Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kaelah's Corner (May 2012):
Spanking Nations

In a recent post I talked about spanking terms around the world. The discussion in the comment section that followed was mostly between our German readers, except for Pandora who added some experiences from the view of an English-speaking kinkster and Ursus Lewis who introduced us to "Fuditätsch", a Swiss expression. The thread is of course still open, so everyone who likes to enlighten us with spanko vocabularies in different languages and their experiences with them is very welcome!

The language isn't the only difference between people from different countries, though. Traditions and habits can of course be different as well. Bogey pointed me to a study about which you can read more here. The bottom line of that study: Due to the high expectations many Germans put on themselves and their perfectionism, a huge number of people in our country have big difficulties with relaxing and enjoying  things. I think that one should be careful about putting too much faith in studies which are cited in the popular media. For example, many of my friends have a great sense of humour and love to share valuable time with like-minded people and fooling around. I actually think that most Germans have lots of humour, in contrast to what a well-known cliché about us says. But the sequence of steps to enjoyment that is described as being typical for Germans in the article caught my attention nonetheless.

It goes like this: "The first step involves the feeling of having earned something. This is followed by preparation for the longed-for pleasure, such as booking a day of wellness treatments. But then comes the biggest hurdle: letting go and clearing the mind. Only when a surprising positive moment supervenes can a fully integrated sense of enjoyment follow." Indeed that is how I was raised, too. First work, then fun. And actually, I am very proud of my work ethic! But I had to learn to keep a good balance and take some time for relaxation as well, even if I haven't just achieved anything great that "justifies" having fun.

Fortunately, I don't seem to have another problem which is also mentioned in the article: "The highly personal interviews revealed that Germans can't even let go during sex. Many reported constantly having film and advertising images run through their minds. […] This results in the requirement to cut a good figure even during sex […]. That is, to hold in their bellies instead of enjoying the moment." I can't say that any of this is true for me, neither during spankings nor other sexual activities. Having a fondness for positions and the like, of course I try to look sexy when sharing intimate moments with Ludwig. But first of all, that doesn't keep me from enjoying the moment, and secondly, there usually comes a time when I stop thinking about these things and let go completely.

But still it made me think about whether the German culture and habits have influenced my kink. I actually think they did! Especially the "first work then fun" approach explained above. It has shaped my kink in the way that I try not to let that approach in on that part of my life. I want my spankings to be fun. I want to let go and enjoy them. I don't want to feel entitled to them only if and when I have made some special achievements. And I don't want any “first I have to go through a part that I don't enjoy in order to feel joy afterwards” approach in my spanking play.

I think this is a very personal thing, though. Of course there seem to be other, much more common differences between the spanking communities and preferences in different countries as well. Whether they are all true or not, I don't know. Some seem to be valid from my own experiences. I don't know enough about others. Some seem to be true for me. For example, I have a fondness for German canes (Rohrstöcke). Let's do a quick association game. I select a nation and then try to write down some spanking-related associations that come to my mind. You are of course welcome to play along and think about your own associations before reading mine.

The British: headmaster/-mistress, school uniform, age-play, cane, calm sternness, Victorian maid, big community of spankos ("the English vice")

Americans: paddles, dean, Texan with a strap, many spanking groups with a long tradition, (Christian) domestic discipline

Russians: guys who look like pro wrestlers, blonde women, harsh canings and beatings with cords, hilarious English subtitles (yes, my Russian spanking associations have been formed by Russian Slaves / Her First Punishment videos)

Germans: don't have a word for spanking, Rohrstock, love to use their language in order to bark commands, don't have a huge separate spanking community but a big mixed BDSM community

Of course, clichés aren't necessarily correct. They definitely don't apply to everyone belonging to a certain group, either. But sometimes, there is also some truth in certain clichés. So, I'm not sure, do you think any of these associations are correct? Are the spanking communities in various countries different from each other? What are your associations? How about countries other than the ones mentioned above? And, most importantly: Do you think that your national background has in any way shaped your kink? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section!

One last comment: The purpose of this post is not to ignite any battle of nations. This is not about better or worse. So, please stay respectful in your comments. On the other hand, talking about clichés is never completely serious, as becomes obvious in my associations. So, please don't take other people's comments too seriously, either.


sixofthebest said...

Kaelah, spankings are given world wide, be they in Europe, Asia, Africa. I wish one day in the future. We will have a United Nations of Spanker's. Where all us us 'spanko's', can meet, and greet, and possible treat ourselves, to having 'spanking good times'. Such as 'An Olympic Spanking Games.

Fenris said...

I admit that quite often, I suffer myself from the expectations and goals I demand from myself. And I am also in the "first work, then fun" camp. People tell me quite often that I am very different when they meet me in a private context compared to how I am at work. 
I my opinion, there seem to be regional differences in Germany, though.
My ancestors were from Northern Germany and Prussia, so maybe I somehow "inherited"  the Protestant work ethic and the reserved nature typically attributed to these regions.
My compatriots from the Catholic south, while also hard-working, seem to be  able to let go more more easily and to enjoy life without the need of having "earned" it.  
By the way, the idea of someone working hard, keeping  himself under control and behaving well to "earn" a spanking is, considering the original intention of a spanking, hilarious. 

Concerning differences between nations:
The English School of Spanking and the American Style seem to be predominant on the net. For me, personally, it is the English way any time.  I just love classic English clothing, the accents, the formality, the stiff upper lip, Victoriana and so on. Maybe it resonates with the aforementioned Prussian mentality of mine. 
I recently read the short story "Galloping Foxley" by Roald Dahl which seems to be quite famous among spankos. It is grim and definitely nonconsensual, but it somehow seems to be archetypical. It is M/M, so maybe you will like it, Kaelah. You can find a screen adaptation on youtube. 

I would be interested to hear what readers from other countries associate with a "typical" German spanking. Or aren't there any associations at all?

Spankingfreunde.DE said...

Hallo Kaelah,
das Thema scheint dich ganz schön fest im Griff zu haben. Im Grunde zieht es sich durch eine ganze Reihe von deinen Beiträgen. Angefangen bei der Anonymität und der Angst vor Entdeckung und möglichen Konsequenzen.

Ich verfolge die internationale Spanking Szene sicher nicht so intensiv wie Ludwig und Du! Aber doch regelmäßig unregelmäßig seit Mitte der 90er Jahre. Mein Schwerpunkt liegt da eher bei Privat statt bei Produktionen.

Bei Gefühlen und Empfindungen gibt es glaube ich kaum Unterschiede nach Nationalitäten. Das gilt gerade auch für die eigene Akzeptanz unserer Leidenschaft.

Bei Rollenspielen oder Lebensplanungen wie DD ebenfalls kaum Unterschiede zu bemerken.

Unterschiede kann man aber deutlich beim Reiz den Kleidung und Spielzeuge ausmachen feststellen! Selbst innerhalb der deutschsprachigen Community.

So verbindet der Schweizer viele Gedanken um Spanking mit dem Teppichklopfer, wir deutsche wohl mehr mit dem Kochlöffel! Paddle und Brush scheinen mir typisch USA zu sein.

Mir ist die Spanking Szene noch aus Zeiten vor dem Internet bekannt.

Ich denke das in allen Ländern da die Entwicklung gleich verlaufen ist, die Akzeptanz größer wurde.

Was Fake und Troll betrifft, kann ich auch keine wesentlichen Unterschiede feststellen.

Auffällig allerdings ist, es gibt immer nur wenige Blogs in deutsch zum Thema. Bei uns scheint man sich in Foren wohler zu fühlen.

Den Schutz und die Anregungen aber auch die Antworten großer Gemeinschaften, der ganz persönlichen Auseinandersetzung mit Spanking vor zu ziehen.

Ziemlich überrascht hat mich das Spanking Internat zu Pfingsten. Früher waren die Teilnehmer feste Größen, die man lange aus Chat und Foren kannte, nicht selten auch privat und real. Diesmal war das anders, nur etwa 1/3 bekannte Gesichter! Trotzdem oder gerade deshalb, stimmte die Mischung, fast perfekter als früher!

Vielleicht sind die gesellschaftlichen Zwänge in Deutschland etwas größer! Ganz bestimmt haben wir auch ein Problem mit Toleranz. Alle reden drüber, kaum einer praktiziert Toleranz!

Scheinbar haben uns da andere Nationen dann doch etwas voraus.

Wesentlich Unterschiede habe ich nie bemerkt zwischen den Nationen!

Geht es dir und Ludwig da so anders? Überall zählt im Grunde nur das Unikat!

Ludwig said...

@ Spankingfreunde.DE: Ich teile deine Einschätzung nicht, dass wir Deutschen größere gesellschaftliche Zwänge beim Thema Spanking oder ein Problem mit der Toleranz haben. Ich denke, im internationalen Vergleich stehen wir ganz gut da. Jedenfalls nicht schlechter als andere westliche Staaten, und von China, Russland oder dem Mittleren Osten müssen wir sowieso nicht reden...

Ich schätze die Gefahr, wegen BDSM-Neigungen diskriminiert zu werden, in Großbritannien und den USA höher ein als in Deutschland. Die Länder sind durch ihren puritanischen Einschlag etwas verklemmter beim Thema Sexualität, das ist in Großbritannien spürbar und in den USA zum Teil (je nach Bundesstaat) noch viel schlimmer. Das spiegelt sich im öffentlichen Diskurs, in den Einstellungen von Poilitik und Medien wider, zum Teil auch in für BDSMler problematischen Gesetzem wie dem "Extreme Pornography Law" in Großbritannien (wobei es da natürlich auch bei uns genug Unsinn gibt). Insgesamt lebe ich als Mensch mit BDSM-Neigung jedenfalls lieber in Deutschland als im englischsprachigen Raum - obwohl ich dort meine meisten Freunde habe.

Was Intoleranz nicht in der Gesellschaft allgemein, sondern innerhalb der Spanking- und BDSM-Community selbst betrifft, sehe ich keine großen Unterschiede zwischen Deutschland, Großbritannien und den USA. Eine gewisse Zahl von Idioten und undurchdachten Meinungen findet man überall, und der Anteil scheint mir überall in etwa gleich zu sein.

Spankingfreunde.DE said...


Ich hatte weniger die juristischen Grundlagen im Auge, über die wir uns in Deutschland nun wirklich nicht im Vergleich zu anderen Ländern beschweren müssen. Gemeint war das sich mit sich selbst beschäftigen. Mit den eigenen Gefühlen und Empfindungen.

Und ja von Toleranz wird viel geredet und wenig bewiesen! Ich billige dir da auch den besseren Überblick über vorhandene oder nicht vorhandene Unterschiede zu. Da ich nur unregelmäßig, regelmäßig internationale Blogs verfolge! Trotzdem hat sich im Lauf der Jahre bei mir Festgesetzt, das Neid und Frust irgendwie eine deutsche Seuche zu sein scheint!

@the community sorry for posting in german, but only in german is the tranfer from feelings possible.

To many english word missing by me!

Ursus Lewis said...

I'm Swiss and I indeed associate spankings with carpet beater. I think it was kind of a traditional Swiss spanking implement. It never got used at me (as child), but I had neighbors who got it...

I'm sure there are cultural differences, but they might not be so big (at least in western countries). I have a Swiss/German cultural background but it wasn't difficult to blend in the US spanking scene.

Kaelah said...

@ sixofthebest:
The thought of erotic spanking as something that brings people from different countries and backgrounds together is indeed beautiful!

@ Fenris:
I have also been told that the "first work, then fun" approach is indeed a Protestant one. Well, maybe we can learn from the Bavarians? After all, Bavaria is an economically very successful region despite of the fact that the Bavarians seem to be a bit more relaxed than us Prussians! It's very difficult to get rid of old habits, though. But I guess having fun with spanking just because is a good starting point!

@ Spankingfreunde / Rainer:
I think that there are some differences between the spanking communities in different countries. You already mentioned the preferences for different implements. But I think it is more than that. For example, the blogs indicate that there is quite a big (Christian) domestic discipline faction in the US, something that I haven't come across so much in the UK or Germany. As far as tolerance goes: I have to admit that I was lucky in that all of my vanilla friends whom I told about my kink were very accepting. But maybe that's because I wouldn't be friends with intolerant people. Anyway, in my opinion for example the USA have much more people with very pruded attitudes than Germany, and the British tabloid media can be even more brutal than the German yellow press. I agree with you in that people often aren't as tolerant as they pretend to be (in the kinky community as well) but I assume that this isn't a specifically German problem.

@ Ursus Lewis:
I assume that there might be cultural differences in that certain preferences / forms of kink might be more or less common in certain countries. But I guess one can always find people who have similar interests. I felt very comfortable not only with the kinksters whom I have met in Germany so far, but also with the fellow kinksters whom I met in England and in the US!

Spankingfreunde.DE said...

I am not sure. But its right the most kinky people thinks vanilla are not tolerant.

I don´t live over years in other countrys, but I read blogs and Bords from all over the word.

And I am sure a few thinks are spezial german. A headline for you:

Val said...

How about the word "Prugelstraffe? Yes, there is an umlaut there on the "U" but I don't know how to do it. :-)
Further comment on other cultures/languages/countries - I always find intersting how French use the word "fessee" derived from "fessee" as if spanking is the only possibly related thing to les fesses. They also use combined forms to describe how the spanking (fessee) is done, adding the name of the implement. This is common to romance languages in my observation.
English is th eonly language I know of which has specialized, distinct, and often multiples of, words for just about anything. In these pages and web experiences we probably have come across many if not most of them. In contrast, a language such as Romanian would use the following construct to name a caning as we understand it: "Beating with a stick to/on the bare bottom." (Oh, you would not automatically associate it to a rattan stick, rather one of a local variety, such as Hazel, willow, cherry, birch for example.) A mouthful I think. For other implements, substitute "stick." A hand spanking as we know it would be just a "Beating to/on the bare bottom." To say just "beating" would suggest spanking only in a childhood, school, or playful adult context, but still not specific enough. In a grown-up world, "beating" would be that which you might face when thugs attack you at the street corner in the night, or for other times how the police might have tried to extract a confession from you.

Kaelah said...

@ Rainer:
It would indeed be interesting to hear what kinksters from other parts of the world consider to be "typical German" when it comes to kink...

@ Val:
Prügelstrafe is indeed another nice formal old word.

The different English words for beatings with different implements often drive me crazy! Especially if I don't want to specify what kind of implement is used. In German we have several different words for a beating that don't specify the implement and the implement can then be added, just like you described. So, I am always tempted to use the word "spanking" not only for hand spankings but also in the context of canings, whippings and the like. Then I have to remind myself (or sometimes be reminded by Ludwig) that spanking means hand only and that I have to use other vocabularies for different types of beatings (I don't like the word beating very much, so I don't use it very often).