Wrestling with punishment spankings

While none of us have used a post to specifically link to something else, I read one of the most articulate discussions of punishment spankings within an adult disciplinary relationship that I’ve ever read over at Patty’s blog, A Creative Spanked Wife and thought that it was quite pertinent to our discussions here. What I love about Patty is that she talks about DD as it really is, with all the complex aspects that intertwine when two human beings are trying to define their relationship. This particular post of hers specifically addresses what happens — or should happen — when two healthy adults decide to enter into this kind of relationship. That there comes a point where you let go of fantasy and deal with the utter reality of real life.

While none of us have used a post to specifically link to something else, I read one of the most articulate discussions of punishment spankings within an adult disciplinary relationship that I’ve ever read over at Patty’s blog, A Creative Spanked Wife and thought that it was quite pertinent to our discussions here. What I love about Patty is that she talks about DD as it really is, with all the complex aspects that intertwine when two human beings are trying to define their relationship. This particular post of hers specifically addresses what happens — or should happen — when two healthy adults decide to enter into this kind of relationship. That there comes a point where you let go of fantasy and deal with the utter reality of real life.

"The fact of my real life though, is that my husband is not my parent and I am not his child. I have learned the lessons I need to learn and it is not my husband’s role to “teach me a lesson” or “make me behave.” In my opinion, stripping both of these, the legacy of the social meaning of spanking and its initial childish sexual framework from the adult spanking partnership is a significant challenge. I strongly believe that it is essential if there is going to be a healthy power exchange and discipline construct in the relationship. In sexual role play “age play” may be very satisfying for many, but in an adult partnership where there is real discipline, age play is probably not healthy and can’t help but create an exploitive and abusive power exchange. Both women and men have difficulty grasping the nuances that differentiate adult from juvenile punishment spanking. For Fred and I, it’s in the goal of the exercise and the relative accountability and roles of the parent & child versus those of the husband and wife. Teaching and molding proper behavior are laudable aims for parents who apply discipline for their misbehaving children, but mighty presumptuous of a husband who himself has yet to master his own shortcomings and bad habits. I could go into a long winded discourse on ‘transactional analysis,’ but really I believe most of us have an instinctive understanding of the differences in communication dynamics that occur between parent and child and husband and wife. There is nurturing, teaching and role modeling involved in both and there is annoyance, frustration and applying consequences involved in both as well; but the rules of engagement are different. Treating his wife the way he would treat a child is a slippery slope that is very hard to climb back up from. Most men feel ill equipped to parent their wives, and quite a few feel resentful when they are put in that position… not to mention insecure. Children are needy and for the most part, not good partners when it comes to facing stressors and shouldering adult responsibilities, especially not adults who have regressed into the role of child.
"

Now, I know in my own realtionship with my partner, I can’t say that there isn’t an element of "age play" that occurs during punishment. Though, play is not really the right word as there is nothing pretend or fun about it. But there is a certain nurturing quality to it that would probably be associated with caring for a child that reflects a child-like part of me. Where I’ve found myself struggling in explaining to myself as an intelligent, compentent adult what I want in a disciplinary relationship is how much of that nurturing is healthy, both for me and my partner. I suspect the answer is whatever works for us.

"…the discipline scenario is not about fixing me, teaching me to be a better person or correcting me for being bad, it’s about using the catharsis of spanking to clean up stress."

I think this is probably the way spanking works on a punishment level for me. It cleans up the stress of having failed in some way. Yet, Patty suggests that reflects a very beginners approach.

"Most couples start out using peripheral things and making rules around them that are just not important to either of them, for us these are things like housework, and laundry…In the true sense of the word, though, these early ‘rules’ were ‘made’ to be broken. They’re spanking rules after all, and getting and giving spankings is part of the way couples develop DD. It’s hard to start out on the hard stuff though, so the fluff does serve for a while. Using them helps couples get the mechanics down, and talk over and work out what feels right and wrong with the nuts and bolts. From here tentative steps will be taken into the ‘real’ issues, and all the stuff listed and discussed up there."

Now, I’m not entirely sure that the rules that my partner and I set up are "just not important" or "fluff." They are usually things we both agree are valuable for one reason or another. However, I can’t help but acknowledge that they do end up inevitably being broken at some point and so perhaps on some level they are set up to be broken. Because we’ve gone to the trouble of making a "rule" and setting up some correlating punishment, whatever should or should not be happening does increase or decrease however the case may be. But it doesn’t ever completely end and so punishment ultimately occurs because of the rule being there. I think this is where I would go back to her comment about spanking cleaning up the stress. That the rule is going to get broken at some point and spanking is simply a way of cleaning up the stress that breaking it causes.

It’s a lengthy essay, but I encourage you to read it. I’m still wrestling with a lot of it, but as Patty’s been doing this for awhile, I think it deserves a bit of wrestling with.

6 thoughts on “Wrestling with punishment spankings

  1. patty

    Hi Natty:
    😉 I’m glad you found somethings in my rambling that were of value for you. Even if only to trigger thought.
    Can I just make one note here though… you quote & then note”…the discipline scenario is not about fixing me, teaching me to be a better person or correcting me for being bad, it’s about using the catharsis of spanking to clean up stress.”
    I think this is probably the way spanking works on a punishment level for me. It cleans up the stress of having failed in some way. Yet, Patty suggests that reflects a very beginners approach.
    Actually that is very far from the beginners approach. It is the place we have come to after 27 years of doing this. Punishment spanking is not about fixing me. I’m not broken. It’s about doing something mutual, connected and meaningful to tidy up the mess.
    I won’t say it’s true for everyone, but I have observed that a lot of couples starting out make rules. Then go on after a while of being frustrated with him ignoring them being inconsistent about them, and her not really feeling invested in them, to tossing them. Not every rule is silly, but some are more a ‘construct’ to get started and ultimately don’t really matter to either.
    dunno if that makes sense.. 😉 glad you like the essay. TY!
    p.s. I edited a couple of chunks for disjointed thoughts and dangling ideas… the age play part was one of them… maybe it is clearer what I meant there now, maybe not… it reflects my personal perceptions though & is certainly not intended to be a pronouncment of what is or otta be true for others.

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  2. Natty

    “Actually that is very far from the beginners approach”
    Ah, okay, yes you do make a great deal of sense there and I understand now what you’re saying a bit better.
    I think what I really appreciated about your essay was that distinction you make about an adult disciplinary relationship being different that that of a parent-child one. I think the hardest thing about trying to articulate (when and if I’m ever brave enough to do so) my spanking kink to my non-spanko friends/family is that disciplinary aspect. I feel fairly comfortable saying that I like kinky sex with spanking. People might think I’m odd, but spanking as a form of sexual expression is fairly well accepted in popular culture (omg did you see “Will and Grace” on Thursday?!). But, it being a form of punishment is much more difficult for me to explain without it sounding like some sort of parent-child relationship. It’s not. We are both adults in how we approach this. Both fallible, imperfect people. Indeed, my partner often has the same problem I have with getting things done. However, spanking doesn’t work as a form of motivation for him. It does for me. So, I get spanked and he doesn’t.
    “…it reflects my personal perceptions though & is certainly not intended to be a pronouncment of what is or otta be true for others.”
    {smile} This is another thing I love about you. While the way DD manifests itself for you and Fred may be different than it is for me and my partner, you always recognize that generalizations are slippery, even if helpful at times. 🙂

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  3. Ana Maria

    Natty & Patty,
    I’m a 44yo paradoxical feminist who has just discovered both of your blogsites and appreciates them very much. S. and I have been married and spanking 8 years, and have been moving into a DD relationship for one. I tried and failed to find Patty’s essay on punishment that Natty is referencing here. I would very much like to read it — could you help please?
    Thanks,
    Ana Maria

    Reply
  4. John

    I don’t know if it’s the essay that I read, but I remember reading an essay on that site, and it included a bit about spanking as a ritual to close things off, to put an end to them.
    Now, a lot of people downplay ritual, but it can be extremely useful… it focuses emotional energy, and gives a sense of meaning that might otherwise be absent.
    One thing I also might be remembering from that essay was a notion of needing it most when wanting it least… which is, as far as I’m concerned, spot-on as an indicator that there is emotional energy being used in this kind of ritual.
    Now, “emotional energy” sounds like something fluffy and new age, but honestly, it’s just a metaphor. If you start to get angry, you can feel something building up. Is it energy, like heat? Of course not! But if you learn to just let the anger go, you do feel like you’re cooling down (losing heat…), and feel a little less like a coiled spring (losing mechanical energy), and so on. By *thinking* of it as energy, you can describe emotional states a little bit better. You see?
    Because we imbue rituals with meaning by making them meaningful in our own minds, they end up meaning whatever we need them to mean.
    This means that punishment spankings can mean whatever you want and need them to mean. Just make sure that you try to make them mean what you truly want.
    (This can be a bit of a challenge, because sometimes what you want is something you *don’t* want. You might want to be spanked with the really-scary-strap, even though you’ll hate the spanking, and really don’t want it. On the flip side, you might really hate a spanking with a hairbrush, *and*, it might not symbolize punishment to you, and thus ruin the ritual, even though it was painful and punishing, and made you want to not earn another hairbrushing.)
    Herm. I think I had a point to this, but I’m not sure I found it yet.

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  5. Jenna

    I was in foster care and didn’t get spanked. Now i’m in college and i wish my foster mom would spank me, but I’m pretty sure she won’t. I don’t have a boyfriend either. Is it possible for me to incorporate spanking into my life? I feel like I’m totally obsessed with getting spanked and I don’t know what to do about it. Also, I feel really awkward about wanting to be spanked. Any advice?

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  6. Steve

    I think this is probably the way spanking works on a punishment level for me. It cleans up the stress of having failed in some way. Yet, Patty suggests that reflects a very beginners approach.

    Reply

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