I don't have any children, but if I did I'd probably not spank them. While negative conditioning with pain works as well on humans as on other animals, kids are very smart (being descended from us homo sapiens, duh) and amenable to many of the behavior influencing strategies mutual respect has us apply to adults. But they say you should node what you know, and child psychology is definitely not my field of expertise. Instead, I'd like to welcome you to the wonderfully wicked world of sensuous spanking among consenting adults:

A spanking! A spanking! There is going to be a spanking tonight!
And after the spanking, the oral sex.

– from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
I'm just a gal like any other gal. I want a home, a family, an occasional spanking.
Destiny Demeanor to Sgt. Jack Colt in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)
Coffee without caffeine is like sex without the spanking.
Trevor Hale as Cupid (1998)
Pain is so close to pleasure
Queen, on their album A Kind of Magic (1986)
Some girls they like candy
And others they like to gripe
I'll settle for the back of your hand
Somewhere on my behind
Treat like I'm a bad girl
Even when I'm being good to you...

Madonna, from the Dick Tracy soundtrack (1990)

Some people, tongue in cheek, say that spanking is much too good for kids and should be reserved for adults. Why are some people into spanking? As Queen puts it: Pain is so close to pleasure. Freud had a lot to say about this, and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch delves even deeper into the, ah, painful details. Modern medicine is adding some evidence based on PET scans of the brain. It seems that, in quite a few people, the deep brain circuits for pain, pleasure and sex are pretty closely interlinked.

More on an emotional level, spanking is about:

The buttocks are such a powerful object of sexual attraction they're the next best thing to a sex organ. Some women and somewhat fewer men are able to achieve orgasm from being spanked. Many people of both sexes find spankings to be sexually arousing, and quite a few enjoy a light hand spanking as (part of) their foreplay.

Of all the kinks practiced by people "into" BDSM, giving each other a red ass is perhaps the most "harmless" and easily the most socially acceptable, as evidenced by the quotes above. Spanking is so simple, anyone can do it. Equipment is optional – a bare bottom hand spanking is best for starters.

Advanced spanking

Spankos (as spankophiles sometimes call themselves) will often play-act scenarios leading up to the spanking, either because they associate certain situations with the spanking or because the spanko feels the need to justify the spanking. Some common scenarios are:

The first spanking (in a sexual context) is usually the most thrilling one for the spankee, and possibly for the spanker as well. Many spankees actually hate being spanked while it happens, but derive a lot of (sexual) excitement from the fear of the pain. To try to re-capture the thrill, spankophiles (who sometimes refer to themselves as spankos) will often work to achieve ever stronger stimuli by resorting to more "serious" equipment. Some popular implements are:

These instruments are listed (roughly) in order of increasing severity. Your Mileage May Vary.

After a while of being "punished" especially with the more severe instruments, some spankees experience an endorphin high which they refer to as "flying". Endorphins, produced by the body as a natural defense mechanism against pain, block much of the pain from the spanking but put the spankee into a state of great excitement where he/she will feel like prolonging the spanking indefinitely. It's a lot like runner's high. It's a good idea for the spanker to stop before too much physical harm is done. An intensive spanking will leave bruises (called weals or sometimes stripes) which may make sitting down painful for a week or two. A severe spanking (or misuse of a spanking implement) will break the skin and draw blood. For all but the most hardcore perverts, this is the signal to end a scene or to proceed with something different, and to apply some disinfectant and/or band-aids.

On the other hand, it's possible that spankee is hurting so badly (perhaps still approaching their endorphin high) that they can't hold still. If they really want to be taken beyond this point, it makes sense to bring in some restraints. Some rope (clothesline, in a pinch) can be used to tie the spankee down over a bed or easy chair. Hardcore spanking enthusiasts will prefer a "proper" spanking bench or horse to provide solid support and good positioning. Some exercise benches can be made to serve. Leather wrist and ankle cuffs with velcro fasteners and mountaineering-style snap-on hooks are a lot more convenient than rope. Stocks are another alternative. If the spankee is thus immobilized, a safeword should be negotiated which the spanker must respect and which will terminate a session of the spankee feels they're really, really beyond their limits.

Spanking Away from Home

Lacking an understanding and willing partner (or any partner at all, for that matter), spankophiles can get outside help to satisfy their craving. Apart from personal ads, There are BDSM clubs, societies, meets, munches etc. in most countries. Most can be found on the Internet or in the pages of magazines in adult bookstores. There are even organizations, though smaller and fewer, that specialize in spankings. If you feel you're too socially challenged to join a friendly and helpful bunch of people with the same kink, there's always professional help. Most of the professionals are female; some refer to themselves as a dominatrix but many customers find this hard to pronounce so they've gone back to a simple "Madam" or "Madame". Note that, though professional, these ladies are usually not prostitutes, and this is generally recognized by the law: There are many US states where prostitution is illegal but domination studios and their clientele have no legal problems. A side effect of this is that husbands availing themselves of services there can/will stay technically faithful to their wives: a real domme will get you worked up but she won't have sex with you. For the actively inclined spanker, some studios feature attractive young female "slaves" who, for an exorbitant fee, will endure a spanking. The squeamish or timid also have the option of watching "Madame" punish her "slave" without having to take a hand in the punishment. Lastly, while professional dommes are mostly female (or they'd be called doms), they will usually happily cater to the needs of women as well as men.

If you've got no one to be faithful to, and you insist on sex with your spanking, and you're not worried about the legality of prostitution, then you can also talk most hookers into hitting you with something, or perhaps even taking a little spanking from you. Then, when you're all steamed up, you can jump on their bones. But I don't recommend this – you'll be disappointed. Spanking is an art that takes practice, and you're more likely to get exactly what you want/need in a specialized studio.

Conclusion

If you find yourself strangely attracted to spanking, RELAX! You're not the only one. It's a fairly common kink, mild as sexual variations go, and borderline socially acceptable. In "polite" company, I sometimes make little joking remarks about my girlfriend spanking me, or vice versa. Most people think I'm joking, and those who aren't sure dare not ask. We find this quite amusing, yea titillating. While we don't go for daily ritual beatings, we find spanking an enjoyable way to spice up our sex life. So... break it to your partner really gently that you're fascinated by his/her tush and would love to give it a bit of slapping, or that you've had this long standing fantasy of being spanked like a little boy/girl by a handsome man/beautiful woman. If he/she doesn't run away screaming, congrats on a successful start and... enjoy!

Gotta go – I forgot to take out the garbage, and you know what that means!


See also

"At this time in the United States, the only people who can smack someone on their buttocks as part of their paid professional duties are school teachers, prostitutes and performers in the pornography filming industry."
--Project Nospank Flyer.

"What are they trying to teach me?"
-- seventeen year old Texas cheerleader, paddled for smoking on school property in 1999.1
(Note: a 2003 google search of the relevant names found articles about this incident reprinted at porn sites).

Where spanking, the traditional form of discipline reserved for children, and spanking, the most common form of BDSM intersect, we have a sickening situation where dysfunctional adults sexually abuse children and teens under the guise of correction, and often under the protection of the law.

Many American states permit spanking in schools, even high schools. While most secondary schools eschew the practice, many, specifically in the southern U.S. continue to paddle teens. Any attempt to overturn laws which permit such behaviour meets with organized resistance from the Religious Right. Many of these people do not seem to grasp who and what they are defending.

In the past, paddling of teenagers was generally reserved for male students (I am not saying this is acceptable, but it has an impact on the debate). While Great Britain and other western nations abandoned corporal punishment, 1980s America saw a rather warped interpretation of feminism extend this privilege to teenage girls, so that, in some American schools, adult males are paddling near-adult women and men, frequently for offenses as minor as smoking on school property, lateness, and dress code violations. Curiously, while some schools permit students to be paddled only by an administrator of their own race, many of these schools do not extend a similar choice along the lines of gender2. Often, coercion is involved; many students report that they were offered the option of an alternate penalty, which would have gone on their record or otherwise interfered with their education-- or the paddle. Students are required to assume a sexually receptive position (also the position of submission among primates), spread their legs (a curious requirement in many schools), and be beaten. While the offensiveness of this practice is dwarfed by those committed in some schools in the past3 their effects still can be devastating. One 17-year old North Carolina Honors Student, paddled by Dunn High School assistant principal Glenn Varney, in 1981 for truancy, required medical treatment for physical injury and psychological treatment for symptoms compared to those experienced by the survivors of rape. An inquiry-- which would not hear medical evidence-- exonerated the administrator. Curiously, while it was practice to offer male students alternatives, such as yard work, Varney did not offer any of the three female students paddled on this occasion the alternative-- because, he claimed, yard work was not "ladylike."

The Varney case had consequences that caused doctors treating two of the girls to report the incident to the authorities.4 More commonly, recipients walk away with the feeling of violation. One also needs to ponder what being ordered to bend over and spread one's legs might be perceived by a survivor of more conventional sexual abuse. A society which does not see the perverse sexual connotations of these acts is suffering from a willful blindness so extreme it deserves to give its name to a syndrome.

Other incidents have made the news.

In 2003, an Illinois man was charged after he regularly videotaped himself beating his nude teenage stepdaughter. He kept the video with his porn collection and referred to the girl as "Future Slave." He claimed that he was merely disciplining her in a traditional fashion. The charges, which included aggravated assault and several related to child pornography, netted him 13 years in prison. In some states, his actions may have been perfectly legal.

The possible sexual implications of spanking a post-pubescent teen seem obvious. Even if we give the paddlers the benefit of the doubt, the sexually-mature recipients could hardly miss the connotation. Could this also be the case with younger children?

In 2000, David Wadsworth, a principal of Greendale Elementary School in Pierrefonds, Quebec was convicted after years of quietly offering little girls the option of a bare bottom spanking in place of conventional punishment, with the promise he would not inform their parents of whatever transgression they had committed. A 7-year-old finally turned him in. In addition to the assault charges, he was also convicted for possession of child pornography.

In 1996, a British headmaster received 18 months in prison for the paddling of students. He admitted the act gave him "cozy kind of feelings" (Stokes).

In 2002, a number of police agencies broke an international child porn ring which used the Internet to distribute video material. While the existence of this ring and the harsh sentences earned by its perpetrators made international news, few sources in the media mentioned that this was specifically a ring of people whose abuse involved severe spanking and torture of children, often their own. One wonders why the BDSM element went so often unreported; perhaps America is unwilling to cast the country's old-time punishment in quite so harsh a light.

I am not here commenting on consensual BDSM. Having a non-vanilla sexual proclivity no more inclines one to abuse children than enjoying sexual intercourse inclines one to rape children. Nor am I saying that every adult who supports corporal punishment secretly sexualizes the act. Unfortunately, some twisted adults do misuse children. They should not be provided with a socially-sanctioned forum for doing so.


1. South Grand Prairie High School in Fort Worth, Texas. The student was offered an alternate punishment in this case. Both Assistant Principals Mike Cook and Benny Reed were present, one as paddler and one as an official "witness."

2. Race, however, plays its usual role in this society. A 2008 study by a human rights group found that Afro-American and Native students of both sexes were paddled more frequently than their Caucasian counterparts. ("Study: Minorities More Likely to be paddled")

3.At one evangelical Christan school which was ultimately raided and closed in the 1980s, some female students had permanent scars from beatings, and experienced the psychologically-induced cessation of menstruation.

4. Apart from bruising, the force of the blows caused uterine contractions which led, in two of the girls, to unnatural and prolonged menstrual hemorrhaging. In one case, the doctor initially expressed concern that her internal organs had been damaged. The school's response? They enacted a policy that the paddling of a female student will be deferred if she says she is menstruating. This is (a) irrelevant, since one of the girls so affected hadn't been, (b) invasive of personal privacy and (c) unfairly discriminatory, since it means the penalty will be hanging over her head, in a way that never applies to boys.



Sources:

Naftali Bendavid. Chicago Tribune, Washington Bureau, March 13, 2002. Porn fighters break ring of kid-spanking fetishists

Jeffrey L. Charles. "Sin, Sex, and Spanking School-age Children." http://www.nospank.net/s-chrls.htm

Pamela Colloff. "Remember the Christian Alamo." Texas Monthly December 2001.

Jonathan J. Donahue. "Spanking as sexualized abuse." Counseling Today, May 2001 http://www.nospank.net/donahue.htm

Giovanna Drpic. "Corporal Punishment Flyer Upsets Some Folks. News Channel 3 October 18 2003. Memphis. http://www.nospank.net/n-j59.htm

Ian Gibson. The English Vice: Beating, Sex and Shame in Victorian England and After. London: Duckworth, 1978.

Tom Johnson. "The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children." http://www.nospank.net/sexdngrs.htm

Susan Leonard. "Girl, mother talk about paddling ordeal." The Arizona Republic , March 26, 1995 http://www.nospank.net/s-h26.htm

"Look out, bad girls! Licks legal." The Oklahoman September 13 1982.

Jessie Milligan. "A Blow to the Spirit." Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 7 1999.

"Paddled Student's Tale of Pain." San Francisco Chronicle October 17, 1984.

Lori Price and Nancy Callaway. "Penalty for Smoking Unclear Girls Supporters Say." Arlington Morning News (Texas) May 29 1999.

Karen Seidman. "Principal fooled everyone-- How Wadsworth hid his pedophilia" The Montreal Gazette, October 31, 2000. http://www.nospank.net/s-h02.htm

Southern Education. http://www.nopaddle.com/

Stacy St. Clair. "Lombard man gets 13 years for beating teen" North County Times March 27, 2003 http://www.nospank.net/n-k04.htm

Paul Stokes. "School Head gets 18 months for spanking girl pupils." The Daily Telegraph October 1, 1996. http://www.nospank.net/101.htm

"Study: Minorities More Likely to be paddled"" Associated Press. August 20, 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26297991/

Kathryn Walson. "Paddling Prohibited -- McAllen schools officially outlaw penalty." The Monitor August 11, 2004

Spank"ing, a.

1.

Moving with a quick, lively pace, or capable of so doing; dashing.

Four spanking grays ready harnessed. G. Colman, the Younger.

2.

Large; considerable.

[Colloq.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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