Nowhere to go

I am only recently starting to get back my spanking mojo after an extended hiatus for pregnancy- and postpartum-related issues.  Physically I was unable to bend over or absorb heavy blows when my belly got big enough, and then healing from my c-section meant that I was restricted for similar reasons.  And emotionally/hormonally, I just wasn't there.  Spanking didn't fire me up, intrigue me, or even really occur to me.  Every once in a while I would think about it, but more in a passing sense.  For a while I was ok with this break: I was exhausted, we had company, and the duties of motherhood and work were far more pressing. 

After several months, though, I began to long for that part of myself.  I missed the fire, the sparkle, the desire.  I wanted to feel like me again.  Still, nothing.  I worried that motherhood had completely changed me, had replaced those fiery, sassy, desiring parts with nurturing, responsible, mechanical parts.

Then I had to take a two-day trip for work and I arranged to stay with some scene friends who live near the conference site.  I got to enjoy a beautiful hour-long spanking that was heavy but didn't push my limits in any uncomfortable ways.  It was perfect.  It reassured me that I could still take a spanking–it reassured me that I still wanted to be spanked.  It gave me a glimpse that I might still be me.

A big part of being me, however, is the punishment part.  I am someone who needs to have limits, who wants to be disciplined, who must have a reason to be spanked.  It has always frustrated me when I ask, "Why am I getting spanked?" and someone responds, "Because you need it," or just "Because."  I've always known that I prefer to have an actual event or behavior that precipitates a spanking (though I can play for fun, it takes a conscious effort for me to put myself in the right frame of mind), but I thought it was because I wanted it to be logical, reasonable, contextual.

I don't misbehave (much) these days, though.  I don't have the energy for it and frankly, M doesn't have the energy to punish me for it even when I stick a toenail across the line.  We're both tired and I don't want to do something egregious in order to manipulate him into spanking me.

But I still want to be spanked.  Which means that I can have spankings that are intense, but have no "reason" behind them.  Having experienced a couple of them in the last two months, and finding them strangely lacking, I've given this a bit of thought.  I first thought that perhaps my tolerance had dropped after the months-long moratorium on any play whatsoever.  And it probably has.

But I've decided that the biggest factor is my brain.  When I'm getting spanked, my brain needs a place to go.  I can't shut it off: I need to engage it in some way.  And punishment gives my brain something to experience while my body experiences the pain.  A mental pillow to clutch.  A way to make sense of the spanking.  A way to transform the suffering into something useful (relaxation, release of emotions or stress, relinquishment of control). 

When I'm being spanked hard for no reason, I can sometimes transcend the experience in a similar way, though the conditions are a little different.  For those spankings I have to be eased into the intensity: start light, push the limits ever so slightly, back off, push again, back off, and I can eventually get to a place where I'm flying.  The effect is then similar to the effects of a punishment, but it takes longer to get there.  When it's punishment, when I don't have a choice (or when the agreement is that I've given up my choice), the intensity can start higher sooner because my brain has something to keep it occupied.  But when intensity goes up without a reason and my brain is clutching around madly for a handhold (brainhold?), I can't cope as well and the effects aren't the same.

Which means, I guess, that I need spanking to engage all of me–I can't separate from my body and leave my brain with nowhere to go.

14 thoughts on “Nowhere to go

  1. Mija

    That’s interesting. I think for me I can take less when I’m being punished, it gets so deep inside so fast. ::thinking:: unless I’m overwhelmed by guilt but that happens o so rarely.
    My favorite thing to be told when someone’s hurting me is that they’re doing it because they want to. That speaks to something deep inside me that wants someone to want to make me suffer.
    Um, in a good way, of course.

    Reply
  2. iris_731

    bandree, thank you. 🙂
    Mija, that’s very interesting! I just love how twisted our minds are, that we can be so in tune with something but for completely opposite reasons. The I-want-to-hurt-you motive doesn’t usually work for me; I tend to prefer the I’m-doing-this-for-your-own-good position. (Not the this-hurts-me-more-than-it-hurts-you stance, but the you’ve-earned-this-and-are-going-to-get-what-you-deserve attitude.)

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  3. sparkle

    🙂
    While I’m personally in the because-I-want-to-hurt-you mindset as the one that pushes my buttons more than any other, I understand and appreciate the ‘for-your-own-good’ stance. I have moods when it works perfectly as a place to escape. (When it doesn’t work, I’m usually thinking “Bosh, it’s for YOUR good, blast it!”)
    The thing about “for-your-own-good” is that it has to be real. The made-up reasons (because-you’re-wearing-orange-socks) doesn’t work AT ALL. I mean, that dumps me right back into the because-I-want-to reason. And then I’d argue.
    I suppose that’s exactly what you said!
    Anyway this is speculative since you aren’t free to get a spanking whenever you stick out your tongue now, but perhaps it’s time for you and M to start keeping a running list on the inside of the closet door. Doesn’t need to be elaborate, just big black Xs, one for each impertinence. So, when he has the opportunity, he has the reason. (You can always add extra Xs, you know.)
    Hugs,
    s

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  4. sparkle

    To clarify… ‘because-I-want-to-hurt-you’ is hot. ‘For-your-own-good’ needs a context, and can be hot / arousing. But ‘because-you-did-XXX-and-I-don’t-want-you-to-do-that-ever-again’ is serious business and actually makes me think. But then, I can’t think while getting spanked hard, so maybe that’s why I can’t handle hard punishment spankings.

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  5. iris_731

    OK, I can agree that because-I want-to-hurt-you is hot–with part of my brain. But while I’m being spanked hard my brain is not usually engaged so very much. Perhaps what I need is the set-up. I need something for my brain to hold onto, whether that’s a reason, an emotion, or a “this gives me pleasure so you will endure it.” It’s the casualness of the reply, “Because you earned it,” or “because you deserve it” that gets to me. My brain wants to argue with that and then I can’t relax into the spanking.
    As for the Xs on the closet door list, that’s probably a good idea. And I love you even more than I already did because you didn’t put an apostrophe between the “X” and the “s”. Thank you.

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  6. dykegrrl

    Thanks for this post. I’m thinking about that “because you need it” aspect of spankings (or punishment in general). I do *not* do well with getting a spanking when the sole stated purpose is something like “This is to make you feel better.” And, perhaps because of W being who she is, the “I’m giving you this spanking because I can” justification doesn’t work well, because she isn’t convincing with it, or because it pushes all the wrong buttons for me.
    But there have been a few times when W could say, “You’re getting this spanking, even though you haven’t technically broken any rules, because your behavior shows that you *need* one.”
    I like the idea of a punishment being something like a pillow for your mind to hold onto. It gets closer to what’s not working for me when a spanking doesn’t work.
    I’ve been thinking for a while about how, for me, discipline is actually meeting something other than a sexual need for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love spanking-as-kink, and it’s where my hottest fantasies go. But I can live without it, if necessary.
    When I go too long without discipline, it’s as though I start to unravel, or tangle up, or just get to a point where I’m really not coping well. It’s not much about my behavior, aside from the degree to which I get cranky and controlling when I’m stressed out from a lack of discipline. Honestly, when I’m desperately in need of discipline, I’m far *more* likely to be following all of my rules.
    I’m still trying to figure out what it *is* about discipline that I need, and your comment about needing something for your mind to hang onto helped.

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  7. iris_731

    DG, I’m glad this was useful to you too. The process of writing this post was actually useful to me in terms of articulating something I’ve felt for a long time and have never quite had the words to express.
    For me, spanking and kink and sex are intertwined in a different way, though not completely different. If I had to pick either spanking or sex (only one) for the rest of my life, I would probably pick spanking. But it would be sorely missing a dimension that sex/sexuality/sexual overtones/whatever bring to it. Still, at my core, I think that’s more important. And even with all that, I find that my interest in spanking fluctuates with my mood and hormones, similarly to my interest in sex, though not exactly.
    Hmmm, I smell another post coming… 😉

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  8. Angie

    I found this really interesting — both the post and the ensuing conversation. Like Mija (sometimes I think she and I were separated at birth), spanking for punishment is MUCH harder for me to get “on top” of. Even if there’s a warm-up (and I don’t really get those if it’s for punishment) the actual spanking-as-punishment part – while wanted, needed and fantasized about – always hurts way more than any other spanking. I can’t make my mind focus on anything but the pain — and the fact that I brought it on myself with my dismal behavior.
    Spanking as a prelude to sex, or just because we like it, or because he’s decided that I need it … those types REALLY turn me on. They push my buttons in all the right ways, even when they hurt, and I find them incredibly hot. The first time M (my M … that may get confusing! LOL) ever spanked me, it was not for punishment at all. And I hadn’t been spanked in months. He used nothing but his hand, and I was *severly* bruised. For days. But there was never a point where I thought, “Oh, we should stop — this just hurts too much” or “I can’t get on top of this; it’s just painful and WHY is it happening?” I think I was thinking more like, “Mmmmmmmm, oh man, that’s awesome, yes, right there, oh my God, you are amazing …” over and over. 😉

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  9. iris_731

    This does seem tricky for me to tease out. Because there are times when really intense, hard spankings for no specific reason can be hot for me too. Perhaps it’s more about the frame or the set-up. If my brain knows “This is for punishment because of xxx” or “This is to turn you on” or “This is for you to submit to me,” then it has a pillow to hold onto and can let my body absorb the pain and transform it. But if the frame is too flimsy, my natural rebellion/brat/contrariness will act up and say, “This doesn’t make sense,” “It’s not fair,” “There’s no good reason,” and then I can’t get on the other side of the pain.

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  10. Angel

    Hi everyone. I just discovered this blog the other day, and this entry really has me thinking.
    I guess I’ve always thought I was a masochist, a bottom, a submissive; but this post (and the ensuing comments) has me rejecting what those have meant to me in the past. The comments about because-I-can or because-I-want-to spankings being hot caused me to realize that that is NOT hot for me. It pushes no buttons. I guess in the right context, blah blah blah, it could be good, but it’s not a keystone for my kink.
    But *punishment* definitely IS. From my unrealistic fantasies to the everyday playing I wish I was doing and on to the DD I think I need, misbehavior-punishment-forgiveness-healing is a powerful draw for me. Sexually, emotionally, and physically (love those bruises, and watching them heal).
    I find that, unlike Mija, it doesn’t so much matter what the reason given is, depending on the context; because-you’re-wearing-orange-socks could be quite fun in a roleplaying context, but getting a “real” punishment, complete with angry/disappointed words, for it would definitely NOT be fun, or hot, or cathartic, or anything other than upsetting.
    So after all this rambling (and Hi everybody, nice to meet you!), I want to thank you, Iris, for helping me to define myself a little better.

    Reply
  11. Earthy

    My dh and I are just in the very beginning stages of DD. It was my idea,
    and we can already see the positive effect it is having on our marriage.
    We have been married for five years, and I am pregnant with our fourth child.
    I have made a list of things I wish to be punished for, but I am not sure my dh
    knows how serious I am about wanting/needing the punishment. I think he sees it
    as fun, and a prelude to sex. I do like that, too, but I want him to take the punishments
    seriously.
    I have been reading and learning about submitting, and this is a very new idea for me- but I
    feel it is just what I have been missing.
    Any suggestions?

    Reply

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