The spanking Special Interest Group at the TES meeting last night was very interesting. I hadn’t expected there to be so much discussion about childhood and the origins of why we do what we do. But, there it was. Some people said they were never spanked as children, but felt titillated and curious when they heard or saw it happening to others (this was a typical Catholic school experience for some of us in certain generations … I’m only in my 40s, but there WAS still corporal punishment in school when I attended, even, to a smaller degree, in high school). Others found themselves being disturbingly turned on when seeing it happen to a brother or sister. You’re not supposed to be having these feelings, right?
To me, when it happened to a brother or sister, I felt sorry for the person … and scared; I was always scared that I would be next. Did I finish putting the dishes away? Did I remember to sweep the bathroom floor when it was my turn to clean the bathroom?
In my own background, I had the Catholic school experience combined with a strict religious upbringing at home and a rather prone-to-violence father. I was a good girl in school and was never hit by the nuns, but that was a byproduct of my fear of them combined with my fear of my dad and … the ultimate fear of God and eternal punishment. It’s kind of fucked up to think if you have a fight with your little sister and don’t make it to confession before the proverbial bus runs you down, you’ll end up in hell … but there it is. Be good or else.
The weird thing is that a lot of stuff my dad did has morphed into some of my favorite, most exciting kinds of play. Ie, seeing a top rip off his belt and whip me with it, or having my face slapped. I haven’t told too many people this, but my dad also enforced this weird punishment where we had to kneel facing the wall, for a set amount of time … 15 minutes, half an hour … we were not allowed to talk or sit back on our heels, we had to be kneeling up. It hurt after a while, being up on your knees on a hard wood floor. I guess this was like a time-out situation; within my huge family there tended to be a lot of fighting. A lot of spankos like the “standing in the corner” ritual, which reminds me of the kneeling punishment. I know of some who will play with other toys but cannot used an implement that was used on them growing up. We are all different and take different paths. I’m guessing that my play has helped me heal by facing those old fears and becoming stronger.
My dad was a rage-a-holic; there was never any predicting when he would lash out, and you could follow what rules you knew how to follow but sometimes there was just no avoiding the repercussions. A lot of walking on eggshelves, to say the least.
My kink, I believe, has a lot to do with that upbringing. It took a long time to get over the internal guilt I carried around. My early sexual life (as an unmarried woman) generated massive guilt in me, and, as I shared last night, it wasn’t until someone spanked me during sex — ie, punished me — that I could relax and enjoy myself. The punishment, I’ve realized, has become a fetish in itself.
Over many years of work with therapists and just working on myself, I don’t believe I need to be punished anymore. But I do like the fantasy and the little fear that still arises. Fear, pain, being controlled, being made to take the spanking, are all a big package for me. Yes, I can walk up to a friend and simply say, “I could use a good belting, are you in the mood to deliver one?” and that would be fine — I’ve actually done that a lot. But the deep, emotionally satisfying, catharsis-inducing scenes tend to be a little more … rough and scary. These are the ones where I really put myself into a trusted top’s hands and let go of my own control. A power exchange, as they say.
The “father figures” and other types of doms I’ve met throughout my years in the scene have been good to me. I can’t count the number of times I’ve taken a serious thrashing to the point of screaming and begging … they know me … only to end up talking for hours afterward, cuddling, watching a movie together, etc. There may or may not be sex; that’s not the main point for me. I am OK. I am not bad. It is just something we do … my top gets as much out of it as I do on the bottom … and I am back to being his equal afterward.
That part, the aftercare, was not an experience I knew about from childhood. I shared last night about the scene in the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, “Little House in the Big Woods” (the first in the series). There’s a part where Pa straps Laura for hitting her older sister Mary. Mary, who has blonde hair, had been making fun of Laura’s brown hair. Pa punishes Laura, but afterward holds her while she’s crying. He tells her he loves her brown hair — that he has brown hair himself and that Laura’s hair is beautiful. It’s so touching. He feels he must punish her, but still needs to make sure she knows she is loved.
My aftercare growing up was … let’s pretend that never happened … you keep being “good” and you won’t get hit again. Now I get the comforting aftercare, the “love” that wasn’t expressed so much back then.
I do have to laugh because I credit my father with making me kinky. We get along reasonably well these days, but I don’t forget what it was like, and I never do talk to him about anything emotional. God forbid he ever found out how I spend a lot of my free time … jeez, if he knew, he might use the belt on me… OK, I’m not going there.