Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Q and A: Spanking Research

A college student contacted me recently regarding some research she is doing. In support of her efforts, I agreed to answer a series of questions about domestic discipline, spanking, and D/s lifestyles.

I thought you might enjoy reading these questions and answers.

  1. Was it a struggle to decide that the DD lifestyle was best for you?

  2. I don’t consider the lifestyle I share with Randy to be domestic discipline, at least not based upon the commonly recognized definition. My submission ends at the bedroom door. The rest of time, our relationship operates more or less as an equal partnership. The concept of punishment is foreign to us. He is no more qualified to stand in judgment of my behavior than I am for his.

    To address your question more generically, there was no definitive moment in terms of choosing our lifestyle. It is the more the product of years of gradual refinement. We do what we enjoy and our tastes have evolved considerably over time. So, no, I wouldn't call it a struggle.

  3. Did you research it or look through blogs?

  4. (Laughing) I wish! When we started, there was no Internet, let alone blogs. There were few, if any, resources available. We figured there must be other people who shared our interest, but we had no means to make contact. The meager printed material available seemed to emphasize heavy BDSM aspects that didn’t appeal to us. We had little choice but to figure out everything on our own.

    When the Internet arrived, we were pleasantly surprised by the popularity of recreational spanking. I vividly recall the feelings of confirmation and acceptance when I walked into virtual communities with thousands of like minded people from all over the world. Even today, I encounter many, many people who are only now discovering that their feelings are normal and that they are far from alone.

  5. Has it been difficult for you to submit to your partner?

  6. There have certainly been occasions when I was simply not in the mood. But beyond that, submission is an important part of my sexuality and I embrace it as such. I don’t find it difficult to submit. In fact, it feels very natural most of time.

  7. Does it ever make you feel too vulnerable or uncomfortable?

  8. In the early years, I used to second guess my choices sometimes. Without any real reference point, I wondered whether we had wandered too far from “normal” (whatever that was). I was generally able to chase these doubts away by recognizing how positive our experiences were.

    I love spankings and the lovemaking that follows. I always have. During a spanking, I am the special one. I hold his complete attention and he handles my body in ways I adore. The pain is there, but it’s not the purpose. It’s more a necessary byproduct. I find the experience to be exhilarating and redemptive. I am once again happy to be alive and in love with a man who understands my needs.

    There have certainly been times when I felt too vulnerable, but the sensation passed without any lasting negative impact. In fact, there is a strength that comes from overcoming one’s fears. Working through labor and childbirth made me a stronger and more confident person. In the same way, I think getting beyond my inhibitions in the bedroom helped me to believe in my own capabilities.

  9. I agree with you that a strong woman deciding what works best for her is ABSOLUTELY feminism, but many people don't see it that way – Did those old stereotypes force you to have second thoughts about your decision?

  10. Yes, of course. I grew up in the 1960s. Feminism was beginning to take root, but equality of any kind was still a distant dream. Women were expected to live within prescribed roles. The smart women were our teachers, nurses, and librarians. In today’s world, these women might be CEOs, senators, and scientists. I think it’s difficult for people in our daughters' generation to realize how much progress we’ve made.

    When I came of age in the 1970s, it was a time of transition. The old rules were suddenly not so relevant, but there was no new compact to replace them. Many people did as they pleased, many objected, and culture clashes inevitably ensued. This was the backdrop for my personal sexual revolution.

    I considered myself a feminist (and I still do). I wanted control over my body, my mind, and my life. I believed to my core that my value was no less than any man.

    And yet, the desire for spanking and submission is also an undeniable part of my being. The way I reconciled these two seemly opposing values was to define play as precisely that. It’s recreation for us. Our spankings don’t demean me or lower my status. In fact, this sort of play allows me to quench my deepest sexual thirst.

  11. Are you "out" to any of your friends or family outside of the community?

  12. No. The personal cost is still too great. We have people in our lives who would be very upset and wouldn’t understand.

  13. Do you think your gender determined you taking on the submissive role or do you think it was your personality?

  14. I like to say that I am female by birth, but submissive by choice. I vehemently reject any argument that there is any correlation between the two. There are many dominant females and submissive males. These people have preferences that are every bit as legitimate as my own.

  15. Regarding the gender roles, I think it would be interesting to learn the dynamics of a gay or lesbian couple practicing DD. Do you know any gays or lesbians practicing the DD lifestyle?

  16. Yes, I do. I know lesbian couples who practice domestic discipline and others who enjoy recreational spanking.

  17. What are your feelings on Christian Domestic Discipline (i.e., the woman is disciplined because the Bible says so)?

  18. I don’t buy it. Over the years, people have used Biblical verses to justify genocide, racism, child abuse, and all manner of other abominations. Quoting scripture is not a license to do wrong.

    This is not to suggest that Christians shouldn't pursue DD or that DD enthusiasts can't be Christians. But when someone is using what they perceive to be the word of God in lieu of consent, that's a very problematic situation.

  19. What is the difference between domestic discipline and domestic violence?

  20. In my mind, there is a very clear delineation and it relates to consent. True consent can be given only by an empowered adult who is free from coercion of any kind. Anything less is criminal abuse.

So that's what I told her. I hope my answers were helpful.


sara said...

Bonnie, I loved your answers. They were not only well said, but also gave me a much better view of who you are. Apparently your smarts is not just confined to your bottom!

Radagast said...

I thought that the answers you gave were most excellent, concise and to the point. I could never have been able to put it into those words and am glad you were the spokesperson for the community to this woman.

Paul said...

Bonnie, brilliant answers, from a recreational spankee's viewpoint.
In general excellent answers.
Warm hugs,

Hermione said...

Fascinating, Bonnie.

I'm certain your answers were extremely helpful to the questioner, and will also be so to many readers.


Indiana said...

Wonderful answers, Bonnie!

I hope your correspondent or someone like her goes on to study spanking and related practices among the general population. I've been amazed at how little reliable information there is out about our broader community. I suppose it's hard to find a representative sample for such a study. After all, many university researchers get their test subjects from Psych 101 classes, and I suspect a lot of us don't embrace our interest until much later.

Daisy said...

Bonnie, I absolutely agree with you on all, but was particularly interested in practising christians, what we choose to do re: DD/recreational spanking is personal choice as with any other lifestyle choice.
The Bible preaches love and mutual respect; DD is entirely in keeping with this, but without DD love and respect are still possible!
Also, re: #10, in domestic violence, fear and anger is the theme, with the beaten partner not in control.
With DD, the spanked partner is in ultimate control, because the instant the safeword is invoked, the spanking stops; spankings are carried out in love and respect, with the dominant partner being calm and in control of his /her emotions, and the purpose is to either have mutual fun, or to correct attitude etc....LOVE is the key!SO I guess, the difference could be said to be that in Domestic Violence, control is TAKEN, in DD, control is GIVEN.

D said...

Great responses to the questions asked. Thank you for representing our community so well.

Span King said...

Outstanding responses. Extremely well done.

Anonymous said...

You always say things so clearly, concisely, yet eloquently!
Jean Marie

Constance said...

Like the commenters (and friends!) above, I agree that your answers were excellent: smart, rational, clear, fair.

Very well done, and thank you!

OliviaManners said...


Your answers gave me neck ache because I was nodding so much reading them!

They are well considered and clear and the whole tone of being frank and matter of fact but with insight and warmth is really impressive. In a few interviews I have heard recently addressing this topic people have sounded a little defensive, or like spanking evangelists.

Thank you for speaking so eloquently.

I can't wait until I am as able as you to articulate where I am with all of this and where I am going:)

Best wishes


sally4lvp said...


Beautifully said! You speak so well for so many of us. You are able to put into words the feelings of our hearts and help us to understand ourselves better. Thank you for your eloquence!


fanny said...


Radagast is absolutely right. The spanking community couldn't have a better spokeswoman. Well done.

impish1 said...

Great job, Bonnie! Thank you; in representing yourself so eloquently, you ended up representing me very well indeed.

spanked wife said...

I especially like your answer to question #10. Some of the women in DD aren't truly empowered.

Mr. Shiny said...

Terrific answers - the questioner picked a good person to interview.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate and whole heartedly agree with your responses regarding DD and feminism. Its increasingly difficult for me to come to grips with that part of my sexuality while constantly interacting with men who regard women as weaker, in all senses of the word. Some days I get concerned that I'm doing my gender an injustice by having the feelings towards spanking that I do. Luckily, I read your blog which sets me right back on track again (and does the same thing for all of your readers). Well written responses to the study. I do wish *I* could do THAT research study (I'm guessing my school cannot yet handle it....).


mthc said...

I agree with everything you say. I have read several blogs that border on abuse and the women thinks it's perfectly acceptable. If you can't say no or have an opinion then it is abuse whether it's mental or physical..."The concept of punishment is foreign to us. He is no more qualified to stand in judgment of my behavior than I am for his."...I find this to be so true..

Bonnie said...

Everyone - Thank you for your generous words. I really didn't intend to speak for our whole community. After all, we have many different tastes and values. I offer my experience and thoughts as merely one of numerous valid perspectives.

An interesting side note is that our student friend is performing research for a women's studies course. I warned her that spanking (and all BDSM) is looked upon with suspicion, if not utter disgust, by many academicians in this field. I told her that almost any other topic would probably be easier. To her credit, she believes that this information needs to be shared with the world.

The final question is one I added because I thought the subject couldn't be truly understood without exploring the boundaries. I really like Daisy's answer.

This was a fun exercise, and hopefully a beneficial one as well.

taiah said...

Hi there. I just wanted to say that I am enjoying your blog very much and have added you to my side bar as this weeks recommended read. I hope that you will stop by sometime.

Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

once a consentual soanking agreement is in effect there are certain proceedures whch
must be developed in a punishment whipping. it should be sure that the bottom is turned red and the spanker is not fooled by the spankee carring on by crying and begging to stop. the one getting punished must end up with a bottom that will be sore enough so the recipient wont forget & defintely aware the misdoing will never happen again.

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