On Twitter, there is a sort of side site called “Curious Cat,” where people can anonymously ask you questions. I try to answer all the questions I receive, unless they are rude or completely ridiculous. A recent one was quite interesting; I’ve talked about this before, but I think it’s worth revisiting.
Do you consider spanking to be a hobby, an interest, an obsession, a need, or something else?
I have to laugh at “hobby.” No, it’s not a hobby. My doing crossword puzzles every day is a hobby. Books and movies are both an interest and a hobby. I have an interest in various types of trivia. My answer to the person who posed the question was that I’d rate it a need — except for when I’m not getting any. Then it can become an obsession.
But what level of need? This question spilled over onto Twitter, where some others joined in. Thanks to Lily Starr for posting this chart, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Clearly, it’s not a physiological need. I can continue to exist without spanking. The quality of my life may be somewhat compromised, but it will continue.
Safety, security? Meh… not so much.
But the top three? Each spot on in their ways, for me.
Belonging and love needs: Before I came out as a spanko, I felt like I was completely alone in all these weird thoughts and feelings. We all know the story about how I came to know that I wasn’t. The spanking scene enabled me to make connections like I never would have had. I was able to meet people, in person and online, who felt the way I do, who craved the same sensations and experiences, who got me. I found my life mate through exploring kink. In recent times, I have removed myself from the scene, and while life goes on, there are definitely feelings of bereavement, of floating adrift. So it’s clearly a belonging need, for me.
Esteem needs and accomplishment: Well. As far as accomplishments go, it’s not like I have bragging rights. I didn’t cure cancer. I didn’t go up in space. But I sure as hell made up for lost time, making myself known in the spanking world. I wrote three books, countless blog posts, etc. I went to parties, shot videos, opened myself up to public view, revealed myself physically and emotionally. Some people say I touched them, made them feel like they weren’t alone. This fulfills my craving for acknowledgment, the feeling that I matter. And as far as personal, physical and psychological self-esteem is concerned… I’ve said this before, but it too bears repeating. When I’m fully engaged in spanking, making those special connections, riding those endorphin waves, I feel prettier. Sexier. More desirable. More… alive.
Self-actualization: By embracing my kink/fetish/whatever you choose to call it, I was finally allowed to discover, explore and embrace my fullest self. For years, I was half alive, living under a shadow of depression, eating disorders and a sense of being on the outside of everything. I existed under the fallacy that I had to be “normal” to “fit in.” It wasn’t until I came out that I realized society’s version of normal is highly overrated, and that I don’t want to fit into it. As I have often described myself, I’m a square peg in a round world, and now, I prefer it that way. My mother’s favorite refrain, “People will think you’re weird,” echoes less and less in my ear these days. Fuck ’em. Let them think I’m weird. I’m real. I’m ME. And if spanking led me to that, then hallelujah.
So yes, it’s a need on several levels. And I still struggle with the balance, with trying to get these needs met but not letting myself get consumed by them. I do miss the days when I had dear play partners I saw once a week or every two weeks; where I could get that special connection regularly. I hold out hope that I will find that again.
This is going to be a difficult week for me. I wish I could lose myself in the escape and rush of an intense spanking. But it looks like I will simply bury myself in work instead, and just move through it and past it. I wish I could call/write somebody and say, “I’m feeling needy. I’m craving cathartic touch, some pleasurable pain. Please come deliver this to me — I need you.” There really should be a spanko Uber service. Although that would be pretty impersonal, I suppose. I prefer to connect with a trusted top. Plus, tops are not spanking delivery systems; they are people with lives and their own needs. But I hesitate to come out and ask for what I need. Exposing my vulnerability and neediness carries risks. My inner self is tender and wounds far too easily; thus my outer core must stay tough. For protection.
September will be better.
So, readers, where do you fall on the hierarchy of spanking need? Or would you say it’s not a need, but something else?