Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for Apr 17

Our topic this week was the age-old question of Nature vs Nurture. Here's what you said.

morningstar: Does it change with the passage of time? I am not sure whether time is relevant, but I do know that in my case, health has a whole lot to do with it. I say when they took out my gallbladder, they must have removed the kink at the same time. Since then, let's just say I have no cravings, fantasies, or desires.

As for the nature versus nurture question, I think - again in my case – that it was/is nature. My parents didn't believe in spanking, and besides, I was one of those lil missy goody two-shoes that drive everyone crazy. I rarely, if ever, gave my parents reason to punish me.

Raven Red: My first recollection of reacting to anything related to spanking was when I was about eight or nine years old. I was spanked as a child, but on that specific day, overhearing and seeing someone else being spanked elicited a reaction that even years later, is vivid in my mind.

I denied myself for years. Early last year, I realised that no matter what I do, the craving and the reactions within me will never go away.

I do not believe that being spanked as a child pushed me one way or the other (learned behaviour). I am of the firm belief that I was born this way.

I have a natural tendency to be dominating, yet at the same time, I crave to submit. Being spanked forms a natural part of my submission.

In the past year, I was surprised to discover that I tend to follow a two-week cycle between spankings. The results of a spanking astound me. I immediately become calmer, more focused, softer and a person that I like.

OnHerKnee: My interest is definitely learned, and appears to be in a constant state of flux. I’ve had a lifelong desire that started as a child. I was given enemas ‘for my own good’ whenever I was feeling unwell or acting moody. It wasn’t abuse, just the way things were done in the 50s.

There were times when I resisted and got a quick smack on the bare ass. For years, I craved being given enemas by a strong dominant woman and never viewed spanking as part of the desire.

After my divorce a few decades later, I met a few women who managed to get me interested in kinky things, They identified me as a dom who knew how to spank a naughty girl.

As it turned out, I’m much more switch than dom. These days, the idea of being given a butt burning spanking is very exciting to me. There's no telling where these constantly changing desires might take me in the future.

Uncle Nick: For me, it is definitely a combination of the two. I have always found the idea of spanking very erotic, but that eroticism was blatant in the 1960s because spanking imagery was everywhere. In other words, if that imagery had not existed, would I have daydreamed about spanking all those years ago?

Xantu: Erk... um... hmmm... I am going to say nurture.

I remember of being so small, just a little tiny girl, and holding such terrible knowledge and secrets carefully hidden in my heart. I think that is the most corrosive thing about being a victim… being taught to keep secrets… secrets that fester inside you.

There was not a time I can remember when I was not sexual. There was not a time when I was not very aware of my body’s potential for pleasure. And there was not a time when that knowledge did not terrify me, deliciously, diabolically terrify me. That was because there was not a time when that sexuality was not steeped in terror and violence.

It took me a long time to find my way to a safe and simple solution of power exchange and kink for feeling a heavy hand on my backside.

Someone once asked me whether I wished it had not happened. When I stepped back and looked at my whole life, I realized that I am strong. I am smart. I am beautiful, perhaps more so because of the pain I have had to overcome. I know that I would not wish it upon anyone else. But like a shattered crystal vase lovingly reassembled with patience and glue, I cannot help but decide that I am all the more beautiful for the way the light catches in the cracks and stronger for the glue that holds me together.

Sara: I believe the interest in spanking is likely a combination of the two. For me, I am sure it was inborn. Although I have no clue whether my parents were into erotic spanking, there were into collecting erotica. My father had a collection of prints of bottoms, many of which my mom bought him, in his bathroom. Hmmm.

I know there was an erotic link with spanking for me even as a child. I was never spanked, so I don't have that association, but disciplinary spanking always intrigued me.

My husband, on the other hand, says he never had an inclination until I introduced spanking to him. It has now became a very regular part of our intimacy and he indeed has grown to 'think' that way. I guess like many things, it is a combo of nature and nurture.

CurtisG: I think it's different from one person to the next. For me, it was probably nature. I was first aware of spanking's erotic hold on me in the second grade when a pretty teacher picked up a classmate, put him over one knee while leaning against a wall and gave him a birthday spanking which I felt between my legs. After that (and perhaps before), all my sexual fantasies were about spanking as well as all my explorations in literature, movies, magazines,comics and dictionaries. I started playing in the 7th grade, realized I wasn't alone in the 8th and began to switch (I had always topped) in college.

On the other hand, I introduced many a lass to the erotic aspects of spanking who had never either fantasized or experimented. I have, by experience, always known that a woman with a bottom as an erogenous zone could be aroused by spanking. I've never have been into discipline or punishment.

Prefectdt: I just re-read my original comment on this subject and although my opinion on many things has changed over the years, I still stand by what I said. I think that there are pain-play genes, but psychological influences lead people to play in different ways. Spanking and BDSM are examples.

Hermione: I think the predilection for enjoying spanking is a part of who a person is, and it's something with which one is born. An early childhood experience triggers the inclination and associates spanking with sexuality and erotic enjoyment.

Like Xantu, I cannot remember a time when I wasn't aware of erotic feelings, and feeling terribly guilty about the secret I held inside. Somehow these sexual desires and their associated guilt got linked to spanking very early in life.

If I had had a different upbringing, would I still be a spanko? Probably. The trigger would have been different, but the preference for spanking would have emerged eventually.

Michelle Carlyle: I've had spanking fantasies since I was about three or four. I've been fascinated with it ever since I can remember. But since sexuality was a bad thing in my family, it's taken me years to embrace my needs. I thought menopause and therapy for an abusive childhood would change my desire to be spanked, but it hasn't. On some level, I think I crave pain to punish myself because my parents treated me like shit and made me feel like I was a complete inconvenience. But on the other, I just love being spanked and I always have. So in my case, I came in this way. All psychological reasons aside, I enjoy it.

S.N.M.: I'm going to chalk it up to a combination. Many genes require certain external stimuli to be expressed.

I think most of human sexuality works on that principle.

JW: I believe that all aspects of our personalities are genetic and that the environment/experiences we are exposed to throughout our lives affects how these traits are expressed within certain parameters. Environment could be the difference between whether a person engages in only fun play spanking or all the way to various levels of BDSM. These genetic predispositions may remain hidden or suppressed, but they are there nonetheless. If you enjoy spanking in any fashion, be it giving or receiving, you were born to do so. That's my opinion anyway. :)

Keiter: I'll offer a male dom perspective, though I speak only for myself.

My mom died suddenly and unexpectedly when I was four years old. From a very early age, I vividly remember fantasizing in bed at night about the power exchange of spanking and whipping willing, submissive women. I never imagined that there really were women like this. Being a religious kid, I didn't masturbate until late into my high school years. When I did, spanking fantasies always were the thing that got me off.

When I had sex for the first time in college, it was great, but again, the tape was rolling in my head as I kneaded her ass in the missionary position or dreamed about smacking it in the doggie-style one. I've had a series of relationships since then, including a recently concluded marriage, and spanking has been an intregal part of my sex life throughout my life. I think that initial hurt at a very early age started me down this path.

Just a Girl: I can say for certain that I never had spanking fantasies as a child. Spanking is new to me. Power exchange, the dynamics of power in relationships and my submission, however, have been a part of my fantasy life as far as I can remember. I feel as though being spanked and the cravings I feel for them now was a natural progression, but it didn't exist to me previously.

Would I have craved spanking without the existing need to be dominated? I'm not sure. I doubt it though.

Florida Dom: I knew when I was a young teen. I think those of us in this lifestyle are all born with dom or sub or switch feelings, but some of us keep their feelings bottled up longer than others.

Annapurna: It would appear that our psychosexual drive is malleable enough to permit both nature and nurture a prominent role in shaping our interest in spanking. For me, I guess both were influential. I started when I was about two. By age seven, spanking had become deeply ingrained in my psyche as a means of sexual gratification/ There it remained for many years in the realm of fantasy and self-exploration. Only recently has it grown to such an extent as to include the outside world, including Tigger, my wife.

Respecting Mistress: In my case, it was 100% inborn. I have been fascinated by corporal punishment since I was a child, even though I never suffered any real punishment at school . Even at home, the worst I got was a slap on the leg. But I used to get incredibly excited and agitated when there was any caning or whipping scenes on TV. All of my fantasies were about being beaten by mature, powerful women.

I've tried to analyse my feelings over the years. I think maybe there was some chemistry between the fear of the cane and the excitement of hearing how others 'took it' that led to this fascination. My partner., however, never had any interest in the subject until I told her about my interests. I pointed out her slightly 'dominant ways' and her little sadistic ways (she took great pleasure in pinching my earlobes and tweaking my nipples). Mistress is now an ardent enthusiast of corporal punishment.

Web Ed: It almost has to be "nurture" although in two very different forms: the "true" spankos who begin fantasizing early in life (no later than adolescence), and the "artificial" spankos who learn to enjoy spanking in adulthood. Why we have two different categories is too lengthy to get into here, but it is certainly related to the age at which spanking is "discovered."

As to why "nature" will not do as an explanation, the problem is that we could not then explain the persistence of spankos like ourselves across many generations. An inborn desire (a "spanko" gene) would have to be heritable, and heritable characteristics are subjected to the evolutionary tests of survival and reproduction.

Under such conditions, aberrant sexual behavior (defined as any behavior that does not lead to reproduction) would be punished by the individual’s leaving fewer (or no) descendants. We would therefore expect any kind of genetically-induced sexual deviancy to diminish over a span of time. A simple example would be the male who drives away a potential mate by trying to spank her. He loses the chance of passing on his DNA with no apparent compensation. Natural selection, then, must favor "vanilla" males if spanking behavior is genetically induced.

The relative advantages or disadvantages of spanking to the female spanko, and the possibility that the spanko proportion of the population is so low as to be consistent with a genetic origin, are also too complicated to get into here.

Six of the Best: I learned about the beautiful subject of spanking from my school days in England. I witnessed a number of spankings given to students, both girls and boys. But most of all, I wanted to spank one of my female teachers. Of course it was a fantasy, but oh what a wonderful fantasy that was.

Emily Winters: My interest in spanking is only nurture to the degree that I did not begin to grow up or be reared until my husband and I met and he took me fully in hand. Then and only then was the idea even introduced to me as any kind of kink. Even then, I resisted it for years. So yes, it most definitely changes over time.

Now? Spanking is the best thing in my life. Whether discipline or kink, I do not know how I could live without it. Yes, things most definitely change. But ask me again in ten years.

Joeyred: For me, it is a combination of nature and nurture. My psychic DNA is programmed to be a bottom/sub. All of my fantasies and fetishes have been as a spankee since the age of 14. And, my nurture, 12 years of schools that believed in corporal punishment as the proper way to educate youngsters contributed to my craving for a good spanking.

Bonnie: Like Prefectdt, my answer hasn't changed much in four years. There are so many of us who cannot remember a time when we did not harbor this interest. This group includes people who were severely punished as children and those who were never spanked, as well as people who grew up in the spank-saturated fifties and sixties and those who came of age in the spank-deprived eighties and nineties. When we control for these environmental factors, there seem to be always plenty of people who are simply fascinated by spanking and/or being spanked. So my answer remains more nature than nurture.

I don't think we definitively resolved this question, but there were lots of excellent points made on all sides. Thank you for participating!

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