Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kaelah's Corner (Jun 2010):
The First Cut Is The Deepest

For most of my lifetime, my sexual fantasies consisted almost exclusively of spanking scenarios. As some of you already know from my post Abenteuerland, the greater part of them were M/m and didn't involve any vanilla sexual activities. Although vanilla sex never played an important role in my imagination, that doesn't mean it had any negative connotation. Quite the contrary, I assumed in a good, happy partnership the classical sexual act had to be the most intimate and wonderful "cherry on the cake" so to speak. But since I didn't have a partner of that kind and since vanilla sex wasn't a part of my sexual fantasies otherwise, it just didn't play any practical role in my life.

When I became Ludwig's mate I was glad to find out that he had a similar point of view. While most of his erotic fantasies were centered around spanking, he considered vanilla sex to be a very special and beautiful part of an intimate relationship. I told him that I would need time before I would feel ready for that, because obviously I didn't have any experience in sexual intimacy whatsoever. Ludwig didn't hurry me and we took it slowly. I have to admit that the male anatomy hadn't been an important point of interest or a great turn-on for me, either. But with Ludwig it all came very naturally. Today I'm of the opinion that all those "things" get interesting if only they belong to the right guy... :-)

It didn't take too long until I felt ready for the final step. I told Ludwig about it and about my idea of embedding that very special experience into a bigger scenario involving a beautiful place where it should happen and a spanking, of course. And so I wrote the story about the Castle of the Final Decision. A friend showed me a wonderful ruin of an old castle and I told Ludwig that I had found exactly the place I was looking for. Ludwig warned me that having sex for the first time and outdoor at a public place might be a bit too much. But then the idea and the whole scenario sounded somehow intriguing. So, we finally agreed to start our scenario at the castle and to see where it led us.

Of course there were some preparations to do. At first I got myself an outfit for the scene. Then we went to a SM store and bought a flogger fitting for the scenario. That was my first mistake. To all bottoms: When you go to an SM store (in this case one that is visited mostly by male gays, and those guys seem to be tough) and you see a flogger that looks really nasty somehow, DON'T let your top buy it! :-) Anyway, we also planned a complete sightseeing-tour for that special day and we were lucky with the weather. So we spent some wonderful hours in a park and an old city, walking, chatting and drinking tea in a Chinese tea house. The only problem was that I had a cold and wasn't really fit. Well, thinking that wouldn't be a problem at all was my second mistake!

In the evening we went to the castle, exploring the place as long as there was still some daylight. We couldn't have started our scene at that time, though, because the place was still crowded. So we waited until after sunset and I finally got dressed. Unfortunately, it became quite cold and the sky was very cloudy now, too. But nonetheless we started our little scene and I didn't think very much of the low temperature, which was my third mistake.

Suddenly I found myself in the character of an adept witch facing her final test. The king started by asking the aspirant who had made her way to his castle in order become a fully fledged guardian witch about her motivation and her background. At first I had some difficulties to get into character, but then I started telling him about my parents, a dark wizard and a witch belonging to a white circle. About their impractical relationship that ended in a disaster. How all of that led me to the feeling that I never wanted to belong to one of the dichotomic sides of magical power and to the aim to become a grey witch, fighting for a global mission instead of starting unhappy personal relationships. The king assured me that intimate relationships didn't necessarily have to end in a disaster and that they could be something very wonderful indeed. He told me that he would give me proof after my initiation was over.

But first I had to pass the final test. The king asked me about the Five Golden Rules of the grey coven and about the attitude and abilities a guardian witch needed to have. Then he showed me the flogger and asked me whether I had seen something like that before. He was quite suprised when I said yes. I told him the story about the very strong black adept witch who was a danger for the balance of power. So the circle of the senior guardian witches had decided that she had to be averted of her powers as soon as she had ended her apprenticeship. That's why a few of us had hidden in the woods when said witch underwent her final test there. And as a part of her test the witch had been abandoned to a hard flogging. We hadn't been able to see everything from our hiding place, but I had caught a glimpse of the flogger and we had heard her screams of agony echoing through the woods.

The king informed me that the final test of the grey coven indeed was a mixture of the final tests of the white and the black covens. It included a talk about motivations and ethics as well as a flogging which in this case was supposed to show whether the aspirant could master that challenge with the attitude a guardian witch was supposed to have. By that point I had successfully finished part one and the second part was now to begin.

The king guided me to a little niche where I could bend over and told me to put up my skirt and lower my panties. I obeyed and he started flogging me. And that damn flogger hurt like hell! I desperately struggeled to take the flogging obediently and to keep my inner and outer balance. At one point the king stopped and told me that we were already nearly finished. Then he announced I had twenty more strokes to go! At that moment I was shortly before freaking out because quite frankly I didn't know how I could take even one more single stroke.

But instead of starting to panick I suddenly thought: Ludwig must have realised through my reactions how much I'm struggling. If he thinks I can take twenty more lashes he's propably right. And so I somehow managed to go through the last twenty strokes before Ludwig (it was much more him and me than the king and the witch at that moment) embraced me in his arms and I started to cry.
It was the first time I cried after a spanking and I felt like a wimp because I didn't understand why I had such problems taking the flogging in a manner I found appropriate for my character.

Of course today I know three things: First of all, this special flogger doesn't leave a lot of marks but really produces a high amount of pain when used with force. Secondly, having a bad cold decreases the pain threshold a lot. And third, being spanked outside in the cold and freezing doesn't make it any better... :-)

Ludwig calmed me down and reassured me that I was very brave in his eyes and had taken the flogging very well.
In the meantime it had started to rain and we decided to drive home for the last and main part of our scenario. Given the fact that Ludwig is an INFJ and I am an INTJ I think that showed a lot of flexibility after all the planning! :-) Honestly, although I was sad that we had to interrupt the scene and couldn't use the beautiful scenery of the castle, experiencing my first time lying in wet grass with a bad cold wasn't what I had dreamed of, either.

On our way home Ludwig and I talked about the scene and about what went well and what didn't. We both aren't regular role players and so the scenario had been a challenge for both of us. But all in all it went well and it had been a very wonderful day so far.

When we arrived at home it was already after 12 pm and we were both very tired. The first thing I did was to take a look in the mirror, followed by being frustrated again because the flogger hadn't even left a lot of marks proving that the spanking really had been painful. Again Ludwig assured me that the severity of the marks wasn't necessarily proportional to the pain caused by a spanking and that the marking depended very much on the implement. I calmed down again and Ludwig laid me on the bed.

He was very careful but to my surprise (yes I know, I was just tired, exhausted and having a bad cold) it hurt a lot! Even after some minutes the pain didn't become much more bearable. I had already forgotten about this, but when I prepared this post Ludwig reminded me that I asked him at one point whether I could have the flogger again instead...

I'm very thankful today that Ludwig was as careful and slow as he was, but didn't stop completely. Because after what seemed like eternity it started getting better. By the end, the pain wasn't completely gone but had become much less. Totally exhausted and tired Ludwig and I fell asleep side by side.
The next morning I was a bit sad because I hadn't been able to enjoy our first vanilla sex as much as I hoped. I was afraid that this meant I didn't love Ludwig enough or that I would never be able to really enjoy that kind of sexual activity.

But nonetheless I somehow wanted to try it again that day. It still hurt in the beginning, but then I was able to relax and it started feeling good and I enjoyed being that close together with my partner Ludwig, the way I always hoped vanilla sex would be! And from that day on it has become better and better. Today my sexual fantasies definitely include classical sex (well, mixed up with spanking and other forms of BDSM, of course)! And although the first time didn't exactly turn out the way it was planned, I'm very happy about that wonderful day Ludwig and I shared and about the fact that I had waited with that special experience until I found him. And who cares about whether a first time is perfect when the next hundreds of times are just getting better and better...?!

Of course I would love to hear your opinion on this topic. Does vanilla sex play any role in your life? What did you experience first, spanking or vanilla sex? How did you like both experiences? And has it changed over time or with different partner? If you like you are very welcome to share your thoughts in the comment section.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Waving Flag

I have to admit that although I’m German I’m not a huge football fan. But the World Cup is definitely the exception from the rule – I love watching the matches of the German team either with friends at home or at a public viewing event. And not only because of all the muscular guys in shorts. I also follow the match (yes … really … I swear!). I guess watching football provides great entertainment, especially for INTJs.

You can sit in front of the TV eating junk food and watch others work hard, while constantly making smart-ass remarks like “Run faster!”, “Stop crying!” and “They should play more vertically, not horizontally!” (I’m talking about the team strategy, not about the position of the individual players). And all of that well knowing that one wouldn’t even be able to shoot a goal from a distance of five metres, without any keeper being involved… But at least I know the theoretical stuff. And before one of you guys asks, yes, I can explain the offside law! The only thing I haven’t found out, yet, is how many cane strokes the players get after the match for a yellow and for a red card?!

On Sunday, I will definitely watch the game against England and keep my fingers crossed for our team. And I’m planning to force Ludwig to come with me. Quite frankly, I think we’ve got a good chance to win the match. They know that it’s either winning of flying back home after the match. The German team is known for only being good when it really counts, in Germany we call then a “tournament team”. No one would bet on them winning any preparatory or friendly match!

Well, except for one person… I guess Ludwig was still high from waving flags over poor Niki Flynn's bottom when he came up with that idea. But since Niki is retired now, he hasn’t got any obligation to pay his dues any more. Although Ludwig played with the thought of taking the strokes for his lost bet nonetheless (as he says, betting debts are debts of honour). Of course, being the selfless person that I am, I spontaneously offered to help him to close that chapter. But Ludwig refused, telling me that, since the bet was about England vs. Germany, Niki would have to be substituted by someone who a) is an English native speaker, and b) lives in England. So I listed up the names of several British tops who would surely be glad to take Niki’s place. For some reason Ludwig didn’t like my new suggestions, either. I didn’t really get his point, but he muttered something about not wanting to be spanked by a guy…

Well, and then there was the question whether anyone would be interested in that clip at all, given the long time that has passed. Hmm, I’m afraid it seems like we won’t ever get to see the aftermath of Niki’s and Ludwig’s football bet. There simply won’t be any substitute for Niki whom Ludwig would accept. Damn it, I even would have offered myself as a fair and impartial moderator and referee.

Had Ludwig already been my mate back in 2008, he wouldn’t have lost that bet, anyway. Because I would have told him that one doesn’t only have to bet on the right team, you also have to do it at the right time. And I’m sure this Sunday is the right time for bets on Germany. Enjoy the game, everyone!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tales From The Twilight World

Once upon a time there lived in the forests of the kingdom of King Ka-Ter a coven of witches whose members had commited themselves to the practises of grey magic. In contrast to the covens adhering to white or black magic, the witches of the grey circle represented neither of the two dichotomic sides. Their duty and intention were based upon a more global mission which was to keep up the balance of power between white and black magic in the kingdom. Therefore they were also called "guardian witches".

If one of the two powers got strong enough to dominate the other side, the witches of the grey coven did everything they considered necessary to restore the balance of power. To achieve their mission they used white as well as black magic. All adept witches of the grey circle therefore had to learn to master both sides of magic in order to become fully fledged guardian witches. Although they didn't shrink away from using black magic when necessary, the guardian witches followed very strict principles and rules. Those rules were supposed to protect them from falling to the dark side as well as trying to shift the power to the light side. To fulfill their duty the witches of the grey coven always had to keep up an inner balance of their own light and dark side.

The following Five Golden Rules determined the living and acting of the guardian witches:

1. Preserving the balance of power between white and black magic is the primary mission of the grey coven. Therefore all decisions and actions have to be derived from this guiding principle and measured concerning their effect on the attempt to meet the objective mentioned above.

2. To accomplish the primary mission the course of action requiring the smallest possible amoiunt of interference on behalf of the guardian witches is the first choice. The course of action is determined by the circle of the most experienced senior witches of the coven.

3. Keeping up the balance of power in the kingdom may require actions causing individual suffering and harm. Both are supposed to be kept to a minimum level. If possible strong wizards and witches threatening the balance of power should be averted of their powers instead of being eliminated.

4. Adept witches and sorcerer's apprentices must not be attacked. Their powers can be averted only after they have completed their apprenticeship and made their final decision for one side.

5. The personal feelings and needs of all witches of the grey coven have to be put aside in order to focus completely and solely on the fulfillment of the primary mission. All witches owe unquestioning obedience to the circle of senior witches and their decisions.

King Ka-Ter was a powerful wizard. He was descended from an old dynasty of wizards who had ruled the kingdom for more than 1000 years. Being aware of the utmost importance of the balance of power between the magical factions in their kingdom, the kings had formed a bond with the grey coven several hundreds of years ago. The kings took care of the welfare and safety of the non-magical inhabitants of the kingdom, while the guardian witches were responsible for the balance of the magical powers.

The training of the adept witches was part of the duty of the circle and its senior witches. But it was the king who finally decided whether an aspirant became a fully fledged guardian witch at the end of her apprenticeship. Therefore every adept witch who had completed her training was sent alone to the ruin of the oldest castle of the kingdom one specially selected evening which had been agreed upon between the senior witches and the king beforehand. Among the adept witches because of its special function the castle was also known as the "castle of the final decision".

Nobody knew what happened during that night when an adept witch stayed at the castle with the king. Those who didn't pass the final test had to leave the kingdom immediately and those who became fully fledged guardian witches didn't talk about the events of that special night. All the adept witches knew was that the final test was supposed to show whether they had the abilities and the attitude which were required in order to fulfill their primary mission as witches of the grey coven. That included to strictly follow a given aim, obedience, self-control and keeping up the inner balance, willingness to make sacrifices and meekness.

Once during his lifetime the king would use one of those special nights for another very important decision. If an adept witch did not only meet all the requirements to become a guardian witch, but showed even more qualifications, and if the king was fond of her, he could make her his queen. From that day on she would rule the kingdom at his side being his equal mate. All kings had sooner or later choosen their mate that way. Of course the adept witch in question had to be a virgin which was true for almost all aspirants due to the strict rules of the grey coven.

King Ka-Ter was in the right age to find his mate but until the present day he hadn't made use of his option to choose his queen. Therefore every adept witch who finally went on her way to the "castle of the final decision" at the end of her apprenticeship was now doubly nervous...

(How that special night went for a certain aspirant will be the topic of the next edition of Kaelah's Corner... ;-) .)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paranoia 101

I know the question you are asking yourself. Isn't paranoia a strange trait in a guy who writes about his most intimate erotic fantasies on the internet and even shows his face in spanking videos? I suppose you have a point. But you see, first off, I never claimed that there are no contradictions in what I do. More on that soon. Kaelah's recent column Almost (Un)Real reminded me to work on a post of my own about the subject of alter egos, something I wanted to write about for some time, anyway.

Secondly, and even more importantly, whatever I reveal about myself under the pseudonym Ludwig is a risk which I consciously and willingly take. There are certain things I want to do as Ludwig, some of them entail risks, and I take these risks because they are worth taking in light of the fulfillment I get out of what I do. I still try to minimise them, though. And when it comes to unnecessary risks, the ones I don't have to take to get what I want, I try to avoid them entirely.

I am very, very careful, actually. There are those who would call me outright paranoid. Of course, I deny that I am really paranoid in a pathological sense. I do not believe that THEY are out there, trying to get me. At the same time, though, I can not be sure that THEY are not out there. I am an agnostic when it comes to being persecuted. And I have decided that it is better to be on the safe side. So, just in case, I act as if THEY were out there! I act paranoid, even though I am not. You will undoubtedly note the important difference.

The Respecting Reader Privacy post from last Sunday was only a small glimpse of my paranoia-in-practice, wrapped in an altruistic guise. Today, I give you a more in-depth look. I do this not to force anything on you, but simply to show you how much fun can be had with this persecution craze, how it can enrich your life. As a bonus, it will make you lose lots of friends, which means that you can then concentrate fully on the really important things. Like blogging, reading history books or watching re-runs of The X Files.

So, in the unlikely case that you want to emulate me, here it is. Ludwig's lesson on how to become a jibbering paranoiac, in seven easy steps (one for each day of the week):

1. Be aware that THEY are watching you. Being a successful paranoiac begins with the realisation that you are being watched, all the time, by everyone. Governments traditionally love to collect information about their citizens, in case one of them turns out to be a terrorist or a communist or whatever. After the September 11th attacks, they were finally able to get all the surveillance laws they ever dreamed of nodded through our parliaments (regardless of the fact that the September 11th terrorists could have been caught with the surveillance that was legally available back then, if only the authorities had been doing their job right).

Employers want to know more about the people they are employing. They will google your name, search your social network profiles and any forum posts you make, and who knows, the review you wrote on Amazon about "Beauty's Punishment" might also be of interest to them. Moreover, if your personal homepage shows pictures of your last birthday party, they will count the empty beer bottles to try and determine if you have an alcohol problem.

Social networking services and other internet companies will give out your private info to third parties. It does not matter what they say officially. First off, they will try to screw you over with their terms of service. Sharing of information is usually a deal which you have to opt out of, instead of you having to opt into it. And even when you do opt out of it, they will probably ignore it, anyway. There have been numerous well-documented issues lately involving Facebook and similar services. Of course, they get away with it because nine out of ten Facebook users are unaware of these practices, or don't care.

2. It takes a snoop to know a snoop. I am nowhere near as bad as Facebook. I will never, under any circumstances, give private information about people who write to me or meet me to someone else. This really is a sacred principle for me. However, what I will do, if my curiosity is aroused in any way, is have a look for myself. Just once, for the fun. So, if you send me a mail under your real name, I will probably google it. What else do you expect? I am a very curious person. If I wasn't, I would not be so bloody paranoid. And it really is interesting, some of the stuff you find out. Did you know that one of my readers has a job working for the... But let's not go there.

There is a lesson here, though: it takes one to know one. Try to put yourself in THEIR position. The more you learn to think like THEM, the more you study THEIR own methods, the better you will become at protecting yourself. So try to spy a little on people! With no malicious intent, just for your own education. You will learn quickly about all kinds of mistakes which the smart paranoiac avoids.

3. Not everyone is evil, but everyone is incompetent. It doesn't take malice on anyone's part to compromise your privacy. All it takes is a stupid little mistake. In two years of blogging, I have received more than one email that was obviously intended for someone else. Emails that might not only contain sensitive information about whoever was sending them, but also about the other kinky guy (or girl) who was really supposed to receive them. I usually get a panicky email one day later, saying oops, that one yesterday was a mistake! By that time, I have already deleted the mistaken mail. And no, I do not read them. I may be a very curious person, but even I have limits. Not everyone does, though. So check the address before you hit the "Send" button.

People who use the same email address for kinky friends, vanilla friends and work are in for an especially confusing time. Before you know it, they will forward your latest eulogy about the spanking party you went to on Saturday to their boss at the office by mistake. Okay, the boss will probably just have a chuckle and forget about it. But who knows. He might be one of THEM.

Or let's say that someone you corresponded with decides to get a new PC and sells their old one. So before he gives away the old one, he formats the hard drive - most people have at least that much decent paranoia in them. But what nobody ever realises is that, when you format a hard drive the standard way, nothing actually gets erased. File entries are deleted from the file system directory, but the files themselves remain on the drive and can be restored with any run-off-the-mill data recovery program. In order to really erase data from a hard drive, you have to use a specialised "wiping" program that over-writes the entire drive with random number patterns. I do this whenever I retire an old hard disk of mine. Then I smash it with a hammer and throw the pieces away in several different locations.

People make mistakes. That is why I do not trust them with my sensitive data. Not even the ones I trust.

4. Be greedy with your data. Now that we have established in the first three steps why paranoia is so justified, the next three will illustrate what to do. The most important rule is, be greedy with your data! Minimise the instances where you have to use real personal data on the internet. That is why I don't do online banking, for instance. And when you do not have to use real personal data, use a fake. I use a fake name and a junk email address on every stupid "Please, you need to register" form that comes my way. Actually, I have several fake names and junk mail addresses for that purpose only - the more variety, the more fun. Naturally, all the junk mail addresses were set up using fake names as well.

Now, some social network services or email providers have a clause in their terms of service which says that you are forbidden from using fake names, fake street addresses etc., because you are not allowed to "impersonate" someone else. This is a load of bollocks. You are not impersonating anyone else, you are simply making up a ficticious name for yourself. And with good reason, because companies like Facebook are notoriously sloppy with their users' privacy. Actually, I believe that our government's Federal Commissioner for Data Protection here in Germany recommended in an interview not long ago that people should use fake info on the internet whenever they can, because that is the best way to be safe. So when you sign into Facebook as Alan Smithee, you have the official blessing of the German government. For once, I agree with them.

5. Avoid connections like the plague. As much as you try to minimise the information that you leave on the internet about your real self, there will probably be something, somewhere. Maybe because your employer has it on his website, maybe because you want to purchase stuff in some online shop and have to use your real name. In that case, try to have no traceable connection of any shape or form between what is on the net about your real self and what is on the net about any alter ego of yours. For instance, if your profile on some BDSM forum says that your hobbies are "gardening, water skiing and my pet dogs", and a vanilla profile of yours somewhere else says the exact same thing, then that is pretty damn stupid, isn't it?

And for pity's sake, do not put pictures of you associated with your real name on the internet. Automated face-recognition software is getting better every year. So if you plan on being in a spanking video, it is not a good idea to have family photographs on one of your vanilla accounts somewhere. Besides, no one is interested in your stupid family photographs, anyway.

6. No protective measure is too ridiculous to implement. So far, we have only been talking about kid stuff. Even a novice paranoiac knows not to leave easy matches on Google. Advanced paranoia involves becoming a full-fledged computer nerd. Keeping up to date on protection and anonymisation software. Of course, that entails risks of its own. Do you trust the people who write the software and run the "anonymous" proxy servers? Certainly not. So the best thing might be to never go online from home at all. Visit internet cafés and wear gloves so you don't leave fingerprints on the keyboard.

And while you are getting all worried about computer security, do not forget the offline world. Material clues can be just as dangerous as digitalised ones. For instance, my girlfriend Kaelah has a bad habit which I have not been able to spank out of her yet. She likes to make printouts of blog posts or emails because she claims that she finds it easier to work on them when she is not sitting in front of the PC. Needless to say, these printouts are never just thrown into the trash when they are no longer needed. I insist that they are burned!

7. Realise that your efforts are ultimately futile. No matter what you do or how careful you are, THEY will get you in the end. THEY have tools you could not even dream of. So it is only a question of time. Enjoy your cover while it lasts. And remember, you are not being paranoid to be successful. You are being paranoid for fun.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Respecting Reader Privacy

Privacy is a very important matter for us in the spanking community. I stand by my kink and I do not regard what I do as in any way wrong, sick or immoral. Still, I write under a pseudonym and I take other measures to protect my identity, because I do not want every work colleague, neighbour, former school classmate or other casual acquaintance who for whatever reason decides to google my real name to know about my intimate fantasies or see pictures of me spanking my girlfriend. Pretty much all of us spankos feel like that - we are okay with sharing our secrets with others in our community, even strangers, but not with everyone on the planet. So we use nicknames. It is a matter of privacy, not of shame or morals.

I am as fiercely protective of the privacy of my blog readers as I am of my own. For instance, I would never, under any circumstances, give the identity of someone who writes an email to me under his real name to a third party. That would be an inexcusable breach of trust, and for me, a reader's trust is sacred. If you send me emails under your real name, you do not have to worry. They are safe with me. Still, if you plan on corresponding with many different people, I would urge you to get an address under a pseudonym. While most of us spankos are as principled on matters of privacy as I am, not everyone is.

Actually, to my considerable displeasure, I find that there are a few bloggers in our community who are outright sloppy when it comes to protecting their readers' privacy. It is obviously the result of mere thoughtlessness, not malice, but that is not much of an excuse. As spanking bloggers, writing about such an intimate and private subject, we really should know better. We have to be unfailingly sensitive about issues of reader privacy. You can be reckless with your own life and take as many risks as you want, no problem - that is your business. But when it comes to the privacy of others, we have an obligation to be as circumspect as possible.

Which brings me to the subject of today's rant. I notice that a bad habit is spreading among spanking bloggers, and it is annoying me a great deal. The bad habit is called Live Traffic Feeds: little add-ons that display the geographic location of your blog visitors and the time they visited, publicly, for everyone to see. They are provided by companies like, and more and more people are adding them to their blogs. "Hey, a feature where I can see where my visitors are from! How cool!" Bloggers who use the feeds are, apparently, unconcerned by the fact that everyone else can see the information, too, or that not all of their readers might be pleased to see their whereabouts made public like that.

When I visit a blog with such a Live Traffic Feed, I show up as "A Visitor from Munich, Bavaria" or something to that effect. Which is not a problem in my case - from the very beginning, I made it public knowledge that I am from Munich, it says so in my profile. But not all of us spankos are fine with their city of residence being known. My girlfriend Kaelah, for instance. When she became active on the blog, we jointly decided to not let the readers know what city in Germany she is from. She just feels more comfortable that way.

Now, if Kaelah were to leave a comment on a blog using a Live Traffic Feed, then anyone who looks at the blog around the same time and sees "A Visitor from So-and-so, Germany" on the list could make a pretty good guess that this is her. Kaelah was pretty disturbed by that realistation when it came to her recently - like quite a few others who surf the spanking blogosphere, she had not even noticed that such feeds are being used. Sometimes, the visitor lists go back several days, depending on how many visitors a blog has had recently. With the applet by, one of the most popular specimens, you can access a longer list by clicking the "Real-Time View" option. Like this list recording visitors to the website itself.

I just had a look at a similar Feedjit list from a spanking blog, which went back five full days, faithfully chronicling everyone who had come by during that period, the exact time of their visit, which website they came from, their browser, their operating system, and which website they went to when they left. I suppose you could make some pretty accurate connections between any recent comments on that blog and cities of residence, if you wanted to.

Sure, you can choose the option to "Remove your IP" from such a live traffic list (which I recommend you do if you have clicked the link above). And there are other methods to prevent being "seen", like disabling cookies in your browser. However, as soon as you are assigned a new IP address by your internet service provider, or clear your cache, you will be recorded again. It is annoying for you as an internet surfer to have to implement such protective measures time and again, all the more so because you should not have to implement them in the first place. Information about you should never be made publicly visible without your consent.

Indeed, companies like have a funny definition of terms like "consent" or "voluntary" when it comes to recording information about people. What it means in their diction is that you can ask to have your information removed from their lists, after it has been recorded. But of course, you are never asked whether you want information about you to be recorded in the first place, and many surfers are not even aware that this is happening. Live Traffic Feeds can be difficult to spot on blogs, as they are usually pretty far "down".

You might ask, what is the big deal? It only says "a vistor" and what city that visitor is from, no names or IP addresses are given. Nonetheless, it is a violation of your readers' privacy. However small or harmless that violation may seem, it should simply never happen. It is a matter of principle. Or at least it should be for bloggers like us. Regardless of the subject we blog about, but all the more so when it is a sensitive, intimate subject like spanking. Besides, not all cities are as big as Munich, with some 1.5 million inhabitants. There are plenty of smaller ones around the globe, and there are cases where Live Traffic Feeds even display which exact part of a city a visitor is from. So even a seemingly harmless, vague piece of information like that could turn out to be a danger to a reader's privacy under the wrong circumstances.

Yes, it may be improbable, yes, it may be unlikely. But we as spanking bloggers have a responsibility to take these issues seriously. We have to operate with worst case scenarios in mind. We have to be sensitive about what we do. The point is, it might affect someone else's life. When spankos like Kaelah or I decide to blog about what we do on the internet, show our faces, even put out videos, then all of these are risks which we consciously and voluntarily decide to take. If anything negative happens as a result, we only have ourselves to blame. What pisses me off, though, is when the risks are increased, however slightly, without our consent, simply through the thoughtlessness of others. I believe that most of you in our community feel the same way as I do about their privacy. Wouldn't you like the decision about what to share about yourself to remain, at least as much as possible, in your own hands?

I thought so. That is why Live Traffic Feeds have no place on a spanking blog (or on any other blog, for that matter). If you as a blogger are curious about how many people read your stuff or where they are from, there are applications which run in the background and record the information in a manner where only you, the blog owner, can see it (well, actually, the software company which made the application can usually see it, too, but let's not go into that - I don't want to get too strict on you). However, under no circumstances should such information ever be made public.

Here at Rohrstock-Palast, I respect the privacy of my readers. I will never use Live Traffic Feeds or similar gadgets that compromise your privacy. Moreover, I will try to limit any links I have to other blogs which use them to a very small number. I am not going to "boycott" spanking blogs with Live Traffic Feeds outright, because I regard that as too much of an over-reaction (besides, it would require me to constantly check my links in case someone adds such a gadget). However, if you have a spanking blog, and if you use a Live Traffic Feed, your chances of going (or remaining) on my link list will decrease significantly, no matter how magnificent your blog is otherwise.

End of rant. Have a nice day.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Movie Review: Academy of Riding

Calstar (released in 2006)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Painful job application for two equestrian enthusiasts

Victim Appeal:
As usual, Calstar do not have any credits here, so I wll refer to the spankees by their character names Tanya and Lee. For all I know, these might be their model names as well. Both are curvaceous, big-breasted English lasses. I am not really a breast-obsessed man, but maybe you are (you might also be a breast-obsessed woman, of course). Tanya has short, cropped, white blonde hair, Lee has long, straight and darker blond hair.

This is a movie I primarily review because of the domme, though, so I have to mention her right away as well. "Mrs. Fargo" is an attractive lady in early middle age, with fair hair, strong arms, a rich alto voice (nope, of course she doesn't sing!) and an energetic demeanour. She is not much of an actress, frequently botching lines like "your initina... initiation", but she just exudes charisma somehow. I like her quite a lot. And as soon as she gets to the CP part of the proceedings, she is fully convincing. You can tell that she is the type of domme who genuinely enjoys her work, in a natural and thorough manner, with no pretence or grandstanding.

Gratuitous Sadism:
The movie opens with Tanya and Lee hanging around at a riding stable and petting one of the animals there, going on and on about how gorgeous it is. Personally, I can't say that the plain white specimen they are gushing over looks all that impressive to me, but who am I to argue with the girlies' horse crush. At least it will get them spanked in due time. Apparently, the mistress who runs the stable has been trying to get rid of the two trespassers for some time. When they keep begging her for a job, insisting that it would be the greatest thing in the world (groooaan!), Mrs. Fargo finally relents and takes the girls to her drawing room for an interview.

I guess you know where this is going from here. Naturally, the girls have to get into some proper riding clothes first, which involves them stripping down in front of the mistress and then donning (rather clumsily, I must say) jockey trousers and hats. Next up, the job interview continues with a proper extended spanking. After all, as Mrs. Fargo explains, the horses get the crop, too, and it is important that the two would-be-stableworkers learn exactly how that feels like. Makes perfect sense, right? Oh well.

And so, the usual Calstar CP formula unfolds. Tanya is the first to go over Mrs. Fargo's knee for a hand spanking, first over the jockey trousers, then over the knickers, then on the bare. That lasts about five minutes. In the next segment, she gets the black leather paddle while she is bending over a chair (three minutes), followed by a different black leather paddle that is slightly harder according to Mrs. Fargo (three minutes again). Finally, the obligatory caning. I estimate that Tanya got twelve strokes, discounting repetitions from different camera angles.

Once Tanya is done, Lee gets the same treatment. Over-the-knee spanking over the knickers (no trousers for her), then on the bare. Almost seven minutes in total. Then the succession of two leather paddles, about two minutes each. Lee takes them while bending over, or lying on, a table, and the second paddle is different from the second one Tanya got, so they are trying to vary things a little. But of course, the final caning is the same. She receives a dozen strokes. Mrs. Fargo declares herself to be "very impressed" and tells the girls that they have both passed their "initiation" (which is apparently how they call a job interview at a riding stable).

Best Reactions:
The domme isn't shy about using her hand, paddle and cane. Overall, I would rate Academy of Riding in the "medium" category of severity, like most Calstar titles. Perhaps even a bit harder than the average they put out. The girls end up with reddened bottoms and visible stripes from the canings. The marks would probably have been stronger on spankees with less curvaceous figures and and less "well-padded" posteriors.

Both girls give fairly vocal reactions and make a bit too much fuss for my taste. Tanya is especially jumpy during her caning. After the first few strokes, she does a little "dance", frantically rubs her bottom and then sits down on the chair, informing the domme: "You have to give me a minute..." Later, after the stroke that made the dozen full, she wags her finger and assertively states: "That was the last one!" I am not a fan of such antics (and neither was Mrs. Fargo), but it was kind of amusing to watch at least.

Best Line:

At the beginning of the interview (or the "initiation", or whatever), Mrs. Fargo informs the girls that hard work is required at the stable, that they have to get their hands dirty, that she runs a very tight ship here, blah blah. To finish, she adds: "And also, we have some very frisky young men working here."

Meh? In any case, when the girls are asked whether they want to take the job or leave it, they reply "Take it!" without a moment's hesitation. I don't know. Maybe they like "frisky" young men.

Nice Psychological Touch:
For some reason, regardless of how silly it was, I liked the "equestrian" theme of the movie. Which is surprising, because I am not an equestrian guy at all. I only sat on a horse one single time in my life, and while the experience was not in any way unpleasant, I never felt a desire to repeat it. I am just not interested in horses or riding. But here in this spanking movie, the setting has a certain charm. Perhaps because a riding crop and tight jockey trousers are such immediate, natural associations with spanking. Or perhaps because I harbour some hidden prejudice against young female equestrians, all of whom I consider to be spoilt posh princesses who deserve a damn good thrashing.

How Good Is It Really?
Academy of Riding never rises above average Calstar fare, but it has its little charms. I liked the domme playing Mrs. Fargo, and the setting was surprisingly inspiring. I wish they had done more with it. I suppose it is one of those movies which you remember because it had an interesting idea at its heart, it wasn't executed too well, and you have a vision of what could have been done with it.

What You Learned:
Reviewing this reminded me that I have to watch Equus again one of these days. The 1977 movie adaptation of the play, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Richard Burton. Nice mystery thriller, very intriguing psychologically, with one of my favourite actors of his generation giving one of his best performances.