I haven’t done a Kink of the Week topic in a while. I looked at the list, and discovered that I’ve missed two full two week cycles, but that Jade left them open (possibly by accident, but I’m willing to take advantage of that). Both the topics that I missed are ones that I have a lot to say about. So, like the horribly naughty girl I am, I’m just going to slide this homework into the bottom of the pile and hope that my teacher believes it was there the entire time.
The kink of the week topic (from a while ago) was Dacryphilia, or the fetish surrounding crying. Without further ado, I shall now address this!
My most read post on this blog is one from 2012 entitled “On Being Spanked to Tears.” In it, I outlined the different ways in which a spanking could lead me to cry. Three years later, I’ve grown and learned and experienced many more things, and I’d like to add some new thoughts on the topic.
Crying is something which carries a great deal of importance for many spankos. I get the impression that spanking is one of the fetishes which most embraces, or even focuses on, dacryphilia. When I started crying on one of my first spanking video shoots, I felt almost embarrassed by it, but the producer called my tears “liquid gold” and told me that a tear covered face was “the moneyshot” of spanking videos. So what is it about crying that is so central to a large number of people’s spanking kinks?
The first is the idea that tears are tied into the “realness” of a spanking. I hear this often in comments various places where I post spanking photos on the internet: “It’s not a real spanking unless you make her cry.” I haven’t spent enough time immersed in other kink communities to know whether or not they have a similar obsession with verisimilitude as the spanking community presents, but I know that for spankos, we talk about what makes a spanking real all the time. Tears are very tied into this.
Part of this obsession with making spankings real comes from the fact that a lot of our fantasies are based on things that actually happened in the past. I don’t knock this at all, and totally embrace that many of my core fantasies are based around the recreation of school, institutional or domestic punishments that used to actually take place. So, sometimes the word “real” is meant to mean “similar to a historic/real life spanking situation.” And in our conceptions of those scenes, tears are a key part. The first hand accounts of these punishments that we read or hear almost always end with the spankee bawling, sobbing and crying uncontrollably. Of course they would: these punishments were painful, embarrassing and, whether we want to focus on this or not, non consensual.
Before I was ever spanked, I read as much writing about spanking as I could, and I remember being deeply engulfed in the fantasy of being helpless, overpowered, intimidated by authority, stripped, held down and thoroughly chastised. These fantasies always ended with me in tears. Now that I spend my life actually enjoying spanking play, I like to recreate these fantasies. I like to make them as realistic to what I imagined as possible. I buy uniforms from school uniform suppliers, or even better, find vintage ones that were being worn at a time when corporal punishment was actually practiced. I get implements that are also vintage, and which were actually used in the original situations. When I can, I like to dress up the setting, finding places to play that look like I’ve stepped into my fantasy world. And I like to be spanked hard and, if it’s possible, pushed to cry. My tears are part of what makes it feel like I’ve truly created the scene from my fantasy. In this situation, “realness” can be better defined as “authenticity” and tears add to that. [Author’s note: I do not actually support non consensual corporal punishment of any kind, and fantasizing about recreating something in a way which is positive and consensual is not the same as supporting the original institution from which my fantasies stem.]
Another thing which I believe has influenced the spanking community’s interest in tears is the way which spanking pornography evolved. In the pre-internet days, before the first spanking videos were even available, spanking porn was delivered via magazine. It was much harder to find a like minded partner at this time, so spanking porn carried even more importance: for many people with spanking fetishes, those magazines would be the only way they’d ever get to interact with their kink. When you look at spanking in still photographs, it is very hard to tell whether someone is actually being spanked or if it’s just a picture. It’s even harder to tell if the spanking has been severe or “transient and trifling.” One can easily use acting to make a facial expression that depicts being in pain. There are only two things that can make a still image show that a hard spanking is actually taking place: the presence of marks and the presence of tears. Admittedly, neither of these things is actually a good litmus test for the severity of a scene, since some people simply never cry, others can cry from a light hand spanking, some people will be bruised purple by the same hand spanking but others can take a good, hard caning and have only a pink bottom to show for it after. But these visual queues at least suggest to us that a spanking is actually happening and that it actually hurts. Even now that our spanking pornography is primarily videographic, we often continue to identify the severity of a scene based on these two visual queues, hence the fact that my tears were liquid gold to the producer in my earlier story. Both tears and marks send us a strong visual message: that a spanking is happening here and it’s real: here, realness can be defined as a spanking carrying any level of severity.
Leaving aside realness, there’s another thing that makes tears very appealing to many spankos: vulnerability. No matter who a person is, they’re vulnerable when they cry. They’ve let their guard down and they’re showing you their inner emotion. They aren’t fighting against you or resisting you as you spank them. They are, in a way, letting you in. This is the draw of tears for many spankos. Tears are a sign of intimacy. Tears are a sign that your feelings are genuine. Tears are a sign that lessons are being taken to heart. Of course, a person can be vulnerable without crying, but tears give you a tangible sign of this vulnerability. For the person crying, tears can be refreshing. They can give an emotional release. They can get something out that words can’t articulate. Communicating this way can be very emotionally intimate and draw people together.
Of course, no matter the reason, not everyone likes tears. For some, the presence of tears makes them worry that they’ve really upset or truly hurt their partner. Others find tears or being made to cry triggering, as a reminder of a time when something non consensual brought about that sort of emotional state. Others don’t like to be that vulnerable, and that’s entirely okay, too. Despite all the reasons why tears may make something feel more authentic or more real, a scene can be perfectly wonderful and very real without them,
What makes a spanko cry?
Personally, I cry all the time. Outside of the spanking world, I cry when I’m sad, lonely, scared, hurt, even angry. I’ve always cried a lot. I was made fun of for it throughout most of my life, often being called a crybaby or other similar taunts. As an adult, I was made to feel that crying was something I should find embarrassing, that it was a mark of lack of self control or that I wasn’t a “real adult” (another concept that has caused me a lot of struggle).
The first time I was ever spanked, I didn’t just cry, I sobbed. I cried until I shook, in a way which was extremely disproportionate to the severity of the spanking I was receiving. It took me a long time to unwind the tight ball of emotions that I felt there, but the primary one was relief. I was relieved that after eighteen long years of carrying around this seemingly dark secret, my most precious fantasy was coming to life. And, once I started crying, I was relieved to discover that it was perfectly acceptable in this situation to cry when I felt the impulse to.
Crying from a spanking isn’t something rare for me. I’d say that it happens about 40% of the time that I have a serious scene. It’s not uncommon for someone to specifically ask to make me cry, either in my personal play or during a video or session. Other people have asked me to make them cry when I was Topping them, or to teach them how to make someone cry. It isn’t this simple. Everyone is different and every spanking presents a different set of emotional and physical stimuli. Like during that first spanking I received, the cause of what brings one to tears can be hard to unravel. It can be caused or hindered by a variety of things. Here are some of those that I’ve discovered.
Crying fueled by regret for bad behavior:
This was one of the causes of crying which I identified in my post three years ago. This is one of the causes of tears that people most often think about when imagining a punishment spanking. You feel bad about what you did, so, aided by the scolding words and pain associated with your punishment, you cry. It’s important to point out that just because someone isn’t crying during a disciplinary spanking, that doesn’t mean that they don’t regret whatever they did to earn the punishment. Everyone expresses their emotions in a different way. This reason for crying is something which the Top can influence to a degree, especially with the words they choose when scolding, and by creating an environment in which the bottom feels safe to be vulnerable. For me, sternness, seriousness and calm are important in creating this sort of atmosphere.
One thing I noted in my original post which I highly agree with is that if someone is crying due to regret for bad behavior during a scene which isn’t meant to be disciplinary, then something isn’t right. Sometimes, the differences between funishment or play punishment and real discipline can get blurred, and it’s important to make it clear to the person that you’re playing with what kind of spanking you’re really giving them.
Crying fueled by letting someone down
I realized recently that, to me, there’s a difference between the feeling of regretting having misbehaved and feeling bad that I’ve disappointed someone that I respect. In detangling the feelings that I have when I get a real punishment spanking, I’ve realized that a large part of what makes it emotional for me isn’t just the fact that what I did was wrong and needs to be corrected, it’s also the fact that I’ve let down a person who I love and respect. This is part of the reason that I only have an interest in doing these kinds of scenes with someone who I know well and feel these feelings towards. Because, really, we all know which stings more: a hairbrush or the words “I’m disappointed in you.” Just knowing that I’ve let my partner down will almost always bring tears to my eyes, without even the need for anything else.
Crying fueled by stress relief or emotional release
Sometimes, a person who gets spanked just needs to be spanked. They have too much bottled up emotionally. They are having trouble focusing because their mind is full of distractions and they need something to center them. Life is just wearing them down, and they need to not have the responsibility of being in control all the time. This kind of crying can come from any kind of spanking, and I think that’s it’s actually fairly common, although you can intentionally try to create this atmosphere for a person who needs it by providing a safe and secure emotional environment surrounding the scene. For me, this works best when it’s a mixture of caring and sternness, and when the spanking slowly builds up to a place where I can’t resist it anymore and I *have* to let my vulnerability physically manifest.
Crying fueled by submission or surrender
This is another one of the types of crying that I identified in my much earlier post. I wrote that post when I was a fairly new submissive, and when subspace was something which remained very alien to me. Here’s what I had to say:
Some bottoms talk about subspace- going off into some floaty, magical, trance-like, trippy state from getting a very hard beating which pushes them towards submission. They sink into the bed, they stop feeling pain, they float on endorphins, they get high, they can’t talk properly…
This doesn’t happen for me (although it did once). I’m a very cerebral person, and I’m uncomfortable letting go of my awareness. Instead, when I’ve been pushed to a place where I cease my fighting, I get to a point of submissive crying. It’s a calm sort of sobbing where there’s no urgency in the sound. I’ve given myself over to the spanking that I’m receiving and I have no will regarding when it will end. It’s certainly not as exciting to talk about, or as filled with mystery and intrigue as traditionally described subspace is, but the land of my submission is just a place where I lie still and take a lot of hurt and cry about it. It probably sounds pretty pathetic to a listener, and it doesn’t feel “good” in a traditional sense, but it’s a very peaceful place where I feel incredibly safe and loved.
Nowadays, the more traditional subspace is no longer illusive to me the way it used to be, but I still find myself getting into this kind of “submissive cry space” (that’s a technical term :P) on a pretty regular basis. “Traditional” subspace doesn’t actually feel so submissive to me: it feels passive, and I identify those two things as being related but different. When I’m in a deep subspace, I don’t really feel things the same way. I’ve let myself be taken to a place where spankings don’t actually really hurt. When I’m in this space, I still feel everything, but I’ve given up my resistance to those feelings and I’m willing to let them happen. This is a place that one should only go to with someone they truly trust, since it basically means that you’re just going to let someone do whatever they want to you and not resist, but it can be a very beautiful thing in the right situation.
Crying fueled by physical pain
When I wrote my original post, I said that I felt like it was taboo to admit that I sometimes cry because spankings hurt that much. I don’t know if I think that anymore. I think that’s dangerous for a Top to believe that crying is the *only* sign of physical pain, or that by increasing the amount of pain that you’re causing someone you can *make* them cry, but I do think that it’s very common for people to simply cry because something hurts. I have to feel safe in order to do this, and I have to feel some sort of connection to the Top that I’m playing with, but this is honestly a very common reason for me to start crying. This hurts: that’s what this is all about. And sometimes, this hurts enough to make me cry. Nothing more complicated than that. That’s okay. There doesn’t have to be some grand and difficult to explain background behind everything. Sometimes, it’s just that someone is hitting you with a piece of wood and that hurts enough to make you cry.
The spanking community puts so many positive associations on crying that it can sometimes be easy to forget that crying isn’t always a good thing. For some people, crying is a sign that they are upset and that the scene needs to stop. If someone starts crying in a way that you don’t expect from them, or from a scene that wasn’t meant to be that intense, it’s a good idea to check in. Sometimes, when a person starts crying, it’s because the spanking isn’t fun anymore. The scene isn’t working for them. But if they’re already in an emotional place where they feel particularly passive, it can be hard to use their safeword. While it might break up the scene in a way that isn’t ideal to check in with your partner, it’s better to be safe than sorry in this case.
Other times, a person cries during a scene because, to put it in the vernacular, the Top is being a dick. Using people’s fears, playing to their insecurities, saying insulting or hurtful things and other forms of emotional sadism certainly get inside someone’s head and make them cry, but it isn’t creating the kind of safe vulnerability that I talked about before: it’s just being abusive. The bottom is crying because they’re hurt in a bad way. It’s entirely possible to do consensual emotional sadism/masochism scenes: there are people who are into that. But this is something that has to be very explicitly negotiated before playing. Additionally, it’s important that if you are going to play this way, that the people who are around you (if you’re playing in a public space) know what you’re about to do and that what you’re doing is consensual: probably not the best scene for a suite party.
So, bottoms, do you cry when you get spanked? Tops, do you like it when the person you are playing with cries from a spanking? Do tears carry a certain emotional weight to you? What do they bring to the spanking? Let me know in the comments section!
[Final author’s note: I used the term “we” a lot in this post. I do not mean to speak for everyone in the spanking community: this is just shorter to say than “many people in the spanking community.” I hope this was not offensive to anyone.]
For those of you who don’t know, Kink of the Week is a biweekly prompt which opens up a conversation between bloggers across the kink and sex writing spectrum, each focusing on how they feel about a particular kinky topic. ❤︎
It’s been a long time since I wrote a “Kink of the Week” post. KOTW, in case you don’t know, is run by the blog Kink and Poly. It’s an open discussion where everyone is invited to write about their personal experiences, opinions, thoughts and fantasies relating to a particular kink. I used to write KOTW posts all the time when I was a more active blogger. After I stopped being able to put as much time into writing, KOTW went on hiatus for a while, but now, it’s back! There was one topic before this one that I missed (just because I didn’t have a lot to say on it) but now, there’s a topic that suits me extremely well and I’m excited to write about: school uniforms.
School Uniforms are one of the things in the world that I fetishize the most. It can be an important part of a spanking scene or fantasy to me, but I also enjoy wearing them on their own. Like I sometimes do, I’ve created this visual aid to describe my feelings towards spanking and school uniforms:
I’ve created a venn diagram which shows my interest in spanking and my interest in school uniforms, and how they overlap. I’ve scaled the the two circles in order to properly show the way they relate. While scenes involving school uniforms take up a fairly big chunk of my spanking fantasies and play, they certainly aren’t taking up anywhere near all of it. However, the bigger piece of my school uniform related activities involve spanking. It’s also scaled down because it’s less of a significant kink for me, although it’s still one of the most important ones for me.
Besides being something that I enjoy playing with a lot, school uniforms have been on my mind for a long time. Although I almost feel like I was born with an innate interest in spanking, I wasn’t interested in school scenes at all until I got to be a little older. My original fantasies were all domestic. The kind of schools that would later become my fantasies didn’t exist for me yet. I went to a very relaxed public school, where none of my teachers were stern or serious and I could not imagine corporal punishment being used there. We did not wear uniforms. I don’t remember when I even became aware of school uniforms, or when I began to desire to have them. I do, however, know that when I was still in elementary school, I had obtained my first school uniform, which I sometimes wore like regular clothes despite it not being required at my school. It was a navy blue jumper (pinafore) with a pleated skirt and a white blouse underneath. I absolutely loved it, but it made me feel strangely like I was being naughty or inappropriate when wearing it. Wearing it lead to all sorts of complicated fantasies about being sent away to a very stern and serious school where spankings were given out regularly!
My interest in everything school related only got stronger as I aged, and I played complicated school pretends, set myself play-homework assignments and imagined strict punishments for any failings on my part! It was sometime during this period of my life when I discovered Roald Dahl’s autobiography, Boy. Within a few minutes of picking up the book I had learned about caning, and my fantasy world was forever changed. Once the English school fantasy was introduced to my mind, it took over like an invasive species. It was instantly at the top of my mental food chain. A large part of the fantasy for me involved the uniform, and the specifics of it. Unlike the short and suggestive skirts that I often prefer to wear nowadays, I fantasized about a very conservative uniform with lots of details: special socks and panties, shiny black mary jane shoes, a plaid skirt, a starched white shirt with every possible button buttoned, a tie, a blazer with a fancy, heavily embroidered insignia, a hat. A large part of the fantasy was the aspect of having multiple girls in matching outfits. It felt like we were unified and all on the same team. I think it also appealed to a desire for a sense of equality with my peers, as I was a strange, outcast girl who sat alone on the edge of the playground reading books. In my fantasies, I was equals with every other girl in my school and was often a ringleader in creating trouble, although sometimes I instead was the teacher’s pet.
As I became a teenager and then a college student, my interest in this only intensified. I now had the means to actually buy the things that I wanted, and I had discovered both internet spanking videos and spanking story sites: Mary Catherine Whitney’s St. Francis School For Girls story series had a huge impact on me. She seems to share a lot of my feelings about uniforms, and reading her descriptions made my mind wander in all kinds of wonderful ways. I also began to have privacy in my life, and I experimented with simply wearing as complete of a school uniform as I could find for myself. It was different than it was when I was a child. My feelings had become much more intense and I had grown increasingly shy and private about my spanking/school girl fantasies. Dressing in school girl clothes had started to feel far more taboo. I couldn’t “get away with it” anymore. And as I got older and the clothing I wanted to wear stayed the same, I began to notice a gap between the age I wanted to pretend to be when “playing school” and the age that I actually was. I took comfort in this slightly regressive play. It felt safe and somehow made the fantasy stronger.
Now that I’m actually playing on an extremely regular basis, and have been for years, school uniforms haven’t lost any of their significance. These sorts of scenes can create a lot of different emotions for me, depending on which aspect of the kink they focus on. Here are some of the things that I enjoy about this kind of play.
Formality: There’s a difference, in my mind, between a caning given to me when I’m wearing regular clothing and one given when I’m in a school uniform. The second seems more formal, and in my mind it becomes inherently more severe. It’s also hotter. I find the feeling of formality and even austerity that comes into play in most of my school roleplay scenes exciting and yes, erotic. When someone is being cold and harsh with me, especially when he or she is also dressed formally, it makes my knees shake. These formal school scenes are the core of my school fantasy, and they’re made even better when I’m playing with someone like Paul who has excellent technique as a Top. It’s clean, calm and precise, but oh so painful. Call me by my last name. Touch me as little as possible to do what you have to do. Send me away when you’ve finished. Yes.
Vulnerability: Depending on my character or the intended age of my uniform, playing this way can make me feel much more vulnerable than the average scene. This is the age play aspect: when I’m dressed this way, I’m just a helpless young girl. My misbehavior might be small, my punishment might not even be that severe, but it’s a very big deal. I find myself reacting more to spankings when I’m in this headspace, crying easily and apologizing profusely. Sometimes, my vulnerable feeling can be met with the formal attitude, making both of them feel ten times stronger, but other times, in this mood, I want to be punished by someone who has more tender, personal feelings for me. This tends to lend itself well to roleplays where I’ve been sent home from school for something and I’m being punished at home (although still dressed for school) by a guardian figure.
Sexuality: I cannot lie: I find school uniforms sexy. I especially find other girls in school uniforms sexy. Especially if we’re wearing the same uniform. It makes me feel like we’re teenagers, and that we’re exploring our sexualities together. That which is meant to be common place is suddenly extremely erotic. I can’t keep my hands away from her white, cotton panties under her school skirt, and she has her hand slipped in between the buttons of my blouse… Oh my, I could go on. I have a particular fetish for sheds. I know this is weird. I like the idea of hiding out behind a building in an institutional setting, being someplace where we aren’t meant to be and having sexy things happen. Of course, we’re likely to get caught and severely punished for this sort of behavior, and that only adds to the excitement.Taboo: Sometimes, I want to do a school scene which is incredibly dark. I don’t want someone to be formal with me: I want them to be harsh with me. I want them to be cruel to me. I want to be shoved around and man handled. I don’t want to be spanked, I don’t want to be punished: I want to be beaten. I want my uniform stripped off me: if pulling my shirt makes the buttons come off, then I don’t care, I’ll sew them back later, maybe still in character, sitting alone and sniffling. I want this to happen to me for no reason at all, for me to be entirely innocent and not deserving of these horrible things. I often want these scenes to include sexual consensual non consent. It’s dark and awful, but I love it. I take delight in it. It makes me incredibly aroused. Part of this probably developed because a lot of things that used to feel taboo to me just don’t anymore. I can talk about spanking openly in the grocery store and not blush (getting a swat, however, still makes me horribly embarrassed, but that’s a different story). Darker stories like this give me that same sort of rush. Also, I only like to play this way with someone that I love and trust (so, pretty much, I only play this way with Paul, although there are a couple other people who I would play this way with). I’ve mentioned it before: there’s something really hot to me about pretending to dislike someone you actually adore in a scene. It let’s you become someone totally different, and let’s us do things we normally wouldn’t do.
Naughtiness and fun: When school roleplays involve other girls, they often end up being incredibly wild and wacky. We play off each other. We get into mischief. We pass notes. We make faces behind the teacher’s back. We do explicit hand gestures. It’s fun. I’ve spent so much of my kink life trying to be a good girl, and it’s a blast to entirely abandon any semblance of that and just soak up the enjoyment of being a bad little girl. My beloved friend, Bad Alex brings this out in me more than anyone else. Put us together and get us in uniforms and suddenly we’re whispering very rude things, or making “field trips” to the liquor store!
Camaraderie: It doesn’t matter how they all feel about each other or whose fault it was: when a group of girls is all in trouble, there’s a sense of camaraderie that can’t be denied. I *love* big, mutli-girl school scenes because of this. Like I mentioned before, once we’re in uniforms, we’re all peers. We’re all the same. It’s a unified group. And when one of us is in trouble, or worse, when all of us are, we feel for the other girls. In these sorts of scenes, I get to experience the emotional ride of getting in trouble and being punished over and over again as I live vicariously through my peers. We get to comfort one and other, holding hands while taking our discipline, maybe, or just sending empathetic glances. You know that your friends know how you feel.
Exhibitionism: I mentioned earlier that not all of my school uniform play is spanking play. Sometimes, I like to go out in public dressed in my school uniform. That’s the entirety of the scene: going to Target or a diner (or a liquor store) while dressed up like a school girl. It gives me a huge, exhibitionist rush. I wonder if people can tell that I’m an adult or not. I wonder how they feel about me. I wonder what they think I’m doing. I feel embarrassed, but also exhilarated. During our first vacation together, when we first started dating, Paul had me wear my full school uniform to breakfast at a restaurant with him. I lingered in the car for a moment before getting out, and hoped I wasn’t blushing too much as I walked in. The gusty wind that kept blowing my school skirt up didn’t help me to feel any better. I felt incredibly excited by the whole thing, though, and couldn’t stop squirming in my seat!
I’ll have to make a second post later describing all the kinds of uniforms that I like: fancy ones, plain ones, jumpers, skirts, summer dresses, PE kit, school shoes, school bags, notebooks, bows, insignias and much, much more. American ones, English ones, Japanese ones. You got to see a good sampling of them here, though, and there will surely be more to come!I hope you guys enjoyed this KOTW post. You can check out all the posts on the subject here:
Want to read my other KOTW posts? Check these ones out:
Punishment: The Real Kind
Punishment: The Fun Kind
Experiments with Bastinado
Protocol: Accepting the Concept, Enjoying the Reality
Understanding TicklingWelcome back KOTW! There will be many more in my future. 🙂
So, this Kink of the Week post is blatantly late. I don’t know if it will even get posted up on the KOTW page, as it’s technically Tuesday of the new week now, but I wanted to write about this topic anyway, so I think it’ll be a worthwhile post even if it “doesn’t count” in the end.
This week’s topic is “real” (as opposed to “play”) punishment. Discipline and punishment are things which I’ve always been open about as existing in my life. They’re a huge portion of what I get out of TTWD, yet I’ve only written about disciplinary scenes a handful of times over the course of the past two years. Usually, I’ve included the story when what I did wrong can be retold in a way which is comical, like this post from a long time ago or my recent “Target Incident.” This is because I find actual punishment to be very private, personal and intimate. I used to feel very uncomfortable sharing this aspect of my life with the general public. Now, I feel a lot more comfortable with it, although I sometimes don’t want to talk about the things that I’ve done to require the punishment. So this shall be my first post ever which is explicitly about this.
Spanking first entered my consciousness at an incredibly early age. I remember no inciting incident, simply a burning obsession to know more about it and a feeling of secrecy and shame about my ever developing “interest.” All of the thoughts I had and the fantasies that I made up were about disciplinary spankings, as was the entirety of the media that I encountered that had spanking in it, although that was extremely sparse. In my mind, spanking was a very, very serious thing. It was a severe punishment, the ultimate sanction, the consequence of the worst behavior. As I became a teenager, I craved guidance, structure and discipline in my life, longing for the feeling of being loved and taken care of that I imagined would accompany those things. Spanking as part of sexual activity didn’t occur to me at that time. Spanking as something fun and enjoyable seemed like a weird and alien idea. This contributed to my early confusion about my desires. I characterized this activity as something entirely unenjoyable, but desired nothing more than to experience it for myself.
When I turned eighteen and I *did* get my first spanking, it was for demonstrative and introductory purposes. After that, my relationship with SF (my first Top) was entirely disciplinary. It allowed for a lot of space, which is to say that he never policed me. I simply came to him and self-reported about the things which I had done which were against the standards which we had mutually agreed upon and he punished me for them. The relationship was very sterile and austere, with an understanding of affection and caring between us which was rarely expressed. We were kind of an odd pair, me and SF because he’s Forever The Most Serious Man Ever (SF stands for ‘Serious Face”) and I’m patently ridiculous, but he had a pretty decent amount of patience for my antics and I enjoyed his stern nature. It was really, at the time, everything that I wanted because it was everything that I had ever imagined that a spanking relationship could be. I did my best to be good. I sometimes was not, and when that happened, I was soundly corrected.
For the first five years (I think) that I was getting spanked, it was only by SF. After he went back to England and, a little later, I moved to Los Angeles for the first time, I started to venture into the scene there. When I did, I had trouble with my identity and I struggled to identify what I actually wanted. At first, I attempted to find someone to replace SF, which I found tremendously disappointing. Everyone wanted something different from spanking. Some people wanted dominance. Some people wanted sexuality. Some people wanted to embrace and explore the younger, more vulnerable side of me. Some people wanted to do complicated roleplay. Some people just liked smacking a girl’s bottom without any reason for it. It was during this time that I realized that needing to be punished and needing to be spanked weren’t the same thing. Both were real and valid needs, but spanking could be a variety of other things. With my play-partner, J, I explored playing “just for fun” and did my first forays into roleplay. I explored arbitrary and enjoyable spankings with a variety of friends that I met in the local scene, many of whom weren’t spankos, and therefore had a vastly different attitude towards playing than that which I was used to. Eventually, I met Malignus and began to question whether or not I was actually interested in submission. I determined that I was and began the process of exploring that with him.
While punishment was a fairly significant part of my first D/s dynamic, I’m not going to go into the details of how it worked between Malignus and I. At the time that I started blogging, Malignus and I discussed what parts of our relationship he was comfortable with me posting about and we decided that the details of my punishments were too personal to be written about, although I sometimes asked if it was alright for me to post about a particular scene (like the post I linked to earlier) and he always agreed. Although our relationship has ended, I am going to continue to honor this agreement because I feel that it would be disrespectful and “the wrong thing to do” not to. It’s not like there was anything secretive or mysterious about this aspect of our relationship that others shouldn’t know about. That’s just what we decided at the time, so I’m sticking to it. Punishment certainly wasn’t the center of our relationship, though, and I’d say that it was probably the least common reason for me to be spanked, as the most frequent spankings were arbitrary, goal-based or D/s centric, reaffirmative scenes. This was a huge change from where I’d started out, but it was a positive difference, as I had expanded my options for what a spanking could mean.
Fast forward to the present time: I’m extremely comfortable with my role as a submissive, and as I continue to grow in the my spanko identity, I’ve branched out to embrace forms of play, atmospheres and additional kinks that I would have never thought I’d love so much when I was first starting out in my exploration. In my relationship with Paul, punishment is both something that we play with for mutual enjoyment and something that can be as serious as can be. Playing with lighthearted punishments for silly things by no means dilutes the actual act, and it’s just as important to me now as it was when it was just a daydream.
Sometimes, punishments happen immediately after the punishable behavior takes place (like in the “Target” story). Other times this isn’t possible, and I’m punished later that evening (usually right before bed) if that’s an option. If not, the offense and the requisite discipline are entered into a notebook entitled “Alex’s Behavioral Record” and the punishment is meted out at a later date. The “book method” of dealing with things was the only way that punishment was delivered when we were in a long distance relationship: things got recorded and then, when we saw each other, those things were addressed. I really, really like the fact that things don’t get forgotten just because “too much” time has passed since the original behavior. It’s obviously more effective for me to be punished as quickly thereafter as possible, but the inevitability of knowing that at some point, no matter what, I’m going to get corrected for the things that I do that I shouldn’t gives me a marvelous sense of security.
Basically all of my punishments are corporal, ranging from OTK spankings to a series of hard smacks on the insides of my thighs to strappings and canings. Since all these activities are also part of our “for fun” play, the only differences are atmosphere, tone and mood. Being punished makes me feel very vulnerable, and Paul takes a very stern approach towards punishing me (which I like very much). Often times just the scolding brings me to tears, and when I’m in that headspace, there’s very little pleasant about the spanking that follows. I say “very little” instead of “nothing” because being punished makes me feel particularly loved and taken care of, and I do enjoy that feeling, even as it’s happening. Being disciplined almost always makes me cry, and afterwards the seriousness of the actual punishment quickly melts away and I climb onto Paul’s lap, sometimes continuing to cry for a bit as he tenderly comforts me and assures me that I’m a good girl again. Everything is right in the world during those moments, and I couldn’t feel safer.
As much as I enjoy “for fun” “play” punishment, and as ultimately positive and edifying as the experience of being discipline is for me, at the end of the day, I want to be a good girl. I want Paul to be proud of me, and I do my best to avoid getting into real trouble. It’s intricate, the way that something which is so enjoyable in a different setting can be made truly punitive, but it’s not a novel idea, nor is it a particularly rare phenomenon.
I hope that this is at least somewhat articulate: I’ve just recovered from having been ill, and I’m struggling to get caught up, so I wasn’t able to really draft this the way I usually do for posts that are this wordy, and I was getting really tired by the time I was finishing it. I’ll be posting more about other aspects of this topic in the future, so stay tuned. ♥
I did one “Kink of the Week” post during the summer, and since then, I haven’t participated.
This is just because I was having a hard enough time keeping up with my regular posting, let alone try to add in something with a *gasp* deadline!
For those of you who don’t know, Kink of the Week (or KOTW) is a feature on my friend Jade’s blog. Every week, she posts a particular “kink” as the theme. These things are sometimes activities, materials, practices, ideas et cetera that a person might fetishize or enjoy as part of their kink play. She then invites other bloggers to write up their opinion, interests, ideas or “take” on this topic. Everyone’s links are posted to the KOTW page, so readers can get a variety of opinions on one topic.
It’s a bit hard for me to write these posts sometimes because I see my kink play as being fairly limited because my fetishistic interests are pretty straight forward compared to some people. That said, I have dabbled in a lot of things and I do have thoughts on basically everything. That’s the beauty of having a brain, isn’t it? 😛 More importantly, I like the *idea* of KOTW. I like having a variety of minds come together and describe their thoughts and feelings. I like the fact that instead of it being a thread on a forum somewhere or a place where you can comment on her blog, Jade allows us each to showcase our own work. We write and format our posts in the style that’s natural and comfortable for us, and we do it in our own spaces on the internet. When we invite others to read our KOTW posts, it draws attention to each person’s blog or site and allows us to find people whose thoughts and words are powerful and important but who we would not normally encounter.
For these reasons, I’ve decided that I’m going to try to make myself write about the KOTW topic each and every week, though, even when the kink is something that I don’t fetishize or usually practice. I don’t know how much I’ll have to say about these topics, or how great my post will be, but we’ll try it.
Relatedly, this week’s topic is Bastinado.
Bastinado isn’t something that I’ve ever fantasized about. I think this is probably because even though it’s a traditional form of corporal punishment, it’s very removed from the domestic/institutional corporal punishment base of my fantasies. It feels darker, to me, but it doesn’t fit with the dark parts which draw me in. In general, the basis of my darker interests is always a change in theme or intensity, not a change in the style of play. Then there’s the fact that my feet are very sensitive and because I’m very clumsy, I’ve injured them a lot of times. There’s nothing particularly exciting about a sensation that I associate with accidentally hurting myself.
Still, I’ve experimented with getting hit on the feet on two different occasions. The first was during the very start of my relationship with Malignus. During the time that we first started sceneing together, we tried a lot of things that I had never done before, many of which we would never do again, just for the sake of experimentation and new experiences. One day, while we were hanging out in his living room (this was before we lived together), he grabbed my foot and applied a sharp smack to the bottom of it with a wooden spoon. I found the sensation of this to be something which I can only describe with one word: “invasive.” I don’t mean that it was invasive to my personal comfort zone that he did that or anything like that. I found the pain to be invading my body in a way that I’d never experienced. Because the hurting traveled up the body of my foot, the feeling seemed more akin to a foreign object entering me in a place where it wasn’t meant to than just feeling sore. I thrashed around, trying to shake the feeling out of my foot. This kind of sensation made me very uncomfortable and almost a little disturbed, like some shockwave of hurt was wiggling around in my body.
We never did that again.
I’ve mentioned this idea before, but I always find it very humbling when I play around in a kink other than my own. I can get to feeling very tough indeed when it comes to taking spankings. I can have a very high tolerance (I say “can” because in a vulnerable situation my tolerance is laughably low). It almost fills me with awe at how much things hurt me that *aren’t* on my bottom or thighs, and my bastinado play experiments are a good example of that. Still, I think that when I want that feeling of being shocked by how painful something is, I think I’ll stick to something that I find thematically more interesting (like my hands). ♥
So, I’ve never participated in Kink of the Week before. This is partially because I tend to think of myself as not having “a lot” of kinks, and partially because I was always running myself ragged trying to tell every single story that happened in my life. Now that I’ve stepped back from feeling responsible for keeping up with that, I feel able to do more posts like this, so I’m going to give this a go. 🙂
The KOTW topic this week is protocol.
My first D/s dynamic with was with Malignus, and it began two and a half years ago. When we first met, I was very uncertain of whether or not I was actually submissive or if I was just a bottom. A lot of this was my general discomfort with non-spanking BDSM. At the time, I felt very different from the people that I interacted with at Dungeons and munches in Los Angeles. I felt like they saw me as boring, or as “doing it wrong” because the things that I liked and wanted were so incredibly specific, and a lot of it seemed far more casual than what other people did. I began the journey of discovering what submission actually meant to me (a process that I think will always be continuing) and I found that it was something that I identified with strongly. I liked the feeling of trusting someone and sharing control over aspects of my life. I grew into the role very, very well, and was able to identify that this was actually a huge part of what I wanted from my kink. There were things that continued to make me uncomfortable, though. One of these was the idea of protocol.
During one of our original conversations, Malignus mentioned to me that it would be an option for him to “train me” in “high protocol.” He wasn’t pushing this, or anything, just putting it out there as an option. This idea made me tremendously (and irrationally) upset. I’ve always been very put off by the word and idea of “training.” I associate it with breaking down that which is naturally there and replacing it with something else, and this was something which I thought I saw in some D/s relationships and found very threatening. I was scared that being a submissive would make me lose myself. I didn’t want my normal preferences and behaviors to be broken down and replaced with “protocols.” Malignus did his best to reassure me that this wasn’t what he meant at all, but when I was not able to be calmed, we just ignored the topic in general.
I remained uncomfortable if he talked about his other submissives and their ways of practicing protocol, or if I interacted with people who prescribed to a standardized set of protocol. Eventually, I realized that this was because my kink is so, incredibly personal to me and I didn’t want to feel like I had to follow someone else’s set of rules. For a long time, “protocol” remained a dirty word, though, even though I was constantly being assured that no one was going to force me to follow any arbitrary and unnecessary rules, and that “they” couldn’t make me do ANYTHING without my consent.
Eventually, I grew up a bit, got over myself and became more confident in the scene. I got over my “spanko-angst” and began to relate well to people with other kinks. I stopped being so puritanical about “spanko purity” and explored other kinks a bit, discovering a variety of things that did and didn’t work for me. From here, I was able to look back at my original D/s relationship and realize that it was fairly strictly protocoled. It was just our own, personal protocol, and Malignus wasn’t calling it that to keep me from getting freaked out again. 😛
Now that I’m past my dislike of the word, I identify protocol as being something that exists in the space where the rules and rituals of a D/s relationship overlap (I realize that this is similar but different to the article which Jade referred to in the KOTW post). Observe my diagram:
|I made this in approximately 75 seconds, so I hope it doesn’t suck too much.|
Take my D/s dynamic with Paul, for example. There are certain things that are just rules and don’t fall under the heading of Protocol. It’s a rule that I can’t do irresponsible things that put myself in danger, but there isn’t any repetition there, and it isn’t part of the routine of our lives and interactions, really. One could argue that I’m in the routine of thinking before doing stupid things, but it’s not the same.
There are other rules that integrate into the habits of my daily life, and are therefore part of the ritual of our relationship: it’s a rule that I go to bed before 2:00 AM and a rule that I update my blog at least once a week. These things are also fairly procedural, so in my mind, they can be considered part of the protocol of our dynamic.
On the other side of the chart, there are things that are ritualistic or part of our habits that aren’t really rules. These behaviors are still very important to me, because they create stability. For example, I know that after any sort of scene, we’ll cuddle for however long I need to before we try to do anything else. It’s part of the ritual that we’ve created around playing, but it isn’t a rule, per se. I wear my shell necklace every day because it makes me feel close to Paul despite our current distance, and it is a visual symbol of our relationship. Having it there is part of my daily ritual, but it isn’t a protocol, because there’s no enforcement that I do this.
There isn’t any particular reason why the things that fall into the “protocol” space are more important, though. The distinction is purely semantic, but science knows that I love semantics. All three things (rules, protocol and ritual) create a sense of stability and make me feel both secure and loved. Certain aspects become very important to me when we’re apart from each other, especially things that I can do on my own to engage in the dynamic (like working on my blog or going to bed on time) if, for some reason, we can’t be in communication at a particular moment. Others, especially the protocol and ritual that we use within a scene, become very important when we’re together. They’re little things that make me feel very submissive, and it’s a wonderful feeling.
The creation of these practices over time has been very special to me. I still can imagine how distasteful what I thought protocol was meant to be would be. It would make D/s feel very cold and impersonal to simply try to apply a set of “right” or “one size fits all” behaviors to it. When I read about other people’s protocols, especially when looking through the KOTW posts, I sometimes think “That would never work for me,” or “that sounds really detached” or something like that. That’s the beauty of this thing. Other people’s protocols don’t HAVE to work for me. Only mine do. And they do.