Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kaelah's Corner (Aug 2013):
Creative Fourth

Yes folks, it's true, it's my fourth blogiversary! In August 2009, I published my very first post titled A Very Warm Welcome. That was the beginning of a very exciting journey.

Right now I have to admit that my kink plays almost no role at all in my life, though. It's a difficult time, but also an important one. I'm caught between taking control and letting go. I'm going through grief and fear, yet learning more about how to find peace in life. At times I am surrounded by darkness, but I believe that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. In short, this is a time of change and growth.

Which means that my relationship with Ludwig is changing, too. Because as partners change over time, their relationship has to evolve with them, otherwise they have no future together. The great thing about it: New wonderful things come up as well. Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice might not sound as exciting as, for instance, making kinky video clips. But they are great things to explore together as a couple.

In the spirit of change, I have decided to try something new on my blogiversary. Since suffering and loving kindness are so closely bound together (and since this is of course an erotic spanking blog), I have had the idea that Ludwig and I could write and tape a kinky audio story for you.

And we would like YOU to participate in the creative process!

So, if you want, you can give us a two-word phrase in the comment section, which we will then include in our story. Of course, the phrase should make at least some sense so that the story won't become completely ridiculous. I'm looking forward to reading your creative ideas!

All suggestions which are published up to and including Sunday, September 8th (German time) will be used in the story. Anonymous comments don't count, though. If you don't have a blogger profile you can use the Name/URL option and give yourself a random nickname – there is no URL necessary!

Thank you very much to all of you who have accompanied me (us) during the last four years. Quite honestly, I am not really sure what the future will bring and whether I will ever be back as the avid blogger I once was. Right now, my blogiversary has inspired me to try this creative experiment, though. I'm curious to see how it works out. And then we will find out what comes next.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lupus Pictures Closing Down

In case you have not heard about it yet: Rigid East / Lupus Pictures, the legendary producer of spanking and corporal punishment films, will be closing down next week.

The Czech studio originally started out sixteen years ago under the name Rigid East. In 2000, they became Lupus Pictures and began making ever more polished-looking videos, with a professional crew, professional camera equipment, lavish props and costumes and intricate storylines. It is no exaggeration to say that Lupus changed the genre forever. They were the first to produce anything approaching "real movies", and they made everyone else look like rank amateurs at the time. Even today, among new, ambitious rivals, the Czechs' body of work arguably remains unsurpassed. With Lupus Pictures, "spanking videos" became "spanking films".

As those of you who have read Rohrstock-Palast for a while know, I have a pretty personal history with Lupus as well. Without them, I would not have met and become friends with Niki Flynn, the first model from the West to work with these "werewolves from the East". Without Niki, I would not have started this blog or made any videos of my own. Without the blog and videos, I would never have met my mate Kaelah. In 2009, not very long after Kaelah and I became a couple, I guest starred in a Lupus Pictures film myself, which was a kinky dream come true. I wrote a three-part behind-the-scenes report about the experience: The Company of Wolves, A Dragoon's Life and Topping for Lupus.

So now, Rigid East / Lupus are calling it quits, citing a desire to try out new directions: "We already made the best spanking movies the spankos ever saw. So now it's time to explore new worlds and biggest challenges behind us [sic]. Our goal is to explore and embrace new kinks and go beyond simple spanking. We're striving for the best BDSM movies you ever saw." No false modesty in that, is there?

While I am sad that such a historic producer of spanking films and one with whom I have had such a personal relationship will be closing down, I certainly understand the reasoning. I got a sense myself that Lupus were finding it difficult to surpass what they had already done in terms of "pure" spanking films, and that they were frankly getting a bit bored with the whole thing. Their recent "Lupus Dreams" productions with more BDSM-heavy and explicit content, including real sex, never interested me that much, but again, I understand the desire to experiment and do something new. We will see how Quirky Way, the Czechs' post-Lupus venture, will develop and what they have in mind. I wish them well and will be keeping an eye on them.

In the meantime, you have a few last days left to purchase some films from the legendary Rigid East / Lupus Pictures studio if you like, at a 70% discount (probably, as they write, their final sales auction). Maybe from the Wild Party trilogy, or the Stalin trilogy, or the Headmaster's Study series, or Niki's spanking film debut The Exchange Student, or the wonderful little gem The Last Case of Dr. Freud... Or even A Garden Party with guest stars Adele Haze and yours truly. Damn, they made so much good stuff over the years.

Farewell, werewolves from the East, and thank you. It has been quite an adventure.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kinky China (Part 2): The Great Wall

Last month, I shared with you the first set of kinky pictures which Ludwig and I shot on our trip to China in the Forbidden City. In this edition you get to see the second set of pictures which we took on the Chinese Wall! We went to a section which was almost completely empty, it was only our guide and us.

With the guide being around, we could of course not shoot any pictures that were too explicit. But who would pass up such a great and unique opportunity to take photos in such a magnificent historical environment?

And then, finally, the big chance was there. Our guide was waiting outside the tower while we were still inside. So, in the hope that the guide would not return to look for us, I quickly dropped my pants and bent over the window ledge for this not really perfect but very special picture.

I hope you like this special view of the Great Wall! Wouldn't it be a fascinating idea to shoot kinky pictures at all the famous sights of the world? Maybe in the Colosseum, in front of a pyramid or on the top of the Empire State Building... What about you, have you ever had kinky fun or taken a kinky picture at a famous sight?

Monday, August 12, 2013

BDSMers Mentally Healthier Than "Vanillas"?

Do people who are into BDSM have a tendency towards violence? Or are they themselves perhaps the victims of past abuses, which they are now re-enacting as part of their sex lives? If your experience of yourself and of our Scene is anything like mine, your answer to both questions will be a resounding no. Indeed, no scientific study has ever found evidence that kinky people are more likely to suffer from psychological problems or to commit violent or criminal acts than the general population. But prejudices to this effect still persist, and are repeated ad nauseam by the tabloids, the prudes and scare-mongers.

So I felt a considerable amount of "Told you so!" mirth when I heard about a recent study, titled Psychological Characteristics of BDSM Practitioners, which suggests that practitioners of BDSM might actually be psychologically healthier than the norm. The study was conducted by researchers from Tilburg University in the Netherlands and has an interesting genesis. Andreas Wismeijer, the lead researcher, does not usually study sadism or masochism, but the psychology of secrets. A chance encounter with the founder of the largest BDSM forum in the Netherlands convinced him that this scene might make an intriguing study group. So, Wismeijer asked people from the forum to fill out a series of online psychological questionnaires, and compared their answers to those from a control group of people who are not into BDSM. The participants did not know what the studies were about, exactly, only that they were "on human behaviour". In the end, Wismeijer and his fellow researchers had filled-out questionnaires from 902 BDSM practitioners and 434 people from the non-kinky control group.

It turns out that the BDSM practitioners scored higher on a series of measurements of psychological well-being. As summed up in this article on LiveScience:

The new results reveal that on a basic level, BDSM practitioners don't appear to be more troubled than the general population. They were more extroverted, more open to new experiences and more conscientious than vanilla participants; they were also less neurotic, a personality trait marked by anxiety. BDSM aficionados also scored lower than the general public on rejection sensitivity, a measure of how paranoid people are about others disliking them.

People in the BDSM scene reported higher levels of well-being in the past two weeks than people outside it, and they reported more secure feelings of attachment in their relationships, the researchers found.

I also found the following figures interesting:

Of the BDSM practitioners, 33 percent of the men reported being submissive, 48 percent dominant and 18 percent "switch," or willing to switch between submissive and dominant roles in bed. About 75 percent of the female BDSM respondents were submissive, 8 percent dominant and 16 percent switch.

These roles showed some links to psychological health, such that dominants tended to score highest in all quarters, submissives lowest and switches in the middle. However, submissives never scored lower than vanilla participants on mental health, and frequently scored higher, Wismeijer told LiveScience.

So, doms are supposedly healthier than switches, and both are supposedly healthier than subs? Well, I don't know! Kaelah and I both feel very happy and healthy as switches. In any case, it seems that there is a pretty clear division of preference between the genders even among kinksters from the progressive, liberal Netherlands: half the men are tops, and fully three quarters of the women are bottoms. Purely dominant women are the smallest of the groups, even rarer than female switches. Are the ratios similar in other kinky communities in Germany, Britain and the US? From my personal experience, I would guess that, yes, they are probably similar. Will they change as we progress towards a more and more gender-egalitarian society? Maybe so. It's an intriguing question for sure.

One caveat about the results, and the overall conclusions from the lead researcher:

The study is somewhat limited by a self-selecting response pool and by the fact that BDSM practitioners could have been answering in ways to make themselves look better and avoid stigma, Wismeijer said — though the fact that the participants didn't know the reasons for the study ameliorates that concern somewhat. The findings are reason for mental health professionals to take an accepting approach to BDSM practitioners, Wismeijer said.

"We did not have any findings suggesting that people who practice BDSM have a damaged psychological profile or have some sort of psychopathology or personality disorder," he said.

Wismeijer isn't exactly sure why BDSM practitioners might be psychologically healthier than the general public. They tend to be more aware of their sexual needs and desires than vanilla people, he said, which could translate to less frustration in bed and in relationships. Coming to terms with their unusual sexual predilections and choosing to live the BDSM lifestyle may also take hard psychological work that translates to positive mental health, he said.

I think Wismeijer is probably spot-on about that last point. It may be a nice thought that people with an inclination for BDSM are happier than the general population, period, but I am skeptical about this. I assume that kinky people who are "in the closet", and don't have anyone to talk to about their fantasies or any opportunity to live them out, or who are feeling guilt or shame because of the stigma and the negative prejudices associated with BDSM, are usually very unhappy. On the other hand, people who have embraced their kink as something that is healthy, positive and exciting, and who are "out" in the Scene and talking and playing with others like them, will undoubtedly take great satisfaction and happiness from that. Hence, I believe, the results of the study.

So, at the end of the day, perhaps it is not so much about BDSM versus "vanilla", but about whether or not people are able to be themselves and live out their sexual fantasies with a loved one or like-minded friends.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Innovative Kinky Equipment Available

I recently came across this wonderful IKEA spoof. KLOPPE (I guess a fitting English name would be something like SMÅCK) is advertised as an "opinion enhancer". The headline asks: "Are you still discussing or already convincing?" KLOPPE is made of solid beech, untreated. It is 70 cm long and has a diameter of 4 cm. In case you have no idea how to use it, the instruction manual below shows you how.

Now that's a helpful piece of furniture, is it not? Plus, there's no difficult installation process necessary and absolutely no danger of any missing screws in the package.

KLOPPE is not the only offer I found which might appeal to kinksters, though. Obviously, IKEA also offers more complex pieces of furniture for kinky play. I have to admit that the colour is not exactly my cup of tea, but it's a great idea nonetheless.

(Image found at Planet Calypso.)

If someone is asking for me, I'm off shopping. My new discoveries have convinced me that IKEA is simply an acronym. I'm sure it stands for "Innovative Kinky Equipment Available".