Sunday, May 13, 2012

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for May 13

Happy Mother's Day to all of our mothers out there!

Our topic this week was the proposition that spanking was a kind of a “gateway drug” for more intense forms of BDSM. As you can see, we had a great discussion. Here's what you had to say.

PK: Oh, maybe, just a little. Before we began spanking, I would have been shocked if Nick had wanted to use cuffs or to tie me to the bed for an occasional play session. We never even used a blindfold before, so I think spanking could lead to some tentative exploration. I don't, however, think it would lead every spanko to hardcore BDSM.

morningstar: My initial reaction was a resounding NO...

BUT then thinking about it, I compared my early days of spanking with where I am now. Following the hypothesis of spanking being a gateway, I had to stop and think, "Maybe."

But then I argued (I do love to debate with myself) that if I didn't like spanking, or the pain from it, I would not have craved more and therefore would not have had any desire to explore further.

SO – No, I do not believe that spanking is a gateway to anything more intense. The person/personality is the gateway.

Joeyred: I think that spanking is an entry point for many people, although I think using handcuffs is a close second.

Many people I know in the scene started with spanking and then became more interested in other aspects of BDSM such as rope bondage, flogging, etc.

I know that it is true for me. Spanking has been the gateway. The group I belong to, SCONY, is a conservative entry point for people. Their focus is just spanking with strict protocols, use of safe words, etc. The club helped me get started in the scene and that initial experience has helped me to meet people and explore other aspects of BDSM.

So, I definite say yes for me.

Abby: For me, yes, for others it depends. I started off just wondering and wanting a spanking. That first spanking (and Master) has led me down the BDSM path, one I never would have expected to travel.

Julia: No, I really don't think spanking naturally leads to more heavy aspects of BDSM unless that is what the people involved choose!

Sarah Thorne: I guess it CAN be. I mean, it makes sense that someone who fantasizes about extreme BDSM but have never experienced the reality of such would start out with something they might consider more mild and build up from there.

But as an absolute? Of course not. There are people who simply like spanking and that's it. They have no other interest in anything else beyond that.

Ana: Not for me, but maybe for others. Even after this many years, I still struggle with just being spanked. If anything, I've gotten more conservative and more resistant to more "severe" things. It must be self-preservation instincts kicking in. :)

And if it is a gateway drug to people finding out other things they like, why not? It's like saying the children's book _Dick and Jane_ is a gateway drug to later reading and enjoying _War and Peace_. (It probably is!).

Hermione: For me, it was just the reverse. I have always been interested in spanking and sometimes wondered about taking things further. But the more I learn about other BDSM practices, mainly from reading blogs like the ones you mention, the more I know I don't want any part of it. There is much more that turns me off than the reverse. I am quite content to limit myself to spanking and its considerable variety, and to exploring options within that sphere.

Rod: No, I don't think so. My kink has remained at pretty much the same level for years. I guess that's pretty tame by some BDSM standards. On the other hand, I do sometimes have to keep the sadism in my blog's stories in check - not too many strokes, not too much humiliation. A lot of my stories weave a little nostalgia and humour into the plot, and I don't think this is really compatible with BDSM... unless you know otherwise of course?

Make Mine Red: I can say at least for me the answer is no. I am thoroughly turned on by spanking, but yet completely turned off by anything extreme. That even includes extreme spanking. I like the sting, the warmth, the pink/red coloring, strap marks and stripes of a good spanking, but absolutely do not like to see bruising or breaking of the skin. I've always liked spanking, but have never been tempted to enter the world of rough/extreme BDSM.

Daisy: No, I don't think so, either. Although extreme forms of spanking can be found in BDSM, so can extreme forms of sex. Using that argument, it could be said that sex leads as a gateway drug to BDSM too!

I think maybe those curious about BDSM start out with the milder forms such as master/slave type sex, handcuffs, spanking, and gentle bondage to experiment before going further. But they are already interested in BDSM. Many of us "into" spanking, or in DD marriages, are simply NOT wired up in any way to BDSM and have no interest at all.

Old Fashioned Girl: No, it's not a gateway to my way of thinking. If it is, I've been waiting to go through for a long, long time. My sort of spanko thing is as different to most of what I've seen/know of BDSM as chalk and cheese.

Todd and Suzy: Obviously it depends, but generally speaking, we'd say it is at least a gateway to ~exploring~ other aspects of BDSM. Overcoming the stigma that society places on kink can be a real challenge, but once that is done it very often opens the mind to trying new things.

Of course, sometimes exploring doesn't end up going much of anywhere and the focus remains on spanking.

It's pretty hard to imagine someone being opened minded enough to try and ultimately get something positive from spanking, but then being unwilling to try other aspects of kink. Not that it doesn't happen. We know people that are strictly spankos and that is that. We honestly think that is rare though.

"I like being spanked" -so- why not try being tied up an being spanked? or a Master/slave role play that involves spanking? or spanking followed by anal play? or spanking and toys? etc-etc. That strikes us as a common progression.

Sunny Girl: It think it is a line in the sand that can be blurred by the wind. I like spanking. Handcuffs and blind folds can be very hot. Fantasy role play is a turn on. Master/slave in romance stories are hot, but in real life, not so much. I like anal play and never thought I would be saying that. Thus, my theory is that if you don't try it, you will never know. I have even blurred some of my hard limits, but there are others that are steadfast. I think if the proclivity for BDSM is there, spanking could be the gateway. If not, I don't think so.

Kat: It isn't a gateway to BDSM for me personally. The *only* place I like pain is on my bottom. Pain anywhere else has always flatlined my desire instantly (which confuses and fascinates the heck out of my husband and me), but a spanking, for some reason, really does it for me.

I like heat. I like the little marks afterward, but I've never been really and truly marked up. The kind of surface bruising I get sometimes is completely gone in three days, max.

BDSM is *such* a different world than a red bottom. Just because a D/s relationship usually starts with a spanking does not make spanking the main focus (top marks to Ana on the reading analogy, above). I'm not into damage, nor am I into being being brought to the edge and held there indefinitely, which is a staple in BDSM play. And I sure don't need 'discipline' for my faults. We may role-play, but it's in good fun.

Also, I don't consider blindfolds and restraints as strictly BDSM items. Liking to be restrained or a bit of sensory deprivation is so mild a kink that it's almost silly. The mental aspects of BDSM, which at its simplest is nothing more than maintaining a state of erotic torment, cannot be ignored. Liking to be spanked doesn't usually cause someone to be suddenly open to a whole lifestyle unless they were already predisposed.

Vanille: For me personally, a collar and leash were the 'gateway drug.' However, I definitely believe that bare-handed spanking can be a good starting point for someone new if that's what they think they'd be interested in. Then as they come down the line, they find out they like canes, floggers or whips and other BDSM activities, like perhaps waxplay or bloodplay.

JJ: I think it depends on who you are. If you are already a spanko at heart or someone who is already (even subconsciously) interested in BDSM without even knowing, then spanking could open your eyes to something you maybe never knew you were interested in. However, I don't think every spanko or every person who practices spanking is going to be interested in BDSM unless they already "lean that way" for lack of a better term.

Indy: Well, first off, I certainly don't buy the assumption in some BDSM circles that spanking is a phase we go through before learning about real BDSM.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting question. I think it depends a bit on how you've come into spanking. Following the gateway drug analogy, I'm guessing that there's a lower barrier to go from marijuana to harder drugs if you're already going to a drug dealer to buy your weed than if you're reliably supplied by your lovable hippie uncle who grows it in his backyard.

Similarly, I'd think that, if one's spanking play is exclusively within a primary relationship, the mere act of engaging in spanking doesn't necessarily lead to trying more, though I suspect that most couples into spanking experiment with at least blindfolds and light bondage.

On the other hand, there is something about finding a rightness through engaging in one taboo activity that can lead us to try more things. This is especially the case for those of us who have entered this world through spanking parties. In that case, you're likely to meet other people who are into more hard-core BDSM activities and even to see some of those activities publicly.

For me, I think it also matters that I feel very close to some of the people I've met in the spanking scene. It's a bit odd having a second life that way, and I suspect that the accompanying feeling of otherness also makes it easier be more unconventional. I'm certainly more open to unorthodox partnerships and more casual sexual play than I would have been before I participated in this community. That's not because I feel any pressure to engage in those activities at parties; it's more that spanking desires seem to make relationships more complicated. So I see nothing strange about a couple in which one partner is always the sub within the relationship, but fulfills his or her need to top with another partner.

I've really only ever had spanking fantasies, so I'm not all that drawn to the activities of the BDSM scene. My impression is also that the BDSM scene takes itself a little more seriously than the spanking scene does, and that would be a bit hard for me. On the other hand, the BDSM scene seems to me to be more honest about the sexual nature of these activities and less homophobic than the spanking scene. So, in some ways, I feel like I'm in between the two cultures.

fB: No. Actually, it was the other way around for me. When I first became active with my husband, we tried everything. I thought for the longest time that I liked the BDSM culture. Over time, I discovered this is not true. I just like spankings. Add a little bit of dominance in the spanking setup and I'm good. But all that other stuff we tried together was not so much fun.

CurtisG: Not for me. Depending on the partner, I find spanking playful, sensual, erotic and/or sexual. The attraction to it is sexual and ultimately relationship oriented. But BDSM essentially is a turn-off for me, as is severe spanking, punishment and discipline. But that's one person's likes and desires. I'm not judgmental about others.

Simon: I think it very much depends on the people involved. Some people are happy with a simple spanking and other aren't. Personally, I was happy with moderate CP practices for years and hadn't really considered venturing into BDSM until I met my current partner. Since I trust her completely, I have been open to new experiences with her. Under her tutelage, I have undergone many new things which I would never have envisioned when starting out. Some I enjoyed and others I hated, but I wouldn't have tried any of them if not for my original interest in spanking.

So for me, it definitely was a gateway into the more extreme areas of BDSM. Everyone is individual so for some, spanking will lead onto other adventures while for others, it won't. What would perhaps be just as interesting is whether anyone who is into serious BDSM play arrived there immediately. Most of the practitioners I've met (admittedly, not that many) started out as I did with corporal punishment play and moved into the more extreme stuff from there.

Six of the Best: On a different subject called Mother's Day... Rose's are Red, Violet's are Blue. May you receive a good spanking, From a husband that's true. Happy Mother's Day.

Thank you, Six

Spanky: For us, it has to some extent. Spanking is still the main focus, but we've discovered other fun activities as a result. We're still exploring.

Our Bottoms Burn: I smiled when I read "rougher BDSM activities". Let me assure you that not many in the smorgasbord BDSM camp would take a spanking like many of us enjoy. So much of the BDSM activities are more like magic, mostly show, little pain.

Kaelah: I don't think that for me spanking is a gateway to rougher BDSM activities. I am into spanking and into some other BDSM activities like back-whippings, blindfolds, restraints, power play and certain sexual practises. I started out with spanking because it is not only one of my core kinks, but also less closely linked to intimate sexual activities than some of the other things I am interested in. That's why I explored the other BDSM activities later than spanking, at a time when I had found my mate and became open for more intimate play. The same is true for vanilla sex, and I wouldn't call spanking a gateway for that, either. ;-)

One valid point, though, is in my opinion that being in the spanking and BDSM community made me come across things that I might not have considered trying otherwise. That's how being a part of the spanking community in my view can act as a kind of "gateway" for further explorations. These can be purely spanking-related explorations or wider BDSM-related explorations. In my opinion, that depends on one's personal preferences and the question how open one is for variety. Some people are just interested in spanking and draw a strict line when it comes to the wider field of BDSM.

I think that I, for example, don't draw a line as much between spanking and BDSM when it comes to my kink, as I draw a line between sexual fun and lifestyle. I only practise spanking and all the other activities I'm interested in either as sexual play with my mate or as fun play between friends. A relationship with a permanent power dynamic is not what I am interested in. So, I am neither open for a real-life spanking DD relationship, nor for a 24/7 BDSM master-slave relationship.

Funnily, I wouldn't call the "BDSMy" things that I engage in "rougher" than my spanking play, anyway. As a matter of fact, I think the spanking play is the roughest part of it all.

Loki Darksong: For me, it was the opposite. Being an S/Mer led me to the spanking community, when it took form in the late nineties. It did present more opportunities for fun and was less imposing than say asking someone who is new to try and play with a flogger.

Now I do love both, S/M and spanking. Both have given me a wide range of options for fun, for drama, and for magic.

Amigo Spanko: Not necessarily. The spanking has its own life. For many devotees, it is even a lifestyle.

Welcome, Amigo!

Jim: I started with hand spanking. That's like drinking a 3% beer. I moved on to hairbrushes, straps, and paddles. 5% lager packs a stronger punch. Canes now, they are like fine wines – some are like champagne at 14%. Beer, wines, and champagne are all I have in my drink cabinet. I won't have whiskey, nor whips or chains. So there has been a progression, but it has been within circumscribed limits.

Prefectdt: I have dabbled my toes in the BDSM world. Although I had some fun the experiences, they left me knowing that I was a spanko at heart.

Although a lot of play can cross over from one to the other, I think that we are talking about two distinct cultural kinky groups.

I think that spanko experiences can be a jump off point for someone who is really a BDSMer, but the other way around, BDSM can be an introduction to the kinkosphere for someone who is more naturally a spanko. So on a technical level the answer is a yes (IMHO), but I think that sooner or later people will gravitate toward the group (or groups) to which they truly belong.

The play may have similarities, but the mentalities are different and both groups can act as gateways to each other.

Mistress Nichole: I would have to say a big resounding NO! That may sound strange coming from someone like me, living a M/s life, to say no. But actually, M/s led to spanking and a random take on the 1950's household, but it most certainly has not, nor ever will, lead me to some of the crazy BDSM stuff out there.

Bonnie: I question the notion of a gateway drug, at least as it applies to spanking. I think each of us possesses unique interests and desires. There is no single path or even a preferred path. We experience life as it happens. Our choices are shaped when our natural inclinations mix with real world opportunities.

For me, being a spanking enthusiast is not a milestone on the road to somewhere else, but a worthy destination in its own right.

Thanks, everyone, for the great turn-out and fascinating responses. See you next weekend!


playful little brat said...

Wow, im sorry I missed out on answering this one, but it was great reading so many perspectives! Awesome topic.

Ana said...

I agree...this was my favorite by far. :)

Loki_Darksong said...

Yes this was an interesting brunch question. But I wish some people would stop considering BDSM as crazy. The S/M scene is complex as well as amoral. If it is misused by some individuals it should not be blamed or worse, demomized.

I just find it very annoying that some of the Spanking Community have decided to prop up this scene as wholesome by constantly labeling BDSM as the opposite. Which is ironic given the fact that the Spanking scene as a whole really did not take off until around the early Nineties. And, if you really take a good look at it, The Spanking scene is really a domestic version of BDSM.

I really have to write about this.

Dragon's Rose said...

oops, missed this one. I was out of town and didn't log onto the internet even one time!

For me, corsets were my gate way. That led to ropes, blind folds and kept getting more intense. It took us 6 months of scening before we got into spanking. It took me that long to convince Dragon to try it. He was all for knives, hot wax and even fire. Hitting my backside was too much like abuse for him. Now he has no problem with it at all.

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