Today is the birthday of one of my first and favorite spanking fiction characters, Natalie Mestecom. She refused to let me say *which* birthday it is today (and I’m not foolish enough to provoke her…Kat does enough of that already!), but I don’t need her permission to say that it is her birthday. I hope. We always pay when we do something that our characters don’t like, don’t we?
I found when working on my synopsis for Kat 2 that it was difficult to condense character bios to a manageable length. The others were easier, especially Simple Gifts, because in some ways I am just beginning to know Carene and Leila. Natalie, on the other hand (and Kat, but her birthday will come later), is someone I could talk about for hours. She is such a bundle of contradictions. She won’t let anyone in, but she demands that Kat be completely open. She would freak at losing any of her independence, but she demands Kat to trust and rely on her. She would hate for someone else to take care of her (except in a few breakthrough moments), but she expects Kat to allow herself to be taken care of. She is charming and charismatic, but almost no one really knows her.
A few people have made the comment lately (all right, more than a few) that Natalie would benefit from a spanking or two herself. Yes, she is too strict and prickly and has high expectations for Kat, but I feel protective of Natalie in a way that I don’t with Kat. People generally like Kat. She is the heroine, the vulnerable one, and the Kat stories are…well…Kat stories. People cheer for Kat’s triumphs and are dismayed by her falls. Natalie, on the other hand, has more mixed reviews.
I’ve wondered whether gendered expectations are part of the reason. A hardnosed male HoH is usually viewed in a different way than a similarly tough female HoH. While a woman who offers herself as a sex object, especially for men (dominatrix, etc.) is allowed to have “power” because it is intensely sexualized and usually for pay, a woman who wields HoH power over another woman for love and betterment is harder for many people to understand.
I’ve also wondered whether these gendered expectations require a certain maternal, soft, loving quality from a female HoH that would not be expected from a male one. Some female HoHs might be maternal, soft, and loving. Others might be stern and exacting. There is rarely a middle ground between a female spanker who is a cruel femdom who lives to humiliate…and a female spanker who only does what a “superior” male spanker directs her to do (or only spanks in order to titillate male viewers). These images and fantasies are fine for the people who enjoy them, but there is a wealth of roles in fiction for male spankers to play. Can’t we start opening up roles for female spankers as well?
One of the promises that I made to myself in writing the Kat stories…er, excuse me Natalie, I mean the Kat and Natalie stories…was to write something real. I didn’t want to write a fantasy that would make a nice role-play. I wanted to write something that people could read and imagine themselves participating in.
Today Natalie is being feted by Kat, Mama Jane, and Curtis. She is overwhelmed and sends her love to everyone. (Kat, the naughty girl, is thoroughly relieved that a happy Natalie means a Natalie less likely to punish!)
Happy birthday to a woman who is imperfect but real in her imperfections. She may drive Kat crazy at times, but Kat knows deep down that she wouldn’t have it any other way.
I just don’t understand why, if it’s Natalie’s birthday, that it’s Kat getting the spanking… 😉
P.S. If you would like to leave a birthday wish for Natalie, I’ll make sure that she receives it.
P.P.S. A little birdie told me that Natalie may be appearing sometime to take questions from and chat with readers. 🙂