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.

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.)

‘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.

What being in ‘Topspace’ is like for me

Now and then one hears about ‘subspace’ or ‘entering subspace’ as part of the submissive experience. The idea is that a certain transition comes over the sub as she is taken into spanking submission. As I understand it (and I’m happy to be corrected on this, not having “been there” myself) this may come prior to the spanking, in anticipating it or dressing for it, or it may come as it starts, or as it progresses — but one way or another a change is wrought as she ‘enters’ her submissiveness more completely.

I find this concept useful, and it certainly chimes with my experience — with women I have topped and spanked. Looking into their face and eyes during a session, or right after it, or observing their change of voice or body response, it is often clear they are quite deeply in another space, subspace.

But I’ve never seen anything written about entering Topspace, and I think the concept is just as useful. Certainly it explains to me what happens to me if conditions are right.

First I should say, although I’m an experienced spanking Top, with (make-no-mistake) ‘the balls’ to dominate as and when required, I’m not an obvious ‘Top’ in real life. But when I’m going to give a spanking or about to start, I can feel a certain transition happening, a firmness of voice, a clarity of purpose and intent coming over me. As things progress and, particularly, as her consent and submission become obvious, I go further into Topspace. It’s not — just to be clear — physical arousal, although that may be present too. It is something closer to feeling powerful and purposeful. I’m guessing this has a hormonal base; testosterone or even adrenelin flowing.

Further, depending on her responses, but assuming she’s delighting in what is happening, this will progress with smacking her bottom harder, seeing it bouncing and squirming, towards … something I can only describe as progressively peeling away my layers to a state of very basic, absolute, undiluted masculinity. In this state I really can, assuming ongoing consensuality (nothing breaks the escalation), give her a very, very, sound thrashing indeed.

It is tempting to call this state “instinctive”, or “animalistic”. But in my experience it’s really not like that at all. It is more like I have reached the very ‘fountain of masculinity’ and am drinking directly from it. It’s a quiet, almost meditative place, with absoluteness and clarity and purpose and power that don’t exist in normal life.

I should add that in this state of mind, with purpose and power pretty much on ‘maximum’, it is easy to overstep and spank too hard. And I have done this, and deeply regretted it. But this is where experience comes in. We live and we do learn.

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.

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”.