I recently got a copy of the new spanking memoir “Late Bloomer” by Erica Scott, spanking video actress, frequent blogger and Shadow Lane regular, and read it earlier this week. It is a coming-of-age of sorts, an ugly-duckling-turns-swan story, with lots of detail about a lonely child growing into a young adult battling with eating disorders, depression and social anxiety.
After beginning her recovery through therapy, a Twelve-Step support group and life-saving medication, Erica began to feel more confident in herself and decided to pursue a long-held need to be spanked.
Erica’s desire to jump into the deep end and try it all led her to becoming a spanking video star in her forties, certainly a rarity in a field dominated by the young. She has the body for it. With that on her resume, as well as maintaining a well-written, humorous blog for many years, she is now a known fixture in the spanking world.
I loved finding parallels between Erica’s journey and my own. I haven’t made Shadow Lane videos and I started playing in my early twenties, but our paths are similar.
I’m sure many women in the community can identify with the longing for attention, the body image issues that often disappear when one enters what is a (mostly) welcoming and accepting circle. For me it was discovering that men liked my butt (which I’d always hated), and that my body wasn’t so bad after all.
Our spanking “universe” really is small, and I was laughing a little to myself as I read about Erica’s spanking partners–there aren’t many whom I haven’t played with myself. (I’ve kidded Erica in the past that I have to stalk her tops because I know that the ones she plays with tend to be fun for me, too.) She plays hard; I play hard.
The book goes into great detail about each of the videos that Erica made. Some of this is interesting, but I was more interested in the accompanying emotions rather than the descriptions of how hot it was in the room with the cameras and the various bloopers that occurred.
I also found myself wanting more emotional reflection, both about making videos and spanking itself. Erica writes, “Don’t question the whys and wherefores or overanalyze to death this thing we do. Just enjoy the hell out of it. Spanking is fun, and for people like us, it provides a physical and emotional fulfillment that defies explanation.” But I wish that she had analyzed it a bit more. She grew up in a household where she either felt ignored or was subjected to some pretty awful verbal abuse at the hands of parents and stepparents. Her father was an alcoholic, and although they made amends after he got sober and they were able to salvage their relationship, I can’t help but think that the damage that had been done likely contributed something to the seeds of her spanking desire.
To me, spanking has almost always been a cathartic activity where the pain makes me feel stronger, where the “negative” attention is actually good attention because your play partners care about you. During play, I don’t have a care in the world beyond accepting my spanking–someone else is calling the shots, which relieves me of responsibility. The roller coaster of fear and the adrenaline rush just add to the experience.
I don’t know if that’s exactly what Erica feels–observing her play at parties and reading how she describes her scenes on her blog, I know she and I have differences in style. I wanted to learn more about this, about what goes through her head.
Also, since she has written that her dad was a well-known Hollywood comedy writer, and that there were actors and other famous writers at his parties and in her life, I was hoping for a little more about the issues of maintaining anonymity in the face of these associations. Or a story or two about being outed, or nearly being outed. Perhaps subject matter for the sequel?
It was a fun, quick read and because Erica is so well-known in the scene, the partners she writes about are well-known, too. Keith Jones starred in the very first spanking video I ever bought (and watched over and over), “Spoiled Rotten.” Ralph Marvel was in many hot videos. These and others are stars because they know what they’re doing, and it’s fun to read how Erica became a star herself as she worked with them. Yes, the tops “do all the work,” but the bottoms have to look good, know how to act and know how to take a good spanking–not easy!
Erica is still making videos as a bottom. She looks really good, so why not? There are many who would rather watch an attractive older woman who can act than a Barbie Doll who winks at the camera and keeps reminding us it’s all about her.
What I liked most about the book was the feeling of community, how friendships are formed online (or at parties) and often become real-life, long-term relationships. I was a late-bloomer, too, in my own way. I spent many years alone even as I attended parties and found many play partners. As many know, I met my husband through Shadow Lane and the spanking community is a huge part of my world.
My journey, like Erica’s, has been one of gradual self-acceptance both in and out of the scene. I’m sure many other women, and more than a few men, will relate.
If you have a book about spanking or BDSM that you’d like me to review, please send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m hoping to review one book a week if possible.