If you have a strong interest in spanking, you have four choices. You could:
- try to suppress it,
- try to cure it,
- come to accept it, or
- embrace it.
I followed these in sequence. I tried suppression, then sought a cure, then realized that I have no choice but to accept my interest in spanking. Now I embrace it as an important and meaningful part of who I am.
Let’s start with suppression, the usual first choice.
As I moved through puberty, I realized that the fascination with spanking that I’d had for years was what the world calls sexual. Other people had sexual feelings about kissing, fondling, and having intercourse. These appealed to me, but I also had sexual feelings about spanking. Strong feelings.
I looked around me. Everyone was talking about making out or petting or having sex. Nobody was talking about spanking. I said, “Holy hell, I’m different!” It was frightening and bewildering.
So I did the obvious thing: I pretended I wasn’t interested in spanking, and focused on the interest I had that was acceptable, a typical heterosexual identity. I resolved not to think about spanking: I suppressed it. (There are various ways to categorize the ways in which we deal with threatening information, including concepts like denial, repression, sublimation, and suppression. I’m going to use “suppression” as an umbrella term for the ways in which we cope with thoughts and desires that we wish weren’t there.)
Suppression is important (sometimes)
Suppression isn’t a bad thing; it’s essential to civilized life. It’s one part of controlling our behavior, which we have to do.
And suppression is the first reaction of many young people who perceive their sexual interests to be deviant in any way: they build a dam against them. Freud used just this simile when he spoke of the “mental forces” that “impede the course of the sexual instinct and, like dams, restrict its flow” (Freud p. 176).
The analogy captures the need for an effort of will to impede a force of nature. Suppression is the dam that holds back your interest in spanking—the water. If the dam is strong enough, it holds. If the pressure increases, you must reinforce the dam.
Suppression isn’t something you simply decide to do. It requires ongoing effort.
You can try to stop thinking about spanking completely, and good luck with that.
When I was an adolescent I vowed to stop thinking about spanking. You can see how well that worked for me, and I’m guessing it didn’t work all that well for you either.
Another common method of suppression is to allow yourself spanking fantasies, but not to tell anyone about them or to do anything. Some people hew to this plan as they date, form relationships, pursue their careers, raise children, and grow old. They spend a lifetime saying nothing and doing nothing about their interest in spanking. But when they make love, they imagine spanking scenes, and it is this fantasy that brings them to climax throughout their lives.
A spectrum of choices
That is not your only option. The possibilities fall along this spectrum:
- Never thinking about it
- Thinking Alone
- Thinking about spanking when you’re being sexual
- Thinking about spanking anytime you like
- Solitary Action
- Reading or looking at spanking erotica
- Reading conversations spanking websites
- Contacting others
- Participating in spanking group chats
- Participating in one-on-one spanking chats
- Phone calls
- Meeting someone else to talk
- Meeting someone else for spanking
- Meeting someone else for spanking and other sexual activities
- Becoming president of your local spanking club
It’s up to you–or the both of you
If you’re single you can make your own call on how far down the list to go. If you’re in a relationship with someone who isn’t interested in spanking, things can get complicated.
Suppression works best when the water is low and the dam robust. It will be easy to ignore your spanking desires if your interest in spanking is slight and your sex drive is minimal.
If you’re reading this, neither one of these is true.
Suppression is the default choice for most adolescents, and it makes sense for many adults. You might be in a relationship that could be jeopardized by your interest in spanking. You might have a religious conviction that spanking is immoral. You might fear that disclosing your interest in spanking would cost you your job. These are reasonable concerns. Or you might worry that if you allow yourself to do a little spanking, it will spiral out of control and ruin your life. Fortunately, that is not going to happen.
Your relationship is discordant if you and your partner/spouse have important differences. You might differ about politics, religion, kids, money, or sex, and these disagreements might be either trivial or sharp. I use the word “discordant” to indicate that the problem results from something important and basic about your identity, beliefs, or preferences. Just being discordant does not imply that one of you is right and the other wrong. You’re just different, in a way that matters. Couples who are discordant in their spanking interests deal with this issue in a variety of ways.
You may have a partner who isn’t interested in spanking but knows all about your feelings. The two of you can talk about how far down the list (above) your partner is comfortable with you going. If you’re in an open relationship there may be no limit.
If your relationship has monogamistic tendencies, you’ll need to decide where to draw the line. These negotiations—between two people who are discordant in their interest in spanking—may benefit from the assistance of a therapist, if you’re having trouble talking them through on your own.
If your partner doesn’t know about your interest in spanking, you need to decide how far down this list you can go without harming your relationship or being dishonest.
Whether your partner knows about your interest in spanking or not, you still need to do your part to keep your relationship healthy, including sexually. Masturbating to your spanking fantasies does no harm, nor does having spanking fantasies during sex, so long as you and your partner are satisfied with the sexuality that you share.
Some people who are partnered find their circumstances have changed. Their marriage once was solid and the thought of seeking spanking outside of the marriage unthinkable. But if their marriage falters because of other factors—problems with money, relationships, alcohol, or anything else—then the reality that spanking is something you can do in real life becomes more relevant.
Another factor that can increase the pressure behind the dam is increased access to spanking partners. If you move from a rural town to a big city, you are suddenly living within a few miles of dozens of potential spanking partners. And wherever you live, you may discover that the internet makes it possible to find spanking partners anywhere in the country. Knowing that you can actually find someone for spankings may make suppression intolerable.
William Brame, Gloria Brame, and Jon Jacobs interviewed scores of people who have explored the worlds of sexual dominance and submission; and since there are so few books about spanking by itself, we turn to more general books for insight. The Brame/Brame/Jacobs book, Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission, is fascinating. It reflects actual experience, not theory, and the interviews seek to understand life, not to dissect pathology. It is far more informative than most professional books devoted to a psychological analysis of alternative sexuality.
The Amazon.com synopsis is on the money: “A breakthrough in sexual literature, this work is a complete, comprehensive user-friendly guide to and tour through the world of alternative sexual lifestyles. While the topics are exotic and erotic, the authors handle each one in a sensitive, thorough, analytical, and fascinating way and manage to explain a secret world to those who might wish to visit.” You can get one used for $2.62—it would be a good purchase.
It includes this quote from William Henkin, who is a psychotherapist and sex therapist. S and M (which is not the same as spanking, but is closely related; see Spanking and BDSM) is an important part of Henkin’s sexuality, but he fell madly in love with a woman who wasn’t interested in it. Here’s what happened. “I started suppressing my S/M fantasies. I found that it’s like a bubble in water: You suppress it, the bubble pops up; you push the bubble down, it stays down a little longer, then comes up about twice as fast. I suppressed for six months, and then I had to have S/M” (Brame, p. 39).
Does this sound as if I think you can’t control your sexual impulses? That you are at risk of being swept away by forces beyond your control?
Sexuality’s power is undeniable, but the situation is not that simple. Although we have a right to be sexual, we also have a moral duty to respect others, and a prudential duty not to harm ourselves. These duties, however, depend on our circumstances.
Suppression’s pros and cons
Suppression has many advantages. Nobody else need know about your fantasies. You don’t have to worry that anyone else will think you’re kinky. You can date, and marry, a wider variety of people than if you restrict yourself to people who share your interest in spanking. If you’re already in a relationship that you value, suppression is the strategy most likely to preserve that relationship. Suppression preserves your image as someone whom society would consider normal. It is a valid choice.
But there is a price to pay when you ignore part of who you are. Some therapists believe that suppressed desires can lead to fatigue, depression, and interpersonal difficulties. That may or may not be true. Either way, there are other considerations.
You lose when you deny an important part of your sexuality. You lose the experience of exploring, enjoying, and celebrating it. You lost being part of a relationship in which spanking is something you both enjoy. When you stop suppressing your sexuality, you jettison the guilt and shame that hold you back.
If your circumstances allow it, which usually means if you’re not in a committed relationship where spanking would be unacceptable, please consider engaging in spanking and learning what it’s all about for you.
If you are in a relationship, then you have to think about the well-being of both you and your partner.
Sometimes suppression works
No two people’s situations are the same. Sometimes suppression works for a lifetime.
But sometimes cracking noises are heard from the dam. Fissures appear, with water spouting vigorously through them. The dam weakens and appears ready to give way. You experience this as an increasingly powerful desire to stop suppressing your interest in spanking.
You might let the dam go—accept that this is part of who you are. Or you might seek professional help to try to get rid of your desires. Let’s look at that possibility now.
Freud, Sigmund. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. 1905.
Brame, G.G., W.D. Brame, and J. Jacobs. Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission. New York: Villard, 1996.