Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kaelah's Corner (Jan 2010):
'Til The Bitter End

(The day after. Yes, that's my blood on the cane!)

Remember when I wrote in my Anderswelt post that I'm not into severe spankings?! Well, that hasn't changed. But I also wrote that I might try a severe scene once in order to overcome the problems I have with the edgy spanking movies produced by some of the Eastern European producers and as a special present for Ludwig. It has finally happened now and as you can easily guess I have survived.

The scene was the main part of a bigger, more complex project I set up under the working title "Das Experiment" ("the experiment"). I got a 50 strokes caning from Ludwig that was as severe as the hardest caning he had ever dished out (as a warden in the Mood Pictures film Inmates). I had arranged the setting and the whipping bench we used for the caning. There was no role-play involved, no characters, no storyline. Just a room with a whipping bench, Ludwig, me and the cane. The caning was designed to be taken fully naked and I was supposed to count the strokes. Both of us could stop the caning any time we wanted or considered it to be necessary. In contrast to the movie scenes, I wasn't tied down because I wanted to show also optically that taking the caning was a free choice of mine. And there was another difference to the caning Ludwig did as a part of his video shoot: the strokes were delivered in two sets which consisted of 25 strokes each, separated by a short break that was part of the experiment design.

I'm going to give you a detailed report on the experiment in the June and July edition of Kaelah's corner. There are three reasons for the delay. First of all, I already have different topics for the editions from February to May. Secondly, since I'm not into such severe scenes, I made myself very vulnerable by trying this and I need time to think about it all, before I feel ready to give you the full story. And, last but not least, it will simply take some time and effort to go through all the material we've produced throughout the experiment.

But I would like to tell you about the caning itself today. And I would like to ask you some questions that occurred afterwards.

Doing such a hard scene raised a lot of fears on my part. For instance, I was afraid of having to quit, of showing very strong reactions that I don't find sexy, of ending up with marks I found too heavy or of disappointing Ludwig in some way. Actually, there were just very few positive pictures in my mind. Only in case I would be able to go through the whole caning and in case I could do it in a manner I found "appropriate", then I might be able to connect the scene to my heroine-fantasies. I knew from previous experiences with less hard canings that this scenario wasn't very likely and that there was a high chance that I would find the whole scene rather unerotic. I just hoped that the experience wouldn't be too bad and that the outcome would outweigh the costs.

Unfortunately, I was in a rather suboptimal mental and physical state on the day the caning was due to happen. Ludwig had always told me that I didn't have to do it, in case I wasn't sure whether it might do me harm. And he asked me again that day whether I really wanted to do it. Although I was in a rather bad mood and the negative pictures dominated my thoughts, I didn't want to back out. Not trying it would have been even worse than the negative experiences I could possibly make during the scene.

So, I finally climbed on the whipping bench and told Ludwig I was as ready as I would ever be. But I already felt shaky, sick and a bit dizzy before even a single stroke had fallen. Today, I can proudly state that, despite my negative mindset, I managed to take the full number of strokes! And I'm not completely unhappy with my reactions, either. Looking back, I can even say that I find the scene partially erotic (it surely didn't feel erotic during the caning!). But the pain exceeded my tolerance level by more than just a few per cent. In combination with my fears and negative mindset this led to rather strong reactions I wasn't prepared for. They weren't as strong as I had feared, but stronger than I had hoped for and different from what I had expected. So, looking back, my feelings towards the scene remain partly negative and I'm not completely happy with it.

I talked to Ludwig about it and we raised some interesting questions. First of all, Ludwig fortunately didn't find the part that went "wrong" from my point of view unerotic. While he prefers restrained and controlled reactions, the most important thing for him is that the reactions are genuine. And my reactions obviously weren't so much over the top that he would find them annoying. I told Ludwig that I didn't feel brave enough because I didn't really know how to deal with the pain which made me feel very helpless and somehow lost. Ludwig is into brave girls and I was afraid that he would also be of the opinion that I wasn't brave enough.

Instead, Ludwig raised the question whether it is braver to do such a scene when one can take it easily and without struggling, or going through it until the bitter end despite not knowing how to deal with it and struggling a lot? Thinking about it, I have to agree with his thoughts. Interestingly, in case someone else would have made and told me about the scene, I wouldn't have interpreted the reactions as a sign of weakness. But in my own play, not knowing how to deal with the pain, struggling a lot and showing stronger reactions doesn't fit to my heroine-fantasies.

So, the question is: What is bravery??? As you might already have realised, I haven't written how the scene unfolded exactly. Instead, I have written down five possible descriptions of the scene. They all contain reactions / events I would have been unhappy with. Based on the descriptions I would like to hear some suggestions and thoughts on the topic of bravery from you. For all the tops, who are into brave bottoms: How much would the five different scenarios attract or annoy you? How do you define bravery? Which reactions do you find particularly interesting / sexy / annoying? Comments of all those who aren’t living out their kink but watch kinky films are very welcome, too! And to the bottoms who like the thought of being brave: Would some of the events described make you feel like a wimp? What makes you feel brave? Do you judge your own scenes differently than those of others?

Here are the five possible descriptions of the scene:

Story A:

When the caning started, the pain of the first strokes already drew my breath away. With each stroke, I had less breath to count out loud. I felt more and more dizzy, which increased the panic inside me, but I didn’t want to quit. I hoped that I would somehow make it through the first 25 strokes. Fortunately, Ludwig was more reasonable than me. He stopped the caning after 17 strokes because he realised the state I was in. Ludwig told me to take deep breaths and brought me something to drink. I was completely frustrated. I didn’t even make it through the first 25 strokes! Ludwig tried to calm me down. After a few minutes of rest I felt less shaky, but I was still sad. Nearly fainting surely wasn’t a sexy reaction!

Despite Ludwig's suggestion to stop the scene, I was adamant that I wanted to continue. Ludwig told me to focus on my breathing and we finished the first set of strokes with some louder reactions but less dizziness on my behalf. After another short break, we started with the second set of strokes. At first it went quite well. But then the strokes were getting more severe and I started gasping and moaning. It was getting harder and harder to control my reactions. Several times Ludwig reminded me to breathe. Then it happened: I lost my count. Since we didn’t do any role-play, Ludwig simply gave me the right number (37) when I asked him. Angrily, I focused on the rest of the fight and managed to go through the last strokes with some suppressed moaning and some wincing but no stronger reactions otherwise.

Still, I was a bit frustrated about the unplanned break during the first half and having lost count during the second half. But Ludwig told me that he liked my otherwise suppressed reactions (given the severity of the caning). And of course, he was quite happy about my little counting problem, too. After all, I can’t make fun of his miscounting in the Comeuppance clip any more…

Story B:

When the caning started, the first strokes already burned like fire. I found myself gasping, moaning and cursing even at the very first strokes. This was definitely beyond my normal limits. Again, the thought about possible severe marks and bloody welts occurred in my mind. I started to panic which resulted in louder moans, more gasping and a feeling of dizziness. Ludwig asked me if I wanted to quit. I refused and managed to go through the first set of strokes.

During the break I tried to deal with the shock about the amount of pain and the fears about going too far. Then I made a mistake – I caught a glimpse of the marks on my bottom, dark red welts with some bloody spots. The bad feeling of playing beyond my limits became more intense. But I didn't say a word. My stomach clenched when we started the second part. I managed to go through the first strokes with some moans and gasping. But when Ludwig increased the force after stroke number 35 the fears broke lose. After stroke number 38 a started crying, and the moaning and crying became heavier after each stroke. I didn’t quit, but when the caning was over I had a tear-stained face und was shaking heavily. Breaking is definitely a reaction I don’t find attractive at all! Ludwig soothed me and calmed me down. After I had told him what had happened, he also managed to reassure me that the marks weren't too heavy and would be healed soon.

However, I was frustrated about the crying, knowing that Ludwig is into restrained reactions and those weren’t restrained at all! But Ludwig told me that he also loves a good build-up of a CP scene and that the increasing intensity of my reactions beautifully matched the increasing severity of the caning. And he was proud that despite of my fears and the crying I didn’t quit. Which, as he said, means that I wasn’t really broken…

Story C:

I’m not into cold canings and I hate the kind of pain the cane produces. Ludwig’s first strokes weren’t full force, but already very hard. After a few strokes I started to panic. I managed to keep my position for some more strokes, but after 11 strokes I started flinching. Something I normally don’t do! I tried not to move, but my reflexes were stronger than my mental control. Ludwig had more and more problems to hit the right spot. At stroke number 23 ,I even kicked my leg and nearly got my foot hit. Ludwig stopped for a moment and told me to keep still. “I really try!” I replied, nearly crying out of frustration. I managed to finish the first set without wriggling too much.

During the break, Ludwig told me that he had reduced the force of the strokes because he was afraid to injure me. He didn't want to go on with the second part, because from his point of view it was too much for me. That frustrated me even more. I definitely didn't want to quit, and I felt strong enough to go on with part two. So, I suggested tying me down for my own safety. At first, Ludwig was against it, because for him restraints are just a decorative element. But I insisted on trying it, and knowing how important the scene was for me, Ludwig finally agreed. I told him not to hold back in part two. The caning went much better being tied down. I struggled against my restraints and during the last ten full force strokes I also got louder. But I managed to go through it without crying or yelling.

Still, I was frustrated that I hadn’t managed to hold still and needed the restraints. Ludwig on the other hand was very relieved that it obviously was the right decision to go with part two. And he liked the mixture of visible struggling and rather suppressed vocal reactions…

Story D:

During the first strokes I realized that I had no plan how to deal with the pain. I managed to control my upcoming panic for a short time, but after stroke number five I suddenly started to hyperventilate. I frantically tried to control my breath (not knowing that I would have had to reduce the amount of oxygen), but it didn’t work. Panting like a dachshund after a long sprint definitely wasn’t sexy! Even when Ludwig stopped a few seconds after stroke number ten, caressed me and told me to breath calmly, I didn’t manage to calm down. Since I somehow still managed to count the strokes in a quite clear voice, Ludwig decided to go on. But I felt more and more dizzy, my mouth went try and then suddenly my hands and feet started going numb. That didn’t help to reduce my panic. But I made it through the first part of the caning without fainting. By the end, my forearms were numb, too, and my hands were cramped. I hang limb over the whipping bench breathing like mad, trying to regain my composure and struggling with the feeling of passing out any time soon.

Ludwig looked after me and brought me something to drink. I stood up and it took a while until the numbness in my hands and feet and the dizziness were gone. I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to go through the second part without another break. But quitting wasn’t an option. So, despite of my fears, I finally climbed on the whipping bench again. Ludwig asked me (twice!) whether I really wanted to go on and I said yes. This time, I wanted to keep my composure. At least for a few strokes. I focused on my breathing and managed to remain calm besides some suppressed moaning, hissing and wincing. After stroke number 35 Ludwig increased the force again and it became harder to deal with the pain. I fought with every new stroke. Realising that this time I had a chance to win the battle, I grew stronger and stronger. The last ten strokes were full force, but I wasn’t willing to lose control again. And then it was all over and I felt relieved that the second part went much better than the first part of the caning.

However, the first part was a rather bad experience for me and to my mind also very unsexy! But Ludwig told me that he liked the combination of the two different reactions very much. And from his point of view, I already had been brave during part one and very brave during the second part…

Story E:

After only the second stroke I was shocked about the wave of pain surging through my body. I howled out in pain and clawed my hands into the whipping bench. During the next strokes I frantically tried to retrieve my composure and to become more quiet. At the same time, I tried to keep my position, count the strokes and not to start crying. Of course I wasn’t able to focus on all these tasks at once, so I panicked even more and my reactions got louder and louder. After stroke number 15 I was completely exhausted and despaired and told Ludwig to stop. He stopped immediately and tried to soothe me.

I felt like a wimp and was totally frustrated. It took a while until Ludwig managed to calm me down. He reassured me that my vocal reactions didn’t annoy him and that they were pretty normal given the severity of the caning and not as loud as I thought. He told me to let go instead of suppressing the screaming. After a few minutes I felt ready to start again, and we finished the first set of strokes, again with some quite loud screams and howls on my behalf. During the break I just hoped that I would manage to remain a bit more controlled in part two. And it worked - at least for the first ten strokes. Then Ludwig started increasing the force from hard to almost full force and my screaming got louder again. During the last eight strokes I nearly screamed from the top of my lungs. Then it suddenly was over. I felt quite dizzy and again very exhausted. Now I knew what Ludwig meant when he said that much louder reactions were possible. At least I hadn’t started crying.

Still, I was very frustrated about the screaming and feeling so helpless because I couldn’t control it. But Ludwig told me that he liked how my reactions reflected the increasing force of the strokes. Had I screamed my head off during the whole caning it might have annoyed him, but the decreasing loss of control and composure going along with the increasing intensity of the caning and distress was something he found quite attractive…

So, these are five possible descriptions of my caning. I wouldn’t have predicted what really happened. But as you might already have guessed, on of the five descriptions tells you the real story. If you like, you can make a guess which one is true! I’ll post the correct answer in about two weeks.

Oh, one last question: We’ve shot a few pictures of the marks right after the scene. What is your opinion: Shall I post one of the pictures in two weeks, when I’m going go solve the little riddle, or shall I wait until the detailed account on the experiment in June and July? Any suggestions?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Second Blogiversary

Two years ago, on the 25th of January 2008, I launched this blog. Today is my second blogiversary.

In retrospect, it feels as if the second year passed even quicker than the first one did. It's hard to believe that Rohrstock-Palast, this oddly named creation of mine, has been around that long. But it has - the dates don't lie. So first off, a thank you to all of you who left comments over the past year or corresponded with me by email. You are the ones who made this ride as inspiring and entertaining as it was, and I hope that you will continue to do so.

On my first blogiversary, I noted how intriguing it is to see a vision take shape - to compare my original plans for the blog with how it turned out. This is even more true after the second year. Two things happened in 2009 that really stand out, both featuring prominently in my writing here. One, I did my first professional spanking videos, "Inmates" with Mood Pictures and "Garden Party" with Lupus Pictures. I'm proud of both of them and of how they differ - a gritty, claustrophobic "women in prison" pseudo-documentary versus a light-hearted, visually sumptuous comedy. Topping in a professional, full-length spanking film was a lifelong dream of mine and the experiences are now immortalised in the Mood behind-the-scenes report (four parts) and the Lupus BTS report (three parts), which in my opinion contain some of the best writing I've ever done.

The other, and even more significant event of last year was that I found my mate Kaelah (actually, it is more accurate to say that she found me). That one came totally out of the blue - having someone to share my life with was another lifelong dream, but one I had kind of given up on already. Which, one could argue, was a prerequisite for its fulfilment. That as it may be, meeting Kaelah was as beautiful and fortunate as it was unforseen, and it had a profound impact not just on my life in general, but on the blog as well. I can't say enough good things about her. The story of how we met is recorded in Where No Man Has Spanked Before, which also ranks among my best pieces of writing. Kaelah has her own monthly column on the blog now, called Kaelah's Corner and received very favourably by the readers. Currently, we are working on the story about our first spanking play - two parts published here and here, the third one to follow shortly.

So here I am, suddenly writing one of those "kinky couples" blogs. Quite a change. I can only wonder what is in store for me in my third year of blogging. You'll notice that none of my predictions from one year ago came true - on the first blogiversary, I mentioned that I wanted to do more interviews, more book reviews and more philosophical ramblings. Well, I conducted Niki Flynn's last interview in September, which turned out great. But apart from that, no additions to any of these three categories. All of them take vastly more time than the average post, time that I usually didn't have during the rollercoaster ride that was 2009. When I did, I was busy catching up with more immediate topics.

So, I'm reluctant to speculate too much about the blog's future. I have all sorts of plans, but they will undoubtedly materialise in somewhat different forms and in a somewhat different order than what I envision today. First off, Kaelah and I will post the final part of our "first spanking play" trilogy - it should have been out weeks ago, but 2010 didn't start smoothly for me, hence the delay. Then, in February and March, I'm going to overhaul some of the blog's features, as I announced it here. Beyond that, we will see! You will hear more about Kaelah and me, that is for sure. You will read the usual movie reviews and website reviews. There might be more movie shoots, and who knows, there might even be a long-overdue return to my philosophical ramblings!

In rock music, they say that it is a band's third album that "makes it or breaks it" .The first album is your debut, usually well-received. The second one is a sophomore effort that builds on the first. But it's the third album that really, really counts. Does the same apply to spanking blogs? I'll approach my third year as if it did.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Movie Review: Martial Law

Mood Pictures (released in 2004)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Court martial and CP for sadistic female sergeant

Victim Appeal:
After Rival Girls, this is the second (and last) Mood Pictures production starring bleach blonde vixen Kate Lust. Kate was (perhaps still is?) a small-time pornstar and webcam model from Budapest. It's a pity that she only ever did two spanking films. Like most Mood models, she was a mere "hired hand" (not really kinky), but she had a little bit of talent as an actress and brought some personality to her roles. There was a certain something about Kate Lust, an appealing nastiness, for lack of a better term, that simply made you want to spank her severely. I like the way she snarls when she plays the stereotypical "evil girl" character.

The other spankee in the video is Adrien Dark, a black-haired model who was apparently an acquaintance of Kate and got taken along to the shoot (at least that is what Kate implies in her behind-the-scenes interview). Hey, what are friends for?

Gratuitous Sadism:
As you can guess from the title, the film has a military setting. Actually, it must be some kind of war, because there is talk about "enemy soldiers". A cold war? A hot war? A guerrilla war? It is never specified who is fighting whom. All we know is that the female soldiers wear rather oversized uniforms and nobody seems to have any rank insignia. But I don't want to nitpick. Seriously, who cares what kind of war it is? My inner adolescent geek boy just loves the sight of babes in combat gear. It looks cool, no further justification needed.

Kate Lust plays a sergeant facing court martial because she tortured a captured enemy soldier, and it turned out that the captured soldier was actually an agent working for her own side (see, the plot is just as silly as the costumes...). She is brought before a tribunal and we see the torture in a flashback scene, which naturally involves the prisoner (Adrien Dark) getting caned by Kate. 25 strokes are given while the victim, with her camouflage trousers pulled down and her hands tied behind her back, is kneeling on a chair. It's a very light scene by Mood Pictures standards, with barely any marks appearing. Adrien's reactions are pretty strong, though, she cries and sobs audibly.

Of course, the sergeant is sentenced to corporal punishment for her transgression. The tribunal decides to make an example of her - she will receive 100 cane strokes, tied up, fully naked (yum!). Two things are noteworthy about the ensuing scene: first, the contraption they used to restrain the spankee is one of coolest devices Mood have ever come up with. It looks somewhat shoddy, but it makes for a highly sexy caning position, with the girl kneeling on a platform, bending forward, her hands tied above her head, her back forming a delicious line and her arse sticking out.

Secondly, the domme playing the female "CP Executioner" is pretty good. She goes by the name Mercedes Mercy and this, to my knowledge, is her only appearance with Mood Pictures. The lady has presence and the right looks for the role: thirty-something, pretty, but not too pretty. I like how she swaggers around the room. Moreover, she knows how to use a cane. While Mercedes places a few too many strokes on the back of Kate's legs for my taste, she isn't as woefully and dangerously inaccurate as some of the dommes Mood employed in later years. She has a good rhythm and makes the long scene work. The caning is harder than Adrien's, but not over the top.

Best Reactions:
I liked Kate Lust's punishment the most, even though I don't usually care for 100 stroke canings. I just find them too long and drawn-out to "hold together" as a filmed scene, and once you are past 50 or 60 strokes, you merely prolong the action instead of adding to it qualitatively. It gets boring. In this case, however, the suspense of the scene does hold together because they divide it into several segments - after every 25 strokes, a medical doctor (played by Betty Shy, in a ridiculously short white coat) performs checkups on the spankee. It also helps that Mercedes Mercy varies the intensity of the strokes somewhat, instead of hitting full force all the time.

Kate's reactions are enjoyable throughout. She throws her head back after every stroke, grimaces in pain and counts the numbers between gasps and sobs of anguish. Like the beating itself, the reactions are strong, but not extreme. The one thing I didn't like about the scene was the fact that, after stroke number 73, Kate fell unconscious and had to be reawakened by the doctor - the script makes a lot of noise about how soldiers getting caned "usually faint" at some stage. Obviously, the fainting episode was scripted, and I just thought it was unnecessary - silly sensationalism that contributes nothing to the scene and instead detracts from it (as a sidenote, Kate ends up getting a total of 102 cane strokes, because some are repeated after she faints).

Best Line:
Even by spanking porn standards, the dialogue in this one is excruciatingly lame. Take the following exchange. CP executioner: "The instrument has been set up for the caning." Sergeant: "Oh my God, am I gonna be tied up?" Or how about this line from the sergeant, while she defends herself in front of the tribunal: "I didn't think she was a spy! She looked so innocent!"

The least worst line comes during the sergeant's punishment, which is being watched by the tribunal. One of the officers complains that the caning is too harsh. His superior snaps at him: "Do you want me to demote you? We're not the Salvation Army!" At least that was mildly entertaining.

Nice Psychological Touch:
Connoisseurs will notice that the film follows the same arc as "Rival Girls". First, Kate Lust is cruel towards another girl, who gets thrashed as a result. In the second act, justice is done and Kate gets thrashed herself. I like how Mood play out the role reversal in both films. In "Rival Girls", the other girl is caned by a male top (the schoolteacher) after Kate gets her in trouble. When the intrigue is discovered, the girl is allowed to cane Kate in revenge. In "Martial Law", Kate tortures the spy, and when she gets her punishment later on, the spy is sitting on the tribunal and watching it. In each case, we are not dealing with a literal role reversal (the girls don't literally switch places to spank each other), but with a more indirect and, in my view, much sexier form.

How Good Is It Really?
I retain a certain fondness for these early Mood Pictures titles and "Martial Law" is no exception. Back then, Pedro and Pablo made much smaller and more amateurish films - shorter running time, fewer spankees, smaller cast overall, more basic locations and props. However, the films had a freshness and an individual charm to them that gradually got lost over the years - which is perhaps inevitable when you are churning out one video after another. In any case, it's nice to take a look back at the old days once in a while.

In terms of story, "Martial Law" is just another spanking film about military discipline, but it executes that scenario well. Kate Lust is great to watch, Mercedes Mercy also does a pretty good job as the CP executioner. Sadly, neither of them returned for another production. The main caning scene, while not exactly light, is more moderate than Mood's later work. Consequentially, it should appeal to middle-of-the-road viewers who want to see nice and proper beatings, but are put off by blood or graphic welts. In addition to the main feature, the DVD includes a behind-the-scenes segment and a four minute interview with Kate Lust, both of which are fairly interesting.

What You Learned:
Debbie Ulan Ator, the Asian girl with the hilarious model name, plays the sergeant's aide in the first caning scene (she also appears as a prison guard in Guilty Wives). Did you know that Ulan Bator is the capital city of Mongolia? I did, but what I didn't know is that the name translates to "red hero" in English. I just looked that up. Isn't it amazing what you can learn from spanking films?