Are We Conservative?

This is something that has been in my mind about the spanking corner of the BDSM world. It comes from watching people in the public scene and their reaction to things around them. When compared with people who would consider themselves part of the larger BDSM scene, are people into spanking more conservative?

I don’t mean politically. I lean to the left of the political spectrum but consider myself a practical liberal because I can couch my arguments in terms of what makes sense rather than attaching them to a moral argument. As far as morality goes, I’m pretty much a libertine. There are certainly codes of conduct and societal norms that I adhere to but I pick and choose which ones. The ones I don’t subscribe to, whatever they may be, provide me no sense of guilt when broken. I don’t consider it right or wrong, I just consider it the way that I am.

When I’m at Paddles, I often notice that the people who are into bondage or leather or pain or knifeplay, etcetera, often have a relaxed demeanor about them when engaging in their activities and watching what goes on around them. I don’t mean they agree or understand all sorts of play but they seem unfazed enough by what goes on around them to give off an air of cool detachment. They accept others for what they are whether it is their kink or not. For some reason, spankos or spanking enthusiasts come across to me as less willing to experience things with the sense of wild abandon I notice from others.

I certainly don’t mean everyone. I’ve met spankos that are very free with what they do. My wife and I tend to be in the wild abandon camp when it comes to things. We’re curious about trying things, playing with new people and being exhibitionists — it’s what we are. Pretty much nothing phases us. I’m talking about the kind of person that I pejoratively call a “purse clutcher” — the term applies to both genders. These are people that have a demeanor of fright about what’s going on around them and act as if they could have never contemplated certain things. For example, as an adult, I’ve seen what a penis looks like. I’ve seen what other people’s penises look like. It’s not a surprise to me because, for Christ’s sake, I’m 46 years old. If seeing a naked man or woman is going to be that much of a shock to me then I must have been living in a cave my whole life. I see the sometimes horrified expressions on the faces of spankos when (gasp) something different happens that I wonder if these folks are transplants from the Victorian era plopped into my world.

Again, I’m not talking about everyone who is a spanko. But there are that visible group who seem to not only be shielded from what they consider “disturbing” sights but also seem to need their hand held at every step of the way lest they put a foot down on a spot they’re not “supposed” to trample. I think this tends to be the biggest hurdle for some people going out to a place like Paddles even on a spanking only night. They have this sense of the way things should be and god forbid that they see something out of the ordinary. I’ve seen people become incensed when the video monitors at Paddle show a scene with penetration. Really? Penetration is something you didn’t know about until that moment? Odd.

Maybe I’m jaded or my libertine nature does not allow me to be shocked by anything. I really do want people to go out and have fun because the more fun they’re having, the more fun I’m having. Feel free to disagree with my assessment.


15 Responses to “Are We Conservative?”

  1. I don’t go to parties because it is a long way out of my depth but I am glad they exist and know that they are a fantastic expirience for some people.
    I am a purse clutcher though, in my little world, and I like that. In my life away from TTWD I am not allowed to be shocked by anything because it is my role to be unshockable and to be able to handle lots of situations, take charge and just deal with it.
    I get a great deal from having an area where I can be shocked, where I can turn to the man that I love and whisper, “I don’t understand.” He explains and I stay clear of the things that are not for me. I love that level of safety and protection that I do not have elsewhere.
    I would hate it though, for my wide eyed element of me to be seen as a judgement on anyone else. I want people to have fun as you say and to do what makes them happy with other people that are happy about it too.
    But that is why I clutch my purse and why (no matter how curious I am) I won’t go to a place where my actions may cause someone else to feel bad about what they do. I clutch my purse in private but it is a key part of TTWD for me.

  2. Spanko parties are like suburban barbecues. Go to Suspension or Impact and realize how big the difference is between the spanko corner and the wider fetish world.

  3. Well I suppose I am a bit conservative as far as these examples go. I’m not sure if I quite fall into the purse clutcher category or not though. Sure, I’ve seen a penis before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m comfortable having just any ol’ penis popped out in front of me, so yes it is a bit shocking for me. I’m glad that people ARE comfortable with nudity and public displays if that is what they are into or aren’t bothered by it, but it doesn’t mean I am, or have to be. To me, nudity (and penetration type play) is a private, intimate thing. I don’t judge other people as wrong for not feeling the same way I do about it, but I may avoid putting myself in a position where I’m exposed to it. And sure I’ve seen porn or pictures of scenes with nudity, but for whatever reason it is very different to me to see it in person, and I’d prefer not to. I’m not going to freak out or anything, but it’s not something I’d enjoy standing there watching either.

    And it’s not a goal of mine to become less conservative in that matter. Not as far as my own body is concerned anyway. I’m sure I’ll become more immune to the shock value of seeing others’ nudity. I was floored at the first FMS party I went to and walked into a sitting room to be faced with a bare bottom *gasp* in public!!! lol I had only been to one party before that and it had a strict no-bare-bottoms-in-public rule which fit my comfort level well. Now it’s not quite as big a deal to me, I just wasn’t expecting it then so it was rather shocking at the moment.

    Maybe it’s from being raised and having lived only in the south where modesty tends to be stressed more (especially for girls), but honestly the act of even going to the panties stage of spanking can be embarrassing for me. And the reason I say it’s not a goal to be less conservative in that way, is that that embarrassment (and that of going bare with a very select few) actually adds to the thrill of spanking for me. I like having that modesty challenged, but only in certain settings with certain people. That adds to the submissive feelings associated with spanking for me. It’s great if other people feel free being able to do whatever they want in public, as naked as they want to be, I’m not going to judge them, but I don’t want to be judged either because my comfort level is different than theirs.

  4. Three replies and all strongly felt. I won’t pull back on my original thesis but I will say that although I consider the spanking community a tad more conservative than the larger BDSM community, I don’t think the ones I call “purse clutchers” are in the majority nor do I think having somewhat conservative tastes makes one a person of that variety.

    I refine that term and reserve it for those folks who seem so frightened by what’s going on around them that they are nearly catatonic with shock.

  5. Oh Rad, I love that saying “purse clutchers” immediately what came to my mind was how as the clock strikes 10:00 on otk night everyone disappears. We love the diversity of the incoming crowd. To me purse clutchers is such an apropos way of describing what I have so many times witnessed at the club. Thanks so much for another poignant post.
    hugs, loretta

  6. I was clutching SOMETHING on Saturday and it didn’t feel like a purse!

  7. I think the spanking community IS a tad more conservative than the rest of the larger BDSM community, and that’s fine. I have no problem with wide-eyed “purse clutchers” – I used to be one of them. But as I saw more and more, I wanted to experience more and more. Attending my first TESFest was a real eye-opener – fireplay and piercings and chain-mail – Oh my! It was awesome.

    My problem is with anyone who thinks that “their” thing is the only thing, and make fun of or talk about those who don’t think the same way. Live and let live, people…our differences are what make us all so interesting!

    Great post (as usual), Rad!

  8. “Really? Penetration is something that you didn’t know about till that moment? Odd.”. I laughed out loud at that. It is strange when you think of the concept OF being ‘shocked’ at anything in this world…let alone at a BDSM club. To me, social rudeness at clubs is more shcoking than any nudity. I personally get shoked when sexual things DON’T shock me anymore..because lets face it: shocking= titillation much of the time. At least for me..a fairly straightforwad spanko.

  9. Sandy…..definitely saw your boobies as you CLUTCHED the bar above your head on Saturday. Not uh, that I was watching….:P


  10. Rad, I’m of a very similar opinion to you.

    I come from the BDSM world — I didn’t even know about the spanko universe until my Master lent me some Janus magazines and I found some forums online.

    I see myself now as a spanko, because it’s my main focus (kinkily speaking) but I’ve discovered that most people see me as “not a spanko,” because I don’t mind dressing up in latex catsuits (IMHO, everyone should try getting a caning while wearing latex — it’s very different and really exciting!) and there’s pictures of me in rope bondage, and I’ve written about an experiences I’ve had at dungeons, etc. So therefore, despite the fact that I’m just as into (and focused on) all the basic elements of spanking as your basic “purse clutcher,” I can’t be a spanko, it seems!

    Happily, I can comfort the nervous that you don’t have to loose the titillation just because you do other (perhaps more extreme) stuff. I have done porn shoots where I’m fisted or peed on (or what-have-you) and yet I still gasp in true nervousness and embarrassment when my knickers are lowered for a spanking. One doesn’t have to get jaded — if you enjoy the thrill of being titillated, then just keep on enjoying it and being titillated!

    But for some people, I’ve found, it just comes down to “if it’s just spanking, it isn’t some nasty fetish or real kinkiness — If it’s just spanking, I’m not a pervert!” I think some of the more relaxed attitude you see at a BDSM club is because the people there have (generally) admitted their desires to themselves, and are happily signed up in the pervert club — and would love to show you their membership cards!

    This isn’t to say the BDSM folk are all perfect. No, because they do have the impolite habit of lumping all kinky people into the “BDSM” uber-label. And I understand why spankos don’t want that — the generic spanko fantasies can be quite different from the average BDSM fantasy. And everyone should be able to label themselves any way they want. Obviously.

    So spankos could do with a bit of loosening up, and BDSMers with a bit of respect for people who don’t want to play in the dungeon. Or so I think!

  11. The only time I will ever be a conservative, is if I can spank Saraj Palin or Condoleezza Rice, on their bare bottoms, with a cane or birchrod.

  12. misstorid Says:

    I think what keeps spankos under a conservative banner is the intent behind the act. I noticed the distinct difference when I traded my little lace bras for button-down shirts and pencil skirts.

    What I personally didn’t like about play outside of spanking and corporal was what seemed to be punishment for no reason. The whole “taking punishment because one is a submissive and has no choice” doesn’t seem to sit well with spankos, at least this is what I’ve observed in the last four years.

    I think there’s safety in the conservatism. I think the subtely of what we do is just visually less intimidating. I think because our corner of it emphasizes communication, people are less afraid of being forced to commit taboo acts.

  13. I took a couple spanko girls to a showing of A Clockwork Orange, under the assumption that the content of the movie wouldn’t be too rough for them. After all, they were kinky and they both played hard. That’s what I thought, anyway. During the drive to the theater, we were talking about the recently released comedy Knocked Up. The friend of the friend who was in the back seat explained that she hated the movie because it was obscene. It was at that moment that I had an inclination that going to see A Clockwork Orange with these young women was a bad idea. It was. They got up and left immediately after the old lady at the health farm has her head crushed by the cermic penis statue.

  14. I have loved to spank naughty woman for over 60 years, and beleive me I am one of the most liberal thinking person alive. Because if there is one conservative, I would love to spank its. Sarah Palin. I would give anything to put this beautiful and attractive woman over my knees, raise her dresss waist high, pull down her panties, and warm her bare bottom most painfully blushing red.

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