Every so often we at Lust Bites like to venture to the wilder shores of sexual fantasy (see Kristina on Erotic Degradation for example), before scurrying back to the safety of our writing spaces.
And I have just spent two days looking at pictures of her bottom and muttering "Ooch!"
"I don't like BEING punished;I like having BEEN punished."
[Niki] I’ve been lucky enough (and exhibitionistic enough) to be able to live out my fantasies on camera and I wanted to share my story with the world. I’ve spent my life exploring the dark side of female sexuality. Tentatively expressing my desires to judgmental partners who called me a freak, testing the waters with kinky guys I met online and finally diving straight into the world of spanking movies. I want my book to reach others who have similar fantasies, but who always thought they were alone.
I had a Yahoo group at the time and several members suggested writing a memoir. (The group has since been banned by Yahoo: Thoughtcrime!) I was pretty hesitant at first and my editor had to tell me to stop writing as though my parents were reading over my shoulder. Once I let go I found the whole process incredibly liberating, if a bit scary.
[J] Bars and Stripes describes you as the "ever lovely but slightly mad inmate Niki Flynn". Is this because you’ve suggested virgin sacrifices to Great Cthulhu? Should we be worried?
[N] The only sacrifice I’d suggest would be me, though I’d have a hard time pulling off the "virgin" act. Incidentally, the "slightly mad" refers to my Bars & Stripes character: a pyromaniac who carries a teddy bear and doesn’t speak. After an amorous affair with my cellmate, a prison riot and some shock treatment from the evil Matron, I tried to murder the governor and was sent to the prison dungeon to be thrashed by the guards. Yum!
[J] Do you consider yourself a porn star, or is CP a different thing altogether?
[N] I get a kick out of calling myself a porn star, yeah. My films are "intended to arouse" just as mainstream porn films are; it’s simply a different genre.
[J] What makes you want to reach out to the vanilla community?
[N] Is anyone truly 100% vanilla? I think that most people want some variation on plain old married missionary sex for procreation. Kinky people generally know what it’s like to feel alienated because of their fantasies. I certainly did. I want my book to reach the demure housewife who feels guilty about her rape fantasies or her wish to be spanked. The simple act of owning what turns you on is empowering. I realise I’m at the more extreme end of the spectrum, but I hope my experiences will offer encouragement to others who have felt isolated by their unconventional desires.
[N] Fear is intensely erotic for me, so a lot of the appeal lies in the anticipation. The pain itself isn’t the focus; that’s really just a vehicle to get to the sense of achievement on the other side. Anxiety, exposure, vulnerability, surrender, pain, endurance, bliss… What I enjoy most is the afterglow, the tingling and exhilaration of having suffered and survived. It’s the culmination of a journey requiring absolute trust.
[J] You’ve said you’re not Bi. Does it make a difference to you whether you’re being punished by a man or a woman?
[N] Oh, definitely. I enjoy playing with women, but it doesn’t have the sinister sexual undercurrent that being topped by a man does. Even if it’s a purely non-sexual scene (like a school scenario) there’s still an erotic subtext lurking beneath the surface. The hottest thing for me about erotic fiction is the setup and anticipation. I’m not half as interested in the actual sex as I am in the predatory tango that led to it!
[J] I think a number of Lusties would agree with you on that! Outside your CP work, how would you characterise yourself? Are you naturally submissive or is this a role you take on and off?
[N] You know, I always used to say I’m not submissive at all. And in day-to-day reality I’m not. But I’ve learnt that there IS a natural submissive in me – someone who does want to give up all control. So I suppose it’s a facet of me. Certainly not a role, but not my everyday self either.
[J] How important is the roleplay in a CP situation for you? Is the pain enough, or does it have to take place within a fantasy powerplay situation?
[N] The roleplay is almost more important than the CP. In fact, sometimes pain isn’t even necessary. The headiest thing of all for me is psychological domination. For example, I’m just back from a weekend of school roleplay – a boarding school scenario where everyone was "in character" the whole time. The focus was on creating the authentic experience of being at a school where CP was a real option. Of course there WAS punishment, but it wasn’t the sole purpose of the roleplay. I loved being subject to the authority of the teachers, even when I was being good and doing my homework. I loved the structure: formal lessons, set bedtime and lights out, uniform inspections, etc. It was total immersion in fantasy powerplay; the CP was really just a bonus!
[J] For those who prefer to see a male bottom being spanked, is there a parallel industry of male sub films? How about gay spanking films?
[N] There is a parallel, but it’s a smaller market. (Actual sessions with dominatrices are probably far more popular than films.) I suspect the gay male film market is larger, but I don’t know any of the players. I know lots of vanilla girls love M/M sex scenes and lots of spanko girls – myself included – love to see M/M discipline scenes. There’s no shortage of CP slash fic, either!
[J] The main problem with hardcore CP for an outsider is that by its nature it does not look consensual – we wonder if the "victims" have been bullied, drugged, forced or trafficked into taking part, since after all these are established facts within the wider sex industry. What is your experience within the CP industry? What producers can you recommend to us that are trustworthy?
[N] I can certainly vouch for all the ones I’ve worked for. I’m sure there are disreputable companies out there, but I haven’t encountered them. It’s a much smaller industry than the mainstream sex one, so it’s very incestuous and if there’s a bad apple out there, word gets around pretty fast. In general, if a company has a large Internet presence and a big stable of "regular" girls (especially familiar names), they’re probably pretty safe. I get lots of emails from girls who want to break into the industry and don’t know where to start. Based on their limits and experience, I usually know who to recommend for a first shoot.
[J] Do you think you’ll carry on with the schoolgirl stuff indefinitely, or does it have an age limit?
[N] I can’t see ever losing my love of schoolie stuff in private roleplay, but it definitely has an age limit as far as films go! And really, I’ve had more fun playing spies and political prisoners than schoolgirls.
[J] What will you not do on film? Where are your hard boundaries? Have they changed over the years?
[N] They’ve changed in general, but my film limits haven’t. People often ask me if I’d ever consider doing mainstream porn and it surprises them when I say no. There are lots of things I’m comfortable doing in front of the camera (and indeed some are made more exciting by the camera), but actual sex is something I keep private.
[J] "No one knew where I was. Not even Cameron. I was completely at the mercy of five self-proclaimed sadists I’d only met that morning. I was outnumbered, bound and blindfolded." This particular encounter in Germany seemed to me insanely risky, and I thought you were very lucky it didn’t go badly wrong. (I will add that I’m genuinely pleased you have no damaging experiences to report in your book and I hope that continues to be the case.) Is real risk part of the thrill for you?
[N] Ouch. That’s a tough one. I take "safe" real risks, if that makes sense. I wouldn’t have gone to an abandoned factory to meet a total stranger, but I felt reasonably secure meeting a known fetish photographer and his friends. The thought of a "Hostel" scenario in the moment you quoted from in my book was strong enough to enhance my fear of the situation, but deep down I don’t think I honestly believed I was in genuine danger. If I’d got any sort of creepy vibe from anyone, I wouldn’t have gone along with it. It’s tricky to have the right balance when it comes to fear. I’m a bit reckless, sure, but I’m not self-destructive. Frankly, I think hurtling down the Autobahn afterwards was the most dangerous thing about that shoot!
[J] Do you really believe that the graphic titillating portrayal of violence against women is harmless? That it doesn’t legitimise and normalise those fantasies, or blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality?
[N] There’s a huge difference between violent criminals and fantasists. Fantasists know the difference between reality and fantasy. People who commit violent crimes have violent tendencies and they will commit violent acts with or without porn. The same argument has been made against TV violence, video games, horror movies and rock music. Putting the focus on external factors like porn shifts the burden of proof to our free expression, marginalises our sexuality and ignores the fact that the vast majority of us DON’T commit violent crimes.
It’s human nature to want to believe that violence must have a tangible cause. Eliminate the cause and you eliminate violence. But violence arises from far more complex psychological factors; they aren’t created by dirty pictures. Think about Japan, where rape fantasy porn is very popular and widely available and yet they have one of the lowest sex crime rates in the world. Think about Middle Eastern cultures where porn is strictly illegal and yet violence against women is condoned and supported by law. And where do portrayals of violence against male subs fit into the argument?
[J] I love your website/blog – could get lost in there for hours. How much time does the website, reading and answering fanmail etc take up in your day? Are you a keen techie?
[N] Oh, it takes up way too much of my time. I’m not all that technical, but I CAN type 120 wpm!
[J] Do you think kinky people are born that way, or is it result of pivotal youthful experiences, or is it something you can just drift into?
[N] Theories vary on just what "causes" a fetish or a kinky inclination. Some people have some major defining moment they can pinpoint, but others (like me) don’t. I personally feel I was born kinky and my interest was nurtured by all the horror films I saw as a kid. I learned to eroticise the dread and suspense.
[J] You seem to lead a bit of a double life. Do you think you’ll ever be able to proudly tell all your vanilla friends and relatives what you do for a living? Will CP ever be mainstream?
[N] CP is already becoming a little more mainstream with films like Secretary out there. But I doubt if any fetish will ever be accepted in the wider sense. As to telling vanilla friends and relatives – I do dream of living in a world that could accept it without judgment, but I’m realistic enough to acknowledge that it will probably never happen. For all its exposure, sex still frightens people.
[J] If you could get one thing across about yourself and/or CP to our vanilla readers, what would it be?
[N] Don’t be afraid of your fantasies and never be ashamed of them.
[J] Do you read erotic fiction?
[N] Oh yes. And you can probably guess the kind that pushes my buttons! Got any recommendations?
[J] Well, I have a strong feeling you’ll like anything by Kristina Lloyd! You’ve written erotic fiction for yourself. Tempted to get some published now you’re a famous name and have a non-fiction book under your belt?
[N] It would be fun, but I fear the guidelines on consent would throw a wrench into most of my story machinery. There are disclaimers in erotic novels saying "In real life practise safe sex", so why can’t there be a disclaimer saying "In real life only do this in consensual roleplay"? Maybe I’ll write mainstream horror instead; I can get away with a lot more that way!
[J] Coffee or tea? Cats or dogs? Cthulhu or Nyarlathotep?
[N] Tea, dogs and Nyarlathotep, definitely. Far more charismatic than Cthulhu, hot images of tentacle bondage notwithstanding.
[J] Me too. Thank you Niki! Hope it wasn’t too much like being tied down and questioned by the military police. Oh, er, right, hold on …
Janine adds: I read Niki’s book for this interview and I have to recommend it as an absolutely fascinating read. She covers a wide range of topics: childhood influences, behind-the-scenes at the different shoots she’s been involved with (ranging from straightforward caning-the-bad-girl stuff to extremely gruelling and political films for the notorious Czech company Lupus), her relations with her fans and her own love-life. It’s an insider glimpse in to a world most of us can only speculate about, and it’s brave, funny and articulate. It also, as you may be able to guess, made me suck my teeth and shake my head sometimes. It made me re-assess my own boundaries, and think about why I set my limits in particular places. And any book that makes you think is a good thing by my reckoning.
Niki is kindly offering a signed copy of Dances With Werewolves to one lucky winner today! So comment below for your chance to win – even if all you can say is OUCH!