I very much enjoyed being one of the presenters this year for Doctor Charley’s 3-Day Workshop Series, BDSM for Writers, and to present on one of my favorite topics, Spanking and Discipline Play.
I was the first presenter on the Sunday morning of the class, and it was fun listening to the group talk about the guided tour they’d taken of the BDSM club, Paddles, the night before. The group described some of the characters they’d observed there, and I couldn’t help but wonder which of them I knew.
The class was a mixed group, some with experience in the scene, some private players, and some with no experience. I don’t know how much the popularity of the book Fifty Shades of Grey had to do with their interest in writing about kink, but I’m sure at least some recognized that this could be a good market to dip their toes into.
Part of me couldn’t help thinking: Why would non-kinky people want to write about kink? But then I know there are lots of categories where the writers don’t have anything in common with the people they write about. Many a thriller, for instance, has been told from the killer’s point of view. Anyone who does good research can write about any topic. Why not learn about this thing and write about it?
If you are familiar with Fifty Shades of Grey you know that it is more of a romance than anything else, even though so much has been discussed about the kinky part of it. The two characters are in love and kink is only part of that romance.
I could see a parallel in the spanking world, where many players look at their play as just part of romance. They might not even call themselves kinky, but they’ve spanked each other during sex.
When I was preparing for the class I’d be giving, I tried to break spanking down into categories. I came up with the following:
Categories of Spankos
* those who like sexual or sensual spanking only — they consider it foreplay; it’s mainly physical
* sadists or masochists—they like giving or getting pain; it’s exciting to give or receive
* dominants or submissives —they like being in control or being controlled
* those who play for catharsis or stress relief—spanking is like a drug; it can bring emotional release; release of guilt
* punishment players—this can be part of a long-term agreement, not unlike Dom/sub arrangements, where one person agrees to follow certain rules or be punished
* fantasy role-players—they get off on playing different characters, often reliving scenes from childhood where they had no choice. It’s sometimes done simply for fun as well, or to give a “reason” for the spanking play
I talked about how most spankos tend to cross over into more than one of these categories, or fall into one of these categories with one partner and another category with another partner.
I then talked about how some spankos don’t see themselves as part of the larger BDSM community, and if they go to public parties they may only go to spanking parties.
The implements used in play by spankos tend to be very specific as well.
* Domestic—hair brush, a bath brush, a wooden spoon, belt, strap, switch . . . items a parent might use on a child.
* Educational—ruler, paddle, switch (more southern American), cane or slipper (British) . . . items that a teacher would use. Most spankos would not use crops, whips, floggers, nipple clamps, etc.—they consider that out of the fantasy realm.
I followed this up by a discussion on some of the fetishes and fantasy roles spankos enjoy:
Fetishes: (costumes and personas associated with spanking)
* Catholic school girl uniform. May include the correct panty—white cotton briefs are considered the closest to the original as possible. Cheerleader’s uniform is related.
* The belt–many bottoms express how excited and nervous they get when top rips his belt off and prepares to punish them
* Standing in the corner; often with bottom exposed
* Panties in general; (smaller group) panty lines. Stockings, pantyhose, tights
* Pencil skirt and ruffled high-necked blouse—attire that an old fashioned school-marm or librarian might wear
* Woman in a business suit
* Woman wearing glasses—implied intelligence, implied no-nonsense authority figure.
* Police officer, firefighter (firefighter is popular as a strong “authority” figure who’s also associated with being helpful and caring)
* Catholic nun
I tried to make the talk light and as humorous as I could. What does an outsider to BDSM wish to know about spanking, I wondered? However, it’s a very widespread type of play and I think even the most hardcore player has spanked his partner at one point or another. So it’s sure to come up in most books about BDSM.
Next year I hope to kick it up a little bit, perhaps giving a live demonstration with a partner in a role play. I don’t know if any of the players want to participate, but I may bring some implements as well that, if they wish, they can try on my “demo bottom.”
Also next year I hope to have a fourth book published and available. I currently have three books on the market, My First Spanking, an eBook anthology of short stories published by Ravenous Romance, and It’s SUPPOSED to Hurt! Volumes I & II, available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, and the other usual places you buy books.
A little about Cassandra Park Cassandra Park is an editor and writer (erotic and mainstream) who has been in the BDMS lifestyle for more than 25 years. She dabbles in many types of play but gravitates to spanking and discipline play. She and her husband attend several spanking parties a year around the country. Cassandra writes about the scene on her blog, Sandy’s Room. In the vanilla world, she enjoys photography, reading, and making things. She lives in Queens, NY.