Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BDSM - Erotic Spanking - DD

In the newest edition of her Monday Morning Fika, Ana welcomed Fabian Black (aka Libby), author of M/M DD fiction as her guest. As you know, I am always thrilled to read about the topic of M/M on a blog which isn't exclusively for male gays, since I am of the opinion that the spanking community isn't inclusive enough when it comes to M/M.

In her guest article, Fabian Black raised a very different question, though, which was also discussed vividly in the comment section. I wanted to write a comment, too, but finally decided to publish a full blog post about the topic instead. It deals with the question about the relationship between BDSM, erotic spanking and domestic discipline.

Among other things, Fabian Black wrote: "In my opinion, which doesn’t stand for much I grant you, stories featuring DD tend to get less respect and have a lower profile than almost any other kind of fiction. It doesn’t matter what the pairing is, be it M/F, M/M, F/F or F/M, if it contains domestic discipline then it’s viewed with a faint derision. BDSM is considered the pinnacle of power exchange fiction. It gets a much higher profile and is somehow legitimised by its clear sexual focus and content, perhaps because society as a whole is more sexualised than it has ever been. Sex sells. BDSM has lots of sex. In comparison DD stories seem to be considered not just as a poor cousin to BDSM, but a relative so far removed they might as well be in exile."

I find Fabian Black's comment about the different profiles of BDSM and DD stories very interesting, because I often have the feeling that in parts of the spanking and in the very big DD blogging community, it is exactly the other way round. Spanking as a matter of discipline or at least pure discipline and erotic spanking is fine whereas BDSM is something people don't want anything to do with because it has a negative connotation for them, supposedly being all about strange fetish sex and leather and chains. That is just a side note and not the main point of today's post, though.

In the final paragraph of her post, Fabian Black concluded: "I don’t consider myself to be a writer of erotica, and maybe there are other authors of DD that feel the same way. I write literary fiction that just happens to feature elements of discipline and while it has some sensual elements it doesn’t fit the recognised criteria for erotica and certainly not for BDSM. If a reader finds a book listed under BDSM or spanking erotica then they’re going to expect certain things, such as leather scenarios along with whips and chains and other toys, and sex, lots of it, in amazing detail. BDSM is sex oriented, erotica is sex oriented. My stories don’t fit in those boxes because they don’t focus on sex and nor can they be crammed into the straightforward vanilla romance box, because of the discipline element. DD is kind of out on a limb. It’s a shame. There’s BDSM, there’s erotic spanking and then there’s DD fiction. Each has their own merits, but they’re essentially different things and deserve their own niche."

 
Renee Rose also highlighted the difference which she sees between BDSM and spanking / DD in her comment: "so great to read about M/M DD and I also seek to distinguish spanking from BDSM fiction. I find sometimes that BDSM readers don’t “get” discipline. As a spanko, I find it strange to hear that there are spankos out there who struggle with discipline vs erotic spanking. I’m way more turned on by discipline, but that’s the funny part isn’t it? I’m more *turned on* by it, so there’s pretending it isn’t sexual."

The thing is, I am a spanko who (in a certain way which I am going to explain in more detail) doesn't "get" the discipline aspect, either, and feels closer to the world of BDSM than to the world of DD. In my view, erotic spanking and DD are two very different things, not necessarily when it comes to the fantasy aspect, but certainly when we are talking about real life concepts. Like Renee Rose, I enjoy those fictional scenarios the most which are purely formal and don't contain any vanilla sex. Like her, what I enjoy about the stories or videos, though, is that they turn me on. So, in the end, it is all about sex. Which is not (necessarily) the case when it comes to real DD (not fun discipline role-playing), as Fabian Black pointed out in her post.

Now, first of all, even my fantasies usually don't involve domestic discipline. I normally prefer my fantasy characters to have a rather formal relationship, like teacher/student or captain/cadet. And I like the power exchange to be only temporary. For instance, the captain who disciplines a cadet once was a cadet himself, and subjected to the same kind of discipline, and he knows that some day in the future his protégé will be a leader in charge of the next generation of cadets. When it comes to couples and spanking, I prefer erotic spankings or scenarios which involve switching rather than a permanent power dynamic. So, even my spanking fantasies don't really fit to the typical DD scenario, even though I like formal scenarios and discipline settings.

When it comes to the real thing, the gap gets even wider. Because the idea of real life discipline in a partnership has about as much appeal to me as, for example, the idea of a real school in which consenting adults are subjected to CP for discipline reasons. The concept of consensual CP
for real transgressions and discipline reasons in a love relationship completely escapes me, given my own needs, preferences and view on love relationships. I plan to write a separate post covering that subject in more detail one day. But in short, the idea of suffering in order to be released from feelings of guilt doesn't go together with my personal ideal of unconditional self-love and self-forgiveness which I am trying to achieve. And since I am highly intrinsically motivated, I can not relate to the idea of needing to be externally motivated to do things which are good for me through the threat of punishment, either.

The different attitudes also show when it comes to the typical male and female roles in relationships (or stories) which feature a (male) head of household. There was another post on Ana's blog a while ago about feminism and (M/F) DD, written by Cara Bristol. Among other things she wrote: "But getting back to M/F couples, even those spouses with the most egalitarian marriages still follow some traditional gender roles. Look at couples driving down the highway. Who’s usually behind the wheel? The man. Which gender usually stays home with a sick child? The woman. Who is considered the primary wage earner? The husband. What does the bride get at her shower? Gifts for the home or sexy lingerie. What does the groom get at his bachelor party? Drunk. When a woman has a high-powdered, high-paying career she usually marries a spouse with the same. She does not seek out a trophy househusband. […] And even though I’m a feminist, I like strong, macho aggressive men. And I damn sure like reading about them. As a fantasy, being swept off one’s feet by and surrendering to a strong, macho guy ranks pretty high on the list. Because a little tiny part inside wants to be cared for. Wants that Cinderella story."

I had to smile when I read Cara Bristol's little list because not a single point she mentioned (which, as I agree, are still quite common even today) applies to Ludwig and me. And I am neither into macho men, nor do I dream of being Cinderella. That said, I very much like the idea of having a strong, highly intelligent, independent knight at my side. It's just that I don't want to be the princess whom he rescues. I want to be his companion. I definitely expect my partner to catch me if I fall. But I want that to be mutual. That's why neither the stereotypical M/F DD fictional story nor the accounts written by real life M/F DD couples have all too much in common with my life or my kinky fantasies.

The same goes for the F/M variant, because I absolutely can't imagine to live in a relationship in which I am in charge all the time. I want a partner who follows his goals and treats me kindly without any need to be externally motivated. I neither want to be a permanent caretaker, nor do I want a man whose biggest pleasure is to serve me and submit to me.

That's why I, as a fan and practitioner of erotic spanking / CP, feel closer to the wider world of BDSM than to the world of (real life) domestic discipline. Of course I know that there are many spankos who practise both, erotic spanking and real life discipline, and I often have fantasies and interests in common with them. But the world of pure domestic discipline doesn't seem to have much in common with my very personal world of erotic spanking. While they both involve spanking / CP, the philosophies as well as the fantasies and / or life-style choices behind them are very different in my view.

9 comments:

joeyred51 said...

My spanko friends in the scene prefer erotic spanking or just "fun" spankings. Not one is in a DD relationship. Bloggers seem to be attracted by DD, but my scene friends are not. They read all types of books that involve spankings. I personally prefer BDSM oriented books such as The Marketplace series.

My BDSM friends are mostly in relationships that are too complex to categorize. They live the life style 24/7, but define it in their own unique ways.

Personally, I do not want impact play that involves discipline. I prefer erotic play with my wife or fun play with my friends who just enjoy spanking. Few or none of my friends want discipline from a Top.

Thank you for your very detailed description of your philosophy.

Hug,
joey

Anastasia Vitsky said...

Wonderful, Kaelah, as always. You speak well and clearly, and I always enjoy hearing your point of view. Let me get back to you about incorporating your discussion into the overall discussion. I believe I emailed you a while back about posting on Fika. Are you still interested? Email me please if you are. I would love to host you.

Val said...

Borderline "my kink is better than your kink-"type, in my opinion. No, not Kaelah's analysis, rather the starting point of discussion, comments on relative popularity of targeted erotica writing.
As always, the most relevant context is that of your own wants, likes, activity, and experience. For example,i just can't get it into my head about this DD business: it must be also tied into the "S" of BDSM, "submission," that is. That, I understand.
Otherwise, it's a pretty straight kink: enjoying spanking as an erotic exercise, and just "because." There are so many angles to it already in that way, no need to complicate with extra acronyms. Role play may be fun and OK, but top/sub head games introduce just too much noise. My opinion.

Lea said...

I feel I fall into several of these categories. I don't have a DD relationship, but I can understand some of the pull there. I have had spanking as discipline sometimes about a real thing and other times more of a roleplay. I like getting to that submissive place in my head and giving up my control to another who I know cares for me and my well being.

However I don't think I have the personality for a 24/7 sort of thing. I'm independent and set in my ways and I can get things done on my own. Being told I have to do something in a certain way would cause an opposite reaction of "screw you, now I'm not going to do it at all."

I also identify with spankings just for fun or because I want one or erotically. They all have their place with me. I start rolling my eyes when seeing all the online talk of "if it's not this way you're doing it wrong." Spanking is a wonderful thing and can be used in so many ways, why pigeon hole it?

Also, I agree with your comment of perceiving that BDSM is sometimes seen as the weird bad sex stuff compared to spanking. "Is spanking BDSM" is an endless debate. In my opinion, purely by definition it is. The spanking scene surely has it's own niche, rituals, personalities, play differences, but it's a subcategory nonetheless, I think.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

We don't relate at all to DD. Our focus is erotic fun.

I really liked this...the idea of suffering in order to be released from feelings of guilt doesn't go together with my personal ideal of unconditional self-love and self-forgiveness... well put.

Since neither of us leads the other we whole heartedly agree:
The same goes for the F/M variant, because I absolutely can't imagine to live in a relationship in which I am in charge all the time. I want a partner who follows his goals and treats me kindly without any need to be externally motivated. I neither want to be a permanent caretaker, nor do I want a man whose biggest pleasure is to serve me and submit to me.

One of your better posts. I challenge you to refine it a 10th grade reading level. The level of most magazines.

Donpascual said...

Very well written Kaelah. That most likely took you a while to compose, investing a lot of thought.
Yet, it altogether does only show again, there are not enough file cabinets available to separate all these many Spankos with their specific personal fantasies from each other, you will never succeed categorizing them.
All of them, of course, are convinced of their special approach to the theme which can be easily narrowed down to: you are going to be spanked and I am going to spank you, period.
Now, which way, when, how long, on what dates, naked or dressed, fantasizing about what, is fuelling this delightful eternal discussion on blogs and home pages.
In the end we are all Spankos.

Fabian Black/Libby said...

Val said: Borderline "my kink is better than your kink-" type, in my opinion.

If I gave the impression that I was the 'type'who thought along the lines of 'my kink being better than your kink' I can only apologise with absolute sincerity. It certainly wasn't my intention. I don't think my kink is better than anyone else's. I have always had the utmost respect for other people's kinks and predilections.

Kaelah said...

@ Joey:
Thank you for sharing your view and experiences, Joey! I think at least the basic focus of our kinks is quite similar (erotic play, fun play, no 24/7 relationship). There seems to be a very huge DD blogging community, but I think most of the DD bloggers are either interested in discipline only, anyway, or they play exclusively with their partners, in case their preferences involve fun and erotic spankings as well. I assume that is the reason why one doesn't meet many of them at spanking parties. You are of course right, many BDSM practitioners live in some kind of 24/7 relationship, too. In that regard Ludwig and my relationship is different from their relationships as well.

@ Ana:
Thank you very much for your kind comment! I can't remember that we ever talked about a guest post for your Fika, but I'm very flattered by your idea. I just have to see whether I can find enough time (maintaining our blog is still already quite a challenge at times) and we would have to talk about the concrete topic of the post.

@ Val:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic!

I don't think that Fabian Black's post meant to imply that non-sexual DD fiction is better than erotic spanking or BDSM, though. Maybe the excerpt which I have chosen generates a wrong impression because I think it focusses very much on Fabian Black's sadness about the in her view low standing of DD fiction. The thing is that the original post was not about different kinds of kink, but about fiction writing. I can understand that an author tries to find a good label which helps readers to easily see what's inside the book and what they can expect. And I guess if I bought a book that was labelled as BDSM but contained a story about a pure discipline relationship, I might be a bit confused. So, in that respect I can relate to the search for a fitting, more specific label.

I agree with you that on a more general level, though, DD can indeed be seen as a subsegment of BDSM, just like erotic spanking. No only because DD is related to submission, the D in BDSM also stands for discipline! But, as I already wrote in my post, I also agree with Fabian Black in that pure real life DD seems to me to be quite different from BDSM and erotic spanking because it has a very different focus. I don't think that it is necessary for those like you and me who aren't into real life DD to completely understand the concept (and I think it is legitimate to critically discuss different lifestyle choices). But, as long as we are talking about consenting adults who make a decision out of their free will, people should in my view have the right and opportunity to live the lifestyle they want. Just like you and I have chosen to live in relationships that involve erotic spanking.

@ Lea:
Thank you for sharing your experiences! Yes, it seems that you are one of those fellow spankos I mentioned, who are in a certain way more open for a wider range of play, including discipline. Your comment and the other comments made me think, though, whether maybe switches are less likely to practise real life discipline? Maybe they are less attracted by the kind of power exchange that goes along with it? Of course I don't think that this is a general rule, though. But it might be an interesting question for another post! :-)

Kaelah said...

@ Our Bottoms Burn:
I think our kinks are very similar when it comes to the joys of erotic spanking and switching.

But hey, what does that mean: “one of your better posts”? My posts are of course all a great pleasure to read. ;-)

Joking aside, I don't think that it makes sense to bring the post to a certain reading level, it would take too much time and the post won't be printed in any magazine, anyway. Usually, my sentences are quite complex, because that's my general writing style and also because I think that in German sentences have a tendency to be longer and more complex than in English, so I am used to that kind of writing. I often check my posts again before publishing them, though, and replace long and complex sentences with shorter ones which are more straight-forward. Apart from that, though, since most of our readers are (in contrast to me) native speakers of English, I simply expect them to deal with my writing style. :-)

@ Donpascual:
Thank you for your kind compliment! It actually didn't take me too long to write this post after having composed it in the back of my head for a day. You are of course right, in the end spanking is both, a very personal thing when it comes to details but also a very common thing when it comes to the very general kink. Still, as you said, discussing the interesting little details and differences can be very interesting!

@ Fabian Black / Libby:
Welcome on our blog and thank you very much for your comment! As I wrote in my reply to Val, maybe it's the excerpt from your original post which I have chosen that generated the wrong impression, because it focusses very much on your sadness about the in your view low standing of DD fiction in comparison to erotic BDSM fiction. If it was the excerpt which I selected, I am sorry! Or maybe it was just a simple general misinterpretation of the intention of your writing.

Anyway, fortunately these things can easily be solved through an additional comment! Thank you very much for having taken the time to clarify your position. As you said in your comment on Ana's blog, it is always interesting to read different points of view (as long as they are expressed politely and as long as the writer knows what he or she is talking about, I may add, ;-) because unfortunately that's not always the case in online discussions ), even if one doesn't always agree. That's what Ludwig and I love to do here on our blog and on other blogs we like. Ana's blog definitely is one with very interesting discussions in which different points of view are expressed politely and intelligently. :-)