Spanking And Feminism

The other day I was looking at a spanking website, written by a man, and it gave me the minor flesh creepies. The topic was the enjoyment the writer got from “improving” young ladies by bringing discipline to their lives. Which is fine and all in a role-playing sense, but this guy seemed to be completely serious. His tone was avuncular (in that bad-uncle-who-never-gets-invited-to-watch-the-kids sense) and his writing was full of diminutives whenever his “girls” were mentioned. They were described as scatterbrained moppets who couldn’t hope to function without his firm hand, paddle, cane, riding-crop, and so forth. He, of course, derived sexual pleasure from their discipline only as a minor secondary benefit; his true joy (he said) lay in giving them the direction and loving attention they needed to get and keep their lives in order. A bleedin’ humanitarian, that’s wot ‘e is.

Me, I call bullshit.

I remember when I was young and trying to figure out sex and kink and all this. And one thing I remember is the rather considerable tension between (on one hand) wanting to do various not-nice things to the young women of my acquaintance, and (on the other hand) my self-image as a nice, decent guy. One way of resolving that tension was to build elaborate fantasy scenarios in which the young women “deserved” their spankings or whatever, or in which the spankings were really for their own good, or were necessary to save a bus full of orphans, or … you get the idea.

Of course, the trouble with such fantasies is that they tend to be wildly implausible, or intellectually dishonest, or both. At the end of the day, it’s really not OK to spank the bay-jeebus out of cute-but-incompetent female burglars, even if they are caught trying to steal insulin from a diabetic nun.

So how to resolve this tension between kinky desires and nice-guy self-image? Eventually, yet well before any delectable young ladies consented to my lustful grasp, I figured out that I couldn’t resolve the tension by finding better excuses to act in kinky ways for the good of all; no, I needed to modify my self-image. In my own mind, I became a nice, decent, kinky guy with a hint of controlled dangerousness (at least when I’m flattering myself). In other words, I decided that (so long as the ladies are willing) I don’t need no steenkin’ excuse to be kinky. Kinky is OK.

And that comfort with the morality and general “okay-ness” of kink is what I found missing on the “improving her life through spankings” website I was reading the other day. But there was more to my discomfort than that. I read a lot of kinky blogs, and I see folks struggling to be comfortable with their kinks all the time. I’m sympathetic or mildly derisive depending on my mood, but I don’t usually have the strong negative reaction I had to Mr. Savior Disciplinarian.

Along comes Bonnie to the rescue. Writing in honor of International Women’s day, she makes mention of

…web sites that portray women as being inherently inferior. Worse yet, we are shown as hopelessly flawed creatures who would be lost but for constant guidance and frequent punishments delivered by men. I find these characterizations offensive and insulting.

I read that and recognized Mr. Savior Disciplinarian. In bending over backwards to find a good-enough excuse to spank women, he apparently convinced himself that they are not really able to manage their own afffairs without his stern-but-loving guidance. In short, he wasn’t acknowledging them as fully-competant adult human beings.

Bonnie writes further:

There are feminists who, with good intentions, lump all women of kink in with the unfortunate oppressed. In their minds, we couldn’t possibly choose this lifestyle without having been coerced, presumably by a man. In its way, this generalization is nearly as objectionable and patronizing. In both cases, other people who claim to understand our interests better than we do ourselves seek to constrain our roles.

I was born female, but I am a spanko by choice. I am empowered to make my own decisions. I freely choose to loan my control to my husband because that kind of play brings us enjoyment and fulfillment. This act doesn’t render me forever inferior. It says nothing about the rightful role of any other woman or man.

Bonnie is, of course, correct. How can someone claim to be a feminist while simultaneously refusing to respect a kinky woman’s capacity to consent?

  1. Kitten commented on March 10th, 2006:

    I am torn up about spanking and trying to figure out how healthy it is with the femenist things you mentioned and the fact that every guy I’ve ever let do this went way overboard and wrecked our relationship.
    Now I’m in a relationship with a man who doesn’t seem twisted in any way, has never raised his voice to me and who is manly enough to bring out every submissive fiber of my being and I had to drop large, large hints for him to spank and he finally did and I was thrilled beyond belief and I think he liked it mreo than he thought he would too, but I worry if we go there it is going to end in the demise of the relationship like so many others have and I really love him but I can’t help my need to be disciplined too. Is there any healthy balance? I’ve addressed it in therapy, studied it in college, but now I want to know from people who actually do it, Is there a way to make it work for the long run?

  2. Greg commented on March 10th, 2006:

    Why justify it man. Just enjoy it. We (most of us) don’t want to kill anybody. It’s our thing, it’s their thing, lets gooo!

  3. tulsa commented on March 10th, 2006:

    It’s sad that there are people out there who really believe that women really are inferior.

    If I’m not mistaken, the National Organization of Women still considers any kind of BDSM abuse, which is even more frightening. If they have changed it, it’s only been in the past three years.

    I love feminism for giving me the right to say that I want to get spanked :) It’s very helpful.

  4. SpankBoss commented on March 10th, 2006:

    Kitten, there can be a healthy balance, and lots of folks are living it. Explore some of the spanking blogs on my blogroll, you’ll see what I mean. You’ll find happily married spanko folks who’ve been doing it for years and years and years.

  5. irelands commented on March 10th, 2006:

    SpankBoss, your thoughts on this topic were of great interest to me. I remember (also when I was young, alas) going through a similar such struggle from the opposite perspective. As a competent, intelligent, educated women, I wondered how it was possible for me to want to give up control to a man and allow him to discipline me. Was I encouraging chauvenism? Was I contributing to undoing the progress made by a generation of women before me? Talk about guilt! Reaching a point where I could embrace my kink and recognize it for what it was, was liberating. Allowing my husband to discipline me is my choice, and I don’t do it because I need his guidance. I do it because it fulfills a desire that we both share. Using guidance and discipline as a stage is part of what “works” for us… but it’s clearly obvious that it’s a kink and not an altruistic endeavor on his part to save me from my own stupidity. :) Thanks for an insightful conversation starter.
    ~Anna

  6. Chibob commented on March 10th, 2006:

    I have to say this is one of my all time favorite posts on this blog. Very well put (with a little help from Bonnie) and informative.

  7. Marcus commented on March 10th, 2006:

    SpankBoss, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I especially like the label you define for yourself. A nice, decent, kinky guy with a hint of dangerousness… For me that works well. I have been called much the same, in different ways, but I love how well that sounds. Neat and succinct.

    I have so many things I want to say, I keep erasing my words to start over. The biggest point I want to make is– It sure would be boring if women actually were inferior to men. I would never be able to have a relationship with someone who needed me to control her.

    Men and women are equal. In different ways. I love the strengths that both genders supply as well as the differences they both have to keep it interesting.

    Good blog today.

  8. Janeen commented on March 10th, 2006:

    Excellent post! I must admit that the discipline scenario is very appealing to me, however if my husband ever stated that he spanks me because I am an inferior, incapable, mess who couldn’t function without his strict discipline, I’m quite certain the appeal would quickly fade!

    I think it’s great if all parties involved are happy with the situation, but I find it hard to believe that “his girls” couldn’t function without his firm hand.

  9. Sarah commented on March 10th, 2006:

    This post was really interesting and definitely accurate. I’ve met more than one guy who thought that women were “inferior” to them and we *need* them in our lives or else we’re hopelessly lost. Um, sorry, but I’ve survived THUS far without you in my life, do you think I’m suddenly going to start wandering through life aimlessly because YOU aren’t in it??

    Thanks for sticking up for us Spank Boss!

    And, btw, I love your blog :)

    ~*sarah*~

  10. Wintermute commented on March 10th, 2006:

    Bravo SpankBoss and Bonnie. I could not agree more. I’ve always considered
    myself a feminist, but I’ve also been a male with very toppish leanings. I don’t
    believe that a spanking relationship is incompatible with equalilty in a relationship.
    What goes on in the bedroom (“Pull down your panties”, “Yes, Sir”) does not mean
    that you are not partners outside of the bedroom.

    Wintermute

  11. Herbstkönig commented on March 11th, 2006:

    I’m not with you.

    First of all, you don’t provide a link to this guy’s webpage. So I have to rely on your interpretation and cant judge it myself.

    Then, what you call “just an excuse” might be the kink of someone else. As much as your kink is the spanking itself, other ppls kink is the very story imagined and roleplayed around it. I do not agree with you that favoring the roleplay over the spanking implies any inferior ideology or world view. There is not difference between someone who’s turned on by patronizing women and someone who’s turned on by spanking them. Its both kinky and okey.

    Third, that feminists refuse BDSM is part of the their very ideology – just dont call yourself ‘feminist’ if you don’t agree. Or would you call yourself communist if you like capitalism? No, you wouldnt, so stop calling yourself a feminist if you like BDSM.

  12. SpankBoss commented on March 11th, 2006:

    A couple of clarifications re Herbstkönig’s comment. I have never, and DO NOT, call myself a feminist. Precisely because the word encompasses some folks who have a “women are not capable of knowing what’s good for them” ideology.

    Second, Herbstkönig has characterized me as suggesting that “favoring the roleplay over the spanking implies any inferior ideology or worldview.” I’ve done no such thing. I’m radically egalitarian when it comes to kinks and worldviews. Herbstkönig is the one who suggested that the “women are inferior” attitude Bonnie and I are critiquing might just be roleplay. And, in some few cases, it might be. But it’s too often *not*.

    Obviously I’m not asking people to take my word for it about that particular unnamed site; if I were, I’d have linked to it. I didn’t because (a) I clicked away fast and dunno which site it was anymore, having forgotten it until I read Bonnie’s post; and (b) because in this particular case, it is indeed possible the guy was posting an extended, if creepy-to-my-eyes, roleplaying exercise. That doesn’t change the fact that there are some guys in the spanking kink who *do* honestly seem to think women are flighty, inferior, incapable creatures. I’m commenting on that phenomenon for the benefit and entertainment of others in the kink (like Bonnie) who’ve seen it and agree with me that it exists; I’m not undertaking to prove that it exists to skeptics like Herbstkönig.

  13. Bonnie commented on March 11th, 2006:

    SpankBoss,

    Thank you for taking my analysis a couple of steps further. I always enjoy reading the male perspective. You managed to sum up in three words a message I spent three paragraphs laboring to share: Kinky is OK.

    There’s no reason why healthy, positive, loving, successful relationships can’t include a bit of kink. Randy and I have enjoyed recreational spanking for well over twenty years. Our tastes change over time, but we’ve not slowed down much. Through it all, we remain equal partners.

    Thanks!
    Bonnie

  14. Mija commented on March 11th, 2006:

    First, I really like this entry and think I both know the site you’re speaking about (or others like it) and also find it creepy. I’m not going to put up links because the guy is already a traffic whore and so driving people there seems counter productive. Search on Domestic Discipline and you’re pretty much bound to hit some of the sites that make my flesh crawl… and were the motivation for some friends and me starting our own site trying to talk about this with a little more realism.

    Yes, it and the many others like it may well be an elaborate roleplay sort of construction. It may also be (gasp, shock!) that there are men into spanking / BDSM who think men are “naturally” tops and “naturally” have better judgement and thus have the right to be in charge. Women, in this world view, can’t make their own choices and need discipline and guidence from men. The idea that men (and some women) believe this, not just of themselves but as a natural state of the world isn’t anything new — look at law prior to the mid 20th century anywhere in the world and this is the POV represented.

    Because my scene (as a female and a bottom) is for discipline and punishment in a domestic context and because my partner / husband is male, we’ve both heard from people who see this as the way things should be for everyone — than men should be in charge and women somehow submit or defer to their authority. That this makes me seem somehow more feminine then most modern women. And that it’s a shame that feminism has changed things and that there’d be a lot less divorce now if men could spank women when they got out of line.

    Even worse is when they quote from poor St. Paul to support their retro world view. And then expect us to agree.

    It’s hard to understand how someone can get it so wrong. Feminism (or rather feminisms as this isn’t a mono-theory) doesn’t exclude BDSM (at least not for the last 20 years) — there are numerous feminist theorists who’ve published about BDSM and sexuality and themselves are into the scene (I’d be one of them). NOW may be a bit behind the times, being more concerned with domestic violence then sexual freedom, but the idea of opposing choices between consenting adults is hardly a feminist position. IMO, the majority of men who are threatened by feminism tend to be ones who either don’t know anything about it or would just as soon women not talk back.

    Personally, I think without feminism I’d never have had the strength to defy my family and religion and divorce out of an unhappy marriage and believe I deserved to find someone who wouldn’t find my desires “sick” simply because they weren’t his.

    Anyway, I know this is an amazingly long comment. Feel free to cut it, but this definitely tapped into something I’ve been saving up.

  15. Tess commented on March 11th, 2006:

    I don’t really agree with you in some ways, yet I can’t defend the original site you saw either, as I haven’t seen it. But I would like to put in a word for those of us who are committed to 24/7 D/s as a lifestyle choice.

    Its not a feminist issue for me. I’m a 45-year-old, successful, professional woman who is more than capable of functioning by herself and I have no issues about my lifestyle choice.

    BUT… in order for my dynamic with my Sir to function properly, it has to be 24/7. That means I find it impossible to ever be anything but submissive to him. Mind you, I can also be lively, cheeky, and even bratty, quite often, as we have something closer to an ageplay dynamic than a Master/slave one!) And we live together, and have done for nearly two years, so it really IS 24/7. He calls the shots, and I like it that way.

    If he (or anyone else) were to suggest that I enjoy the actual physical process of being punished, I would think they had gone crackers. I would also find it very offputting, and a bit distasteful, because it’s not true. (please understand, I mean for ME here, not that I think other people are wrong!)

    I’m not into the sensations, I’m into the submission. And yes, I’m a feminist. Which is why I have no issues about the lifestyle I’ve chosen, because I had a right to choose it, and I have.

    This post is meant to just try and present a slightly different perspective. It may be that this man’s “girls” don’t want their fantasies on a “part-time” basis, and so what seems like anti-feminism (if not from him then certainly from a number of other men who present in that way), is just another way of doing what we all do so well! *g*

  16. chelsea girl commented on March 11th, 2006:

    As I wrote in my post “betty friedan and my ballgag,” I believe that feminism makes my D/s play possible. Before feminism, male dominating/female submission was the fallback setting. After feminism, it’s a choice.

    Nicely put here. Thank you.

    The free will to bare my bottom to be spanked by my lover is just one of the things for which I am grateful to feminism.

  17. SpankBoss commented on March 11th, 2006:

    I owe everybody thanks for their thoughtful comments. Thanks for sharing your viewpoints!

    Tess, I hope I wasn’t seen as attacking 24/7 D/s (or Master/slave, or any of a zillion other happy arrangements) in my comments. I think such lifestyles are just nifty for those who enjoy them, and I agree that a properly nuanced feminism should support and allow for them as well. (Leaving aside, for a moment, the fact that a lot of self-described feminists would condemn you regardless, or patronizingly explain that your choice wasn’t really free because you have been conditioned by the patriarchy or are suffering false consciousness or Stockholm syndrome or whatever. Basically, I think those feminists who won’t honor your free choice are dangerous idiots, but there are a lot of ’em out there.)

    What I’m commenting on (and others have as well, making me think I didn’t just dream this up) is a too-common male dom attitude that their submissive women partners could not function without the discipline, without the spankings, without the dom being in charge. It’s the difference between “this works for us and we like it” versus “she’s just a woman so she couldn’t function without this”.

    I’m emphatically *not* criticising any lifestyle just because a woman has freely given up some of her power or autonomy or freedom. That’s perfectly OK with me, not that anyone should give a fig what I think. I am, however, criticising male assumptions or assertions of female inferiority used to justify such voluntary power imbalances. What’s more, I’m speculating that one reason such guys cling to these assertions of female inferiority is that it lets them claim to be white knights, thus enabling them to deny their own kink as a motivating factor in their kinky behavior.

  18. Adele Haze’s “Spanking Model Speaks” » Grown-up Female Characters in Spanking Films commented on March 12th, 2006:

    […] I love SpankBoss of Spanking Blog. Verily, I do (and not just because he links to me). He writes: The other day I was looking at a spanking website, written by a man, and it gave me the minor flesh creepies. The topic was the enjoyment the writer got from “improving” young ladies by bringing discipline to their lives. Which is fine and all in a role-playing sense, but this guy seemed to be completely serious. (…) They were described as scatterbrained moppets who couldn’t hope to function without his firm hand, paddle, cane, riding-crop, and so forth. He, of course, derived sexual pleasure from their discipline only as a minor secondary benefit; his true joy (he said) lay in giving them the direction and loving attention they needed to get and keep their lives in order. A bleedin’ humanitarian, that’s wot ‘e is. […]

  19. Clarence commented on March 12th, 2006:

    Just want to say that I found the comments in this thread a bit more nuanced than I would have thought when I saw SpankBoss’s original post. I expected a rant about feminism and how certain males of a prehistoric disposition would do better to stay away from the lifestyle as they do nothing but demean the more legitimate practitioners and that not every male who gets off on spanking females is a MCP, etc.

    Overall, I was planning to bring up certain female superemacist websites (easy enough to find), evolutionary biology, the difference between “equalist feminism” and many of the other kinds prevalent today in both policy and the public sphere, among other things.

    I’m glad to say I don’t feel the need to do so, because the posters here (even Bonnie) have been sufficiently nuanced in their criticisms of some within the scene and have not turned this into either a male-bashing thread, nor a “my kink is better than yours” dismissal of domestic discipline relationships.

    Bravo for the posters on this thread. The intelligent discussions and wonderful links are what keep this mostly-submissive switch male coming back here on a consistent basis.

  20. Mary commented on March 13th, 2006:

    Well, on the feminist issue – maybe such men are the very reason feminists consider BDSM like that? You won’t get a real picture of the BDSM stuff that easily, and if you have guys like that around who loudly proclaim that this is the way to be, then yes, of course people might think that he speaks for all of the BDSM people – where are different voices? That is why I am happy that there are people like you who do not go for that stereotype.

    I know of a site, for example, let’s call them takenbyhand. The site consists of essays on a D/S lifestyle. Some of the essays are indeed pretty reasonable. It’s fine if a woman choses to 24/7 submit to a man, it’s her choice.
    However, the other half of the essays can be summed up with these few statements
    -women should submit to men
    -women who do not submit to men are unhappy and need to submit to men
    -men who submit to women are not men but boys not worthy to be called men

    Such sentiments are very widely spread in the BDSM community. What do you think a random feminist will think of that? Of course she will not like it much, and she will completely misunderstand.

    Maybe that helps explaining it a little. I’m a woman by the way, who is into such spanking things with other women, and as thus I am rather scared by the “Women have to be punished by THE MAN to function”.
    A woman wanting it? Hell yeah, totally fine. A guy saying all women should live like that or are better off that way? That’s bad.

    All the kinks that are consentual are fine in my opinion. Saying one’s kink is THE RIGHT WAY is not. There’s no one right way, there’s a plethora of ways. All are fine in my eyes, if everyone involved knows what they are into.

  21. Sam commented on March 13th, 2006:

    Well, I know I’m a little bit behind everyone else on posting a comment…but I think I wanted to give a “thank you” to ya, boss, too. I found this via google maybe a year ago, and by connecting, even just by reading, etc, stuff from other spankee/ers(is there an actual name for the fetish?? we should make one up!)

    Anyway, my point…I’m beginning to accept my definition of normal doesn’t fit everyone else’s, and that’s alright. I’ve stopped looking at my intense enjoyment of the thought of being spanked(hasn’t happened yet!) as a disease, and more as a gift from the gods. How boring would sex be without a little bit of kink? I’m very thankful to you and all of the blogs you’ve linked to for giving me a little bit of fun in my life.

    And this post also made me realize that its not only the submissive ones in a spanking relationship that have to come to terms with their kink. I never really thought just how hard it must be for a spanker to lay that first blow down, and how hard it must be to override protests from the one across their lap…etc.

    So thanks:D

  22. mischief girl commented on March 13th, 2006:

    I wanted to thank you for helping me, I think, sort out something I’ve been puzzling over a little while. In the beginning of my exploration of my interests I identified myself as an ageplayer. This made the most sense to me at first as an explanation for what my feelings of wanted to be dominated and disciplined. After becoming disillusioned with the whole “game”, I started to wonder if it hadn’t worked for me because I was in the wrong place.

    After reading your thoughts on spanking and feminism, and letting them brew in my mind for a few days, I feel like I’ve had a minor ephiphany. Spankers aren’t the only ones who try and fantasize and rationalize to make their kink seem “nicer”. Spankees do it too. For me, ageplay was a way of not taking responsibility for my kink. If I was six years old, I certainly couldn’t help it if a stern parental figure needed to spank me for my own good, right? Playing the role of a child allowed me to put the responsibility for the kink on someone else. Being an adult who happens to enjoy spanking is an admission I wasn’t ready to make, and for that reason, I hung out in the wrong community for several years, finding minimal fulfillment.

    I’ve reached a place where I’m ready to be honest with myself, and with others. And that means leaving behind the ageplay community (no offense meant to any ageplayers) and joining the community to which I truly belong. Sorry for hijacking your blog and making it all-about-me, SpankBoss, but I guess I just wanted to explain what I was thanking you for because it’s important to me to have figured it out. And your interesting post came at just the right time to give my stalled brain the nudge it needed.

    In gratitude,
    Lisa

  23. Mickle commented on March 14th, 2006:

    Because of what chelsea-girl said.

    Yes, I know plenty of feminists who making sweeping generalizations about everyone who plays with BSDM – ever, but for many feminists I know (including myself) the concern is that the world hasn’t changed enough for everyone to be able to make clear choices. It’s similar to the argument about SAHM’s – it’s not that we believe that such women are unhappy, or that we think we know what would make them happier than they do, and it’s certainly not because I think my mother and older sister are less mature than I am! However, the cultural assumption is still that it’s the mother that stays at home and it’s really hard to seperate out cultural expectations and personal choices. When economic and cultural cards are stacked in certain ways, it’s possible to respect individual choices and still believe that culture and society played an unhealthy role in limiting those choices. The cultural assumption is that men dominate, women submit and that men want sex, women use it for bargaining power. While I don’t assume that everyone who practices BDSM falls into this trap, I don’t think they are immune from it either.

    As I said on a feminist blog (in defense of BDSM) I think that the fact that BSDM is often about power is one of it’s greatest strengths and biggest pitfalls in terms of being “feminist.” It makes it possible to do what you have done and seperate out what you want and what society expects of you, and make your decisions more clearly. But it can also encourage the attitude that just because something feels good that it is good (somehow I don’t think rapists and pedophiles hate doing what they do) and thus discourage people from asking themselves if they or their partners are being unduly influenced by some not so good aspects of our culture. The guy you mentioned being a case in point.

  24. SpankBoss commented on March 14th, 2006:

    I passed that last comment through moderation, but it was a close call due to the rather nasty but very subtle attempt to associate BDSM with rape and pedophila by comparing their hedonics. I don’t care how smoothly it’s done, that kind of subtle linguistic smear will not go unchallenged here, and if had been much less subtle, it never would have made it out of moderation. It comes awfully close to saying “your kink is not OK” which I don’t allow in my comments.

    Nor am I much impressed with the comment’s facial claim of respecting women’s choices, followed by the admission that Mickle doesn’t really respect them because of concern that the choices are constrained by culture.

    No, it’s really not hard to separate out personal choices from cultural expectations. When someone says “This is my choice” you respect that, absolutely, or you just became part of the problem. If you retain niggling reservations, if you’re willing to question the individual’s self report of her choice, then you are failing to respect her personal choice and you are claiming, in effect, that you know better than the individual. Viewed charitably, the claim is still a version of “Your society has made it impossible for you to act as as a self-actualized individual adult human; you’re so messed up that you can’t even correctly determine or report what you want.” That’s an infantilizing, disempowering, patronizing claim and although it’s often made by folks who claim the badge of feminism, it’s no part of a true feminism that I could respect.

  25. J commented on March 17th, 2006:

    (Just to join the “party of thanks”, I too have been reading this blog for quite some time and enjoy it greatly. Also, I think SB has linked to one of my entries on the old Orgy site, so that was cool.)

    (By now, the comments are so “deep” that the right-side-bar is gone and all I can see as I type is the girl with the red ass, and it’s QUITE distracting.)

    I think one of the problems spankos face is that some of us are into spanking for its own sake. There are some people out there who may not necessarily be into the D/s dynamic, but enjoy the endorphins released with the pain of being spanked. As a top who very (very) occasionally switches, I am one of those people. When giving spankings, I enjoy more the aural sensations and the feelings my partner gets than any sort of D/s “stuff” that goes along with it.

    It’s possible to enjoy spanking (on either end) without being into D/s, I guess is what I’m saying. Receiving a spanking for its own sake — I’ve been told — can be a most pleasant activity if you’re into that sort of thing. Some people are. Some people aren’t.

    Those people into D/s who have spanking as a part of their D/s relationships understandably may not enjoy receiving said spankings when they’re used as punishment. But there’s a dynamic that goes with punishment spankings that you don’t always see with spanking-for-its-own-sake. Those of us who are into spanking or D/s know this well; tops know how to guide scenes the right way so the bottom gets into the proper headspace for the type of spanking that’s being meted out, and bottoms know to respond in the appropriate fashion.

    Having given both D/s spankings and for-its-own-sake spankings, I can say without reservation that I prefer the latter. While I am capable of being a dom, I much prefer simply being a top. For me, that’s more comfortable.

  26. Spank Winona commented on March 22nd, 2006:

    Terrific, terrific post. I agree with you on every point discussed in your post.

    Let me ask you this… have you ever came to the conclusion that maybe your spankophilic tendencies are in fact RELATED to your being a nice, decent person on the outside? That’s how I feel, at least.

  27. Annie commented on March 27th, 2006:

    Thanks for this blog. Back in the early 1980’s as I reached adulthood, I read several feminist books and was strongly influenced by them. Unfortunately I was also influenced by the story of one writer who spent the night with a man and was appalled at the light playful slap on the butt he gave her in bed. This writer ranted against the male chauvinist society that gave this man the “permission” to commit such an egregious act. She equated it with rape.

    It basically told me that any kind of spanking was abuse of masculine power and that I had a problem because I often fantasized about being spanked. So, as a strong modern feminist, I kept it a secret for many years. What else was I to think?

    Thank God for the internet! I have since come out of the closet as a spanko, both in online spanking communities and even to real life people. Some accept it, while sadly others don’t.

    While there are spanko men who act as if women are somehow inferior, I am pleased that the overwhelming majority I have “met” online are not. And I still consider myself a feminist and have learned to reconcile that need for freedom and independence with a desire to submit temporarily to spanking for pleasure.

    Spanking Blog is an excellent site.

  28. Kitten commented on March 28th, 2006:

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I am happy to report I submitted fully and have found a man who is not taking advantage of it and is keeping me beautifully in line.

  29. ErosBlog: The Sex Blog » Blog Archive » Consensual Spankings For Feminists commented on July 20th, 2006:

    […] Thus there’s some interest to be found in this Spanking and Feminism thread over at Spanking Blog. The post itself chides kinky men who won’t take ownership of their kinkiness, who can’t admit they want to spank and dominate for the fun of it, so they instead pretend (to themselves and to the world) that the women they are spanking are weak inferior creatures who would be lost without the “guidance and discipline” these ever-so-benevolent dudes are offering. […]

  30. Nick da Prof commented on September 30th, 2011:

    Herbstkönig (not -königin? That is, “Autumn-king” not “-queen?” I take the writer to be female, for reasons that will be clear from what follows) presumes to say who is a feminist and who is not on the grounds that antipathy to BDSM is of the essence of feminism. But there is a great deal of difference among feminists on this subject (as indeed on the subject of pornography; see the discussion in Gail Dines’ and Jean M. Humez’s GENDER, RACE, AND CLASS IN MEDIA [Thousand Oaks/London/New Delhi: Sage, 1995], pp. 229-236) and lesbian feminists in particular have adamantly refused to have their own erotic D/S practices marginalized as categorically unacceptable within, or even subversive of, the feminist community as a whole.

    Indeed, one should be wary of ANY essentialist statement about what is feminist and what automatically disqualifies one from having a legitimate voice. (In particular, a failure to see the usefulness of “as if” in play and fantasy has the unfortunate effect of likewise eliminating any analytical value that can come of examining dreams — which, for all that feminists have critiqued traditional Freudians for good cause does not at all invalidate a methodology that has yielded excellent results time and again in the search for more existentialist practices in clinical psychology such as Viktor Frankl’s Daseinsanalysis/logotherapy.) I grieve to say that some very intelligent feminists who should know better are not immune to the kind of essentialism that falls back on biological determinism (women are “naturally” more nurturant, more inclined to consensus rather than binary dialectic, and so forth). But one could as easily argue that because men tend to have greater upper body strength than women, and women rounder bottoms than men, it is only “natural” that men be the ones to administer the spankings and women to receive them.

    I am married to a very capable woman who at one time was a circulation director for a national magazine, supervising a multi-state territory, and she takes crap from nobody. But she knows that a sound spanking on her ample bottom can be really hot, and makes sure she gets one when she wants one. I don’t think this vitiates her feminist credentials in the least; rather, it is all of a piece with an erotic life in which she regards sexual desire and the as-if play that goes with it as altogether valid, and is not reticent about having hers satisfied, even if it means playing the naughty little girl over my lap.

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