Know The Language

Although the way a person plays may be a success in some circles, that success does not necessarily translate well in other communities.

I’m revisiting a theme here because of a recent conversation with a friend of mine. It seems to me that there are a bunch of men (and I assume women) who come to the spanking scene from the D/s world and act as if the same dynamic that worked for them there will work here. Sure, there are lots of places where things cross over — the dominance and submission are transcendent themes that underlie the BDSM community no matter the flavor of kink involved. However, there are also significant differences that are more than just nuance.

I made the comment during a discussion about “reading” people as a way of knowing what it is that they want or don’t want out of a scene or an on-going relationship of whatever kind. I remarked that reading people is what I have always been good at but that it’s necessary to know the language first otherwise no sense can come from it. I’ve seen people who have primarily been involved in Master/slave or Dom/sub enter the spanking sub-genre without acknowledging that many of the people there have their own interpretation of those dynamics.

A person who has spanking fantasies that float around somewhere in the “schoolgirl” or “Daddy/daughter” range are generally not looking for someone in a Gorean leather gladiator outfit to point to the floor and say, “On your knees, slave”. The headspace is completely different for someone who wants to be a “daughter” for a little while rather than someone who is collared. Even if the spanking fantasy is looser and less defined, it generally doesn’t fall into the category of harder kinds of S&M play and has a more domestic feel to it. I’m not saying that there are aren’t some folks who cross genres but in my experience they’ll let you know when they do rather than expect it from the start.

I think part of the problem is that many folks who come from the larger BDSM scene have a difficult time getting their mind around the fact that a lot of spanking enthusiasts like spanking and little else. I’ve heard from more than one person over the years of Doms who when told that a person is into spanking will invariably say, “…and what else” — it’s sort of a running gag in the spanko world.

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11 Responses to “Know The Language”

  1. If I may pick up on two themes you’ve introduced: language and spanking. Caroline Grey has an interesting recent post about her early literary inspirations which tapped into, or perhaps inspired, or perhaps stoked a kinky imagination. This has reminded me what a deep, rich intricate fantasy life I also kept as a boy and how that evolved and integrated itself into my budding sexuality. The reason I mention this is because it seems to me that language and sexuality are very deeply connected for many of the type of people for whom spanking is more than just about spanking. You know what I mean. For some people, spanking is just spanking, it’s just a physical act. For other people, it’s a way of thinking and feeling and the act itself is sort of a focal point for a whole broad range of behaviors and emotions. That’s why the “. . .and what else?” comment resonates with those of use who “get it.” I wish I had better means to express it.

  2. SD: I’ve met very few people for whom spanking is merely a physical act and nothing else. They may not admit it openly but this kink goes very deep in most of us.

  3. “and what else…?” …

    Yes, Rad..that IS a running gag…that sorta MAKES me gag. I’ve even ( gasp!) been known to rant n rave about it a bit)

    While I am wholeheartedly ” FOR” anyone completely embracing ALL the kinks in their lexicon.. whether they are in neat little egg-crate compartments or whatever… the bdsm community DOES have to respect/accept that some of us ARE just ( just?) spankos! I simply see it as: spanking is at the TOP of my (short) list.. and to them..it’s prob in the middle or bottom…in small letters, perhaps.

    I find it jarring to be trading banter with a person such as this ..where one moment its pretty ‘little girl’ oriented, then suddenly.. I am a ‘bitch in heat needing a lesson in servile obedience and verbal humilation.’.

    Sorry, but, I don’t ‘make the switch’ THAT quickly! Give me a flippin’ warning! LOL. I am always very VERY clear with a dom/top that I am spanking freak.. 🙂 …. but, they SO often still want to convert us to their self purported ‘bigger and better’ world. Nope. I am happy in my naughty little girl corner, thanks just the same.

  4. Are these Doms you have written about just trying to join new clubs without knowing the rules? What sort of places have you observed this. I know that SSNY and similar clubs have sites which list in great detail the requested rules of behavior.

  5. It’s not about “joining clubs” but about meeting people for play or relationships of whatever kind. A person approaching a spanko should know whether they want anything more other than what it is they enjoy — assuming that a person will automatically want a whole host of things is not correct.

  6. paddlegirl Says:

    Great topic! Thanks for posing it.

    But I think I might be the only out there that enjoying spanking purely for the physical act. Yep, I’m a sensationalist and I love feel, sound and warmth a good spanking provides. I don’t do it for any real emotional release or exploration but because I love it! My partner knows this about me and he provides me with all the spankings I so enjoy…if only for spanking sake.

  7. I remember the frustration of the “…and what else” thing. It turns out that these days there is a long answer to “….and what else” but at the time it really was “just” spanking. As in, I wasn’t interested in other acts. Not sex, not hair-pulling, not bondage, not crawling on my knees. I just wanted to be spanked.

    But it was never “just spanking” in that it was only a physical act. It was (and is) a deeply compelling big old Something and a complete world in and of itself.

    Though my interests have broadened, they don’t always intersect. Usually, when I am in “spanking mode” I want to play in spanking mode, not D/s mode. I want spanking language, as you say. And spanking body language. I want to be pulled by the ear and called a little girl, not pulled by the nipple and called a little slut. I often feel uncomfortable when the two are combined, and like you said, it’s always pretty clear which mode we’re playing in.

    As there isn’t really a “spanking scene” per se in Ireland, and most of our public play is in a BDSM context, it can be interesting to see where and when these lines are drawn. Frank and I are pretty clearly “the spanking ones” in the group, and that’s usually how we play, together and with other people, when we’re there, and it seems to be accepted. When I do do something more D/s with someone, it’s usually clearly delineated.

  8. *sigh*. You just summed up the last 6 years of my life in a nutshell. Well, not my life exactly, but D’s life and my attempts to defend his “spanking only” interests from disrespect.

    I’ve settled on behavior change over a real shift in understanding. My BDSM friends can *think* all they want that D’s world is lacking. They just need to refrain from saying it. Just like they can *think* all they want that someday I will want to be a Master and not “just” a top–so long as they quit nagging on me about it.

  9. I’ll reiterate that I’m a Top, a “Daddy” and lots of others things on occasion but the one thing that remains constant is that I love to spank. I do other things as when the mood strikes but I am unapologetic about the fact that spanking is what I enjoy and what gets to me in a deep and meaningful way. The fact is that Doms or Masters or Sirs or whatever might think I’m limited in my scope but, frankly, I don’t give a fuck what they think.

  10. When I was first divorced and thought I’d seek someone wired like me, I went to a BDSM munch. That’s all I could find in Orlando, where I lived at that time. No doubt, there were many stand-up types there. Possible mensches.

    There was this one guy, however, who wanted my contact information and followed me out to the car. When I told him “No, thanks,” he said, “I really must insist.” So, I gave him my email address. He then proceded to send me long emails in large purple font demanding that I submit to his whims and realize my true nature. What the…?

    I never attended an organized event again. Instead, I had private play dates with some remarkable people.

    I’m really clear about what I want. I’ll tell any potential play partner who asks me. I even volunteer, “Do you want to know how my mind works?” If they say “no,” I’m outta there.

  11. Paddlesgirl, if I may – from the sounds of it, it’s not JUST spanking to you either. If you’re a sensationalist, then it’s about the touch, the feel of it, as you say, the warmth that is associated with that.

    Spanking is my number 1, and while I often fantasize about other fetishes, and sometimes have a hankering to act on them, it’s few and far between, as well as rare that I have a great time.

    Spanking never lets me down. I am almost always craving a spanking of some sort, and for so many reasons, it’s difficult to say sometimes.

    Sometimes it’s simply about being spanked, and the fact that I haven’t been in a while, and need to feel it.

    Sometimes, I need it hurt. Sometimes I need to cry. Sometimes I want to cry. Sometimes I don’t want to cry. Sometimes I want to be forced to cry. Sometimes I feel little and spanking makes me feel protected. Sometimes I want to be a feisty young woman whose true passion is this intimate act.

    You get the point. That being said, when people say “What else?” I say “Right now, just spanking, but I’ve tried a lot of other stuff” – but if they persist, I’ll probably end up walking away. I have no patience for those who aren’t smart enough to nod and smile when they ask my kink and get the answer and still don’t understand.

    I have had people ask me to elaborate or talk about why that is, etc. and it’s been a nice conversation at least, as opposed to MasterDaddySirDom8326 who wants to convert me or tells me to contact him if my feelings change.

    The chances are, they won’t, but should they, he’s probably the last who will find out.

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