The life of the mind is sexy, even if it’s inadvertent

So, I was scrolling through some pictures and couldn’t help from pausing over this one:

A nice girl, with a lovely bottom. Just another photo, right?

What got my juices flowing is the depth of communication created by the poster in the background. The poster itself can be seen in more detail here, but briefly it is the famous 1911 US socialist “Pyramid of Capitalist System,” showing how capitalism “really works”. (Whatever your politics, its incontrovertible that a handful benefit wildly while most grind through life worrying about their mortgage and health care, and maybe that’s not the best way to organise the world?)

Anyway, the point is the poster in the background changes everything in the foreground. Suddenly it is no longer just another girl showing her bum, but a really quite complex musing on exploitation and choice. Because of course, nudity is political. Who keeps their clothes on, who takes them off, who is the viewer and who the viewed, is all about power.

Women’s organisations have, with mixed success, drawn parallels between exploitation of workers and of women — mixed because, submission and proto-exploitation is a very common erotic choice. Desire is mostly politically incorrect and all that. Also (let’s avoid naivete) the undressed women is not powerless. She has quite significant control over the owner of testosterone and can shape him to her will.

With all that in mind, suddenly there is a lot going on in this picture for me. A statement on many levels. And as one who finds thinking women sexy, I find myself fantasizing what else this woman has to say? Yes, I drool over her cheeks, but an interesting head makes them twice as nice.

It’s likely this is all my construction — the poster probably just what was there in the background when some leering photographer snapped pictures of just another model. But, there is the worker’s cap to make the link, so maybe I’m right…?

Quelques grammes de finesse dans un monde de brut

Halleluya. I found a spanking video clip worth reposting. Yeah, I know I’m a bit of a snob. I don’t mean to be. I’m fine if amateur stuff is, well, amateurish. That’s charming. But when professional (for sale) work runs the dreary teacher, daddy, naughty schoolgirl or wife clichés over and over, well. Yawn.

Now contrast this, a real scene somehow one feels, with a crackling dialogue, not least because it contains meta-narrative — reflecting on the process during the process (but without spoiling it. In fact enhancing it with layers of mutual perception and irony and self-regard between the particpants). It’s a complete breath of fresh air.

Need I mention that he’s dressed to her equivalence (ref post on this), and gives somehow just perfectly weighted swats on her … totally, mesmerisingly delicious, I’ve-died-and-gone-to-heaven bottom. Of course, he will have to step it up a gear, but all in good time. One of the great things about this scene is that he has things just quietly simmering and could hold it there for a long, long time, letting tolerance and arousal build without forcing it. There’s a great confidence in being able to do that.

I have not the foggiest who these people are (are they famous?) nor if there is a longer version of this clip and where it is to be had. My ignorance, not sure if this is good or bad! Judging by the views at Dailymotion it’s been around at least three years. I’d appreciate knowing.

All dressed up and one more thing to do

This picture* puts me in mind of one of my enduring favourites authority-lifestyle situations.

It goes like this: we are about to go out to a dinner party, or the opera, or somewhere nice. We’re both dresssed up. Just before we depart, she brings me the cane or paddle and readies herself — just like in the picture — for a crisp spanking.

It happens over the dress. Not a heavy session. Stiff enough for her to notice it all evening, but at the same time something she can well absorb without falling out of her hair-do or smudging her makeup. (Ed note: I don’t like heavy makeup.) Then we’re out the door.

Why at this exact moment? She’s looking glamorous, wearing something alluring. I find women particularly attractive in evening dress, doubly-so at the beginning of an evening when anticipation is running high. But there’s more. At this moment we stand at the threshold of the private-public divide. Once out there she’s her own woman in every way and I support that. In anticipation, this little moment is a grounding — a reminder of who she is in other ways, what her enduring structures are.

It’s erotic that, as we go about our evening, she has red stripes on her bottom that only the two of us know about. Our secret is so deliciously … near. And yes, I wouldn’t resist a subtle swat now and then to restoke the fire.

(* picture is from Girl’s Boarding School, free included in its ubiquitous wall-to-wall marketing.)

‘Only as hard as my mind and body need it that day to react’

I liked this take on severity: “It might come as a surprise to some of you, and it actually a little bit of surprise to me as well, but I absolutely do not have a severity fetish. Some people say I can take a lot. And the truth is yes, I can, but I don’t really want to. It’s a little bit like “I have been there, I have done that”. I much more prefer lighter play that I can savour and enjoy than hard play that I can only survive. As far as severity goes I need it only as hard as my my mind and body need it that day to “react”. – this from Kami Robertson’s On the Way of Exploration.

What is like about this is it reframes the “how-hard” question in terms of a means-to-an-end, not an end in itself. I think a lot of people somehow buy into the idea that doing it harder is to be strived for, it shows more dominance (or submission). It is an end to be aspired to.

(I don’t think spanking harder shows more dominance at all. Real dominance is mental-emotional, to be found in resolution, courage, forthrightness, etc., but that’s another story.)

The real goal in spanking — for me and I suspect most people — is not to do it harder. It  is to reach the emotional and erotic heights, and achieve personal closeness and alignment. A spanking needs to be hard enough to get “there”, but no harder.

For me this isolates a key source of frustration correctly: if how hard he needs it to be to get “there” and how hard she needs it to be to get “there” are not in alignment, there will be endemic frustration and, although tolerances can build I don’t see any solution to that incompatibility.

Speaking for myself, I need it to be fairly hot and hard to get there. A good hand spanking or paddle whacking, or strapping: enough strokes so her bottom is genuinely bouncing around and a decidely hot pink. (If she crumbles in the middle of this and ends the event, I am very frustrated indeed.) But if I get that, then I’m “there” and to go on would be pointless and a turn-off.

The gruff and the beautiful, once again the hands say it all

I’m a ‘hands addict’ because hands communicate so much. Strength, power, vulnerability, reaching out, exposing, protecting, caring. Once again hats off to Red Charls for being the site-of-sites for pictures that talk. Or walk the talk. Or walk the ‘no-more-talk’ …. you know what I mean 😉

‘Take a look at these hands / They’re passing in between us / …’

As I discover what I want to do with this blog, I find that selecting and showcasing pictures that move me and saying why they move me (as a Top) is a big part of it. Alas, so many of the pictures out there are derivative. But this one, which I know nothing about, but which I found at Keagen’s Spanking Memoir is worth noticing.

Keagen comments: “To me, it says, ‘You can fight and struggle, but I promise, it’s ok. I’m strong enough to handle the fight, and strong enough to handle you.’ Yet, she’s not being FORCED into position. She is there of her own free-will. (You can tell because of the relaxation in her lower body and back.) *simply* I like it. His hands come over top of her body, so she is extremely close to him, and he is not simply standing behind her. This is, more than anything, a gesture of love, of support, of safety. It’s a gesture of strength, of containment. . . . of boundaries.”

To which I would only add how much I like the focus on hands. Hands are so important in spanking – what he does with his (obviously) and what she does with hers, or is not allowed to do. And her hands are very open, very accepting and receptive. I like too the different skin tones they have. Something sexy about her paleness and his mustiness. Also this is clearly a ‘bondage’ picture, but without the ersatz chains and crap. What a relief. And, lest I forget my true calling, her bottom is very desirable, spankable indeed.

Lightness and heaviness (or should that be darkness?)

So last time out, I had a mild go at Taken in Hand for getting dull and preachy. Gratifyingly a few people have popped up in my email box to quietly agree. I hope it’s obvious that some of this was reflecting my own evolution, me being ‘in a different place’, although I do think, objectively, the site is not what it was.

Anyway in that post I threw out the idea that “discipline, domestic or otherwise, is serious business because it takes us very close to deep parts of the psyche… but somehow I’m moving on from needing it to be so damn wholesome.”

Let me add something to this because, to explain better, it not that the wholesome is to be shrugged off. It is that there is unreconstructed ‘non-wholesomeness’ to be accommodated too.

To explain: I’m in the cohort of ‘Tops’ who are troubled by oppression and inequality. I’m extremely liberal-egalitarian in outlook, including being shocked by violence and troubled by hitting anyone or anything, most of all a woman, which all sits very uneasily with a liberal world view. I would march in the streets against domestic violence. But I’m absolutely hardwired to spank a willing woman’s bottom (and not remotely hardwired for this to be reciprocated.)

So I  seek a framework of justification and integration. For example, I believe that structure is good, in life and in relationships. I believe a big part of what a male contributes to a relationship is to protect and provide, including providing guiding purpose, strength (real strength, not pumped up jerk strength), and authority. I know too that spanking provides intimacy like nothing else. It also provides very hot foreplay. And so on. I know that many men are wired just like me, and women wired the other way — if it’s a fringe world view, which I actually doubt, it is extremely common.

So I can intellectually and morally justify who I am (in this form of my life). That’s the “evolved” part. This accounts for a lot of what goes on on sites like TIH and many other forums — the elaboration of wholesome (aka heavy) justification of the adult M/f spanking relationship by both men and women, showing the many reason why it is functional not dysfunctional, and therefore is moral and good. I agree with the process and most of what is said..

But there is more. The truth will set you free and the truth is that something else seeks release and expresssion — a violent impulse, a sterner persona, a will to overpower, a totally unreconstructed instinct to “own” the woman through her willingly proffered bottom, to lash it, to see it  change shape as a mightly thwack overcomes it, to hear her gasp, to see her wriggle (but remain “as positioned” or else) in an absolute gift of submission.

That was hard to write.

I can justify this: real thrashing is very like ‘wild’ fucking: the deepest test, providing for the most intimacy, the strongest ‘contract’ of dominance and submission. I would add that events should not happen at this level every time, and when it happens I’m super-ultra-careful to use a soft-ish instrument. I have never caused even close to the kind of damage you see on some sites, and never would.

But … this is just justification again, the mental machinations of the wholesome, evolved, gentle spirit, searching for morality. The bald truth is there is a very dominant, testosterone-soaked, very unreconstructed, non-evolved ‘cowboy’ that rides this path at times.

I suppose, as long as this life force can be fruitfully harnessed (more justification, Alex) it’s better that it’s there than not. Welcome to the mysteries of life as a carbon-based biped on a spinning blue-green planet lost in quantum darkness. To life!

But, anyway, this is the ‘badness’ that I’m talking about. The unreconstructed male that shrugs out of the cloak of acceptibility … which causes some, er,  shifting-up of personnell to make space for on the sofa of the liberal-egalitarian framework, I tell ya. I think the only way this integration can occur is through a certain lightness of being — some things cannot and should not be justified, they just ‘are’.

Farewell Patrick Swayze

With great sadness I bid farewell to one of my private icons, Patrick Swayze. I didn’t really follow his Hollywood career per se, which seemed like the usual up-and-down ego-rollercoaster, including alcoholism. It was his identity and performances as an powerful, virile dancer in movies such as Dirty Dancing and One Last Dance that impressed me. Talk about “100% male” also in touch with his feminine side.

And when you combine this with mentoring of a pouty, privileged young lady, as in Dirty Dancing where circumstances force Johnny Castle (Swayze), the hired help, to train up a hotel-guest doctor’s daughter (Jennifer Grey) … you’re on your way to a you-know-what kind of fantasy.

And also this (embed disabled) link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jh5IQXToFs&feature=channel

Isn’t she just deliciously inviting come-uppance? Funny they don’t show it! But it’s simmering there. Who knows, perhaps Lisa Niemi, Swayze’s wife of 34 years, has a story or two to tell. Or Jennifer Grey …

Skirt or pants? Just different. Yummy both ways.

A reader’s comment on my previous post about the cane: “Heaven help my spankee (j) if she presents for punishment wearing slacks…” gets me thinking about spankees in skirts vs pants.

As usual it’s different strokes for different folks, literally, in our world. Myself I love skirts, of course. Ditto stockings. But I equally have nothing against a woman in slacks (pants) either, for spanking or for everyday.

The skirt is the classic uniform for spanking because it provides unconstrained “access” and knowledge thereof, and so is considered more classically femininine dress, although this is of course a chicken-and-egg relationship.

spank_pantsWhile pants come with the minor hassle of having to get them off at some stage, they have advantages too. First, as per last post, they provide protection when needed. But also, generally, women’s pants curve to the bottom, and show the shape of bottom and hips better than a skirt. Horse-riding jodhpurs are the epitome of this, but even tailored, structured women’s pants are made to be tighter and shaplier than men’s, showing off what attracts. And, boy, does it attract. I have a serious weakness for “shape”.

Who would not be attracted to completely dominate the proferred bottom in the picture, clad just as it is?

And it’s a reality in this day and age that women wear pants a lot. It’s part of decades of empowerment and liberation, which is great. Empowered, independent, intelligent women — often pants wearers — are more interesting, and certaintly more interesting to spank.

When it comes to spanking itself, yes, there is no automatic access to the derriere and its charms. But it’s not hard to get pants off, or make her take them off. Furthermore, while men’s trousers tend to “drop” off, women’s usually have to be tugged over the hips, and this minor struggle can be, in itself, erotic — one more barrier inexorably falling on the road to submission.

The “English” cane isn’t designed for the naked bottom

Caning is the quinessentially English contribution to the spanking / corporal punishment arts. I confess I have not gone deeply into the history of this implement, but I know it came into English society and culture from the colonies – Malaysia most likely – where the smooth rattan (Malay: “rotan”) cane grows wild and plentifully. By the end of the 19th century caning had replaced birching across English society, famously in public (i.e. private) schools and other insitutions, and across the colonies too in similar environments, as the standard form of corporal punishment.

The institutional nature of caning is important. Key is guidelines and conventions of practice were that the caned person was to be fully clothed. One must step back to understand the English themselves to fully appreciate this: clothes-stay-on interaction of this type is in no small part bound up in English cultural “reserve” and embarassment about nakedness and eroticism. Caning with clothes on keeps the whole process more comfortably “at arms length”. It allows reserve to be maintained and, specifically, facilitates denial of any suggestion that it is an erotic act, which of course it is (to a greater of lesser extent depending on the proclivities of the participants).

So the cane found its place as an instrument in English society in the latter part of the 19C, the height of Victorian puratinism, as the instrument that resolves a specific conundrum — how to effect a punishment of a fully clothed bottom. Fully clothed, the cane makes perfect sense. It provides the ability to punish well enough through two or three layers. It is fit for purpose.

If the cane is all about penetrating clothing it follows that the amount of bend, and whip, and the weight-to-surface-area of a cane will easily break bare skin. (I’m not an overly large man. I’m reasonably strong, but not excessively so, but I know if I put my body and shoulder into a strike I break the skin. I can safely assume this is true of everyone.)

As caning has left the school and judicial sphere, but remains very much alive in kink, a bit of this memory does no harm, I feel. And can lead to better practice.

It’s fine of course to cane the bare bottom in a forearm-wrist-flick-flick kind of way. Visually this is highly attractive, and safe enough. This is very much the erotic side of things and there’s nothing on earth that gets as much yummy wiggling and squealing and utter contrition per tiny ounce of force as a cane. It’s intoxicating. Great.

As long as that’s where it stays. Problem comes in confusing this with real discipline and punishment mode…

When the situation calls for a proper caning, I deeply prefer she has full bottom-covering on — low cut knickers (that’s panties for you lot across the pond), plus stockings, plus a skirt or slacks which pull tight when she bends over. Prepared this way she can be properly caned, thrashed if necessary, to the mental and emotional and physical catharsis that real discipline provides. It will leave stripes to be sure, but will also inherently respect her physical wellbeing and the sanctity of her skin. And it will be using the instrument in the manner it was designed for.

Mesmerised by Red Charls

I was introduced to a site called Red Charls “site amateur, gratuit” by a correspondent who popped up in my email inbox with the most enticing review, waxing lyrical and far too deliciously not to quote a bit – see below.

I see spanking and DD as essentially theatre of the mind, and I’m generally more pleased by a good story than a picture. But these photos are really something. On the downside, Charls’ spanking section is merely one tranche on a site that does rope and candlewax and other (to me) mere clutter. And it’s very “Euro-noir” in overal ambiance. Yawn. But there is real art here.

ss-rc-203

ss-rc-45a

First, the photographer, whoever he or she is, is a genius. The pictures are not just pleasingly polished, clear, well composed, beautifully lit, colour-balanced and so on, but they also breathtakingly feel the ‘motion’ of spanking. The swing, the strike, the squirm, it’s all humanity-in-motion and it’s all captured. The pictures also seek out other things that are hard to express: firmness of purpose, gentleness of intent, totality of submission, and so on. It’s a pure an evocation of masculinity / femininity, utterly different in aspect, dress and role, colliding with a desire that leaps off the page. To me it is just smokin’.

Another perspective – what my correspondent (who’s name I’ll withhold, but who identifies herself as a straight female from New England) had to say:

ss-rc-gg1 “Her hair is gorgeous and I like that it’s left flowing behind her. I like the simplicity of the bindings- just what appears to be soft green rope. Her positioning is again, simple, but perfect- leaning forward throughout, with her back arched and bottom pushed back pleasingly (photo 11 is stunning in this regard). She’s in simple heels, nothing too showy. There are about 33 photos in this series featuring this same girl/same scene, and the beauty of that is you can really see her going through it all, from panties on, then being pulled down slightly, and her bottom being completely white, to them finally settling where they are in these photos- acting as a bit of a binding in themselves – preventing her from opening her legs wider, all the way to her bottom being rendered bright red…

“I like the implement too, which is simple as can be, the man’s arm which is shown to be veiny and muscular, and the strength that that implies. But I have to say the thing that captivates me the most is the markings. #13 in particular, is the one I find myself staring at. The markings are so obviously real, and freshly received, all the way from that beautiful curve of her lower back- how you can see the imprint of the stitching in the leather and that it’s higher up on the right since he’s on her left & is using his right hand, the redness across her cheeks, which in this photo is in the midst of being walloped in double whammy fashion, down to her upper things- particularly her upper inner thighs, and then, of course, those panties again, just below it all. Am I crazy for finding this breathtakingly hot?”

Strongly caring and caring strongly

I hesitate to post this picture* because it is a bit “showy”, but there is something about it that really speaks to me. I think it is the interplay of hands – the suggestion of control given and control taken – that lifts it to being a really fine photograph. To me it’s about bonding. With his left there is the bond of holding-hands, with his (implied) right there is the bond of firm hand-to-bottom. Strongly caring and caring strongly. Mmmm. Perfect.

spanked

* Picture: Jflamewalker

Mental Rope

Good ol’ pressure of work has taken me away, but now I’m back. What I’ve been thinking about a fair bit is the issues of restraint, that is tying up or tying down for a spanking, and how it totally changes the dynamic. Contrary to the apparently (I’m told) disputatious nature of some of my previous posts — I’d prefer the term “polite polemic” myself 🙂 — I don’t actually have a strong opinion either way. Just some thoughts.

First, handcuffing, or light bondage in general, is undoubtedly highly erotic. It takes the everyday egalitarian power balance and unbalances it – suddenly one person is at the mercy of the other. It is a doorway if not the royal road into “sub-space.” Restraint and coercion is the stuff of just about every sexual fantasy, and that’s great.

It is also, I’m told, easier to bear a spanking when tied down. There’s less “choice”. It is certainly easier to stay in position, which is good for the Top too. It’s rather tiresome to have to re-re-re-position a bottom.

But, there’s always a cost and the cost is subtle, but significant. What is very much a turn-on, from this male POV at least, is her choice to have the spanking and to submit willingly and fully to each smack. If her hands are free and she chooses to or forces herself to keep them out the way, and stay in position, it says more to me than the tied-up-sub just remaining tied up. With each stroke it speaks willingness to submit and renewed acknowledgment of authority given. It’s active submission rather than passive submission.

Although I thought the movie was generally feeble, there was a scene in “The Secretary” that resonated with me (not the spanking scene to be sure). It was when he instructs her to place her hands on the desk and remain in that position until “released”. Of course he was a thoroughly unworthy Dom (run a mile and don’t look back) and so made the “test” absurdly long, but still she would not release herself. She was mentally bound, but those ropes are the strongest… and there’s still nothing on earth as enticing as a strong submissive.

So I would deliciously bind to spank, but for the highest experience as a Top I prefer to apply the more subtle, more demanding “mental rope only”.

From erotica to art, better to ponder the mysteries of cornertime

I came across this digital illustration at Spankful Delight (thanks!)

cornertime

I have  no idea of the attribution (if anyone knows, tell me and I’ll put it up.)

It’s not the most fabulous work of art. Technically and compositionally there is much wrong with it. But that’s hardly the point here. What’s interesting is that it crosses the line from erotica to art. (Porn is the commercial subset of erotica, some of which is art. What makes art “art” is not just a matter of personal preference. There are criteria – which are debated – but essentially art is something that causes us to think, ponder, view differently while erotica/porn is essentially about stimulating the juices.)

Previous pictures I’ve posted so far on this site are of course erotica. But this one, while erotic, moves the viewer in another way as well. It “discusses” post-spanking and cornertime and refreshes perception. With a centred subject, knickers down to the artistic gaze, it is about the power imbalance between the viewer and the viewed. Cornertime as “display” time does that. It extends the discipline effect: going from under his hand to under his eye, if you like.

It also shows cornertime as more tranquil that one commonly perceives it. Meditative even. As I’ve no personal experience of being in her position the strength of this idea is, to me, something new. I know that a common theme in spanking is the “peace” that follows once she has integrated the spanking/discipline into herself. Cornertime facilitates that integration. That seems the artist’s intention here (open to debate of course, as all art is!)

Spanking marks and the workings of identification

spanking-caning So I was setting up a few links to blogs and sites I find compatible (please link!) and I came across an interesting short post “Marks” by Cyndi at Her Secret Corner.

Cyndi says: “I don’t know why it is, but I’m turned on by marks. An overall red bottom is good, but discernible marks are where it’s really at for me. Of course, I’m only into dd scenarios, so I think it has something to do with the idea of power and control.”

I have to confess too that I find marks very attractive – good marks, like in this picture. Not brutal marks. (The boss must never loose control.)

So what’s going on? Let’s first say that marks mean a certain level of spanking impact, and with a stiff implement – cane, crop, brush, etc. So marks mean he has, literally, “made an impact” and that impact will be lasting. Let’s say he crops her and leaves good, warm marks, red and raised, and then takes her out to dinner. He knows and she knows, and he knows she knows, that she has those marks under her skirt. It lenthens the spanking’s impact, allowing it to linger. Mmmm. Who could wait to get home?

Also, with marks on her bottom, she inevitably carries the spanking – the alignment with her authority figure – into the everyday. Next day, let say she goes off to work, or to a party. She secretly carries her consciousness of his power everywhere she goes. That’s attractive.

Also, marks are strong “markers” (literally) of identification in every society. In traditional societies people paint their faces, pierce their skin, and so on, to show affiliation with the group. In modern societies people identify themselves with sporting teams by painting team colours on their faces and bodies at matches. Some tatoos are strong markers of couple or group identification.

In this same way, her marks are proof of identification with him, his authority and discipline, and the spanking process. They should fade soon of course (play safe!) all the better to be renewed frequently and vigorously.