Sunday, February 8, 2015

"You've Been A Bad Girl!" or Perceptions On Punishment

One of my all-time favorite bloggers opened a thread on her Fetlife group asking about "just because" spankings. Her post was very thought provoking, at least for me. My response to her questions were pretty brief and to the point, even though there was more I wanted to say on the subject. Unfortunately, I've learned that my opinions aren't really welcomed on Fetlife so I confine them to the pages of this blog. Her question involved not only "just because" spankings (which I happen to love) but also asked, for people that are living with a spanker or D-type, how they felt about the fact that they usually keep tabs on behavior in order to discipline at a later time. First of all, the thought of someone taking note of things I do in order to call me to account for it later doesn't sit very well with me. I understand that there are those who like and need that kind of structure in their lives. I can even understand someone enjoying it as a fetish. But...not everyone is on the same page when it comes to such behaviors. I probably should have covered this in my previous post because a lot of people come into the spanking scene thinking that punishment spankings and discipline spankings and maintenance spankings are what "everyone" does. I believed that, once upon a time. You see, when I first joined the spanking scene, my first order of business (besides going out and pantie shopping) was getting in touch with other female bottoms to get some idea of "how it's done", not realizing that there IS no one way to do it. My first mistake was thinking that these ladies were merely bottoms like I was. It wasn't until later, after I had observed their behavior at parties, that I realized that most of them were submissives and that I had been led down a road I had no real desire to go down. One of those ladies advised me to get a disciplinarian because "it can't be fun all the time". She even suggested a man for the job; a friend of hers who was into punishment that the tagline surrounding him was "whatever Mr. Miller wants, Mr. Miller gets". Well, I have to admit that I liked this guy. I'd played with him at a few parties and I enjoyed his company so what could it hurt? My sister and I both were trying to quit smoking and every other way had failed. Maybe this way would work? So we entered into an agreement with this guy. He didn't insist that we not smoke at all right off the bat. The arrangement was that we had to tell him how much we were smoking. If we decreased from the previous "report" we got good girl spankings. If we increased, we got punishment spankings. His punishments were severe I'll add right here. He had a very menacing razor strap and he used that for punishment along with a thick rubber strap that his girlfriend had christened "Mother F*&#%r". And it was! You had to bend over a chair and he would give you 75 full arm swings with the razor strap with no warm up. He always gave me the option to safe out anytime I felt it was too much for me. My sister got the same consideration. Now, I know some people who read this are going to get their panties in a bunch because they don't believe that safe words are appropriate during a punishment spanking. However, I will not get spanked under any circumstances without one so that's that. And he didn't like working without safe words either. Turns out, I never did safe out. And believe me, the punishments were hard, even for a masochist like me.


This photo was taken following a typical punishment. Before he took the photo, he had to wipe all the blood off. I realize he could have just taken the picture with the blood, but that wasn't something either of us was into. 

As we went along in our relationship, a funny thing began to happen. Not only was this guy our disciplinarian, but he was a play partner as well and Carol and I always looked forward to getting together with him. But, as time went on, I began to feel a bit of animosity towards him. I realized that my attitude wasn't right. I wasn't making any real effort to quit smoking. The punishments, as unpleasant as they sometimes were, weren't proving any kind of deterrent to my smoking. I really liked playing with this guy though. So one day, the three of us sat down and talked about what we wanted to accomplish, something we should have done before all of this started. He finally decided to break our agreement because, as he said, we would both quit smoking when we were ready to. He said we hadn't really taken the agreement seriously and he was right. I only entered into the agreement because someone else told me that was how it was done. It was the first really valuable lesson I learned in my journey. So now I  tell newbies to just do what feels right and don't listen to what anyone else says. Take advice when you need to, of course, but don't let anyone tell you "it can't be fun all the time" if that's not how you feel about it. Don't let anyone tell you that you do it wrong because they don't do it the way you do it. Don't bow down to peer pressure.

Now, this entry isn't to demonize folks who do punishment spankings as part of their dynamic. Far from it, actually. I think everyone has to do things the way that makes them happiest and fulfills them. But...there seems to be a prevailing attitude in the scene that punishment spankings are automatically part of the scene. I get messages from men all the time, both newbie and experienced, who ask me what I do for punishment. When I tell them I don't do punishments, they are shocked, as if the thought never occurred to them that there are bottoms out there who just play for fun. I always ask them "What's so unusual about that? Did you expect everyone to be the same?" I think the problem is that so many people, both tops and bottoms, come into the scene having done nothing but watch spanking videos and read spanking erotica. So the assumption is that, if this is what's being shown and written about, it must be the norm. Now don't get me wrong here. Video producers have to do what sells and that means that normally, there needs to be some kind of build up to the spanking. You can't just turn on the lights, get the players into position and then turn on the camera. A misbehavior/punishment scenario is one most of us can relate to. You see, when a person first decides to get active in the spanking scene, the only thing they have to draw on is their past experiences. And for most of us, that was punishments we received as children, coupled with seeing spankings on TV and in the movies. And those always involve a punishment scenario of some kind. From there, it's just a Pavlovian response. So when many people decide to start spanking or getting spanked themselves, this is what they know. So they assume it's the way things are. Assumptions aren't capital offenses and we shouldn't treat a person who's ignorance of the scene causes him or her to make those assumptions like pariahs. We should educate them so that they know not to continue to make those assumptions.

So...how do we do that without making it look like we're being judgmental jerks? Well, as with most things kink related, good communication is paramount. I just tell the men (and some women) who want to spank me that punishment spankings aren't my cup of tea. I say it without the recoil that you sometimes see when someone mentions a kink you're not into ("Ewwwww!!" "creepy!" "You're a sicko!"). Of course, I've been told by more than one D-type that I'm just in denial about my "need" for discipline. When that happens, then I feel I'm no longer obligated to be nice because now they're making a back door attempt to push their kink on me. And that's an assumption,too--that the female bottoms in the scene are so pliable that we can be bent in any direction those D-types want us to go. Not true. The "you're in denial" accusation is peer pressure bordering on bullying and if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a bully. Peer pressure, just like it was in high school, is alive and well in the spanking scene. "Everyone does it this way" is an attitude that I allowed to dictate to me what I should and shouldn't do. That didn't last long, believe me. I have always had my own thoughts and opinions about things. In fact, my mother often told me I was too clever for my own good because I was always thinking as a child and that didn't change once I reached adulthood. People who can think for themselves are somewhat rare in this world, never mind the spanking scene. 

Some people view me as a breath of fresh air, some view me as a bore. And some, believe it or not, are hostile to me. Ah well, I can't change any one's mind. I'll just continue to be myself. Some will love that, some won't. But just know that just because you're a spanko and in the scene doesn't mean you do it wrong if you're not into punishments. It doesn't make you vanilla, as some have accused me of. It just means that you do things a bit differently. And that's OK.

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