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Thursday, July 11, 2013

In defense of spanking models/professionals

Yeah, I know. We've heard these arguments before, round and round, everywhere we go in the kinkosphere. You'll probably recall the huge FetLife flap from last year, with that idiot woman who likened spanking models to prostitutes and said they shouldn't be allowed at general public spanking parties (and if they were, they shouldn't be allowed to book pay sessions). She was so smug and righteous that every time she referred to spanking models, she put the phrase in quotes.

Don't worry, I'm not going to rehash that argument today. This post was inspired by something else altogether. Earlier this week, I saw a comment on our sweetie-pie Alex's photoblog. Someone had said something along the lines of "Now that you've broken up with your boyfriend, will you have to give up being a spanking model and get a real job?"

Alex, to her credit, answered the question very graciously and tactfully. Me? I saw red. First, the assumption that Alex was depending on him for financial support is, well, pretty damned assumptive. And second, guess what? Full-time spanking modeling IS a real job.

No, this is not going to be a sob story about the trials and tribulations about working in the fetish industry. I'm going to base this post on the models I know, the ones who truly love spanking, who are authentic spankos to their core -- yes, the work can be a lot of fun. But make no mistake, it is work.

I never did any fetish work for a living, just for the fun and adventure of it. Even when I was working in the dungeon, it was only a couple of days a week and for a very brief period. I got to pick and choose and do just what I wanted to do. That said, even I noticed how much work went into these productions, into the business of being a professional spanko.

When I shot a full-length video, I could completely crash the next day. Not only was my bottom sore, but I had a backache from arching my back deeply for extended periods of time and a stiff neck from unnaturally craning it (had to make sure my face was always visible to the camera). A pro doesn't get to crash. She pops a Tylenol, rubs in the arnica or whatever, and goes on to the next shoot.

When you have a "real job" (working in an office, I guess), yeah, there's a lot of aggravation. But when you're having an off day, you can somewhat retreat to your desk, bury yourself in work, phone it in a little. (Well, unless you're in sales, and then you're screwed.) You don't have to look perfect. You can be tired. And if you're really not up for it, you can call in sick and use a paid vacation/sick day.

Spanking models have to show up. Period. No work, no pay. There are no medical/dental benefits, no paid vacations or holidays, no sick days. If a model is tired, sore, not feeling well, having a "bad body" day -- too bad, so sad. She has to show up where she's expected, and she can't just lie there and take it -- she has to perform. She has to react and interact. And she needs to look her best. Because every inch of her is going to be scrutinized (more on that below). She doesn't get to phone it in. If she does, she may find herself with a reputation that could tank her career.

Most of us who work in a "real job" may have a bitch of a commute and have to deal with traffic, but at least we get to come home every day. Spanking models don't have the luxury of having regular nearby work; the production companies are spread out all over the country and beyond. People like Alex, Ten, Sarah Gregory and Dana Kane are constantly on the road (and in the air). They spend a lot of time away from their loved ones, their pets, their homes. And for those of you who are regular air travelers, you know what a @#$%ing pain in the ass that is these days. Oh, and if your flight is canceled or delayed and you don't make it to your designated shoot? Sorry, you don't get paid anyway.

It's true; most spanking models love to be spanked. But constant shooting/sessioning is still hard on the body. When I went to shoot with Sarah and "Tubaman" Paul a couple of years ago, I was with them for four days and we shot a lot of content. Some of it was quite intense. On my last day there, we had planned to shoot two more scenes, one of them with a strapping. Very sheepishly, I said to them, "Guys? I'm going to have to bail; I just can't do anymore." I was so freaking sore. Not a problem; they were shooting with a lot of others and those scenes would go to someone else. But if this were my bread and butter, I wouldn't have had that luxury. I would have had to muscle through those remaining scenes. Then fly home, maybe take a day off at most, and do it again.

We do build up tolerance after a while and don't mark as much. But for those who shoot extreme scenes, there is still a lot of healing needed, plus a risk of scarring, nerve damage, infection, etc. A former model once confessed to me, just before she retired, that it sometimes took as long as six months to fully recover from one of her heavier shoots.

Spanking models put themselves out there, literally. The plus side? Yes, they get lots of attention, develop a fan base, are treated like celebrities. It's great fun. But they're also subject to every kind of critique imaginable. They're too fat, they're too thin, they're too old, they have cellulite, they need to exercise, they need to shave, they make too much noise, they're too quiet, they're too bratty, they're boring, the acting is fake, the spanking is fake, they aren't wearing the right kind of panties, they shouldn't be wearing panties at all, they should spread their legs more, blah blah fucking blah. A thick skin is definitely called for. Viewers can be utterly vicious. I still recall sitting online IMing with another former model, an exquisitely beautiful young woman, who was melting down over some fucktard who called her "ugly white trash" on a forum.

When I did videos, I chose to remain a bottom, because that's what I am. Professional spanking models need to be versatile, need to do things that aren't necessarily in their comfort zone. Because it's their job, not their fun time. A bottom in this industry either learns how to top, or she learns how to work behind the camera, because her years as a bottom are numbered. Firm Hand, for example, has a cut-off age of 35. If I topped, if I were willing to do F/F, I could probably still be doing videos. But I don't want to. People in this industry, for the most part, don't get to say "I don't want to." Sure, they can refuse to do really extreme stuff. But the basics, like switching and playing with other women? Say no to that, and you say no to your career. Now granted, a lot of spankos love the versatility. But what if they don't? Oh well.

For most of us spankos, the big weekend spanking parties are nothing but nonstop fun. For spanking models, they are fun, but they are also work. They have to plan their time, gauge their scenes, make sure they don't mark if they're going to be shooting. They have to buy their tickets and get a hotel room just like any other guest; they pay for their vendor tables. They are constantly needing to market, to compete, to stay on top of their game. And then on top of all that, they have to put up with the contempt of the green-eyed monsters who resent their presence.

Once again, I am not writing this to say "poor, poor spanking models." This is their chosen life and they are doing what fulfills them -- more power to them. But this crap about it not being a "real job" needs to stop. I'd like to see some of these naysayers take on a month of a typical model's schedule of shooting, traveling and sessioning, and then see what they have to say.

So the next time any of you think that being a spanking pro is nothing but glamour, glitz, being paid exorbitant amounts of money (!!!) for doing something that's nothing but fun, and living off of various men with deep pockets, think again. And if you're still thinking that, do us all a favor -- STFU about it.

Rant over.


  1. Erica, thank you for sending kind wishes, for my 80th birthday. As you can see by my YOUNG age of 80 you my dear, are still a beautiful spring chicken. 70 of those years I can count as a SPANKO. Having learn't my trade as a school-boy in England, when I found myself with a fantasy of wishing to spank one of my female teachers on her bare bottom. Of course in those days I thought I was the only one who had such fantasies. How WRONG I was. In my lifetime I have had the opportunity of spanking a number of females. Some young, some old, but always with their consent. Then when the internet came along, I met such wonderful friends as YOU, BONNIE, HERMIONE, etc, and have been enjoyable pleased, of you all. How long will I remain as a spanko. That depends on how long my brain and mind will last. So until that gives out. You will have to except my wonderful opinions, pro, con, or controversial, as the case might be. XXX Luv ya

  2. Tell me Erica , Do you have a opinion on this ? Don't hold it in . Tell us how you really feel !

    Seriously , everyone thinks the other guy has it by the short hairs . Very seldom does anyone get what it really takes to do what someone else does all day . Kuddos to you Erica .... OK now I STFU :-D

  3. Here fucking here! Thanks for this sweetie! Well said.

    And this doesn't just apply to those who do this as their full time employment. It's also for those like you and me who do it, but not as our careers. I remember I recently got a message from someone asking what the hell happened to me. That I was going to be something amazing and now I was just another fucking spanking model.
    Nevermind that I run my own vanilla company and all that. I was less than bc I chose to do this too. The assumptions all around are just infuriating.

  4. Great post Erica!

    Of course I can imagine how hard it is to be away from the loved one, the pets and being home. Even if I have to go to a symposium or meeting for a few days I hate to fly and be in a hotel.

    The harder part? I think that the crowd is always commenting, it is never, really never the way they like to see it. I'm glad you made your point and shared your opinion with great depth and words of wishdom.

    Love, Monsieur Fessee

  5. Love your therapy for nay-sayers!
    Hope you had a great time with John, after these rollercoaster days a while ago.

  6. This is one of THE most insightful writings EVER. I would love to adopt the part time spanking actress career option...but as a bottom ONLY. It's where my passion lies. The catch is financial limitations. Like you said, regular gigs require much air travel, hotel fees, etc. A person is likely to break even weighing the cost of the travel vs shoot payments.

    Topping for me was experimental-VERY fun, but NOT who I really am and the fact I was mentally "made over" to accept that role(by my agreement) I feel that's unfair to be treated as "expired" once a female bottom reaches a certain fucking calendar age-never mind how well taken care of, put together she may be in her physical appearance.
    I certainly have no interest in learning any behind the camera production aspects either. I hate equipment! LOL

    ANY dickwad who feels compelled to heap rude or uber critical comments about the models' performances, appearances, etc, should feel free to shove their computer mouse straight up their collective assholes. I'm not the least bit gracious over needless criticism. I'd be likely to tell those people to take their money elsewhere if they don't like what they see.

  7. Erica,

    Thank you for sharing your insights. If I may, I'd like to add one more annoying erroneous stereotype. I've read posts on FL where some guy trashes a spanking model (or all spanking models) for being dumb. Having talked with quite a few models over the years, nothing could be further than the truth. I find most to be clever, funny, and articulate (present company definitely included). How can someone make such a claim?

    I admire our spanking models. I enjoy their work and it makes me happy to know that they enjoy it too.


  8. Very well written, Erica. It doesn't take much intelligence to bad-mouth the people in the industry. The ones who do the complaining have no idea what it takes to do a shoot, not only from the models' point of view, but also from the perspective of the ones who are behind the camera. It is a lot of work all the way around. The camera equipment costs a lot to keep up and maintain. A shoot can easily cost $10,000 to produce, depending on how many are in the shoot and if there is more than one scene being shot. That is usually the case. It doesn't pay to do just one scene. I have learned a lot from people on both sides of the camera and it is work. Hard work.

    There is a big difference between critiquing a shoot and just bad mouthing it. All of us have personal preferences and they can be communicated in a decent manner. Anything else is just crap.

  9. And the other thing they deal with...periods or THAT time of the month. I assumed they would just schedule shoots around those days. But a very close friend told me she does a "pon" tuck. Knowing how horrendous I feel on some of those days, I think dealing with the potential mess/accidents would diminish my love of the spanking pain.

  10. Hi Erica -- This is a GREAT topic and VERY well said :-) I hate it when people trash spanking model's, that is so ignorant of them.I agree that they should STFU.I never got spanked on camera before, but I would love too.I have a few Tops in mind that I really want to get spanked by.Spanking model's work hard and they shouldn't be criticized.I bet those IDIOT'S couldn't take a very hard spanking like you and I can.They are WIMPS LOL.Much Love and hugs from naughty girl Jade

  11. Six -- you're very welcome. :-)

    D -- thanks.

    breakmydreams -- glad you liked it; thanks! :-)

    Kelley -- "just another fucking spanking model." Ah, some people are such a breath of fresh BS, aren't they?

    Monsieur -- that is for sure; you absolutely will not please everyone, no matter what you do. The trick is to focus on those whom you did please. Not always easy!

    MrJ -- it has indeed been a roller coaster.

    Alexis -- yup! Unfortunately, the models have to be tactful and professional at all times, no matter what anyone says to them. Alex was quite the class act in the way she handled that comment; I was impressed.

    Bonnie -- always love it when you chime in. :-) I know a lot of models with advanced college degrees, so that blows the "bimbo" cliché straight to hell.

    Bobbie Jo -- good points regarding the costs!

    Kelly -- yeah, there are no schedule breaks for Mother Nature.

    Jade -- thanks, sweetie.

  12. Hi Erica, Wow this is one Controversy I missed. My experience with the young women whom I've had the pleasure of working with is that they are highly intelligent and courageous. Most of the CP models are the real thing. Pixie was being spanked before she was Pixie.

    It has also been my expierice that those who put on spanking events like to have them there.

    David Pierson

  13. Erica,

    Some people who have never met a spanking model have no clue. Every model/female Top I have met started as spankos. Most of the models I a have met are fun people. And, one of them, is probably one of the kindest and most intelligent I have ever met in the scene.

    That is you Erica. I will never forget how friendly you were at SL to Lea and I. It irks me when people who comment are so disrespectful. Models have feelings and emotions, they are not robots.

    I know several models, it is damn hard work.


  14. Erica,

    You're right on the pulse, as always.

    There will always be folks who don't agree with what other folks do for a living. Hell, I don't agree with what some folks do for a living, either, but unfortunately we will always need Lawyers, Car Salesmen, and Politicians.

    As for the performers and producers I've met and worked with, both men and women, they are - to a person - hard-working, dedicated, and genuinely happy in their professional choices.

    As for the notion that Alex wouldn't be able to support herself without her boyfriend, I think that's a simple case of male-centrist ignorance. Some of these ladies do VERY well, and likely help their boyfriends with their car payments, more often than not.


  15. David -- oh, absolutely, the spanking organizers love to have the models there. It's some of the guests that get bent out of shape about it. (sigh) And yes, Pixie is as real as real gets, and I have always admired her. :-)

    joey -- awwwwwwww. You're gonna make me cry! What a sweet thing to say. It's easy to be friendly to people like you and Lea, you know. ♥

    Dana -- yeah, that part really ticked me off. Alex is a very intelligent and capable young woman who works her butt off (literally) and she doesn't need any man paying her way.

  16. Erica, when I first met you on the internet, it was as an ACTRESS. in those fine Epic movies, that contained spanking scenes. Just like I met Myra Gyllanhaal, the actress in the movie "Secretary" acting out spanking scenes to please her boss. Each one of you, was for me, most pleasing to watch.

  17. Every sport has commercial aspects, even beach volley ball. But, I don't have to like it or watch it. I don't attend "big weekend spanking parties" either. Too damn commercial. I understand that the models are working and the job is not easy. But, I just can not worry much about them, since for me, they spoil the amateur scene. Thanks for listening to another POV.

  18. OBB -- absolutely, you're allowed your POV. I'm sorry you feel that way about them, though. I've been to several parties, both before and after doing spanking videos. And honestly, the models don't spoil anything. They just add a little extra zing of excitement to the proceedings. :-)

  19. Bravo. This is everything I'd like to say but feel uncomfortable doing so.

    I work really hard. Really, really hard. Whether it's spending eight hours a day in front of the computer doing prep work and self promotion or spending four days in a row shooting ten scenes per day, I rarely ever take a day off. I love what I do, so it's always worth it, but at the end of the day, I'm my own booking agent, publicist, accountant, travel agent, makeup artist and secretary.

    Traveling is a wonderful part of my job, but it's also exhausting, and I rarely get to do anything besides shoot when I visit a new location. I also almost always pay for my own airfare when I travel: I guess people didn't know this, because several people asked me "Who paid for you to go to England?" I did. I put the investment capital down and had to make sure I did enough work during the time I was there to pay for the trip and turn a profit.

    Also, the next time that someone asks me how I'm enjoying my vacation while I'm traveling to another city to film, I'm going to kill them. In 2012, the closest thing to a vacation that I took was to a cabin party which I singlehandedly organized, so that wasn't exactly relaxing. This year, I actually took one for the first time, and although I still answered my email and did basic maintenance, I mostly just relaxed. It was the first time I'd ever really done that. And wow, my work does wear me out. I can't stress enough how much I love it, and how lucky I am that I'm able to make this profession work for me, but what I do is real work, and it's valid and important.

    I appreciate this so much. Thank you thank you thank you.

  20. Alex -- thank YOU for giving us all a clearer picture of what a full-time model's work/life is like. Who better to do so?

    And you're welcome. I really wanted to slap that commenter upside the head.

  21. The guy who made that comment sounds like a complete fool. Why do people think just because a person has a job that is partially in the public eye that they'd have the right to comment on any aspect of their personal lives? It's fucking ridiculous.

    It goes along with the obsession of the entertainment industry in general, I suppose. Why am I hearing about how many times Justin Bieber and on again off again girlfriend have broken up? Who gives a shit if Fergie's baby is a boy or a girl? This week all the buzz has been about the actor from Glee who died of a drug overdose. He was young. It's sad. Quit talking about it and leave his friends and family alone to mourn.

    Grr. Sorry, I went off on a tangent there. On topic, I do not know what it is like to be a spanking model/performer. But it sure seems like a hell of a lot of work and is certainly a real job, whether it's full time or an occasional video.

    I must echo Joey to say everyone I've met in person from the video world, yourself included, has been absolutely lovely. You are a beautiful and kind person and I'm happy to have met you. You take the time to give everyone a smile and a hello in spite of your own introversion at times and when you probably have a lot of other things going on. Other models I have met are also very nice, friendly people. Wouldn't it be great if all the naysayers would just STFU?

  22. Lea -- tangent away, it's fine. I'm with you. Celebrity obsessions are so much worse in the Internet age. You have access to so much more information, around the clock. And thank you for the kind compliments. :-) As I said to Joey, you two make it super easy to be nice!