Sunday, May 31, 2015

Kaelah's Corner (May 2015):
Just Me

Have you ever had sex (kinky or not) without a sexy fantasy going on in your head? This is a question I asked myself a while ago. And the honest answer is that I don't think so. For as long as I can remember, I play out kinky fantasies in my head when masturbating. I guess the closest I came to just being in the here and now when having sex was at the time when Ludwig and I had just become a couple and were still in the process of getting to know each other. But even then, I think there was at least some projection involved when we were having sex, which in my opinion can be translated into "I was playing out fantasies in my head".

Now the question is, is this good or bad? I think it is neither inherently good nor bad, it depends on how the fantasies are being used.

I assume every fellow spanko will agree that living out one's fantasies with a trusted play partner can be lots of fun! Ludwig and I aren't great role-players, but I love to create interesting characters and scenes in my head and I love to get into the mindset of a character who is very different from me in kinky clips. I would say the soulless goon in Psychic Weapon C was one of my favourites.

I am not very good at imagining Ludwig in a certain role when it is just the two of us, though. The closer we have become, the more difficult it has got. Maybe that's why kinky play has become a bit more difficult, because it seems that I either need the image of a very experienced leader in my mind for my play as a bottom or the image of someone who needs my leadership for my kinky play as a top. Since Ludwig and I are very much on eye-level in our real life, I am having difficulties imagining us in the roles of leader and follower in our kinky play.

Role-play becomes easier with people I don't know so well, though. So maybe Ludwig and I will play with others more often in the future. Having more people around also allows for more complex scenarios, so maybe we will even play in a bigger group sometime when the chance arises. Ludwig and I have already talked about roles we would enjoy seeing each other in. We will see what the future will bring!
I think that relying on fantasies in one's kink and sex life can have negative effects, too, though, especially in long-term relationships. For instance when one partner tries to make the other fit into their fantasies, maybe even not only during sex but in their relationship. Ludwig once had a girlfriend who wanted him to be the top 24/7. Now, Ludwig has a very caring streak and he likes to look after someone he loves. But, he doesn't want to be the leader all the time. He likes a mate with whom he can relax, or whom he can ask for support, once in a while as well. Since he was supposed to be the top all the time in that relationship, he had the feeling that he couldn't really be himself. He had to stay in a fantasy role which proved to be very exhausting.

Another way of using one's fantasies in a long-term relationship which is critical in my opinion is in order to hide from one's partner and to be protected from getting hurt or having to deal with things that don't work out so well. As I said, living out kinky fantasies together is a great adventure, but how about sex during which one or both partners escape into sexy fantasies which have nothing to do with what's just going on between them? In that case, the fantasies suddenly separate the partners from each other.

I made that experience when my commitment phobia broke through and made it more difficult for me to let myself go in intimate moments with Ludwig. Since I wanted to make things "work" nonetheless, I sometimes found myself playing out even more intense fantasies in my head than I had before. As I said, I don't think playing out fantasies in one's head while having sex is inherently bad, but I felt that on these occasions it brought me away from Ludwig instead of adding to having fun with him as it normally does.

And so I realised that I sought something new in our relationship when it comes to sexuality. Not in order to replace the kinky adventures and the fantasy part, but in addition to it. As I already mentioned in my post Breaking the Rules, in my opinion sex in a long-term relationship is mostly about the partners being accepted by each other completely as they are. And I think that includes being close to each other without the protection of fantasies and role-playing from time to time. Thankfully,
Ludwig is very open to trying out new things with me. I can count myself very lucky in that regard!
I generally think that fantasies and role-playing offer us protection and allow us to explore things that might be very scary without the protective framework of a fantasy situation. Which is of course fine. Exploring these things while simply being oneself can be a huge challenge which might be worth trying as well, though. This is wonderfully shown in the clip Amelia Jane Rutherford and Pandora made for Backlash.

When Pandora asks Amelia Jane whether she is nervous about her upcoming caning she heartfully replies: "Yes!" And then she explains why: "Because the way I get through a caning is by playing an unpleasant character. So, I'm Amelia Jane Rutherford when I get caned normally. And she has always asked for it, basically. And this is just me. I wanted to be just me because I wanted to be honest. I don't want to be hiding behind something when I'm doing this […]. And I thought that actually it will be interesting to be caned as me because I don't know what my response really is."

The clip is really great in my opinion because it shows Amelia Jane and Pandora as themselves and therefore reflects their lovely personalities and their honest passion for spanking. So it seems that it was absolutely worth taking the challenge of just being them.

I wonder how difficult it is to just be oneself (and just see one's partner as him- or herself) when it comes to (vanilla) sex in a long-term relationship, though. In my post Breaking the Rules I said that I want to be more in the here and now when it comes to sex (and actually in my whole life as well). That also includes not playing out fantasies in my head during sex all the time. I am not sure how easy that is, though. But it sounds like an intriguing idea and so Ludwig and I have something new to explore together.

We have even tried it out once already. At first it led to lots of laughter when we tried to find a position in which we could unite and then simply be close to each other and see how it feels. After a while we ended up having sex with me on top of Ludwig (a new position to us) and surely the one or other fantasy in our heads. So, the "just being in the here and now" didn't really work out as planned, but we had fun and made new experiences nonetheless. And I think the approach of taking time to connect with each other and with ourselves instead of trying to evoke sexy fantasies right from the beginning really made a difference.

So, how about you? Are you a passionate role-player? And when you are not role-playing, do you play out fantasies in your mind when having sex? Have you made any experiences with just being in the here and now when being intimate with your partner? How did you like it? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section! I am curious to find out how others see and experience these things!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

500 Posts!

Yes, indeed, this is our 500th post! But that's not all. In only a few hours' time we will hit the 2.5 million page views mark. And I am quite confident that with your help we will make it to 5,000 comments soon as well (we already have over 4,900 published comments right now).

Since we definitely won't make it to 1,000 posts before closing down this blog, we decided that 500 posts is a number worth mentioning and celebrating. And another chance to thank you for following us and making blogging worthwhile!

Looking back, it is exciting to see how the blog has changed over time. In 2008 Ludwig started out as a solo-blogger. In his second post, titled What's On the Menu?, he explained his approach as follows:

Actually, humour (the black comedy, politically incorrect, hopefully non-lame kind) will be one of the main themes here. If BDSM isn't fun and a little tongue-in-cheek, something is wrong. Mind you, I take our kink awfully seriously – it's dark, obsessive, edgy and highly erotic. But at the same time, all these delightful fantasies of ours (the sassy schoolgirls, military tribunals and damsels in distress) are also ripe for some good affectionate lampooning. So I hope to add my own contribution to that.

It will offset the lengthy theoretical ramblings somewhat, which I also aim to provide. To me, spanking goes beyond the mere immediate turn-on, it is utterly fascinating on a psychological and philosophical level. And it leads to all kinds of tantalizing questions about us as human beings, individuals and members of society. There is a danger for these explorations to get all analytical and lose sight of the eroticism. Avoiding that, though, and keeping it in balance, they can be just as much of a kick.

Above all, BDSM and erotic corporal punishment is an artform to me. Both the "performance" itself and the "artifacts" we make, the films, images and stories. I've always been particularly intrigued by movies because they are a sort of hybrid - "slice of life" and yet a "permanent item". Naturally, being a film buff makes me a spanking film buff as well. Notwithstanding the fact that the genre as a whole is inherently goofy (as it should be), I view the good spanking movies as genuine works of art. So that will be the third theme of the blog, reviews and armchair criticism.

These three themes indeed proved to be vital parts of this blog – as of today we have 36 posts labeled as spanking humour, 30 philosophical ramblings and 55 movie and website reviews.

In 2009 Ludwig's happy little world got turned upside down, though, because Kaelah turned up and we became a couple. In 2010, Kaelah started writing about her thoughts on this blog as well, at first only in her monthly personal guest column Kaelah's Corner. Today we have 69 posts under this label.

At the same time, Ludwig (and later Kaelah as well) started to venture into the world of kinky porn, with both amateur as well as the professional videos. And so there are 20 posts about making art on this blog, plus 18 posts about our videos. Since Kaelah also loves taking photos, there are 69 posts labeled as our pictures, too.

The main change that happened, though, is that as a couple we also started to write more about our own kinky play and our relationship. In other words, this blog almost turned into one of the lame couple blogs Ludwig always disliked. You can read about our boring adventures under the label which has the highest number of posts so far – the private exploits label with 89 posts. This way, a lot of our development as a couple over the past years is reflected in our posts.

But not only our life and our blog have changed, the kinky online and blogging community have changed as well. Yesterday Ludwig reminded me of the time when a rather big group of (British) spanking models had their own rather active blogs. There was a lot of back and forth between, for instance, Niki Flynn and Adele Haze, who had a very lively commentership as well. Those blogs are gone and so are many fellow bloggers and commenters we interacted with throughout the years. But of course new people have come, too, and it is still a great event for us when a new commenter shows up on our blog to say hello.

So, this post is in memory of all the fellow kinksters who have come and gone during our time here in the kinky community. Thank you for having shared your thoughts with us! We would also like to encourage those silent readers who are still unsure whether they should say hi. The spanking community is very welcoming and it is a lot of fun to participate. And don't be afraid of being the newbie – the online community changes rather fast. Today you may be the new commenter / blogger, in a few months you are already considered an experienced community member!

Oh, and how do you think should we celebrate? Maybe a 500 strokes spanking? I am not sure whether we have ever done such a long scene, since Ludwig prefers shorter, more intense ones. Any other ideas? You are very welcome to share them in the comment section!

Ludwig and Kaelah

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Sauna by the Lakeside

On our trip to Finland, Ludwig and I got the chance to spend some time in a small private outdoor sauna located at a beautiful lake. I love going to the public sauna for a day of relaxation, but I had never had the chance to use a private sauna like this one before. It was heated with fresh firewood and as you can see, it was quite steamy in there.

The best thing about the experience was the lake, though. The water temperature was about 12 degrees Celsius, rather cold in my view, quite cosy in the eyes of our Finnish host.

At first it was a real shock to go into the water after having spent time in the hot sauna. My feet hurt the most when touching the cold ground of the lake. But after a while I got used to the temperature and so Ludwig and I shot quite a few nude pictures of me in the lake at sunset surrounded by beautiful nature only.

I like how the lake reflects my image in the third picture. And I really love the second picture in this post which shows me walking into the lake, even though (or maybe right because?) it is a bit blurred.

(Russian Venus by Boris Kustodiev, picture taken from Wikipedia)

Unfortunately Ludwig and I didn't have any birch twigs like they are used in Russian saunas in order to improve the circulation (as they say). Has anyone of you tried that? But it was a wonderful experience nonetheless. And I hope you enjoy the resulting pictures!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kaelah's Corner (Apr 2015):
Breaking the Rules

I once needed clearly set rules to feel safe. Now I've decided to break them. Change them for one single new rule: "I will listen to my needs and act accordingly." Take off the corset that once straightened my back and allowed me to stand upright. Break free.

Originally, my plan was to quit my Kaelah's Corner posts after my review on my years as a kinky blogger. I felt that I had no more new personal thoughts to explore about my kink. That has changed. I have new insights to talk about. And so Kaelah's Corner will continue for a bit longer. Until this blog closes down.

When I was working on my issues concerning my commitment phobia, sexuality and kink were amongst the prominent topics to look at. In one of my dialogues I received a very intriguing analysis from a vanilla to whom I tried to explain my spanking fantasies. It goes like this: "Sex, like everything in life, is a game. It seems that you have chosen a form of sexuality where you have a clear set of rules. Obviously, this allows you to let go more easily, because you know what to expect and that your boundaries won't be crossed."

That analysis resonated very much with me. The main reason for my fear of commitment is that I am not very good at protecting my boundaries. I am scared of making a loved one sad and disappointing them. And I haven't learned to say "No!" in a polite yet determined manner - and not to feel bad about it. That's why I prefer to have a clear set of rules right from the beginning and to discuss my (anticipated) limits before I try something new. Because I don't trust myself to spontaneously say stop during the experience.

This clearly shows in my kinky fantasies. Take, for instance, my caring guidance fantasies. These fantasies are very formal, and they always involve guardians who have very high moral standards and who first and foremost care about their protégés' well-being. A guardian acting unfair, spanking in anger or maybe even crossing a line by letting things get sexual? No way! My sexual kinky fantasies are strictly separated from the caring ones, and they have their own set of rules. I will write more about the general protective function of fantasies in one of my next Kaelah's Corner posts.

My longing for protective rules doesn't only show in my kinky fantasies, though, it is also very evident in my way of living out my kink. When you read the story about how intensely Ludwig and I discussed my idea of receiving my first-ever erotic spanking, how painstakingly I planned and prepared our first scene together and how ritualised it all was, it becomes clear that I didn't just jump in.

Ludwig didn't know me all too well at the time, and he surely didn't know about my commitment phobia (I wasn't even aware of that myself yet). But he showed an extremely good sense for what I needed. First of all, his main focus was my well-being and that none of my boundaries was crossed. He allowed me to create most of the ceremony and only took over during a clearly defined period. And even then, he constantly encouraged me to tell him how I felt and what I needed. Furthermore, Ludwig made it very clear to me that he didn't have any expectations I had to meet. He told me that it was perfectly fine to stop any time I wanted - the fact that I had chosen to give adult spanking a try with him was already more than he could wish for. Looking back, I think that without Ludwig's very wise and perceptive approach, I would not have been able to take the plunge.

Sometimes, my need to clarify my boundaries beforehand also surprised Ludwig. For instance, when we went to our first-ever spanking party. I was quite sure that I wasn't ready to play with anyone else but Ludwig at the time. But instead of simply going to the party, looking how it went and how I felt and then deciding what to do, I felt the need to inform Abel and the other party guests beforehand that I was not comfortable playing with others. The reason was that I wasn't really sure about the implicit conventions to initiate a scene. So I was scared that some comment on my behalf might make one of the tops think that I wanted to be spanked. I feared that I then would not be sure how to say "No" without insulting them and coming across as a spoil sport. My fear was of course unfounded, but without having established my limits beforehand I would have been even more nervous and scared than I was already about the prospect of visiting a spanking party with experienced players in a foreign country.

In my play with Ludwig and our sexuality, things went surprisingly smoothly. Of course, my fear of not being able to say "No" also came up in our sex life. But Ludwig always reassured me that just because I was willing to try out something new didn't mean that he expected me to be willing to do it more often. And so we discovered each other and our needs slowly and carefully, always asking for feedback. Of course, some spanking scenes along the way went wrong nonetheless. Sexuality and kink are very intimate activities, so old injuries can be reactivated easily. But that's a topic for yet another separate post.

Over time, we had established some sexual habits that worked for us, so explicit rules and the protection of limits didn't play such an important role anymore. Until things changed with the outbreak of my commitment phobia in 2013. Suddenly, our sex didn't work out the way it used to for me. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed and things that had always made me horny and were fun suddenly didn't feel as good anymore. Of course, that stirred up my fear of disappointing Ludwig and making him sad. All I wanted was to go back to what I considered being "normal" because I thought that our sex life had to work as before to prove that our relationship was okay.

I was wrong. The one important thing I hadn't considered was that our relationship had evolved. And that I had changed, too, as well as my needs. As I already explained in my post What is Love?, love and a loving relationship involve different aspects. Sexual passion, friendship and partnership. These three aspects have different preconditions, though. The erotic part is easy at the beginning of a relationship because everything is new, the partner is still to be explored and the relationship isn't stable, yet, which feeds one's erotic fantasies and increases the longing to be close to each other. In my opinion there is still a lot of projection involved as well. I think the sex in new relationships is the kind of sex and erotic love which is most commonly shown in the media as well. Sex must be wild and lustful and end in an ecstatic orgasm in order to be considered good.

But in a long-term relationship that is as deep as Ludwig's and mine, the urge to jump at each other and have wild sex all the time decreases a bit. Ludwig and I share our deepest thoughts, wishes and fears with each other, we have a very harmonic life and we spend lots of quality time together. So there is no need to reconnect or to overcome separation. Plus, everyday life and our daily responsibilities take their toll. As a result, my main need right now isn't the classical fantasy- and lust-driven sex. What I want is to have the kind of sex for which I am up to right at the moment. I want to be touched where it feels good and where I need it right at the time and I want sex to make me feel connected both within myself and with Ludwig. I want to enjoy the whole journey instead of just working up to a desired result and I want my body and soul to be in tune with each other.

I recently watched a documentary where a study was quoted which found out that while in long-term relationships the male sex-drive decreases slowly and constantly, the female sex-drive often crashes down rapidly after a few years. They had some biological explanations for that phenomenon which might explain some of it. In my opinion one main reason might be that the initial feeling of infatuation (which is linked to the fear of not being good enough and losing one's partner) has subsided and the "old" sex doesn't work that well anymore. Instead of openly talking about it, though, I think many women are silently ashamed and feeling guilty. So they either try to make themselves "work properly" again, for instance by playing out strong erotic fantasies in their head while having sex. Or they refrain from sex altogether because it doesn't feel as good anymore. By the way, I think quite a few men have the same issues in long-term relationships. Opening up the relationship, having affairs or choosing a new partner can of course also be ways to deal with that situation.

And then there is the possibility of setting new rules to make the relationship and the sex more interesting again. Think of all the people who discover spanking and DD during a relationship crisis. I read about female subs (and there seem to be quite a few of them) who have a rule which states that their partner has the right to decide when he wants a certain sexual service from them and that they won't refrain from fulfilling that need right there and then. Obviously, that rule gives these women a clear orientation and in a way makes the act of fulfilling a requested sexual service attractive even when not being in the mood for it because it is then an act of submission.

That kind of solution would surely be absolutely wrong for me, though! Instead, Ludwig and I are now trying something completely different. No predefined rules and boundaries. No roles that have to be maintained. Instead, being together right in the here and now. Mindfully exploring what we want and need right in that moment. Telling each other what feels good and what doesn't. Not doing something because it felt good the last time, but because it feels good now.

I think that kind of exploration takes a lot of trust. Maybe even more than trying out spanking for the very first time. But with Ludwig, I have the right man at my side. And to me it sounds like an intriguing journey.  A journey without the protection of predefined rules and boundaries, but with the protection of being allowed to say "No" when something doesn't feel good. And with the possibility to try out new things. Or to enjoy old things like a good hard spanking and wild sex that leads to an ecstatic orgasm. Whatever feels right on a certain day.