When I first explained my punishment kink to my godfather (I have an, um, unique relationship with my godfather as I explain in this post), the first words out his lips were, "what a convenient kink!"
As this article in the New Yorker demonstrates, people do all sorts of stuff to help with their procrastination issues. It reminded me that it is a rare person indeed who needs no assistance with self-discipline.
We, of course, include hairbrushes and canes, in addition to software, to limit our time on Facebook.
Crashing has a way of putting me in a very Natty mood. And last Wednesday, after a long Mother's Day, a longer ME/CFS Awareness Day, and a trip to the acupuncturist, I crashed. Every noise became too loud. Every light too bright. Television was painful. My cells felt like they were shaking as their vitality drained into oblivion.
All my haughtiness and dominance of the day before melted into dependency and submission. I wanted to be taken care of. Petted. Told what to do, especially as I was too exhausted to figure it out for myself.
Last week (at least it was last week when I started this post) I read Jessica Wakeman's piece over at The Frisky about her first D/s relationship and was going to write about the similarities/differences with my own first spanking relationship. Except that within the essay was a link (that didn't work but I found eventually) to Amanda Marcotte's post at Pandagon about that article Jessica wrote for Bitch Magazine regarding domestic discipline two years ago featuring, among others, yours truly and my dear friends, Mija and Pablo (see this post for my thoughts on that article). Needless to say it rather distracted me from the post I intended to write.
I'm not sure how I missed Marcotte's post as I was reading Pandagon fairly regularly at the time (and would be now if I was awake more), but it was probably a good thing I did miss it as most likely I would have taken it quite personally ("these people are fucked the fuck up")*. Instead I shrugged off it and its comments as sort of like watching and listening to random people in a bar discuss an event they saw on TV in which you actually played an intimate part. Plus the idea of A. (or Pablo) as an ideologically-motivated pater familias or a misogynistic wife beater made me laugh.
At least, initially I shrugged it off. But…it kept bugging me. As it's been two years since her post, it seemed just a bit late to write a post in response. However the more I continued to think about it, the more I began to feel that a post addressing why domestic discipline is not domestic violence had a great deal of merit.
A. finds the darnedest things while websurfing
. Like this list of rules from a nineteenth-century American school — along with the number of lashes delivered should the rule be broken — in a manifesto
about what’s wrong with public education. “We’re going to play a game,” he said when he first told me about the table below. “You’ll have to memorize each of the rules and number of lashes. And if you get the number of lashes wrong, you will, of course, receive that number of lashes.”
He’s not kidding either. Once he gets here next week, he’s planning a session with these rules, a cane, and me in my school uniform. I can’t wait.
Except I don’t know which will part of me will win out — the Lisa Simpson in me or my spankophilia. Indeed that’s always my problem when playing a schoolgirl: I can never decide if I want the “A” more or the spanking. However A. assured me this afternoon that there are always plenty of spankings for being a smarty-pants.
I wonder how many lashes Wm A. Chaffin would ascribe to that misdemeanor?
Rules of the Stokes County School, November 10, 1848
Wm A. Chaffin, Master (click on the table to see it in full)
I think the biggest shocker in this list was the penalty for playing cards. I mean, why the hell is playing cards worse than betting in any other form?
(Cross-posted at Natty’s Spanking Blog)
I'm always sleepy when it's over.Endorphines flood muscles relaxing after tensing through blow after blow. I cuddle with my pillow imagining that it's his chest.
It was just another punishment. And for my customary offense: not going to bed on time. But the circumstances were somewhat ambivalent. I had substantially reduced my melatonin intake Friday night after a weary week under its somnific spell and didn't fall asleep until 6am. When it came time to go to bed on Saturday night upon the conclusion of Saturday Night Live, I didn't really see much point in getting there in a timely fashion. That I got confused about
Daylight Savings Time and mistakenly thought I had an extra hour to spare is quite beside
the point. I slid beneath the sheets well after 2am but didn't fall asleep until after
3…er, 4am. And since I didn't wake up until after 3pm on Sunday afternoon, it seemed silly
to go to bed at 11:30, especially as I didn't even eat dinner until 10:45.
It haunts every stroke, every word of a scolding, every moment anticipating a punishment. Years of being afraid and worse. Sometimes it seems so long ago, I start to wonder if it was really me all that stuff happened to. Sometimes the memories are still hot and raw, so much so that a year or two ago when I tried to write this post, I had to walk away lest it break the pieces I've spent years gluing back together.
While there hasn't been a lot of research on those who engage in What It Is We Do, research regarding BDSM in general suggests that child abuse is not the reason practitioners have the sexual orientation they do, even if those outside our community may think otherwise. In my own case, I started fantasizing about being spanked years before the abuse started and I am convinced that I'm a spanko despite the abuse.
Well, one of us had to break the silence, and I thought I'd do it with a short little disciplinary vignette.
It was very late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, and I was reading through my email.
"Time for bed." A. sat next to me on the bed with his tray of tobacco and cigarette papers.
"I know." I nodded and continued reading my email.
Some of you might remember back to this spring when Bitch magazine had an article about domestic discipline that featured Mija and I. And that I, at least (I haven’t talked with Mija so I can’t speak for her), complained a bit that the article genderized the practice too much. That it considered a woman disciplining a man as merely "theoretical" when I knew that it was very much practiced (as is DD among lesbian couples).
About a month or so ago I was interviewed again about domestic discipline, and when I asked my interviewer if she was going to look at Femdom disciplinary arrangements, she said no because she couldn’t distinguish that from traditional BDSM.
I keep wishing I knew how to put into words what a really long, hard punishment spanking feels like. I mean, obviously it hurts. The hairbrush, ping-pong paddle or even his hand stings so much that I whimper and squirm and kick and desperately wish it would end.
And while I might be cheeky and even a little impudent to start off with, by the end I’m usually penitent and chastened. Not to mention meek and obedient. And sore. Very sore.
But I’m also happy. Gratified. Serene.
In one of the great posts linked at the first Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy, Greta Christina considers the appeal of punishment.
In a "pure abuse of power" scene, you have control over the victim’s
body. But in a punishment scene, you have power over their mind as
well. You have power over their very sense of self. You don’t just have
the power to make their body suffer — you have the power to make their
conscience suffer, too. You have the power to make them feel, not just
helpless and frightened and hurting, but ashamed…
Because it would make you feel that way inside as well as out. It
would make you feel helpless and submissive, small and bent to someone
else’s will… not just on your skin and in your muscles and genitals,
but in your heart.
And I suspect this is why it feels so dangerous, as well as so enticing.
I’ve often thought that the punishment kink (domestic discipline, WIIWD, etc.) is among the most vulnerable of practices within BDSM, and I love how Christina articulates why that is. It involves a sort of double jeopardy that is lacking in role play, and the potential for danger can make punishment intoxicating for the participants. The penitent’s whole being is vulnerable, his or her "very sense of self" as Christina puts it.
Indeed I think that buzz I’ve mentioned a few times in relation to punishment spanking is really a sort of high that follows surviving a particularly dangerous act — hence it only occurs with punishment and not with role play or erotic spanking. Two people plunging into the abyss of shame, guilt, and physical pain and finding their way out the other side still intact — or, rather, even better and closer for the trip through momentary darkness.