Sunday, July 29, 2012

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for July 29

Our question of the week examined why M/F bloggers greatly outnumber F/M enthusiasts. We offered these possibilities.
  1. There are simply fewer people practicing F/M spanking
  2. Bottoms tend to document and women are more verbal
  3. Fewer women than men are interested in topping
  4. Men are more reluctant to reveal weakness or submission
  5. M/F spanking aligns more closely with traditional gender roles
  6. Male bloggers get distracted and lose interest
  7. Women have sturdier backsides and a higher pain tolerance
  8. Women like to look at women more than men like to look at men
  9. The established blogging community nurtures M/F blogs
  10. Men are less likely to seek support on the internet
  11. Some other cause we haven't considered
Here's what you thought.

Joeyred: I have one of the F/M blogs in this category. I want to acknowledge the terrific support of other bloggers for my blog posts, most of whom are female subs.

Abby: Maybe it's some of all the above. But mostly, I think, men are less likely to share that they are a submissive.

Bas: All of those reasons apply a bit.
I think reason A has a deeper reason. When deciding to implement TTWD, we have to decide which one of us is being spanked by the other one. There is no real reason that this should not result in a 50/50 division for F/M and M/F.

But men are sissies and terrified of being spanked (I can certainly speak for myself), and they will do anything to make sure they end up with M/F.

Anon: All those reasons play into it, but when it comes down to it, the main reason is there are just fewer men than women are into submission.

Simon: Since you have one of the few blogs that lists a wide number of many different types of blog, I'm unsure about disagreeing with you. However, my impression is that there are roughly similar numbers of each. Admittedly the F/M blogs are often harder to find, but many of the blogs in your sidebar list a number of them. Having said that, I do feel that in general M/F is more socially acceptable than F/M, but I have no explanation for this that makes any real sense.

I can confirm that M/F spanking blogs outnumber the F/M variety by a wide margin. There are indeed additional links on F/M blogs, but many lead to stale or deleted content. I linked most of those blogs while they were active. If there are current spanking-oriented blogs (of any alignment) that I've missed, please let me know and I will add them to the blogroll.

Lillian: I would say almost all of the above apply. I think the dominant male/submissive female is a message we absorb through societal osmosis from early childhood. The fairy tales and bed time stories we grew up with (and tell our children) celebrate the strong, dominant male and the beautiful (but delicate) woman in need of rescue.

And... there is probably some primal stuff going on. Women bear the children, meaning we were weakened by babies at our breasts or advanced pregnancy (or both) and small children to tend, so we tried to mate with the strongest and best hunter we could.

I think these preconceived gender roles and stigmas must make it difficult for submissive men to admit to themselves who they are. It was hard enough for me to admit my submissive nature to myself, as a woman. It must be very difficult to get past for F/M relationships, but maybe that makes them very strong when they get there.

Christi: I definitely think it's a combination of A and E.

Another factor could be that while we female bloggers have tons of other female bloggers who are there for support and encouragement, I don't think men are as likely to seek out other men in the same open way.

Ana: I realize that we are a minority, but please don't forget F/F! Or M/M for that matter, which gets even less attention. The F/F presence online may be small, but we are still significant. (At least to ourselves! ;))

I would say the answer is a combination of E, I, and K.

E: Because a lot of blogs associate spankings with sex and heterosexual traditional gender roles generally don't support female dominance, there can be a twofold backlash against non-M/F blogs. One is the idea that by fate or divine right that a man spanks and a woman is spanked. This implies that a woman is not capable of spanking. Thankfully not on my blog, but I have heard comments from male spankers saying that it was "unnatural" for a woman to spank. Also, because most blogs associate spanking with sex, then F/F and M/M get confused with a different kind of sexuality.

I: Very thankfully, the above bigotry has not been part of my blogging experience. Things have changed quite a bit since I started out. But I still get comments from really nice people who still talk about my "husband" spanking me or referring to D as "he" or "him." Or they just don't get the dynamic because it falls outside of the familiar.

I do want to say that there has been, as Joey mentions, incredible support. But I do think that sometimes people aren't quite sure what to do or how to respond to TTWD dynamics that fall outside of M/F.

K: The assumption is that all spanking pairs are cross-gender. I mean, if you look at your blogroll (still one of the most amazing things you do for the TTWD community), blogs that are NOT M/F are generally noted with a "F/F" or "F/M" after the title. (I sometimes have thought perhaps I should add an F/F at the end of mine.) But not one marked as "M/F". Why? Because it is understood as the norm.

With all of this said, I want to say that the online community has changed a heck of a lot since I ventured online. This kind of support for relationships that are not M/F did not exist 10-12 years ago. The TTWD blogging community pretty much didn't exist because blogging was still new. So... I think that as the blogging community expands and becomes more established, we will see more and more non-M/F voices joining the crowd and becoming more "normal". There is a lot more acceptance now than there used to be already. :)

Fear not. We love you and all of your sisters, Ana. The F/F spanking community includes some truly brilliant writers. RS's question didn't address F/F (or M/M) spanking blogs specifically, but we definitely haven't forgotten you.

Joan: I think men who enjoy being spanked are less likely to be in a 24/7 relationship including spanking. If Fetlife is any indication, there seem to be more men that get their spanking "needs" met in a different sort of setting such as parties, relationships that aren't live-in, or professional dommes. It means that the sessions aren't constant, the "dynamic" may not be continual, and it might include ethical privacy concerns. This is just not as blog-friendly a scenario.

Hermione: I suspect there are roughly equal numbers of F/M and M/F practitioners, but the former are more reticent about coming forward with the details. It's true that woman are more verbal, so that could be another reason there are fewer F/M blogs. Male reluctance to admit they enjoy submission is another reason.

As far as the established blogging community is concerned, it is well represented by F/M blogs. I count many of them as my good friends, and frequently get an equal number of comments from male and female bloggers who are on the receiving end.

One observation I'd like to make is the recent rise in domestic discipline blogs that are formally linked to a popular and very specific DD methodology. Those blogs are usually by female submissives. F/M relationships have their own methodologies (Spencer, for example), but for the most part, the F/M blogs are more independent of any formal adherence to a specific set of behaviours. They therefore tend to be on their own, and not part of a pre-established group.

A-Non: The five essential questions are:

(1) Are there an equal number of M/F and F/M spanking couples?
(2) Is there equal desire among men and women to be spanked?
(3) Is there equal desire among men and women to spank a partner?
(4) If the answer to Q1-Q3 are Yes, are women or men more likely to blog about their experience?
(5) If the answer to Q1-Q3 are Yes, are tops or bottoms more likely to blog about their experience?

Personally, I think there are many more M/F couples than F/M couples. Some men enjoy being spanked, but it seems that a much greater proportion of women enjoy a good bottom warming. I've heard one explanation being that women have very busy minds with lots of task-switching in our thinking, but during a spanking it is impossible to think of anything else. So spanking provides the chance to think about nothing (or, at least, nothing other than surviving the present threat).

Also, I think there is something to the satisfaction that women get out of suppressing the "fight-or-flight" response that arises when being spanked. This may connect to a feeling of satisfaction at controlling all of the emotions that come with a spanking -- and having a man help us to control that desire to fight or flee.

Personally, I find F/M stories a bit creepy, because I find it unattractive to see a man losing control of his emotions and I have no desire to control a man's actions through spanking (I have other means!).

On Q4 and Q5, I think women are more likely to blog and bottoms are more likely to blog, both of which, with what may be a greater proportion of M/F spanking couples, leads to more M/F blogs. I don't think that support or encouragement from other bloggers has much to do with it.

Reece Seever: All of the answers are very enlightening. I admit that the one that intrigues me the most is C. In other words, are there an equal number of women who would like to be the dominant and, if not, why not? When my wife and I first started our DD journey, she was a very traditional, vanilla woman from a traditional Catholic family in which, where the man made the money, had the job, set the tone for the family and, whenever they argued, the result was either that he won or they both sulked until someone gave in. The first several years of our marriage were like that in terms of the sulking part. If we argued, it was all passive-aggressive stuff that left us both unhappy. And, she had never once experienced a situation in which she could really be the one in control. While it was "weird" to both of us trying this little experiment in switching the traditional gender roles, she now says she would not have it any other way. Ordering me to bend over and take a thrashing is just way too empowering for her to ever go back to a more traditional role.

D: I once had a lady friend who would take M/F, but was also very happy to use F/M. I don't know how it started. I think we might have read something somewhere about a couple who played spanking games, and we decided to try it too! Each of us threw dice, and the higher spanks the lower. The die is then thrown again to decide the the implement, bare or clothed, and the number of spanks. I found it so exciting to find myself bound and bent over a stool or chair, whilst S deprived me of my trousers and pants, before raising a burning smart in my firm bottom, often with a light wooden paddle. She didn't spank too hard, as she knew it might well be her own curvy bottom getting similar treatment after the next throw. Once both our bottoms were scarlet and smarting after numerous throws, we were only too keen to soothe them with some thrilling sex.

Kaelah: I believe there are several reasons why there are less F/M blogs than M/F blogs. First of all, I don't think that there are fewer men who want to be on the receiving end of a spanking than women.

But in my opinion, x/M is much less acceptable than x/F in most societies (especially in the more traditional ones like in some states of the US, where many blogs come from) and in our community as well. One reason for that is the belief in traditional gender roles which makes only women on the receiving end okay since they are supposedly the delicate ones who need guidance and a strong shoulder to cry on. Quite frankly, it's a view that totally freaks me out, but one which I have come across several times in discussions. Some people simply state that M/F is the only "natural" and therefore legitimate constellation.

A second aspect which, unfortunately, is also still common in our world and in our community is homophobia. When it comes to spanking, that also affects F/M because some men refuse to look at nude or bare bottomed men and therefore fight for the prohibition of x/M stuff on forums and the like. I was just recently involved in such a discussion. Luckily, as Ana already said, the community has become a bit more open-minded, and so the forum owner decided that everyone was welcome as long as x/M stuff, being in the minority, was labeled accordingly.

Another problem I have observed is that men who enjoy being spanked take the huge risk of being seen as unmanly. I discussed that topic, which is connected to the issue of traditional gender roles, in a recent post. I actually think that there are quite many people who feel uncomfortable with the thought of a man handing over control to a woman for a spanking, no matter how playful said spanking might be. The idea that a man might show stronger emotions during a spanking, let alone cry, seems to be even more disturbing for some people. In my opinion, there are many women among those who have these kinds of prejudices as well. Consequently, it seems that there is a considerable number of men who like to play on both ends, but don't tell anyone because some female bottoms (and maybe some male tops as well) wouldn't see them as "real" tops any more. Maybe we would have more mixed M/F and F/M blogs, too, if that weren't the case.

Yet another issue is that, in my experience, people often have only black and white views and don't distinguish properly between different ways of doing things. So, being a bottom equals being a sub, being submissive equals being weak, being into spanking equals having a DD or D/s relationship and wanting to get spanked equals the desire to cry and to let go of control. For someone like me, a switch who doesn't believe in traditional gender roles, who doesn't identify as a submissive (even though I often play as a bottom), who loves watching M/M spankings, who doesn't do any real-life punishments and who uses spankings for sexual pleasure, relaxation or empowerment, this makes feeling at home in our community already rather difficult at times. I think for male bottoms who are into non-DD spanking, our community must be even less inviting. There aren't many good F/M clips and pictures which could attract their attention (but tons of M/F stuff), most of the existing F/M blogs are about DD only (so, they have a bigger support group at least, which lovers of other forms of F/M spanking don't have) and men who admit that they enjoy being spanked take the risk of having to face the kind of prejudices which I pointed out above. So, why should male bottoms who are into non-DD spankings feel like they belong in our community and like it is worth to invest lots of time into writing an elaborate F/M blog?

Maybe another aspect is that men are generally less likely to write a blog about their private spanking exploits than women, anyway. But, what about female tops then? Maybe there are indeed slightly less female tops than male ones. But I think that F/M blogs written by female tops are also rarer because female tops also face the risk of having to deal with prejudices, especially if they and their fantasies aren't of the strict wife / mother / auntie or the mean mistress kind, which seem to be the most common and accepted roles for a female top in the spanking and the BDSM community.

Excellent points, Kaelah. Thank you!

Buttwed: I actually think there are more F/M situations than M/F. As for many men, the release of control and the experience of physical consequences is a big part of the need for corporal punishment. I also think from your list big factors are: B, D, E, F, and H. Plus getting caught doing my own blog or even commenting here will bring "too sore to sit" results.

Red: I believe that women are more verbal, and willing to share their feelings and thoughts with others. They build a relationship with other M/F bloggers, and it becomes a self supporting arrangement. Men's blogs get far fewer comments. Male spanked bloggers may be more reluctant to share, as there appear to be far fewer F/M blogs than M/F, but I think there are far fewer F/M than M/F arrangements in our society..

Social upbringing makes it far easier for a woman to want or agree to be spanked, than a man, and far easier for a man to agree to spank a woman.

While I agree with your points, there are clearly a lot of people interested in F/M spanking as evidenced by your blog's continuing popularity.

Prefectdt: I believe it may be a variation of C: "Fewer women than men are interested in topping." I hope that this statement is wrong and it is more the case that fewer women are prepared to admit that they are interested in topping because of image problems. Either way, a guy who finds himself without a regular Top has little chance of finding regular play and therefore has less to blog about from a personal point of view.

E: Yes. I think traditional gender roles have an influence. It certainly influenced me into calling myself a switch in my younger days. The male ego has a lot to answer for.

F: "Male bloggers get distracted and lose interest" Sorry, what was that point again?

K: "Some other cause we haven't considered" There are probably many, but one is very prominent not only to X/M bloggers, but also to male X/F bloggers. There are a few exceptions (Devlin O'Neill for example), but most male spanking and BDSM bloggers attract a lot fewer comments and interaction than their female counterparts. I cannot speak for all the male kink bloggers, but although a lot of the time I shrug this off and do not let it bother me, there are times that it can be very discouraging and I can imagine a new male blogger noticing this could be put off from continuing his blog.

Loki Darksong: Here is what I feel are the combined answers.

* D) Men are more reluctant to reveal weakness or submission. *

Well, yes and no with this one. You see it's not a reluctance to show submission per se. It's a sad fact that many within the spanking community has associated submission in men with weakness. Furthermore, there is the misbelief that bottoming is submission, especially when it is a man who does it. All of which is far from the truth!

* E) M/F spanking aligns more closely with traditional gender roles. *

I have encountered this little tidbit myself in a debate on Fetlife last summer. This is another belief that is being rigidly preached in the spanking community. M/F and F/F roles are what is supposedly the traditional roles for spankers as dictated by the media. F/M spanking seems out of the norm in that sense. And the men who bottom have found themselves the subject of ridicule.

* I) The established blogging community nurtures M/F blogs. *

This also is in concert with the enforced norms within the spanking community. That norm being that M/F spanking is on the top, with F/F spanking right next to it. F/M spanking is looked down upon and M/M spanking is practically banned. One can look at every major spanking event in this country and see this actually played out.

I am a straight male top with almost twenty-six years within the scene as a whole. And I can say that this is wrong. How can a community that is outside the norm have the audacity to impose a norm? Why should it matter which gender gets spanked? I have spanked and have been spanked by both women and men. And I, for one, do not see what the problem is.

Our Bottoms Burn: I think all of the reasons you list play a part in it.

I think there are as many males as females who enjoy a spanking, but they hide as they know most women will reject them.

Submission does NOT have to be a part of spanking. There is a world of difference in what F/M connotes as opposed to F/m.

If you want to get into even more confusing dynamics, try switches.

I can relate to Kaelah's and Loki's replies.

Bonnie: As I said in the initial setup, I don't know the answer. However, I can speculate.

Based upon a poll I did a couple of years ago, I wonder whether the best single answer might be C. A mere 17% of female respondents described themselves as spankers or switches. Without this slim proportion of female spanking enthusiasts, there can be no F/M relationships.

Contrast these numbers with the male spanking enthusiasts. A whopping fifty four percent identified themselves as spankees or switches. Factor in next the larger proportion of male readers and we find a ratio of five male spankees for every female spanker.

Granted, this is a M/F blog and I asked my readers. But even if these numbers are somewhat skewed, Reece's conclusion about the dearth of female spankers appears to be a reasonable bet.

There are so many great points made in this discussion that it's impossible for me to do them all justice today. There's an amazing spectrum of people and interests. What I would like to do is reintroduce a related, but slightly more general question in a few weeks and invite the group to continue this conversation. Thank you all for a great brunch!

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