When Spanking Isn't Wrong
The Tender, Erotic Side of Corporal Punishment
Spanking is such a ubiquitous part of popular sexual fantasy and role-playing that we often lose sight of how truly sick and depraved it is. While commonly viewed as harmlessly naughty fun, it invariably features unpleasant themes such as sexual violence, incest, and psychological power games—none of which seem so frickin' benign when you put down the studded wooden paddle and think about it.
In my long life with its checkered sexual history, I've fantasized about myriad sordid scenarios while touching myself, but I've only proposed a grand total of TWO fantasy scenarios to actual partners. One of them involves me chopping wood while topless and wearing tight jeans. The other one involves spanking. I refer to as the “Oatmeal Fantasy,” and it runs something like this:
I'm a greasy, sweaty, middle-aged widower whose wife recently died in a fiery car crash, leaving behind a daughter so young that she still eats from a high chair. I work all day in a used-car lot, clad in a cheap leisure suit and reeking of cheaper after-shave lotion. Back when the wife was still alive, I used to spend afternoons at the horse track, but my needy young daughter now makes such trifling pleasures impossible.
After a long, fruitless day at the car lot, I rush home in time to make a quick dinner for my daughter—a pipin'-hot bowl of nutritious oatmeal. I place the bowl on her high-chair tray, but she immediately throws the entire bowl onto the floor, creating a huge mess.
I lose my temper. The dead wife, the demeaning job, the bratty child— it's all too much.
Trembling with anger, I take the child roughly in hand, place her over my knee, and deliver a spirited spanking. After a minute of uninterrupted slaps to her posterior, I'm able to peek through my rage and see that she's crying.
This little, innocent girl is crying. The only thing still pure in my world is crying. I instantly stop spanking her and become remorse-stricken. I begin crying, too…and apologizing.
I pull down her panties and begin kissing her everywhere that I hurt her. It's all a blur of tears and red buttocks and kisses and apologies….
TECHNICALLY, THAT'S WHERE THE FANTASY ENDS. I've never gotten any further with it. By that point, the girl who's listening to it is either masturbating furiously or calling me a pervert.
My fantasy never involves actual children, only a willing adult partner who's pretending she's my child. Still, it involves elements of violence, guilt, and incest. I must also note that I've never actually enacted the oatmeal fantasy, although I haven't lost hope.
But does the fantasy itself constitute some sort of sexual thought crime? Is it possible for spanking to ever be anything BUT wrong? And is it ever truly possible to have fun without feeling that you're doing something wrong?
Since almost all living adults were spanked at least once as children, it is the disturbing sexualization of childhood punishment which threatens to taint all grown-up “spank play” with pedophilic overtones.
But what about non-playful spanking? What about whacking your kid's ass for disciplinary purposes? Is that unavoidably sexual, too? James Dobson, a pro-spanking Christian psychologist and author of The Strong-Willed Child, seems hell-bent on spanking the will out of any child who expresses even a wisp of it:
A spanking is to be reserved for use in response to willful defiance, whenever it occurs....When a youngster tries this kind of stiffnecked rebellion, you had better take it out of him, and pain is a marvelous purifier...the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely....Real crying usually lasts two minutes or less but may continue for five. After that point, the child is merely complaining....I would require him to stop the protest crying, usually by offering him a little more of whatever caused the original tears.
Well, then! The Marquis has spoken! One odd consistency I've noted while poring over the vast literature of spanking is that sexual overtones tend to INCREASE in directly inverse proportion to how feverishly the speaker DENIES that spanking is sexual. While websites devoted to bawdy, ribald, consensual spanky-poo between adults seem annoyingly unerotic—making me want to punch the participants rather than spank them, because their entire aesthetic platform is très WRONG—passages such as Dobson's fairly drip with real, raw, menacing S&M psychology.
Debate continues to rage, mostly between fundamentalist Christians and the rest of the world, as to whether corporal punishment is ever beneficial for children. In almost any conceivable case, I feel that spanking a child is WRONG. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests it is detrimental to a child's emotional development and that it is far preferable to confine them in the sort of plastic crates designed for transporting small animals.
THE ELECTRONIC SEA OF FILTH called the Internet hosts thousands of spank-obsessed sites, blogs, and discussion boards. Much of it gets rougher than a simple cheek-reddening slap or two. We're promised Russian teens confined in woodsheds, bent over the knees of dusty old borscht-smelling men-swine who whip them with birch sticks until the stripes on their bloody buttocks resemble grill marks on a hibachi hamburger. This is, of course, WRONG—only because I find it aesthetically ugly, not because I waste any teardrops about the Russian teens or their precious little “emotions.”
For similar reasons of purely aesthetic (rather than moral) distaste, I object to “female supremacist” depictions of smirking dominatrixes mercilessly ass-flaying slump-shouldered, ball-gagged males. To each their own, I suppose—masochism is never wrong if I'm never the masochist. I don't get aroused through being hurt or insulted. In fact—I swear to Christ—I once achieved an immediate, towering erection after a woman conceded that I was right about something. But hey, if strong-woman/weak-man is your scene, and if that's what you need to muster a bone-bone, by all means allow thy Goddess to slap thine ass silly, Puffball. But the idea of some muscle-marbled cuntflap trying to dominate me feels plumb WRONG. My mama was the last woman who's ever gonna spank THIS ass.
Ultimately, who's to say where “healthy sex play” ends and incest-themed violence begins?
Only one person: ME.
There is only one universal moral principle, only one Golden Rule that is engraved on all our hearts: Things are only wrong when other people do them.