Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Uncommon sense

This coming Monday (Memorial Day) will be the 16th anniversary of my first spanking and official “for real” entry into the scene. A lot has happened in 16 years, including a whole lot of learning. These days, I find myself in the position of watching new people enter, filled with questions and uncertainties. They are lucky — they have online forums in which they can pose their questions. I did not. Still, I was fortunate enough to meet good people and get a lot of valuable guidance, in those early days.

A lot of the questions I see on FetLife and other forums have to do with etiquette, and most of these queries have a wide variety of subjective answers. However, one theme I see in the replies, over and over, is that much of “the ‘right’ thing to do” is rooted in common sense.

The word “common” implies that most of us have this sense to some degree. And yes, as I noted last week on a FetLife topic, common sense seems to be damned uncommon sometimes.

So I thought it might be interesting to discuss certain areas where it seems common sense would prevail, but often doesn’t. If people like this, I’ll keep it up, with a different topic each time. Today’s scene phenomenon will be what I call the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” syndrome.

In my BBW blogs, I mentioned a quickie scene I had with Joe (DrLectr on Fet), where I went to say hello to him and his greeting to me was yanking me down across his lap. I was careful to add, “This is something only friends can do. Don’t try this with someone you don’t know.”

Really — should I have to say this? Wouldn’t you think common sense would dictate that if you see this kind of spontaneous activity, it’s between people who know one another?

Yeah, you’d think. Well, it isn’t.

Case in point: Several years ago, at a Shadow Lane party, John was hanging out with a friend of ours. She was a sweetie, kind of shy, and played little in public. But because she felt completely comfortable with John, she was relaxed enough to banter and brat with him a bit. He liked her a lot, and she was one of the very few people whom he topped at these parties.

So she was doing her thing with him, and he took the bait. “OK, that’s IT,” he said, grabbing her forearm and pulling her across his lap. She protested vigorously, but it was all show, and the two of them put on a fun little scene for those watching.

All was well until he let her up, and a spectator stepped in. “My turn!” he said gleefully, grabbing her forearm, just as John had done. Big difference, though. She barely knew this man, and did NOT want to play with him. So she pulled away, saying no. But alas, that was just what she had done with John, and “no” meant “yes” with him. So the guy grabbed her again and pulled more forcefully. She finally screamed for her boyfriend, who came over and said, “Hey, man, she doesn’t want to.” How embarrassing and uncomfortable for all involved, and how completely avoidable.

Another case in point: During another party, at the vendor table, Ralph Marvell playfully snatched up a hairbrush and did an impromptu “demo” with me, bending me over the back of a chair. People gathered to watch and we had some raucous fun. When we were done, I started to stand back up, and a strange man slipped up beside me. “Nope, you’re not done it,” he said, putting his hand between my shoulder blades and trying to push me back down.

I didn’t know this guy from a hole in the wall. I stood up, giving him a “WTF??” look, but he still didn’t get it. He said, “Back down,” and grabbed my wrist, giving it a downward yank. Incredible! How clueless can you get? I just glared at him and bit out a very cold NO. Finally, he backed off, after giving me a bewildered and annoyed look. I could tell he honestly didn’t comprehend what he’d done wrong and why I was being such an uptight bitch.

What goes through people’s minds? “He did it, so I can too”? Where is that common-sense voice that whispers, “But they know each other”?

Oh, and it’s not just men who do this, BTW. I’ve seen women do it too, particularly with bratting and teasing. News flash, ladies. If you overhear a woman playfully insulting a top, there’s a good chance that she knows him well enough to know he’s OK with that, and he knows HER well enough to know she doesn’t mean it. You can’t just step up and chime in.

I know, I know. It can be confusing for the new people, seeing some outrageous behaviors that they’ve been told time and again are inappropriate. I do understand and empathize with this confusion. But again, for any newbies — always stop and factor in the “they know each other” part of the equation. When you see Danny Chrighton stride across the room, grab me and throw me over his shoulder, you can pretty much assume we’re good friends. I’m not in the habit of letting strangers do that. (Although there have been some hotties over whom I’ve fantasized of such things. But I digress.)

Or, if you see me hug and kiss a male friend hello at a party, chances are I won’t appreciate it if you blunder over and shove your face into mine, expecting that I’m going to kiss you too. (Yes, this has happened.)

When in doubt, err on the side of caution: don’t assume any sort of familiarity until you’ve actually achieved it.

Thoughts? Questions? Feel free, please.

Have a great holiday weekend, y’all.

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30 thoughts on “Uncommon sense

  1. Happy spankiversary .

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  2. Hi Erica — HAPPY SPANKIVERSARY :-)You made some really good point's about common sense and uncommon sense :-)You must of felt very awkward when that strange man grabbed your wrist and tried pushing you back down,I would of said WTF as well UGH.OMG someone you didn't even know tried to kiss you YUCK 😦 I Love that pic of you and Danny it is so CUTE :-)Wishing you and John a fun and relaxing holiday weekend,much love and hug's from your naughty girl Jade

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  3. Crystal — thanks. :-)Jade — well, I actually knew the guy who tried to kiss me, but we weren't friends. And I certainly didn't want to kiss him! LOL Doesn't matter; I never have to see him again. He got banned from most of the parties.

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  4. From observation I sometimes think common sense is a double oxymoron: it's not that common and apparently doesn't make sense…

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  5. Al — that just made my brain bleed. But I think you have a point! LOL

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  6. Sweet Sixteen, and Sixteen Candles, musically to you Erica, on your 16th Anniversary of spanking delights. As for your essay on "Uncommon Sense". Another 'spanking epic', so to speak. What a 'koph, what a wonderfull koph, you have in telling it like it is. LUV YOU.

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  7. Happy Spankiversary. I agree with you. Knowing someone makes all the difference in a scene. How I play with someone depends on our prior experiences, but I always err on the side of polite common sense. Well said Erica.

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  8. Six — thank you. I get to celebrate with ST!Joey — I know it might seem that I'm stating really obvious stuff (and maybe some may find me condescending), but I swear, all these gaffes I've mentioned are real, and there are many more. Fortunately, we have folks like you for balance. πŸ™‚

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  9. That's really a great post. Many of us NEED to hear that. If I was at a party and I saw the exact same thing happen as described in your examples, I would've thought it'd be okay to join in the fun. Now I know.

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  10. Ugh, the grabbing thing happened to me at a party last year. My good friend came out and grabbed me and took me away. He can get away with that and if you know me, it is clear to anyone that we are close. Someone I didn't know very well watched and assumed it was okay for him to do the same. The second I walked back through the door after the scene, the guy I did not know at all grabbed my arm and started to pull me off. NOT okay.

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  11. NV — and you know what? In some cases, it just might be OK. But yes… practicing caution can spare one a lot of potentially awkward moments. Unfortunately, people never forget these incidents (you can see I didn't!).

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  12. Kat — (sigh) I really don't get that. And then you get the folks who say, "Well then, don't do the yank-and-spank in front of others, and there won't be any misunderstandings." Oh, please!

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  13. So you're saying it's off limits for me to race over to you and plant a slobbery kiss on your cheek? LOL!!!!!!!!Since BBW was my 1st ever party, I appreciated their rules of party conduct provided on their website.

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  14. You're right, of course. It's unbelievable. How many times have I been at a spanking party, in a "public" suite, with a lovely lady over my lap (like you, for example) when all of a sudden some guy comes up and gestures (or just asks) if he can "take a whack." What??? Really??? This has happened in "high protocol" locations like BDSM dungeons, too, when some random newbie just steps into the scene, starts pawing through my implements and wants to take a swing with whatever deadly instrument I've got lying about. I guess this is like the folks at the beginning of each American Idol season. They THINK they can sing well because THEY DON'T KNOW BETTER and are completely self-absorbed or utterly clueless. Every time I get surprised at the wherewithal of some complete moron at a party/dungeon I'm reminded of the "star" singing in the first few episodes each season of American Idol and I'm reminded the world is full of utterly unaware individuals.For the record, I ONLY watch American Idol during those first few episodes because all I'm really interested in are the train wrecks, but KEEP WELL AWAY of one my scenes!

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  15. Kelly — LOL! You don't strike me as the slobbering sort. :-)Craig — again, it's the "monkey see, monkey do" thing. How many times have you seen John walk into one of my party scenes and deliver a whack himself? Well, DUH, people I don't know. He's my BOYFRIEND. He gets to do that. You don't!I have yet to watch a single episode of "American Idol." Then again, you know how I feel about reality TV. πŸ™‚

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  16. Hi EricaAt the end of the day it is about respect. I have never been to a spanking party but being new i would have enough respect and indeed common sense to realise what was happening between two friends. Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups what a perfect statement. Next time it happens don’t bother with the glare smack the creep straight in the mouth. Works a treat. On a lighter note Happy 16th hope the next 16 are as good if not better.Take CareBOB B

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  17. This is a great topic. I hope some new and seasoned people get the message. It reminds me of the time Pixie had some idiot come up to her and say he was going to break her. Oh yeah? Just try it buster!I like that picture of you and Danny, too. πŸ™‚

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  18. Happy Sweet Sixteen, Erica!I think it's great advice! In the same vein, it's important for newbie bottoms like me to understand it's totally ok and necessary to set boundaries. Just because we're in the "submissive" roll doesn't mean we have to allow ourselves to be steamrolled.Great post!SC

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  19. It is good advise and I hope some take it. Common sense, manners, etiquette seem to be missing from some. You see them every time you drive on the '5'. Too many are exempt from rules.Best on your sweet 16.

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  20. Wait… I DON'T???

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  21. Common sense, huh? It feels more like idiocy is common, but that's just my opinion. Let's just hope 'monkey see, monkey do' doesn't extend to flinging bodily waste products. *LOL*If anyone tries to take advantage, here's a bit of 'common' sense I got taught by my school: There's only one way to deal with someone you don't know well, who won't take 'no' the first time. A good, hard, kick between the legs works wonders. If you do know them well, then you may use your own discretion, but no more than four chances should be given, before the kick is administered.Congratulations, sweet 16. (And more to come, we hope!) And congrats on your 400th post, too! Don't let ST celebrate too hard, you need to be able to pour the champagne! (And whether its alcoholic or not is wholly up to you!)

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  22. This after your article on Wellred makes me think you are thinking a lot about this lately. Which is good. We all need the reminders, even in private one-on-one relationships, about being safe, erring on the side of caution, listening to our guts. But I love your understanding that some people's guts could be so roiled up they can't find them to listen to.TT is so personal, so visceral. Let's all take the lesson to be kind and patient and understanding and say NO if that's what's needed.Happy Sweet Sixteen!

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  23. LOL — not YOU you. The generic you! πŸ™‚

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  24. Bob — LOL! I'm not really the "smack in the mouth" type. But I can glare daggers!Bobbie Jo — oh, I remember that. Break her, indeed. What a nerve.SC — yes, boundaries are crucial. And don't let anyone tell you that setting limits is "topping from the bottom." That is BS.OBB — which is exactly why I call it UNcommon sense. Of course, anyone can make a mistake, an error in judgment (I know I have). But much of the time, a little forethought goes a long way.Terri — champagne! What a great idea! :-)Emen — (you misspelled your OWN name this time!) I do think about this a lot. A new person can have their image of the scene ruined by one bad encounter. I hate to see that happen.

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  25. Hi EricaI find common sense to be a exceedingly rare commodity these days, never mind basic good manners. I have wanted to attend one of these functions for quite a while but finding it easier to keep to myself and a first class procrastinator I doubt if I will accomplish this anytime soon. I am really surprised at the way these men acted and even as old as I am may just be more comfortable at the latest comic con.:)Emanuele

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  26. Know your audience, that's what I always say. I'm sure I've made my own blunders from time to time over the years, but fortunately nothing that has made me seem like a complete ass to people. The "bratting" issue can be a complex one. I'm one of those living it 24/7 sarcastic types, lol. If someone doesn't know me and witnesses how I talk with people, they may assume I'm sending out signals to play. Sometimes I am, but oftentimes I'm not.I've even had comments from some about how I talked to so-and-so and they couldn't believe how I "got away with things" that they never would with that person. Not sure what to say to that, other than we all have our own dynamics with others.Don't touch people you don't know. Don't touch people's stuff either. Don't assume… anything, really. Talk to a person before you expect to play with them. Take a shower and accept that mint when offered. Common sense? Not for some, apparently.

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  27. I saw what you did there…

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  28. πŸ™‚ blush

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  29. "When a girl says no, she may mean yes.When a girl says 'I'll call the Police' she DEFINITELY means no."(Arthur Fonzarelli, Happy Days)John

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  30. Emanuele — fortunately, these are the exceptions, but they do exist. And also fortunately, they serve to make us appreciate the good guys even more.Lea — I plan to do my next "uncommon sense" post on that very topic, the one of bratting/teasing. That topic is HUGE. And yes, I will include the phrase "know your audience."John — Ha! Someone once suggested that a woman's safe word should be "I'm calling the police." I guess that would do it!

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