Saturday, December 08, 2012

MBS Spanko Brunch #360

Hi, everybody, and welcome back! Our topic this week is one of those long running debates that never seems to be settled. I don't expect we will definitively settle it either, but perhaps we can bring some clarity and civility to the conversation.

What is the relationship between spanking and BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism)?

A. Spanking enthusiasts are a specialized subset of BDSM
B. BDSM enthusiasts is a specialized subset of spanking
C. Spanking and BDSM are separate groups with considerable overlap
D. Spanking and BDSM enthusiasts are essentially discrete groups
E. It's complicated


I invite you to join our discussion. It's easy, fast, and fun. Just enter your response in the form of a comment below. At the conclusion of the weekend, I will post an edited summary.

35 comments :

MrBBSpanker said...

C, D, E
IMO, We're all ONE community. Spanking, BDSM, Fetish, Kink, Domestic Discipline... anything else people decide to call what they do and how they identify within what's considered an "alternative" part of themselves or their lifestyle choice.
It's like we have our own villages within the same very individualized, overlapping and growing subculture. Because most people are at least discreet, it's difficult to communicate our similarities. So there's a communication barrier that makes it seem like separate groups, when in fact we're all part of many overlapping groups.

sunnygirl said...

Isn't this like what came first, the chicken or the egg?

Anonymous said...

A: spankos are a subset of the whole BSDM community.
One can just like giving, receiving, or both... spankings within a sexual or discipline context.
Then the players can add restraints, anal play, and all kinds of other activities... which might migrate into a broader BDSM activity.
My question is... does it or should it matter?
We all play with our partners in whatever way we have agreed to...
hiuston_switch

Anonymous said...

That is houston_switch... sorry for fat fingers...
h_s

elle :) said...

I think c, d, and e also. :) it's like we are on big family, with different branches on the same tree.

joeyred51 said...

Spanking and BDSM are discrete groups with some overlap. A year ago, I would have said C, but with my experiences with both a spanking group and a BDSM group I feel that their are more differences than similarities.

Couples in D/s relationships attend the BDSM parties. Singles tend to be either Dom/Dommes or subs. There are strict protocols that limit play. For example, I would not dare ask a sub to play at a BDSM party. Even greetings are limited and I avoid hugging my friends who are subs.

At spanking parties, I hug my bottom and top female friends as a greeting. I also have no reservation asking a female to play with me. And, play is not limited to just the couples.

At SL, John (Erica Scott's boyfriend) and I discussed the differences between spanko and BDSM parties. He has many years of experience with both groups. John told me that the way to distinguish a spanking party from a BDSM party is laughter. Spankos laugh during their parties, but BDSM folks are more serious. He is so right.

I have many friends in both groups and enjoy each type of party. For me, it is important to understand the differences to adjust my behavior to blend into the atmosphere of each group.

Hug,
joey

Hermione said...

You are bound to get many different replies to this perplexing question, and I believe it all boils down to a question of semantics.

I chose A because to me, BDSM is an umbrella term that covers a myriad of kinky variations and preferences, spanking being one of them. Judging from the other responses you have received, that isn't necessarily everyone's take on it.

I echo houston_switch's question: Does it or should it matter? I think not.

Anonymous said...

c d e
Why try so hard to find differences?
I think more communication would bring everyone closer and looking for separation will only lead to more separation. We have always been one very large community with different groups.

Reece Seever said...

I think C and E. I also agree with those who have said it doesn't really matter. To the extent there are distinctions, I think they come down to the goal or motivation behind the activity, and perhaps to the extent that the activity revolves around sex. I think of BDSM as inherently sexual. Spanking may or may not be. And, for those of us into Domestic Discipline, sex may be at most an afterthought and, at worst, an impediment to the goal of using spanking to correct behavior. But, it's complicated.

morningstar said...

WOW - I was going to say "a" and make reference to the umbrella effect......... but having read a lot of the responses so far I am befuddled,

I do know that I would love to bring Joeyred51 to some of our play parties here in the Great White North - I don't recognise his description of play parties at all. I hug all sorts of folks at parties - doms and subs alike... and there is lots of laughter!! Hell if it wasn't fun and funny why do it???

And I was surprised to read Reece Seeveer's comment about BDSM being inherently sexual - not in my BDSM world - it can be and is often sensual - but that's one's mind set more than the activity.............

so I am gonna be coming back all weekend to see how each of us defines the other's "world" so to speak..........

I do hope that we are one big community who do things in our way.......... under an umbrella ... But then I do tend to see the world through rose coloured glasses.

Jenny said...

My thoughts:
(1) From my perspective, "A" is not an option. I love being spanked, but I am not interested in BDSM beyond one or two experiments with tied hands or lightly pinched body parts, just for fun. There's no way I am part of BDSM. I've been intrigued by spanking for years, and for me at least, it's not a "gateway" activity to BDSM. I haven't progressed one bit in that direction. (Ok, well maybe the pinching, but that's it.)
(2) Is BDSM a subset of the Spanking community, as in "B"? Most BDSM scenes I am familiar with include some spanking, paddling, or whipping activity, so most BDSM enthusiasts probably enjoy one of those three activities. Would any BDSM enthusiast say, "Oh, we never do spanking. We hate spanking." I don't know. You'll have to ask one of them. I'm guessing some would say that.
(3) If some BDSMers feel that they never participate in spanking, then this test would allow for Scenario "C", where some Spankos don't do BDSM, some Spankos do BDSM, and some BDSMer never spank. Given the great variation in virtually every aspect of human behavior, it must be pretty likely that C would reflect the world as we know it. The question then becomes how big is each of these three groups relative to the others? That is a scientific question that deserves to be funded! ;)
(4) Are Spanking and BDSM mutually exclusive, as in "D"? Probably not. I've seen BDSM scenes that include parts that are nearly indistinguishable from scenes of traditional domestic discipline or spanking, the only difference being that the woman was cuffed to a bench and had to say, "Thank you, Master" after each strike of the paddle. There were no other signs of BDSM. It wasn't "all about the love of pain". It was a power exchange, just like submitting to an unrestrained spanking.

So, I say "C", and "C" is complicated!

(Now I will read the other responses. I didn't want to prejudice my answer.)

SPANKEDHORTIC II said...

C and I agree with joey about the laughter and the serious contrasts. Also it seems that spanko play tends often to have an element of amateur dramatics, that BDSMers seldom bother with.

At the end of the day we are all pain and kink players but I think we are two groups coming to a similar play situation from two totally different directions.

To my mind the differences are more in mental attitudes towards play rather than the different ways in which we tend to play.

Prefectdt

abby said...

WOW..great comments....as I read I thought C, then D, then E then all 3! I read the comments and I like the umbrella idea..so I guess I end up with it's complicated!
hugs abby

Julia D. said...

For me it's C and E. I'm a masochist, who's not really into submission. Bondage is great as part of play, but a means to an end, not a goal on its own.
One of the persons I've played with gets confused by me, because he sees SM as a subset of BDSM, and I don't fit his system.
Ah, well, ask me again in 5 years: it might still all change for me. I can't claim to have the answers, it's been too short a time for me.

Julia

SirQsmlb said...

I like how Joey put things....though I have to say that personally, I have no experience with BDSM that has participants that does not involve spankings. Application can different, goals can be different, protocol is most assuredly different. I think that it's complicated is a fore sure. That it needs to be defined is questionable.

Anonymous said...

I would say C, D, and for sure E. Great comments all. I like the umbrella analogy, but I think the comment that the differences are mostly in the attitude towards the way we play is right on.

George

S.N.M. said...

A. Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism all describe spanking play perfectly.

thewantonwife said...

I think it depends on the person’s kink...so totally E. One can like spanking, but not be into all of the BDSM stuff. Another can love spanking, and love being cuffed to the bed while getting said spanking. Some folks, like my Sir and i, vacillate between the realms of Domestic Discipline, Sadism and Masochism, and happy fun play time. Like all things in life, the explanation is rarely black and white. Just dig what you do and do what you dig :)

Dr. Ken said...

Bonnie--

When it comes to BDSM and spanking, I always say this:

To a person into BDSM, spanking is a small part of their world.

For the spanking enthusiast, spanking IS the world.

Dr. Ken

Anonymous said...

C.

D & S.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

For us, E is the only answer. Different universes.

Agree with John's comment, via Joey, about laughter at spanking parties.

Under the BDSM umbrella, there is a LOT more than bondage. So if you employ bondage or floggers in your spanking play, I would not term you as BDSM types.

Jake said...

My $.02 - I think that by definition, BDSM includes spanking and all sorts of corporal punishment. As others have said in the comments, it is an "umbrella term". However, the related question that fascinates me is the relationship between Dominance/submission and spanking.

For my wife and I, spanking is a way to reinforce our D/s dynamic. When I spank her, I am Dominating her, and she is submitting to my Domination. To me, that seems obvious--of course spanking is about Domination and submission.

However, I have discovered over time that others do not necessarily feel the same way. In several instances, I've listed blogs in my blog roll under the "submissive" category, and been contacted by the author who asks to be reclassified because they are not a submissive.

I find this puzzling, because it's hard for me to get how they could not be. However, just 'cause I don't get it doesn't mean it's not so.
And I have complied and created a "spanking" category for these blogs instead.

I guess in summary, I'd say that my original thought would be that spanking and DD relationships were subsets of the total D/s realm. However, I've now come to wonder whether that's right, or whether they are (as you put it) separate sets with much overlap.

Hoo boy...long comment. Sorry!

Spanky said...

I think C is my choice. But it is complicated, so E deserves consideration. They are not mutually exclusive.

SublimeWifey said...

I wonder if the distinction matters only of you go "public" with your play? I'm noticing that the people here who discuss the distinctions most clearly are also those who engage in spanking parties, BDSM parties, "play" parties, and such. For my husband and I, there is really no distinction between spanking and BDSM, it's all about the mood for the evening and how much time we have to invest at any given time. I guess that means we're BDSM with no time, so we're mostly spankos.

I suppose if we were to engage in these activities outside of our home we'd need to have a better dividing line between spanking and BDSM, sensual vs sexual contact, fun vs role playing. Hmmm. Things to think about, but I don't know if the labels matter until then.

Scunge said...

My Sir and I agree on E. Comparing them is odious,labels only work for spices in the kitchen. ;)

Cara Bristol said...

I vote for C. Separate but SOME overlap.

Jade Cary said...

I think they are very different. I think you can have a DD/spanking relationship purely for discipline, or even just confined to the bedroom, and still be otherwise very vanilla. In fact I know this to be true. Yet, I don't see BSDMers to be vanilla at all.

Anastasia Vitsky said...

I say C, but Joey has made a very good case for D. I prefer not to say D because I'd like to focus on commonality and build community, but perhaps honestly acknowledging these root differences is a better place to start.

For both spanking and BDSM, there is spanking involved but it's not really about the spanking. Sure, people might love the physical sensations of the spanking, but very few people would enjoy spanking only without any emotional connection, setting, or surrounding context. For that reason, I say that they are the same.

On the other hand, there is enough misunderstanding and judgment on both sides that it may be more productive for community-building if we acknowledge that basic levels of control and the reasons for spankings to happen are rarely similar between a BDSM and spanking couple.

Let's say that my neighbor and I both cough. We sound the same when we cough. Someone might say that we are similar because we both show the same behavior. However, I cough because I ate a too-sweet piece of candy, swallowed the wrong way, and am trying to catch my breath.

My neighbor coughs because she is in the end stages of emphysema.

Same behavior; completely different origin. At the same time, the most basic level of coughing is the same: something in the body is not working properly, and the cough is a way that the body responds.

Similar and different.

I think it's that way for spanking enthusiasts and BDSM-ers

Uncle Nick said...

I would go with A, just for the sake of everyone being under one umbrella, but I accept that an awful lot of spankers will disagree.

BDSM is becoming mainstream, possibly because it often involves paraphernalia which can be marketed and sold to the practitioners. I am not just thinking about leather outfits; let's face it at the top of the range is Christian Grey's red room of pain, and I'll bet that doesn't come cheap.

Spanking on the other hand invariably involves nothing more than a hard male palm and a soft female bottom. I think that this is also the reason why we are becoming so non-U. BDSM often involves femdom and is overtly sexual. Spanking is usually in the context of female submission to male authority and is only indirectly kinky.

That is why the pure at heart hate it, and all the more reason why we should stick with the BDSM gang. We may need their help one days...

Kinky Guy said...

I would side with the group of people that have settled on C in the main from my experience, but with a bit of E thrown in. I agree with what Joey says about the two groups being different especially at group events. Spankers tend to have more fun in social gathering and the BDSM'ers are much more serious. Also roles seem in general to be more defined with in BDSM which makes switching harder in general. However in private Spankers can be just as serious depending the type of spanking they practice. It is a very complicated beast. So in the end I will settle for E.

Joseph McNamara said...

Such interesting comments. They are a varied as the letters suggested for answers. As a D/s oops, there are some more letters, life-styler and lover of spanking I would have to say C and perhaps E. 99 percent of the BDSM practicing world that I have met do love spanking and incorporate it on a regular basis. I find for myself and my partner that we both consider spanking a major part of our time together. We do have many other interests, but spanking is at the top of our list. Then of course you have to consider the act of spanking itself. Is it erotic and sensual or DD, more letters. Once again, DD and erotic spanking can have two very different affects and meaning in a relationship. The letter E is a must for this survey........

Renee Rose said...

I'm going for C. I've been thinking about this a lot, as it relates to the different genres of romance fiction. There are a LOT of readers of BDSM, but often they don't *quite* get my spanking fiction.... there is overlap, but they are not the same...

CurtisG said...

I'm late to this and don't think I fully agree with any of the letters. For me almost all BDSM is a turnoff and spanking is a joy -- which says for me they are very separate. I am, however, speaking only for me.

Loki_Darksong said...

I am going for and supporting choice "A". BDSM is the core for many "kink" activities and lifestyles, spanking being only one of them.

Like many other kink lifestyles, Spanking has grown into its own separate flavor and its own prestige. But it still shares many parallels with the BDSM community. The titles and roles may have different names in both lifestyles, but, in many context, they are still very much the same.

On a personal level, I am an S/M'er first and a Spanker second. I find the push to separate the two a bit ridiculous and counter productive to us on a whole.

sixofthebest said...

I would say A. It takes in all the 'spanko' groups. In all its fetish varieties.

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