Home » Psychological Dimensions of Spanking Part One

Psychological Dimensions of Spanking Part One

The Psychological Dimensions of Spanking: All in the Mind? Part I.

I’ve recently had some inspiration to think of all things spanking, which has brought me back to the familiar conundrum of spanking as discipline, punishment, maintenance, and an outlet to fulfill psychosexual desires. Since this is the first time I have written anything substantial in what seems to be ages (and my first draft already seems quite long) I anticipate it will be broken up into sections to spare the reader from any tedium.

Having been involved in a variety of BDSM-related scenes involving spanking as a primary means of discipline, punishment and at times sexual gratification (where I have adopted roles of “bottom,” “little girl,” and “slave,”) I have quite an intimate, yet perplexing relationship with spanking. It’s a love/hate dynamic.

Hate because I have an enormous dependency on it for reasons I have not entirely come to terms with, because sometimes I need but don’t necessarily want it, because in all circumstances I become physically aroused – which is a betrayal of my psychological state in cases where I am being punished and do not feel particularly aroused emotionally or mentally at the moment.

Love because spanking is an alternative way of being intimate, of communicating, of being loved and cared for, and because in addition to the person administering the spanking – it’s an important component of intense fantasy fulfillment. Fantasy fulfillment is a healthy way to have fun, work through emotional issues, form an incredible bond with another person(s), relieve stress, improve sex, etc. This should be the case for both a Top and a bottom. If only one of you is benefiting from the spanking, that particular relationship is not for you if you can’t communicate and make an often grievous effort to reach an understanding that leaves both partners satisfied. This takes a lot of work and a lot of love. But don’t beat yourself up about it if it just doesn’t work. And don’t think you have to stay guilty and miserable forever and avoid having your fantasies fulfilled – because there will be someone you are compatible with, and one should not underestimate the physical and psychological benefits of fantasy fulfillment.

I find it quite a shame that most people will not allow themselves the opportunity to materialize a fantasy and rather get stuck in self-judgment, which is often displaced and causes them to unfairly judge others out of distain, envy, confusion and resentment. I have personally been the object of such displacement and it is definitely worthy of its own blog entry. Someone remind me because I always forget there’s usually a future blog topic embedded in a current one.

Moving along, I’d like to address a very complex issue regarding spanking as seen by the perspective of a Top and bottom. In BDSM and domestic discipline relationships/situations, there tends to be a lot of miscalculations and misunderstandings when it comes to spanking administered as punishment.

Some Mistresses/Tops believe that submissives/slaves/clients/bottoms who need to be spanked (translated by the Top as “want,” or “always enjoy” to be spanked) will manipulate her into spanking by exhibiting some form of undesirable behavior worthy of punishment – and she may indeed be right, at least some of the time and more likely, most of the time. Some Dommes will not play this “game” however and thus either ignore the behavior or use alternate modes of punishment – which will often lead to some kind of backlash when a crucial component of the bottom’s desire to be in a BDSM relationship involves spanking for the purposes of punishment.

Here’s where it gets tricky, and I’ll admit to not understanding a lot of it despite my numerous experiences and relationships. What I can tell you is that if the lines of communication are not drawn and painted in BOLD florescent paint on each party’s forehead so they always see it when looking at one another, there will be monumental problems in the relationship and it will likely be doomed very shortly after the “honeymoon” period wanes. Eventually, the Top will make the assumption that her submissive counterpart is “topping from the bottom,” – a generalized, overused and somewhat hostile term, in my opinion. This probably makes many of us misunderstood submissive people equally as angry as a Top who feels manipulated or used. Both feelings are valid and should be recognized as such and not dismissed from a point of defensive self-interest, a mistake I will admit to having made more than once.

On the other hand, there are some Tops/Dommes/Mistresses who will actually comply with the bottom’s behavioral demands, spank the offender and them blame him or her for forcing them to do something against their will. This very much unsettles the bottom when she is in submissive mode, crushing the idea that the power exchange has ever been real if the Top has been doing something against her will the entire time because the bottom has somehow demanded it.

The Top immediately loses respect and power in the mind of the bottom, who is now suffering a great deal of distress in thinking that she has had control all along. From my experience, when I have been accused of the horrendous crime of “topping from the bottom,” it was more of a crushing experience as opposed to a rewarding, satisfactory one. As submissive people, the idea that we have the power is in direct conflict with the fantasy of being controlled/disciplined/surrendered/owned.

The dilemma is clear, although I am not sure it is solvable: How can a bottom who desires to be punished with a spanking actually be punished if her behavior is constantly perceived as a provocative attempt to manipulate her Top into spanking her? Not many people enjoy the feeling of being manipulated, understandably so… but often us “bottoms” are enslaved to this paradox: Being good feels good. Pleasing your Top is perhaps one of the most rewarding feelings one can experience. But being good doesn’t get you punished and a bottom with strong desires to be spanked can only be good so long before she consciously or subconsciously begins to act out. Being good might be meeting the needs of her Top in every way expected of her, but it might only partially be meeting her own needs. So she has three choices:

1) Be the perfect “slave,” which might not exist in reality. Completely subjugate her will to her Dominant’s and try to find complete happiness and peace by making her Top happy. Try to squash her own desires without resentment and hope her Top might somehow notice and care that her “slave” has needs, too. I was unwilling to try this until it literally became too late.

2) Act out in very conscious ways that she knows will provoke her Top and get her punished without fail (perhaps severely), not caring that her behavior might be hurtful or disrespectful and potentially damaging to the relationship. Or in some cases she might merely not go the extra 10 miles and try to be at her best 100% of the time in order to try to find some misguided compromise between “sort of” pleasing her Top but doing a little something here or there that might be worthy of a little spanking. I am guilty of both, but if I had to put myself in a proportionate category – I would say that I was more guilty of the latter. And my perceptions were off grossly of how to find a balance. Manipulation? Indeed. With the intent to harm? Absolutely not. A little selfish? Without a doubt. Worthy to be crucified over? I’d like to say no.

3) Ask to be punished with a spanking, or ask for a spanking for “maintenance” purposes or as some kind of pre-emptive measure to ward off bad behavior or even to be given as some kind of reward when the behavior has been satisfactory. WHAT?!? That’s pretty much what comes to my mind whenever I’ve had to contemplate any of these ideas.

Number 3 is what I’d like to direct my attention towards for the moment, as it’s very much bothering me. If a bottom has to ASK for a punishment spanking, it’s usually so psychologically aversive that it is impossible to even make sense of it. There are certain instances where I have genuinely been upset with my behavior and asked to be punished because I could not endure the guilt of having disobeyed, displeased or not tried hard enough. Those were rare exceptions where my mental state was so fragile that there was little distress over the idea of having to ask.

But really, asking to be punished is not psychically in tune with the nature of the bottom, at least not this bottom. And asking to be spanked as a reward is absurd to the mind of someone who considers herself to be in a domestic discipline relationship. This whole idea is especially troublesome in strictly DD relationships – which are actually quite different from BDSM Mistress/slave relationships. And when you try to combine the two, you’ve got a real problem on your hands – which is something I have failed miserably at on a personal level. Domestic discipline does not seem to translate well into BDSM relationships, for reasons that sometimes seem strikingly clear – and at other times elude me because it shouldn’t be something so impossible.

This leaves me feeling very conflicted. Part of what was so amazing to me about my past relationship (the one of many that seemed to be the most real discipline-wise) – I did get spanked spontaneously, punished consistently for every infraction. If it was a minor infraction, it was merely a few rapid strokes with a cane or paddle or belt. Sometimes it was shockingly being thrust over her knee and having my pants torn off to receive a couple of dozen swats with her hand that ultimately left me feeling defeated, humiliated and physically aroused. This is not to say I was psychologically aroused in the moment of being punished, but it is definitely something to look back on with awe and excitement after the punishment is over and the pain and humiliation has substantially subsided. I was never resentful of these punishments in the long run, even though I might have experienced resentment or anger in the moment when not expecting to be spanked, and on occasion, not wanting to.

But I never complained that those punishments were unfair. In fact, they led me to believe that what I had been seeking and never actually found – was indeed real. I was actually amazed a Dominant had the dedication and wherewithal to administer punishments (in the form of spankings) when SHE deemed it was necessary (which did at times conflict with what I would personally have considered a punishable offense). However, it actually made me feel punished and secure in the fact that there were boundaries and I learned to anticipate some of them and tried to avoid them – at least for a little while – because normally they were aversive experiences, especially if they occurred in front of others, or if they were particularly embarrassing. But I needed them, nonetheless. I didn’t consciously act out with the explicit intent to earn them at any given time – as I said, the aversive experience only gains psychological arousal after the fact. And it’s not necessarily arousal induced by the spanking in its own right. Obviously the arousal is evident when you are naked and over a person’s lap. But it is not evident when your hair gets pulled, you get slapped, scolded, or even – ignored. All of these things, I can tell you from experience, are unpleasant in the moment.

So why then get aroused? Well, that’s another blog entry as well. There are numerous reasons, including the fact that spanking is, in essence – a sexual act, no matter which way you slice it. Sometimes it simply has to do with the laws of the human body. Why does a little boy experience an erection when getting spanked? I’m sure if you inquire about a review of his experience, that he will not say that he was sexually excited or that he enjoyed the spanking. Yes, perhaps in some cases it’s an Exit to Eden or A Dangerous Method situation, but sometimes – it’s not.

For me, the most arousing element of any kind of punishment interaction has to do with at that moment, a fantasy is being fulfilled. Whether I am being reprimanded, kneeling on rice, being directed by my hair, standing in the corner, having all of my privileges removed or being spanked – I will, without fail, become aroused. This is because the fantasy of feeling that someone is in control, or belonging to someone and even undergoing a consensual non-consensual experience is extremely titillating on every conceivable level. And that’s okay.

For someone who has had such fantasies since before she knew what any terms were or that there was such a thing as BDSM or DD – there might be nothing one can do to me that won’t incite a provocative but uncontrollable physical response. It’s merely cause and effect and not meant to injure your ego or make you feel manipulated. Go ahead, ignore me. It’s still your choice. You are still in control. And I… will still get wet.

Stay tuned for Part 2

4 Responses to “Psychological Dimensions of Spanking Part One”

  1. Ana says:

    I disagree with several of your points, but this is a nicely thought out post. I hope that you can find a relationship that matches what you are looking for. 🙂

    • angelspanked says:

      Indeed, I do have a relationship and I work with a few amazing Tops so I consider myself incredibly fortunate. I would be interested in knowing what you disagree with so that I could manipulate you into agreeing 😉 Thanks for the comment.

  2. Cautious says:

    Angel, are you sure you wrote this and I didn’t? I’m amazed.

    • AngelSpanked says:

      Unless you are one of my other personalities (and if you are we should get to know one another as I try to keep track) then yea, I’m pretty sure I wrote it 😉

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