Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Question of Perspective

 (Still from the movie The Noise by Lupus Pictures)

I would like to ask the following question of you today: which perspective, or perspectives, do you assume when you fantasize about spanking or watch a spanking video?

Do you assume the perspective of the bottom? The top? Do you see the scene from a third-person point of view, whether it is the point of view of another person (in addition to the top and bottom) who is actually present in the scene or an omniscient "god-like" observer? Do you tend to always assume one of these perspectives, or do you usually assume more than one perspective in a scene, in succession or even at the same time? Last but not least (this is a question inspired by Fenris' comment to my previous post), do you think that the perspective you usually assume when fantasizing about spanking or watching a video influences which kinds of stories and scenarios you find hot and which ones turn you off?

I am a switch, and so it is perhaps not surprising that I tend to watch scenes of spanking from different perspectives. I believe that I have always done so. Memory can be deceptive, especially when it is from our very early years, but I am quite sure that I already assumed different perspectives in my earliest spanking fantasies. This was when I was about eight or nine years old, long before I had any idea that there was such a phenomenon as sadomasochism or BDSM and before I even had any interest in sex. Back then, in my earliest fantasies about spanking and corporal punishment, I usually assumed the point of view of an observer or pictured myself as one of the spankees. It took my toppy fantasies a bit longer to develop, which they did during puberty.

Interestingly, even though I am primarily a top in my BDSM activities today and in my self-identification, I think that I assume the bottom perspective more often than the top perspective when watching a video or fantasizing. I was not really consciously aware of this, but now that I think of it, I realise that this is how it is. I find that, during a build-up to a thrashing as well as during the action itself, my empathy usually lies with and probes the experiences of the (often female) spankees. There are probably several different reasons for this, as with most anything concerning psychology and sex. One reason which, when trying to analyze myself, I assume is important is that the spankee, in most stories and scenarios, arguably has the more intense emotional experiences than the spanker, and thus the more interesting emotional experiences from an empathetic point of view. The anticipation, nervousness or fear before a spanking, the feelings of pain and how the spankee deals with it during the spanking, the shame and humiliation, or maybe the pride and defiance they experience... More often than not, this seems far more interesting than what the top is going through at the same time. The tops, in my fantasies, are often mere agents for delivering the CP. In those fantasies, on the other hand, where they experience more intense feelings, maybe because they have conflicting emotions about what is happening or because they take great justified satisfaction from administering a thrashing, I find the top's perspective more interesting and tend to assume it as well.

Quite often, though, I do not assume the point of view of any of the participants, but of a third person who is present in the scene or of an invisible observer. I believe that some kind of voyeurism is an important part of my CP kink as well. I have always been a spanking movie buff, which probably grew out of these fantasies and now generates such fantasies of its own in return. Indeed, even when I am assuming the psychological and emotional point of view of the spankee or the spanker, I often visualise the scene from the outside, as if seen by a camera or an observer.

When it comes to the perspective of the top, I find that I tend to assume it on a more general level rather than during the action itself. Which is to say, I tend to see a scene from the perspective of the bottom or an outside observer while the build-up and the action are taking place, but when looking at the whole story and the whole "universe" inhabited by the characters, including events that take place off-stage as it were, I find myself identifying just as much or even more with the top. This, I suppose, is in accord with how I view my practical experiences with spanking as well. Switching to the bottom side often leads to the more intense experiences (certainly the more painful!) and the ones that generate a more vivid memory of the action itself. However, when I look back on what I have done in my BDSM play, I derive the greater satisfaction from the things I have done as a top, whether it is movie shoots or the special scenes Kaelah and I have done in private.

These are the results of my introspection on which perspective I assume when fantasizing about CP or watching it on video. It is a sometimes tricky affair, because these insights are not always easy to pin down (I am not always quite sure which, if any, perspective I assume) and they are often in danger of being an idealized construction rather than what is actually happening in my mind at the time. But it is intriguing to try this kind of introspection and analysis, and I think it yields quite a bit of accurate insight as well.

How about you, then? Maybe my elaborating on my own tendencies has inspired you to share yours with us. If you would like to, leave a comment and let me and the other readers know which perspective, or perspectives, you usually take.


joeyred51 said...

Excellent topic. I assume the perspective of the bottom 99% of the time. All of my fantasies involve me as a bottom.

For me, the gender of the bottom is irrelevant. From reading accounts by female authors, I believe we feel the same pain from a spanking. When I watch a film, I recall my past experiences as a bottom.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

I am also a switch and I have a hard time identifying with either the top or the bottom in most spanking films because, in my opinion, they are so poorly done or they are so far from my interests. I have zero interest in punishment/discipline, so being spanked for drinking too much, talking on the phone while driving, etc. is just not my cup of tea.

As a top, my role is to take the woman where she wants to go to experience her deepest fantasies, even the ones she has not told me about. It's my job to probe and guess. I have never seen a film where the top was operating in that mode. If there was one, I could ID with the top.

I know, as a male, I supposed to like F/F. But, I don't.

F/M, we have seen some amateur clips that were quite good and where I could ID with the man. Still waiting on commercial one that suits me.

Simon said...

I discovered my liking for spanking films whilst quite young and for a long time I thought I was watching them from the perspective of the person doing the punishing. Even after I realised that I was actually more of a submissive than a top I continued to enjoy films in which women where punished and still assumed I was watching them imagining that I was the person handing out the spankings etc. It took me a long time to realise that it was actually more complicated than that. I think that whilst watching spanking films or viewing pictures I react on several levels. The top level is the straightforward enjoyment of the sight of an attractive woman receiving a punishment. However there is a second level in which I am imagining myself on the receiving end of a similar punishment or in a similar predicament to the actress. Initially I thought this only applied when the punishment was being carried out by a woman but recently I have realised that it also applies if a man is doing the punishing. I have previously in a comment on your blog related how I felt when punished by a man and how I didn't really enjoy it but I think my sexuality is rather more complicated than I had ever considered. It may be that the punishment is more important to me than the cast involved but does that make me a pure masochist both in real life and fantasy rather than someone who enjoys CP related activities? I'm not sure but I do know that I enjoy my spankings/beatings from my Mistress and that these days I don't watch as much spanking related material as before, possibly because the bulk of fantasies are being realised and the ones that aren't are better in my mind anyway.

Val said...

Very interesting topic, once more. As you painted the background so explicitly, what i sremains is that one tries to quantify that fantasy ID somehow.
As a male switch, it makes a difference for me whether we watch F/F and M/F, or F/M. (Sorry, some cadets might feel dismay that M/M leaves one cold, but c'est la vie... ;-))
F/F: 40% B, 20% T, 40% Voyeur (watching both F)
F/M: 75% B, 25% Voyeur (watching the F)
M/F: 20% B, 40% T, 40% Voyeur (watching the F)

Ursus Lewis said...

I think watching spanking movies in most cases I'm an observer. In my own fantasies though, I'm clearly not. Being a switch I have both top and bottom fantasies. But I've far more toppy fantasies. Interesting is the fact, that in most of my bottom fantasies I'm in trouble with some female partner in crime and we both get punished by a female spanker.

Fenris said...

I started fantasizing about CP/spanking about the same time as you. If I remember correctly, as memory is deceptive indeed, I was in the position of an observer or bottom most of the time. When I read books featuring corporal punishment scenes, be it as part of the official curriculum in school or in private, I mostly imagined myself or girls I fancied getting it, quite often in a classroom setting. As I repeatedly mentioned, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" was a fantastic turn-on and is still the the source of several of my dearest fantasies.
I was well in my twenties before I seriously began to embrace toppy fantasies as well, probably after realizing that my musing about CP was not just another weird interest but a core part of my sexual identity.
While watching spanking clips, I still identify with the bottom in the vast majority of the cases. Nonetheless, when I find something particularly intriguing, I could imagine to recreate a similar scene as a top with a consenting partner as part of a role play.

Gustofur said...

Whew! This was thought provoking. I think my spanking fetish is quite different from most. My interest lies predominately with the sexual aspect of spanking not the pain. I appreciate the visual and tactile fantasies evoked by stories, videos and photos. Is this a separate perspective or a subset of "top" or "observer"?
I am old now, but in my prime I was a top and therefore able to enjoy my the sensual stimulus of my fetish.

Respecting Mistress said...

I’m a bottom but I tend to watch from two different perspectives.

In my role of an observer I find myself studying how the cane is used, how hard it is applied by the top and the technique used. And the reaction it has on the bottom, not so much the suffering, but how the body reacts, how the flesh is marked, dependent on the type of cane used and the way it is applied.

But I also view it from the perspective of a bottom so I tend to empathise and sympathise with the suffering and try to imagine how I might feel in the same circumstances.

I think this comes from my schooldays. I was never caned at school but lived in fear of it - and used to try to imagine how the boys who were might feel to bend over in front of the Headmaster or Headmistress and have their bottom’s caned. I’d wonder whether I’d be able to take it without a fuss. How I’d cope with the humiliation of everyone knowing I’d been caned. And I still have those same feelings every time I watch a corporal punishment video.

I view any consensual adult corporal punishment in the same way, whether it is F/m, F/f, M/f or M/m because my fascination is with corporal punishment itself.

What I also find is that I tend to err towards amateur video clips where the wife is punishing the husband or vice verca, because it is reality compared to professional films, irrespective of the severity of punishments in the latter.

Anastasia Vitsky said...

What a great post! Hm. I thought I focused mainly on the spankee's POV, but I guess that's not always the case. I do like the fussing with clothing, positioning, etc. and that is from the spanker's POV.

I don't know why males are "supposed" to like F/F. The F/F I write is often female-centric and not written for male viewing pleasure (of the voyeuristic kind), although there are some who do write that way.

For me, it's the power dynamic and the emotional connection that matter.

Lea said...

I'm a bottom and more often than not come from that perspective. When watching a video it is more a third person sort of view and noticing all the details and things happening between the top and bottom. In my personal fantasies, I am always the spankee.

Ludwig said...

@ all: Instead of replying to you all individually, let me just say that I found each and every one of your comments very interesting - I really did. One of the most fascinating aspects of writing a BDSM blog and engaging in conversation with the readers is that one gets introduced to a myriad of slightly different kinks, with all their little commonalities and differences. This has been an especially enjoyable comment thread for me to read.