Sunday, November 23, 2008

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for Nov 23

Our topic of the week was reactions to a cartoon where a woman says, “When my boyfriend spanks me, my inner feminist weeps, but it just feels so damn good.” Here are your thoughts.

Anon #1: I wish I had a boyfriend for regular spankings. My last boyfriend who did that is now with someone new. Heck, even if he'd meet just for those tune ups, that would feel good.

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

I suspect the quandary is whether submitting to a spanking that you want means that you have given up more control. For us, the answer is no. We both have dominant personalities with positive self images. We enjoy being spanked and 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 is not a part of the rest of our lives.

Hermione: I think the cartoon is voicing the conflicting emotions that 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.

Sara: 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!

Carly: 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.

morningstar: 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. It frees me to chose what is best for me.

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

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

Lee: 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 to 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: 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: Many of us did not come out in our relationships until our 40's or later. Possibly, this was 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 our 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 fully equal that helped me became confident enough to ask for what I knew I needed. I guess I had to know that 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.

My inner spanko weeps for feminists who will never know the joy of spanking and submission.

Paul: The first time I saw it, this cartoon 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 or discipline, if they decide freely, it's their choice, and that is the point of feminism.

Pammie: 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 two spankers, I've found that I LOVE being spanked. My last rousing session, six 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 whether I could do this long term. Dating and spanking is one thing, but can I really be in a HoH relationship for the long term? I believe that experimenting with him will help me learn more about myself.

So, ours is 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 two "equals" (as per feminist doctrine) in my past two 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. There seems to be a pattern here.

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

Jim (again): 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: 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, and 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 and 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 and 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 I felt I was 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.

Anon #2: I am a man who needs to be spanked. I sometimes think too 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.

Anon #3: 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: That’s a cute cartoon. When it comes to sexuality, doctrine usually goes out the window... This is one of those times when we shouldn't overthink. To dredge up an old phrase, "If it feels good, do it!"

Tom: 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 involved in feminist advocacy (yes, it is true there were some of the penilely challenged who did become involved), I believe 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 consensual spanking, 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.

swan: 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 a piece I wrote on this subject.

Daisy: 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 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! Yayyyy! Happy spanking!

Impish1: 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: I think it all depends upon your definition of feminism. Mine is that 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 oneself. I won't tolerate patronization in the workplace, but D/s in an interpersonal, fully consensual, intimate relationship. If that's what is truly wanted, it is not anti-feminist.

So spank me, restrain me, control me, love me, support me, and cherish me. It's all good. :D

Prefectdt: I do not feel wimpy or less of a man for taking a spanking. 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 and 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, male or female 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.

Anon #3: First of all, I just have to mention that the 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 anti-feminist patently ridiculous. So, when I get spanked, is that anti-masculinist?

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: I think the cartoon depicts a common conundrum in a humorous, sassy, fun way. It makes me smile.

Todd and Suzy: It first of all is a nice chuckle. The message we both get beyond that though is that 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!

K: 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 who 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-independent career woman.

Thomas: 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, then you probably would never even consider getting spanked anyway, so the cartoon wouldn't apply.

Cartoons usually rely upon 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 whether it conflicts with anyone else's opinions. I know that I don’t.

Bonnie: My initial reaction was, “That’s not me.” My inner feminist celebrates being the woman I aspire to be. That is, after all, the very core of feminism. We want to be free to pursue, and hopefully realize, our dreams without interference or discrimination.

And yet, it has not always been so simple. I began to explore erotic spanking in an era when the cause of feminism was quite active and very necessary. Female leaders in almost any field were a noteworthy exception. I felt as though we were working to achieve legitimacy, to be acknowledged as capable contributors, and to be accepted as something more than decoration. I was learning to be an adult just as the world was reconsidering what it meant to be a woman. If I was uncertain about my role, I had a lot of company among both genders.

Ultimately, I chose to trust my own experience. I knew, at least for Randy and me, that spanking was a positive aspect of our relationship. The benefits were simply undeniable. Reality trumped ideology.

Upon further reflection, I recognized that spanking and submission, as we practice them, need not be at odds with equality. Before I could loan my control to my lover, I had to first claim it for myself. Both sides of this transaction reaffirmed my empowerment. As others have said, the key is choice. When I lie across Randy’s lap, you can bet that I want to be there.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our discussion!


Anonymous said...

Are those avocados positioned around the spaghetti, or oysters? I really hope they're avocados. I hate oysters.

Indy said...

Having written a fair amount about feminism and spanking in my time on the web, I decided to sit this discussion out. I have to say, though, that PK's comment about needing to take charge of her own life before she was confident enough to accept her submissive side resonated strongly with me.

Maybe if we raise our daughters to feel more confident about taking control, they'll also feel more confident about giving it up should that be a sexual need for them. Seen that way, feminism is a positive force for spankos!

Hermione said...

They're oysters.

Anonymous said...

They would be. Stupid oysters...

Hermione said...

No, wait, I think they're mussels. Cooked. Is that any better?

Anonymous said...

Eh, I appreciate the thought, but bivalves in general don't do it for me.

I'll just take the spaghetti. And the spanking, of course.

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