Rollback from the spanking community flush

A-Non Jenn (thanks for commenting) asks was it rude, pushy commenters that drove me away? No, not at all! I’m fine with a bit of polemic and well able to handle it.

My time off was more taking time to think and focus, after the first blush of spanking community-love has worn off. Specifically, I’ve been juggling the injunction to be “accepting” vs. the need to make judgements and draw some lines, which after all is what authority figures do.

Let’s start here: We’ve all had the experience of googling spanking and, “oh wow, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there just like me. I thought I was the only one.”

Alright, so that was a decade ago or more. This for me evolved into a long phase opening up to what other people do, even if it was not arousing. “They do it like that? With that? Well, could be worth a try.” I still actively keep an open mind.

But now I find there is also rolling back. A return to home terrain. For me, the rolling back was more or less these steps.

1. BDSM. This was never a struggle, to be honest. I’m a spanking purist. We live in different worlds, and I wish all you BDSMers all the best, but, see you later. (However, I did take away the practice of pussy spanking — with a good piece of leather — just enough to get her wriggling and gasping. That’s something for a future post, after I’ve written more about foreplay.)

2. Spanking as cloak for abusers. Also a not-struggle: and this is what much of this blog has been about up to now — pushing back against physical or emotional abusers, who are acting out immature rage against women, or the world, or whatever, under the cloak of alternative sexuality. I say “run and don’t look back.” Don’t confuse abuse with meaningful, structuring, adult spanking, which is fundamentally affirming in orientation.

3. Spanking pornography. I’ve never been a porn kind of guy. Maybe it’s the realism I crave, or maybe I just can’t bear the atrocious acting. I’m not puritanical about porn — I believe it should be legal and all that. The problems are twofold. First, it’s always exploitative, even if the model is paid; second it’s always commercial in the sense of having to pander to mainstream tastes. Turning off the stream means I don’t have to see any more headmaster-schoolgirl scenarios. Yay.

4. Spanking for punishment. This one is a struggle, and here, to be honest, I’m divided. Because we’ve all had punishment fantasies — I’ll share some of mine in future posts. But let’s be analytically clear: the notion of punishment is what “allows” spanking to happen. It legitimises the desire to strike another person, or be struck. But the desire and the legitimisation don’t always line up, often leading to complete hypocrisy.

Put this another way: is she really being spanked because she dinged the car, or because you want to spank her? Answer that and you see the hypocrisy. Not to mention infantalisation, if this becomes the way two adults manage their lives.

So I’m starting to see punishment-oriented relationships as diminishing to both parties and a barrier to real co-adult development; but acting out punishment fantasies as very much okay.

It will take a few posts to put this idea forward more fully. Forgive me for being a bit humourless about all this. Not my style at all! To make up I offer a yet one more pic from my favourite picture site, not least because the scenes here embody 100% Topness and bottomness without need for  recourse to “you’ve been a naughty girl” to make it okay.

Getting Bach in the Saddle

It has been a very long time since I last posted. I could yammer on about pressure of work and life, but in fact the real reason… as has become apparent to me… is I’ve had to go away and think about what I want to say. Or, more exactly whether it’s worth saying. Do I wanted to dialog with the spanking world or just, as it were, think and do ‘my own thing’?

But, I’ve been scrolling through my mailbox (artofauthority at gmail.com) and I find again some intensely rich discussions which make making time for this worthwhile. There is intelligent life out there.

To these people, I want to reflect how my thinking has advanced over the past 18 months, as well as change focus slightly to talk a little less about spanking and a little more about how it fits in with everything else, or at least, how I see it. Although this remains a one-core-topic blog, my aim is to let in some more of the rest of me, particularly as has to do with philosophy, policy, and the arts.

So here goes: today I want to talk about Johan Sebastian Bach. For no urgent reason other than he happens to be playing through my iTunes. (It’s the Cantata BWV80 if you’re interested.) What I mean is, I want to talk about order and structure and control and limits, and the productivity of limits, because this is what High Classical is about. It’s about imposing a tight framework on things, and then seeing how far you can bend the rules without breaking them.

Any of this sound familiar?

This, among other things, is what makes Bach and similar enduringly interesting while the pop of yesterday is just, well, yesterday’s pop. (But don’t get me wrong, I’m a faithful fan of good rock, blues, and jazz too!)

Over the next few weeks I’m going to put forward an epistemology of spanking — if you’ll allow that little self-aggrandisement — that is about structure and the productivity of limits; and push back against the “punishment” camp which overwhelms and degrades the space (due to paucity of understanding of the alternative, methinks, as well as lazy conformance to the zeitgeist of pornographers.)

All that and more to come…

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.

Again my Top sensibilities are expressed (in mirror form)

There’s a great post from Finding Sara, where she very funnily describes her minor brush with a cop, finishing up with this observation: “I am an executive. I run companies. I make money. I boss lots of people around! But you know what, faced with a dominant man in a position of authority, and dressed in pink on my way to the fabric store, I dropped into my submissive persona at his first ‘Excuse me M’am’…
“Most times I slip in and out of my various personas and roles in my life without much conscious thought or awareness, but sometimes I step back and wonder how the same woman can be such a ditz and a savvy business woman, a boss and a submissive wife simultaneously. I can negotiate and close deals, and then lose my (unregistered) vehicle in the parking lot all on the same day. I really don’t know what to make of it and I am not sure if all women feel this way or if it has to do with the fact that I have very different sides of me that create this walking contradiction that is me.”

I can totally relate, but from the other side. My role as a Top in anything but monolithic, and I’m not always in “authority mode”, nor do I want to be. That would be so, well, unidimensional. My life is many roles, some authoritative, others egalitarian. I have times when I need to be held, times when I look to be gently guided. I have worked under women. I walk around the office and have no fantasies of dominating them. An then something happens, a look, a flash of naughtiness, a bit of sass, or (less fun) a problem or crisis arises, and I can instantly kick into authority mode. We are many of us (those willing to admit it, feel it and explore it) multi-dimensional, aka “walking contradictions”.

Spanking-discipline is interesting, I think, because it provides a clear position in the shifting sands of our (both Tops and bottoms) everyday relationship with authority. But no sooner has it passed than the clarity fades. This is good because it allows our other dimensions their share of voice. Therefore to spank again. 🙂

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.

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.

‘Consenting adults in private’, redux

I’ve been thinking about is whether its possible to come up with a better minimum code of ethical interaction for spanking (and D/s) relationships than the old standard: every practice is okay as long as it’s between “consenting adults in private.”

Consenting Adults in Private evolved from the gay rights world, and may not be quite right for D/s. It is more than apparent that a lot of unethical-by-any-measure (genuinely exploititatve, cruel) behaviour goes on behind the fig leaves of consent and privacy.

I’m greatly in favour of D/s broadly interpreted. I’m not in favour of real cruelty and exploitation (and I feel D/s is messed up by people who are cruel and abusive for real.)

I’m not moralising, nor trying to reign anyone in, nor get anyone else to do what I do. I absolutely appreciate the diversity of practice and opinion in our field. It is all about self- and other-exploration, so there must be freedom to explore. But I don’t think one can say: “don’t judge what I do in my house and I won’t judge what you do in yours”.

Think of it this way: despotic and criminal countries with human rights abuses galore always say: “don’t interfere in our internal affairs, and we won’t interfere in yours.” But in fact the abuses of children, women, prisoners, p.o.w.’s, disabled people, mentally handicapped, people of colour, gays and lesbians, and so on has forced charters such as the Internation Declaration on Human Rights, the Geneva Convention, and so on, which precisely say: “it’s not all subjective, cultural, relative. There is a basic human standard of behaviour ethical nations adhere to.” By the way it’s worth reading the Declaration of Human Rights, which can be found at this link.

I wouldn’t mind this kind of charter for the spanking D/s world. Something everyone could point to, which would glady tolerate the healthy diversity of interpretation and practice, but also flag real abuse.

So what might this look like? Here’s a beginning list:

1. Adults. No D/s interaction with anyone under the national ‘age of consent’. Note, I’m not saying 18. If the age of consent is 16, that means D/s is allowed. If that’s not okay, the age of consent should be raised. (Natural parents spanking children in a moderate way is no problem.)

2. Duty of care and consistency. The dominant must have the submissive’s interests at heart. This is hard to pin down – definitions vary – but I think we all know when it’s not there. There is a duty on the punisher to make sure the punished is not grossly physically harmed. This extends to mental health too. The rules can be strict, and the consequences severe, but the submissive should feel mentally secure, not subject to random witholding of the relationship or other ‘mind games’.

3. Absolute limits on the strike zone. What’s tricky about spanking is it’s hitting, and hitting is also the essence of abuse. We resolve this by saying some zones are smackable, others not. But, you might say, ‘what if she agrees to be punched in the face as part of her discipline?’ This would pose a theoretical problem, but in all my years I’ve never seen it nor heard of it. It can be safely dismissed. There are standard body areas, the bottom obviously (but perhaps also pussy, legs, and back too, according to preference) that can ‘belong’ to the Dominant (subject to 2 above.) But that doesn’t mean he should start the session with a few ‘backhands’, nor that she should feel this is permissible.

4. Freedom of association. This is the consent point. But I don’t think consent is the right concept because in D/s non-consent or partial-consent or overcoming-of-non-consent is intrinsic to the act for many. So a clearer principle is freedom of association. This means that a person should be free to walk away (physically, mentally, socially, financially) without fear of retribution.

5. Private. As with all sexuality and nudity, people who are offended or not interested have a right not to be confronted in a public place. The reverse applies too. Nobody should invade your privacy (subject to 1-4 above).

Think of it this way: the abuser is one who denies freedom of association (you leave me and I’ll kill you, etc); will hit his trusty sub any old how, possibly even in public; and disregard her actual, real physical and mental well-being. My little code of practice is a straight reversal of what troubles me, and I think, troubles most honourable people.

Anyway, I suppose I’m whistling in the wind. There will never be an International Charter of D/s Practice. But it maybe worth checking whether these minimums apply to you.

The hairbrush, just the thing for a knotty girl

That headline is a lousy pun and I only allow myself  to use it because it captures how I see the hairbrush: as metaphor.

A hairbrush – a good, large size, hard wood hairbrush – is the perfect spanking implement not just because it makes the bottom wriggle and squirm, and sizzle like a flapjack, but because it embodies metaphor of alignment and control.

Turn it one side and you have the bristles, for combing out knots and tangles. Sometimes you have to be quite brisk, with long, firm strokes, to master the tresses. It makes the hair shine. Unbrushed hair is … dull.

Turn it the other way and you have the flat side, for combing out knots in the whole girl. Sometimes you have to be quite brisk, with long, firm strokes, to manage the tangles of insubordination. You brush out the nautiness and haughtiness. It realigns her. It makes her shine.

It’s perfect.

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 😉

The downhill run to après-spank

Well its snow season and the best way to deal with it is downhill at pace. Time to ski! So anyway, on a lift between somewhere and somewhere, huddled against the wind, I’m given to considering how skiiing and spanking are similar…

First there is the can we or cant we, should we or should’t we phase. Is the snow okay, are the runs safe and passable? Do we want to do this at all?

Then, do we want to do the black diamond run, or maybe just the green circle? It all depends on experience and risk-tolerance.

Then there is the clothing and equipment phase, getting it out, getting it on. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, but it does immediately facilitate a transition of mind to the moment at hand.

Then there is the ski lift, ramping up anticipation. Something is going to happen and you’re going to it, but you’re not there yet. On you go, relentlessly upward and you can’t pull out now (well you can, but not without a lot of unnecessary fuss, and anyway you’re not going to). Butterflies in the tummy (sometimes).

Then, the action. The pure glistening downhill run of desire. Twists and turns. Changes of pace. The body in motion. Fast, glorious expression. Danger too and maybe a few scrapes. You are in many ways alone out there, in your own head.

And then, the après-ski and connecting back to civilization. The familiar gentle hubub, a toasty fire (sorry), relaxation into the warm balm of the other. A feeling of safety and security, and knowledge of a job well done and a day well spent!

A real and lasting impact

I’ve written previously about the role of bottom marks, how they function something like tattoos or face paint, as a lasting (for a while) statement of identification and alignment with the authority figure. As a top, they are indisputable evidence of where you’ve been and the impact you have had. Not every spanking should leave marks, but when it happens it lengthens the spanking consciousness and allows her or forces her to take it wherever she goes. They are a physical manifestations of a state of mind.

But you don’t get marks without pain. Now spanking must be painful to a degree. Certainly if it can be laughed off then it is ineffective if not seriously corrosive. But seeing someone in pain is, to me, a turn-off. The way I see it, pain is a byproduct of a good spanking – necessary, integral, but not its fundamental point. Or put it this way, if I was trying to cause her pain as the main point I could just as well put cigarettes out on her bottom. That would be sore. But completely uninteresting. This is where the spanker and the sadist part ways.

Similarly with humiliation. A certain humiliation – undress – submissive position – respectful speech – is necessary for the spanking to be effective, but there are better ways to produce humiliation per se. Boot licking and all that. Not remotely interesting to me.

So pain is a byproduct. Humiliation is a byproduct. The spanking ‘product’ itself is, to me, impact. Spanking is an act of direct impact. That’s what’s interesting and meaningful. It is a way for me to say: I’m going to have an impact on you (your behaviour, your attitude, your delicious sassiness, whatever) in a way that is both unequivocal and unassailable, but physically (pain) safe and emotionally (humiliation) respectful. Bottom spanking is, at heart, an impact ritual.

There’s nothing quite like a squirming bottom, wriggling to absorb the impact. There’s nothing like knowing a well-smacked bottom is walking around under that skirt that is walking next to you down the street. That’s  impact. That’s what’s addictive.

‘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’.

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.