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…?

Love-hate relationship with the belt, cont.

It’s very common and understandable that spankees have a love/hate relationship with the instruments of their persuasion. What’s less fully articulated is spankers’ ambiguities towards their implements. In my ongoing quest to interrogate the mind of a Top – for myself most of all – I offer a thought or two about the belt.

First let me say that I’m set thinking on this by a great blog “This is How it Feels” by Poppy St Vincent, where she reposts the following (Real Spankings) picture and says:

“This is how it feels when he takes his belt off and you know he is going to use it on your bottom. It is a very scary feeling and it makes you want to curl up but you also want a cuddle and to sit on his lap but the problem is that half of you wants to run away for miles and miles and miles and the other half wants to reach for his strong arms and snuggle down in them so tight that no one other than him will ever even know where you are.”

It is a great picture! (For my taste I find Real Spankings a bit “obvious”. Yes, high on production values, but low on originality or insight. From what I’ve seen, from a distance, over the years it’s always a bit like a high school production — good technique, yet limited in mind and therefore somehow always pedestrian.) But, anyway, the point is that this picture escapes that. The push-pull of her emotions is uniquely captured.

Here’s the good and bad of the belt for me. The bad is in the ‘I’m-gonna-tan-yer-hide’-belt-removal which is inescapably (possibly in every culture!) associated with low-life scum. The image conjures the dumb swine with a beer in one hand and a fag in one other, stomach flopping out his shirt, who whose first resort to the problem of his crumbling authority is to yank his belt from it loops.

Each to his/her own – but, personally, this is an image I run from.

The good in the belt is that it is a great implement. It has the advantage of being part of the everyday rather than bespoke “kinky ware.” Also, assuming it is wide enough, it also provides a great whack at relatively little bottom damage. I find with a belt I can give a good, hot, bottom-thrashing, while knowing she’s actually … really… fine.

Spanking is sometimes a figure/ground study for me

Here’s a picture. It comes from (of course) the one and only Red Charls. Who else dramatises and photgraphs the D/s experience so expertly?

I have a complicated relationship with this image. (Therein I call it art.) I look at it one way and I see a defensless, nude woman under the rod of oppression. Then I look at it again and I see a perfect alignment of wills, a deep yearning for discipline, a most caring hand of authority.

One way; then the other way. Back and forward. My ambivalence, of course. My struggle with all this.

This is just like the figure / ground studies we all know. Look at this picture. Do you see the vase or do you see the faces? Vase. Faces. Vase. Faces. Back and forth.

What am I saying (other than the banal, how we look at things affects what we see)?

I suppose I’m really conscious of how “so-very-right” and “so-very-wrong” are remarkably two sides of the same coin, and how it is quite hard to get that coin to reliably land right side up. It’s not just a question of seeing the postive. It is about putting the positive there for all to see.

‘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.

The bearable lightness of becoming evolved but unreconstructed

Through my ‘reader’ which subscribes me to a number of quality blogs in the spanking, domestic discipline and generally classic relationship field (more than I have time for, but I like to keep myself informed) 😉 I found myself on the ‘Taken in Hand’ site which I haven’t visited for a long while. TIH was among the formative resources in developing my mindset and approach.

Actually, what lured me there was yet another ‘What if He Finds the Idea Shocking?’ post, to see if there was anything new to report, but there was not. I say: shock him and let him deal with it! Is that too irreverant?

As I look at TIH now, after years, I have to say I find the whole site a bit… ‘heavy’. Yes, I prefer discussion and imagination to a clutch of red-ass pictures, and run from the pant-pant (allegedly) spank photo sites, but now and then a decent picture does have a place. I get what the site is trying to do in its text-only approach; who it is trying to put off — fair enough — but photos and drawings often capture a state of mind singularly and unequivocally, and if tastefully done, why not? Even just to break up the tombstones of text.

spank-art

In that spirit I offer this one, just … because it really speaks to me. I interpret that warm round flesh pressing, nuzzling against the tight steel line as suggestive in every way.

And I find the new marriage bias of the TIH site a bit trying. Marriage is good of course, but clearly, both in fantasy and in reality, many perfectly effective and wonderful TIH-type relationships are not and should not be between married or even marriagable couples. The disciplining uncle, principal, policeman … and so on. While marriage and consensual spanking may go together; that doesn’t meant that unmarried and not spanking follows. (Recalling my philosophy undergraduate lessons: ‘if A then B’ does not always mean ‘if not A then not B.’)

And I realise I personally can no longer marinate myself in ‘What if he’s horrified by the idea?’ posts. Alright, it is an important topic, but I suppose one learns about the debates and moves on. That’s what I’m trying to say, and so this is not to ‘diss’ TIH — there is still a lot of good thoughtful stuff there. It’s more my own realisation of the many rich resources that have come about since its inception, not least all the wonderful blogs that my feed reader collects, that leave TIH looking a bit fuddy duddy.

And it’s also about my own progress, an evolving integration into a not unbearable semi-lightness of spanking being. Discipline, domestic or otherwise, is serious business because it takes us very close to deep parts of the psyche. Yes, one must be careful and one must communicate well. But somehow I’m moving on from needing it to be so damn wholesome. It’s that ‘evolved, but unreconstructed’ thing that I’m working on.