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Spanking in Relationships
by Bethany of Bethany's Woodshed
Erotic only. He spanks, she gets spanked because it's a turn-on. They share, at least to some degree, an erotic fetish of spanking. Hard to define, hard to quantify, and nearly impossible to explain, spanking holds a fascination. The position, the submission, fetching the implement, the awful anticipation it's all there. In my sphere, few people enjoy simply the "ass-slapping;" it's got to be "more" than that. For most of the men and women who frequent this website, they not only have a spanking fetish they have a punishment spanking fetish. This is what separates us in some ways from the BDSM crowd. I saw a BDSM "demo" at an adult internet conference once. Although it was "sorta" interesting, I found it incredibly empty. Why? Because in spite of the fact that woman was receiving by far the hardest "punishment" I had ever witnessed anyone get, it seemed pointless. What did she do? Why was he punishing her? He just tied her up and whipped her. Why? It was all so disorienting.

The whole concept of "for her own good," is a huge part of the appeal. Some couples choose to take it in a slightly different direction with full-fledged "role play," completely with costumes and sets. For others, "you've been a bad girl, get over my knee," is quite enough. But for these couples, the main appeal is erotic, even though they are playing at punishment. It may feel very real when it is happening, but it is still erotic. They do not want to go into serious non-erotic corporal correction for "real" faults. Either one or both members of the marriage does not wish to be in a relationship where the wife is in a very fundamental way submissive to the husband.

Punishment only. There are couples - particularly among more conservative religious groups, where corporal punishment of the wife is considered an appropriate "last resort" for a lack of wifely submission. How common is this? Do the couples who practice this truly have no sexual interest in it at all? Hard to answer, primarily because those people are most unlikely to be typing in "spanking" in a search engine. If you're reading this article, you're part of pre-selected group you've already admitted some sexual fascination with the topic.

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Recently, I received a letter that I had intended to use in the advice section of the website. But as I thought about the question more, I realized that the issue was one that is so central to many of the couples who are using spanking in their relationships yet at the same time so poorly understood that it merited a much longer and more detailed analysis.

This question was raised by a husband who had been introduced to the idea of "domestic discipline" by his wife. He'd known on some level that she was always a little interested in spanking, but he had never spanked her. Then one evening, she told him that she wanted to introduce him to some new ideas. She showed him some information she'd found on the internet, including material from Robin Whittle's site,The Gentlemanly Art of Spanking, Vicki Blue's site and from this site. They discussed boundaries, guidelines, a framework, and "consequences." The material struck a chord with him, because he felt it explained some aspects of his wife's behavior. He felt he finally understood what she had been looking for. Although he admitted some confusion, he was willing to give it all a try.
This couple began using what is known as "domestic discipline." However, in short order they began experiencing what the husband saw as a serious problem. He perceived that his wife's behavior had gotten worse. What was the problem? he wanted to know. Wasn't he doing it "right?" Was she "testing" as Robin Whittle described? His questions led me to do some very critical thinking about how spanking really works in relationships
a) where an erotic interest may or may not be present and
b)where that erotic interest may or may not collide with what the couple is calling domestic discipline.

I believe that couples that use spanking fall into three categories
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