Sunday, October 11, 2009

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for Oct 11

Our topic this week was the future of spanking. Here are your insightful reflections.

Our Bottoms Burn: We don't feel repressed at all. If someone does, we feel it is all in their minds rather than external. I have not noticed any condemnation of adult spanking by the media. It's been quite the opposite.

People need to accept themselves as they are. The enjoyment of spanking is widespread and I think it will continue to grow through thoughtful blogs like MBS.

To those that have yet to "come out" to other spanking enthusiasts, I strongly encourage you to delurk. I can almost guarantee you will start to like yourself better.

Florida Dom: I often call spanking the last taboo and I don't know why that is. One of those magazine TV shows recently had a woman who breastfeeds her kids until they're about six. But yet they never do a segment on why people like to spank and get spanked. Has even Oprah ever dealt with this? Or what about those wild shows like Maury and Springer? It's occasionally featured on HBO's Real Sex.

But even if it doesn' become mainstream, I think the Internet has allowed spankos to find each other and realize there are a lot more of us that people think. I don't know if that's the best we can hope for now.

When I was a teenager in the 1950s, I had no idea there were so many people like me. The good thing is that today's teenagers know that because of the cyber world. For now, I don't know if we can hope for much more.

S.N.M.: Repressed?

I don't think we're particularly repressed. Ours is just one of many common sexual fetishes. I think the only reason people are ashamed to talk about it is because society is ashamed of sexuality in general, and any permutations of the vanilla norm make it worse.

If everyone suddenly knew I was a spanko, I don't think my relationships with anyone would change (though they might occasionally make jokes). The only reason they don't know is because they don't ask, and they shouldn't. A person's sexuality is no one else's business.

Hermione: A century or so ago, women were prohibited from voting. Female medical students were ridiculed, harassed, and even expelled. Fifty years ago, blacks and whites would never have studied, travelled or eaten together. Not so long ago, gay marriage would have been unthinkable.

I think times are changing, and eventually spanking will become as commonplace and accepted as other forms of sexual activity. It's possible that more positive media attention could help in that acceptance. Maybe as the number of blogs grows, our presence might make an impact.

Spanking isn't new, nor is it unknown to many adults. I think our time will come.

Muffin: Mr. D says that the internet has already expanded the world's exposure to spanking, helping people to realize it's not such a weird quirk, and that it is more common than people thought. He recalls that it wasn't too many years ago that the only way you could find anything related to spanking was through magazines that were difficult to find, and expensive when you did.

That being said, we had an experience this week that fits this topic well. We decided, for spiritual and moral reasons (and Muffin's temporary bout of insanity) to "come out of the closet" to one of our church's leaders. I made the colossal error of telling him we were making bare-bottomed spanking videos. WHERE WAS MY BRAIN THAT DAY? It turns out he knew very little, if anything, about LDD, referring to it as "a bit of sadomasochism," (add posh British accent). We discovered that he was accepting of whatever we chose to enjoy in the privacy of our own bedroom, as long as we were mutually consensual. He was content for us to be participating in written forums on the internet, but he's not pleased with the videos. So moral righteousness steps in. But we're still content, spiritually, with what we've been doing, so I don't envision much of a change in our practices.

Do we think it will ever change? Maybe to a small extent, but I think that by having become so open to the concept myself, that I expect the rest of the world to just know that I'm a hard-wired spanko by looking at me. When our church friend was so stunned, I was shocked at his innocence! For me, I'd love to see the day I could wear a "Spank Me" tee-shirt in public! LOL

Meow: I think that there will always be people who look at you and see only how different you are, whether you're gay, goth, spanko, old, overweight, handicapped or just different in some identifiable or outspoken way. As soon as we "come out," they wonder how we could "do it" in some way different from how they "do it." I hope that in the future they will be an ever-shrinking minority and that the open-minded or indifferent will be the majority.

Ally: The only reason I became brave enough to clue in my husband that I was into spanking was because I kept seeing it mentioned in my magazines and seeing it joked about in TV shows. That made me realize that spanking was out there and talked about more than I realized. I hope that someday it will gain more mainstream acceptance, but I don't know how soon that will happen. As for me in my personal life, I wouldn't share it with anyone I know. I have a feeling people would be judgmental. I am content at this point to be a part of the blogger community and I am more than happy with the friendship and support here.

Lurvspanking: I wrote another short story called Exchanging Spanking Vows. It's copyright free and you can modify to fit your own situation. These vows demonstrate the vast gulf between the spanko and vanilla world.

I happen to agree with Bonnie. Spanking is viewed as dangerous and deviant [except of school children] and all about whips, chains and black leather. The other viewpoint is ridicule and contempt for the Christian Taken In Hand movement. “Those poor abused women”is the most common refrain when referring to women who submit to a husband's discipline.

I've never had a conversation about spanking with someone not in the scene.

Sara: I am not quite sure why spanking is seen as different, more 'out there'; than other sexual play. I guess it's because it can be mistaken for abuse? Maybe? But I agree with Hermione and a few others that it will be more accepted, and I really do think bloggers help move our society towards an awareness. I have had comments here and there from people who said they found my blog by mistake and were intrigued although perhaps not personally interested in spanking or DD. I do believe I might never have had the courage to explore had it not been for the blogs I read!

Spank-A-Lot: What does the future hold for spanking and spanking enthusiasts?

I may be wrong here, but I think spanking is fast gaining new popularity. In the bedroom, more and more couples are taking to spanking as a form of foreplay. Lifestyle-wise, I guess many many people are incorporating corporal punishment or domestic discipline into their relationships. Interestingly enough, its not just the "old folks" who are moving back "to the times long ago," but young couples are accepting and experimenting with spankings as their own form of "carrot and stick" motivation.

Can we gain anything approaching mainstream acceptance?

If it did, spanking probably wouldn't be the alternative lifestyle anymore. I feel there is nothing much to gain or lose, for me at least. Spanking relationships are largely personal and intimate. Sex is pretty mainstream, but friends don't discuss over dinner subjects like, "Oh, she sucked me real good last night" or "Yeah, he really went down on me." Even if spanking does go mainstream, it may not change things much.

Can vanilla society or at least a majority of people in it, come to understand that we are sensible, caring, productive citizens?

This may be tied into the discussion above. Despite what I said, one of the obvious benefits of spanking becoming mainstream would be fewer shifty or nasty looks when one realises that we are into spanking. However, to a certain extent, spankings in the media have also played a certain part in giving spankings a bad reputation. So proper publicity may help to change the popular perception towards spankos though sadly, none of us (I think) have enough influence to shape the media.

Do you think the media might play a role in delivering this message? Can bloggers help?

I think these two questions are linked. The right media coverage would indeed help shape the perception of all spankos and all things spanking for the better. Bloggers can also be of help, though it may depend upon the content of the blog.

Or will our community be better served by looking inward and supporting our own?

There has to be a good balance. On one hand, we must support those who have been ostracised or bullied just for being a spanko. At the same time, we should seek to educate vanillas that, apart from the fact that we enjoy either dishing out or receiving spankings, we are as human as anyone else.

Anon: It doesn't matter what society thinks. Intimacy in any form is a private concern. There is no oppression like self-imposed oppression. Never let other people define who you are, or how to live your life. Safe, sane, and consensual adult play isn't the business of anyone but the consenting adults.

R Humphries: Back in Edwardian London, ‘Houses of Flagellation’ were all the rage. In fact, the obituary of the most famous dominatrix, Theresa ‘Six of the Best’ Berkeley, was published in the London Times! Even when I was coming of age in London in the 1970’s ,I think people were much more open about sex in general. We even flirted in the work-place. It was all lighthearted titillation and we were far more likely to confess to our ‘kinks.’

Somewhere in the 80’s, political correctness became the vogue and society in general became more tight-lipped. I don’t think spankos are any more repressed than any other group considered to be outside the mainstream. Fortunately, we do have outlets to meet and communicate (this being a perfect example). As long as the lunatic fringes on the political extremes don’t feel the need to interfere, I think that we get along quite nicely.

Graham: While spanking is one of the more "mainstream" kinks out there, most people aren't interested in outing themselves or marching in spanko pride parades, For many of us, there could be potentially serious consequences if we were outed.

Obviously, we'd all be better off in a sex-positive culture, and no one should be afraid of losing their job or family because of their spanking fetish (and it shouldn't be classified as a psychological disease).

But with that said, part of what makes our fetish sexy is the fact that it's not mainstream. It's not vanilla. It's a little dangerous, taboo, and dare I say, naughty?! Maybe in a world of complete and total spanko acceptance, the fetish would lose some of its charge?

Handsdown: I had to snicker at the mention of moral righteousness considering the fact that most DD couples I know are very conservative Christians. I think the whole trouble for the spanking community lies in the fact that the use of corporal punishment in children is a hotly debated issue. Most vanilla’s don’t separate what the consenting adult community does from the corporal punishment of children – as homosexuality was once associated (incorrectly) with pedophilia.

Regardless of what the vanilla world says or does, I’ll still enjoy my spankings and I thank my maker that I have someone I love who will spank me with pleasure. I don’t have to go around with “I like to be spanked” or “Spankophile” embroidered on the backside of my jeans. I don‘t think many people are denied jobs or refused access because they are spankophiles. The association with BDSM doesn’t help us, of course, again because that type of thing is often associated with serial killers and rapists. As with spanking, BDSM practice has problems when some use it outside the realm of consenting adults.

And that, I think, is the bottom line.

Dave The Rave: I got spanked playfully many years ago and have since been spanked quite often.

Ironically, it seems to be acceptable for a mother or father to say they spanked their children or for people to remember having had that done to them. However, if I were to say, "I got spanked last night at a friends' house," they would give me a 'WTF!' look.

Someone didn't like a comment I made and then said to me, "I should SPANK you!" I calmly said, 'Whenever you think you are big enough, go ahead.' She gave me a shocked look and called me a freak. My reply was "Well, you said it first!"

If enough people explain that consensual spankings are a part of a loving relationship, whether as foreplay or a form of control, all should be fine. There are sites that sell chastity devices, but you never see them mentioned on the news. It's all about, "Perception is reality."

My advice is to spread the word and hope society accepts everyone as they are.

Bonnie: I don't know what the future holds. That's one reason I asked (it's also an interesting topic). Working against us are two seemingly opposite forces. Some very traditionally-minded people seem to frown on any sex that isn't missionary-style intercourse for the purpose of procreation. The idea of spanking as sexy foreplay is, in their view, a blatant and purposeful violation of divine law. They think we're dangerous, or maybe they just feel the need to condemn anyone who is different.

At the other end of the spectrum are people who are unable or unwilling to differentiate between consensual play and domestic violence. They are convinced that any woman who asks to be spanked or allows this to be done to her body must have been brainwashed by her abusive attacker. The violence against women groups have a legitimate cause and they do some great work in protecting women who are genuinely in peril. But I don't need or want any protection from Randy, no matter what he does to my bottom. This frame of mind is pervasive among police officers and social workers, and within the criminal justice system in the US. If cops are called by a third party to address a domestic disturbance, even if the cause was a completely consensual spanking, there's a decent change that someone is going to jail.

I have heard from numerous readers who worry about even posting a comment because they are afraid they could lose jobs, friends, or family members were their proclivities revealed. For anyone working in child care, education, counseling, patient care, or similar fields, this is a legitimate concern. How horrible would it be to have kids harassed in school because of their parents' sexual preferences?

I can't just say, “So what.” The status quo is not good enough.

I think the Gay/Lesbian experience is instructive. They too still have a ways to go, but they are much further down this road. The GLBT community gained respect in the media only after they started to shape the message. High profile people like Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres, and Barney Frank were courageous enough to come out and accept whatever consequences followed (they fared a lot better than Oscar Wilde or Alan Turing before them). Soon after, television and films began to present more objective and sympathetic portrayals of Gay and Lesbian characters. What eventually happened was that many fair-minded people said, “These people seem OK and maybe the Gay and Lesbian people I know aren't scary either.”

We could conceivably follow a similar path to acceptance. But there might be another alternative. The internet is a huge part of our lives in ways that would have been inconceivable twenty years ago. This medium isn't finished growing up. The democratization of media we've seen is likely to continue and expand. Perhaps small people can deliver a big message. If so, we bloggers have an important role to play both inside and outside our community. Our message is that spanking enthusiasts are sensible, caring, and productive citizens. We are no threat to anyone. All we seek is tolerance and the freedom to live our lives in peace.

If we believe in and share our vision, it could become reality.

Thanks to everyone who added their thoughts this week!


Lurvspanking said...

Bravo Bonnie and very well said. A hot button topic to be sure among all groups.


Ann said...

Hi Bonnie

Just a comment about the chance of someone going to jail if the police are called to address a domestic dispute. I know for a fact (having been married at one time to a police officer) that in some juristictions it is standard operating procedure that someone has to leave the home once the police are involved. If (and it's a big IF) you and your partner are really, really nice to the police, they may let one of you go to a friend or family members home for the night. If you are lippy, or non-cooperative in any way...the person who was worst to the officer...will be spending the night behind bars. (No, it's not always the man. My ex had several calls that ended with the woman in jail due to her swearing at the officers.) You will be released in the morning (after business hours start), when charges aren't filed, but do you really want to explain to a boss why you couldn't come to work? That you spent the night in jail? So always, always remember to be polite to the officers and say Yes Sir, Yes Ma'am, and not argue. They can be our friends and protectors, but have a rough enough job without trying to understand every nuance of TTWD.

Post a Comment