Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spanking and Stress

I am totally buried with work right now and consequently stressed out a lot. It's the reason why I don't manage to comment much on other blogs at the moment, by the way, in case anyone was wondering. Of course, being under pressure also affects my current mood. I'm not as controlled as I usually am, which I like in a way, because it means that little things like a beautiful picture or a great song can touch me even more and deeper than they normally do. The downside is that the same is true for sad things and, even more, for everything that challenges me, threatens me or makes me aggressive.

Pandora has written about having been under a lot of stress lately, too, and about how much she longs for and needs spankings in such a situation in order to feel revitalized. When I read her accounts of her spanking sessions with D and with Tom, I found a part of myself saying: "Me wants too!"

But the truth is, I am less inclined to plan or start some spanking play in my current situation. First of all, I'm so stressed out that I don't have the energy to come up with any creative ideas which makes it more difficult to play and excludes topping almost completely. Secondly, my longing for being cuddled and pampered often turns out to be stronger when I'm with Ludwig than my urge to spank or be spanked. And since Ludwig prefers to pet me instead of spanking me when I'm stressed out, we often end up cuddling instead of playing. And third, I have become aware that my opening up during being spanked goes along with the risk of giving vent to the fear and the aggressions which I try to suppress right now in order to somehow remain in working order. Those feelings then can become so overwhelming that I don't manage to turn them into something positive during a scene, so that the scene is ruined.

That's why there is most probably even less spanking play then usual when I'm under pressure, even though a part of me longs for intense spankings and the empowerment that goes along with them. I'm not sure why others like Pandora seem to be able to find a better balance. Maybe spankings work less easily for me when I'm having stress because I'm not all that submissive? Don't get me wrong, giving up some responsibility for a short period of time sounds great for me right now, but at the same time I know that in my current mood I might become quite easily upset and feel bad if things in a scene don't work out like I hoped they would. I often have toppy fantasies at the moment as well. The main problem here is that I usually don't feel like I have enough energy to take a leading part during a scene, though, and to turn it into a good experience for Ludwig, too.

That leads me to a question which I would like to ask you, dear readers. Which of these two things happens to you more often: Do you think that it is more common for you that your current mood affects your spanking play in a positive or negative way? Or is it more common for you that spanking play alters your current mood, either in a positive way as a tool for stress release or something that simply manages to make you feel happy, or in a negative way if anything doesn't work out as planned? When you are under pressure, do you tend to engage more in spanking fantasies and play, or less? Your thoughts and experiences are very welcome!


Indy said...

Like you, I don't think it would work for me to play really hard when I'm stressed out. I do like to play more gently, though. I think I find in that kind of play the same security you do in being cuddled.

There's something viscerally calming about in lying across a trusted friend's knee, having my bottom spanked and rubbed, until eventually, we're playing hard. Just not too hard or with an implement that really challenges me. I think having a session or two like that piques my interest, too, and I get back to really wanting a spanking faster than I would if I didn't play at all during times of stress. Of course, the bigger the stressor, the longer that takes.

I hope your current stressor doesn't last too much longer. I'll be thinking about you while it does last.


Lexy said...

My S.O. and I can absolutely relate to your situation, Kaelah, as either of us could have written your blog piece. It is so easy to slide, without realising it, into this vicious circle, where one is so stressed by a combination of a whole range of work- and life- related factors that one needs some sort of relief from it all, but one is so stressed and (probably) so tired that one has difficulty in making arrangements to do anything about it. As one acquaintance put it, "I am just so busy and stressed out. What I really need is a holiday or at least some sort of break, if I could just find the time to organise it and take it."

Now for a brief health warning from someone who has been there. Humans can withstand a remarkable amount of stress for a remarkably long time, but everyone has their limits. Prolonged stress can affect one's health and wellbeing (both mental and physical) and it is important to be aware of the signs. I have seen so many cases where strong, confident, in-control, powerful individuals holding down important, high-powered, stressful jobs, ignored advice and ignored the warning signs, only to spiral suddenly downwards into what is often (inaccurately) termed "executive burnout" where they are effectively no longer in control and feel their illness all the more acutely because they are used to feeling invulnerable and being in full control at all times. Uncharacteristically polarised reactions to "nice things" and "not nice things" can be a precursor to such a downward spiral and should be heeded. Stress cannot just be left to happen. It needs to be analysed and managed. End of health warning.

Now, in spite of the above advice, and the fact that we both strive to control it to a certain extent, my S.O. and I are still subject to a tremendous amount of stress in our busy lives. One of the methods we adopt for countering the stress, is to indulge in what we term RSOs ("relief spanking orgies"), which occur fairly regularly by mutual agreement, but we make it a rule that any of these can be postponed (note, postponed, not cancelled) if either of us feels we simply are not up to it at the time, or that because of our frame of mind the proposed "action" is likely to become a disaster which will add to our stress instead of relieving it. I think we get it right about 90% of the time.

Although some of our best RSOs have occurred spontaneously, our general tactic is to set aside a certain time when we think we will both enjoy the fun. We usually start by switching off the ringer of the phone (not if on-call, of course) and attempting to relax - assuming one is not an alcoholic, a small amount of "medicinal" alcohol often helps here (no, not isopropanol, usually a small brandy or whisky, or a glass or two of champagne!).

The subsequent "action" of our RSO normally consists of a mixture of erotic spanking (we have a wide range of implements, from the very gentle to the very severe), pleasurable massage and great sex, well mixed, leading (if all goes to plan) to excellent climaxes and absolutely fantastic relief and relaxation all round. Just as a matter of interest, sometimes I top, sometimes my S.O. tops, and often we each top at different times during the RSO (we both being switches). Afterwards we normally cuddle for a while and often we fall into a lovely, relaxed slumber - which is why we usually set an alarm clock before we start our RSO. We wouldn't want to sleep so long that we couldn't get those important reports done for the next day now, would we ...:-)

Donpascual said...

Although I am retired for many years now, I can clearly remember periods in our married and busy professional life, when spanking was “out” completely.
Spanking is a passion that has been a basic need in our lives for decades. But we wanted – like all of us - to eat, too.
Setting priorities then asked for “coping with essential challenges” first. If that meant no playing for a while, we have accepted that. And I have to add that it was rather easy because the daily grind was overwhelming at time, and sapping off all surplus energies.
Our stress relief was simple cuddling in a soft, big bed and feeling the partner’s closeness, skin, scent and the wish to make her as comfortable as possible; she did this for me as well, of course.
A smack here and there was possible, but no thinking about a proper scene. To work off aggressions by means of our favourite pastime was out of the question. That was far too dangerous because it could mean working off frustration on your partner in an unfair manner.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

Back when I was stressed, it deadened me to spanking play and most everything else. I was focused on work. Fortunately, Bacall was sometimes able to entice me to play.

heythea said...

Hi, I just have to delurk (those of you who studied classical Greek will understand my odd-looking name). Such an exciting weekend on your blog, with all those serious exchanges! Lydia really stirred up a nest of hornets with her comment, albeit I think quite unintentionally. Still, if you blog about edgy topics, you can expect replies from the edge of darkness and beyond! I guess that in your current circumstances, all that dark stuff did nothing good for your stress levels. Did it strike you that if you reduced your blog output just a little (sobs and wails from your readers), it would result in less of your time being used writing your posts and, of course, there would be overall fewer comments for you to read and respond to? Or maybe all the blogging stuff generally helps to reduce your stress levels? I don't know.

Talking of stress, Lexy is right to caution against continuously overdoing things. I got so overworked and stressed a while ago that it sapped my physical health and left me open to attack by herpes varicella-zoster, which lurks dormant in our bodies (from the time we had childhood chickenpox) just waiting for us to be weak enough for it to reactivate as shingles (zona). Unfortunately, I subsequently developed common complications of shingles including severe depression for several months and the very painful postherpetic neuralgia, which remains with me today, several years after the shingles attack. Looking back, I should have realised I was overdoing things on the day I found myself on the SNCF TGV heading south from Paris with no idea of WTF I was doing there. Maybe if I had heeded the warnings I would not have become so ill.

Back then, I found that all the stress made me really want and really look forward to a spanking session, but too often I would later find that when I got the opportunity, I was too stressed and tired to be bothered putting in the effort, and many such sessions ended in disappointment and frustration on both sides, thus merely adding to my stress instead of providing comfort.

Anyway, I still have a very busy and stressful professional life, but I control it as best I can, and, like Lexy, I find spanking helps considerably. Unlike Lexy, however, I do not have a readily available live-in partner, so instead of Lexy's RSOs, I often have to use what you might call SSR - self-spanking relief! I can highly recommend this, because it can be pretty well spontaneous (I have even indulged in it in the bathroom at work on the odd occasion), there is no one to agree/argue with except myself, I can apply as much or as little spanking as I wish, as gentle or as hard as I wish, to whatever parts of me I choose, with whatever implement I choose, I can use any fantasy I fancy (for some reason I quite like naughty nun ones, for example) and I can finish off whatever way I want to! Excellent! If you are a noisy spanker, I would caution against doing it in the bathroom at work, but I am lucky in that respect as I quite like gentle (i.e. quiet) spanking of my pussy and anal area, so hopefully I would not get caught - although perhaps if I did, I could be spanked for being such a naughty girl!!:-))

Get a tight grip on that stress and take things a bit easier, Kaelah!

Hyrax said...

Hello. It is so interesting to read the experiences of other spankos regarding stress and I can relate to much of it. Depending on circumstances, mood, etc, I find that although a good session can help to alleviate stress, my own stress and tiredness levels are sometimes such that I am put off any form of "action" and the absence of such "action" can lead to additional frustration which fuels the stress. So, can just the fact of being a spanko increase one's stress?

This is something no one seems to mention much, but I find there is inevitably a degree of stress and niggling worry associated with my penchant and it causes me much soul searching at times. Remember that this "being a spanko" stressor is additive to those of day-to-day life and work. The sort of spanko-related things I worry about are mainly associated with privacy and discovery, including:-

(1) What if I need suddenly to go see a doctor or go to hospital when I still have spanking marks, or, worse, need medical attention for a BDSM-related injury? How would medics react? Might they suspect assault and make a report to police?

(2) What if my boss/employer finds out I am a spanko? Not all will be as understanding as drwhippy or coralpearl's operations manager - hilarious story, by the way, coralpearl - had me in stitches!

(3) How can I buy BDSM stuff without compromising my privacy? I see lots of interesting canes, school straps (I lust after an authentic Scottish tawse, for instance), etc on ebay and the internet generally, but, if I buy anything, I need to provide a delivery address. Sellers can construct "customer lists" of spankos - can I trust what they might do with such lists? If I visit an emporium to buy anything, I could be followed home. If I order something from an emporium, it will be delivered "discreetly" by some local person who might know me as my job brings me into contact with the public. Even anonymously wrapped stuff delivered by the postman could present a danger if the packaging was damaged or (as usual) I was out and he left it next door, then my neighbour's wife opened it by mistake - which actually happened with one parcel that fortunately was an absolutely vanilla gift from a friend.

(4) What if my children or parents saw my marks or happened to find any of my instruments? How could I face them and explain? (Obviously I try to keep things well hidden, but there are practical limits to such security).

(5) What if I was burgled and the burglar found my instruments then tried to blackmail me?

(6) What if the burglar didn't find my "toys" but police investigating the burglary found them instead? Or the insurance investigator looking into the fire set by the burglar to cover his tracks found them, maybe?

(7) What if police were investigating me (or a family member) as a witness or suspect in some entirely unrelated matter and found out about my kink? How might that affect their impartiality and their attitude to me/us?

(8) What if the country was taken over by a new, very strict, government which decided that all "deviants from the norm" needed to be re-educated or even eliminated? Any regime could easily locate many such people from blogs and from browsing/internet usage records which ISPs are already obliged by law to maintain.

All extra stress! Perhaps, readers, you will think this is far-fetched nonsense. But what if your young daughter came home one day very upset and said that cyberbullies at school had told her her mum was a pervert and appeared in porn movies, and to prove it they had sent her links to blogs, photos and videos where mum was involved in spanking play with other women and with men who weren't even dad? How would you react?

Do I worry too much?

Anonymous said...

All of that has happened here and there as a singular occurrence. You will hardly experience all of it.
The doctor story is stone age history. Physicians are very discrete. You are a patient and they have seen much worse than a spanko's bottom.
My little daughter (7) brought a Janus magazine into the living room when I was entertaining a guest. Fortunately, the guest knew of my kink and my daughter did not develop a trauma (she is 42 now).
Even today's policemen will not worry about a few welts, canes or bondage gear (as compared to brutalized wives or half dead youth gang victims).
My personal guess is that we are moving towards a "coming out" into mainstream spanking as a sexual past time without guilt feelings or needs to explain your kink to your children.
Mobbing through the social networks may remain the only real threat.
I have had to fight this one once. The police was very helpful then, did not nose around in our private life, but simply put the fear of god into the brains of the mobbers. The fire was stamped out in no time flat.

Kaelah said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments and your concern! There is no need to worry, since I know myself quite well and since my body sends me clear signals when I need to slow down, there is no risk that I will overdo it and become ill. I have also already scheduled times to recharge my batteries because I know that I need them and that this is important. This blog provides me with some nice distraction from my duties, though, and it's your comments that make me smile and give me some new energy. The only fear that I have is that anyone might feel unwelcome or offended because I don't reply to comments or e-mails as quick as normally right now and I don't comment a lot on other blogs. That doesn't mean that comments or e-mails aren't appreciated, though, quite the contrary. I guess everyone reading this blog knows why things are taking longer than usual right now, though, so I can take that more easily.

@ Indy:
Thanks for your good thoughts! :-) Lighter play is definitely welcome and I think depending on the current mood, harder play can be okay for me as well. I think it just happens rarer than under normal circumstances.

@ Lexy:
Welcome and thank you for your advice and for sharing your experiences! I agree with everything you say about stress and the health risks. Luckily, my body sends me clear warning signs very early, so there is no big risk of missing them, especially since I have become used to paying close attention to these signals. Ludwig and I had some light play similar to your description and it worked fine! Only that we prefer this to be spontaneous and in the evening, so that we can use the relaxation for a good night's sleep! Oh, and there was no alcohol involved since I'm almost a tee-totaller. :-)

@ Donpascual:
Cuddling is indeed great! Ludwig and I managed to have some spontaneous lighter scenes when we both felt like it but we don't put any pressure on ourselves. I think that is the key.

@ Our Bottoms Burn:
I agree with you that sometimes, when there is a lot of stress, it is better to take it easy. From time to time it can of course also be great to have a partner who manages to elicit some play! :-)

Kaelah said...

@ heythea:
Thanks for delurking and for sharing your experiences! I'm sorry to hear about your health issues but I'm glad that you have found a way of coping better with your current stress. I also had to learn how far I can go and when it is time to take it down a notch or two. As I already wrote above, blogging and getting comments provides me with positive energy, though, which is why I don't want to give up my posting routine. As I wrote in my reply to Donpascual as well, I guess it is important not to put any additional stress on oneself when it comes to kinky play in stressful times. Self-spanking is of course a good option here because you don't have to co-ordinate your needs with another person (it's basically the same as with self-love). It's good to hear that it works so well for you! I guess shared experiences with a partner can have the advantage of being able to let go completely for a while but the preconditions are that one has a partner with whom that is possible and that both are in the right mood for it despite of the stress.

@ Hyrax:
Welcome! You raised an interesting and difficult topic. I assume it depends on where and how you live. I have to admit that I don't worry much about most of the things you mentioned. I'm not afraid of any doctors and have already told one about my kinky preferences. I have shared my interest with fellow employees and I don't have to be afraid of my boss, either. I am very careful about giving people my address but I'm not ashamed to go shopping in a sex store and I wouldn't be scared if I met anyone I know. Many of my family members know about my kink and I wouldn't be afraid of my children finding out. In Germany there is no need to be afraid of the police finding out about my kink, either, because I am quite sure that they wouldn't judge me for it. And while the legal and political situation for kinky people is certainly not perfect in Germany, it is better than in most other countries. I don't think that there will be a new strict government here in Germany that tries to oppress people with certain sexual preferences. I know that these things might not be true for everyone and in every society, though. So, I think you should be as discrete as you deem necessary but try not to beat yourself up with unnecessary fears, either. You don't do any harm and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Our lives can be very short and it would be sad if you let any unfounded fears get in the way of living the life that makes you happy!

@ Anonymous:
Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences. I absolutely agree with you, what I fear the most are social networks! I have to admit that in my opinion the biggest chance of blackmail even comes from the kinky community itself, from people who are upset about something one has said or done. But it's good to hear that in your case the police was so helpful. I think one shouldn't take unnecessary risks but there is also no need to let fear come in the way of living out one's fantasies.

Anonymous said...

Stress leads me towards wanting to be spanked...and harder. The spanking sets me free..calms my mind..centers me.

Kaelah said...

@ Naughty Apples:
Welcome, and thank you for sharing your experiences! Sometimes I also dream of hard spankings when I'm stressed out, but sometimes I'm so tired that I prefer some cuddling instead. :-)