Sunday, November 23, 2008

MBS Spanko Brunch #149


Would you like to join us for brunch? Good, I had hoped you might.

Our question is one that should generate considerable thought and discussion.

What do you think about this cartoon?

To add your response, just enter a comment below. Once everyone has had a chance to share their insights, I will post an edited summary.

28 comments :

Anonymous said...

Damn wish I had a boyfriend for regular spankings. My last boyfriend that did that is with someone new. Heck even if he'd meet up just for those tune ups ... that would feel good.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

It’s hard for us to relate to it. We came of age before feminism came of age. I suspect the answers will be divided between those that are over say 50 who might have little opinion about it and those under 50.

I suspect the quandary is does submitting to a spanking that you want mean you have given up more control? For us, the answer is no. We both have dominate personalities with positive self images who enjoy being spanked and who can infrequently get into a zone we call bedroom submission. We do not go in the bedroom submissive and we don’t leave it submissive. In other words, what happens in our play it not a part of the rest of our lives.

As always, YMMV

Hermione said...

Hi Bonnie,

I think the cartoon is voicing the conflicting emotions many women might feel about spanking. On the one hand, spanking is a pleasurable sexual activity, and if it feels good, do it. But the extremely submissive nature of the act on the part of the spankee is sometimes difficult to come to terms with.

I guess if you are truly liberated, you do what is right for you and you follow your heart. if spanking consensual and enjoyable, it isn't demeaning, nor does it make a woman less of a feminist.

But wait! What exactly is a feminist? the definition, according to one dictionary, is "the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men." That means that we women have just as much right to be spanked as men do.

Hugs,
Hermione

sara said...

Bonnie, like many others that cartoon really speaks to me. I grew up in an age when being a feminist, i.e. independent and dominant was the goal. I am that in my outside world. I am a submissive in my marriage. For us the spanking is truly a reflection of our roles 24/7, not just in the bedroom. However, in the boardroom, I am the boss. My inner feminist used to at least cringe, if not weep, but I have come to terms with the fact that I can be all of those things. I am a top executive, independent, self sufficient, a submissive and a spanked wife...all rolled up into one very fulfilled package. I love my life!

Brambleberry Blush said...

Bonnie~

For me there is less conflict. We have a good solid relationship and we've worked out the issues in all arenas of our lives. For us, spanking is for pleasure, not discipline. Actually, most the time, it's my call if we're going there or not. But once I'm in position, he decides how much, how hard, etc. When a feminist gets what she wants, then she wins.

cheers!
Carly

littleone said...

To me there is no conflict at all - and i burned my bra with the best of them in the 60's.....

Women's Liberation or the Feminist Movement gave me the right to chose what is best for me.... frees me to chose what is best for me..

morningstar (owned by Warren)

jim said...

When my wife canes me, my inner masculinist does not weep because crying is for cissies:-)

When, later, she receives me--with my bottom ablaze--the ensuing joy, on both our parts, is the true correction.

Lee said...

My inner feminist finds it empowering to be spanked. It was my choice, and my desire that got me there. Even more than that, my boyfriend is a complete gentleman, and doesn't want to hurt me in any way. It says a lot about his attitude towards women, and me, that he trusts me enough to spank me and relate my limits and KNOW he's not hurting me in a bad way.

Hermione also made a fantastic point. Feminism is all about the belief that no one should be treated differently because of his or her gender. It would KILL my inner feminist if someone refused to spank me because he "doesn't hit girls" or something, especially because it is my desire, and my sexual fulfillment. It seems to me that refusal to spank (based on that attitude) is more anti-feminist than spanking is.

MP said...

I have a job,
I wear what clothes I choose,
I drive a car,
I can vote,
I have a bank account,
I come and go as I please,
AND
Sometimes I like my bum smacked!

My freedoms are greater than many.

PK said...

Many of us did not come out in our relaltionships until our 40's or later. Possible because of feminism and what we were taught growing up. We had to be equal in every way. We had to take charge of our own life. No man should be able to tell us what to do. We bought all this despite out own knowledge of what we knew we needed.

In my case it was knowing that I was in charge of my own life and was was fully equal that I became confident enough to ask for what I knew I needed. I guess I had to know I could be independent before I could begin to accept my submissive side. I am sorry for women who know that they want this but are too insecure to accept it.

For me my inner spanko weep for feminist who will never know the joy of spanking and submission.

Paul said...

Bonnie, the first time I saw it, it made me laugh, because there really isn't a conflict.
Every woman who accepts discipline in her life has made a decision to do so, whether it's erotic discipline, if they do it freely it's their choice, which is the point of feminism
Warm hugs,
Paul.

pammie said...

Great topic. I mulled over this very question quite a bit when I first thought about Domestic Discipline as a lifestyle just a few short months ago. How could I do this? Can I submit at this level? I am a life-long feminist. The writings of three people in particular -- Finding Sara, The Disciplined Feminist, and Constance--helped me with my thought processes.

Now that I have dated 2 spankers, I've found I LOVE being spanked. My last rousing session 6 days ago (before leaving on vacation) was the best ever. I experienced no feminist angst and absolutely NO conflicts in my head before during, or after that marvelous evening with S, my new strong man.

We talked about our goals for our new relationship. I said one thing I wanted to learn was if I could do this long term. Dating and spanking is one thing, but can I really be in an HoH relationship long term? I believe that experimenting with him will help me learn more about myself.

So, ours in a relationship of discovery. Although we are both 50-something professional people who came of age during the Women's Liberation era, we are experimenting with time-tested, traditional D/s roles. Frankly, I find it exciting. Having 2 "equals" (as per feminist doctrine) in my past 2 marriages didn't work. I want to see if HoH will. Check out my post from last night on Dr. Laura and DD. She also calls on feminists to submit to their husbands. Seems to be a pattern here.

Also, in a nutshell, submission is a choice. Feminism is all about personal choice.

jim (again) said...

Switching is the most egalitarian form of s&m. Each person gets a fair crack of the implement of their choice. The pretence of punishment is a cultural hang-up that a lot of us can live without.

Imagine if the punishment discourse was applied to other sex acts:

'If you don't behave, I'm going to lick your clit so much, you'll be seeing rainbows in the evening air!'

or (switching):

If you don't start being a good boy, I'm going to smack my lips around your cock so hard, you'll be coming like christmas!'

Roissyfille said...

Hi Bonnie & all,
I think the cartoon is hilarious. I have it on my pc because I respond to it with a knowing smile.
It is precisely because of the love, respect & equality of our relationship that I feel able to ask for and get what I want in the bedroom and that includes a good spanking on a regular & wonderful basis. I feel more empowered than I have ever done because I am doing what I want, happily, with the man I love.
I do smile at the cartoon because it did take my husband longer to come to terms with his enjoyment of being my spanker/Dom.
I think he worried about the possible contradictory issues more than I ever did. I just knew what I wanted & I got it :-) Ok - maybe I did initially struggle with the growing feeling that spanking might be something I'd like to try but once felt able to go for it I knew it was right. Now I just know he could have been born with a paddle in his hand and I'm very happy to be on the receiving end.

Anonymous said...

I am a man who needs to be spanked. I sometimes think to much and find it hard to let go. A spanking helps me to really give myself to my partner. It feels strong and real. Sometimes not letting go can reflect a weakness.

Anonymous said...

My inner feminist weeps when I see him, sitting on an upright chair, hairbrush in hand, his finger pointing to his lap; why should a mature female like me submit to having her bare bottom spanked like a child? But once I am over that knee, skirt up, knickers down, and the brush raising my derriere to boiling point, as the drawing says, "It feels so damn good".

Dr. Ken said...

A cute cartoon--
And when it comes to sexuality, doctrine usually goes out the window.....
This is one of those times when we shouldn't overthink it. To dredge up an old phrase, "If it feels good--do it!"

Dr. Ken

Raheretic said...

I think that people who think the outcome of the feminist movement was some sort of prescription that women must live their lives in one fashion or another (e. g., they must be employed and cannot choose to be housewives or stay at home mothers, etc.) have missed the point.

Speaking as a man who was quite invovled in feminiist advocacy (yes it is true there were some of the penilely challenged who did become involved), I beleive the outcome of feminism was that women have the right to be self-determined. They have the right to become who they are as they see their own vision of their best future. If in fact consensual sapnking, in any of its various forms and styles actualizes their identity, their desired future and/or their connection to others, then spanking is not a contradiction of feminism, but a realization of its promise.

All the best,

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

swan said...

There are plenty of reasons for us to feel "conflicted" about our spanking drives. Feminism as a political philosophy is just one of them. Here's an excerpt of a piece I wrote on the subject about a year and a half ago:

Many people believe that there is something about all of this that might/can/should engender guilt (or some similar emotion). There is a lot that fuels that reaction. It is based on a set of assumptions and social beliefs that are so convoluted, it can take weeks or months or even years to unravel it and begin to sort it all out. I don't pretend to be any kind of expert, but I do think that, until a person comes to terms with that set of assumptions and beliefs, it is very difficult to move forward into a healthy and joyful BDSM relationship dynamic.


I really believe that the most likely source of BDSM-related emotional conflict is the connection between almost all of what constitutes BDSM and sex. I know and acknowledge that there is the sort of Dominance/submission relationship that is not specifically (or even remotely) sexual. There are relationships that are entirely and purely based on service. At least that is what I have heard and read. I've never personally met anyone involved in such a dynamic. Almost always, at some level, it is about sex/romance/love.


Power is sexy. Power is erotic. Power is hot. If I give my power, if it is taken and used to move me in ways I cannot control or direct, that can give my partner and I, both, a huge arena in which to explore our sexual natures.


What makes that so difficult for so many of us is that we mostly come from a social background that tells us (from the time we are very small) that sex is bad, sick, wrong, crude, vulgar, dirty, perverted, nasty, disgusting, ... It is so disgusting in fact, that it must absolutely be saved for the marriage relationship (huh?). Even then, it must only be engaged in within certain very tightly defined boundaries. Anything that is outside of the approved sexual expression list, is cause for extreme guilt.

Much of that is driven by traditional religious dogma and convention. I know that my own Roman Catholic upbringing was pervaded with messages that made it clear to me what was considered "good, Christian" behavior for a girl and/or woman, and what was outside that boundary. The church told me not to be sexual, not to enjoy sex, not to seek out sex, not to display my sexual nature, not to entertain my sexual desires. The church taught me that I could aspire to no higher vocation for my life than to follow the path of sexless, life-long chastity, but that, if I simply had to succumb to the lures of SEX, a church-sanctioned marriage was the only way to do that and still be OK. Even then, the church emphasized that I was to engage in sex for one purpose only -- that of procreation. If I wasn't willing to become pregnant and bear children, I was taught that there was no justification for sex. It is a mean and nasty sort of theology.

Even outside the church, there were a myriad of messages about what it meant to step outside the sexual norms. It was common, in my adolescence, for girls who flirted with sex to be saddled with the perjorative labels which identified them as irretrievably fallen from grace: slut, whore, floozy, tramp, loose, cock tease... And I am old enough to remember friends who took the risks, found themselves pregnant, and were then "sent away" to bear their "shame" in secret.


So that was the background for my coming of age sexually -- the air we all breathed in the years of my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. I know that it is nominally a newer world where those judgements are less common or at least less vitriolic, but I believe that they are still there, although less overt. I certainly hear them in the language my students use -- even when they seem completely unaware of the implications of what they say to one another.

But there is more. Because we are not just talking about a little good old fashioned, roll-in-the-hay sex. We are talking about BDSM. We are thinking in terms of sadomasochism, bondage, Dominance and submission, discipline, humiliation, objectification, and a whole range of kinks. It is all so -- well, perverse. Isn't it? That question continues to be raised. The labels continue to be applied. Never mind that BDSM has been removed from the list of paraphilias listed in the DSM-V. A pretty cursory Internet search will turn up plenty of references that will lead one to question the state of one's mental stability -- "what the hell is wrong with me?! Why can't I just be normal." I know I've asked that question more than once.


And then there is the fact that what it is that we do can land one in all sorts of social trouble. People find themselves unemployed, arrested, in child custody battles. To come to be generally known as a BDSM practitioner can lead directly to the role of social parriah. It is the rare practitioner in the lifestyle that finds it possible to share much about their life with friends, family, co-workers, worship community, teachers at their child's school, or health care providers. There are those who, by whatever circumstance, are able to be "out" in varying degrees, but for many, following a lifestyle path, means spending a good part of one's life in disguise. That has its own crippling side-effects.

Too, for many of us there is the expectation that modern-day feminism places on us -- to be strong, to be independent, to take care of ourselves, to follow our own paths. I know. I am a feminist. I've fought the battles for years, and believe the foundational doctines of that religion: that women are different than men, but ought to be treated as political, social, and economic equals; that all men and women deserve equal access to the opportunities within our society; that no one ought to be relegated to the background on the basis of their gender... A strong femininst ethic can seem to stand at odds with a personal inclination toward submission and/or masochism. How do you fit those two together with any kind of integrity?



That's a heavy load, and it is, by no means, an exhaustive list. Many of us grapple, at some level, with a set of stories that bear a resemblance to that set of "notions." And, then, we turn up with a personal understanding of "who we are" that drives us into an exploration of lifestyle SM and D/s or M/s. Talk about cognitive dissonance! So what can be done, to wind through the thickets and find some sort of peace and personal comfort with who we are as sexual/erotic beings within that context?



Every person is going to have their own set of solutions and answers. Here are a few of mine:



1) Religion/spirituality -- I was already on a path of discovery in my spiritual life by the time I began to actively explore BDSM. I already knew that, for me at least, the set of beliefs that I'd been taught as a child did not work for me as an adult. That isn't always the case as people come into the lifestyle. So, one of the first steps to take, if personal faith is in conflict with sexual drives is to evaluate systematically and carefully. I believe it is helpful to honestly and openly ask questions:

What do I believe?
Why do I believe this?
Where did I acquire this belief?
Is there any reasonable, logical foundation to the things that I believe?
Have I ever "fact checked" any of the stories I was told as a child?
How would my life be different if I came to relinquish the belief system that I have held to from my youth?
What is the value of this belief system in my life?
Does my sense of who I am rest irretrievably on my adhering to this set of beliefs?

Next, I believe that it is necessary, when one chooses to practice BDSM, to make friends with the bodies we occupy. One of my favorite authors, Kathleen Norris, wrote in her book Dakota, about the importance of personal geography -- the value of a sense of personal rootedness. Just as coming to a sense of attachment and belonging to a place, I believe it is necessary to become attached to and rooted to our personal, physical selves. Our bodies are, for each and all of us, our ultimate and essential personal geography. We live nowhere except that we live in our own skins. We may not be able, for a variety of reasons, to be "out" to friends, family, co-workers, and the other inhabitants of our lives, but we simply must come "out" to ourselves. To find the contours and topography of our own sexual selves brings us into self-acceptance and a loving celebration of our own glory as part of the creation. Acknowledging the gifts we have been given, embracing the uniqueness of our sensual expression brings our hearts and minds and bodies into alignment with one another. None of that can change the way the outside world views us, but it can go a long way to making the words we tell to ourselves be affirming and positive.

The social stigma of what it is that we do is a reality and a fact. It is unfortunate. It is not fair or just. It can be dealt with and managed. It is important to make pro-active, self-determined decisions about what it is that we share with those who are not into the lifestyle. No one NEEDS to know about our interior lives. For some, it is healthy to be very open and honest about their internal lifestyle dynamics. Each one who can go openly into the world, educating and advocating, clears the path to a more open future for all of us. Still, it should be by choice and with care that we share who we are with those who might not understand. Know that such sharing can have benefits, but may also have real costs. Choose carefully what you share and with whom.

As for the political drumbeat of feminism. I sincerely believe it need not be a philosophy that lives in conflict with the choice to engage in personal power dynamics. Without personal power to lay on the table, the power exchange becomes pretty meaningless. There is nothing weak about choosing a path that deliberately explores the nature of power, how it might be balanced, and what it means to relinquish it. We choose to explore and live at the outer edges of the human sexual/erotic experience. It is a choice that requires great courage and personal strength.

The trick, through it all, is to come to this with awareness, personal integrity, courage, and openess. It is possible to live healthy, happy and whole in the midst of the lifestyle -- nevermind what the rest of all those people might say.

Daisy said...

The cartoon does nothing for me. I too was brought up to believe that sex should be within a marriage; I see that as a loving, committed lifelong one to one relationship. Yet, the bible gives one "get-out" clause to that lifelong vow....adultery. And as that happened to me, I was free to divorce him and begin again. I DO believe in marriage, and, that a wife should submit to her husband. But, the bible also says, in an albeit subtle way, that a woman should be respected and cherished; God also designed our bodies to make sex awesome and fun and enjoyable, and our bottoms just the right shape to be spanked without causing harm to the vital organs!!!! So, there is nothing wrong with it, folks!!!! Yayyyyyyyyy! Happy spanking! xxx

Impish1 said...

When my husband spanks me my inner feminist laughs. I finally had enough self-worth and courage to ask for what I want, and he was not chained by traditional roles that said he could not hit me even if I wanted him to!

Robin said...

I think it all depends on your definition of feminism. Mine is taht women have all the rights and opportunities of men -- jobs, equal pay, etc. It has nothing to do with belittling men or myself. I certainly don't believe that men are not needed.
What I do believe in is balance and being true to ones self. I won't tolerate patronism in the workplace, but D/s in an interpersonal, fully consensual, intimate relationship -- if that's what is truly wanted -- is not anti-feminism.
So spank me, restrain me, control me, love me, support me, cherish me -- it's all good :D
Robin

SPANKEDHORTIC said...

Well I do not feel wimpy or less of a man for taking some. On the contrary I actually feel that I have one up on the guys that aren't prepared to take some (I am a bloke I do have a male ego).

My sister bottoms and subs are worth more for following their desires and needs than anyone, male or female, who denies their inner selves.

At the end of the day all true play (not uninvited abuse) can only happen because the bottom or sub allows it to happen.

All bottoms and subs, m or f should feel strong because we are strong and ultimately we are the ones in control. I find no substance in any argument that I have heard that says that being a sub or bottom is anti feminist.

Prefectdt

Anonymous said...

First of all, I just have to mention that that feminist chick is extremely hot. There's just something about those glasses and the way her face...

ANYWAY, as a male switch, I find the idea of spanking or other power-exchange related bedroom activities being antifeminist patently ridiculous. So, when I get spanked, is that antimasculist?

I guess my conclusion is this: sex is weird. Sex is completely irrational. Who you are in bed is wholly unrelated to who you are in the rest of your life. Sex is the one time when you can just forget everything, shut out everything, and do absolutely nothing besides have fun. And if spanking is fun, well, the imagined sexist connotations of it are among the things to forget and shut out.

Maryann Sloan said...

I think the cartoon depicts a common conundrum in a humorous, sassy, fun way. Makes me smile.
Maryann

A.S.S. said...

It first of all is a nice chuckle. The message we both get beyond that though is... her inner-feminist should NOT weep. There is no conflict. She's consensually agreed (or even *asked*) to be spanked because she finds a benefit. In this case that benefit seems to be that it feels good.

That she has the freedom in this modern world to seek out what she wants... that she makes that decision... is something to celebrate, not weep about. If she wants something to weep about, well... she can seek out another spanking!

:)
Todd & Suzy

K said...

I have no inner feminist to interfere with me and my bliss. If she ever existed, I tossed her out long ago. I guess I'm on the youngish side, only mid thirties, but I'm pretty old fashioned. I appreciate those that went before me and fought for women's rights. I just feel the movement took it too far. Instead of being satisfied to give women choice, they strive to outdo men and are critical of women who doesn't want to be super independant career woman.

Thomas_III said...

Feminism, to my understanding, revolves around women gaining equality in society and the workplace. In this sense, spanking, even for discipline, does not negate a person's position as a "feminist." If, however, you subscribe to "militant feminism" where it is considered weakness to show any form of subservience whatsoever, then you probably would never even consider getting spanked, anyway, so the cartoon wouldn't apply.

Cartoons usually rely on being ridiculous, and taking things out of context for the sake of humor. If a person truly enjoys getting spanked, then they probably wouldn't even consider for a moment if it conflicts with anyone else's opinions. I know that it doesn't for me.

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