Fair Trade Spanking Dreams

Congratulations seem to be in order for Pandora Blake and her crew at Dreams Of Spanking, who give every impression of having been principally responsible for a righteous education delivered via detailed interviews to the Guardian reporter who wrote this excellent article about fair trade porn that appeared on Saturday. And why am I not as surprised as the reporter that Pandora’s home looks like that of “a young academic, who for some reason needs high-spec recording equipment”?

What Blake does could never be generated by a computer. The film she’s making – a futuristic dystopia in which men have been abolished – sounds a bit muesli on paper; but the landscape of bondage, fetish and futurism is incredibly unmuesli. The shoot looks pretty lo-fi (Blake’s flat, which she sometimes uses as a location, looks like the home of a young academic, who for some reason needs high-spec recording equipment). Confusingly, you can see real human beings in Blake’s films. Even more confusingly, I love it.

I was pleased to see Pandora unpack the too-common confusing between ethical porn and feminist porn, which can often overlap, but do not necessarily do so:

Feminism is not a prerequisite when it comes to making ethical porn, Blake says. “Feminist porn is explicitly focused on women’s desires and sexuality. So, for example, the belt-whipping scene where I got the life thrashed out of me, that I would say is feminist, because it’s about my journey and my sexuality. Whereas I think it’s possible to produce male-gaze porn in an ethical and fair trade way. That means complete respect for performers, for their boundaries and consent. If someone says no, you don’t ask again, you don’t ask last minute in the middle of a scene. You don’t trick them into doing stuff. You pay them. It’s not only all of those principles, but also communicating that to your audience.”

There’s a whole lot more. Good job, Pandora and D and AJ!

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