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The Prefect's Revenge

I came up with the idea for this scene after a day's filming for a web project of Zoe Montana's which sadly never got off the ground. I really liked the dynamic that developed in a Head Girl/prefect scene we shot, and wanted to explore the complexities of power play between two peers. Originally, the Prefect's Revenge was written with Zoe in mind, but due to her being resident in Australia for the last year and a half, the timing didn't work out (in any case, I know she isn't particularly interested in bottoming on camera these days).

When I had the opportunity to shoot with Caroline Grey earlier this year, it struck me that this scene would be a perfect way to fit in some F/F spanking. We're both of an age, physically quite well matched, and I can't imagine either of us successfully topping the other in an actual position of authority. But peers trying to take advantage of one another - that works. 

I'd just come back from filming with Spanked in Uniform, where I'd taken a first step in caning another woman on camera (memorably, the stunning Amelia Jane Rutherford) and part of me was hungry for another go. When I wrote to Caroline describing the scene, I let her choose whether she wanted to play top or bottom. She said she had no preference, so after a bit of internal wrangling, I somewhat guiltily confessed I wouldn't mind having a go at playing the top.

The Prefect's Revenge dips into an ongoing feud between two Upper Sixth girls who love to hate one another. Neither of them is quite sure where it started, but when a give-and-take of childish pranks evolved into rivalry in love, the stakes were raised. Since Pandora stole Caroline's boyfriend, Caroline has upped the ante and made Pandora's life as hellish as possible. Pandora has been biding her time, waiting for the opportunity to seek her vengeance.

When Pandora discovers Caroline is responsible for writing the sixth-form gossip rag which has had the whole school in uproar, she sees her chance to indulge in a little blackmail. Getting her hands on the precious document - proof of Caroline's guilt - gives Pandora a new power over her rival. She makes Caroline submit to a painful caning, or else have her secret revealed. Resentfully, Caroline takes her strokes. But she’s not going to let Pandora get away with this... 

As well as trying to write an F/F scenario which I could pull off convincingly as a novice top the same age as my bottom, I wanted to write a story which explored some of the more complex angles on consent. Semi-consensual and coercive scenarios hold a lot of potential for interesting psychology. I'm fascinated by spanking stories where the spankee consents under duress, consents within a range of limited options, is desperate or blackmailed. Being put in a situation where you're obliged to choose between two unpleasant alternatives gives the spanking enough unwillingness to be edgy, but the spankee's choice gives them at least some self-determination and power. I find that really interesting. 

In the end, after getting ahead of schedule filming on the first day (almost unheard of for me, and thanks in no small part to Caroline's professionalism), we had time to film a sequel to Pandora's caning of Caroline, in which Caroline gets her own revenge on Pandora with the tawse. An easy way of eradicating any guilt about topping my friend! The Prefect's Revenge Part I will be available to download from the site at launch; Part II will be released in a future update. 

So over the course of the two scenes, the back-and-forth of power balances out overall. I like the impression that these incidents are merely two in a long series of exchanges where the two young women wrangle for supremacy. I also like the way that this same-sex school feud, like so many others, holds an undercurrent of homo-eroticism. As with the famous fan pairing Harry and Draco, when two enemies are this obsessed with each other, you have to wonder if there's something more to it than simple hate.

Launch schedule update

I'm into the last stretch of editing films and photosets in preparation for launch: or at least the scenes which will be in place on the site when I apply to CCBill for my merchant account. They need to assess all the scenes to make sure they comply with their regulations, so I'm aiming for the shop to be as complete as possible at that point. This is what the pre-launch schedule currently looks like:

  • Now - 14 Oct: Editing the last few films and photosets ready to upload
  • 14 - 30 Oct: Developing/templating the launch site ready to show CCBill
  • 31 Oct: Apply for merchant account

After making the application there'll probably be a couple of days back and forth until CCBill are happy. And if I was using the off-the-peg membership system provided by CCBill (as do most spanking sites who use CCBill), I'd be ready to launch then... but I'm aiming for something a little more ambitious than that.

So during November, D will be working on some custom scripts which interact with the CCBill system in a clever way so as to (hopefully!) integrate their members database with the existing user database on this site. The idea is that anyone who's already created an account to leave comments will be able to keep that username when they want to buy access to scenes ... and keep it when their access expires. I want this system to be compatible, long-term, with this site offering pay-per-download for individual scenes alongside the subscription model, and as such it seems silly for a username to only be usable for the duration of your membership - especially since I'll be offering a short-term membership from the start as well. Additionally, I don't want people to have to log in once to view a film they've paid to see, and again to leave a comment on it. 

The fact that very few people offer this sort of integrated system is a hint at how hard it is to install ... so I'm reluctant to promise anything. We may not achieve our aims. But we have the advantage of our very own expert Perl programmer in D, and he has some ideas about how he might be able to do it. So at the very least, we want to try. If it turns out to be impossible, then we'll fall back on having separate logins for viewing scenes and leaving comments - but fingers crossed that we won't have to!

This is why the launch date is currently a bit of an unknown. Either the billing/membership integration is going to be relatively straightforward (i.e. D's projection of how it will work will turn out to be compatible with CCBill's system) and it will all happen fairly quickly. In which case a launch before December might well be doable. Or it'll turn out to be a complete pain - at which point either we'll keep going until it's achieved, however long that takes, or we'll give up after a certain point and do it the easy way like everyone else. If this happens then I will still definitely want to launch before Christmas - by Dec 15 at the latest - but it'll involve some tricky last minute judgments in terms of how long to keep aiming for what we want.

While D is writing clever code and wrestling with CCBill's systems, I'll be tweaking and polishing the website to add some extra sparkle, and bulking out the scenes - adding photosets to accompany films, screenshots and behind the scenes material. I don't want to add too many new scenes after making the merchant application in case it looks like I'm trying to slip dodgy content past CCBill, but I think it should be safe enough to add the "DVD extras" after they've vetted my site.

Eight weeks to go, give or take: and they're going to be busy ones. But I always have great fun when D and I are working together on an interesting web project, and I've been itching to get stuck into this particular one for years now. I'm feeling pretty good about it. Wish us luck - and I'll let you know how we get on!

Cherry Red interview

I woke up to a lovely surprise yesterday which really brightened my Monday morning. Dreams of Spanking has been featured on one of my favourite spanking blogs, the Cherry Red Report! Thanks Dave for the great interview questions and the awesome write-up!

Fab news to report: the exquisite Pandora Blake will soon be unveiling her own spanking site, Dreams of Spanking, with fresh, original content, including bun-scorching vids and pix featuring a slew of spanko stars. CRR caught up with Pandora to get the scoop on this sizzling new venture….which will go live towards the end of the year.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with the Cherry Red Report. What sparked your decision to start your own site?

As a performer, the sites I’ve enjoyed working for most as a model have been the ones that let me write my own scripts. My fantasies have always centred around stories. I like unfair punishments, adventure, drama and romance – and I have a whole library of favourite spanking scenarios in my head which I’ve been collecting since I was a little girl.

My site Dreams of Spanking is going to focus on stories. There won’t be any context-free spankings – each scene will be a glimpse into an ongoing narrative.

Different stories will be told in different media, depending on what suits the scene best.

So I’m offering audio stories and magazine-style photostories as well as photo galleries and films.

You can read the rest of the exclusive interview by clicking here.

We did the interview by email a couple of weeks ago and it's awesome to see excitement about the project starting to spread. Since the Cherry Red Report is dedicated to /F spanking, Dave didn't include any of the /M pictures I sent him with the interview. However, he's one of the few 'mainstream' spanko bloggers who also covers male spankee websites and content at his other blog, Spanking4Men. As you know, I prefer not to keep the genders segregated, but kudos to Dave for recognising that men getting spanked can be hot as well.

If you're interested in quality M/M or F/M spanking this blog is a good place to look for links and recommendations - and his recent Spanking4Men awards is a great place to start. Maybe one day Dreams of Spanking will qualify for one!

Caught reading

Pandora Blake caned by Thomas Cameron at DreamsofSpanking.com Pandora Blake caned by Thomas Cameron at DreamsofSpanking.com

Today's the last day of my self-imposed deadline for editing the films and photosets I want to launch with. I've made good progress the last couple of weeks, although not quite as much as I'd have liked, as I had to spend one day doing some owed work for a vanilla client, another earning money, and on Wednesday I managed to sprain my ankle during a stumble coming down steps in the train station, which meant no more editing on Wednesday. But I've picked things up the last couple of days, and have been photo-editing at a rate of knots... with the result that I've finished two new galleries in as many days. Woohoo!

Both these two photosets, and most of the others remaining to be edited, date way back to 2006 when I first started filming scenes for my own purposes with Tom and D, before the Dreams of Spanking concept was even firmed up in my mind. All I knew was that I wanted to create my own professional-quality spanking material with my own partners, but it wasn't until early 2009 that my plans solidified and I plunged into production in earnest.

As a result, the early photosets are a bit different to the rest of the site, with more similarity to the sort of traditional spanking scenario with which I was becoming familiar through my work with other studios. I hadn't started thinking about what I'd like to do differently yet, nor had I come to an understanding of feminist porn or the female gaze. I just knew the scenes I liked to play, and who I liked to play them with.

I may not have had political aims in mind, but nonetheless, it was still me organising the shoots, me writing the scenarios and choosing situations I knew I'd enjoy. And of course, any spanking scene I play with Tom or D is bound to be sizzling with sexual chemistry, trust and intimacy. 

In this scene, I play a schoolgirl who is caught reading (presumably while meant to be working) and is given six of the best on the spot. When I was at school I often spent my breaktimes indoors with my nose in a book, so this was a misdeed I could identify with. I love playing the mistreated schoolgirl, and Tom loves seeing me in white socks and pigtails, so we were both happy.

Pandora Blake caned by Thomas Cameron at DreamsofSpanking.com Pandora Blake caned by Thomas Cameron at DreamsofSpanking.com

Pandora Blake caned by Thomas Cameron at DreamsofSpanking.com Pandora Blake caned by Thomas Cameron at DreamsofSpanking.com

In terms of the setting and the uniform, I think this is more obviously a roleplay than some of the more immersive, realistic scenes I've produced since then. It doesn't really look much like a school, and I'm not sure a real schoolgirl would be wearing a skirt that short. But perhaps that's just my inner perfectionist talking! In any case, the ambiguity could just make it more open to interpretation. This can be an straightforward teacher/pupil scene if you want it to be, or if you prefer, you could view it as a photoset of a couple acting out a fantasy in their living room. 

As I was processing these photos I found myself simultaneously aware of both the school fantasy and the domestic reality, and that doublethink worked for me. But you might prefer one story or the other. It's up to you.

Women making porn

When I first started spanking modelling in 2006, it was pretty hard to find studios to work for that were run by women. Most hobbyist and professional erotic photographers are male, and in the UK, there were very few spanking sites which were solely owned by a woman - in fact, there still aren't many. (Off the top of my head, I can only think of Sam Johnson's Diaries and Strictly Miss Brown, although there are probably others. I expect that several of the F/M sites are run by their female star, but having not worked for any of them I'm less well informed. The F/M sites I do have accurate information about are run by a man behind the scenes.)

As a female model, it was immediately noticable that all the people hiring me were male. It's interesting to speculate why this might be. Some of it can be put down to the patriarchal history of porn in general - but there are surely other factors, too. One that occurs to me is that women who wish to make a living from kink have the option of offering private sessions, doing parties, or performing for stills or video. There are fewer opportunities for men to earn money doing work of this sort, so if they want to blend business and pleasure they must needs be photographers, technicians or site owners.

As our culture shifts towards more women wanting to watch porn and seeking porn which caters to their desires, not only will more women start filling this gap in the market, but as they provide more hiring opportunities for male models, men who would prefer to work as kinky performers for other people will have more option of doing so.

What you can see in the UK, at present, is spanking sites run jointly by a man and a woman. Of these Northern Spanking was of course the first, and one of the reasons they are so groundbreaking is that in general Lucy is in charge of the the filming side of things, with Paul handling the web side of the business. Lucy McLean was the first female producer/director I shot with, and any female producers creating spanking porn in the UK will to some extent be following in her footsteps.

Bars and Stripes, another spanking site that breaks the mould (with the same warm, caring, friendly vibe behind the scenes as NSI, and the unusual step of an ongoing story arc with recurring characters) was co-founded by a male/female team, although since Leia Ann Woods left the project it has been run solely by Michael Stamp. Lady Sonia's sites are also co-run by her and her husband. Partly because of Sonia's close involvement behind the scenes, working for them had a different atmosphere to the sites solely run by older, dominant men.

Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with men running spanking sites. Most of the gents I've worked for have been lovely people, have taken good care of me and some of them have become real friends. But I think that the lack of diversity at the producer/director/owner level is one of the reasons that many people feel that a lot of spanking porn, especially traditional English M/F which belongs to the heritage of the classic early magazines, has become "samey" over the last few years. If most of the /F sites are owned by straight, toppy white men of a certain age then that is surely a factor in the tendency of the industry as a whole to follow certain trends.

Nor are women a magic fix. I like variety in porn, and I think it's healthy for any creative industry to be shaken up every so often, by new ideas and new approaches. For instance, I'd like to see more bisexual men running sites outside the gay niche, and more people of colour working in spanking porn at the producer/director level; and I think male switches could broaden the horizons of /F porn as well. After all, porn viewers include women, switches, bisexuals, people of colour - why not porn makers, too?

If you don't agree with my premise that diversity in cultures is a positive thing in general, you may not see the need for more equality in this or any other industry. But I do, at a fundamental level, think it's good for us as humans to encounter a variety of ideas and perspectives on the world, and that our philosophy and creativity will be improved as a result. At the same time, I think that consumers of creative arts are more likely to find personal meaning and relevance in works created by people similar to them, so in order to appeal to a diverse consumer base you need diversity among producers. And given the sexist history of gender politics and pornography in this country until quite recently, I think greater equality at the producer level will improve the experience of both male and female performers.

The good news is that over the last decade, more and more women have started making the porn they want to see. This is particularly evident in the US, where the spanking scene includes not only male/female teams like Eve and Tony of Shadowlane, Chelsea and Larry of Good Spanking (I've always admired Chelsea's outspokenly affirming and kink-positive mission) and David and Pixie of Punished Brats, but also women running sites independently. Clare Fonda has probably been going the longest, but more recently we've seen Dana Specht join the ranks of female tops running their own websites, and Audrey Knight is currently preparing to launch her own spanking venture after starring in a collection of sites owned by the Spanking Digest.

Over the last three years, female bottoms (and bottom-leaning switches) are starting to come into their own as site owners, too. Sarah Gregory's site has been going for a year now and I am a big fan of her varied, in-depth, believable storylines, and the range of moods you can find in her scenarios, from edgy punishments to consensual erotic spanking and light-hearted comedy scenes. Speaking of erotic spanking, Sinn Sage and Amber Dawn have both put themselves on the map with their consistently sexy explicit spanking, and although I don't know for sure how much control they have behind the scenes, both performers trade on the fact that the scenarios represent their personal fantasies and desires.

As more women get involved in production/direction, we're seeing increasing numbers of real couples explore their sexuality on camera: Ten Amorette has just launched her own clips for sale store in which she takes hard punishment from her partner, and kinky couple Maggie and Ned Mayhem have just launched their hardcore nerd sex site. Beyond pure CP, we're seeing kinky performers like Penny Barber follow in the footsteps of Zille Defeu in producing BDSM porn catering to their own fetishes; and the queer/dyke porn movement has had women at the top from the very beginning, from Courtney Trouble to Shine Louise Houston, Madison Young and Tristan Taormino.

Anna Span led the way twelve years ago as the first English woman to launch her own successful porn brand, following in the footsteps of Candida Royalle and Annie Sprinkle in the US. In Europe Petra Joy, Maria Beatty and Erika Lust have all made their mark, as have other directors across the world, such as Louise Lush in Australia. But in terms of women making adult films without a man running things behind the scenes, the UK still doesn't boast as many big names. Surely there must be women making porn in the UK, running clips stores and small-scale productions - and please do send me links to any you know of, as I'd love to fill the gaps in my knowledge! But if so, not many of them have made the news, and very few of them seem to be in spanking.

One exception is the female star of SpankingSarah. She doesn't run the site herself; it's produced by the Red Stripe/English Spankers team, headed by Peter Kaye. But I think it's telling that Peter decided to make his latest venture so personality-driven, with Sarah having a prominent voice on the site and taking a leading role in the writing and promotion, and no doubt being involved behind the scenes as well. It's good to see that some male producers are starting to recognise the appeal and value of woman-led porn. But the most exciting up-and-coming female kink producer in the UK, in my opinion, is Nimue Allen.

Nimue is currently preparing her own site, Nimue's World, for launch, and having filmed for it I can't wait to see the finished product. Like me, Nimue is poly, bisexual, into dominance/submission, and her kinks span the boundary of CP/spanking and BDSM. She's a switch, which gives her even more potential for variety. Nimue has taken the step from performing for other people to producing the sort of kinky porn she wants to see, with an inclusive ethos that deliberately merges the spanking and BDSM genres. I'm really excited about the launch of Nimue's World, and hope that rather than competing, our two sites can promote and help each other along the way.

It takes a bit of research to discover the rich history female-produced porn has across the globe, and quite how many female producers/directors there are out there; but once you do, you realise that this is a great time to be a woman making porn. I'm proud to be part of this exciting legacy, and to follow in the footsteps of these groundbreaking, courageous sex-positive and kinky businesswomen. The US spanking industry already has no shortage of woman-owned sites, and given time I have every confidence that the gender balance will become truly equal.

Given spanking has such a strong association with the UK as "the English vice", and such an active CP scene in which so many women take leading roles as event organisers and hosts, it's high time that our web and film industry caught up.

Caning Merit Badge

A month and a half ago, just before the sudden and dramatic change in our housing situation, Tom and I were getting ready for our weekly Wednesday night date. This was the time when we would deal with any punishments arising from our domestic discipline arrangement, in which he was helping me keep track of my exercise routine. I'd just come out of the bath when he came in to ask if I'd be interested in setting up my camera and recording some of our play ... and mentioned that he had in mind a rather more extended scene than I might usually expect on a weeknight.

My heart leapt, and following my gut instinct, I instantly agreed. Although I saw a lot more of Tom while I was living with him than I ever had before, both our busy work lives and his chronic illness continually prevented us from having as much time and energy for play as we might like. Since I first started forming the concept of Dreams of Spanking in my head, I knew I wanted to shoot an ongoing sequence of candid films expressing the intimacy of my romantic D/S dynamic with my partners in the bedroom. No roleplay, no complex scenarios, no characters, no scripts: just me and my doms, doing what we do.

Over the last five years my blog has provided a fulfilling outlet for sharing my kinky life with others, stimulating my inner exhibitionist and paving the way for some amazing dialogues, dizzying learning curves and warm and lasting friendships. Once I started making films, it seemed only natural to start thinking about using my newfound skills to express the joy and power of my kinky life in a new medium.

Dreams of Spanking is focussed on stories because that's the core component of my fantasy life. But in reality, my personal play is very different. In fantasy my kink is non or semi-consensual; an unavoidable hardship during a thrilling adventure, or the misfortune suffered by the victim of a Victorian melodrama. Many of my fantasies are asexual and are instead about suffering, punishment or injustice. In reality, my kink is deeply, joyfully consensual; erotic and sexual; romantic, intimate and real. I may not fantasise about this sort of spanking, but that doesn't make it any less a part of who I am. If my creative mission is to express the breadth and depth of my spanking kink as fully and as honestly as possible (and while I have a lot of political aims as well, that goal is very much at the heart of what I'm doing), then it should include the actual expression of my kink as well as the stories of my imagination.

Besides, although the camera can enhance my pain tolerance in some cases, there are other ways in which private scenes enable me to go further up and further in. Most of the hardest scenes I've played have been in the bedroom, as have all the scenes in which I've reached subspace. I have too big a severity kink not to want to take advantage of that and try to capture the experience on film. 

So I'd been thinking about this for a while. I knew Tom was interested, so it was just a question of waiting until the stars aligned and we both had sufficient time, good health and kinky energy simultaneously. Occasionally I'd raise the idea, but not wanting to pressure him I mostly left the timing in Tom's hands. Which is why, when he made the suggestion, I leapt at the chance.

The premise was based on Tom giving me the chance to earn another merit badge. At the start of this year my friends at Kinky Merit Badges, to celebrate the launch of their new venture, kindly gave me a sample of each of their initial set of badges. Well, actually they gave them to D; and after D had taken his pick, he offered the remainder to Tom. The idea was that as I earned each badge from one partner or the other, I would blog about the scene and thus provide my friends with a little free publicity. I was delighted by the whole concept, and couldn't wait to start earning my badges.

So far, D had orchestrated opportunities to bestow the Spanking and Bondage badges, but I hadn't yet earned any from Tom. I knew that in order to earn a badge something unusually dramatic would be required of me, and given how hard Tom and I like to play in the usual course of things, I was more than a little nervous. But when he said that he planned to give me the chance to earn my Caning merit badge, my first thought was simply: what a wonderful basis for a film!

After that it was just a question of working out the logistics and deciding on the best setup and schedule for the evening. I didn't know the details of what he had in mind for the scene, but suddenly I had to think about lighting and camera angles as well as my makeup and outfit. We decided to keep it simple with a single light and camera position throughout, as we knew that any attempt to move the camera for a different angle ran the risk of causing faff and stress and breaking the mood. I went for a side-on shot as I lay on the bed which included my face and bottom in profile, with Tom behind me facing the camera. The plan was to turn the camera on and leave it running as the evening unfolded, to capture our play in as candid and natural a way as possible.

We also made the decision not to ignore the camera, but to engage with it in a sort of "video diary" way. This freed us up not only to communicate how we were feeling, and share personal tidbits at relevant moments without trying to artificially shoehorn the information into our own dialogue, but it also gave us the option of moving me around in relation to the camera throughout the scene, to create the effect of several different camera angles without ever moving the equipment. I hadn't seen this done before so it was a bit of an experiment, but having edited, I think it worked rather well.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to turn off the server running in Tom's room without cutting off internet to a number of other people. Leaving it on seemed like the best decision in the spur of the moment, but when I came to edit the footage I realised quite how much the microphone had picked up on the electronic whine. The worst part was that it seemed to be roughly the same frequency as human speech, so I was unable to enhance our voices without increasing the noise. I'm loudmouthed enough that this wasn't a problem for me, but Tom (as a direct counterpoint to the loud, arrogant tops you meet on the scene sometimes) has deliberately cultivated a courteous, soft-spoken scene persona. I find it very sexy, but it does mean that when he's not Acting it can be hard to hear what he's saying. I did my best with the sound editing on the video, but next time (and oh, yes, there will certainly be a next time) we'll make a point of turning off any electronic equipment which might be picked up, and I'll remind Tom to project his voice a little more than he usually does in bed.

Still, despite the sound issues, I'm really happy with how this film turned out. We ended up with an hour of usable footage (after cutting some pauses to answer calls of nature, and other private moments). It does not have high production values, nor an ambitious storyline. But it does include scenes of genuine, candid intimacy, romance, dominance and submission; and real punishment as part of a real life domestic discipline arrangement, including some honest and unrehearsed negotiation.

And it's action packed, too: 39 strokes of the bath brush (that was the DD punishment), followed by an extended, dreamy D/S session in which I flew my way happily and willingly through a hundred hard strokes of the cane, working up from one of our medium canes to one of the heaviest and thickest in our collection; then twenty strokes with a light whippy cane on my nipples (bizarrely, one of the hardest things I have taken on camera, bringing me nearly to tears - and you can see it all on my face; I was too embarrassed to watch those bits while I was editing!) followed by thirty hard strokes of the razor strop, at my request. By the end my bottom was welted, bruised and thoroughly punished, and I was basking in the blissful, languid relaxation of someone who's just received one hell of a spanking.

Orientations: categories and subcategories

Screengrab from 'Taking the Blame' starring Zoe Montana, Jimmy Holloway and Pandora Blake

I'm currently developing the website templates for the product pages (that is, the individual page for each spanking scene). There's lots of interesting geeky stuff going on behind the scenes, which I won't bore you with, but suffice to say that it feels great to finally be getting stuck into the gory technical part of the site build.

We've put an awful lot of thought into the information architecture of the site, with a constant goal of making the site as accessible and usable as possible, with a clear, navigable interface, and search tools that make it as easy as possible to find the scenes that will interest you. I'm taking risks with a broad, inclusive definition of spanking porn that bridges a number of common genres: it's surprisingly radical to put period spanking scenes next to modern ones, or scripted in-character stories next to unscripted personal interplay, let alone including bondage and spanking on one site, or sex and spanking, or male spankees and female spankees. Given that, I want to make it as easy as possible for you to streamline your browsing and only look at the scenes that interest you.

I've going to be doing some clever things with tagging to facilitate this, but the software D's written also supports categories for spanking scenes. A scene can be in more than one category, and you can have nested categories as well.

My current idea is to use categories to show the gender orientation of a spanking scene. So my four top-level categories would be (in alphabetical order): F/F, F/M, M/F and M/M. 

So far, so good. But here's where it gets a bit more complicated, and I wanted to ask your advice.

Question 1: Scenes with more than two people

Several of my scenes have more than two people. Here are some examples:

Caned in Jodhpurs: Thomas Cameron spanks Zille Defeu and me together. This could be described as M/F or M/FF.

Taking the Blame: Zoe Montana spanks Jimmy Holloway and me together. This is F/FM (or F/MF), but M/F and F/M also accurately describe it.

The Dinner Party: Hywel Phillips and Thomas Cameron spank Amelia Jane Rutherford and me together. So this could be described as M/F, or MM/FF.

The New Head Girl: Thomas Cameron and Adele Haze spank Caroline Grey; Tom also spanks Adele. This could be described as M/F, F/M, M/FF, MF/F or even M/F/F.

As soon as you introduce a character who switches into a multiperson scene, you can see how the categories quickly become more complicated.

So I have several options. I could keep it ultra-simple and only use the top four categories. But then people who are specifically looking for e.g. scenes where boys and girls are punished together won't be able to find those scenes as easily. Since this is a type of scene not many other producers are doing and which I believe there is a demand for, I don't want to hide them away.

Or I could create any number of sub-categories within each category. So within F/M, you might find F/MM, F/MF or even F/M/M or F/F/M. The possibilities are endless!

This allows me more accurate category descriptions, but it also runs into some issues. Taking the Blame, for example, is F/FM, but I could list that subcategory under either F/M or F/F. (Or both! Which would result in me having two F/FM categories: one as a subset of F/M and one as a subset of F/F - but then "F/FM" will be repeated in the list of categories for that scene, which would be clumsy.)

Doing it this way involves making some arbitrary decisions. I could list it under F/M, F/F and F/F > F/FM, but why put the latter under F/F and not F/M?

The other option is to create more than four top-level categories, and make F/FM a category in its own right. You'd then end up with a much higher number of potential top-level categories, but you'd still be able to put (say) MM/FF as a subcategory of M/F. Switch scenes are still tricky: The New Head Girl would have to belong to several top-level catogories - M/F, F/F, MF/F and possibly M/F/F - plus M/FF (which would be a subcategory of M/F).

Bwaaaah, so complicated!

So I don't know, really. What do you think? Which category structure seems the simplest and most intuitive?  

Question 2: Scenes with only one person

I don't currently have many solo videos, but I'd like to start experimenting with them. I do have several solo photosets. They aren't all of spankees either - in some of them the performer is presenting as a bottom role, in others as a switch, and in others as a top. So how do I categorise them? They'd need to be new top-level categories too, and you could write it with a slash and a single letter (/M, /F, F/ and M/), or with Xs (X/M, X/F, F/X and F/X) - although what about switches?

Using Xs might be easier to read, but it may also imply that the scene is two person and involves a genderqueer or cross-dressing person. Which opens a whole other box of frogs. Not all my performers are cisgendered, but so far they have all been comfortable playing a male or female role in the scenes. However, in the future I'd love to explore spanking scenes with characters who don't clearly fit into the gender binary. What happens to my nice neat gendered categories then?

So I think I'd prefer to not use Xs. Would you know what it meant if you saw "/F", or am I better off dumping the acronyms and calling these categories things like "solo female spankee"? 

It's a far more complex issue than I originally thought. Queer porn sites often don't have gender categories for scenes, precisely in order to avoid this sort of pigeonholing; but gender roles are a central component of many people's spanking fantasies. It's a genre that fetishes power inequalities, and gender is as crucial to that as social class. 

A lot of my scenes play with class inequality and gender inequality, and explore some of the traditional power dynamics which have been abused in our history. As fantasy, that sort of scenario is smoking hot. As an example, the fact that it's a male guardian thrashing the rebellious suffragette is completely key to that fantasy. If you're a woman who enjoys oppressed suffragette spanking fantasies, you might want to be certain that this was a M/F scene rather than an F/F one before knowing whether you wanted to see more. And many people only enjoy watching one or two specific orientations, and aren't interested in the others - which is a completely valid personal taste, and I would be sorry to alienate those viewers by making it hard to cherry pick the scenes that will appeal.

So it's definitely information I need to communicate. If you have any thoughts about how to structure the information as simply and clearly as possible, I'd be very interested in hearing them!

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