The following is a piece entitled “Genetic vs. ‘Interest'” which was written by my friend, Thursday Knight, and posted on fetlife. It raised several points that are important to me and that I wanted to add my thoughts on.
The day I opened up my fetlife account was on my 18th birthday. Throughout the internet, various websites had a new user of “Thursday Knight”–all of them spanking related.
I am a spanko; ever since the age of three years old I’ve had the desire to be spanked. While holding true to most spankos who can relate, I had all the signs. Anything spanking related in books or TV was a rare obsessive delight (the clock in Disney’s Pinocchio, Benjamin Bunny, and countless other things), looking up the word “spanking” in the dictionary, getting the topic brought up among friends to find out if they had any personal stories, etc. etc. etc.
The thing is, I did not choose this condition. I did not choose to be sexually dysfunctional (and despite spanking being a very ‘mild’ sexual deviancy, it still is not ‘normal’). Yet…what astounds me is that people do choose it.
Now, for the sake of whoever may be reading this, this is not an attack. Or even judgement. I am simply pointing out that there are many people on this website who choose to get into “the lifestyle”.
From experience, I started typing in spanking searches into the internet when I was thirteen. Other people with sexual fetishes (note that a “fetish” is described as: a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc. [NOT] “it just turns me on”) I would assume would do likewise. They would want to connect, find out more people who think like they do.
But besides the casual “bedroom partners”, how do average people who want to “spice” up things, suddenly become “rope professionals” and “vampiric dominate daddys”? When they were growing up did they have a small interest and it grew? Or did they “decide” that this would be okay? What would possess someone to come up with the idea that people can come together and have parties where they’ll tie each other up and eat snacks?
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, I am purely wondering where someone would come up with the notion.
Is it human nature to deviate from the norm? Are human minds just naturally perverse and therefore susceptible to the malleability of something new? They hear about something from a friend or on TV and realize that sounds fun?
Or is something genetic at play? Are those “vanillas” who will never even think a website like this, and perfectly happy too, every know (what we feel) they are missing?
Pretend your partner and you had a ‘normal’ relationship with very little concept of what you do now with each other, would that relationship still work? Would you think he is a lazy ass? That she is a needy attention-hog?
If these feelings are genetic (or at least a genetic disposition, in that our brains are pre-disposed to this sort of thinking) would they serve the purpose of balancing out our mental stability?
What makes people with an “interest” want to “choose” to be different in this way?
One last thought: Could you truly live without your kinky-doings and be happy? If someone said “You can be painlessly euthanized or live without ever doing your fetish/kinky thing ever again.” Could you?
I, I could not.
Thursday’s post resonated with me for a couple of reasons. First, she brought up an issue which I’ve often wondered about: why would anyone choose this? I’m also not attacking and I’m not pointing fingers. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with choosing to join the lifestyle. I just don’t see why one would. In fact, when I first started attending munches and other kink events in Los Angeles, it didn’t occur to me that there would be people there who weren’t “born with it” the way that Thursday and I (and I’m sure many of you) were. In fact, I operated under the assumption that the people I met who were into bondage were as excited when they saw a damsel in distress tied to the train tracks in a cartoon as Thursday and I were when we saw that Benjamin Bunny getting thrashed with a switch for his naughtiness in the picture book. Now, there *are* people who are bondage fetishists. I know one person who was involved in doing self bondage from a very young age indeed and several who always thought about being immobilized or secured in various ways. But many of the people who I’ve met who are into bondage, or D/s, or general impact play simply were told about it, gave it a shot and found it interesting. It sort of baffles me. There are people who choose this. They became curious about deviant behavior and decided that it was somehow worthwhile for them to engage in. Were they equally predestined to enjoy their lifestyle activities and simply unaware that they existed? Is one actually able to control their identity so much as to select something like this and make it his or her own? And to what end? I’m open about the fact that my involvement in the spanking and BDSM communities enriches my life, but I can’t imagine that the lifestyle is inherently enriching. The growth, joy, development, relief et cetera that I gain from my activities seems to me to be based on fulfilling something which has always existed. It doesn’t naturally follow that a person who developed without those early desires would have the same, or even a slightly similar, response to being exposed to the stimuli that I find valuable.
Part of the reason why I’m slightly taken aback by this is because I’ve always seen my spankophilia (if it can be called that because it isn’t sexual) as, at worst, a deformity and, at best, some sort of social hindrance. I’m not ashamed of it anymore, but it has always been something which made my life more complicated. Like Thursday, I can’t imagine myself being happy if I couldn’t have spanking in my life. Given the choice, I’d sooner give up almost anything else. I’d go so far as to be prefer losing a couple of limbs over losing spanking. I don’t want to say that I NEED to be spanked, but it’s hard not to. At the very least, I need to have it in my life on some level. I don’t ever NEED a spanking in a particular moment, but I truly don’t know if I could have a satisfactory existence without it. Other kinksters who aren’t spankos but like spanking want to be spanked or to spank others. In many ways, we require it. Requiring something brings along a boatload of things to work through and accept, fears, insecurities, difficulties et cetera. It also places a high value on something that can be very hard to find– that is to say, a good spanking partner.
It’s a lot of interesting stuff to think about, and it’s territory that I don’t often cover for fear of being offensive and making too many waves. So: what do you think?