First, I’m thrilled, just thrilled that the women of the Punishment Book think I’m cool enough to join in.
Okay, so who am I? Well, hm. On my blog, I describe myself as a happily partnered lesbian/dyke spanko. This is true. I also describe myself as a grad student and aspiring housewife. These things are also true. Of course, there’s much more to it than that.
In terms of the Punishment Book, perhaps I should start by talking about the role that discipline plays in my life and relationship. This is a complicated subject. I’ve been a spanko for probably all of my life, and for virtually all of the time we’ve been together, W. (my partner) and I have used spankings for role-play and foreplay and, you know, play.
Last fall, I finally took the plunge and began talking with W. about wanting some more real-life discipline. We discussed it, and decided to start with my work on my dissertation. I grappled with the reality of disciplinary spankings, and found that my guess was right: they work for me; they help me to feel balanced and structured, they motivate me to change my behavior.
But I also discovered some other things. First, when there is another person involved, how they feel about giving the punishments also matters. Punishment spankings are difficult for W., for a lot of reasons. So we have to keep on grappling with that balance-how to get both of our needs met, how to make sure that we’re both able to cope with what’s going on. This is definitely an ongoing process.
Second, there’s the simple fact that while they are incredibly helpful, I do not like punishment spankings. You might say, “Well, DUH!” But, you know, punishment is a fun part of role-plays, it’s fun to fantasize about. I still enjoy play punishments, quite a bit. But actual punishment? Ooof, not a fun thing to go through. This, of course, is a big piece of why punishments are effective.
Since last fall, W. and I have been working out where discipline falls in our relationship. It’s a hard thing to work out, for a lot of reasons. First, I think, is the fact that W. wasn’t into any kind of spanking before we got together. And she’s really come a long way in that-she’s gotten much more comfortable with somewhat heavier play, she’s able to see how much a spanking does to help me release tension, and she’s also seen how disciplinary spankings do seem to help me cope with my life. But it’s still hard, and she still worries about whether what we’re doing is mentally healthy. She worries about this a whole lot more than I do.
Second is the fact that neither of us is quite sure how this should fit into our relationship. For one thing, in most of our lives, I’m the one who’s in charge. Partly, this is because I’m more stubborn and more bossy. But partly, I sometimes think, it’s because W. would prefer not to be in charge. And we’re both very tentative about how far we’re willing to take this. I’ve wondered, sometimes, about moving the discipline into parts of my behavior that affect both of us, rather than just leaving it focused on my dissertation. But that’s a scary step, and it’s one I’m just a bit unsure about (and I think W. is even more unsure than I am).
Third, there’s my own struggle with the reality of letting go of some of the control in our lives. I worry about whether I’m asking too much of W., and I wonder whether I’m giving her too much responsibility in our relationship. She worries about the fact that I seem to need the discipline to keep myself at an even keel, and about what would happen if she weren’t able to give it to me. And I worry that it’s a cop-out, asking someone else to help me be accountable. (I’m not good at asking for help with anything.) Heck, even though we’re both women, there’s also that creeping worry that disciplinary spankings make me a “bad feminist.” I mostly believe that they don’t, but my brain is a big place, with room for lots of conflicting thoughts.
And then there’s the biggie. I was abused as a child. Right now, I joke that I’m in the middle of going crazy because of it. Hitting was a constant presence in the house where I grew up. So that begs the question of why, exactly, I’m into spanking as an adult, and why I want disciplinary spankings specifically.
I’ve pretty much come to peace with this. I figure that physical abuse no more determines whether or not you’re a spanko than sexual abuse determines whether or not you’re queer. I also remember that while I was into spanking as a kid, I certainly didn’t like the way they were given. I fantasized constantly about spanking, but the context was different-caring authority figures, giving punishments that were consistent, in a loving, controlled, and comprehensible way. And that, I think, is what I get from W. when she gives me a disciplinary spanking. Also, I have the bone-deep knowledge that, should I say I need the punishment to stop, for whatever reason, she would stop it, no questions asked, no recriminations given.
So, yeah. I think that’s it for this introduction, because it’s getting insanely long. If you’re interested in reading more of my processing, you can always check out my blog.