Thursday, October 22, 2009

UK Meet and Greet

Before I come to the title subject of today's post, a quick recap of Love Our Lurkers IV: according to the final tally from Bonnie, the event was a stunning success, gathering a total of 2,627 comments on the 144 blogs that participated. I wonder if we're going to surpass that one next year... While the 2008 edition of Love Our Lurkers will always remain my personal favourite, for obvious reasons, I am of course very pleased with the response I got over the past week. My own contribution to the Global Day of Delurk 2009 received 24 comments (discounting two from me and one from a visitor who was writing about a different subject entirely). Out of these, 16 were from people who had commented on my blog at least once before, and eight were genuine first-time "delurks". Thank you to everyone who took the time to write something, and thank you for your words of encouragement.

(On a selfish, competitive note, I am also very pleased that my final tally is comfortably above the average 18.24 comments gathered per blog this year. Hah! Mad King Ludwig rules again.)

With Love Our Lurkers day over for this year, I can finally tell you about another spanking adventure of mine (of ours, actually). Kaelah and I recently returned from a "let's go on holiday and meet some perverts" trip to the UK. We had always planned to visit London (and perhaps other cities...) sometime before the year is out. When Abel of The Spanking Writers invited us to the surprise birthday party he was setting up for his partner Haron, it was exactly the right occasion.

I like their writing a lot. My time for reading other people's blogs has been severely limited since I started my own, but I always try to keep an eye on what Abel and Haron are posting. As for Kaelah, it turns out that she read Abel's spanking stories when she started exploring her kinky side last year - so she, too, knew him through his work. We were both greatly looking forward to meeting The Spanking Writers, even though Kaelah was a little nervous about the "back to school" dress code specified in the invitation.

We don't have much of a school uniform tradition in Germany and Kaelah didn't want to commit an unwitting fashion faux pas in front of a crowd of seasoned role-players. At first, she suggested that we go as a teacher and student couple of stereotypical, anti-authoritarian, 1970's style German "greenies" - wearing jeans, self-made wool pullovers and "Save the Whales!" buttons. It was a hilarious idea in its way, but I favoured accepting the English challenge instead. If you go to a spanking party in the UK for the first time, you might as well do it according to protocol! [note from Kaelah: Ludwig was simply too lazy to put the unorthodox greenie outfit together] Therefore, proper tradition [note from Kaelah: boring conformism!] won the day. Quite a few emails went back and forth between Abel and us, trying to get Kaelah's school uniform right. As for me, I was going to do my best Headmaster Tom impression wearing a sharp black suit, white shirt and tie.

In the end, the party worked out fine. Not just fashion-wise for the two of us, but much more importantly, for Abel - the surprise went as planned and Haron, who had been away over night while Abel and his co-conspirators prepared the house, was amazed and delighted in equal measure when she arrived. The rest of the day was spent indulging in good food and drink, merry banter and, of course, many scenes of kinky play. The company was especially interesting for Kaelah and me because it was a blogging / private role-playing crowd rather than a filmmaking / modelling crowd, and therefore quite different from our last adventure together. I suppose I will always remain a CP video geek at heart, who treasures the artifact and the behind-the-scenes story of the action more than the action itself. But I certainly enjoyed getting a glimpse into this other form of spanko lifestyle.

Among others, the guest list included EmmaJane and Eliane, whose blogs I have finally added to my link list. The only partygoer I had met before was Henry Higgins. It was great to see him again after over a year. Considering all the illustrious company, Haron got away with a surprisingly small number of birthday spankings - only three or four in total if I remember it correctly. However, the other party guests contributed more than their alloted share of action. EmmaJane and HH were particularly active, disappearing in the direction of one of the play rooms about every ten minutes. Their two written accounts of a scene they did together with Abel make for interesting reading - The error of her ways by EmmaJane (aka Maria, lady's maid to Lady Fortescue) and this post by Sir Henry. Note the similarities and the differences in the viewpoints. The Headmaster's Study by Eliane describes another scene that took place at the party.

At one point, a lady engaged in conversation with Kaelah and me, the two lone German visitors, asked me: "You are not Ludwig Rohrstock, are you?" Native English speakers sometimes assume that "Rohrstock" (the German word for "cane") is my alter ego's surname, when it really is part of the blog's name. I felt tempted to quip: "No, I'm one of the other 37 Ludwigs from this huge community of ours!" But that might have come out rude instead of simply sounding humorous like I intended it. So I settled for a straightforward "Yes, that's me" instead, which elicited a surprised reply. (It's nice to know that even after all these videos, I can still walk into a room full of spankos - some of whom read my blog! - and stay unrecognised. Goes to show you that your chances of being recognised on the street are practically zero.)

My partner and I didn't engage in any spanking play with the others ourselves. Kaelah at present has no desire to do that, and she may never get it. Which suits me fine - frankly, unless it's in the context of making a CP video, I'm not that interested in playing with other people, either. However, the two of us did a little session on our own. Abel and Haron have an impressive collection of implements, so we couldn't let the opportunity pass by. I introduced Kaelah to various implements which are missing from my own collection at home. Which is to say, pretty much everything that is not a cane! We tried out several crops, several straps, a wooden paddle or two, a few tawses (also on the palm of her hand), a cat o' nine tails, a slipper and about a dozen other instruments. I don't even remember all of them.

As this was purely a "let's experiment" session, I only gave Kaelah a couple of strokes with each implement, and only two or three of them were hard. Just enough to get a first impression. Still, all the little bits added up to a nice set of marks by the end. Even though Kaelah obviously knows the cane already, I couldn't resist my favourite tool and took one of Abel's canes to finish off the scene with six of the best. What a great experience for both of us to get to play with so many different toys! It was only one of the things that made this party memorable and enjoyable. Along the way, I even managed to fulfil one and a half of my new year resolutions for 2009 - to attend my first spanking party in the UK and to try out at least one new spanking implement actively. Our many thanks to Abel and Haron for inviting us.

The following week, we met Pandora Blake. I had narrowly missed her at BoundCon this year, so this was only the second time we got together. Again, there was no play, but we had dinner together and a very pleasant evening. I also finally met Thomas Cameron, her Dom, boyfriend and partner in crime, which I had been looking forward to. Their friend Jimmy was there as well. The five of us had quite a good time, talking about the Crimean War (Tom is a history buff like me), English novels, Port wine, the recent elections in Germany and various kinky adventures. Kaelah was delighted to find out that Tom knows Wil Wheaton's blog. And Pandora mentioned more than once that she plans to make Jimmy a big star through her new website, so that he may be adored by fangirls (and fanboys?) across the world - keep your eyes open. Who knows, Kaelah and I might also shoot something for Pandora's site next year, if we can find a date that suits everyone and a scenario that we are all happy with. I'd certainly love to do it. But nothing is set in stone yet.

And the next day, as the final stop on our "meet the English perverts" tour, we sat down with Leia-Ann Woods in a Chinese restaurant. It was another occasion I had been looking forward to for a long time. I've been a fan of Leia-Ann's work for years and I interviewed her on the blog in February 2008 - one of my first posts, actually. But we had never met in person. As it turned out, I managed to escape with my illusions intact - she really is a nice girl and fun to be with. The food was excellent as well (kudos to Kaelah for spotting the restaurant), and Leia-Ann was in a particularly cheerful mood all evening because she had just come from an audition for an exciting new project, which had gone well.

These first encounters with people you've only known through their writing and / or videos are always interesting. They always look slightly differently than you expect (hence my not being recognised at first by the guest at Abel and Haron's party). And they always behave differently than what you expect, too. Of course, everyone with a shred of common sense understands that spanking models are not identical to the characters they (usually) portray. The woman behind Niki Flynn was not a cheerful party girl, nor a crazy pyromaniac, but a very complex, shy, at times reclusive person. The woman behind Amelia-Jane Rutherford is not a snotty princess, but friendly and personable.

Still, I think we tend to make certain assumptions subconsciously, even though we really know better. At Bars and Stripes, where most of the videos I've seen with her come from, Leia-Ann Woods is intensity personified - rebellious, aggressive, bloody-minded. I knew it's just a role, but still, I was not prepared for quite how funny she is when you meet her off-camera. I mean, Leia-Ann is funny as hell, she really is! Hardly a minute went by that evening without the three of us sharing a hearty laugh together. Kaelah later told me that she was surprised, too. Her own kinky fantasies are totally unlike Leia-Ann's - caring guidance and saving the ship scenarios versus waterboarding and women in prison. So she had expected that maybe the two of them would have trouble connecting. But then, Kaelah felt an immediate rapport with Leia-Ann, and they got along great.

All in all, we had a wonderful time in the UK. No video shoots, no official schedules, no creative pressure to do anything - it really was just a "meet and greet" trip rather than "work", and that's what made it so enjoyable. Hell, we didn't even take a casual photograph with us and any of the kinky company we met. I do have this photo to share with you, though, and I'm going to finish today's post with it. Kaelah took it at a café at the Tower of London:

Kaelah said she didn't need any topping. She brought along her own top! Har har.


Indy said...

Oh, my, Graham will be jealous again! Not me, though. No, definitely not me!

Graham said...

What's this "again" nonsense, Indy... I live in a state of perpetual envy. We can't all be patient saintly types like you!!

Glad you enjoyed your trip to England! It's an excellent place to make a kinky pilgrimage : )

Anna said...

Love Kaelah's topping pic! I'm totally in favour of taking This Thing That We Do with a pinch of humour.

Another source of innocent merriment: a company that went into business as S & M Contracting, but pretty quickly changed its name to S & M Roofing and Contracting. Wonder why?!?

! said...

mmm, sounds like you guys had a lovely adventure!

Ludwig said...

@ Indy, Graham: Well, to paraphrase Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street: "Envy is good." That's what I believe.

Envy (not to be confused with jealousy!) is basically a good emotion, because it provides incentive. Without envy, which arose from watching other people who were courageous and resourceful enough to live out their fantasies, I'd probably still be a closeted spanking video geek, and I wouldn't be in a position to make anyone envious today.

jony said...

Is there any photo of Kaelah in school uniform? :-)

Unknown said...

Ah, bother, I missed the delurk date again. Cursed exams. Then again, I have posted (rarely) before, so I suppose I would not have counted anyway.

I am slightly envious of you both, not as much for going off to a kinky party, but for living in a location where going off and meeting friends you've known online is actually possible. It is one of the benefits I can see of living in such a packed together place with hilariously small countries. Mind you, I'm not quite convinced that that outweighs the downsides...

(I live in Australia. I'm used to the idea of cattle stations the size of Belgium.)

@Anna: *snickers* I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the possible meanings of that company name were explained to them.

EmmaJane said...


Was so lovely to meet you both! And I can confirm that Kaelah's school uniform was actually more realistic looking than the rest of us seasoned school players :)

Delighted to hear your trip went so well, come back soon!

catherine said...

As an aside, having witnessed the conversation between Ludwig and the lady who asked him if he was Ludwig from Rohrstock, I'd add that her response wasn't merely one of surprise, but also of admiration, as she commented that she was meeting spanking royalty ;) Which is pretty impressive, considering that the lady in question is also an eminent spanko blogger!

But even for a non-blogging, non-CP video-watching member of the private role playing crowd, it was a pleasure to meet both of you and put faces to names. You both certainly looked the party (Kaelah perhaps a little more demure than some other schoolgirls I could mention!) - and yes, wasn't it a great party!

cath x

Kaelah said...

It really was a great trip and it was lovely to meet all you nice people! Unfortunately, due to a burnout I’ve been and still am suffering from, we had to slash our level of activity. I just hope it wasn’t too obvious that I wasn’t in the best constitution – I’m quite sure that it reduced my ability for social interaction and I hope no one got the impression that I didn’t like them…

@ Anna:
You’re absolutely right, I also think that taking things with some humour is better than taking them too serious!

@ jony:
I’ll take a picture and post it. Just give me a few days… :-)

@ EmmaJane and catherine:
It was great to meet you and I hope it wasn’t the last time we met!

Abel1234 said...

Thanks for your kind words about our site.

I was more excited than either of you can imagine when I heard that you were able to come to the party. And I know that Hsron was just blown away by the fact that you came over for it.

It was lovely to see you both - and equally lovely to know that, as a result, young Kaelah had her first taste of certain implements!

Best wishes to you both...


Ludwig said...

@ jony: Kaelah took some photos of herself in school uniform when we were emailing back and forth with Abel, but they were done quite quickly and never intended for posting. However, as she wrote, she'll be happy to take some proper ones for you and put them on the blog.

@ Morgrim: G'day mate! You may have missed Love Our Lurkers day, but I'm always happy about (interesting) reader comments, regardless of the occasion and of whether or not someone has commented before.

I've been to Australia and I enjoyed it a lot. But I can't imagine living anywhere else than in Europe, for the reason you cited - I just like the cultural variety and all the hilariously small countries we have here.

@ catherine: "Spanking royalty"... Well, I did name myself after Ludwig II. of Bavaria, didn't I? But seriously, I don't think of myself as in any way exalted. I'm a reasonably good writer, a very stubborn man in the pursuit of what I want to do, and I was lucky enough to meet the right people along the way. That's all!

@ EmmaJane, catherine, Abel: It was lovely to meet all of you. Thanks again, Abel, for inviting us.

Eliane said...

A little late, but it was lovely to meet you both, and I was full of admiration of Kaelah for a)her very impressive uniform, and b) coming to another country for a party full of people she'd never met, in a scene she's only been in for a very short time, where the language being spoken was not her native tongue and *not* doing what I would have been doing in the same situation, which probably would have been hiding under the stairs crying!

Ludwig said...

@ Eliane: Good to see you here! As I said to the others, it was lovely to meet you all. Kaelah *was* a bit nervous in the beginning, but she had a good time, too. Thanks for making us both feel so welcome.

Kaelah said...

@ Eliane:
I can understand your thoughts very well, believe me, I really WAS nervous. I just didn’t follow my impulse to hide under the stairs. And, BTW, I think there wasn’t any space under the stairs where I could have hidden, was there? ;-)

@ Ludwig:
Nice of you to mention my nervousness. I guess, I was about as nervous as … ahem … YOU?! :-)

Abel1234 said...

@Kaelah - under the stairs? We could have locked you in the cellar if you'd have liked ;-)

Kaelah said...

@ Abel:
Thanks for taking such good care of my well-being! Wait a moment – staying in the cellar would have meant no tasty food from the kitchen, right? So, thanks for your kind offer but, being the brave little girl that I am, I prefer to overcome my fears and stay upstairs! ;-)

Pandora Blake said...

It was great to see you. Warm regards and hugs to both of you - I hope it's not too long until the next time :)