How hard IS it?
(Oh, get your minds out of the gutter.)
A few years ago, I shot a video with Lily Starr called The Secret Life of the Kinky Wife. In it, Robert Wolf plays my new husband who discovers I have a spanking fetish and that I’ve been secretly seeing another man for spanking sessions. He is understandably upset, and I try to make him understand that I’m not having sex with the guy, that it’s purely spanking, and I’d already been seeing him for years and he was so good at it that I didn’t want to give him up. Robert then scoffs, “How hard is it to give a spanking?”
(We’ve all heard this one, haven’t we? In other words, what’s the big deal? You have a lap, a hand and a butt, and the hand hits the butt. It’s not rocket science.) I hasten to protest that it’s harder than it seems, that there’s an art to it, a technique, a lot of nuance, its own language, and trying to teach someone how to do it is like training a puppy. (Yeah, that didn’t go over well.)
In the video, of course, hubby turns out to be a naturally great spanker right out of the gate and we live happily ever after. Ah, fantasy.
In reality, if someone doesn’t have this je ne sais quoi thing we seem to have wired into our DNA, a natural flair and instinct for it, it is damn hard to give a proper spanking. And it seems there are more ways to do it wrong than correctly.
I haven’t been writing about this, but I will now. Recently, I met a man from Alt and we hit it off beautifully in writing. He was smart, funny, we had a lot in common in the vanilla realm, and he seemed to know his way around kink. He said he hadn’t done a whole lot of spanking, but he had done some, and he found it all very intriguing. He was local, and unlike so many men I’ve played with, he could actually host in his own home. So I thought, let’s do this.
I won’t drag this out with too many details. We played a total of four times. I really liked him as a person, and I kept hoping that he’d improve technique-wise, so I kept giving him more chances. The first time should have been the red flag — he hit so high, I had bruises along the tops of both cheeks, and a substantial mark from where he wrapped me with the belt. I took a picture, showed it to him, and told him which places to avoid.
But something was off each time. He’d still hit too high on occasion, which would snap me out of scene space. He overcompensated and hit way too low. He was uneven; after the third session, I was marked and bruised all down my right leg, while the left side was completely pristine. And then came the fourth session… the one where my skin got broken.
My skin does not break easily. Not even after four days of a party and a lot of spanking. I’ve been playing for over 25 years and I can count the times I’ve had broken skin on one hand and have digits left over. This was it — I’d reached my limit.
He was apologetic. He checked in with me the next day. It’s not that he didn’t care. But for whatever reason, he just wasn’t grasping the fine points. The more we played, the more I realized he really wasn’t familiar with this at all. Besides the technique flaws, the little nuances were missing. He didn’t take me OTK; just put me over the edge of the couch or bed. He didn’t work over layers, just stripped me from the waist down at the outset. All those little things add up. He was a very nice host; always made sure I had water and gave me fresh fruit after each scene to help me through the dip. He made me laugh. He was sweet and complimentary. But the spanking wasn’t going to work, no matter how much I wanted it to. And broken skin is completely unacceptable for me. It took me two weeks to heal.
Last week, I worked up my courage and wrote to him. I said I really liked him, but that the spanking part of our relationship wasn’t working. I said I hoped we could remain friends. I was so concerned, so worried that I’d hurt his feelings. I really didn’t want to. The next day, he wrote back — said he agreed, that it had been “interesting,” but that he “really didn’t get the whole spanko thing.”
Well. Geez. That left me feeling… deflated. I wish he had told me that a whole lot earlier. So what was I, an experiment? A curiosity? Something new and fun to try?
Kids, I’m too old for this shit. At this stage in life, I don’t want to be something new that you try because you think it sounds fun. I want to be able to put myself in your hands and relax, knowing that I am safe and will have an experience that hurts in the right way, not harms. I do not want to have to give an indoctrination. I don’t want to top from the bottom. Granted, there are always little tweaks to be made when you have a new partner. When I played with D a couple of years back, in our first session, he thudded a bit, hitting flat-handed. I suggested that he cup his hand a bit more to the butt cheek so that he’d get that satisfying smack instead of the dull thud. And guess what — no more thudding.
I have been depressed and frustrated over this. It was like trying to force a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit, and I invested too much time and too much of my body in it. If I haven’t liked him so much, the first scene would have been our last. But… lesson learned. From now on, I will have radar up strongly. Unless someone identifies as a spanko and has a fair amount of experience, I will not meet with them. Because there is no faking this. It’s either there or it isn’t.
Fortunately, my friend Chris is driving down from Oregon to see me again; we have a date on January 3. It will be so lovely, being able to hand myself over to him, close my eyes and blissfully absorb, knowing each and every strike will be spot on, all will be precise and even, and I will hurt so good in all the right places. I need this so, so much. Especially since it doesn’t seem like parties are ever going to be a reality for me anymore. Covid is exploding once again, all over the place, and breakthrough cases are happening with people who took the vaccines. Shadow Lodge will be in February, but I can already see that it won’t happen for us. It doesn’t matter that we are vaxxed and boostered; John still feels it’s irresponsible and risky to gather in large indoor crowds, to travel. And I’m not going without him. So, my scene life has ground to a halt. And thanks to the FUCKING ANTI-VAXXERS, indefinitely. Yes, I’m using all caps. I detest these selfish, ignorant, awful people. (No, I’m not talking about the small percentage who have allergies or other medical reasons to not be vaxxed, so don’t jump on me.) Therefore, finding a local and available play partner is still my Holy Grail.
So, yeah. Next time someone says, “How hard is it to give a spanking?” you can answer, not hard at all. But to give a proper spanking, a good spanking, a satisfying, safe and fulfilling spanking? That’s a whole different story.
I’m glad that it at least went well, and he was feeling the same way. So sorry for the awkward situation, though. I’ve never understood why some people seem unable to pick it up, but it’s definitely a thing. I don’t think you HAVE to be a hardwired spanko, Robert wasn’t, but you do need a certain aptitude or intuition, it seems. Tbh, I’ve also encountered hardwired spankos who were not good spankers in reality. 🤷♀️ It’s hard to understand, and frustrating. I’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you to find that Holy Grail person!! ❤
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What a fun video! I had never seen that one before. And, for the uninitiated, this reads like an excellent “user’s manual” on how to administer a proper and effective spanking. Your reference to “nuance” and “technique” says a lot. Another applicable word is, in my opinion at least, a bit of “ritual” — taking things slowly at first to build anticipation, along with a bit of scolding or a lecture on why the lady needs and deserves a spanking. Also giving the lady who is about to be spanked some reassurance that it is not just punishment for punishment’s sake, but is for her own good and a promise that, while the spanking with sting and burn, it won’t do any harm. Thanks for sharing this story, your experience, and your perspectives on the fine art of giving a proper spanking, Erica.
Lily — you are absolutely right. I have known tops who have been doing this forever and they still suck at it. And yes, it’s maddening. Something that seems so simple shouldn’t be so damn complicated and elusive.
Bob — it’s one of my favorites! Thanks for the validation. Ritual is a good word too.
So many things to comment on.
DAMN THE ANTI-VAXXERS is so true. They are destroying our society.
Sorry that someone you liked and had a good budding relationship with went sour, because of the spanking part(or lack of). Stating that it was interesting was quite an awful comment. Sad when people play games about things that are important, for whatever reason in the other person’s life.
Have fun playing in January.
Stay safe, and play only with those that are vaxxed AND had the booster.
PS: could you change my link on the side to wordpress.com at the end as Blogger deleted my blog.
Can’t wait for the 3rd! I fully plan on doing my best to leave you happy, content and very, very sore and tender.
Red — yeah… I’m left feeling very icky. But I’ll get over it. I have updated your link; thanks for letting me know.
Chris — I know you will. ♥
Glad that there’s a satisfactory spanker’s session in your way, Erica. And I’m sorry that the other fine gentleman, vanilla-wise, didn’t fit that bill.
I like to say on a personal note that I’m a switch, 30 year old man with absolutely no experience whatsoever giving or receiving spankings … well, if one can count those vulgar, one slap incidents that teen boys indulge in universally, then I have that, but even so it would still be immensely closer to nothing than something.
That being said, if I had a lady or a gentleman willing to be spanked by me, I’d err on the side of caution, and annoyingly ask for advice (or even a full-blown topping from the bottom), at least in the very early encounters.
Leaving a play partner unsatisfied with a good excuse such as “I’m a newbie, and I’m afraid I could do something wrong” definitely beats … breaking skin!
And thank you for posting and sharing your thoughts on this topic.
I was so surprised by his comment about “not getting the whole spanko thing” since he’s the one who posted an ad on Alt and basically advertised himself as a spanko. I think it was his way of dealing with the embarrassment of knowing he was a disappointment to you. You handled ending things with class. He didn’t.
Faryak — thank you for stopping by, and for sharing.
There is nothing wrong with being inexperienced. You don’t strike me as someone who would purport yourself as knowing what you’re doing when you don’t. We were all newbies at one point, and we all had to learn. Tops who are willing to listen and learn are wonderful, and there are some really wonderful and patient teachers. I guess at this stage of the game, when my play is such a rarity, I don’t want to do that anymore.
Pam — saving face, as John would say. (sigh) These things can be so damned awkward.
There really is a lot that could be said.
First, obviously, I’m sorry you had a bad experience.
Alt is a BDSM site, right? Spanking occupies a small space at one end of its spectrum, and you are a relatively “pure” spanko (I think), so you occupy one end of that narrow end. It must be frustrating, out of that vast range of people who are into flame play or mummification, trying to find the other pure spankos.
It certainly is true that giving a good spanking isn’t easy. My impression is that most vanillas trying to do it just because their partner wants it either spank too softly (“I don’t want to hurt you”) or too hard (because they’re thinking of punishment spankings). The few spankings I’ve seen given by BDSMers (for instance, during my one visit to a dungeon) were, to my surprise, lame. However, I developed a theory for that. New paragraph:
The one thread running through BDSM is power exchange — imposition, infliction. One of pure spanking’s characteristics (emulating as it does domestic and school punishments) is the spankee’s cooperation — getting into and maintaining position voluntarily (with some leeway for pinning hands to the middle of backs or clamping legs across thighs). If the spankee is tied, that all by itself moves the spanking some ways down the BDSM spectrum (though spanking sites like Bars and Stripes do it). My theory is that when someone is tied up, that alone is an imposition, a power exchange — that alone makes them feel the fear or anxiety they are after. (In this theory, being a sub is a bit like going to a horror movie — you want to experience fear in a situation of safety.) As a result, when someone’s tied up, giving them a severe spanking would be piling on. The spanking is almost symbolic — a way of expressing dominance. Having them tied up AND spanking them hard would be too much.
That fails to explain your guy, though. He’s apparently from some other part of the BDSM spectrum (like most of Alt). Let’s remember that they may be having the same problem finding compatible play partners that you’re having. They may be open to expanding their range. He may not have been a “tourist,” trying something just to be trying it. He may have been as desperate for some kind, any kind, of play as many of us are.
I’m not excusing him misrepresenting himself. That happens all the time, in every possible way, and it’s always wrong. The fact that everyone seems to do it — height, weight, age, experience, preference — will never make it right. It’s simultaneously understandable (it’s a form of wishful thinking — “I can pretend to be what this person wants and then she’ll pretend to be what I want and we both get what we want”) and inexcusable.
All that said, as someone who got to do a little spanking, you’re never going to please everyone. This guy sounds like he could never please anyone. But my spankings at parties were well-received by some people while others found them boring. Some of us will just never get good. Someone has to be in the bottom 50%.
I hope you have better luck next time.
Hmmmm, maybe it’s because even on painkillers, I’m still very uncomfortable and consequently irritable, but at first I read this and thought that perhaps this was worthy of a post of its own at my place and then after pondering it realized that while complex in detail, the concept behind this applies to everything.
The simple truth is everything from hosting to cooking to fishing to even talking is dependent upon a degree of ability and competence meshed with interest. I can’t think of anything that can be considered ‘done well’ that is executed by a disinterested person with little talent for whatever it is.
So I guess as annoying as it was for you, your guy is just one more example of why anything undertaken needs to be done well or left to those with more interest and ability?
Sorry I’m cranky LOL ;-). (knee surgery yesterday)
Michael — a lot of people wonder why I am still on Alt. Sometimes I wonder too. I have tried some of the purely spanking ads places, and they were very unsatisfactory. Not well populated, and I tended to see the same few faces over and over across the board. On Alt, there is a huge spectrum, it’s true. But on the flip side, over the years, I think I’ve met more play partners there than from any other realm. I don’t pay for a membership, so I just sort of float along there and see who comes my way. Most of the time, it’s CHoS entries. Yes, you are correct — I am a purist, although I hesitate to use that term these days, because the last time I did on a public forum, someone likened me to a Nazi. It’s ugly out there.
KD — no need to apologize! I’m cranky AF and I don’t even have surgery as an excuse. I hope you heal well and quickly. Certainly any undertaking should have the end goal of doing it well. I guess with what we do, though, there isn’t as much margin for error because there are other bodies involved. If you screw up cooking, you might burn the food. If you screw up in fire play, you’ll burn a person. And so on.
And yes, practice makes progress and everyone has to start somewhere. But you need to fully admit to being a work in progress, and then let the other person decide if they want to take the risk of putting their body in your hands.