Someone (who can identify herself if she so desires) I met at Shadow Lane sent me a questionnaire to fill out. Although this wasn’t completely about punishment, I thought it might be interesting to post it here. So here are the questions and my answers. Pablo also answered the questions and his answers are on his blog. I found it interesting that we had quite a bit of overlap without having talked to each other about this.
Then again, maybe it isn’t too surprising.
Explanation: In this paper, I’m looking at sexuality as
identity—specifically in the BDSM and spanking communities. Identity
is different than action: a man who had sex with another man once does
not necessarily identify as gay. I want to tease out what that looks
like in the scene in terms of actions versus identity. I’m also
interested in theological and spiritual issues that come up in the
What name would you like used in the paper?
Mija is fine. You’re also welcome to use Annie or Annemarie.
1a.) How do you identify in the scene (e.g., top, bottom, switch, Dom(-me), slave, Master, Mistress, slave, etc) and why?
I’m a bottom with some submissive and occasional bratty and sadistic
tendencies. But I really tend to have a hard time with most of the
BDSM labels. That may be my problem with being labeled in general.
How does BDSM/spanking fit with your sexuality? (i.e., Is it the same as your sexuality or different? What’s the difference?)
Spanking / BDSM is my sexuality. I don’t think there’s much else –
everything I’m into can fall under the larger heading of submission or
discipline. Discipline and punishment is definitely where my sexual
How does BDSM/spanking fit with your sexual orientation? (i.e., Is it the same or different? What’s the difference?)
BDSM is definitely my orientation. Apart from that, to the extent
there even is an apart, I’ve always been attracted to both men and
women. I’m not sure if the ratio is 50/50 or not, but it’s very close.
I’ve done scenes with both men and women. While my enjoyment of being
physically overpowered tends to mean that I like playing with men more
than women, I’ve had some great scenes with female tops (and in some
ways more traditionally sexual scenes). I think my sexual orientation
is to bottom – that the right person for me can be either male or
Where does sex (intercourse) fit into this for you?
It doesn’t. I could happily live without ever having it again. My
partner brings me to climax sometimes and that’s wonderful, but it’s
always all about spanking (or some other sort of punishment scene) in
my head. Spanking can happily exist without sex for me. But there’s
no sexual arousal for me without at least the fantasy of spanking.
I have had conventional sex, but it’s never been very good for me –
just something to sort of put up with when I had to. I can imagine
having sex after a good scene with my partner, but I’m not sure there’d
be any point other than it stemming from a desire to please him.
Giving oral sex isn’t especially fun for me. Receiving it is something
that I find kind of boring and unpleasant. Actually, that’s sort of
how I tend to think of vanilla sex in general.
How does BDSM/spanking fit with your identity? (i.e., Does it fit
with who you are all the time, some of the time, or does it depend?)
It’s pretty much who I am all the time. I’m not a pro-sub and I
don’t feel submissive in my job, obviously, but I tend to be thinking
about spanking on some level the way that I understand other people are
thinking about sex on some level pretty much all the time.
I’m not embarrassed about who I am or what I do, but I do find that I
don’t talk about it very much with people outside the scene. It feels
like my private life and a bit uncomfortable to share with strangers.
My vanilla friends tend to know, but it isn’t something discussed very
often. Then again, neither are their intimate lives.
How long have you considered BDSM/spanking to be a part of yourself or your life?
I’ve been active in the scene (on-line at least) since my late 20s
(about 9 years). But it’s always been at the center of my fantasy
life. I just didn’t know it would even be possible to find someone
else. The internet was a total revelation to me.
How does pain fit into the picture for you? (e.g., Is it the focus,
a main goal, an unwanted by product, not a part of the experience, or
I’m not someone who gets pleasure out of pain in the sense of
conventional (to the degree I understand it) masochism. Everything
about this actually hurts me, sometimes to the point where I feel a bit
ill or faint. But it has to really hurt otherwise it doesn’t feel real
or right. Someone said it was about “suffering” for them and that rang
true for me as well. I like scenes to be as much like “real”
punishments as possible – no gentle warm-ups, no erotic stroking.
What do you do with pain? (e.g., Do you channel it, ignore it, fight it, surf it, bypass it, or something else?)
What I do with the pain is experience and embrace it. And then I
remember it. Generally with a lot of pleasure because of how much it
hurt and how it didn’t stop even when I wanted it to.
What are your thoughts on the relationship between BDSM/spanking and
spirituality/religion? (i.e., What have you or people you know
experienced in this area and what do you think about it?)
There’s some religious elements in my fantasies. I’m Catholic so
there’s a connection for me between school scenes and my religious
tradition. Also the idea of repenting, confessing, doing penance and
then being forgiven is definitely part of my fantasy life. I suppose
it’s even there in the elements of ritual I’m so found of.
But for me BDSM and spanking are less about something spiritual then
the profoundly human connections that can be made by sharing these
intimate and painful moments.