At least once a week without fail I receive a message in my Fetlife inbox offering to help me with my "disciplinary needs". Most of the gentlemen doing the offering don't live close enough to me to make even meeting a reality and yet they insist that I should be accountable to them. People who see spanking in a purely punitive light have always annoyed and, at times, enraged me. I'm not slamming people who see spanking that way. Many people are in the scene simply to meet a dominant or Daddy to fill this very role. And if that's what someone seeks, who am I to look askance at them? However, when such behavior is directed at me, I feel I then have the right to protest. I'm usually polite to such people, unless he's a multiple offender. I tell them I'm sorry but I have no disciplinary needs that need met. With rare exceptions, I get a response, sometimes carefully worded, sometimes not. The responses generally fall into one of three categories:
1) "All women are bad little girls who need a man to spank them and put them back in their place (wherever that is)."
2) "You're in denial, sweetheart."
3) "All people who get spanked are submissive and also harbor a deep guilt over enjoying spanking. Spanking helps purge that guilt, along with other naughty feelings."
Responding to these messages is always a painstaking process for me. I don't want to step on any one's toes or come across as argumentative. All three attitudes have their adherents on both sides of the lap. But I have found that getting into philosophical discussions with any of the holders of these three prevailing attitudes is a total waste of time. The first one, where the man groups all women into the "bad little girl" category, is pretty easily identified as men who read too much spanking fiction or have seen one too many spanking videos where the "men are in charge" attitude is prevalent. The second one, the accusation of being in denial about needing to be disciplined, says a lot about the man who holds that attitude. Most of the uber-doms I know have this attitude. They have a sense of entitlement and always have to be "right". The third one mostly comprises men who have read a lot of books on BDSM and the D/s dynamic. They tend to generalize about what spankees (whom they always refer to as "subs") might actually be after. Their attitude is "I've read all of this so I must be right. Never mind the fact that I've never actually played."
When I write the gentlemen back and tell them that, for me, spanking is fun, they almost always seem stunned. "Spanking is NOT supposed to be fun, young lady. You're supposed to be learning a lesson!" This ties in with other messages I've received concerning my habit of smiling while being spanked. Shockingly, I also get messages on occasion from submissives who ask "Can spanking really be fun? I asked my Sir and he says that's rubbish." What usually follows is several messages back and forth, with me trying to convince the poor girl that her Sir is wrong. But I sincerely doubt I've ever changed any one's mind.
I first encountered this punitive attitude towards spanking when I joined spanking Yahoo groups in my early days in the scene. There was no Fetlife back then. Many of the men spoke about "punishing bad little girls who go to spanking parties". It was a dichotomy--the men enjoyed the company of the women who attended and were glad they came, but still felt the need to "punish" them for this bit of naughtiness. As a relative newbie who was still dealing with her own feelings about spanking, I found all this talk about discipline and punishment confusing. It was on the Crimson Moon Yahoo group that I first heard the term "good girl spanking". Apparently, a good girl spanking is much more desirable than the nasty, painful bad girl spanking. I was a VERY hard player in those days and a hard spanking would have been a good girl spanking to me. When I would voice this, the men would come out of the woodwork to correct me on my wrongful thinking. "You're not really supposed to like that kind of stuff" one long-time scene denizen wrote me. "Most of the ladies like bunny fur and other sensual toys." My favorite toys have always included canes and prison straps. Bunny fur just doesn't cut it.
Now even though I'm making a face indicating that I'm in some discomfort, this doesn't mean that this isn't fun for me or that I didn't enjoy it. The tawse my top is holding here happens to be from The London Tanner, one of my favorite implement makers and my favorite when it comes to leather. I was feeling this tawse for the first time. I posted this photo to my Fetlife profile to appease the people who don't like the ones of me smiling; the ones who enjoy tears and pleading. I'm not saying there isn't room for both attitudes in the spanking scene. I understand that a lot of tops and many doms are turned on by facial expressions that somehow indicate that the spanking is punishment or at the very least non-consensual. I can play act this particular facial expression very well. But what's on the outside is rarely what counts. Inside, I was in heaven. This strap is divine. It's worth every penny I paid for it.
This is how I'm much more likely to look after being spanked. Admittedly, the spanking here wasn't that hard. But it was hard enough that I think the average person would have had a hard time smiling. In fact, I've been told that, since spanking is my only real kink, I'm practically vanilla. I hate to break it to be people who feel this way, but vanilla people don't do this. I admit that I'm a bit of a masochist, but I really do enjoy being spanked. I enjoy the feelings of closeness with the person spanking me. I enjoy the little shows of affection that invariably happen during a scene. So whether other people like it or don't like it, this is what I love about spanking. You don't have to "get" it. Just respect the fact that I do things a bit differently than some (most probably). For me, spanking is a wonderful experience that gives me great joy. The men who top me and the women who sometimes share the spanking with me are people I count among my best and closest friends. I understand myself better than I ever could have had I chosen to stay in the closet about my kink.
Yes, spanking is fun! And it can be amazing with the right person. If you're a newbie, don't let anyone tell you categorically how it is. Spanking can mean anything you want it to mean. Yes, it can be for punishment if that's what you need. But don't let anyone tell you it HAS to be that way in order for you to be doing it right. Within SSC, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just enjoy it in whatever way makes you happy and forget the ones who try to tell you you're doing it wrong.