How to get the spanking you want: talking taboo
May 26, 2009 11 Comments
I’m delighted to do a bit of promo for one of the most intelligent, insightful bloggers around – Vivian at The Disciplined Feminist – who has written a 2-part spanking book “How to Get the Spanking You Want: The Complete Guide to Asking for it, Getting It & Making It Better,” available through this link.
Explaining the book on her blog she says: “Of all the emails I get asking for advice, well over half of them are from women (and some men) who want their husband or boyfriend to spank them, but don’t know how to ask, and this question seems to pop up a lot on spanking and DD forums, too.”
I haven’t read the book yet, but the topic has me thinking: why is spanking hard to ask for? (I strongly suspect that Tops want to ask for it as much as Bottoms want to, but the Top mindset is less likely to be actively advice-seeking.) More particularly, why is it hard to ask for in a world where it has become relatively easy to ask for many kinds of kink? Egged on by Cosmo and others, it is quite fashionable to ask to be corseted or tied up, or to use various toys and costumes all under the banner of “spicing things up”.
But spanking (real, hard, non-nonsense spanking, not the pat & giggle stuff) is a much harder thing to raise. I think it is because Spanking Is Violence.
As a man, one experiences very heavy socialisation from an early age to constrain violent impulses. Agression is channeled out of us in every way (other than on the sports field) which is absolutely correct of course. Anyone who hits another person is a criminal. And all the more so with regards to girls – you never, ever hit girls.
To me this is key to why spanking is hard to ask for – because it runs heavily against our socialisation. For him, asking the uninitiated, he is breaking this heavy social taboo. Psychopath! For her, asking the uninitiated may be mistaken for the equivalent submissive pathology: the desire to be hit, hurt …
In fact, spanking is okay (great!) because it is highly ritualised, that is, has associated codes and rules which define actions and limits (the key ones are bottom only + consensuality). It is okay exactly in the sense that other code-constrained violence, notably contact sports and martial arts are okay. These also allow and imply consent to violence-within-the-rules. The rules make the violence productive rather than destructive.
This suggests a way to approach the how-to-ask conundrum. Whether you are a Top or a Bottom, the key to overcoming the taboo is to stress that spanking is rule-based violence, that is, “productive” violence. It produces such things as discipline, intimacy, mentoring, nurturing, eroticism, couple harmony and so on. (It is deeply significant that sex is codified violence too – it is precisely the *rules* surrounding the practice of taking a woman, overpowering and penetrating her, that make it socially acceptable and delightful. Without the rules, it’s rape.)
Well, that’s my 2c. I’m looking forward to reading what Viv has to say, and have little doubt that she has sorted out this question better than I have.