Tuesday 3 May 2016

The Duke of Burgundy

I feel like I should put a *MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT* at the top of this post. The Duke of Burgundy is not the sort of film you can spoil exactly. It's not a whodunit. It's not like I'm going to give away the fact that the main protagonist was a secret alien cyborg from the future all along. But I went into this film without knowing anything about it at all and that's an approach I'd highly recommend. So, if you haven't seen it, I reckon you should go away, watch the movie and then come back and read the review below. Because, apart from anything else, I do talk about the ending.

Peter Strickland's 2014 lesbian BDSM romantic drama The Duke of Burgundy is not the film I expected it to be. It certainly isn't the film that this trailer thinks it is.

All those bits in the trailer hinting at sexy sex times and BDSM punishment? They're pretty much the most explicit scenes in the film. The Duke of Burgundy isn't a no-holds-barred explicit lesbian fetish-a-thon. At least not in that way.

Why do the makers of trailers do that? Deliberately create a trailer that promises a completely different film from the one that it actually delivers? Surely you just end up with with a bunch of disgruntled cinema-goers.

"What the hell was this?" your hypothetical cinema-goer might say, "I expected lots of naked girl-on-girl action and explicit BDSM pervery! Instead I got some kind of arty-farty slightly surreal portrayal of a struggling relationship. I barely even managed a wank. Two stars!"

There's a lot less of this sort of thing than you might imagine.
With that out of the way, I want to make it clear that The Duke of Burgundy is a very, very good film. Evelyn (Chiara D'Anna) and Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) inhabit a slightly dreamlike world set in no particular time period or geographical location. Our first introduction to the two central characters is when Evelyn arrives at Cynthia's front door to be told, very sternly, that she's late. "I'm sorry," says Evelyn. "You will be," Cynthia replies. Cynthia then rebukes Evelyn for sitting on the sofa without permission before instructing her to clean the study. We see Evelyn scrubbing floors while Cynthia lounges around drinking wine and reading with a haughty demeanour which makes her look every inch the unforgiving Mistress. Evelyn, meanwhile, looks cowed and slightly terrified. She begs permission to be allowed to leave once all her housekeeping duties have been performed. That permission is denied.

It quickly becomes apparent that nothing that we have seen can be taken at face value. Evelyn and Cynthia live together. Far from being abused, Evelyn is having a delightful time. And she is the one who is calling all the shots. The Maid-and-Mistress scenes we have just seen are meticulously orchestrated fantasies of Evelyn's which are played out again and again throughout the film by the two lovers.

As we see the same scenes being re-enacted throughout the progression of the film, the nuances of the participants' performances begin to shift. Evelyn may be having the time of her life - scrubbing floors, washing her Mistress's knickers, enduring some kind of off-screen water-based punishment - but it becomes apparent that Cynthia is struggling with her role as a Domme.

At first, I assumed that Cynthia had originally been up for the D/s lifestyle that she had adopted with Evelyn. (We are, tellingly, never shown the beginning of Evelyn and Cynthia's relationship. We never get to hear the conversations that led to Evelyn's extreme submission fantasies being fulfilled.) Then I thought that she had once been into it but had become bored with the arrangement. As the story progressed, however, I understood that being the 'D' in a D/s relationship had never been Cynthia's thing. It was just something that she was prepared to do in order to keep her lover happy.

As Evelyn pushes to take her submissive role further - Human Toilet! Being manacled and locked in a wooden chest all night! That sort of thing! - Cynthia finds it increasingly difficult to be the Dominant that Evelyn wants her to be.

As far as understanding the nature of a D/s relationship, this film provides a very one sided view. Evelyn and Cynthia's relationship is not a healthy one and the D/s aspects are clearly dysfunctional. We're mostly watching two frequently miserable people in love with one other struggling to find a way in which their relationship might survive.

It's frustrating to watch as a kinkster because only Evelyn's actions are motivated by her kinks. Cynthia's reasons for participating in the whole BDSM set-up are a lot more vanilla. This film doesn't attempt to shed any light on what makes a Dom tick.

Which is annoying for me because that’s the half of the dynamic that I would like to understand better. I don’t really understand what a Dominant gets out of the arrangement. I get where Evelyn is coming from. I can relate to it. Not to the extent she does or the extremes she wishes to take it, admittedly, and her kinks are definitely not my kinks. Mine involve a lot less housework, for one thing. But the bossy sub thing? Yeah, I get it. I’ve mentioned before that all the subs I know tend to be fairly opinionated strong-willed types. We have to be. We are people who have negotiated how to get exactly what we want. You don’t manage that if you’re a bit of a pushover.

Evelyn controls the role-playing between her and Cynthia by means of handwritten cards, giving detailed instructions of exactly how she wants her Domme to behave. Again, Evelyn’s cards are rather more thorough than anything I would come up with. The scenes are scripted to the exact word. Cynthia even has masking-taped ‘marks’ on the floor so that she stands in exactly the right position when reprimanding Evelyn. I have no intention of taking it to that level but I have been known to provide some fairly detailed instructive texts describing exactly what I want during the times I’m ostensibly the one following orders.

There are certainly moments of humour in the film. (In a wry smile kind of way rather than full on hearty chuckling.) There’s a scene where Evelyn and Cynthia have an appointment with a kinky bed manufacturing lady (Fatma Mohamed). Having discussed the options of building a bed in which Evelyn can be restrained while her lover sleeps on top of her, Evelyn is then brought near to tears with frustration when she realises that there’s no way that such a bed can be manufactured in time for her birthday. Wracking her brains for a way to keep her customers happy, the carpenter says “Would a human toilet be a suitable compromise?” Evelyn’s face lights up and her look of excitement and joy is wonderful to behold.

(Although, what was up with Kinky Bed Lady telling her clients that she had recently supplied a similar item of furniture to someone else in the neighbourhood and supplying enough details that Evelyn and Cynthia could easily work out who she was? What way is that to run a kinky bed business? Have you no respect for client confidentiality? Surely the Number One rule in the Bespoke Furniture For Perverts business is absolute discretion.)

The admissions of infidelity that occur when Cynthia finds out that Evelyn has been cleaning another woman’s boots are also a moment of bittersweet comedy. They just sound so absurd. “There was just some scolding. She said a few harsh words. That was all, I swear!”

You don’t get the impression that Strickland is any way mocking the BDSM lifestyle, though. Evelyn’s unusual needs and desires are absolutely central to the film. There is no doubt that her desire to be commanded, subjugated, constrained and punished are absolutely key to who she is.

Which makes Cynthia’s increasingly faltering ability to meet those needs all the more heartbreaking. In one key scene, Evelyn demands that Cynthia talk dirty to her while she masturbates. Cynthia attempts to start the conversation by telling Evelyn how much she loves her but that isn’t what Evelyn wants. So Cynthia gives Evelyn what she wants. She tells her that she’s her maid, that she belongs entirely to her, that she must do exactly what she’s told or else she’ll be punished. Evelyn keeps pushing. “More, more!” she says. And Cynthia falters. A look of panic crosses her face as she says “I don’t know what else to say.” “Just go back to the beginning” Evelyn tells her. So Cynthia tries her hardest, tells Evelyn what she needs to hear in order to reach her climax. Then post-orgasm, Evelyn tells Cynthia “Next time, try to do it with a little more conviction in your voice.” For fuck’s sake, there’s really no pleasing some subs.

The film’s ending is slightly ambiguous. Acknowledging her partner’s distress in having to enact the role of her Domme, Evelyn reassures Cynthia that they don’t have to do it, anymore. That she would be content with a vanilla relationship with her. Because she loves her and anything else is just an extra. However, the very last scene of the film is the exact same Mistress/maid scenario with which the film opened. I did wonder if this was a flashback to earlier, happier times. But, you know, I don’t think this film actually had any flashbacks. It felt like there were because of the way the pair re-enacted the same scenes over and over again. But I think the film was actually entirely chronological. I would need to watch it again to check.

My interpretation (and other cleverer and filmier people than me have agreed with this when I have discussed it with them) is that Evelyn and Cynthia’s attempt at a non D/s relationship failed. Evelyn couldn't live without it. Cynthia couldn't deny Evelyn the thing that made her so happy.

I would absolutely recommend that everyone watches this film. And not just kinky people. It was hugely critically acclaimed. It’s beautiful and sparse and exquisitely shot. The soundtrack sends shivers up your spine. Regardless of whether you’re sub, Dom or entirely oblivious to the fact that people get up to these sorts of shenanigans, you will find yourself drawn into the claustrophobic, slightly unreal world of two people who are in love and who are desperately, sometimes clumsily, trying to make that love work. Just don’t go expecting a full-on wankfest chock full of lesbian sex, bondage and watersports. Honestly, it’s not that kind of film.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

The Flappiness of Floggers

Not surprisingly, when I meet other kinksters, the conversation often turns to the subject of favourite and least favourite spanking implements. It's a tricky one to answer. It's only been a year and a half since spanking became something that actually happened in my life (rather than something that I just thought about obsessively) and the the novelty really hasn't come close to wearing off yet. I am still surprised and delighted that people are prepared to spend time spanking me with anything at all. Not least because as a non-switchy type, I have no idea what they're getting out of it. I would be bored after five minutes. Yet I seem to have found a bunch of people who have not only been happy to spend hours using a whole load of different spanky toys on my arse but also seem to be enjoying themselves. Although I can't believe that they're having as much fun as I am.

This is pretty much how I look post-spanking.
I do like a thuddy toy. I think paddles are my all-time favourite thing. But it's all about the variety, really. You can't beat a bit of stinginess; I'm terribly fond of canes. The stingiest thing I've ever been hit with was a dressage whip. That hurt. But, as with all stingy things, the pain went away quite quickly unlike with thuddy things where the pain just keeps on building.

When it comes to my least favourite implement though, then that's definitely the flogger. They're just so annoyingly flappy. I know lots of people are very keen on them but I find them quite irritating. Largely because a lot of the time they're not being used to cause pain. I like pain. I don't really do 'sensation play'. If I'm on the receiving end of a light flogging, there's a bit of me thinking "Oh, come on. I'm not after a massage here." I don't want to be lightly caressed.


Of course, floggers can hurt as has been demonstrated on me on a number of occasions. But even then, it's not the right kind of pain. It's all sort of unfocused and all over the place. It doesn't connect in the same way that a paddle or a cane or well-aimed hand does.

Now, I am fully accepting of the fact that I am going to be flogged. I haven't had a Spanking Friend who hasn't used a flogger on me. Doms love a flogger. I understand that they are quite satisfying to wield. And I don't mind them. As part of an overall spanking experience, they're fine.

Definitely not my favourite though. If I had a spanking which only consisted of a hand-spanking and a flogging, I think I would feel quite unsatisfied at the end. Whereas I would be entirely content with just "hand spanking and paddling", I reckon. Or "hand spanking and caning".

I admit I'm being a bit unreasonable as 'flogger' covers a wide variety of different kinky spank-toys. Big, small, leather, suede, rubber. Googling for flogger images has revealed that Uberkinky have a metal ball chain flogger that they describe as having "serious bite". Yes, I'm sure it does.

Current Gentleman Spanking Friend recently purchased a pink plastic flogger. It's bright and cheerful and looks like the sort of thing you'd be able to buy in the gift shop at Chessington World of Adventures. That flogger wasn't flappy and ineffectual at all. It had quite the sting to it. Rather too much, as it goes, as our first go had to be curtailed due to the damn thing cutting my skin. Because personally while I'm all about the pain, drawing blood is never on the to-do list during a spanking.

He's made some adjustments to the end of the tails which were causing the problem so hopefully it'll be back in play for his next visit. With the literal rough edges taken care of, it's definitely a flogger that I would be happy to spend more time with. I don't think it undermines my "not really liking floggers" point though. I think if you put this particular flogger on a Spanking Implements Venn Diagram (and I really need to start constructing a Spanking Implements Venn Diagram) then it would be in the bit where floggers and whips overlap.

Not flappy
Incidentally, Current Gentleman Spanking Friend has named this particular item 'Felicia'. Because apparently naming one's spanking implements is a Thing That Doms Do. I remain unconvinced. I think he's a strange man. But, hey, whatever makes him happy. I'm not about to judge other people's weirdness.

There are so, so many different kinds of implements out there to be spanked with. From the hastily improvised to the meticulously crafted by artisan perverts. I went to the London Alternative Market fetish fair recently. My goodness, there an awful lot of things you can buy which have been specifically designed to be used on a willing sub. And, frankly, I'm happy to try most of them. It really is a most delightful journey. Bring it on! The thuddy, the slappy, the stingy, the whippy and, yes on occasion, the annoyingly flappy.

Monday 25 April 2016

Beat Me On the Bottom with the Woman's Weekly

Comedian, actress, songwriter, screenwriter and all-round fucking genius, Victoria Wood died last week. In the year which seems to be determined to be remembered as the one where everyone dies (and it's only April for fuck's sake), Victoria Wood's death hit me particularly hard. I think she was brilliant. And not just because she wrote a song which contained the line "beat me on the bottom with the Woman's Weekly".

1953 - 2016. Fuck cancer.
Wood was a fantastic comic writer and performer. There was never any meanness to her comedy. Her comic creations weren't grotesques. They often felt like people you felt like you knew even if you actually didn't. So many of the tributes I have been reading online, have pointed out what an incredibly generous comic writer she was. She always gave the best lines to her co-performers.

As a teenager in the 80's, I was all too aware that there really weren't that many female comedians around. In fact, the numbers of men and women in comedy in still massively imbalanced. Why is that? Think of the people in your immediate social circle. Are your female friends less likely to make you laugh than your male ones? I really doubt it. There's a whole load of ingrained sexism behind the fact that 95% of the guests on BBC panel shows have a penis.

But institutionalised sexism in television comedy isn't the point of this post. Victoria wasn't just one of the best female comedians, she was one of the best ever, regardless of sex. She was absolutely brilliant.

And of course she wrote and performed the marvellous, marvellous Ballad of Barry and Freda,

I was thirteen when I heard first heard her perform it during An Audience With Victoria Wood. I'm not saying I was turned on by a comic song, exactly, but as a nascent pervert, it made rather an impression on me. There is a lot of kink in that song.

Bend me over backwards on my hostess trolley!

Dangle from the wardrobe in your balaclava!

No cautions, just contortions. Smear an avocado on my lower portions!

For your potassium-rich sploshing needs
And, the perfectly perfect final line: "Beat me on the bottom with the Woman's Weekly!" In the tributes which have poured forth since last Wednesday, this is the line that has been quoted the most.

So, you know, it's not just me. Everyone's a spanko really.

In fact, Current Gentleman Spanking Friend has asked me to get hold of a copy of the Woman's Weekly before our next date, He may want to check out the knitting patterns but it seems more likely that he is planning a tribute to Victoria Wood of his own. In fact, I suspect he might be a bit of a pervert.

Monday 29 February 2016

Leap Day

Well, will you look at that? It's the 29th of February. The one day out of 1,461 when it's acceptable for a lady to propose to a gentleman. Normally us womenfolk just stand around all passive and coquettish waiting for a man to drop to his knees and offer us an escape route from terminal spinsterhood.

But, hurrah, on this very special day, we get to turn the tables, look our desired conquests up and down and say "Well, how about it, stud?"

You better shape up, 'cause I need a man
And my heart is set on you
Disappointingly, I have proposed to exactly zero (0) men today. If I change my mind about the whole marriage business and want to take matters into my own hands I am going to have to wait until 2020 before I get my next opportunity.

Well, obviously, I'm not because (a) It's the 21st century and women can propose to men anytime they feel like it and (b) I am never not ever getting married ever. I've made it to my forties without tying the knot. I reckon I'm safe now.

So where does this tradition come from? Well according to legend, in the fifth century St Brigid beseeched fellow patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick for a day when women could propose to their suitors. And, um, that's it. Not only is it bollocks - St Brigid would have been eight years old at the time of St Patrick's death which would have made her a pretty precocious campaigner for women's rights in any century - it's kind of boring. What kind of backstory is that? Someone asked "Can this thing be a thing?" and the other person - presumably - said "yes". It's rubbish. You need a bit more plot there, legend-making-up people.

Oh, and there are no citations for this legend until the 19th century so it's double bollocks.

Presumably, the tradition came about because the 29th of February is a crazy, nonsensical sort of a day. It doesn't even happen most years! And what's the most crazy nonsensical thing our 19th century ancestors could think of?  Women proposing to men! How bonkers is that!?

As it happens, I am very happy being a spinster. (A spinster who can date, shag and be spanked by anyone she damn well pleases, obviously.)

I have recently taken my spinsterhood up a notch. Last Friday, I adopted two beautiful elderly cats. They're lovely. I have no intention of ensnaring myself a man. I fully intend to be a Crazy Cat Lady instead. It's going extraordinarily well so far.

Sunday 14 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day. If you're into that sort of rubbish.

Oh look, it's Valentine's Day again. That pretendy-love fest named after the Patron Saint of beekeeping and epilepsy keeps rolling around every year. I am, apparently, powerless to stop it.

You see those faces in the doorway? NONE of those people were there at the time this picture was taken,
Their images only appeared after this wedding photo was developed. Woooooooooooh.
You all know what a cynical, unromantic curmudgeon I am, right? I will look askance at anyone over the age of fourteen who gives any kind of shit about Valentine's Day.

And it's not because I don't believe in love. I believe in love! I have met actual, real people who are in love in with their life partners. Hell, I'm even related to some of them.

I just think that Valentine's Day is literally the worst day of the year to express that love. A bunch of flowers given on a random Thursday is a million times more romantic than one given on the 14th of February. (And I am saying this as someone who would love to be given a bunch of flowers occasionally. Even on Valentine's Day. Honestly, I'm not picky.)

But what do I know of love? Absolutely nothing.

So for insightful observations on the nature of true love, I would like to direct your attention once again to the always amazing Australian songwriter, Tim Minchin.

Because, you know, you can be happily married to a woman you met in your teens and still recognise that "It's just mathematically unlikely that at a university in Perth / I happened to stumble on the one girl on Earth specifically designed for me".

And, maybe it's just me, but if someone ever told me "I don't think you're special / I mean, I think you're special / But you fall within a bell curve", I'd respect them a hell of a lot. Because I do like a man with a good understanding of mathematical probability.

There's a longer version of this song. Worth mentioning because this version contains the lines
You're lovely but there must be girls as lovely as you
And maybe more open to spanking or table tennis
I'm just saying
And you know, I can never un-hear a spanking reference. Especially when it's being said by Tim Minchin. Shame he's so very obviously in love with his wife.  (And if you listen all the way to the end of that longer clip, you'll appreciate that Mrs Minchin sounds every kind of awesome.)

Unfortunately, come to think of it, my table tennis skills are terrible. Bang goes my chances of a threesome.

Well, this went slightly off-topic.
Enjoy your Valentine's Days, everyone! Whatever you're doing. Having candlelit dinners, swapping clich├ęd gifts, making heart-shaped food items, imagining threeways with Tim Minchin and his wife. Whatever. I'm not going to judge you.

I feel obliged at this point to mention the VALENTINES Corbin Bend collection of VALENTINES stories of VALENTINE-ness. Buy them all now! Or at least, my one.

Valentine's Surprise: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 1) - Constance Masters

Roy & Teri's Accidental Staycation: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 2) - Kate Richards

Past Interference: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 3) - Kathryn Blake

The Perfect Housewife: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 4) - Etta Stark

Unexpected Surprises: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 5) - Ruth Staunton

Knowing What She Needs: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 6) - Thianna D

Saturday 13 February 2016

Saturday Spankings - "She felt poised halfway between happiness and hurt"

Saturday Spankings! Valentine's Day Flavour!

Hey, Saturday Spankers! You know what tomorrow is? 14th February 2016! Which according to the crazy lady in Ghostbusters 2 is the date of the END OF THE WORLD.

Oh, and it's also Valentine's Day. If you're into that sort of thing.

"So your alien had a room at the Holiday Inn, Paramus?"
"It might have been a room on the spacecraft made up to look like a room in the Holiday Inn. I can't be sure about that, Peter."
Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Love In The Rockies collection is on sale now! For all your Spanky Community Valentine's Day needs. Including my book, The Perfect Housewife.

Go on! Treat yourself.

In the snippet below, Kirsty is being spanked by her boyfriend, Logan. In a moment of improvisation, Logan has decided to spank Kirsty with a skipping rope.

Kirsty buried her face in the bedcover and waited for the first blow to connect. The plastic cord whipped across her bare bottom leaving a line of fire in its wake.  Logan brought the rope down half a dozen more times. Each time, Kirsty gasped as it made stinging contact with her flesh.  The pain was so different from that of being spanked by his hand. She honestly couldn’t tell if she liked it or not. She felt poised halfway between happiness and hurt. It felt like it could go either way.

Go on, enjoy Valentine's Day in the company of the world's best spanking community. But be quick, according to those aliens in Holiday Inn, Paramus, you may not have much time left.

But before we all inevitably meet our respective dooms, remember to check out the rest of the Saturday Spankers.

Saturday 6 February 2016

New Release! The Perfect Housewife

Good news, everyone! Last year's Corbin's Bend Valentine-fest Love In The Rockies are being released this month as stand-alone books.

This means that my contribution, The Perfect Housewife is now available for sale!

Buy it now!
Unless you already purchased the full Love In The Rockies collection.
n which case, definitely don't. Because it's exactly the same.

The Perfect Housewife continues Logan and Kirsty's story after we left them in East End Girl. Our heroes are still together and still trying to make their Domestic Discipline lifestyle work. Something that doesn't always come naturally to feisty, independent Kirsty.

In the snippet below, Logan has admitted that he has screwed up and hurt Kirsty's feelings. Although he has apologised, Kirsty wonders if there should be further consequences.

“So what happens now?” she asked. 
“How do you mean?” 
“Well you admitted that you did wrong in leaping to the conclusion that you did, you’ve said sorry and that you won’t do it again.” 
“Is that not enough?” 
“Well, it isn’t when I have done something wrong. I get a punishment spanking as well.”Logan pulled back from the hug so that they were at arm’s length from one another and looked at her questioningly. “You want to spank me?” 
Kirsty frowned. The idea wasn’t appealing at all. “Maybe not,” she conceded. “But it is a bit unfair, isn’t it? There’s two people in this relationship and yet if I do something wrong, I get my backside warmed like an errant child and if you do something wrong, you just get to apologize and move on. I feel like I’m setting back Women’s Rights sixty years sometimes. Aren’t we supposed to be equal partners?” 
Logan ran his finger down the side of her face and kissed her softly on her cheek.  “I guess it’s something we will just need to keep working on and discussing. We’re still figuring all of this out. I don’t want you to think that I get to discipline you just because I’m a man and you are my woman. I tell you what though. You don’t get to spank me. Not ever. That’s not how this thing works. If you think the rules of spanking are unfair, then we will have to even it up the other way.”
“The other way?” 
“Yes. I stop giving you spankings.” Kirsty gave an involuntarily squeak of protest. 
Logan smiled. “I’m guessing that you don’t like that idea much?” 
“No, not at all. You know that. I mean I always knew that I liked being spanked but I really had no idea quite how much until I met you. Nothing ever feels as right as it does when you have me bent over for a spanking.” 
“I know. It feels pretty right to me too. That’s why I give the spankings and you get spanked. It’s nothing to do with my imposing my will over you because you’re female. We’re just wired this way. And much as I enjoy the sexy spankings, I think the Domestic Discipline side of things is an important part of it too. We take our kink and use it to make our relationship stronger.” 
Kirsty furrowed her brow. “Hmm. You make a convincing case there, mister. Still not convinced you should be allowed to screw up and get away with it scot free though. Tell you what, maybe next time I do something wrong, I should be granted amnesty on my punishment. Like a free pass.” 
Logan chuckled. “Not a chance, sweetie. You screw up and you’re going straight over my knee, having your backside swatted until it’s bright red and hot enough to fry eggs on.” 
Kirsty smiled. When he put it like that, it didn’t sound that bad at all.

The whole collection are available for sale now. So if you haven't spend Valentines in the the world's best spanking community. You should probably start now.

Valentine's Surprise: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 1) - Constance Masters

Roy & Teri's Accidental Staycation: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 2) - Kate Richards

Past Interference: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 3) - Kathryn Blake

The Perfect Housewife: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 4) - Etta Stark

Unexpected Surprises: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 5) - Ruth Staunton

Knowing What She Needs: A Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day Novella (Love in the Rockies Book 6) - Thianna D

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Bad Neighbours

Of course, this movie was just called "Neighbors" in the US.
I assume they changed it for us Brits, because "Neighbours" would just make us think of a certain Australian soap opera, Kylie Minogue and the ear-wormiest theme song in the history of ever.

I've mentioned before that spanking is a noisy business. Unless you have some kind of fully soundproofed spank dungeon, I'm sure you're aware that the application of a stout wooden paddle to a fleshy backside can have a bit of a reverberating sound to it. (Incidentally, if you do have a fully soundproofed spank dungeon, can I borrow it sometime, please?)

I live in a block of flats so I potentially have three lots of neighbours who might be disturbed by the sounds of the occasional spanky shenanigans which occur round my place. Because my apartments are relatively newly built and because I never hear what my neighbours are up to (and I'm not just talking about kinky stuff), I like to kid myself that noise-wise my home is pretty well insulated. Still, even if it isn't, I never see my neighbours. It's not like we need to make awkward chitchat while washing our cars or weeding our front gardens.

Nicer people than me are probably more concerned about disturbing their neighbours. My current gentleman spanker friend was very aware of how noisy the whole business was when we were round his house the other day. Happily, that didn't stop him having at it with gusto. Apart from the occasional "ow", "ouch" or "fucking hell!", I'm not a particularly noisy spankee. But, like I said, the sound of wood or leather or a an open palm enthusiastically applied to a willing arse, well it's not exactly quiet, is it?

In the right hands, this hairbrush can make a lot of noise.
Later on in the evening we were chilling out and cuddling and watching Doctor Who (in fact I think we were literally "Netflix and Chill"ing. You know like cool young people do. Unless I've hopelessly misunderstood that particular meme) when there was a ring at his doorbell. He was all "Who the hell is calling at at 10 o'clock in the evening?"

I was briefly worried that I might have to reassure some well-meaning neighbours that my friend wasn't imprisoning and beating some poor hapless woman against her will. Luckily, they were just handing over a parcel which had been delivered earlier that day.

Thing is, the parcel in question was a leather gladiator kilt. And it was entirely clear from the
packaging exactly what it was. (Poor show, leatheraddicts.com, have you never heard of discretion?)

Maybe don't get this delivered to your mum's house.
Gentleman spanking friend is convinced that not only do his neighbours now know that he's a pervert, but that they spent the evening discussing when was best to drop the package off. "Shall we take it round now, do you think?" "Best not, just at the moment. He sounds busy." Then politely waiting until there was a lull in the spanking noises before nipping round.

Oh I hope my kinks don't make me un-neighbourly. I try to be a nice person. I don't drop litter, I recycle, I buy copious amounts of sweets every Halloween just in case (even though Trick or Treating isn't something that ever happens round these parts). If I am a nuisance, I'd like to think that at the very least, it might give the neighbours something to chat to one another about. "Oh hello, Doris. You know her at number 9? Well, you'd never guess what she gets up to. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if she planted some pampas grass outside her house. You never know with those types."

Saturday 30 January 2016

Saturday Spankings - "Bend over the bed"

Remember kids, spankings aren't JUST for Saturdays.
I really haven't been Saturday Spankings enough lately. I bloody well love a nice eight sentence spanky snippet at the beginning of the weekend.

It's only a couple of weeks to Valentine's Day. Let's have a snippet from last year's Corbin's Bend Valentine spectacular, Love in the the Rockies. My contribution was "The Perfect Housewife" - the perfect reading material for anyone who was wondering how Kirsty and Logan were getting on after the end of East End Girl. As it turns out, they're arguing about housework...
“Why do I get a spanking just because you’re the one losing the argument?” asked Kirsty. 
“I am not losing this argument. You are talking nonsense,” said Logan. “I might not be perfect but there’s no way I’m as messy as you are. Before we moved in together, my place was always tidy and yours looked like a bomb had hit it. Now we’re living together, and you reckon I make just as much mess as you do?” 
Kirsty shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe your standards have slipped.” 
Logan chuckled. “Right that’s it, young lady. Bend over the bed. I think you definitely do need a spanking after all.”
Love in the Rockies. Possibly a euphemism.

 Remember to check out all the rest of the Saturday Spankers!

Sunday 3 January 2016

Disney Marriages - Which Ones Will Go the Distance? Part 1

Yesterday I promised you an in depth analysis into Disney Romances.

And like Rapunzel in Tangled, when I promise something, I never ever break that promise

(That's bollocks obviously. I have broken a shit-ton of promises in my life. Still, it's nice to know that Rapunzel ended up with such a strong moral compass despite spending eighteen years prisoner in a tower with only an evil witch for company.)

I want to pretend that there is some sort of scientific study going on here so I have awarded each couple marks out of five based on how likely I think it is that things will work out for them long term.

I have focused on a whole bunch of Disney romances as part of my rigorous investigation. I don't want to completely blow your minds in one go (exploded brain matter is a devil to get out of the soft furnishings) so I'll share my thoughts on the first five (in chronological order of release date) in this post. You can enjoy my thoughts on the next batch tomorrow.

Snow White and 'The Prince' [1937]

Poor old Prince Wossname. First ever Disney Prince and the bloke doesn't even have a name to call his own. And what do we know about the no-name Prince? Not a lot. He turns up at the beginning, sings the fairly humdrum number "One Song" and then buggers off again for most of the film. Only swinging by at the end after Snow's supposed demise. So saddened is he by the death of such a beautiful maiden that he swoops in for a kiss because apparently snogging the corpse is perfectly acceptable Wake etiquette in Fairytale land.

Luckily a kiss from a dashing - if forgettable - prince is just the ticket for curing all that pesky dead-ness and Snow White perks up enough for the pair of them to charge off into the sunset. (Charge off on a horse obviously, I'm not suggesting the two of them made a run for it like a couple of stampeding rhinoceroses.)

They don't even speak to each other during the magical end bit! What kind of a basis for a relationship is one shitty song and a magical re-animating smooch? It's not like Snow can't relate to men. Throughout the film, she has been building relationships with the seven guys she's been sharing a house with. Grumpy, in particular. A 'Snorumpy' romance would probably have made a more convincing love story.

Can our two plucky heroes find true love despite their height and age differences?
Verdict: The chances of a happy union don't look good. Hey Prince, take Snow White on a date to Pizza Express or something before you rush into wedlock. Get to know one another. Maybe even tell her your name.

Cinderella and Prince Charming [1950]

Oh dear, another one. A couple of dances at a fancy party and before you know it, Cindy and Charming are convinced they've got the whole 'Life Partner' business all sewn up. Obviously there are a few bumps along the way - poor timekeeping, evil step-mother, Cinderella's infuriating lack of initiative when it comes to sorting her life out - but happily it all gets ironed out in time for our heroes to enjoy a Wedding Day-based Happily Ever After.

Personally I would be a bit wary of throwing my lot in with a guy who, despite professing to love me, was unable to recognise me on a second meeting based on anything but the size of my feet. What, my face, voice and entire fucking personality aren't ringing any bells with you, Squire? I guess, you're really into the feet thing, huh?

Actually, I would be totally fucked in this scenario with my boringly average sized feet. The prince presumably would have proposed to the first woman he encountered who took size 6 shoes. Way to make me feel really feel special there, Charming.

Verdict: No idea whether there would be a happy marriage once the two of them have to spend more than a couple of hours in one another's company. There's only so long even the most ardent foot fetishest can spend gazing at his wife's tiny tootsies. They might be OK, though. Cinderella is the most passive, unassertive, acquiescent and totally bloody mimsy of all the Disney princesses. She puts up with any old shit. She'll probably be fine.

Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Prince Phillip [1959]

In a surprisingly accurate nod to historical Royal politics, Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip are betrothed to one another in infancy in order to strengthen relationships between their neighbouring kingdoms. Of course, shit kicks off when the Wicked Fairy, Maleficent gets pissy about party etiquette. This results in Aurora having to hide away under an assumed name with a bunch of (un-wicked) fairies all pretending to be peasants like some kind of Medieval Witness Protection Scheme. 

Aurora and Phillip fall in love via the tried-and-trusted method of singing a schmaltzy duet on their first meeting. When the prince finds out that he's already promised to some princess he's never heard of, he's all "Screw you, Dad! I want to marry the smoking hot peasant chick!" I like his attitude. 

Earlier in this post, I slated Mr Snow White for snogging an unconscious woman. I appreciate that "snogging an unconscious woman" is very much Sleeping Beauty's prince's primary character arc. To be fair to Prince Phil, it was definitely less creepy when he did it. He knew there was Sleepy Magic afoot. He wasn't just chancing a snog with a sexy-looking dead babe. 

Verdict: I think things might work out for these two. Apart from anything else, their parents are already best mates. That's going to make things easier at Christmas and at the royal grandbabies' birthday parties.

Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and Prince Eric [1989]

Hmm. The problem with Ariel is we know that long before she sets eyes on dashing young Prince Eric, she is already desperate to be part of the human world.

She lurves us air-breathing, fire-lighting, foot-walking types. Fuck knows why.

Why wouldn't you be happy being a Mermaid Princess? It sounds great. Court Composer Sebastian tries to temper her obsession with the land-people. "Darling it's better, down where it's wetter," he sings. I'm with the crab. There's a dude who knows what he's talking about.

The voice of reason.
So maybe Ariel does love Eric. Or maybe she is so desperate to become part of the shore-based biped community that she'll shack up with the first Royal Human who gets thrown in her path. She's a fish-tailed version of an online Russian or Thai bride. So determined to get her Fairytale equivalent of a "Human Passport" that she'll do anything. Betray her father, mutilate her body, surrender her voice. Whatever it takes.

Happily, being a Disney movie, things work out nicely for Ariel and Eric. In Hans Christian Andersen's original story, the prince marries another woman and the little mermaid dies. (By turning into foam because mermaids have no souls and God does not welcome them into Heaven. Jesus fucking Christ, Andersen, you didn't half write some depressing children's stories. My mum still hasn't gotten over reading "The Red Shoes" to me when I was six.)

Verdict: The couple do spend quality time together. Enjoying misunderstandings about forks, going on romantic boat rides - normal dating stuff. So that's a positive. On the other hand, Prince Eric did almost marry another woman while he was courting Ariel. That might make things awkward later on. I imagine that mid marital argument, Ariel is going to throw that back in Eric's face. "For God's sake, how many times do I have to say it? It was a magic spell, Ariel!" "Well, that's very convenient, Eric. Did you fuck her? Did you?"

Belle (Beauty) and the Beast [1991]

I do love this film so it pains me to say that Belle and Beast have the most unhealthy screwed-up relationship of any Disney prince and princess ever.

Belle's love for the Beast is a textbook example of Stockholm Syndrome. She becomes the Beast's prisoner when she trades places with her father who has been incarcerated in a tiny dungeon cell. She expects the same treatment as her father. Instead she is given a well-appointed bedroom, pretty dresses, the services of a bunch of charming talking household items and a lovely slap-up tea ("Try the grey stuff, it's delicious! Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!"). The Beast is totally fucking with her mind.

In the best traditions of those suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, Belle mistakes a lack of actual abuse for acts of kindness. And I'm not sure that there's entirely a lack of a abuse. The Beast is a monster, prone to acts of rage, anger and roaring and - you know - all-round Beast-y stuff.

Even his professed 'acts of kindness' are a bit shit. He 'gives' Belle a library as a gift. Gee, thanks. So you're letting her access a room that you already had that you weren't using anyway? Aren't you a fucking hero?

Putting the whole abusive kidnapper imprisonment thing to one side for a moment (but only slightly to one side because I do think "incarceration under threat of violence" is a bit of a red flag in a relationship), Beast simply isn't the right man for Belle.

Belle is unhappy with her "provincial life". She rejects the romantic attentions of Gaston because - although he is physically attractive - he is shallow, uneducated, boring and selfish.

If you accept the premise that Beast in his Beast form is unattractive (and I don't because, quite frankly, being an eight foot tall cross between a Wookie and a Bear is the primary thing the guy has going for him) then the only difference between Beast and Gaston is that Gaston is prettier than he is.

The Beast is thick. He is uncultured and uneducated. He is far more provincial that Gaston. Dude's never even left his fucking castle. Maybe having the Beast-y curse lifted will change things. Maybe he'll suddenly want to read ancient Greek philosophy, become proficient in Taekwondo, write poetry and travel the world. Let's hope so because otherwise Belle is going to be bored out of her fucking skull. She really isn't going to enjoy just twatting about the castle all day. Especially post-spell when there isn't even any singing crockery to entertain her any more.

Verdict: I want it to work out for them, I really do. It's a great film. Smashing songs. But, you know, if Belle was a friend of mine and she asked my advice about whether she should marry this puny boy-child who used to be a violent abusive beast, I would tell her to run. Run away now! The hills are that way.

Puny unbeasty boy-child

And that's just the start. There's still a shedload of Disney romances for me to get all opinionated about. What about Jasmine and Aladdin? Pocahontas and John Smith? Anna and Kristoff? I'll be back with more of my ill-informed opinions tomorrow.

Let me know your favourite and least favourite Disney pairings in the comments section.