Friday, December 31, 2010

Kaelah's Corner (Dec 2010):
Curse My Name

I've written this post yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile I have thought about simply deleting it because it is quite personal and was written in a very sad and shaky mood. But Ludwig is of the opinion that I shouldn't throw it into the bin. I already see a few things a bit different by now, so I've finally decided to publish yesterday's post, but with some little changes which are highlighted in italic. So, here we go:

Actually today's post should have been the second part of the account of my first topping experience. However, it isn't. Because I'm not in the right mood. I'm sitting here in front of the computer, my fingers are cold and there are still dry tears on my face. No, I haven't been spanked! The reason for my disturbance is Sacher-Masoch.

That guy is in my life for only three days now, but I already hate him. Ludwig started reading „Venus in Furs“ to me and I realised from the very beginning that everything in me struggled against having to listen to that story. We only made it to page 58 of 141 pages and listening to that first part of the novella already cost me a hell lot of energy. Today Ludwig wanted to read the next section and I completely shut down. So he gave up and decided to leave me alone for a while.

I tried to understand why the book is so horrible for me. First of all, it's about kink, a topic that touches me personally. Then, when I'm read the story by Ludwig I can't „escape“. There's no reading faster when the story is disturbing me, no quick breaks when it's getting too much. But what's so bad about the story? I think it's the characters and how they treat each other. Right from the beginning it becomes clear that the relationship between Severin and Wanda, the two main characters, must have ended in a disaster. He is alone, he has written down their story and he is of the opinion that one must treat women hard and disrespectful in order not to lose their respect. One can only be hammer or anvil. It's a point of view that makes me very sad. As does the whole story.

Severin wants to live at the mercy of a cruel woman and pushes Wanda, who dearly loves him, into that role. Obviously he regrets that later. I don't know why, but I feel awfully sorry for the characters and having to watch them walking into their doom is almost unbearable for me. Obviously I don't have any protection mechanism that allows me to only be an observer. I can't stop thinking of what experiencing a situation like that would mean to me. It makes me think about my kink and how I don't want my kinky life to be. And it makes me feel like this story represents a form of kinky life which I neither want to experience nor want to be confronted with (especially if I can't do anything to change the protagonists' minds). I get completely overwhelmed and all I want to do is run away.

The same thing happens to me from time to time in the online spanking community as well. Reading too much about master-slave relationships, dark scenarios and severe beatings suddenly makes me panic and want to stop reading about kink at all. I can't just look at these things from an outside perspective. I always ask myself what they mean for me, why I am different and whether that makes me less brave or less desirable. Especially when I read about concepts I can't understand, but which are interesting for Ludwig. That gives me the feeling I'm not good enough for him, not open enough, not tough enough.

A few days ago, Ludwig saw a picture from one of the Headmaster's study films on another blog. Instantly he began to smile. „That whipping bench is really fantastic. The girls look extremely beautiful on it, especially when they throw their heads back during the canings. It would be great to have a similar bench.“ My stomach churned. I know that Ludwig wants a bench like this. I don't. The reason is simple: I wouldn't be able to see it as our bench, it would always be the Lupus-like bench and therefore it would always be connected with those good-looking brave girls who filmed with them. In other words, it would be nothing else but a reminder of my limits, my struggles with the concept of severe play and my resulting insufficiency. How could I ever enjoy erotic play with that bench?

At the same time these thoughts make me angry as well. Because the rational part of me knows that I don't have to feel insufficient at all. While Ludwig and I have common interests and opinions, we have different tastes and preferences at times as well. Accepting and loving each other the way we are is part of the challenge of a relationship. Either it works or the relationship won't survive. But being different and not being able to share every single fantasy with one's partner definitely isn't a reason for feeling bad.

Well, I guess that's just how it is. Concepts which I don't understand tend to scare me. Of course I can deal rationally with that fear most of the time. But sometimes, like today, it's getting too much. Then I have to protect myself by shutting down because I can't protect myself when being confronted with these things.

But honestly, I don't really want to be different. Having better protection mechanisms would be great sometimes. But then I wouldn't be the person that I am, would I? And luckily I have strategies that help me when I'm feeling overwhelmed. One is talking to friends or writing blog posts and asking the readers whether they have made similar experiences. Another one is listening to music that helps me to release my fear and anger. The most fantastic song I've recently discovered is from one of my favourite bands, Blind Guardian. It's called Curse My Name. Listening to it helps me to sort out my mind and to release agressions at the same time. Unfortunately there is no evil king whom I could hunt down in order to feel better. Because the reason why I'm uncomfortable lies within me.
As for Sacher-Masoch, he might have enjoyed the process of being hunted down, anyway...

Well, but I feel that writing this post already made me a lot calmer and happier. Maybe I'll even manage to read the rest of that damn story! I guess reading it myself would be easier than being read the story because it allows me to walk the way into damnation with the protagonists faster by going into turbo speed reading mode.

And as long as Ludwig is able to deal with my strange reactions from time to time and I can love each other despite of our differences, as long as I don't lose my friends and as long as there are good songs to listen to, there is nothing I can't sort out and nothing I have to worry about for the upcoming year. Thanks for reading this rather unusual post, thanks for all your comments and the new insights you gave me in 2010 and a Happy New Year to all of you!

Update: Of course I've read the whole novella tonight and I'm feeling much better today. Sacher-Masoch's final conclusion at the end of the story is even quite nice, although I don't fully agree with him. After having finished the novella I have been able to sort everything out, to find out what I like or don't like about the story and what it tells me about my kink. My standpoint is clear and solid again and I was reminded of a few things by the story. I think I'll write a bit more about it in a follow-up post next year. Take care and see you all in 2011!

Kaelah's Technical Corner:
How to Download Our Video Clip

Hi folks, don't worry, this is not today's Kaelah's Corner. That one will be released tonight. Thank you to everyone who downloaded Ludwig's and my first video. It seems that some of you had the one or other problem with the downloads and preparations, though. Well, at least that shows that our readers aren't a bunch of ruthless file sharers. Because those guys wouldn't have had any problems with making the videos run.

Ludwig will create a new version of the clip with integrated subtitles to make it a bit easier for you. But that'll take a while. Since I want everyone to have the chance to watch the clip right now and since you can use the knowledge about how to watch a video that's split into several .rar files for other videos as well, I decided to post a step by step instruction manual. If you still have any problems, please post them in the comment section and Ludwig and I will try to help you out. This way we might be able to create a little FAQ section that might help others as well. So, here we go: 

1. Downloading the .rar package(s): 

There are two versions of the clip, a high and a low quality version. In both cases, the main clip, the outtakes clip and their subtitles are packed into .rar files (similar to .zip packages). The high quality version of the clip is so big that Ludwig had to split it into two .rar files. But careful, this doesn't mean that the first package contains part one and the second package part two of the video! You need both packages in order to use them at all and then you'll be able to unpack the four files I've mentioned above. 

Downloading the files might take a while. You can do it in the background while working at your computer. If you haven't got much time, I recommend the low quality version, because you only have to download one package. Click on the link to the package which you want to download. Rapidshare is a file-hoster and Ludwig uploaded our video files to their server. The download doesn't start automatically. You have to click on the “Slow Download” button on the right side, as shown in the picture.

Then a countdown will start (Rapidshare loves to keep their free account customers waiting). 

After that countdown you can click the “Download now!” button on the right and the download process begins. Chose the “Save File” option in order to save the package on your computer. 

In case of the high quality version you have to repeat the procedure with the second package. Again, Rapidshare loves to drive the customers who don't pay for their services mad by only allowing them to download a second file after between 15 and 50 minutes of waiting. A countdown will show you how long you have to wait.

At the end of this process you should have downloaded one (low quality version) or two (high quality version) .rar files to your computer. Make sure that they are in the same folder.

2. Installing WinRAR:

WinRAR is a program that allows you to open .rar packages and to extract the files from them. It's a shareware program which means that you can download a trial version of the software without having to pay anything for it and use it for free for 40 days. Click on this  link and then on the blue download button on the right.

To choose the program version for your download click on the big blue button on the top of the page. It should show the correct language and bit version (fitting to your operating system). If not, you can select the right version from the list below.

Hit the “Download Now” button on the right and the download starts.

After the download is completed, you'll find a file called “wrarxxxx.exe” in the download folder on your computer. Start the installation of WinRAR by double-clicking on the file and follow the instructions of the installation manager.

Now you can open your .rar packages. Double-click on one of them and WinRAR will open. It should show you four files: The .wmv video file with the main clip, a second .wmv file with the bloopers and two .srt files that contain the subtitles and must be named exactly like the video file which they belong to. Click on the “Extract” button and save the four files into a folder of your choice.

The subtitles must be in the same folder as the video files, otherwise they won't work.

3. Installing the VLC Media Player:

The VLC Media Player is a freeware program which means that you can use its full version without having to pay for it. And unlike certain versions of the Windows Media Player it doesn't have any problems with displaying subtitles. Click on this link in order to download the VLC Player. Then hit the “Download VLC” button and chose the “Save File” option.

After the download is completed, you'll find a file called “vlc-1.1.5-winxx.exe” in the download folder on your computer. Start the installation of the VLC Media Player by double-clicking on the file and follow the instructions of the installation manager.

Now everything should be ready! Just open the VLC Player and then open the video file from the menu: File - Open File. You can also open the video by right-klicking  on the file, choosing the "Open With" option and selecting the VLC Player from the list. The video should start to play and the subtitles should be shown as well without any further actions being required. You can turn the subtitles on and off in the "Video" menu.

I hope this little manual is helpful! Please let me know if you still have any problems. A member of our technical support staff will come back to you and help you as soon as possible! :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Enter the Dachshund

Hi folks, it's me, Kaelah. Merry Christmas to all those among you who celebrate this day and happy holidays to everyone! I'm flattered to tell you that Santa Ludwig made it just in time [Ludwig: for the Anglosaxon Christmas day at least!] and thus we have a very special and personal present for you, our dear readers. Last year our gifts were my first full nudity photo and the story about our first play. This year's gift makes me even more excited and quite honestly a bit nervous as well. Again it's a first – Ludwig's and my very first spanking clip together!

We already shot the clip about 1 ½ years ago, but didn't manage to edit it, yet. Which isn't that much of a surprise, given how busy we were and that the post-production required at least a full week of work. We had shot more than 4 hours of footage. Without the professional editing software which I bought recently, it would have taken even longer to edit the clip with all the pieced-together conversations, the different camera angles which had to be synchronised, and so on. And of course the result was supposed to be as perfect as possible. During the last couple of days Ludwig worked night shifts in front of my computer and now the post production is finally done. I think he did an amazing job!

All I did was try not to drive him mad with my comments. After all, you can't do all of the editing together, one person has to be in charge for the final composition of the clip. But of course I had remarks and ideas and told Ludwig about them (I wrote something about “trying” not to drive him mad, you see).

At least Ludwig was not as close to insanity as he was when we shot the clip, especially when we re-shot the action scene. Yes, I wrote RE-shot! When we looked at the footage after our first try, Ludwig and I both weren't totally happy with the result. Ludwig wanted to improve the camera angles. I wasn't happy with the perspectives, either, and even more importantly, I wasn't happy with my looks! So we decided to re-shoot the action scene some weeks later, when the marks from our first try had faded.

This time we chose the perspectives even more carefully and setting up the cameras took even longer. I nearly drove Ludwig mad because I wanted a rather unusual close-up bottom perspective filmed from above, which was quite difficult to manage, and Ludwig thought that it might look rather stupid. It's the last bottom camera angle during the spanking. Isn't it cute? At least Ludwig agreed with me about that point afterwards. But what really brought him close to insanity was the fact that I insisted on using a mirror. I pointed out to him that only simple geometry was needed to make one camera catch the desired reflection in the mirror without the second camera being in the picture. Okay, it's not that simple... But frankly, what is a debut video without a mirror?

Oh, before anyone gets that wrong: we had a lot of fun, too. Really! You can see it in the bonus clip which contains some outtakes from the shoot. Insisting on a bloopers video is the thing I drove Ludwig crazy with during the last stages of the post-production process, by the way. So, I hope you'll enjoy the video and the bloopers as well! If you do and if you want to make Ludwig and especially me (since this is my first-ever clip) a very much appreciated Christmas present, please leave a little comment. Of course, constructive criticism is welcome as well!

- Kaelah

And now over to Ludwig for all the technical details...

Hello friends, Ludwig here. Merry Christmas from me the agnostic as well, and I hope that you like our gift. It certainly was a lot of work. Personally, I think it is my best free video yet in terms of overall composition and editing.

Inside the .zip package, you will find the main video, a smaller blooper video, and subtitle (.srt) files for each. Most common media players should be able to play .srt subtitles, there are guides on the web for this. I strongly recommend that you use VLC Media Player, because it is one of the best free players, anyway, and because it should display the subtitles without any additional tinkering. Just make sure that the .wmv video file and the .srt subtitle file of the same name are in the same folder, use VLC Player to watch the video, and the subtitles should show up.

If an unexpected number of people have problems with this, I will make a video where the subtitles are simply rendered into the picture (as in The German Lesson). But for now, I wanted to give you separate files so that you can enable / disable them. That is what I would prefer as a viewer. The subtitles are necessary because, obviously, almost all of the conversation in the video is in German. Kaelah's English is very good, too, so in theory, we could have done the whole thing in English. But because this is a clip that just shows us as ourselves, as a couple, we decided to do it in German. It is more natural and unforced. Sorry if it inconveniences the foreign cinema haters among you, but... It's your own fault if you are such cultural philistines!

I suspect that many regular Spanking Tube viewers would not like the video, anyway. It is 26 minutes long and roughly the first half consists of an extended interview / a tea ceremony with Kaelah and myself. But viewers with an attention span of less than two minutes, like the poor guy who left this comment, can simply fast-forward to the action-filled second half. Those of you with an interest in us as people, however, will hopefully enjoy the talky parts as well. The tea ceremony is, of course, a reminiscence of Kaelah's and my first ever play together, as are many elements in this first video of ours. So it offers a look into some very personal history.

Kaelah's Introduction is dedicated to the online spanking community, without which this story would not have happened. Thank you for watching, and happy holidays.

WMV format, resolution 720 x 576, 364 MB: link

(Click on "Free Download", wait for the counter to count down, then solve the captcha and download the file.)