Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spanko Brunch 2.0 #14

Once again it's time for our weekly brunch. This week's question is from long-time reader A. Lurker.

Within our family of consensual adult spanking blogs (where the spanking of minors is not condoned) there are many wonderful fiction writers. Yet many of these entertaining stories contain references to spanking young adults the way they were spanked as children.  Some stories allude to the fact that if a spoiled adult spankee was spanked when they were young then they may have grown up better behaved. So here is my question:

Do these types of stories actually implicitly condone the spanking of minors?

I encourage you to leave your opinion in the form of a comment. Once everyone has had a chance to speak, I will publish an edited summary of our discussion.
From Hermione's Heart


Autumn said...

Oh gosh, this is such a hard topic to discuss, and one that I am often afraid to even bring up, because I know that people feel VERY strongly about this one way or the other. My answer is long, but well thought out:

Fictional stories are just that...fictional, and any allusions to the heroine (or hero) of the story being spanked as a child I don't believe should be taken as a message of support for childhood spanking. I say this because there are many situations in the context of fictional stories that would be highly illegal and/or horrific in real life, such as the spanking of teenage girls, total strangers taking unruly women over their laps, etc... I doubt that the writers of these stories are avid supporters of what would be considered sexual assault in a real-life situation.

I believe fictional stories are a healthy way for our community to live out our fantasies of helplessness and non-consent on paper that we would not be comfortable with in real life, such as being called into our boss's office for a spanking or a "chance" encounter on the beach with an older man, or, yes, even witnessing a child being spanked.

As a child who was born a spanko, I was absolutely fascinated by stories of other children being spanked, and part of that fascination has not gone away for me. I am not an advocate of spanking children and if I were to witness one I would be very uncomfortable, but, for some reason, I do enjoy fictional stories involving the spanking of children. I think, for me, a child or any non-willing participant in a story represents that feeling of total helplessness that I believe a lot of us strive toward with our partners.

Dragon's Rose said...

To discipline a child is to teach. How that happens is up to the parents. Writing a detailed description of spanking a child is not appropriate for blog land. A story about a spoiled 20 something who wasn't taught how to behave as a child is.

Dan - A Disciplined Hubby said...

It's a very hard line to draw. For example, there are drawings I won't post on my blog because, even though I love the spanking theme, the receiver looks like he might be a teenager. Barb is the primary example -- I love her art but just wish she would knock it off with the theme of spanking children. And, I personally don't believe that saying it is fiction solves the problem. While I'm not against parents using (reasonable, age appropriate) corporal punishment as discipline, I think that viewing stories or drawings of children getting spanked is at least a little concerning, even if fictional.

But, it is a hard line. As Autumn points out, exploring fantasies about something like non-willing spanking seems acceptable, even if it would not be in real life. But, again, where is that line. I suspect that some people who don't have a problem with reading a story about spanking children would have a fit about a story involving someone beating an animal. So, the element of consent seems to be OK in one context and not in another?? Again, it's a very hard line to draw.

I do think it is generally acceptable to discuss childhood spankings when we are recounting our own history or talking about what may (or may not) have contributed to someone becoming a spanko.

Aimless Rambling said...

Tough topic to either condone or condemn. I'm not in favor of spanking children but on the other hand a good swat gets the message across when sometimes nothing else does. As a writer, I stay away from that topic altogether.

Pecan nutjob said...

I think this is a question of the era when the story is set.

My wife and I were spanked as children, but not inconsiderably so. We're over 40 and these were different days (in those days, in France, martinets were sold openly for dealing with difficult children; also my wife tells me that she knew kids that got the hairbrush from their mother, though she did not). In nonfiction or autobiographies from a few decades ago, people talk matter-of-factly of getting spanked as children or of speanking children, without hint that this was considered ill-treatment or abnormal.

A story set in a period when it was commonplace to spank children - even, it was expected from parents, who would be accused of being "too soft" in case of unruly children - is not the same as a story set today. I would feel uneasy with a story set in 2014 where a child gets the hairbrush or martinet as a "normal" event, or where an adult (except perhaps an olderly one, with bygone views) seriously explain to a younger adult that he/she should have been spanked more, except if the adult is portrayed as a weirdo.

To summarize, I feel a story condones child spanking if it makes child spanking appear normal in a context where it is not, and not if it just says things as they used to happen at the time of the story.

Pecan nutjob said...

Furthermore, as Autumn says, a large part of fiction (spanking and nonspanking) depicts shocking or illegal acts. Many police movies depict actions from police officers that are unrealistic and often downright illegal. Does this mean they condones them? This is tricky: it seems that people, to some extent, believe what they see in movies (about e.g. medical and police procedures) to be the normal reality.

@Dan: It's complicated. The mainstream movie Lady Jane depicts a teenager (15 years old, I think) getting birched on the bare by her mother (no buttocks shown), which the implication that this was not an uncommon occurrence in the Tudor nobility. I'm no historian, but I read that the historical Lady Jane indeed received corporal punishment from her parents as a teenager.

In comparison, I feel uneasy at stories of current teenagers getting spanked on the bare by their mothers.

Anonymous said...

The way in which you have phrased the question, if I understand you correctly, my answer would have to be yes.

I have a zero-tolerance policy regarding the spanking of children and the beating of animals. Both children and animals are unable to give legal consent, and are, therefore, automatically exempt from any form of corporal punishment regardless of circumstances. Put another way, if it’s illegal to beat prisoners because such treatment is deemed cruel and usual punishment, by simple extension, the same privilege must be granted to children, or anyone else who is incapable of giving informed consent. Abridging these inalienable rights by spanking a child, or a non-consenting adult, is tantamount to committing assault and battery.

Spanking a child also models aggressive behavior, which the child may later adopt, unconsciously, in life as he or she identifies with the primary childhood aggressor. Conversely, childhood spanking may have the opposite effect, leading one to possess low self-esteem or to acquire self-defeating behaviors by unconsciously entering into abusive relationships as an adult or by making questionable lifestyle choices (excessive drinking, drug addiction, overeating, etc.).

Spanking a child is a traumatic event for the child. Not only is there pain and humiliation, the adult, who is usually three to five times the size, threatens the possibility of physical annihilation, real or imagined. The trauma creates a fracture in the object relations world of the child. It causes a split in self-representation into good and bad self-objects, as well as a split in external object representation. There, the spanking parent is seen as both good and bad, but all people will also be seen in the same light. This fracturing of self disrupts the normal development of personality and interpersonal relationships later in life and may lead to a child fixating at various stages of psychosexual development. There is also the possibility that the child, as an adult, will suffer from the effects of having a false self, a disassociate disorder, or PTSD.

Incidentally, the vast majority of notable psychologists and psychiatrists categorically condemn the practice.

River Wild said...

I think that they kind of do if you take them as an advice column, or if you have trouble separating fiction from reality. If the character in a book says "if only your father had tanned your hide more when you were a little girl, maybe I wouldn't have to spank you now!" to an adult woman, then it is obviously the opinion of that character that spanking children is acceptable. In a period novel, this might be the norm, as it was in practice long ago. Now that we know the harm that can come from corporally punishing children it is much less acceptable, at least in the NW region of America. In some southern states however, spanking of children is still fairly common and even allowed in public schools. I guess it's just fiction in the end, so as long as we don't believe everything that we read is true, people can still exercise the right to write what they like

Basdew1922 said...

Though I am in general an opponent of spanking children, and of preteens in particular; I would add that I would find it acceptable if teenagers are spanked by their parents or teachers if they were offered this as a choice instead of, say, grounding or detention.

morningstar said...

I have been struggling with this discussion - and it has nothing to do with whether a child/young person should be spanked or not - in reality.

I am concerned about the number of people who read this sort of fiction and are (how shall I put this??) aroused by the content. That to me opens up a whole 'nother can of worms and perhaps not where you wanted this discussion to go Hermione.

For me - any story line that involves children/young people goes against principles I believe in...........


Thinking about this question has left me conflicted and undecided. It is all to easy to drift off topic, with this kind of thing and talk about the spanking of children in general (of which I disapprove).

But the question is "Do these types of stories actually implicitly condone the spanking of minors?"

And this is where I become conflicted, as some but not all of this kind of fiction does seem to. And this makes me feel uncomfortable about it. But it is appropriate in some historically set stories.

I do not like to read fiction that seems to approve of the corporal punishment of children in this way but I do not want it excluded from history, because it makes us uncomfortable. That would make us as bad as the anti tobacco extremists that airbrush cigars and pipes from the photographs of historical figures.

Personally I feel that I need to think on this some more. It is a very worthwhile subject for discussion.


ronnie said...


Tought topic and one many feel quite stongly about. Personally I'm not in favour of spanking children, (was never spanked as a child) and stay away from any stories that include it and pictures.

Need to thinka bout this more.


Anonymous said...

My first post was a bit, how shall I put it, vitriolic? That’s what happens after a glass of wine or two.

My feelings remain the same, though, but I do have a need to clarify myself.

Real life is one thing; fantasies are another. We’re talking about fantasies. On the one hand, I’m a staunch supporter of having them, indulging them, even living them out with other consenting adults, so long as the recreated action is both safe and sane. The operative words here are “adult” and “consensual.” Many of us act out child-spanking fantasies, and I think such play is healthy, largely. Does it condone the spanking of children? No, not directly, although it may lead us to a lowered threshold, you know, the incidental swat delivered, and not to something more intense and damaging. Will such stories make us the spankers of children? I don’t think so, for it’s really a matter of temperament and family of origin experiences, I believe, that leads us to such actions.

For myself, I don’t seek out stories featuring children as recipients, nor will I write such stories. However, in my current novel, the main character confronts the neighbor woman for having spanked her at age ten for inappropriate sex play. The confrontation is without much detail concerning the incident, and I use it as a point of conflict between the two women. At the time of the incident, the neighbor woman acted as the principal caregiver. She had also been given disciplinary authority over the ten year old by the girl’s real mother. In the neighbor’s mind, the spanking was a last resort because nothing else had worked. No one realized at the time, however, that the girl’s behavior was quite normal because she wasn’t human.

Unknown said...

When I say something along the lines of "If you had been spanked as a child, perhaps you would not be such a brat now!" It doesn't really mean I condone spanking of a child in reality. It means that my character is about to be spanked because she was naughty (like a child) and she's about to receive a childish punishment- therefore referencing her childhood seems to fit.

I don't ever write about a child being spanked. I find spanking to be very sensual even in a punishment sense, so ,making the spankee a child would seem very very wrong to me. It would be like putting a child in a sex scene- so I don't do it.

However, I think it's important that we understand the difference between fantasy/fiction and real life. In my vanilla writings I often kill off a character by murder. (I actually had the seven dwarfs kill and eat Snow White in one story) But that doesn't mean I condone murder or cannibalism. It's fiction.

Jenny said...

I do not refer to the spanking of children in my fiction writing or blog posts. I wasn't formally spanked as a kid, so reliving a specific part of my childhood is not part of the appeal for me. In fact, I find husbands and wives (or bf-gf pairs) who role-play "daddy and daughter" scenes to be a bit creepy and incestuous.

I do not think the adult domestic discipline community - with it's erotic themes - should write about or discuss the spanking of children in fiction or non-fiction, except perhaps to note that a woman being spanked had not been spanked since she was a child. A brief reference to having been spanked as a child is acceptable, but full descriptions of a child being spanked does not belong on an adult Dd site. In fact, it probably doesn't belong anywhere on the Internet or in printed matter.

As a side note, I've always suspected that the term Domestic Discipline was used to focus Internet searches on the sites we want rather than those which discuss the effectiveness or morality of child corporal punishment. In other words, to separate searches for adult spanking sites from those dealing with the issues of spanking children. Does anyone remember how that term was promoted? I guess we'll never know the "why" behind the use of the term Dd.

A. Lurker said...

This is a tough question! I think, as some have already said, it boils down to the fact that it is all fantasy and fiction. Also, these stories are written on adult blogs for the purpose of entertainment and not as a social commentary.

As the one who posed the question, I just want to be clear. I love and read many spanking stories posted on your blogs. Keep up the good work!


(Disclaimer - No real children were spanked in the writing of this answer! ;-)

Minielle Labraun said...

Sometimes I think we over analyze things. I was spanked a bit as a child and although did not wish to use spanking as a singular disciplinary measure for my kids, at times a swat can be useful.
However we are talking about fiction. We can choose to read or not read these stories. Sometimes political correctness gets out of hand. Children and teens were spanked in the past and may be in some instances nowadays. We all have opinions about whether that is alright. I do not read things that make me uncomfortable. But I am not going to censor a writer or condemn a story just for including the spanking of a minor. I would not ever wish to read an explicit story regarding sex with teens, yet many a coming of age book or movie thinks it is nothing to show teens engaged in sex.
Just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

This is a "hot" topic. There are websites on how to beat your child without leaving visible marks. I find anything more than a little swat to be unacceptable. I don't even like the idea of fiction fantasy involving children.

Recently a book created controversy (To Train up a Child) which advocates spanking on at an insane level for infants through late teenage years. It is sickening and yet thousand (religious primarily) follow it.

This is something I feel quite strongly about. No, I was not spanked as a child.

In private fantasy play involving "adult children" -- no problem. When that fantasy starts to 'leach' into reality a line has been crossed.

One little bubble burst. If harsh punishments so effective, then prisons would be overcrowded with coddled kids. Most studies show just the opposite.

Off my soap box. Spank away - as consensual adults - same for writing. But I really dislike reading of kids and what seems truly non-consensual punishment.


Anonymous said...

Very good topic , Hermanione .

I have zero tolerance towards the CP against children. And that applies even to write or to read about it . And those who know me know that I have zero tolerance against CP at all .. lol ..

Does anyone have such fantasies that children are involved , seek help .
But this is not OK ,in my opinion in this corner of Blog Land.

I have never been spanked and know no one who has been either. I did not even know what was paddle or why to use the hairbrush . I could not understand it . Why ?
Bas has explained to me that so did they and do in many places in the U.S. and GB, and that therefore they are accepted tools for spanking .lol

I have a question , Hermanione .

I have learned here in Blog Land that all spanking and punishment should be between adults and that it should be agreed. Otherwise, it's simply abuse .
But we have many storries on NO agreed punishment .
Can we say that we encourage abuse here in Blog Land and it's OK ?
Mona Lisa

Anonymous said...

This is a topic that comes up frequently and if you are a spanking enthusiast it's a thorny one. That's because the spanking fetish, and I'm speaking of adults who practice it, is an engagement on a psychological, artistic or physical level with a childhood punishment practice. The images spring from scenes of childhood, whether real or imagined.

Spanking doesn't just appear in human cultures as an adult practice. It all starts with childhood. The issue is how to reconcile that fact with the fact that we have no interest in encouraging, condoning or getting involved with the spanking of children.

Still, to admit to having a spanking fetish raises the question in many vanilla minds as to whether we have an interest in the real life spanking of children. And that, I think, is why spanking remains in the shadows. Gays can come out, transgendered folks can come out, even BDSM is partially mainstream now. But even consensual adult spanking will not go mainstream any time soon because of the inferred childhood connection.

It's certainly that way in publishing where I ply my trade. The publishers do not want any description of any spanking given to a minor. Certain websites will not allow stories that depict spanking of characters under 18. Amazon and others will flag any product description in any book in the erotica genre that mentions under age characters.

Years ago in USENET there were endless flame wars about this very subject. I think they were called the Debporn wars. The issue was, were spankos who wrote accounts of childhood spankings pedophiles?
I don't think so, but still, I know in many minds that question is always there, lurking.