My friend and British spanking performer, producer & writer Pandora Blake has been having censorship issues with her credit card billing company, CCBill, for her spanking website, Dreams of Spanking. It started with a requirement that she censor her use of certain words, requiring:
“…wording changes, or else they would disable my billing. “Terms, Themes, and Marketing (Other Violation – Egregious)” was the heading, followed by a list of pages (mostly blogposts) where the words “non-consent”, “force” or “rape” were used,” including “…censoring discussions of consensual and ethical production on the blog.”
What is infuriating to me, and perhaps the most egregious result of all this, is that Pandora’s website (and her blog, Spanked, Not Silenced) have been a consistent voice in the world of internet porn speaking explicitly about consent and ethical pornography production. Through her thoughtful, intelligent posts and video and audio productions, she has raised the level of discourse on the topic. But even discussing what it means to have & give consent, what it means to be explicitly consensual, was censored:
“Note that these blogposts are not advertising a non-consent scene, or talking about why non-consent is sexy. They are talking about what differentiates my work as explicitly consensual, and they are discussing the issues surrounding consent in porn production.”
“It turns out to be fairly difficult to discuss consent in porn without ever using the word “non-consent”. CCBill are effectively saying that discussions of consent are against their acceptable use policy.”
“Never mind text which isn’t sexual or erotic, but an intellectual, semantic discussion about consent, language or ethical production.”
But it didn’t end there. After she had spent untold hours carefully combing through her site and attempting to meet their demands, even when the changes required were arbitrary and inconsistent, she was told still further changes needed to be made:
“…they said I needed to remove all the age play scenes, all the sword-fighting scenes, all scenes showing red/purple marks, and any use of the word “force”. This amounted to a lot of content. Never mind that none of this was picked up on in their review last week, and their requirements are repeatedly arbitrary and inconsistent. Never mind that it means taking content offline that members have already paid for. It all needed to go.”
Because this is her livelihood, Pandora reluctantly made the required changes to Dreams. But on June 14th she made the following announcement:
“I said that if I couldn’t charge for the spanking scenes CCBill dubbed “too extreme” (however questionable that verdict), I would give them away. And I meant it.
Ladies and gents, I am pleased to present my own personal rebellion against corporate censorship, Darker Dreams.
I make spanking videos for the love of it, and in hope of reaching out to others who share my fantasies. Perhaps my films will turn you on, perhaps they will fire your imagination, and perhaps they might help you discover that you are not alone, and that spanking fantasies can be a healthy part of a vibrant sexuality. In any case, I do not believe that it is harmful for consenting adults to act out these sorts of fantasies, or to share the resulting images with likeminded kinksters.
After CCBill’s efforts to prevent me from selling spanking films and photo sets which include sword-fighting and severe caning (read Ludwig’s blogpost on his and Kaelah’s film being censored here), I decided to take the step of bypassing the credit card processors, and release the deleted scenes for free in their entirety. These are the spanking films and photo galleries that you will find on Darker Dreams.
All images and video files on Darker Dreams are available to download free of charge. No logins, no payments, and no catch.”
As I said, however, spanking porn is how she makes her living, and producing the scenes did cost her money, so if you enjoyed them and are inclined to show your appreciation – and moreover, your support in her efforts to fight censorship – please consider making a donation. Alternatively, if you enjoy what she does, consider becoming a member of her fairtrade spanking site, Dreams of Spanking. As she says:
“I am a one woman production company making the sort of spanking videos I like to watch, with no outside sponsors or investment, so every contribution, however small, is both useful and appreciated.”
I know many of you out there that read my blog aren’t strictly “spankos”, but this is about more than spanking. Censorship affects us all. Please share & tweet this story, and feel free to use the graphic, created by Pandora’s friend, @RolandHulme, below.
(For the full story of CCBill’s censorship of Pandora’s site, please visit her blog: Spanked, Not Silenced: Tag: Censorship.)