Dear Ms. Marwood,
Love your column and advice. I’m a life coach, who isn’t right? And I’m fascinated by using spanking as a motivational tool. Even though it would be a bit non traditional I think it could work. How much training would I really need? I mean I own a hairbrush and a lap and I’ve blistered a bottom or two in my day. I have clients now that I think could benefit from corporal discipline. Am I all set?
First of all, Linda, no, I don’t think you’re “all set”. I have gotten SO many reports from clients about so-called professional spanking providers who put on a straight black skirt and call themselves disciplinarians, many of whom have naively inflicted damaging punishment on people. A good spanking takes skill and being skilled at anything requires understanding and practice. You need to be able to determine what would constituted the right type of punishment for each and every person because there is a very broad spectrum of tolerance levels and preferences for the method of application. Just having “blistered a bottom or two” in your day is not enough validation for me to assume you should be off an running. Spanking is a potentially dangerous activity. And for it to be an effective deterrent in coaching you need to (a) be well-versed in a wide variety of methods so you have many things in your arsenal to choose from and (b) know how to calibrate people to determine what constitutes a recreational dose of discipline and what would be sufficiently punishing, without being overkill. If you go too hard on someone you’ll never see them again. It will just not be worth it to them to have to worry if they are safe in your hands. And it will not constitute motivation. If you can get a tutorial from a professional that’s what I would recommend. If you are in my area I would happy to arrange something like for you. If not, do your due diligence and find a reputable spanking pro… and NOT a dominatrix to teach you some skills and tricks. I have had several coaching clients who were not spankos. They do not like to be spanked and over time I could determine exactly what means of punishment lit a fire under their hiney and got them going, but kept them on the program. I also think it’s important to provide structure and solutions for a client’s coaching situation so you arm them with tools for succeeding in accomplishing their assignments during the interval between meetings. It’s not enough to say “Okay, get XYZ done or else your ass is grass!” and release them into the wild. I’m sure you already do this in your coaching. I just say it to make sure that you don’t think that just because you now have a consequence you can threaten them with it doesn’t mean they don’t need the support they originally came to you for to help them correct bad habits. First they need help, then they need to know that if they don’t make use of it there will more than your disappointment and pep talks to contend with when they return!