Dear Ms. Marwood,
I always look forward to your columns at “Someone’s Gonna Get It.” I like that you share your knowledge of adult discipline, and also that you provide such intelligent, responsible advice. Spanking discipline for me is a sexual fetish, however, what fulfills the desire is the idea of a legitimate disciplinarian who inspires great respect. That is what makes punishment so compelling, being fairly judged by a wise authority figure.
The questions I have are about the shaming aspects of punishment. We all know that a punishment spanking involves a significant amount of physical pain. Some of us spankos do not enjoy that pain. We don’t want it, and we experience it as a genuine penalty. The pain that attracts me is the emotional pain. Shame, embarrassment, and humility. I also have a strong fear of that emotional pain but, without it, there is no fulfillment of the desire that brings me to this experience. Physical pain is only the necessary evil that qualifies a spanking as actual punishment for shameful behavior.
How large a role can that emotional part of the discipline play in an authentic punishment session under your authority? Do you think shame is an important element? Do you prefer to minimize the humiliating aspects of the scene? In the administering of consequences, do you think shaming tactics can be used as an alternative to harsher physical punishment? If your client, like me, is drawn to shame-based scenes, do you think it is too indulgent to satisfy his desires, even though he will truly suffer emotionally? This is the most confusing part of discipline for me because punishment must be genuine, yet I also want it to fulfill a fetish.
What makes my sessions exciting for me is the diversity of approaches and the variety of elements exhibited by clients. I don’t feel that any particular facet must be a mandatory component ‘under my authority’, as you say. If I were to make shame a part of every session there would many clients who would be disturbed, upset, confused, bored, angry or all of the above. What I enjoy is the effect I have on my partner in the session. I incorporate whatever most engages a given individual. That is why I insist on a phone interview first. It takes more than a few minutes before a session to zero in on what will enable me to really make a great session. You can’t just go down a checklist, ticking a few boxes and inserting those items into some kind of a template, like Mad Libs. So much of the experience is emotional and psychological, as you have observed. I like to explore each persons reasons and drives, what makes spanking interesting, fun, and/or compelling for them and bring those things into play. Not everyone wants to be lectured. Some find that very boring. Some people need to be reprimanded and punished for real things they have actually done, and would feel ridiculous creating a fantasy. Some people don’t want to be called on the carpet for specific things, but only to be told they are being spanked because “they deserve it” and enough said.
It sounds to me that you feel a certain degree of shame about wanting to be shamed in your spanking session. 😉 I would not necessarily want to disabuse you of that. it depends on whether it makes you judge yourself harshly and leads to more pervasive negative emotional consequences, or whether it just plays out with your spanking fetish. Our human predilections – particularly the erotic or sexual, are deeply rooted and convolutedly raveled in the psyche. There is often no initiating source or “reason” for the forms they take. Maybe the shame that comes up for you is just the thing that allows you to have a deeply engaging and satisfying spanking session, and if you underwent years of therapy to relieve yourself of it, it might take the zazz out of Discipline. on the other hand, if you think deep down that you’re bad, or there’s “something wrong with you” for these thoughts you have, and you feel guilty about loving to be spanked, then you might want to look into those feelings.
I can tell you that I have met hundreds of Spankos over the years and the clients I see are predominantly highly successful, smart, well adjusted people with healthy relationships and families. So obviously, the attraction to spanking is not an indication of “perversion”. Just because our culture frowns upon admitting that we enjoy things other than missionary position heterosexual sex doesn’t mean there aren’t A LOT of high functioning human beings who passionately enjoy other things. If shame is your trigger to your discipline, I say, embrace it, feel it, dive into it and let it take you where you love to go. Then after that soul cleansing well-spanked catharsis, then by all means, be sure to include it in your play, but be sure to leave it in the “spankatorium” and go forth and have a great day.