Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Spanko Files: Whatever Happened to Innocent Indy?

When last we heard from our friend Indiana, she had just begun her journey of discovery. Now, a little over a year later, she has significant progress and lots of valuable insights to share.

Whatever Happened to Innocent Indy?

When I last posted here, in January of 2008, I’d more or less come to terms with my spanking desires and was determined to explore them in real life – preferably soon! About two months later, I posted the following announcement on a couple of spanking-related boards I frequent:

I played for the first time(s) over the weekend at a regional spanking party. Sorry, I have no particularly interesting details. It feels weird to just tell everybody back here that I just went away to see friends in another city as if it were no big deal, when actually, I would really describe it as a subtly life-altering experience. So I thought I'd leave a short post here.

Looking back over the last year, I’d have to agree with that assessment. It was a life-altering experience, even if I couldn’t exactly share my excitement with casual acquaintances. And it was just the beginning. Since then, I’ve been to spanking parties, both large and small, in five different states, and I’ve even managed to play privately a few times in my home state. I’ve learned an awful lot about this thing we do and where I fit into the culture, but I’m not concerned about running out of things to learn anytime soon. Most important, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people from all over the country and from abroad.

I’ve noticed a certain suspicion about spanking parties from some MBS readers. I have to admit that I was initially wary of the idea of walking into a room of complete strangers and asking one of them to spank me. As I didn’t have a partner, though, a party seemed like the safest arrangement to me. Perhaps equally important, I was looking for community. As much as I’d enjoyed getting to know people through the internet, I really wanted to talk to other people interested in spanking face to face.

I’m not always one for making careful preparations, but I did as much as I could to get ready for my first party. I read Eve Howard’s advice on the Shadow Lane Member’s Site, along with Doc Tsai’s and Cigi’s party advice. I also got excellent advice from internet friends. Two of the most important pointers I received are pretty standard advice for female bottoms. First, consult the experienced female bottoms in the group about good play partners for a newcomer. Second, when you do start playing, pace yourself. Don’t play too hard on the first day, or you’ll sit the second day out – and the third, if applicable.

The third key piece of advice I received surprised me a bit at first. An internet friend recommended that I have a strategy for saying no to an invitation I didn’t want to accept. This may sound a bit harsh, but it was offered with a great deal of sensitivity and intended to protect me without hurting anyone’s feelings. It is a fact of life that even the most battle-hardened veteran can only play so much at a party, so you can’t accept every invitation. At the time, though, I didn’t know that. As my correspondent is both well known and very attractive, my first instinct was to laugh it off. She might need a strategy, but I wouldn’t!

Then I thought a bit more about the context in which her advice had been offered. We’d been discussing socially unacceptable behavior by male tops at large spanking parties – about the small minority of guys who seem certain that if you’re at a party, they are entitled to spank you. She had suggested that the excitement of being around other people interested in spanking for the first time can be overwhelming, and that it’s easy to get carried away by it. That made me realize I was by no means immune from that same excitement, and it could also cause me to make unwise decisions.

So I decided ahead of time that I would only play with people who had been recommended to me as particularly good for newcomers. That would kill all three birds with one stone: I’d play with extra-safe tops, I wouldn’t be tempted to play too much, and I could say no without hurting anyone’s feelings. Once I had a better idea what I was doing, I could be less cautious at the next party.

That strategy worked pretty well. People generally respected my plan, and it was easy to write off the one person who didn’t as an unsuitable play partner. As a mostly-bottom, a top who takes a no gracefully, or who doesn’t press me to play right away is one I’ll notice favorably. And there will be other parties.

Before I arrived, I guess I had imagined that there would be a big room filled with lots of spankings, and I’d get to see whose style seemed like a good fit with my nebulously defined tastes. It wasn’t like that at all, though. People generally socialized in the party room and retreated to their private hotel rooms to play. There was absolutely no pressure to play publicly, and most people didn’t. Of course, each spanking group is different, and the ratio of public to private play varies quite a bit.

I’d arrived late, which made it a bit harder to get a feel for the lay of the land. Most people had already dispersed for play, so not much was happening in the party room. I *was* completely overwhelmed, and the first hour or two were among the most surreal I've ever experienced. After a while, though, one of the women in the group returned to the party room, recognized my name from the Yahoo group, and kindly took me under her wing.

So it soon came to pass that I was sitting at a table with about seven more experienced female bottoms and a couple male tops. One of them offered to do the honors and received the endorsement of the women at the table. He'd written me a nice note a couple months before, so I trusted him, but I was still nervous. The other bottoms reassured me, telling me I didn't have to play until I was ready, Hon, not now, not tonight, not even the whole weekend. Then the woman next to me piped up, telling me that on the other hand, I'd been waiting my whole life for this, so I may as well go ahead. That was just the little push I needed.

So off I went. Perhaps ironically, I found that being over a near-stranger's lap, skirt up and knickers down, as they say, was the *least* strange part of the evening. He took charge, but was very careful, leaving me with a nice pink bottom, but not a bright red one. I was amazed at how little it took to get that wonderful floaty feeling, and I fell asleep in a lovely endorphin haze.

The next day was much more comfortable. In retrospect, I think that was because I *knew* that I belonged. I mean, I didn't exactly think the chances that I wouldn't like being spanked were all that high, but I didn't know for sure. I’d come to value being a part of the larger spanking community, and I didn’t want to let that go.

The other question that had been nagging at me before the party was the relationship between spanking and sex. I had read quite a few descriptions of spanking party encounters, and I knew that sex following spanking was emphatically not the default option. Still, I wondered how spanking could possibly be separated entirely from sex. As another internet friend once commented,

“I've often thought that so much of the [M/F] spanking thing really just mimics the whole sex act. Basically we're designed more for the doggie style position than the missionary position anyway. Hmmm. Let's see. Repetitive motions squarely against one's backside. Assertive vs. receptive energies. For the male, there is the visual with the remnants in their brains of the old red bottom to signal estrus. It’s the bottoms up/face down position for females, just like being OTK.”

I’m still not sure I can explain the difference. All I can say is, there are many kinds of spankings, and some are more erotic than others. At parties, there lots of just for fun spankings, light-hearted if not always lightly administered, punctuated by good-natured teasing and friendly banter. There are also spankings that are kind of like a massage, relaxing and definitely sensual, but not exactly sexual. In other cases, I’ve been more aware of my arousal, but it hasn’t always been directed at the spanker. In that way, it’s kind of like going to a movie with a really sexy star. You may be aroused, but you’re more likely to be thinking about sex with your partner than with the movie star. It doesn’t surprise me at all that married couples in exclusive relationships can play with others, but seek out their own partners after their spanking play has ended.

Sure, this kind of play is less intimate than playing with a lover, and that may be unappealing to a lot of people. Several vanilla friends have asked if my playing around, as it were, is temporary or if I’ll continue to go to parties if I find a partner in the scene. Am I, as a kinky friend puts it, experiencing a second adolescence, trying things out for a while before figuring out what I really like and settling down to it?

It’s hard to know the answer to those questions. It’s certainly true that I’ve jumped in with more abandon than I would have thought possible, and that I’ve played with a lot more people in one year than I would have predicted. I did become less cautious after that first party, too, causing one of my internet friends to wonder, “Whatever happened to Innocent Indy?” Sure, I’ve made a few mistakes in that time – none too disastrous, fortunately. I’ve also tried things that I’m glad I’ve done once and don’t care to repeat, and I’ve found myself enjoying things that surprised me.

I suspect that I’m beginning to find a niche within the scene and will stay closer to that niche as time goes on. On the other hand, I definitely can’t see giving up the wonderful social connections that the party scene has to offer. It’s a remarkable experience, sitting around a table with people you’d enjoy seeing in a vanilla context, but with whom you can also talk about spanking. Just by being in the same room, I’ve shared something about myself that I’d kept secret for decades. The relief of doing so and knowing that the other person understands is liberating, and it makes for building close friendships surprisingly rapidly. There’s just no way I can put into words how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know people who have such varied backgrounds, careers, and outlooks on life, but who are united by this fairly unusual shared interest.

What would I recommend to those who are considering the party route? First, I’d encourage you to get involved in the spanking blogosphere. I was ridiculously nervous about each baby step I took: my first comment here on MBS, each first e-mail to a blogger whose writing I enjoyed, de-lurking on SSS, and especially guest-posting here. Each time I took a risk, the spanking community paid me back many times over. I can’t think of a single person who hasn’t written me back – that day, the next week, or even an amusingly apologetic note a month or so later. The kindness and warmth that I had found on-line made it so much easier to take that step toward RL play.

Second, especially if you are a bottom who hasn’t played before, I can’t overemphasize the importance of finding safe tops who are used to playing with newcomers. Just as not every talented athlete is a good coach, not every skilled spanker is a good teacher. It makes things a lot easier to put yourself in the hands of a good teacher. I’m not exactly a pushover, but I found the experience of playing for the first time completely overwhelming. I’m glad I didn’t have to take responsibility for deciding when to stop, or worse yet, extract myself from an unsafe situation.

This is probably good advice for tops, too. Plenty of bottoms are happy to show you the ropes. Sure, it’s not exactly domly behavior to ask for help, but you can be masterful after you know how to give a warm-up and aim an implement. Whatever you do, don’t pretend a level of experience that you don’t have. You may not end up in as dangerous a situation as a bottom might, but if you get a reputation for not caring enough about the safety of your partner, it’s awfully hard to shake it off. Most party organizers are happy to pair newcomers up with good teachers of either orientation, especially if you ask them ahead of time, before the craziness of running the show takes over.

If you do decide to leap into the spanking in this way, I hope your experiences are as overwhelmingly positive as mine have been. I may not know whether I’ll continue making trips to various other parts of the country to attend parties, or if I’ll settle into a more local pattern of friends and play. I do know, however, that I’m having a lot of fun with wonderful new friends, and I plan to continue doing just that!

Thank you, Indy, for sharing your experiences and advice. I know many MBS readers will benefit from your wisdom. May all your parties be worthy of celebration!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Indy, for your advice and information... maybe one day I'll be as brave as you.

Eliane said...

Indy, thank you so much for your post. I don't think I've ever read about someone getting their first ever spankings at a spanking party, and it made for an very interesting read! I do think you were very brave making that your first step -there's no way I would have had the guts to do that as my first outing, so to speak.
Thank you again!

Season said...

Hi, Indy! You were my first internet friend in the spanking world and I have enjoyed our conversations ever since. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

And thank you Bonnie for such a great blog where you "live and learn and pass it on." You and posters like Indy help all of us as we explore and enjoy this part of ourselves. :-)

Indy said...

Anonymous: good luck to you!

Eliane: I have the impression that hotel-based parties play a bigger role in the US spanking scene than in the UK, probably because the distances a lot of us have to travel to meet spanking friends are greater. Within the US, I suspect that people who live in large metropolitan areas, especially on the coasts, have a lot easier time breaking into the scene with safe, private play dates than do the rest of us. When I went to the Florida Moonshine Tropical Beach Party last year, a number of people seemed quite surprised that I'd be willing to go to such a large party with such limited experience. They were all from cities with good scenes, though.

Season: my friendship with you has been the greatest benefit of making that first post here!

Hermione said...


That was a truly enlightening post; I really enjoyed reading about your first time in the party scene. You answered some questions that have been bubbling up in my mind concerning how sex and spanking are handled at a spanking party. Thank you for the excellent explanation.

Thank you too, Bonnie, for sharing Indy's story with us.

Hugs X 2,

john said...

Thank you for sharing your story.
We were on several spanking events. You wrote an excellent report how things are in the party scene.

ronnie said...

Indy, what an excellent post. I know there all quite a few spanking parties held around the UK, often wondered about them so thank you for sharing this with us.

Thank you Bonnie.

Graham said...

So glad to see this post — I think a lot of newbies (me included!) will find it enlightening and encouraging. Go Indy!

Dr. Ken said...

Indy--an excellent post and a wonderful overview of the party scene.
I hope you make it back to one of the parties I'm at some day!

Dr. Ken

Anonymous said...

I totally understand the difficulty in getting into the scene the first time,
I am in the same situation (but as a top) but having to be doubly cautious to make sure my identity is hidden as i am in the UK and work with children (and there are still many who think anyone with any kink must be a paedophile esp any of the age play kinks)

it also seems that all the parties ive heard of are only willing to invite those who the organisers have known for years... so very hard to get into the scene but easy to stay once you are in....

I guess posting on SSS is all i can do for now.

Roger (419) Rabbit
(delete the ()s and spaces then add the domain of a major webmail beginning with g to reply to me)

Indy said...

Hermione: glad you enjoyed it! Your blog makes me smile in the morning on a regular basis.

John: thanks! Of course, I can only describe my own experience, but it's nice to know that others have had similarly good party experiences.

Ronnie: I don't know how parties work in the UK, but I've certainly met a lot of great people from that part of the world in the last year.

Graham: thanks! I've been enjoying your blog quite a bit, and I look forward to hearing about your own adventures over time!

Ken: Thanks, I hope so, too!

Roger: I understand your caution, and it's a real shame that you're probably right to be so careful. Good luck to you!

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