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.

Admitting the need

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.

maslow-5

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?

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18 thoughts on “Admitting the need

  1. First off, big hugs! ❤️🌹

    I like the idea of a spanko Uber service, but you’re right about it probably being to impersonal, especially for the cathartic release kind of needs.

    I have to say I also fall into the top three categories of the pyramid. I mean, I obviously haven’t died yet from lack thereof, but you are right that it can also be a desperate obsession.

    My current dilemma is internally trying to deny it’s a need followed by an inexplicable fear that I made it all up in my head – that I made up feeling everything that makes it so much a need for those of us who are wired this way. Why, after all these years, am I still having trouble accepting myself? I blame it on my poor coping mechanism of burying my feelings…for the same reason I haven’t been able release control of all those feelings I still have yet to deal with. (Sigh)

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  2. Jay — my sweet friend — you are young and smart and vital, and have so many years ahead. I have the feeling that when you are able to get out of your own damn way, you are going to be unstoppable. I hope I can help. So many hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, yep, I guess I need to ask my therapist how do I work toward letting go and how do I stop holding myself back? I venture a guess that I need a mix of gentle pushing and a good kick in the ass from time to time. 😝

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  3. xenawarriorbrat on said:

    I would mostly agree on the placement of needs… but it’s worth noting that “sex” is considered a base, physiological need on Maslow’s triangle. For me, spanking and kink are much more primary needs than sex (I’m not actually sure I’d rate sex a need for myself, though I do enjoy it). Not necessarily arguing that spanking should be rated as a physiological need… but I thought it was interesting that sex was rated that way.

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    • xena — is there another version of the triangle? The one I posted doesn’t list sex as a physiological need.

      I’m with you — I don’t consider sex a physiological need. Yeah, it’s great and it’s fun and feels wonderful, but you don’t need it to live (unless we’re talking the procreation kind of living). I seem to recall that many years ago, a popular columnist (Ann Landers, maybe?) polled her readers: If you could only have one of these things for the rest of your life — sex, or cuddling/kissing/other forms of affection — which would you choose? A surprisingly high percentage chose cuddling and affection.

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      • xenawarriorbrat on said:

        I don’t think there’s a different version of the triangle… I think it’s just not explicitly included on every image… I’m also not 100% sure that’s an agreed upon classification. It’s just what came up when I googled “sex” and Maslow’s triangle. I was curious where it would be placed since I seem to have a kink/spanking drive rather than a sex drive, so I figured that would be my equivalent.

        I would be curious to see how men on average rate it compared to women.

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  4. A very thought-provoking post whose response is difficult for me to put into words. Spanking is a part of who I am, and I’ve been aware of that since I was in elementary school (although I didn’t fully understand it back then). Since being wired this way is all I have ever known, it’s always seemed normal, natural, and not the least bit weird. I never thought of it as a need, but more as one more piece of who I am. Ironically, I don’t even think of it as being “kinky”. It’s just me.

    While I can physically live without actively and routinely engaging in spanking, being deprived of it is akin to my being deprived of human contact and love as an inherent extravert. Life goes on, but there is a void and an emptiness felt deeply within my very being (some would say “soul”) when it is absent from my life.

    Throughout the decades and seasons of my life, the role of spanking has not always had the same intensity, but is a constant and it adds security, happiness, emotional stability, a sense of peace, a means for self-improvment, and joy to every other part of my being.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam — thank you for this reply. I was hoping to generate discussion just like this. You are lucky — sounds like you were spared the pain of feeling like a freak, as I did. So many wasted years, keeping this to myself!

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  6. This is deeply recognizable, also from the other end of That Thing. If someone had asked me at these first experiences, I would have said “coming home”

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  7. For me, I don’t think spanking (and sex, in response to another comment) would qualify as needs. I like both, a lot. I’m very happy when I get to do either. And I love the connection that comes from either activity. But for me, I think spanking fits more into my life as a hobby – something I love doing, something that connects me with people, it’s something that I sink a lot of time and money into.

    … But I could get along without it. I’m happier with spanking in my life, much like I’m happier living near the ocean or eating raspberries. But I could have a functional, mostly fulfilling life without these things, or putting my energy into something else.

    Now spanking (and kinks in general) do give me outlets for two things I feel I do need: connection and variety. I crave human connection and I crave newness. I think variety, more than anything, is my primary fetish. That usually is expressed through impact play with various toys/people/scenarios, but I could funnel my need for unique experiences through another activity or kink. For instance, I used to do a lot of role playing, creative writing, maybe go to a music circle and makeout with someone. As long as I’m connecting and mixing up the experience somehow my needs are met.

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  8. Ben — sounds like you are lucky. That many things fulfill you and if you don’t get needs met in one area, you will in another.

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  9. I think I match pretty closely with you, Erica. For me spanking is a need and it does fulfill belonging and esteem needs. But those are really secondary to the self-actualization. Being a spanker is an identity for me and along with being a philosopher, singer-songwriter and storyteller, define who Quai is. And I owe you some debt of gratitude for inspiring me to own it. When I’ve viewed some of your scenes, I’ve witnessed even more of your beauty come out as a kind of radiance. I’ve witnessed the duende in you as you take your spanking and it is beautiful.

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  10. Anonymous on said:

    It is interesting to apply Maslow’s Hierarchy to spanking. Maslow was raised by such a dysfunctional and abusive family that he never knew normalcy existed until he left home. That’s why he became the first to study normal psychology.

    Spanking is and always has been normal…to me. Others will of course disagree and I’d imagine that normalcy itself has to be defined by each individual using their own unique set of parameters.

    I’d place spanking in the “Belongingness and love needs” category but again each person has a unique lens to view the hierarchy and therefore will find their own category or maybe not.

    Great topic Erica!

    Anon E. Mouse

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I also have wished / thought about an on-demand spanking service. I would totally sign up to deliver 🙂 Seriously though… it seems a bit crazy, but worth thinking through. There must be a demand. We just have to consider the issues and challenges around qualifications, consent, and preference. Important and key details, but awesome idea…

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  12. Quai — thank you; that’s very kind of you to say. As far as the reality of a spanking service ala Uber, I think the fantasy sounds lovely, but no doubt the reality would be fraught with problems.

    Mouse — I don’t consider spanking to be “normal” if I’m thinking about it being within societal dictates… but we all know what I think of societal dictates.

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  13. Before a big bunch of us were all connected on the Internet, when I found out that a vast number of decent, caring, funny, creative, and otherwise “normal” people are decidedly also interested in erotic spanking, I wondered a lot about how odd I was or wasn’t, and tried to define this “need.”

    My ex-wife playfully suggested once that I had a subtle need to dominate her. I didn’t have any answer for that then, but I think, for me, it’s not so much domination as sensation. It’s fun, funny, and really sexy, and if anyone is actually hurt physically or psychologically, actually a turn-off.

    Once a long while back I’d encountered something somewhere that said it was somehow unhealthy to not be able to function without a “fetish.” I dunno, maybe, if you couldn’t pack your Chicken Suit for a vacation with your spouse.

    But it did make me wonder if spanking was a “need” or a “preference.” I was certainly able to function without it; there were times my ex already felt spanked by the world, and not in a good way, and what was required was extra tenderness instead of rowdiness.

    But otherwise, if your favorite is Rocky Road, why not get it?

    So I don’t know where all that fits in with Mr. Maslow. I wonder if he was any kind of kinky himself?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave — I suppose I would rather spanking be a preference over a need. It would certainly make things easier. But while I don’t need it to live, I do crave it when it’s missing from my life.

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