or different levels, if you prefer.)

Ester Slaba falls somewhere between kinky and vanilla, I believe, and this is what makes her interesting for me. She doesn't really like spanking. At the same time, she doesn't work with Lupus purely for the money. She does it for artistic reasons, and she enjoys the friendships with people from the company and other kinky individuals. "I am fascinated by all of this, it gives me a lot of joy and experience" she wrote in an online interview in 2004. In it, Ester comes across as someone with a genuine interest in the videos as art ("I like psychological and little dark art, movies and literature"), as fairly idealistic, and as a self-described "complicated girl". She may not be a spanko, but she is definitely not "vanilla", either (in the sense of "ordinary").

This impression was supported by the vibe I got from Ester at the shoot. I'm afraid I still don't know much about Vera Vranova, other than that she seems like a nice person and was fine to work with. I didn't talk to either of the girls too much. When you are at a shoot, it's a job and usually a very busy schedule - you don't have long, intimate conversations with people. Also, there was the Czech-English-German language barrier. But I chatted a bit with Ester when I could, and the "anthropological observer" in me had his eyes on both of them.

We introduced ourselves to each other first thing in the morning - you shake hands with everyone, say hello, the usual thing. Not long afterwards, Ester and I were doing the love scene at the manor wall together, the first scene of the video to be filmed. We both burst out laughing when Zbysek, the director, gave us our instructions and demonstrated the "A dragoon needs a proper ride!" gesture I was supposed to make. Ester didn't talk too much herself. She seemed more like the quiet, introverted type of girl, a bit shy perhaps (as you might imagine after reading the interview). At the same time, I got the impression that she was in a good mood, fairly relaxed, and enjoying the filming.

Vera gave off a similar vibe. There certainly wasn't any crippling anxiety from either of them, and with two veteran Lupus models, you wouldn't expect any. The professional chemistry was okay, too, I think. In my opening scene with Ester, the only difficulty we had was technical - during the first one or two takes, we had trouble with her 19th century-style parasol when I turned her around (she keeps holding it in her hand while we are having simulated sex-from-behind, which I think is as cute as it is implausible). During the garden party itself, the girls had little to do except sitting around and later suffering the "examination" from the druggist. Ester had a couple of pouting "But grandma...!" lines (she's great at pouting), but that was pretty much it.

("But grandma, no...!" The maid looks unhappy, too.)

During the lunch break, Ester was sitting at one table with the "foreign contingent", that is Adele, Mr. Haze, Kaelah and me. I don't remember her saying a word, but you could tell that she was listening to the English conversation and understanding it all - she smiled at all the appropriate moments. She never joined in or gave the impression that she wanted to, though. Maybe she was just content listening, maybe it was shyness. As with many Czechs, Ester's listening comprehension of English is probably much better than her speaking skills. It's the same for me with French - I can follow most simple conversations, but I have real trouble even ordering a meal!

We didn't really encourage her to talk, either. Today, I regret that I didn't chat a bit more with her. But again, a shoot is work and during lunch break, you are mostly just trying to relax a little. We only sat together for ten, fifteen minutes. Then I went off so the makeup assistant could put my fake moustache back on, which had come loose during the eating... (Funny, yeah. I know. Har, har.)

When the time came to do the CP scenes, while the crew were setting up the equipment, I quickly walked over to Ester and Vera. By now, they were naked down to their socks (and smoking a cigarette, as they did during every other break). I told them not to worry - that I was an experienced caner and pretty accurate, that they were in good hands. I thought I should do that since I was new to them, and since they probably didn't know anything about me as a top. I also mentioned that I knew what a severe caning is like "from the other side", so I had this insight into what I'm doing as well. Ester's eyes widened in surprise, as if I had just told her that I was an astronaut who had recently returned from the International Space Station. "Oh! Really?" After a moment's pause, she asked: "So... Did you like it?"

Before I could give an answer (along the lines of "Well, yes and no!"), Zbysek called us all over. They were ready for action.

Thrashings, werewolf-style

The girls had each received a brief hand spanking during the "examination" scene, a spontaneous punishment from the grandmother (actress Tereza Tomaskova). They were reasonably hard hand spankings, but for a seasoned Lupus victim, that is probably child's play. As well as that, I couldn't see any of it behind the changing screen - I only heard it! So the birching and caning was the first real CP to be filmed, as far as I was concerned.

The birching part was done by the grandmother as well. Ester was first, then Vera. They were kneeling on the ground with their elbows on a garden bench. Tereza dished it out fairly hard - not over-the-top, bloody terrifying hard, but what I would call a nice and proper "warmup" in Lupus terms. Twenty-five lashes each, with quite a bit of whimpering from the girls, half-acted, half-real. The birch was completely torn up by the end. They always are, aren't they? Even at "Lupus warmup" level.

Ester and Vera were visibly marked, but again, not excessively so. I was very happy about that. Ever since reading the script for the first time, when I discovered that I was going to do the second part of the scene, I had worried that the girls would be heavily marked already, that my "contribution" wouldn't be clearly visible. I must have driven Kaelah insane with my constant moaning about it in the weeks before the shoot. I never moaned to Lupus, though - hell, I was thankful and proud just to get the opportunity to work with them. I was going to do whatever they needed. Do a love scene, do the second half of the CP, shave the beard... If they had asked me to hop around like a chicken, and if I had thought that it makes sense in the context of the story, then I would have done that, too. It's your goddamn job as an actor: to be a good soldier and serve the film!

(Adele Haze and Lars Moebius. The most emotive scene of the film.)

I insisted on choosing the type of cane I wanted, though. When we went through the Lupus collection, at the costume trial on Thursday, I told Thomas that I preferred a cane without a crooked handle. I can use them well enough, but I just find the crook irritating. No problem at all, he said. However, at the shoot, they first gave me a crooked one. So I did moan a bit there. "You know, like I said, the crook..." Thomas gave me a remembering smile: "Oh, sure!" He grabbed the implement, fetched a saw that happened to be lying around on the set, sawed off the crooked end and handed the cane back to me. I nodded: "Yeah... Uh, thanks!" They sure know how to find quick solutions, these producer types.

(As a result, there is a small continuity error in the film. In the earlier scene where Adele is bringing the cane, it has a crook. When I'm using it, it doesn't!)

The one thing I didn't anticipate at all was the caning position. The script talked about a "bench" and I had always assumed that it would be a caning bench, like the one from the Headmaster's Study films (hey, I love that series!). But of course, it turned out to be the wooden garden bench, with the girls just lying on it, flat. Not only did this make a lot more sense in this setting, it was also a position I had never practised for - and that made me feel quite uncomfortable. I was annoyed at myself, too. Mad King Ludwig again! Obsesses about all the details of the cane right down to the type of wood. But in months of email correspondence with Lupus, it never once occurs to him to ask about the exact position of the spankee. He just assumes he knows. Ass-umes.

While the crew tied Ester to the bench (she was first again) and I stood around, silently brooding over what a dork I am, Thomas walked over to me. "You could see that the birching was pretty light for us!" he said. "So now, the caning has to be hard. These girls are experienced, they know what to expect. You can be really hard, it's okay!" I told him I'd do my best, but added that the position was unfamiliar and that I would need a moment to find my aim.

Like the birching, the caning would be 25 strokes long. But this time, the girls would not count aloud. Thomas asked me if I wanted to count aloud? I thought about it for a moment and didn't like the idea: "Naw...!" It seemed out of place for the top to do that. Thomas nodded, and I would soon come to regret my decision.

Ready, cameras roll, action. I started pretty tenderly. Just find your aim, get used to the position, then go harder. The aim was fine. I was even more focused on it than usual. The only trouble was, I was so focused on it, I immediately lost count after the first few strokes. Six, maybe seven...? Oh, for fuck's sake! This was getting worse all the time. I never, ever lose count as a top. Of course, it had once famously happened to me while switching, in the Ludwig's Comeuppance video with Niki Flynn. And now it had happened again! On the top side! At Lupus Pictures! I could see the reader comments already. Good old Ludwig. Not much of a mathematician, is he?

While all this was going through my mind and I was frantically trying to figure out what number I was at, my cane strokes were getting even more tender. Zbysek put me out of my misery. He waved and called out: "Ahm... ahm...!" Zbysek was a very polite director. He wouldn't just shout "Wait!" or "Hold on a second!", he would usually prefix it with "Ahm... ahm...!", as if to verbally tap you on the shoulder. "What?" I yelled back. The annoyance in my voice was directed at myself, not at him.

(Vera Vranova after the CP. She got nicer cane marks than Ester.)

Zbysek was gesticulating at me while he spoke. "Please... You need to go harder!" Thomas nodded in agreement: "Harder, harder...!" Before I could say anything, there was a shout from Ester: "NO!" She was laughing, but it was a pretty serious, indignant laugh, if you know what I mean. "Not harder!" As pissed off as I was at Ludwig the Mathematician and everything else, I couldn't suppress a grin. This was funny (in a mildly sadistic way, too). "Sure, I'll go harder!" I said, and added casually: "We were at ten strokes, right?" That was my best guess.

Thomas and Zbysek looked at each other. "It was... about six strokes!" said Thomas and grinned. Of course, that was wrong. It was definitely more than six, I knew that much. But Thomas was trying to make a point, and I understood it: "I see!" Ester yelled something at him in Czech, with the same indignant laugh. Undoubtedly something to the effect of: "It was more than six, you dumb fucking bastard!" Thomas' grin became wider. He corrected his estimate: "It was probably less than three!"

I started over at six, and harder. The aim was still good and Ester's cries, which had been mostly acting so far, suddenly sounded rather more genuine. She had some real pain to "help her along" now! The cane marks developing on her ass were evidence of that, too. Good, I thought, I may yet be able to salvage this scene. I went a bit harder still. And I made damn sure that I kept the count this time. Nineteen more strokes! (After watching the scene on video, I now know that the cut came after 9 strokes. They left them all in, and the total number is 28. So, I guess I got the second part right at least.)

They untied Ester, then Vera was next on the bench. I was somewhat used to the position by now and more confident, so there were no cuts this time and no admonitions to get serious. The caning was roughly as hard and accurate as the previous one, minus the half-hearted beginning. Vera got more vivid welts, but I believe it was mostly because she just marks easier than Ester. Oh, and wouldn't you believe it, I had a slight miscount again - 24 strokes in total instead of 25! You know, all joking aside, this really can happen. Silently counting up to 25 is the easiest thing when you have no distractions. But when you do it at a movie shoot, on camera, while what you are really thinking about is your aim, it becomes surprisingly difficult. I stand corrected. I'll count aloud next time, or I'll let the spankee do it...

I was never fully comfortable with the lying flat position. In each of the two canings, I tried to place a few strokes high, to cover the whole bottom, but they ended up too high. Ester and Vera didn't mind at all, but I did. Damn, you hold back more than you want to, and you still can't get on target. When it was all over and the crew were packing up, I walked over to Thomas. "Well, that was crap..." I grumbled. I wasn't looking for reassurance, I really meant it. But Thomas smiled and shook his head: "No, no! I liked it. Trust me, I've seen it on the monitor, it was good scene."

Having seen it now, I agree - it's good! The canings are a bit lighter than the Lupus average, but they aren't disappointing. They are fairly hard by any other standard, Ester and Vera certainly didn't enjoy them, the sadist in me is happy enough, and the movie critic in me thinks that the light-hearted tone of "A Garden Party" only benefited from me not beating the living daylights out of the girls! (Of course, it still means that I have to go back someday and do a proper Lupus caning...)

(Poor, starving Czech girls being exploited
by the ruthless werewolves from the East again.)

There was one more little scene for me to do. Ester, still naked and freshly chastised, would hand me a plate with a cake. I would take a piece, bite into it and thank her. It was one of those wonderful wacky Lupus ideas. "Say something in German, like 'my darling'!" Zbysek instructed me. My mind was racing. I had to find something which Kaelah wouldn't mind. Hey, I'm Mad King Ludwig, but there are limits even to my powers - if I had called Ester "my lovely mate", as in Klingon mate, Kaelah would have killed me on the spot. I eventually came up with "mein Täubchen", a German term of endearment that means "my little dove". I knew Kaelah wasn't into doves. In the end, it didn't matter, anyway. We had no microphones nearby when the scene was filmed and you can't hear a bloody thing I'm saying!

To truly wrap things up, we took some posed photographs with Ester, Vera and me. I was standing there with the cane, and they were kneeling in front of me, heads hanging, backs towards the camera, with the cane welts on their asses (it'll probably surprise you after everything I've written on this blog, but I confess to liking this picture). Then I could get out of the uniform and back into my street clothes. Adele's caning and whipping was the last scene to be filmed. She wrote about it in her own account, so I'm not going into any detail here. Kaelah and I watched it live with everyone else, and it was clear immediately that it would make for a great scene in the video. It was the most dramatic in terms of the story, Lars Moebius and Tereza Tomaskova were the tops, and all three players did a fine job. Thomas was beaming afterwards: "I liked that one! Very emotive!"


And that's what it was like - topping for Lupus! Just like in my first video shoot, I felt no kinky "thrill" or enjoyment during the CP scenes at all. I was focused on trying to get the job right, which is how I like it and how it's supposed to be in my view. The movie comes first, my personal enjoyment while making it comes second. Mind you, I had a great time at the shoot! There was plenty of excitement and fun, and I treasure the memory of that day. All the more so because I'm happy with what came out of it.

Thomas Marco, Zbysek Podhajsky and Jan Zacek went to dinner with the four of us from the "foreign contingent" afterwards. Everyone was in a good mood. Including Adele, who couldn't sit very well, but was joking around. "So, how long do you think it'll take until someone claims the canings are fake?" she asked Thomas. He didn't hesitate with an answer: "Three days!" We all broke into laughter. "You know, I sometimes look at these forums, too, like British Spanking" Thomas said. "You come back two years later and some people are still having same stupid discussions." Grinning and a bit mystified, he added: "And it's still exactly same people...!"

Kaelah and I had one more lovely day in Prague. Among other things, we visited the "Museum of Medieval Torture". Not very erotic, actually - I may be a CP sadist, but I'm not into breaking bones or crushing heads! Certainly an interesting exhibition from a historical point of view, though. Then it was time to go home. I remember the peaceful, immense feeling of contentment glowing inside of me on the journey back. I had my own little part in werewolves-from-the-East history now. And I remember how glad I was that Kaelah was with me.

(The cast of "A Garden Party". Love those old-fashioned
family photographs!)