Owning Your Spanking Sadism

It will come as no surprise to long-term denizens of the erotic spanking community that some among us have trouble “owning” their spanking fetish. They are drawn to it, they like it, it’s hot, but they remain troubled by some of the implications. And a real common limit for spankers is that they don’t quite want to owning up to enjoying the infliction of pain on others. Spanking someone is fun, but surely that doesn’t make me a sadist?

In truth, yeah, I’d say it pretty much does (at least a little). Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Paul has presented a nuanced pair of paragraphs in this post that explains some of this better than I had managed to reason it out:

There’s a sort of spectrum of top/bottom dynamic, based on who the scene is ostensibly for. (The layering in kink makes “ostensibly” necessary here; consciousness and outward projection of the layering varies hugely among players.) At one end of the spectrum, where the top’s position is presented as almost entirely functionary, a scene might be “for your [the bottom’s] own good”. Here, the top assumes a role which almost explicitly denies their pleasure (“this will hurt me more than it hurts you”). Introducing a degree of agency for the top, a scene might be about “what I think will work for you”. There’s still some denial that such a scene is for the top, but the role here is more of a collaboration. The scale is tipped further towards top agency and desire when it’s about “how I want you [the bottom] to feel“. This sort of mindfuck entails a consideration of the bottom’s headspace, but the subject of the scene (“I want”) is now the top. Finally, if/when a top talks about “what I want to do to you”, they’re not just taking control of a scene; they’re presenting the scene as unequivocally for them.

This is a complicated dance, obviously, with desires spoken and unspoken, agency taken explicitly, taken implicitly, and sometimes taken by being untaken. But the willingness of a top to claim — to admit — that a scene is for them, is still a brave leap. Tops can settle into a scene dynamic which denies their agency and pleasure because the role of quasi-teacher/parent works for them, but I think there are plenty of others for whom the selfishness of the act just tastes wrong. Perhaps it reveals something about themselves that they’d rather not see, so there’s a retreat into a safer dynamic of justified discipline. It’s one thing to want to hurt someone you care about; it’s quite another to want to do it without apparent regard for their pleasure or well-being. That’s, you know, sadism.

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  1. blitzblau commented on October 31st, 2013:

    How’s this: its not sadism when the pain administered is appreciated, and is sadism when there is pleasure from administering unappreciated pain. I say “appreciate” so that those bottoms/masochists who hate the pain until the yummy feelings kick in can be included!

  2. SpankBoss commented on November 1st, 2013:

    It’s a fine suggestion, but it’s not the traditional definition of sadism.

  3. blitzblau commented on November 4th, 2013:

    When a parent disciplines a child via spanking its clear that there is pain being deliberately administered. And yet do we call such a parent a sadist? Certainly some would, but most won’t. The working definition of a sadist is one who inflicts pain on others for the purpose of personal sexual gratification. My mod is simple: “unappreciated pain”.

    Think about it. If someone asks to be hit in the arm, and I do so, no one would call me a sadist. Isn’t “asking for it” part of the dance? And a real sadist might imagine that to be the case, but the victim wouldn’t.

    So yeah, count me as one of the former “troubled” ones who has owned what it is I like even if I don’t share it publicly. Also as a long time fan of this wonderful blog!

  4. SpankBoss commented on November 4th, 2013:

    Your mod is simple. It is also a mod. ;-)

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