(this post makes more sense if you read the previous one)
I wondered if I should perhaps cancel my trip to Fetishcon, but the idea of letting so many people down in one fell swoop felt impossibly horrible - I’d never be able to explain to every fan attending the event why I couldn’t come; they’d think I was a big flake. Also, the event had been extensively advertised and I felt it was probably a chance in a lifetime; I imagined that if I cancelled the trip at short notice I might not be re-invited. Furthermore, I’d bought expensive peak rate flights to Los Angeles in order to work with West Coast producers while I was in the USA. They were non-refundable so I felt as though I might as well go, and at least try to get through my professional commitments.
I warned the relevant producers that I wouldn’t be any use for long standing poses, or for kneeling down. All but one of them said they were happy to go ahead regardless, knowing that I have limited opportunities to come to the USA. I was grateful that they were prepared to be flexible in light of my own lack of flexibility, and I was excited to see them again, most of them have become friends so I thought that even if all I could do was turn up and visit with them it’d still be worth doing.
So I packed my bags with modelling clothes and physio equipment. And despite all my worries about getting through the trip, I felt excited to be setting off to the airport. I still love international travel, the longer the journey, the better.
And something went right, rather surprisingly so. When I got to the front of the check-in queue, the clerk checked my ticket and told me I could use the priority check in. Puzzled, I did so; my luggage was checked in and I was ushered through the priority security screening and straight into the British Airways business class lounge. I was baffled; my ticket had been for ‘Economy Plus’; a normal economy seat with extra leg room. Maybe the ‘Plus’ customers were allowed to use the lounge but I expected to be ushered out again at any moment. In the meantime, I poured myself a pot of tea and helped myself to a bowl of lovely fruit salad. I relaxed in a comfy seat, resting my sore knee and feeling sure that this peaceful start to my journey would help me endure the long and probably uncomfortable flight.
When the flight was called, I found that it had been no mistake, I really was flying business class. My seat was in a gorgeous pod; it elongated to a totally flat bed when required, and screens came down to shield me in a private cocoon. I very rarely drink, but accepted a glass of champagne since I decided it’d anesthetize me. As I drank it, I toasted my mysterious benefactor if he or she existed - if you upgraded me and are reading this, then thank you thank you thank you. The 8 hour flight was over too soon; I extended and retracted the seat as many times as possible, ate everything I was offered, watched a documentary about ballet dancers (and sympathised since naturally all of them had injuries) and had a go at living in the moment. I’m awful at this.
Once I arrived in Tampa, more fun was to come. I’ve been corresponding with my friend Joe for several years, as well as exchanging Christmas presents. But till this trip, I’d never had a chance to meet him. We’d decided to have a go at converting our friendship to real life, and he’d come to the airport to meet me. It was wonderful to see him; he’s just as thoughtful, kind and good natured as I’d guessed from his mails. We went out to dinner (yum, American food. I had a massive dessert with cream and pineapples) and then back to his neat condo. And we did our physio exercises together - we both have the same foot problem and it was nice to exchange notes. Joe lent me a helpful book about it.
I slept beautifully despite my sore knee, and when I woke up we went and bought two different flavours of cookie dough and then ate it raw, greedily, for breakfast. We’d promised each other we’d do this some day, and it was great to do so in his sunny kitchen, whilst talking things over and finding out more about each other.
Then, via a quick lunch out, Joe took me back to Tampa airport to board a flight for Las Vegas, where I was working with VegasBondage.com and Tomiko. I was sorry to say goodbye to him so soon, and my anxiety about the shoots I had ahead of me started to rise again. The plane was cramped, and changing flights in Atlanta involved a long walk across the terminal. By the time I arrived in Las Vegas I was very, very sore, and worried about managing to do a good job as a model.
Actually, my day with Gerald Saunders of Vegasbondage was surprisingly manageable - I did stretching exercises between sets and think I did a reasonable job; he kindly had invited me to stay with him which made the whole thing more relaxing - we talked a lot between sets, which was lovely. And he let me be tied up on the bed or sofa all the time, which helped loads. The following day, I drove over to Tomiko’s beautiful house and had The Most Fun In The World being eaten by her giant pet worm, as well as dressing as a super heroine with her. It was fantastic to meet her; she’s inspiring as a fetish model who’s built her own brand and fetish empire with a combination of beauty, talent and sheer hard work as far as I can see. She’s a fantastic entrepreneur; she made me feel rather lazy. I was happy to realise I’d be seeing her at Fetishcon the following week.
And once our shoot was over, I drove across the desert to Los Angeles. I’d never done this on my own before and I loved it. The desert looks magical to me, having grown up in the green, leafy and rainy England. I wound the windows of my hire car down so I could feel the wind in my hair and smell the desert heat. I felt that the trip had been worth it now it even if I couldn’t do the rest of my shoots.
The next day I was scheduled to work with Joe Anton, for the first time in 4 years. I was looking forward to catching up with him anyway, but I’d forgotten how much fun he is to work with; his damsel in distress storylines are often creepy and serious, and require proper concentration and a realistic performance. He pulled, as always, appalled faces at most of the costumes I’d brought with me - I’d forgotten about this aspect of shooting with him. I sort of enjoy introducing him to cardigans I’m particularly sure he’ll hate, it feels similar to being at home with Hywel. And I appreciate his lack of apathy; he still appears to be interested in every element of his shoots, which makes his movies great, I think.
And this time, he’d also hired Tim Woodman, which was a marvelous treat because improvisation is a group effort and it’s much easier to do a good job if you’re working with someone who’s good at it himself. I know this industry provides more opportunities for women than men but Tim’s a perfect example of why paying male actors makes sense - he’s properly highly skilled both with rigging and dialogue, as well as being such a warm, easy-to-get-on-with person that it’s really relaxing to work with him. I do hope the videos we made will be successful, I feel as though they’ll deserve to be. Here’s a picture of me, triumphant in a particularly gaudy sweater, with rope marks from our chloroform storyline.
Lovely Joe Anton then took me out for dinner, and since he offered me a choice, we went to Denny’s. Which is one of my favourite things to do when I’m in the USA, I always make sure I go there at least once, and when I do I order pancakes. I have no sophistication. But it was a super evening for me so thank you Joe!
And then, off I went in my car for about 5 miles, and arrived at Jon Woods’ and Lorelei’s studio, where I was working the next day. This blog is turning into a bit of a hyperbolic feast of sycophancy but I’m afraid that I have to go on, because I love Jon and Lorelei. They were the first people I worked for in the fetish industry who called themselves ‘producers’ rather than ‘photographers’ as most people in the UK would say. At the time it conveyed to me an idea of professionalism that appealed and it still does impress me, as does their large and lovely studio. I like the way that in the USA, bondage video production is a well established industry and that people over there have been making a full time living from it for 20+ years - it means that things tend to run smoothly on shoots, and models (in my experience at least) get treated well. Possibly that’s just Jon and Lorelei though, I do enjoy their company, and I was sorry to leave them when our shoot was over. I particularly loved appearing in Lorelei’s Land Shark movie; this trip introduced me to a fetish I wasn’t aware of, and I desperately want to shoot more of it; it appeals to my desire to act in a thoroughly over-the-top, hammy style.
Before I flew back to Florida I also managed to squeeze in shoots with the fantastic Ikaras Jones (who had the most beautiful selection of knee-high boots for me to wear) and the always-glamorous Chelsea Pfeiffer who shot a couple of lovely spanking videos with me before I headed back to the airport; I loved catching up with her. She’s so beautiful and a freakishly hard spanker given her delicate frame. And shooting spanking is such a GREAT way to prepare for a long flight, I always think....
Urgh, I dreaded taking my first genuine ‘Red Eye’ flight back across the USA to Florida, especially given that my knee was still sore. Everyone had been very careful and considerate through my shoots in California, but nevertheless, being active after my month off had stirred it up rather. Actually the flight worked out more or less ok and I arrived back in Tampa to find my lovely new-to-real-life friend Joe waiting for me. He took me back to his place for a few hours sleep before we headed to Downtown Tampa for my very first Fetishcon....
NB - Sorry to those of you confused by comments not appearing immediately. Since someone posted a cerrrrazzzzy anti BDSM rant here last year, I've turned 'Comment Moderation' on so comments appear once I've read them. I'm not keen on offering a platform to trolls.