BDSM and spanking: Is spanking a gateway drug?

All sorts of kinkiness

This blog was partially inspired by a piece written a short time ago on FetLife by a spanking fetishist I know, titled Celebrating Being a Spanko~! He writes that he’s sometimes heard the phrase, “Spanking is the gateway to kink,” which of course is not true. We all have different paths. If you’re interested in various things but spanking is the first thing you try, you could call it the gateway. But you could just have easily have tried bondage or wax play first.

There are perpetual intellectual debates about the differences between spanking and BDSM. I’ve said it before—I believe spanking is part of BDSM, but for the sake of simplicity here I’ll refer to one realm as spanking and the other realm as BDSM.

For me I came gradually into spanking, having explored many types of kinky sexual play when I was younger. My first public parties were spanking parties because they seemed safe, and there seemed to be a big emphasis on keeping sex separate. Even if couples were combining sex and spanking in private, there was no visible sexual play at these parties.

More than spanking

But soon I found myself at PaddlesNYC, probably within the first month of coming out, and my play that night was not just spanking play. (There’s no sex at Paddles, either, but there is more sexual touching and play allowed there).

As far as the condescending notion about spanking being a “gateway drug,” I’ve never heard a mainstream kinkster say anything like that to me, but then again, my immersion into the scene went the other way: S&M was more my gateway to spanking.

I feel more at home at spanking parties—it’s sometimes easier to find play partners at spanking parties than at larger kink events. And I’ve gone to many more weekend spanking parties than weekend BDSM parties, so I’ve gotten to know a core group in the spanking community.

Worlds colliding

However, I feel reasonably comfortable in both worlds. In local BDSM circles, I have known for being a spanko. And I like that people seek me out for canings or strappings or OTK spankings.

Last weekend, at the TES Fest, I had the pleasure of topping a rather well-known member of our community (he needed a hard caning), as well as a lovely young woman who needed a nurturing OTK spanking.

I feel it is when I am seeking Tops or Doms in the BDSM world when I run into trouble. As a bottom, I enjoy spanking play, often severe, and I have a punishment fetish that goes along with that. I often run into Tops who don’t want to spank me because “it’s not a punishment if it’s what you want.” I’ll tell them that I want to be spanked hard enough that I am struggling … hard enough that during the spanking I won’t like it.

Still, they say, “But it will turn you on later.” And … your point? All of it’s play—even the punishment part. So it’s OK to pick a punishment that turns me on, if you ask me.

But if a top insists on “punishing” me in some way other than spanking, it will probably still turn me on because he’s making me take pain. My fetishes—spanking, punishment, being controlled, fear, and pain—all sort of melt together. It’s hard to explain this to some BDSM doms. Still, none of them ever put me down because I’m a spanko.

There are actually a lot of spankos who go to these “other” events. Some of them may be spankos plus something else, some not. And there are spankos who only go to spanking parties … but do various other types of play behind closed doors.

So no, I don’t think spanking is a gateway drug, but many of us go out and explore other play even if our first love is spanking play. And others stick just to spanking. It’s all about what turns you on.

Boardwalk Badness Weekend 2013

Dare I attempt to blog about this weekend, the fourth Atlantic City spanking weekend? I had a good time. I didn’t feel overly emotional about anything, or insecure, or jealous, to any large degree. I think I always have those feelings pop up a little bit. But for the most part, I felt that I was with people who liked me, with people I liked back, and that enough people I wanted to play with wanted to play with me.

I didn’t feel huge angst over missed connections this year. Two years ago, I had written about a sudden and severe drop leaving the party because I felt a good friend had blown me off. This year, I think I had fewer scenes than ever and that was fine. I cancelled all potential scenes for Sunday afternoon because I had to work—I had a deadline I needed to meet on Tuesday—and I missed hooking up with one of my favorite players as a result. He lives on the wrong coast! But I’ll see him at Shadow Lane over Labor Day weekend and we will play then. At least that’s the plan. He’s very popular and has lots of other women to play with so my cancelling with him wasn’t going to leave him bereft …

On the other hand, I’d apparently overbooked play on Saturday night. I had talked to several people about arranging play after I’d finished my security shift on Saturday night. I told one guy I could play at 1 am after my shift (and that was a definite in my head) but the second guy thought we were playing at 1 a.m., too. In my mind, we were simply supposed to meet at some point after 1 am to pinpoint a play time, and because he wasn’t there right at 1 a.m., I left to play with the other guy.

He gave me a hard time about it when we were on the boat on Sunday night, but in a joking, teasing way — he didn’t seem too mad. But on the other hand, he didn’t spank me when I offered to accept a punishment for my transgressions. So maybe he was mad. Uncertain. He’s promised to give me a double thrashing when he sees me next, which left me feeling a bit relieved after all—he does still want to play. He was  a guy I’d met at the World Spanking Party in the fall and was a very fun top. Wish it had worked out.

You gotta understand, it can be so easy to get upset over not playing with someone and it can be so easy to be the cause of someone else’s upset. I try not to make promises I can’t fulfill. Problem with a party where you won’t see people for another year is that you tend to want to just seize the moment, grab a player and do a scene while you are both there and ready to go.

The few scenes I did were superb, especially the double-topping scene with Tom and Morgan. They are both evil. On the other hand, they get me…

Rad and I only got to play once, but that’s because he was barely playing. He had been hacking so hard with bronchitis a week or so  before the party that he actually thinks he cracked a rib on his right side. At some point on Saturday night he was able to put me over his knee and spank me with his left arm. We go to these events to catch up with people, too, not just play, so he says he still had a great time.


*In the next post I’ll talk about the Bad Boys Punished event I ran on Saturday afternoon.*

More about the World Spanking Party

As I said in my last post, I got to meet some very cool people at the World Spanking Party, and I got to spend more time talking to folks I have met before but didn’t know that well. I’m pretty sure I have finally learned the names of all of “The Brits”–the ones who tend to travel en masse to Shadow Lane and the Boardwalk Badness Weekend. But the WSP did have folks from Spain, Germany, Ireland, a few more from the UK, the US, Canada, Holland and I think a few other places as well. Am I wrong or was there someone from Australia there? That seems like an awful long way to travel for a weekend party–I hope they had other things to see and do while in Europe.

As I mentioned, Cambridge Ian and I had a date to play, and since it had been so hectic at the Villa the night before, we decided to hang at the hotel for a while on Saturday morning and early afternoon. I was due back late-afternoon for the Female-topping-males party. Rad and I had lunch, I showered and changed then met Ian at his room, down the hall from ours.

I was not so nervous about playing and making noise, since I thought he’d mostly be using the cane. But he surprised me by saying a needed a good warm up first, and proceeded to spank me. The sounded echoed loudly and as a result I found it hard to relax. There’s nervousness because of pain, and anticipation of more pain, and then there’s anxiety that any minute now you’re going to get a knock on your door. He had the end room on the floor and he said he was pretty sure there wasn’t anyone in the room next to his, but I wasn’t sure. And sound can carry into and down a hallway pretty easily. I tried to let it go and relax.

I might have written about Ian before, although, maybe not. He has this interesting caning style where he pretty much canes a person for a good 15, 20 minutes without a break. He did this first with one of his canes and then with the new Dragon cane I’d purchased at the vendor fair the night before.

Not all his strokes are heavy–he does this tap-tap-tapping for a while, increases the intensity, lets a solid stroke fly, goes back to the tapping, lets another good stroke land, back to the tapping, another good stroke, and then a REALLY hard stroke. then sometimes 7-10 good strokes in a row, followed by a REALLY hard stroke. The patterns are not predictable, and there was no way I could keep count, but at one point about halfway through the second cane, I did try to count and figured there were close to 100 “real” strokes that I could count — between that and the other cane I’d probably taken around 300-400.

It’s hard to write about it without reminiscing pleasantly on the scene–I was feeling the endorphins or serotonin or whatever drug was being released as a response to the pain–but the pain was real, and I yelped and gasped at a lot of the strokes. I was determined to maintain position throughout and I did a fairly good job although there were times when I bucked or twisted slightly. I was gripping the end of the mattress during some of the harder volleys.

Ian said he doesn’t play that hard with most people, which made me happy. I thought it was a pretty hot scene.

World Spanking Party

Most of those who write have already written about the World Spanking Party. Why didn’t I blog til now? I had my laptop with me, something to record my thoughts in even with our limited access to the internet. But during the trip I mostly wrote in a marble notebook, the kind of notebook I like to use as a journal. Rad and I were so busy doing stuff that I barely got a free moment to write it down.

But a little bit about how things went: It was Ian the London Tanner‘s first attempt to throw a party like this, and there were some glitches, mainly out of his control. One phenomenally large “glitch” was that the party venue–the villa where a bunch of us were all supposed to stay–was pulled out from under us the Sunday before the party was about to begin.

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon to Benalmádena, Spain (on the Mediterranean), having received instructions to meet at the hotel rather than the villa. Ian soon informed us what had happened — the people who own the villa had had noise complaints during a wedding a few weeks back and were nervous about our own particularly noisy activity. They had a contract, but the villa owners found some clause in the contract that allowed them to cancel, and they gave Ian his money back.

He spent most of the next four days on the phone, wheeling and dealing and trying to get an alternate venue for the party. We who were supposed to be staying at the villa sucked it up. I wasn’t thrilled with the hotel room– it was tiny; the walls were paper thin and carried every noise–but it did have a free breakfast every morning and was close to everything.

People were arriving and the other Ian arrived. This is my old friend from Cambridge and I was very happy to see him. I often see him at Shadow Lane but he hadn’t attended this year so it had been a while… Several other people who were originally going to attend–D and G from San Diego, and Kay, one of the organizers–had cancelled for various reasons.

At the meet-and-greet dinner on Thursday night it was soon revealed that Ian had found a new venue, a new villa to hold the party in. I was very impressed that he could do it on such short notice! But then we learned there wasn’t enough space for everyone. After the party organizers got their rooms, there was only one room left over and four couples remaining who had booked the villa, not the hotel. There was some back and forth talk about how we could decide who got the room, but three couples pretty much agreed to let Miss Chris have the room because she had arranged for a bunch of private sessions and would “need it” more than we would.

The meet and greet was terrific, and was held at a restaurant called “Once Upon a Time”(“Erase Una Vez”). (I caught up with Cambridge Ian, as well as M&K from Colorado, and met some new people. I got flirty debating with a British gentleman over why many guys at parties won’t take “no” for an answer, the condensed version being that if guys always took “no” as “no,” the human race would not have survived. Perhaps, perhaps…

This guy was intelligent and cocky in the way I like. He hinted that he might like to play during the party, and that was fine by me. He seemed pretty cool.

I had promised my Cambridge friend that we would play, and in my book he had “first dibs” on me. In the back of my mind I was worried about the noise from playing in our hotel rooms. But I know he loves using the cane, which is pretty quiet compared to a hand spanking, so I guessed we could give it a shot.

More to come soon, at least I hope… 

I THINK I’m still kinky

The last couple of weeks have felt full of work, with some fun vanilla activities here and there, too, but not much in the way of kinky—except for the Manhattan Spanking Party, which is a classy, somewhat subdued affair. I haven’t let loose since Shadow Lane, and I don’t know when my last non-spanking scene party was.

I was trying to work out some rope play at Marcus’ Rope U class last month (a friend had expressed interest in my being his practice bottom and I was hoping to refresh some of my own rope skills), but it turned out I had a conflict. The next one is this coming Sunday, and I have another conflict—Sunday is LILNR’s annual Oktoberfest—which, from what I understand is just a social party with no play (maybe I’m wrong about that; if so, it would be nice to play. I owe Johnny a caning…)

Rad & I have been getting along great. I don’t miss going out all that much. I do feel like I must stay connected, however—it is easy for me to fall into a comfortable rut. I can easily convince myself that “no one will miss me.” Of course no one’s waiting for me to walk through the door before they can declare a party has started, but I think at least a few key people like seeing me show up at events.

It wouldn’t be that hard to set up a play date. I know I could coordinate a spanking—and more—with certain old friends here in New York or Philadelphia. Sometimes I don’t pursue these things because I don’t want to be vulnerable.

It’s crazy. I do want to be vulnerable, but it has to be “right.” And right now I’m not sure when it will be right. What is causing this? I’m going to be totally honest and just say it: I feel a little sour, a little sad, about certain players making me feel really special when I am with them and then almost practically disappearing.

There is a little voice that sometimes still whispers to me, “Isn’t there a Dom out there who can treat you like you’re special?” And there may be, but I’m not looking right now. Given my own pickiness about partners and the limits that my marriage puts on such a connection, it may not ever happen. I can’t do it 24/7, that’s for sure. And I can’t do it long-distance. Won’t work.

Again, I start toying with the notion of finding a female dom. That’s probably even harder to find than a male dom. But they are out there. I remember scenes I did with M. Blair. And Liz. And Miss Holly (pictured above, strapping me). All tough, scary but nice, ladies. I loved those scenes.

On the flip side, there are a few women out there that I’d love to be dominant to. I don’t know how they feel about it—they are friends only—and I’ve been afraid to ask.

I’ll have to decide what I want to pursue. There’s time. I am still kinky and it’s OK to chill for a while. I’m just going to work on staying connected, in the meantime.

Shadow Lane scenes…

I haven’t written about Shadow Lane and it’s been over a week. I had a great weekend–I had some great scenes. I had my usual angst, too, but I’m not going to dwell on that right now. I’m going to try to write a few mini-blogs about some of my “moments.”

I had a fantastic time playing with G., my cop friend from California, and we did another police scene. Last time was an interrogation scene. This time I suggested a bad cop/abuse of power role play. I had written before about how, during an interrogation scene we did, I freaked out when he pushed me up against the 10th floor window. I mean really frightened that the window was going to give and I was going to fall. He had realized this during the scene and pulled me away, not breaking character.

In the role play I’m a woman who gets pulled over and accused of drunk driving. He “gives me a break” and instead of arresting me he offers to escort me home. But instead of taking me to my home, we wind up at his house, where it’s soon clear he intends to have his way with me–because he can. I start to struggle and try to run out the door, but he grabs me, slaps me and then handcuffs me. The handcuffs are really tight–painful–and I realize he’s doing this to make it all real.

To drive the point home, he says all he has to do is report me for the bag of cocaine he’s found in my car. When I start to protest that I don’t even do drugs, he slaps me again, and then hauls me over to the window and once again SLAMS ME UP AGAINST IT. “Look out there!” he growls. “This is MY town! Who do you think they’re going to believe? You … or me?”

My adrenaline has already kicked in. Although I AM scared, as I look out at the lights of Vegas I think, “Holy shit. He KNOWS how much this freaked me out last time, and he’s doing it again. He doesn’t give a fuck…” and so my fear (which was still real) was mixed with a bizarre admiration for his audacity…

We eventually got around to the spanking/punishment part of the role play. In retrospect I thought I probably should have struggled more, but I think in getting into the role play, trying to imagine the character I was playing, I felt it would have been bizarre to struggle much more. He was obviously not going to let me go and he’d made it pretty clear I needed to cooperate. I knew he wasn’t actually going to force his way on me sexually because it was out of the bounds of our agreement. He did do a strip search… which was not sexy, believe it or not. In my character I felt violated. Then I had to get into an undignified position with my butt up in the air while he strapped me. THAT was hard to take.

In the aftercare portion of our scene, he opened up and revealed that he hadn’t planned on pushing me up against the window again. He had thought that it wasn’t a good idea. But prior to the scene he’d been hanging out with my girlfriend D. from San Diego and a few others. He had mentioned he was going to be playing with me right after I arrived on Thursday night and was looking forward to it. He told the group he was with that he wouldn’t make the mistake of scaring me in that way.

D. had piped up at that point, saying, “Oh, no. I think you SHOULD push her up against the window. She likes being scared…” He was like, “really?” She encouraged him.

So I had HER to thank! (She paid for this later!)


Working on it

This blog is still new; I’m still working on transferring my blogroll from my blog to here. I’ll get there eventually.

In the meantime, I’m working on making it through today and tomorrow. Yes, just two more days of work before Florida Moonshine. Rad and I took Thursday off to get ready (laundry, in particular, must get done) but we won’t fly down until Friday morning.

How can I work while the negotiations continue? For fuck’s sake, I’m negotiating scenes for Shadow Lane already! Chicago Crimson Moon discussions have not yet started.

It’s flattering that people want to see me. Hell, yeah. I have a couple of scenes set up for Florida already with old friends. Already I’m hoping our schedules make it possible. What new adventures await there as well?

With some doms, you never know what you are getting yourself into. They may be funny and mild-mannered in public, their dominance simmering under the surface until you are alone. There are others who wear it on their sleeve; they are loud and boisterous and might just as well sling you over their shoulder and carry you off.

Of course there are many who are not all that dominant and just like to spank. If a person knows how to give a proper spanking, what’s the difference? I’ll play.

There is one dom who can easily wrap me around his little finger if I don’t fight it, just like he did the first time we played. I suppose I may have some wrapped around my little finger in the same way, but I see that as more of a toppy thing. I don’t feel that type of power when I am bottoming. Yeah, I know, submission is a gift and all that (eye roll).

So, the discussions continue. Right now it’s off to work, dealing with some craziness, I’m sure, and I will do my best to stay focused.


Many times when we get together, we talk about it, we try to explain it, and sometimes we make jokes about it, because for many of us it is still disturbing even though we’ve been doing it for years. Paddling someone to the point of leaving bruises? Asking to be whipped? Asking to submit to another’s command? That’s not normal!

But yet it is normal. We are normal people, sitting around eating burgers, salad and potato chips  like everyone else on Memorial Day weekend. We are normal people — except that at this barbecue,  couples (or threesomes) periodically slip away, down into our host’s basement, to play.

When it is “my turn” my husband Rad and I go downstairs and he hooks me into two cuffs — attached to two sturdy chains, attached to two ceiling beams that are normally hidden from prying eyes by low ceiling panels in the furnished basement we are playing in. Normal, see? Our hosts have an office, a den, an exercise room … there’s no “dungeon.”

Rad decides to strap me, first over my jeans and then on my bare bottom. And then he uses the tawse on my bare bottom. Both are nasty, hard to take, especially the tawse. I take them for him, but I am not quiet. I rarely am. I take it because I like when me makes me take it. Oh, there are many reasons. It’s so hard, though, during. I don’t cry; he doesn’t bring me to tears this time. At other times he has, but that’s usually during more private play. He simply makes me writhe around and whimper and squeal a lot.

Afterward we are back upstairs eating dessert and talking about anything from kink to politics to movies. Normal, except for the kink.

Starting fresh

Sandy hogtied by Andre

This cat is still crazy but I want to move on from that, I think. “Sandy’s Room,” the title being an homage to Springsteen, will hopefully be a little more focused, a little more honest, a little more edgy if edgy is what I feel. I’m planning the occasional fantasy, scene recap, etc. Yes, matters of S&M are what I’m talking about, from the subby side.