I love the prompts that Lillith comes up with for her No True Way kinky writing prompt because they swirl me into a temporary, yet incandescent rage, every time. The phrase for NTW #13 is exceptionally infuriating! But let me tell you why …
“Maintenance Spankings Are Necessary”
No they aren’t. Spanking itself is not necessary in D/s dynamics. Pain is not necessary. Nothing is necessary beyond what you and your partner deem necessary.
What is a Maintenance Spanking?
A ‘maintenance’ spanking, sometimes called a ‘therapy spanking’, refers to a non-punishment spanking administered by the Dominant, often as a way to comfort or ‘realign’ a sub. Let’s bear in mind that there are as many ways to do D/s as there are D/s practitioners, so this is obviously not something every Dom does or every sub wants, needs, or does.
A common, almost ubiquitous, feature of submission is the need or desire to hand over some, or all, power and control to the Dominant. For many, there is a sense of relief and reprieve from the everyday stresses of life by doing this. For those who are into being spanked, a sound spanking in times of stress can alleviate some of that external pressure and help ‘clear their head’, much in the way that some people de-stress through physical exercise. The principle is the same: that relief and “high” of more positive feelings comes from the rush endorphins brought on by the spanking.
To spank or not to spank
Spanking is not for everyone.
- Not every Dominant is comfortable providing impact play, and not every sub wants to be struck.
- Opting not to have spanking in your D/s dynamic does not mean your dynamic is less legitimate or less valid. It does not make you a “bad” sub or Dom.
- There are loads of reasons to not spank, and they are all personal and specific, and that’s okay.
- In some folks’ dynamics spankings are a reward not a punishment.
- For masochists, pain is not much of a threat (even though not all pain is good pain) but it can be incredible cleansing and cathartic.
But Are They Necessary?
No, not in the sense that all dynamics need to have them, and that all subs should accept them. For some people? Yes. But there is no one true way to do kink.
Red Flags in D/s Language
As an experienced kinkster, it is a massive red flag to me when people discuss kink in absolute terms. Kink and BDSM are highly nuanced activities with as much variance as is imaginable. The only universal rules are that kink is for enthusiastically consenting, risk aware adults only. Anyone who says that their opinion of a kink is The Right Way or that you are doing it “wrong” because you don’t subscribe to their way is someone to be wary of. It’s fine to have firmly formed opinions about things and it’s 100% okay to have boundaries and rules for what you will and won’t engage with in the kink world. But don’t ever let anyone tell you that your risk aware consensual kink is “wrong”.
- You and you alone know what you need, want, and can handle.
- Make sound choices about who you play with and how.
- Now your limits and play within them.
I am of the belief that aftercare is essential in any instance where the sub has experienced a physically, emotionally or mentally intense scene. Impact play such as spanking, even “happy spanks” like maintenance spankings, or ‘funishments’ (light-hearted pretend punishments), still require aftercare. That delicious endorphin blast can be followed by a significant low, a state that can be prevented or mitigated through aftercare. Knowing what you and/or your partner need in terms of aftercare is essential and it should be given without fear of reprisal, guilt or shame. Let’s also not forget that sometimes Doms need aftercare too, so a cuddle and some debriefing about the scene/spanking and mutual affection and reassurance can go a long way. Communicate, listen and respond with care and intention – oh, and water and chocolate (or other such treats) help too.
Kink is complex. Spankings are not ‘necessary’, regardless of their purpose or intent. There is no one true way to do any of this and no one should tell you otherwise. Keep it safe, consensual and risk-aware and always keep learning! Trial and error is often necessary, and not everything will work or feel good. Take what works for you and leave the rest.
Be well, friends. Play safe, and have fun!
This was written for No True Way, the fabulous kink writing prompt by Lillith Avir, that supports the concept that there is no true way to do kink.