Spanking is an important part of who you are. Like any sexual kink—or any sexual preference, kinky or not—it will play a central role in any marriage or long-term relationship.
I once thought that both partners in a long term relationship had to be sexually concordant. That if you are a spanko, and the other person is not, you were probably headed for trouble. My friend Gin has persuaded me that I was wrong (thank you, Gin) and I have modified this section appropriately.
If you and your partner have compatible sexual preferences, your bond will be strengthened. If your preferences differ, much depends on how your partner views your spanking activities. If he or she isn’t bothered when you engage in spanking with someone else, you may be able to sustain a good core relationship (with whatever sexuality you share) with him or her, while still indulging in the spanking that you need. On the other hand, if he or she is upset if you think about engaging in some spanking play, your discordance will, at a minimum, weaken your bond and impair your enjoyment of life.
When you are in an open relationship
If you and your partner reject sexual exclusivity, everything may be fine. Non-monogamy, or polyamory, has its challenges, but so does monogamy! I know people for whom this works well; the critical factor is a low level of jealousy and possessiveness.
Some of this is influenced by culture. People who were raised in a conservative family have a lot of unlearning to do. People who grew up in a sexually tolerant culture—in the Netherlands, for instance—have a head start.
For an enlightening discussion of how to make a polyamorous relationship work, check out my friend Janet Hardy’s book The Ethical Slut.
When your partner is sexually possessive
Let me be blunt. If you fall in love with someone who does not share your interest in spanking, and who expects you to be sexually monogamous, that relationship is in trouble from the beginning. It may work—it may work beautifully—but the odds are against you.
This is not just my observation. When I get together with friends in the spanking scene, we often talk about how people we know are doing. We have all seen the same pattern. A friend becomes involved with someone who is not particularly interested in spanking. They fall in love.
What is this like if you are the one involved? In the first flush of romance, there is no problem. You are with the love of your life, and you are surprisingly happy with vanilla sex. Your partner is equally joyous, and is surprisingly willing to do a little spanking. Your partner is not interested in more intense spanking, but this incompatibility doesn’t matter because your bond is so intense. You forget about spanking. Life is wonderful. You are floating, not walking.
Time passes. You are still in love, but you begin to walk more than you float, as you both return to everyday life with its rhythms and routines. You remember spanking, and you realize that you never stopped fantasizing about it during sex. The desire becomes stronger.
You are now in a difficult situation, and so is your partner. Do you accept frustration as the price of staying in the relationship? Do you consider leaving? Do you look into the possibility of getting your spanking needs met elsewhere, with or without your partner’s acceptance? These are all bad choices, and the only way to avoid them is to steel yourself against falling in love with someone who isn’t interested in spanking.
Promise yourself: no more (possessive) vanilla
Just to be clear–many people who love spanking also love vanilla sex. Mary Catherine is really saying, “The vanilla sex may be wonderful, but if there’s no spanking, I’m not going to find it satisfying.”
This dynamic doesn’t close you off to love. But it does open you up to joy.
This is true for any minority sexuality. The world assumes that you are interested in vanilla sexuality, with a man and a woman doing what society expected thirty years ago. (For definitions of words like vanilla, please see the glossary). If you violate social norms in any way—if you are gay or lesbian, for instance, or want kinky sex—you face a choice.
If we in the community have observed one thing about living while kinky, it is that it is powerful. Its power explains the joy it brings, as well as the destruction it can create. The joy and destruction are, in an important sense, the same force acting in different directions. Please remember this as you make the choices that will shape your life.
I have more to say about your choices regarding your spanking desires in the section on sexuality, beginning with Suppressing Your Spanking Desire.