Wednesday, July 2, 2014

SPANKING: FUNISHMENT OR PUNISHMENT?

          Many of us in the “older” generations remember, before it was politically correct to avoid chastising your children physically, being swatted on the behind when we were naughty. A few good whacks and a lesson was learned. So we associate spanking with punishment.

          So how come so many people consider spanking foreplay or, indeed, an end in itself? Consider this: on FetLife (a website for kinky people to share their kinks) there are over 332,000 folks signed up as “into” spanking. The annual Boardwalk Badness Weekend in Atlantic City NJ draws thousands of spankos from across the country as well as from Europe. Untold numbers of groups around the country cater strictly to spanking.

          Segue to a recent presentation I attended by NJspankingcouple, whose name says it all. Both male and female consider themselves tops with a decided emphasis on spanking as their kink. They spank each other for fun and both spank other willing bottoms, sometimes double-teaming on the lucky subject. Here’s what I learned from their talk.

Spanking runs the gamut from sensual to sadistic — from, yes, funishment to punishment.
          * Sensual. Rubbing, touching, pinching, light smacking. It’s relaxed and, well, sensual.
          * Erotic. More intimate, sexual, personal. Touching private parts. Can be delicious foreplay.
          * Therapeutic stress relief. A paddle or flogger on the shoulders and ass can relax the subject. Sometimes the subject needs to be pushed into crying so as to totally let loose the tension.

These first three can be for anyone, including casual or pick-up play. The others are for more established couples.
          * Maintenance and discipline. This is motivation and focus, not punishment, for example if one is ignoring something they are supposed to be working on. This should have a set time and place to allow them to anticipate the session.
          * Punishment. This must be harsh. It is a consequence of misbehavior or breaking rules, such as showing up late without calling to say one will be late, or cursing like a sailor. Punishment is usually immediate. Of course, if the recipient is a masochist, then it won’t work; you’d have to find a different punishment, such as scrubbing floors or holding a quarter to the wall with one’s nose. It also helps to add how much they have disappointed you.

Mechanics of spanking:
          Over-the-knee is the standard, beginning position. The giver sits in an armless chair, with the receiver draped over your thighs, with their hands and feet touching the floor. A variation, especially if someone squirms or kicks, is wrapping one leg around theirs and/or holding down their arms. Or position them to lean over a desk or table, chair back, etc. while standing. An alternative for a newbie or someone with a disability can be on a sofa so the recipient has less stress because their weight is more evenly distributed.
Wheelbarrow spank position
          More sophisticated positions include diaper: lying prone on a bed or sofa with both legs lifted up towards the chest (it’s nice to have a helper hold those legs immobile while you swat). Or wheelbarrow, where the recipient is face-down, hands on the floor, legs wedged on either side of your torso. Or on all fours, like a dog.

Kinds of toys:
          You don’t have to spend lots of money. Look around your Dollar Store, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. Or go to a tack store (for horses). Wooden spoons, spatulas, belts, crops, dowels, paint stirrers. Hair brushes, ping pong paddles. The handle from a dangling cat toy. Choose a variety of sizes and shapes and textures.

Technique:
          Start with a warm-up of soft, slow slaps, from one cheek to the other. Use an upward, cupping motion for more sensuality. Change from your palm to wood to leather and back again. Be aware of and avoid the bones at the base of the spine. The sweetest (i.e., gives the most sting) spot is the line where the bottom of the butt meets the back of the thighs. Some receivers like hits on the thighs and some don’t, so ask! Spread their legs and hit vertically onto the crotch. If you’re using a flexible toy (belt, flogger), be careful not to wrap around to the front. If your partner is naked, you may also want to add fingernail scratches up and down the back, or a soft glove or fur mitt in between hard swats. A leather glove will also lessen the sting to your own palm.

Aftercare:
          Especially after a heavy session, be aware your partner may need careful attention – assistance getting to their feet, cuddles and affirmation, a few sips of water. Some may need to be alone to process the experience. The top also needs a form of aftercare as well, not just providing the cuddling, but also going to onlookers and reliving the “Did you see what a great scene that was?” experience.

A final word:
          Spanking IS NOT abuse. This is an entirely different category than an unwilling subject being a punching bag. Spanking should provide pleasure for both parties. Communication is key. Make sure your partner has a safe word, make sure you practice SSC (safe, sane and consensual). Know when to stop, or you’ll be needing a new partner.

          All photos courtesy of and copyright © 2014 by the author.

~~ Cris Anson, who has thoroughly researched and tested some of these methods