Sorority Spanking: A Sister’s Account

From a comment over at Aunty Agony comes this more-or-less-plausible-sounding update on the state of spanking in modern sororities:

I was a sorority member in the late 90s. Paddling doesn’t occur within national chapters as often because their organizations are monitored more closely. It happens, but it’s hidden-out-in-the-open, if you follow. Local chapters on the other hand, as I was part of, generally aren’t regulated as closely, and let me tell you, we girls did much worse hazing than some of the frats!

Paddling was standard in some orgs, as were pledges with black and blue bottoms after the intake process! Mine sure was! I’ve been spanked since, but never as hard as that. We had to take the paddle on bare skin but you’re told to wear a thong. Some of our sisters would swing so hard it lifted me up on my feet even though I was bent over the back of a couch. I cried and felt like passing out. It took weeks for my rear to heal.

It became sort of a joke after it, because whenever you’d be in the showers, you’d always know which of us pledged an org that paddled by the bruised rears! Some wouldn’t use the gym showers until their bruises cleared up. A few even quit over it. Sometimes somebody’s parents would get upset and make a big deal over it, make threatening phone calls to administration calling us “sickos,” but they knew they’d never be able to stop it because the new girls are so desperate to join they’re willing to be paddled to get in, some look forward to it. It’s hardly a secret. And as Katie – above – said, we’d have a lot of fun doing it to the new pledges.

To be honest, twice I had pledges who started crying hysterically while I paddled them. The first time it didn’t bother me because the girl was a real bitch. Two other girls had to steady her while I swung away. She was one of the few where I intentionally broke the skin so she bled a little. The other time a pledge really broke down, I wanted to stop, but my sisters indicated otherwise with instructions not to ease up on my swings. With each loud WHOP she’d go quiet for a second and then just wail! She hardly spoke to me all year even though I apologized and tried to make friends.

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  1. Phoenix commented on June 28th, 2006:

    The only thing that gets me here is when the pledge she was paddling broke down and she was coerced to continue. That really does become more like abuse than hazing. I mean, this may sound like kind of an odd statement, but one can have consensual nonconsent, but doesn’t this seem more like nonconsensual consent? If it’s to the point where the sorority sister swinging the paddle felt like it was wrong, then yes, it was probably wrong. Eh, I hope this comment doesn’t cause some type of big stir, but that part of the story hit me like a brick.

  2. SpankBoss commented on June 28th, 2006:

    “Abuse” is a fuzzy term, and I don’t propose to get into that argument here. The Spanking Blog editorial policy is to focus on consent, narrowly defined. “Nonconsensual consent” is a phrase that strikes me as nonsensical nonsense. Did she consent, or didn’t she? I’m not making judgments about whether this was right or wrong, but I don’t see any coercion in that anecdote, nor any lack of consent. According to the account quoted, these girls were where they avidly wanted to be, submitting to spankings and other rough treatment in order to gain various social benefits they strongly desired. That’s consensual spanking.

    If there were any report that she said “No” or “stop” or tried to leave and was prevented, I’d not have published the anecdote here.

  3. Phoenix commented on June 29th, 2006:

    Yes, I suppose I really do have to agree that there wasn’t coercion against the pledge being paddled. And I don’t want to get into the abuse argument here either, heh. However, what about coercion against the spanking sister? Shouldn’t a spanker be able to stop when they feel they are doing some type of real damage? I know there was an organization involved etc, but when the spanker has pressure to keep going even when they would rather stop, doesn’t that kind of screw up the dynamic? Granted, maybe I’m overthinking this.

  4. SpankBoss commented on June 29th, 2006:

    Phoenix, “pressure” is not coercion. Social pressure is very powerful, but coercion consists of force or the threat of force. You’re “coerced” if someone says “do this or I’ll hurt you”; you are not “coerced” if they merely say “do this or we won’t be your friends any more.” Of course, if they *do* say that, they aren’t very good friends.

    I should explain to everyone that I’ve had to delete two thoughtful comments from folks who didn’t understand I *meant* it when I said we would not argue the abuse question here.

  5. mikki_rosie commented on June 30th, 2006:

    i agree totally with the “coercion” vs. “pressure” thing, SpankBoss. i was a member of a social club (local sorority) at my uni, and we did things like this. i happily stood and took my dressing downs, and we had ONE odd thing. we didn’t paddle the pledges. we had “marches” where the members are in our insignia sweatshirts, black slacks, smart heels, and we march, in a line, down the sidewalk, to stand menacingly in front of the pledges.. hitting ourSELVES. that’s right. we swing those paddles in time with metered steps to hit our own thighs. it’s actually quite a scary thing to see and the freshman who don’t know what’s going on are usually like, “what the hell is THAT?” these are public on the campus, and usually draw large crowds to watch. and this isn’t a little ten foot trot either. we’re talking marching, single file, one slow step at a time, for about, oh, the length of a football field. and on each right foot step, that paddle comes crashing down, in beat with everyone else, to make a single hugely loud CRACK that can be heard all over campus.

    if you pledge, and become an active, you’re expected to march. and your’e expected to hit hard enough to make a nice loud noise. if you don’t, then you don’t march. and if you don’t march, you don’t get to be an active member. (unless, like one member, you have problems that prohibit you form marching. she had spina bifida.) there was pressure on us too, to march, to hit HARD. we were all so very proud of our marching bruises!

    that said, i dropped out of another club because i didn’t want to do the menial servitude they required of THIER pledges. it’s all a matter of what you want to do to be part of a group, and whether it’s worth it to you. i did it for the first, and it was some emotional hell, let me tell you, but it was worth it to me. for the second, the payoff wasn’t good enough in my mind, so i quit.

    and no one EVER gave me a single word of shit about it. not one.

    sometimes, we used to joke that we’d WISH our sisters would just paddle us instead of the hardcore mental pledged we endured! it would have been a hell of a lot easier!

  6. Phoenix commented on June 30th, 2006:

    SpankBoss, you make a very good point in your definition of coercion, methinks mine was too broad. Thank you for the responses.
    mikki_rosie: I had never heard of something like that, where the sisters paddle themselves in front of the pledges, and I have to say I’m really intrigued. Could you tell us how that started? Seems like it might be an interesting story =)

  7. Lilly Lee commented on June 30th, 2006:

    I won’t comment on the abuse issue, but I will say that I think there’s a huge difference between consent and *informed* consent. I think this story illustrates the importance of really knowing what you’re getting into, and being okay with it. This applies to sorority pledging, spanking partners, and any other voluntary power-exchange situation.

  8. SpankBoss commented on July 1st, 2006:

    Lilly, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the importance of informed consent in relationships or situations — just not, perhaps, as a precondition of me posting about something. The thing is, I am responding in the context of being a blogger who gets harshly criticized any time I post something that other people don’t find “appropriate”. And I’ve got a real chip on my shoulder about folks who think it’s OK to put pejorative labels (like “abuse”, to name just one) on activities they don’t approve of, or in cases where they don’t understand why someone consented.

    The upshot, for me, is an editorial policy that uses consent as an important criterion to determine what to post about. If a spanking anecdote clearly involves a truly unwelcome real world spanking, I generally won’t post about it. (You’ll find exceptions in the archives, but not too many.)

    That said, the human condition, including sexuality, is rife with foolish people and foolish situations, many of them quite erotic. Although I’m all in favor of informed consent as an ingredient of any relationship or activity, there are a great many erotic situations where there’s real or even enthusiastic consent, but it’s obviously not very well informed. If it’s a good story (or, as here, an interesting account of a subculture that’s not widely talked about because of social pressure to remain silent) I don’t let the fact that consent is not well informed stop me from posting about it.

    And finally, I have to confess that for a third party to look at someone’s submission (to anything) and question not the consent, but whether it was sufficiently informed: I *DO* tend to have a problem with that. It’s really not OK with me when adults say of other adults (and college girls are adults, if only barely) “I don’t think you had the knowledge/wisdom/ability to make your own decisions.” And that’s what we’re saying any time we question whether another adult’s consent was sufficiently informed.

  9. Lilly Lee commented on July 1st, 2006:

    SpankBoss, I understand where you are coming from, and want to clarify that I was not attempting to determine whether or not the girls’ consent met my criteria of fully informed, or judge whether or not they were capable of deciding this for themselves. This particular issue is something you have shared your thoughts on many times in the past, and I am fully in agreement with you.

    I was just making a general observation that I was struck with when reading the piece.

  10. Lilly Lee commented on July 1st, 2006:

    ***just not, perhaps, as a precondition of me posting about something***

    I have no issue with your decision to post what you wish to on your blog. :-) I happen to enjoy reading this blog very much. And if I didn’t enjoy a particular piece, I could choose to skip over it and read on. You are certainly not obligated to post to the preferences of anyone but yourself.

  11. Katie commented on July 4th, 2006:

    Couldn’t a pledge stop a spanking by simply saying “stop” or were they held down? I know stopping a paddling would mean they wouldn’t get in but that would be their choice.

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