An ode to spanking (or why Ana doesn’t consider it play)

I was asked an interesting question this week.

“What appeals to you about spanking?”

Short of pointing the asker to my blog, I wasn’t sure how to respond in a few words.

The asker continued, “Spanking doesn’t do much for me in the way of play.”

I paused and thought about it for a while. I found a few old blog posts on why I write about spanking:

Those are some of my favorite posts from my years of blogging, but they don’t answer the original question.

There’s the sensual appeal, absolutely. The thrill, the tingly butterflies of anticipation, and drawn-out banter/flirting involved.

Then there’s intimacy. I know some people who would more easily forgive their partner sleeping with someone else than spanking someone else. I can understand that. It’s an act of immense trust, loyalty, and vulnerability.

There’s the power dynamic. M/F won’t do it for me, ever. A man who tries to joke about spanking me is lucky to keep his body parts intact afterward. A man who barely knows me and/or sends me pictures of naked body parts with talk of spanking…well, that’s why the internet gurus invented block, unfriend, and delete. But (for me only, as this is my blog), that supreme moment when one human being reaches out to help another human being become better…that’s powerful. Spanking as therapy has become a cliche and overused as a fetish, but for me the motivation remains pure. To find someone at her lowest, to use spanking as a physical act to accomplish what words cannot…to me, that is power. It’s also a way to ground someone into the here-and-now when the here and now becomes too painful (pun not intended). A few spanks hurt far less than the emotional turmoil needing resolution.

The act of (adult) spanking, in Ana’s world, is an exquisite moment of love. Sure, I enjoy a good joke and tease, but the actual act is as special as a child offering me her crayon drawing. It says, “Here I am. I trust you, I love you, and I’m willing to let you see me at my most vulnerable.” It also says, “I care about you, you are important to me, and I will honor the trust you’ve given me.”

While of course there are physical risks that come with spanking, the biggest (for me) is the heart. Trusting the wrong person can lead to heartbreak, and trusting the right person gives life affirmation in a way nothing else can.

(If you’ve read my books, you might point out that many of my characters, especially Kat and Natalie, use spanking for play. That’s because of the trust in their relationship; it’s not play for its own sake.)

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18 thoughts on “An ode to spanking (or why Ana doesn’t consider it play)

  1. Natasha Knight says:

    I like this post. It took me maybe 15 years to come out to my husband – it’s crazy if I look at that now. He keeps asking why I never told him before. I think I have bigger trust issues than I’m willing to admit. You’re right, this gift is giving yourself whole and making yourself so completely vulnerable and the intimacy that comes from it is so much greater (for us at least) than any sexual act.

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    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Wow, Natasha. That’s a long, long time to have secret desires. I’m so glad you get to enjoy them together now. 🙂

      I think it’s because we see and hear about sex everywhere, so it becomes old news. Spanking still carries taboos and secrecy, so it offers greater effect.

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  2. abby says:

    A great post….when i first indulged in my secret desire a spanking was just a spanking. But oh…it is so much…the ultimate giving and taking of trust, the strong connection, letting yourself open up and be vulnerable….all those are at the essence of spanking….
    hugs abby

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  3. Nina says:

    Ana, I love how you describe what makes a spanking so special. There surely is a sensual appeal, and now that I cannot have that because of my pregnancy, I see this crystal clear. … And want a spanking more than ever before. We have also always seen spankings the way you describe them, as acts of trust and love and since this is so intimate, it wouldn’t work for us if it were not part of a loving relationship. I can only agree with what you wrote about the positive effects that spankings have and actually I am very glad that you stated how much more life affirming trusting the right person is in this context. The way hubby and I connect because of spankings is marvelous and reaches us deep within. I am not sure if there are other ways that help us connect as deeply as we do by spankings.

    hugs

    Nina

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    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! Many blessings to you as you go through this journey. I am glad that spankings have been such a life-affirming experience for you both. Truly a wonderful thing! The loving relationship is key, and for many people the spanking wouldn’t have meaning without it.

      Hugs back.

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      • Beth Elle says:

        Oh yes, I know it is. And you seemed to be explaining why it is, which was great for giving insight. You seemed to be saying, though, that these special facets of F/F were why M/F could never work for you. Some people seem to get the same thing from M/F that you get from F/F. Is that right? Or do you think there is something distinctive about F/F in the nature of the experience, rather than in the preference or orientation of the participants?

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  4. annapurna1951 says:

    Anna,

    Admittedly, each day I look forward to reading your blog.

    What will she say, I ask myself? What topic will she share with us?

    I swear that I’m slipping back in time to a younger age, almost by magic. That’s the power of your words; at least that’s how your writing affect me—fascinating.

    Today, it’s no different. Your clear and incisive statement—your ode that is—delivered with passion and heart, adds a new meaning of love to my meager understanding of intimacy and how this intimacy sometimes manifests itself as a physical act in your world when someone is at her lowest.

    Being a spirited, defiant sort (a recalcitrant submissive you might say, but only after a fashion), I run into emotional trouble with your comment about “that supreme moment when one human being reaches out to help another…become better.” It really causes my head to go into a tizzy, you know. While I understand these words intellectually, I hope, my heart needs some remedial training in order for me to grasp them more fully, for I have little experience of a hand reaching out at all. Maybe trust is to blame, that rambling rose with too many thorns. I prefer, instead, a smoother stem, a purity of means, whose mascot flower is the tiger lily with her pendulous blooms, looking for sunshine under the weeping willow.

    Am I in need of some sort of physical grounding?

    For now, I think, I’ll have another one of your delicious gingersnaps, a true act of love, but just one, and look forward to what you’ll say tomorrow.

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    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I’ll confess to a few things.

      1. An ode is, technically, a poem. So…false advertising. 🙂
      2. This is a hopelessly idealistic ode-that’s-not-an-ode. Not everyone does it this way in real life.
      3. Some people are given trust who have no business receiving trust. They smash other people at their most vulnerable times, simply because they can.

      Perhaps my stories are the best examples of what I mean. Rachel lends a helping hand to Spring in Editorial Board, and she allows Spring to re-discover her humanity. In Desire in Any Language, Mira’s tutor helps her, and Mira grows into a capable young woman who is not afraid to face her fears or run away from responsibility. Then Hana comes along in book two (Mira’s Miracle), and she helps Mira face her worst fears.

      Maybe it’s the idealistic ramblings of a nutty author, but I’ve seen it happen. That kind of love and care will allow people–in the right circumstances–to flourish. I truly believe it. But at the same time, this whole setup can lead to whiny, dependent, immature, emotionally stunted people who lay the blame for everything at their partners’ feet.

      So does it sound too good to be true? Perhaps. Do I still believe? Oh, yes.

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      • annapurna1951 says:

        Every time I open my mouth, other than to breathe, drink, or eat, I run the risk of saying something stupid, especially if I use flower metaphors. In my last post, I was hoping for a meadow of shooting stars (here I go again), but I ended up with dandelions. I really like their small yellow pedals, though, but the dandelion’s unattractive leaves and annoying taproot are what make that plant a weed, something we can all do without, and not a flower.

        So, let me try again. I did a right good job of botching what I really wanted to say the first time.

        I don’t see you as a nutty author, unless you want to be. I love nutty, by the way, something I do often; it was the reason for my getting into trouble while in school. So your ideas, your notions, your stories are not odd at all, at least not to me they aren’t. I think everyone who posts here more than once would agree with me, and if they don’t, why they can just stand in the corner. (I think my corner time is just about up so it’s available for the next errant adult.)

        Are you hopelessly idealistic? I don’t know. I’d be a poor one to ask because idealism happens to be my middle name, so I would have to say no. Besides, I love stories with happy endings and loving relationships even though they might be fraught with tension, turmoil, conflict, and miscommunication. Such things keep me turning the page and asking, “What happens next?”

        If you were wondering whether I’m partial to physical grounding, you needn’t wonder any longer; it’s another reason for my dropping by.

        I, too, have seen dramatic changes in others who have received an extended hand, usually from a mature adult to either a minor or another younger adult. This transition of love, the passing of the heart torch if you will, often done selflessly, is what maintains my faith in humanity; if this passing of the torch were entirely absent, life would be greatly diminished in a world already driven by too much materialism, selfishness, and indifference.

        My position as an accidental tourist of life (that is, being in the wrong place at the wrong time on occasion) has given me an opportunity to experience the smashing of trust to which you have referred. Someone without a conscience might harm simply because he can, and therefore might take delight in his power over others. More likely, though, is the possibility the one doing the harm carries the dream body of his childhood—attitudes, values, beliefs, running dialog, relentless scenes, and so forth—that he then projects, or transfers onto others in an ill-fated attempt to undo his past in the present without being fully conscious of his actions and their consequences. Being unaware, however, is no excuse for abuse—ever. We can apply this same notion to anyone who insists on sending you pictures or making otherwise unwanted comments or solicitations. By the way, I’m sorry you have had to put up with such bad behavior.

        I hope you believe me when I say I never meant my last post to be critical or a call for you to defend or explain your writing. Your topic, an ode for sure, as far as I’m concerned, has helped me a lot, so has Ami’s very powerfully written reply.

        Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m goin’ to get back to them there dandelions to see how there’re a doin’.

        In any event, my best wishes to you.

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  5. catrouble says:

    Wow Ana…very beautifully stated! Can’t really add anything to what you’ve said except…thank you for sharing.

    Hugs and Blessings…
    Cat

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  6. Anastasia Vitsky says:

    To be spanked is to place your trust in the person doing the spanking. To trust them absolutely. It doesn’t matter whether they are spouse, partner or friend – they are in a ‘unique’ position of trust and should not abuse that trust. In a way, if spanking is carried out properly, the person spanking shares the same vulnerability as the person being spanked – or should, to my mind.

    Depending upon your own dynamic, spankings can mean many different things to different people, and sometimes it is hard to understand another’s variation of the dynamic. I have noticed that our spanking sessions have changed a great deal from when we started out – as I have gradually relinquished control, and P has become more sure of himself and of what I am asking of him. I certainly do not think it is something you are an expert in from the start; rather it is learned together, slowly and carefully, with each partner giving and receiving love and tenderness and making it into something ‘special’ to them. Unless I have been exceptionally ‘bolshy’ our spankings always contain an undercurrent of humour, and I have been known to cry one minute and howl with laughter the next.

    Sadly, my discipline as a child was a hard slap across the face from my temperamental father. Sad, because I adored him, and the mental anguish was somehow worse than the physical. Therefore it took me a long time to accept that ‘sapnking’ and ‘hitting’ were two very different things, and when I first read some of the blogs, way back in the beginning, I was totally horrified by some of the descriptions. Even now, I find some of them very intense, and worry that the participants do not understand the dynamic to its fullest extent. This is why I often remark that a couple of minutes of spanking carried out properly and with love, can equal a whole half hour of hard spanking carried out because it is thought there is no other way. (although I know that sometimes I wish it would be longer or just a little bit harder simply because I feel I deserve it)

    I am sad you lost your Dad to cancer. I lost my Mum when I was thirty – her heart just stopped beating. My Dad survived her eleven years and for me they were very difficult years. He was often angry with me. I am certain it was because he loved my Mum so much and missed her intensely, but it hurt. After all, I missed her too.

    Thanks for this post, Ana.

    (posting on behalf of Ami since her computer is not playing nicely)

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