The ‘other side of the cane’ beautifully described on ‘Bend over Jessica’

As a reflective dom — a state of mind I’ve taken to calling ‘evolved, but unreconstructed’ —  I’ve been meaning for a while to give a warm nod to this text, below, that I found really helpful in giving me insight into the experience of the spanked (caned in this case) submissive. As a dominant one can go through life never knowing. Never really, really, knowing. But this filled a gap in my knowledge, and is beautifully written, proving that a few choice words are actually worth more than 1,000 pictures. Definitely worth quoting at length. Thanks Jessica! Oh, also, the intensity of the authority seems to have been exactly right too – undeniable, thorough, respect-inducing, but ultimately caring and non-abusive.

‘When it began, the first thought was that the cane really bit. Each stroke seemed to sear a red hot brand across my backside, making me suck in my breath sharply from each stroke and the initial sharp line of pain was followed by a wash of sensation as the burning brand spread and rippled across the surface of my bottom.

‘After six strokes, the pain was more constant – there was no longer any relief between strokes, because the itchy burning pain was there the whole time. Now each stroke cranked up the level a little bit more, another step up the pain ladder. At almost the same time, I felt my endorphins start to crowd my body, to speed down my veins and race round my blood.

‘My breathing grew faster, my skin prickled all over, sweat broke out on my upper lip and forehead and I jerked, jerked my body in pain away from the punishing cane but my hips developed a rounded rhythmic dance of pain – a circular motion as cringed away from the stroke, absorbed it and then eagerly thrust my bottom out to meet the kiss of the next stroke. My legs drifted apart and I could feel the hot pulse of lust between my legs and I wanted some relief. But first, I had to take my punishment.

‘The final set of strokes hurt so much that I had to focus madly to stop myself from leaping up and begging. When this happens, my line of vision narrows until I can’t really see or process anything – just the relentless lash of the punishment implement and the body’s reaction as I deal with the burst of agony and tense myself for the next. It’s like tunnel vision and the world shrinks until all you are aware of is the rhythm of hurt and all you can do is wait until it stops.

‘But at the same time, those treacherous endorphins are getting you through it, forcing you to embrace it, your mind willing to take far more than your physical body can. This is where it sometimes gets dangerous as a less experienced or less caring top will take you out and beyond that, not caring if blood starts to run down your skin. But my playmates aren’t like that and sure enough, just when I thought I’d had nearly too much, the caning stopped.

‘Shakily I stood, body wired with pain and pleasure. Uncle Edmund sat me on his knee and I cuddled him, only aware of my blazing bottom. It felt good.’

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.

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”.

No Safeword for Spanking, Release 2.0

One of the things I love about the spanking communtity – nay, the single thing I love most about it – is it is full of thoughtful people who are ready to think deeply and write honestly about their experiences. This is, in my experience, relatively rare in other areas of kink.

Anyway, a while back I put up a post “No Safeword for Spanking (I can’t believe I just said that)” here, with a shortened version in a Fetlife foum. At the risk of flogging a dead horse 😉 the basic point was that the safeword is crucial in BDSM, but not in spanking where safety is simply not an issue (although the wellbeing of the sub is), and it erodes the top’s core function – to take responsibility – so is fundamentally corrosive of what the spanking is trying to do.

Well, in all there were over 60 comments and cumulatively they have fleshed out the issue in my mind, but not changed it, mostly because the comments were generally in agreement. I did get mildly flamed for apparently prescribing to others. This was not my intention. Of course, live and let live. If a safeword works for you, use it! On the other hand, it is intellecually weak just to retreat to a whatever-works-for-you position. If the safeword is merely a dogma, or an inappropriate BDSM import, or political correctness, let’s shine a light on it.

Some pointed out the obvious: if you don’t know/trust the person use a safeword. Absolutely yes! This is, actually the corrolory of my point: the safeword is all about the bottom having an “out” in a high-risk or low-trust situation. Dispensing with it is the sine-qua-non of creating real trust.

There were people who said they need a safeword for medical reasons, reflux and the like. Sure. My thought about this is the same as my thought about all who argued for the need for feedback – which is that a “feedback word” is fine. That’s not the same as a safeword. Saying “reflux” and meaning time-out, is not the same as deciding when the spanking ends.

The fundamental point must remain the spankee does not decide. Or at least not during the spanking.

CultivatedDiscipline offered another reason for a safeword : “Not a word to be used by the submissive partner as a way of ceasing a spanking — but instead as a way for new or evolving partners to inform the dominant partner NOT to cease the spanking. Often, we hear the complaint from women “He does not spank me long enough” coupled with the comment from men “I don’t want to hurt her too much”.

This is an interesting “niche” use and I agree it would be applicable. Basically the safeword in place frees up the top. This is related to the consensual-non-consent use of a safeword that I mentioned in the initial post, the presence of which allows the bottom to resist vigorously or vocally an to be certain to be ignored in the absence of the word.

EmmaEnchanted also made a very pertinent point: (Anticipating the bottom to use the safeword if there) “shows a lack of appreciation for the bottom. We’re all obviously here because we get something out of the experience – a bottom who used a safeword out of context wouldn’t just be shortchanging their spanker, but also themselves.”

No Safeword for Spanking. (I can’t believe I just said that.)

I find that in a few short posts I’ve challenged a lot: brutal spanking, and spank pay sites, and problematic spanking definitions. Of course I appreciate the alternative perspectives and preferences others have, and my goal is not to criticise. What I read just gives me something to push against, to better articulate where I stand.

So here’s another challenge: the idea has come into spanking that the submissive should have a “safeword” which, when used, brings the scene to a close. (Apparently sometimes also a “slow down” word.)

Now readers of this blog will know I particularly eschew brutal acts, and would never participate in or advocate any unsafe practice.

But let’s think clearly about safewords. Where does the safeword or safe signal idea come from? From the world of BDSM of course. It is absolutely crucial in bondage/gagged situations where the submissive can be choking or have airways blocked, or otherwise be struggling in a life- or limb-threatening situation which the dominant thinks is part of the scene.

How does this transpose into spanking? Classic bottom spanking is intrinsically a safe practice. It can leave a very, very sore bottom, but from a serious safety point of view there’s no real risk. As long as she’s not heavily bound or gagged, a spanking safeword is redundant.

That leaves use of a safeword if it “gets tooo much”. Sounds reasonable. But at what cost?  A safeword puts the key decision about how-much-is-too-much into her hands. It is asking her to take responsibility for her welfare (and if she gets too sore, by implication it’s her fault). To me the absolute essence of spanking is he assumes the decision as to what is necessary, and applies it, while she shows her trust in his leadership by submitting no matter what. Responsibly handling the key decision of how much and when to stop is precisely how he builds her trust. If he can’t manage the responsibility she should find someone who can, rather than take over the decision.

So I say spanking works best when she has – at the time – absolutely no say over what or how much she gets. Outside of the scene the couple should articulate their preferences and limits, but even then, if she is to be punished she should not have the right to decide when it’s over.

There is one exception. A safeword does facilitate non-consensual fantasy play. If a couple wants the particular fantasy that he is spanking her against her will, a safeword in the background allows her to vocally beg him to stop, implore him to stop, demand that he stop, even physically resist him, and not mean it.

Money, morality, and non-erotics in paying spank sites

First, I’m very honoured to see that this blog – up for such a short time that it’s hardly official even in my own mind – has been linked to by Bonnie at My Bottom Smarts, one of the great spanking blogs around. (Great title, nothing beats intelligence! Well, maybe her hubby does.) That nudged me to put up a few links of my own, particularly to the unsurpassed Taken in Hand, and more to come.

I notice my own preference is for sites that are thinking, intimate, and well designed. No flashing anything. No trying to jizz up my dick. Yes, this is old fashioned. But then old fashioned is what it is all about, n’est-ce pas?

So the day’s thought for me runs off what I mentioned yesterday – I’m not a member of any spanking pay sites. Why not? They seem to offer attractive stuff. It’s not the money. So? There are two reasons, one moral, one erotic.

The moral is not that “spanking (or bdsm, etc.) is immoral.” Certainly not that. If it is consentingl adults, it’s fine. The morality is in the money. If I get out my credit card, I’m putting my money into the front end of a chain that ends in a spanking, and Web exposure thereof, the conditions of which I have no control over, and which may well be suspect. The sex business is not pretty. It’s not that all girls are exploited, but some are (and the dreadful paradox is that consensual private exploitation can be sexy, but commercial /porn /pimp exploitation never is.) Without the money the engine would not go round, and I’d prefer it didn’t. The only real voting we get to do is with our wallets.

There’s also the erotic side. I find my spanking passions are deeply bound up in the idea that she actively WANTS to be spanked (even if sometimes she gets it when she doesn’t want, it is still part of a broader chosen lifestyle), not that she wants to get something for suffering spanking. If I’m thinking, “okay this woman is there for a ‘shoot’ for which she got – what’s the rate? – a few hundred dollars? and she’s sweating her way through it to pay the rent or school fees, it’s not a turn-on at any level.

Spanking is about deepening a relationship (long-term coupled or not), but if the relationship is all about a few bucks for a few whacks, that’s not interesting.

Sites where real people put up their own relationship-based spanking pictures or video, accessed without overly greasing the palm of a greasy Webmaster, would be good to know about. Yeah, dream on.