I’m never happy to see popular press articles about consenting spankings between adults, because most of these reporters seem congenitally unable to understand that what consenting adults agree to do cannot be “domestic abuse”. The big Daily Beast story on Christian Domestic Discipline is no exception, but (aside from reporting an ignorant “it’s sick and abusive” opinion from someone who runs a shelter for abused women but isn’t reported to have ever encountered a spanked woman there) the story is fairly balanced. It even gets to the skepticism that I myself have always harbored about the Christian flavor of domestic discipline; I’ve always felt that DD couples who deny a sexual element to the practice are being less than completely truthful, perhaps even with themselves:
What seems to be the most obvious explanation for CDD, one acknowledged by some domestic discipline advocates not tied to the Christian church, is that the practice is a means to justify the fulfillment of a sexual fetish. On a CDD blog, “Sue” writes, “Boy do I wish more of the women in DD would admit to this. It’s a sexual fetish. There’s nothing wrong with it, but they try to make it so much more than it is.”
But the moral constraints of the church make it difficult for couples to be honest about the sexual nature of their desire, says Paul Byerly, who with his wife runs The Marriage Bed, a site dedicated to sexuality and religion. Byerly, who calls CDD a “distortion of what God intended,” believes that “women, particularly in the Christian church tend to be sexually repressed.” Domestic discipline, he explains, could be “a way around that” — a chance to explore sexual desires while still nominally acting in the name of Jesus.
Still, CDDers themselves reject this pain-for-pleasure explanation. “The pure CDD people don’t go there,” says Vera, who is both in a domestic discipline relationship as well as into sex play. “A lot of folks think of Fifty Shades of Grey — but this is not that,” she says.