This review was originally published on the I Love Claude blog here. You should click over to see more ’cause it’s a rockin’ blog!
The Pinkening: Introduction to Spanking
You can google “how to spank someone” and get millions of helpful (or unhelpful) tips and instructions, but nothing beats (ha!) being taught in the flesh by two experienced players. In fact, one of the joys of a kink workshop, is that sometimes you are literally being taught by the flesh: in this case the steadily pinkening flesh of magical kinky pixie, Alice, Miss Dee’s assistant. You can read endlessly about the pros and cons, for example, of “warming up” your spankee, but where else will you be invited to actually feel the warmth emanating from a freshly spanked behind?
One of the most engaging aspects of the workshop was the way in which Miss Dee interacted with her bottom (and her bottom’s bottom, of course). By asking Alice to describe the physical sensations of being spanked cold, versus spanked after being warmed up, or how thigh-slapping felt different to arse-spanking, not only do you get to witness first-hand the delightful, playful and easy intimacy between two people who clearly trust and enjoy each other, you also get an immediate, detailed account of sensation: how differing techniques, postures, and intensities actually feel, in the moment of…application. This is incredibly useful for beginners (and even the most experienced players): for the bottoms among us, it can give us a helpful and descriptive preview, while for the people out there whose palms have already started tingling at the thought, it can tell us how it feels for those lucky kittens on the receiving end of our attentions, and we can better gauge how to apply our newly learned skills with the palm and the paddle.
While Alice provides constant feedback on how various techniques or intensities feel, Miss Dee is guiding you through an in-the-flesh demonstration of technique (flat palm, cupped palm, positions and postures, the “sweet spot” and safety tips about where on the body to be cautious, and where to always avoid), the different kinds of scenarios, scenes, and fantasies that inspire spanking, and the relationship between top and bottom (dominant and submissive; spanker and spankee). That’s part of the joy of watching a demonstration. You get to see the intimacy between people and really understand how communication works when you’re playing in the kinky world. Miss Dee, a hand constantly tickling or warming Alice’s bot-bot, or thigh, or breast, while she describes technique or shares stories, takes the time to explain consent: what safe, sane, and consensual play really means. She explains that it is the responsibility of both players to communicate, to check in, to make consent a constant, continual process, and to read and gauge your partner’s bodily reactions. She explains that she knows, for example, what it means when Alice stomps her feet and snorts a breath, “like a little pony,” because they have played before and she can interpret Alice’s specific reactions. There are times when Alice, too, will helpfully interject to explain what her startled, stompy foot movements and sharp breaths mean: “It’s ok. That’s my happy dance.”
The workshop – and it’s definitely an interactive tutorial, not a lecture, where questions are invited, paddles are passed around and tested, and stories are shared – was an informal but structured guide through the world of spanking, and a great, gentle (so to speak) introduction to kink and BDSM. The group was delightfully diverse, with a range of genders and ages, people from different backgrounds and levels of experience, and Miss Dee’s humour and openness, and her playful banter with Alice, created a lovely, relaxed vibe. People stayed afterwards and chatted with each other, or drifted over to browse together the shelves of paddles Max Black has on display, and there was a sense that, aside from picking up some truly useful tips and advice, a charming side effect of the workshop was a sense of camaraderie and of connection: there was a feeling that in the hour or so we spent together, we made a little community. When one participant asked for advice from the group on how you reveal your tastes to an existing partner, worried they might not share your kinky interests, or how on earth you even find a partner who you could explore with, someone else turned to them and said: “Look around you, honey. We’re everywhere.”