A while ago, Hermione and her readers discussed a very intriguing topic at the spanking brunch. The question had been raised by Bogey from Our Bottoms Burn. I wrote a comment on Hermione's blog which I am going to reprint here with a few additional thoughts. I didn't want my comment on Hermione's blog becoming too long, certainly not as long as this post is going to be. Hopefully, you have a drink and a bite to eat at hand. This might take a while to read.
So the question I would like to talk about today is: Do you think that most women are reluctant to spank men? Why or why not?
Well, of course there is quite a number of female switches or tops who aren't reluctant to spank men at all. As a switch and someone who likes getting spanked as much as dishing out a spanking, I am one of them. But I think that there is indeed quite a large number of women who are reluctant to spank men. For instance, this becomes quite obvious when you read the comments on Hermione's post. I think I have come across quite a few reasons why women are reluctant to spank men. Here they are:
1.) Initial reluctance to top as a newbie:
I've experienced that myself. Even though I was never opposed to the thought of spanking another person, I preferred to make my first experiences in the scene as a bottom. That way I could rely on the guidance of an experienced top and get a feeling for how it is to be on the receiving end before topping another person. I've seen quite a few (especially young) women who started out as spankees only and developed into switches or maybe even exclusive tops after a while.
The same might be true for quite a few male kinksters as well. Ludwig, for instance, made his first experiences as a bottom, even though he already knew at that point that he was much more interested in topping. He didn't want to top someone without having experienced a spanking "from the other side", though, which is why he made his very first experiences on the receiving end. Fenris, who defines himself as a switch, also wrote in his account on his first more intense spanking experience which he made with Ludwig and me that bottoming was much less scary for him than topping, because the latter meant being responsible for another person's well-being and held the risk of hurting a play partner involuntarily because of his inexperience.
However, I think that, on average, I have heard of more women who took a very long time before trying to top than men. Especially the phenomenon of being interested in bottoming only at a very young age and only developing an interest in topping after several years is one that seems to be more widespread among women than among men, at least that is my impression from the blogs I have read.
2.) Personal sexual preferences:
Even among those for whom spanking is "just" a form of erotic play, some people simply only enjoy being on the giving or the receiving end. Maybe they even try out switching, but decide that it doesn't give them the thrill they are seeking.
One well-known person who comes to my mind, who I think fits this description very well, is Erica Scott. Those among you who have read her blog know that she has tried a few things over time and that her partner is a bottom, too (so she certainly hasn't got any prejudices against male bottoms). But obviously, Erica found out that being on the receiving end of a spanking is her core kink, the experience which pushes the right buttons for her, and so that's the way she plays. It's simply a matter of preferences, nothing more and nothing less.
3.) Spanking in D/s-, DD-, M/s-relationships:
The majority of men and women in these kinds of relationships only seem to practice spanking with their partner. It is more than sexual play here, though, it is about permanent roles in the relationship. One is the dominant / HOH / leader / daddy / master or however a certain couple defines the role, while the other is the submissive / follower / girl / slave (in an M/F-relationship, that is - of course, there are similar F/M-relationships as well).
I've come across very few exceptions from that rule, but it seems to me that usually the concept of these relationships connects the role of the spanker with the role of the leader and doesn't allow for any spanking experiences the other way round. So, if a woman in such a relationship sees herself as the submissive, she has no interest in switching because she wants her man to be in the role of the leader all the time and being the spanker is a part of that role.
I have to admit that this category is one that makes me feel a bit uneasy because of the permanent power imbalance which is inherent to them. Permanently giving up control to another person (at least concerning a certain number of important aspects of life) is something that in my mind doesn't really go together with living a life as a responsible, self-reliant adult. That's especially true when the amount of control covers all the basic aspects of life (of course not all of the above mentioned relationships go this far!) and when the submissive is also economically dependent on the top.
Of course, two things have to be taken into account, though. First of all, many "vanilla" relationships incorporate the same power imbalance and economic dependency of one partner. I've come across quite a few negative examples in my parents' and grandparents' generation, which is most probably why the concept raises such negative feelings on my behalf. But, and that's the more important second point: Every adult is of course free to decide how they want to live their lives. As long as they really have a free choice and their lifestyle doesn't affect others in a negative way or forces them to live in a way they are uncomfortable with, the very important rule "to each their own" applies. The concept doesn't have to be for me and maybe I even see certain possible dangers which go along with it, but that doesn't give me any right to tell others that they shouldn't live that way.
4.) Cultural background / traditional gender roles / religious beliefs about gender roles:
I think this approach is even more extreme than the last one I wrote about because it is based on the assumption that men and women generally have to fulfil certain ("naturally given") traditional gender roles which also define their role when it comes to (erotic) spanking. According to this belief, the fact that men are usually physically stronger than women also means that they are the natural leaders in a relationship who should take their (soft, submissive) woman in hand. Since spanking is seen as an expression of that male dominance and strength, there is only one "correct" way according to this belief - and that is a man spanking a woman.
This is a concept that really scares the hell out of me because it involves the belief in natural or God-given gender roles. And that means, of course, that someone who really believes in this must be of the opinion that these gender roles should apply to all people, not only to one's personal relationship. And that threatens my personal freedom of choice and life (having to live according to those traditional gender roles would be absolutely horrible for me).
Connecting physical strength with certain gender aspects like who should earn the money in a relationship is of course complete bullshit nowadays. There are still a few jobs which require physical strength, but most of our jobs in the developed world today don't. And arguing that gender roles should still be the same as they were hundreds of years ago because at that time physical power played a role doesn't really make any sense. Because with the same argument you wouldn't employ short-sighted people who would have struggled to survive and to do most jobs in the old times before glasses were invented.
I could go on like that covering one topic after another (for instance, child care), but I think you have already got my stance. And I am sure that I won't be able to convince those who believe in these traditional roles, anyway (after all, it's a belief, something that is usually very strong and carefully warded off against rational arguments!), while I don't have to convince those among you who have a similar view as me.
One last point I would like to mention: In my comment on concept three I said that of course every adult is free to choose their own lifestyle as long as free choice is indeed given. That's another aspect that makes me feel uncomfortable about the natural or God-given gender approach because it has usually been ingrained very deeply into a person as a child by their parents and / or religious teachers. As our long-time readers know, I once was a religious person, so I know how difficult it is to question religious beliefs which one has been taught during childhood. That's why I am a bit critical when it comes to the question whether choosing such a lifestyle is really based on freedom of choice. Mind you, our upraising influences all of us, but in this special case we are talking about concepts which are claimed to be natural or God-given. I would say it is much more difficult to question such concepts than those which we were taught simply with the argument that they are good or useful for us.
5.) The "Men who seek out being spanked or are spanked can't be real tops / are weak" approach:
I think this one is closely connected to number 4, but I guess you can also find it among women who only seek spankings for erotic fun and go to spanking parties. The idea behind it is that someone who isn't toppy / dominant all the time isn't a "real" top / dominant.
In my opinion, this approach causes even more problems for male switches than women who simply aren't interested in switching. Because even admitting that they have switched / are willing to switch in their play can make it difficult for them to find a play partner.
I guess I don't have to tell you that in my opinion this approach is bullshit, too, because in my opinion people can't be reduced to one trait or interest. When I am topping I like taking control and I very much enjoy what I am doing. When I am bottoming, I enjoy the opportunity of focussing on myself only. As a woman, I have to say that I always found male switches more attractive as tops, anyway, because they are willing to take what they dish out, which in my opinion is a sign of strength. Of course, I wouldn't want any guy to switch if it simply doesn't turn him on. But in my view, the really weak guys are those who would like to switch but aren't willing to admit it because they are scared that this might damage their dominant aura when topping.
So much for the reasons I have come across why some women are reluctant to spank men. I would like to add that especially number 4 seems to depend a lot on the country people live in – it is obviously much more common in the US than, for instance, here in Germany (where there are also quite many spanking parties for men who see spanking as erotic fun and like to be on the receiving end).
Now, this has become a really long post (I have warned you)! Maybe you would like to share your thoughts on the topic as well? It seemed like Bogey didn't get too many answers that helped him with his question at Hermione's brunch (most female commenters just said how wrong topping a guy would feel for them). So maybe you have come across a few more reasons which I haven't covered in my post why quite a few women are reluctant to spank men. Or maybe you would also like to share your personal experiences. You are very welcome to do so in the comment section of this post!