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.

The ephemeral nature of kink intimacy: Can it be real?

And if it can, how do you know when it is?


[ ih-fem-er-uhl ]SHOW IPA


lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory:

the ephemeral joys of childhood.


lasting but one day:
an ephemeral flower.


(Why do you show off so damn much with your million-dollar words, Erica?) I can’t help it. I like them. But you can’t complain if I provide the definition, right?


Note: I’m aware that many of my readers are married to or monogamously involved with their spankers, and don’t play with others. This post is more for those who do play with others, whether or not they have a primary relationship… a situation that can be a lot more confusing. Leave it to me to choose the more complicated route.

According to general societal patterns (you know, those “normal” people), here’s the blueprint: Couples meet, however they meet. They exchange names. They talk, share basic information. In the course of a few hours, a few phone calls, a few dates, whatever, they learn more about one another. Preferences of all kinds. Music/book/movie tastes. Political leanings. Fears. Hopes. Dreams. Failures. The jigsaw puzzle of personality gets filled in, a piece at a time. In the course of this time, there are physical exchanges, often starting with kisses. Then a little more, and a little more, until we have full-on sexual intimacy.

Now we kinksters, we do everything ass backwards (word play intended). Oftentimes, basic vetting aside, we play first and ask questions later. We have physical intimacy first. Instead of that slow burn of growing attracted to one another as we learn more, we burn hot from the get-go, act on chemistry over personal knowledge, invite others into our homes, our beds, our bodies, our playrooms, etc. before we’ve even begun to invite them into our hearts or our day-to-day lives. Oftentimes, that last part doesn’t happen.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s kind of hot. If I wanted to go the traditional route, I would have. I tried it for many years. It’s overrated.

Funny and perfect case in point: When D came over a few weeks ago, we’d met only once, and briefly. Essentially, I brought a strange man into my home, my space. I felt completely okay with that. We played. We had intense and close-up contact. I laid myself out, physically and emotionally. He inflicted both pain and pleasure. He saw me raw and open, exposed.

Afterward, when I was lying on the couch bare-ass naked with him massaging lotion into me, I dreamily turned my head and asked, “What’s your last name?”

He told me. I told him mine. And the massage continued.

I’ve been doing this for so long, this feels perfectly normal. But I know there are tons of people out there who would be shocked at the idea of someone seeing their bare ass (not to mention exposed genitalia) before said someone learns their full, real name.

This is what I call “pseudo-intimacy.” It’s an intimacy quickly forged out of a strong cocktail of physical attraction and a shared desire, a common bond of kink. But is it real intimacy — whatever the hell that is? And if it isn’t, can it become so? When does a play partnership cross over into a real friendship, a relationship of sorts, where people care about one another?

Most of you know the story of how John and I met. I placed an ad; he answered it. We chatted once on the phone. And then we met for coffee. We talked at Starbucks until they closed, then went for a walk. He ended up pulling me over his leg in the alley behind Starbucks and spanking me, until we heard the telltale jingle of a leash and a man appeared, walking his dog (and getting quite the eyeful). We then proceeded to John’s vehicle where he spanked me some more, gave me an orgasm, and he took my panties, claiming I’d have to see him again if I wanted them back.

This is not your typical “first date.” We were both seeing other people at the time.

Cut to the present — on August 30, we’ll be together 23 years. Somehow, that initial pseudo-intimacy became real, blossomed into something much fuller. It can happen.

But it’s complicated. Because of the nature of what we do, it’s easy to confuse pseudo-intimacy for something real. It’s easy to fall for the actions, thinking you’re falling for the person. When in fact you really don’t know them at all.

I remember my very first spanker. Saw him a total of three times, played twice. Paul. I never did learn his last name. But he changed my life. In one afternoon, in the time span of no more than an hour, he put me on a path of no return, opened me to a vast new world to explore and experience. That first spanking meant more to me than losing my virginity did.

At the time, I remember feeling like I’d fallen in love with Paul. But even then, in my haze of hormones and endorphins and wonder, I knew that wasn’t it. Of course I wasn’t in love with him. I was in love with what he gave me. But of course, sometimes, when your emotions get involved, it’s hard to compartmentalize it like that. The boundaries blur. Your mind says one thing, your body says another, and your heart says yet another.

No wonder so many scene relationships go sideways.

I have been thinking back on some of my play partnerships over the years, many of which have been chronicled in my blogs. All the time I’ve been with John, I’ve played with other men, all with his blessing. I am lucky that way. A lot of these partnerships simply faded away, due to various life circumstances. A couple, I really regret losing. Two come to mind that did indeed blossom into real friendship, much more than just the physical act of getting together to play.

Danny Chrighton and I were play partners for over three years. But we were also the best of friends. We didn’t just play. We hung out. We did stuff together. He and John were buddies. Our play chemistry was awesome, but beyond that, our closeness was true. He knew me, and I knew him. There was mutual trust and respect. And the only thing that ended it was distance, when he moved out of state. I loved him. I still do. I miss what we had, to this day, even though I haven’t seen him in years.

Then there was ST. Same deal, we met through an online ad, got together to play. From the beginning, we were consistent; he came over every Monday evening. We hung out and talked after playing. Our play was sometimes edgy, dancing on the boundaries and limits, maybe at times a little scary… because I trusted him. I knew within that he would never really hurt me. And on the flip side, we had our silly times, like when he showed up at my place on Halloween, masked and dressed as “Super Spanko.” I knew all kinds of odds and ends about him; the farming community, population 350, he’d grown up in; the names of all his siblings; how much he adored his dog.

We were friends/play partners for over two years. And… then he met someone. There was a mutual attraction, a couple of dates. He told her about me. She said, “I don’t think I like that.”

And just like that, we were done. The last time we played, I wept. I told him I loved him. He said he loved me too, and he always would. But then I never saw him again.

Does that mean that what we had wasn’t real? Is something real when it can be tossed aside so easily? Or is that simply just another sad fact about the nature of relationships? I don’t know.

I bear him no resentment. I did hear from him briefly once, via email. He’d bought a house. I hope he found happiness. He was a good guy; he deserved it.

I suppose the point of all this rambling is — damn. I’ve been doing this for over twenty-three years, and I still get muddled and mixed up emotionally over what’s real and what’s simply born of the intense, instant intimacy and vulnerability. And if I still get taken in by it, how the hell do scene newbies handle it?? How do they navigate the sea of feelings that can be stirred up when you put yourself into someone else’s hands? When they cut through layers and layers of outer bullshit and go straight to your core? When you gift each other with trust and vulnerability, and then it’s gone as quickly as it came?

In a perfect world, pseudo-intimacy would indeed develop into something more real, and more lasting. We could keep those wonderful feelings and experience them again and again. Where real life wouldn’t take them away. Where no matter what relationships go in and out of each person’s life, the core friendships and caring remain.

Is that too much to ask for? I know some say that I don’t have a right to expect this: that I have a relationship, so I shouldn’t want for this too. Well, guess what. I do anyway. I guess I will never stop yearning for it. Because I know it’s possible. And don’t ask me what the man is getting out of it, if he’s not my primary relationship. I sure hope to hell that all the men who have been my play partners over the years got something out of it.

Because I sure did, and I don’t think we could have connected as deeply if they didn’t.

Anyway. I should be working. But sometimes, I just have to ramble. And hope that it resonates with someone out there. Thoughts, anyone? Your own experiences with this?

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12 thoughts on “The ephemeral nature of kink intimacy: Can it be real?

  1. to me, “pseudo-intimacy” is real, but it’s just. . . it’s just. . . what’s that word? I know there is a good word out there for it. Oh, it just came to me – ephemeral! Now where did I hear that word recently? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael on said:

    Okay, one more comment won’t make you feel better about the crickets, but since you asked …

    Reading this post annoyed me for a very specific reason (so keep reading!). It hit a neuron. I had a strong feeling of having read the phase immediate or instant intimacy before, but I couldn’t remember where! Was it something else you wrote? Was it something I wrote on some message board that no longer exists? Don’t you hate it when you feel that surge of familiarity but can’t tie it to anything?

    But my personal memory issues aside, I agree that there’s something very odd about the order in which we proceed. I usually compare social spanking to dancing (it can be a social activity between strangers or foreplay, depending on how the participants approach it), but even “touch dancing” doesn’t entail the level of intimacy that spanking does.

    In fact it occurs to me that maybe that’s the answer to why vanilla men try spanking and then get frustrated when they don’t get more than spanking out of it. What other activity entails a woman letting you touch her bare butt (even if it’s at high velocity)? For instant intimacy, I guess only swinging exceeds spanking, and aren’t swingers supposed to be couples? (So they each have a spouse to swap?) For a single man, spanking may offer an unparalleled opportunity — which he should not take advantage of, because it’s under false pretenses.

    Back to the main point, I guess the vanilla parallel is a one night stand. Two people meet at a bar and after almost no preliminaries decide to boink, and then the question is, will they then go back and fill in the parts they skipped and try to have an actual relationship?

    But one night stands are considered unsavory by most vanillas, whereas social spanking is perfectly normal for spankos — there are those who don’t do it, but few if any disapprove of it. So that leaves us special, if not unique.

    However, I can’t comment on your ultimate question because I never had it go any further. My only long-term spanking relationship developed from the other end — a vanilla friend who turned out to be kinky, oh lucky us (or at least interested in exploring kinkiness, and liked it once she tried it). That relationship was never anything more than friends with benefits and ended when she got serious (to the point of exclusivity) with someone else.

    I don’t think every social spanking relationship will evolve into more. Unless you’re that rare person who becomes fast friends with everyone she meets. I guess your point is that if it extends to several play sessions, it’s hard to tell if it’s because “We enjoy what we do together” or “We like each other”? That can happen to vanillas too — are we going to movies and bowling because we like movies and bowling and it’s more fun with someone than alone, or because we like each other and it’s something to do together? I think it’s common for one vanilla to think it’s one thing and the other the other and for one of them to be disappointed when the other proclaims it “nothing serious.”

    As for your last example, what was the alternative, that he stand up to his new girlfriend and say “I’ll darned well keep having spanking relationships with other women and if you don’t like it, there’s the door”? Yeah, for a top he does wind up seeming a bit henpecked, but was he unreasonable?

    I stopped making sense several paragraphs ago. This may be why I didn’t comment originally — I knew I wasn’t up to the topic.

    Anyway, I agree that instant intimacy, or the illusion of it, or whatever, is a feature of social spanking, and that it goes counter to some of our instincts about how relationships should proceed, and that’s it’s hard to know what the other person thinks about a relationship, spanko or otherwise. But I feel like I’ve missed your larger overall point, for which I apologize.

    Rereading, maybe where I’m falling short is that I’ve never played with someone I didn’t know well to the level of intensity you describe. Maybe my feelings have never been confused because they weren’t strong enough. Maybe the spanker has inherently less strong feelings (no subspace for us!) so we can’t understand what it does to spankees.

    I have a feeling the “In a perfect world” paragraph is the core and that’s where I’m missing the point. Sometimes friendships develop and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they last and sometimes they don’t. One person probably always misses them more than the other. That’s life. Does that make me callous? Probably.

    Thanks for the blog. I feel like this is a mess, and that I couldn’t improve it if I tried. But it’s a comment!

    P.S. There are people who don’t know what ephemeral means and need help with it? What a pity.


  3. I want to comment on this, but I just don’t think I have anything of value to bring into the conversation. I’m not even sure I fall under the label of a newbie. My first long-term boyfriend knew that I enjoyed reading stories that had spanking in them, but I am positive that he never understood it. I think I remember a couple of instances where he may have slapped me rather hard on the ass while I was walking by. Unfortunately this was not a turn on because he just thought it was funny and didn’t get it. To his credit, my recent ex tried to understand my desires and I feel he really did well in the beginning of our relationship – most of those experiences are on my blog. Anything that happened since I stopped sharing just felt like we were both holding back, so I never could reach the point of letting go (which fucking sucks by the way).

    From an outside of the relationship point of view, I feel I would be very interested in experiencing a few sessions where nothing more than the spanking and aftercare is expected to happen. My fears are…emotionally I may not be ready to handle anything at the moment and/or is it possible to not fall for someone who could regularly give you what you desire? I feel like there is so much more involved…trust, respect, vulnerability, and being open and honest with everyone involved. I also believe that it is possible to have play partners and be in a relationship as long as everyone is on the same page, but I would want to be sure that everyone was comfortable with what is going on.

    So, let’s see if I can answer the question without having had the experience. Yes, I believe the intimacy has to be real. I feel if the intimacy was not there then the parties involved would not get the emotional release, excitement, and endorphins that are needed for the experience to feel more than just one person hitting another on the ass…not to say that every spanking requires an emotional release but the spanker really does have to pay attention and the spankee has to be able to be open and honest.


  4. Marcia on said:

    Erica, you are very blessed to have been with such an enlightened man as John for all of those years


    • Michael — well. I guess the crickets are gone. You are something else. (smiling) I think you need your own blog.

      To touch on a couple of your points — yes, there are people who don’t know what “ephemeral” means. I figured I’d supply the definition off the bat so no one would accuse me of purposely using “big words” that “normal people” don’t understand.

      Regarding your question about ST — was he unreasonable? No. I mean, I get it. I understand how things work. It came down to a simple choice: “So, do I stay friends/play with Erica, or do I get laid? Sorry, Erica.” All I’m saying is, as a woman, as a bottom who has experienced this several times, with play partners/friends I felt very close to, it feels. Like. Hell. It HURTS. It made me feel dispensable, disposable and completely unimportant. And sure, in one of those perfect worlds, he (or any other guy) wouldn’t want to be with a woman who is so demanding and jealous. But, as my mother used to say, a stiff prick has no conscience. Or logic. Maybe a compromise would have been to at least stay in touch? I don’t know. All I know is that it’s a terrible feeling to have something close and special cast aside because “something better” came along.

      Jay — you bring up good points and questions, and you always have something to add to the conversation. Yeah… it’s complicated. You get so close, so fast… but oftentimes, a foundation isn’t built, and the house collapses as soon as a breeze challenges it. Poor metaphor, but you get my point.

      Marcia — you are correct. I am lucky to have John. I don’t think I could be with a possessive, jealous man. No, I know I couldn’t. Also, to be fair, he has had the same freedoms I do. He just hasn’t availed himself of them in recent years, because of health issues.


  5. Ozarkhillbillyhippie on said:

    I learned that language has power if you write it down you can transfer what you feel to another like minded person People judge you for your words I may not speak well but can write in fluent hillbilly and that determines who I am to them

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting discussions. I don’t have much to say on the relationship questions except that I guess we all have our own stories of hurt and disappointment.

    However, my short (ish) answer regarding the main question in your update is as follows: spanking feels completely natural to people who are born with it; we accept the social rejection that comes with our special interest in a quasi-belligerent way; we know that spanking is something that we crave, desire and need; we suppress the guilt that is derived from the social stigma; and then, after we have figured all of this out (which may be very late in life), we go out and find what we need.

    We do it backwards because there is no other way. It is very difficult to bring the topic of spanking into a vanilla relationship after it has started. If you ask the question after the relationship has started, the answer is always binary; there are only two possible outcomes from asking this question: inevitable termination of the relationship or infinite blissful happiness.

    For us, it is much better to ask up front: “Do you like spanking?” But even within the present day realm of and other hook-up websites – where everything seems so casual and lacking in commitment – informing your future partner that you like spanking om the first date (and I have tried doing this a few times) usually doesn’t work.



  7. OHH — trust me; one can be judged by their writing as well.

    B — thank you for dropping by. I suppose you are right; there really is no other way. It’s only in the stories and movies that people get together and then have some sort of serendipitous spanking encounter “just because.” We do what we have to do in order to get what we need. I don’t really mind the backwardness of it; I just wish that, however the relationships are forged, that they had more permanence.


  8. Chibob on said:

    When I start reading about feelings, relationships, intimacy, and ephemeral “stuff” I start feeling very caveman ish. I do a Tim Allen grunt, scratch my hairy ass and move on.
    Growing up when I did guys learn to suppress these things.
    Jerry Seinfeld asked can men and women be freinds without sex becoming an issue. The short answer is no. Obviously it has been done but I think even if it never comes up it is still in the minds of both people.
    This is not my area of expertise so your mileage may vary.


  9. My two cents. We are all ultimately looking for someone to love and share our lives with. For the rare few, they may be in my imagination only perhaps, find what we would consider the perfect combination.
    As a woman, I would like to imagine that I could separate someone having a spanking, intimate relationship with my life partner and allow him that freedom to enjoy the best of both worlds and not take that from him. But in reality, that’s got to really hurt. Knowing that the other person is gifting their trust, vulnerability and submission to the love of your life and he is enjoying that level of intimacy with her has got to feel painful. Can that party ever really understand and accept that.
    Unfortunately, I think it’s a rare, strong, confident person that can.
    I totally get what your saying and have experienced the same pain and confusion and what seemed to me very real broken connections cut without a second thought or backward glance.
    I do not know the answer. Something that is so wonderful and makes you hit the greatest of heights of pleasure, connection and depth of feeling too often can bring us to our lowest point. Yet we can’t walk away from our needs because they are such a basic part of our being.
    Thank you for this post. Sometimes I think I’m the only one experiencing this emotional turmoil and confusion! 😂


  10. Bob — Ya know, it’s 2019. Talking about feelings doesn’t mean a man has to give up his testosterone card and start baking quiche. (But yeah, I get it.)

    Jen — thank you for this reply. I don’t think anyone knows the answers to these conundrums, which is probably why we mere mortals keep going through the same crap over and over. It’s funny — I was never threatened when fem dommes played with John (and he played hard). It was almost a relief in a way — they were giving him something I couldn’t possibly give him, that made him happier, which made US happier.

    The only thing I found threatening was when they tried to break us up (yes, that happened several times). It’s a bizarre thing — every single man I’ve ever played with has known about and completely respected John’s presence in my life. But his dommes? “Yeah, I don’t want you dividing your attention; get rid of her and buy me a car.” (Fortunately, he never did that.) When they were respectful of me, I was happy that they could make my man happy in a way I couldn’t (and didn’t want to.)


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