Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Abby Vs. The Slippers

I should point out that the story below is about obtaining this fancy pair of slippers. I thought it was amusing, but no actual spanking events take place.

My mother-in-law was just in town. Now, normally sexy spanking toys and mothers-in-law do not go hand in hand, at least not in my world. So how did she come to actually purchase spanking implements for Mr. W?

The whole thing started with a shopping trip Mr. W and I took a few days before his mom arrived. We were both looking for shoes when we happened upon a pair of men's leather slippers. The slipper not being one of my go-to fantasy implements, all I saw was a very nice pair of leather slippers, complete with smooth leather sole and soft interior. Mr. W tried one on and when he found it to be just the slightest bit too small, he commented, "You're lucky those didn't fit." Ah. So we weren't just looking at a pair of slippers. However, they didn't fit, and they didn't have them in any other size, so my backside was safe.

At home, he tried to find the slippers online in hopes of ordering them. They really were lovely slippers, even if they were just to be used as slippers. Well, lovely slippers indeed. They were a style called Wolcott by the shoemaker Allen Edmonds. They were, absurdly, shockingly, and completely unnecessarily $225. The pair we had found was on clearance for $40. Thus the obesessing began.

Three days later, Mama W arrives, and lord bless her, she wants to take us shopping. We begin in a department store and, while I try on clothes, she and Mr. W pick out some kitchen items I've been wanting. When I come out of the dressing rooms, she shows me the wok she's found, along with a bamboo spatula. She shakes the spatula at me and says, "Now, no spanking with this! It's for cooking."

I couldn't help myself - my jaw dropped and I looked to Mr. W in shock. "Umm, ok," I replied. Then I realized she was playfully joking, telling me that I couldn't use the spatula on him. Well, that's a given! But talk about awkward.

Then, done with that store, we headed back to the store we'd been at three days before. Mr. W had a pair of shoes he needed to exchange, but naturally, while there, he wanted to look at the slippers again. He'd read online that they stretch with a wearing or two, so the fact that they were slightly too small meant that they'd be perfect within a week. This time around, though, there was only one slipper. The other had gone missing, and despite the fact that one slipper really would have sufficed, there was no explaining that first to a salesperson and then to his mom. So, in Abby vs. The Slippers, Round Two, Abby wins again.

No good story, however, ends after Round Two. The next day, while I was at work, Mr. W and his mom went shopping again. Mr. W had a feeling that the slipper god was going to act in his favor. And what does he find when he goes to the men's shoe department? Both slippers, left and right, sitting together on display. Abby vs. The Slippers, Round Three: Slippers win with a TKO.

Thanks to Mom, we have a winner. And now that she's out of town and not present to witness my wiggling, let the slippering begin.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Suffering to Sooth the Soul, or, Assedia & Me

Although I have long since come to terms with my fascination with and craving for the pain of a good hard spanking, in all its various forms and by means of all its various implements, I still ponder the reasons why I like what I like and why I want what I want. I've expounded on theories over the years - the need to relinquish control, the healing power of tears, the reversion of woman to child in order to fully embrace the identity of woman once again - but I haven't settled on any one reason. I don't think there is or can be such a thing. And yet, through my casual reading I've developed another theory. Let's add escape from spiritual ennui to the mix.

I'm currently reading Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris, author of the monastic memoir The Cloister Walk. In Acedia & Me, she explores the concept of acedia, a sort of boredom of the soul that was once considered the eighth "bad thought" in the philosophy of the early Christian desert monks. The eight bad thoughts of the monks became the seven deadly sins of the church and acedia was subsumed by sloth, but sloth does not cover the greater meaning of acedia. Sloth, as we know, is the act of being lazy. Acedia, in contrast, describes the state of being detached from that which we once found meaningful because we have found it, or all things, to be meaningless. In suffering from acedia we might be lazy, yes, but it is because we can perceive no value in doing that which we are avoiding.

A simple example, for Norris as well as myself, is that of acedia and writing. A few years ago, I decided that every story has been told. I have never wanted to do anything but write. I call myself a writer. But having come to that decision, it's hard to find the motivation to write when I believe that all I am doing is regurgitating in text. I've been "working" on my collection of retold fairy tales for years. "Working" means I've started a few, thought about them, abandoned them. There are all ready so many retold fairy tales. Do I really have anything new to offer? A small piece of me knows that I do. The greater part of me has trouble finding the energy to waste on mimicry.

Early concepts of acedia were tied more closely to spiritual suffering and rejecting one's closeness to God. Essentially, it's the idea that God, or the Universe, or Life Itself, metaphorically comes to a person and says, "Here, have this gift. It is the gift of now and today and your presence in it." In response, the person says, "No thank you." It is Melville's Bartleby, having accepted a job and arrived to do it, proceeds to respond to each task with "I would prefer not to."

Early in the book, Norris considers acedia's etymology and word associations. In listing its synonyms, she lands on indolence and writes:

"Dolor is an ancient word for "pain," and indolence is the inability to feel it. We've now come close to the worst that acedia can do to us: not only does it make us unable to care, it takes away our ability to feel bad about that. If we can no longer weep, or desire, or feel pain or grief, well, that's all right; we'll settle for that, we'll get by." (p. 45)

From a masochist's perspective, what could be more terrifying than the inability to feel pain? Although the quote above refers moreso to internal pain and emotional suffering, I could not help but see the parallel between feeling pain and feeling alive, feeling as though I and my actions have purpose. I think my mental state after an experience of corporal punishment must be much like the feeling one has after sky diving or white-water rafting a dangerous river, or even after riding a particularly terrifying roller coaster. There is a life-affirming sensation of having survived. Is it too far-fetched to say that reaffirming the ability to feel pain can ease the spiritual suffering of acedia? If I accept pain, I accept feeling; if I accept feeling, I acknowledge presence; if I acknowledge presence, I accept implied purpose. If I accept implied purpose, I impart meaning.

In other words, if I am punished I will feel pain. Feeling pain grounds me in myself, a self I view first and foremost as a writer. Being present in myself, as a writer, I am meant to write, and if I am meant to write, then my writing, be it word or blog post or epic tome, cannot be meaningless. I am spanked therefore I am.

Of course, this entire theory does nothing to explain why I like the thought of others being spanked. I can honestly say that I have never watched a spanking video or read spanking erotica and thought to myself afterwards, "Well, my life now has purpose and my soul is no longer wretched and abject." Then again, reading and watching erotica does always make me want to write my own, so perhaps there is greater meaning in our dirty art forms after all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spanking Shakespeare and Other Teen Tails...Erm, Tales

It's not what you want it to be.

When I was a teenager, there was very little published for my age group, which is why I read Miller and Nin and Plath perhaps a few years before my time. There were the school library classics - Twain and Austen and the Brontes - little of which satisfied my cravings for true explorations of the body politic and the human psyche. There were the Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine horror novels. There were the godawful Lurlene McDaniel teen romances and the cringeworthy Sweet Valley High twins. Then there were the tales of true teen life, meant to ward us hellions off of sex and drugs. For those who recall Go Ask Alice and Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones, I wholeheartedly sympathize.

Last week, while browsing at the Powell's on Burnside for birthday presents for an about-to-be-fourteen year old, I found the selection to be almost fantastically lascivious. Was I in the teen section or the erotica section, heretofore known to be located next to nautical fiction and across the aisle from sci-fi? Girls in corsets draped the covers of historical fiction. The cover of Melvin Burgess's Doing It consisted of a shadowed outline of a couple having upright sex. A favorite of both mine and Mr. W's was a zombie cheerleader lying back on a bench, one leg bent up in come hither fashion.

Anyhow, this post is not to analyze the past or current teenage landscape. It's to celebrate the apparent complete lack of difference between the stories we tell our sixteen year olds and the stories we tell ourselves. The fact that we are not, by now, a race of spankophile sex-craved zombie vampires in school uniforms remains a mystery.

These both look like BDSM erotica, don't they? Untamed, especially, looks like something published by Blue Moon.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Ass Seen 'Round the World

Reuters photo, link obtained from associatedcontent.com

I'm sure this photo is popping up on spanking/bottom blogs around the world, but as I'm at work and can't double check on what everyone else is posting, here it is anyway, the ass seen 'round the world.
If for some reason you would like to read more about it, here's the article about the direction of Obama's eyes while at the G8 Summit in Italy. Or, if you'd like to watch news anchors agree that, yes, he really is checking out that girl's backside, watch this.

Really? This is news? She's Brazilian, for heaven's sake. It would make more sense if the headlines were "Brazilian ass passes by unnoticed." If only the Summit was being held on a beach...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hollywood Goes to Fetishland

A scene from Californication, Season One Episode Three

If you're planning on watching the first season of Californication, I think this post counts as containing spoilers, though nothing you couldn't have figured out on your own. There. You've been warned.

Having referenced this scene in the post below, I figured I might as well put it up here too, especially after Miss Tori asked about it. I'm conflicted about the scene and the storyline concerning these two characters because, on the one hand, it's spanking, yay! On the other hand, we are presented not with a scene of personal discovery or eroticism, but with a sexual grotesquerie in the style of David Mamet's Oleanna or Francine Prose's Blue Angel.

The premise of the scene is an unexpected example of bottoming from the top. Throughout this blog, I've made reference to my own feelings about the idea of topping from the bottom, the act of getting the scene I want despite my role as the submissive. Some believe it's unacceptable behavior; I think it's simply akin to a consenting adult presenting her desires and parameters by guiding a scene without dominating the dominant partner. Bottoming from the top, however, seems more devious, at least as it plays out in the scene above.

I'm trying to imagine Mr. W asking me to spank him. It wouldn't be power exchange, it wouldn't be exploration. We both know ourselves too well, which is why I say trying to imagine. This request will never be forthcoming. For the sake of argument, though, we'll pretend this could happen. The only reason he would want me to "top" him would be to prove my willingness to submit to his every command, even the irrational ones. Trying to figure how to go about the task would be embarrasing and awkward for me, which of course would be satisfying to him. Even if I managed and ended up enjoying myself, the meaning of the scene would still be clear: his control is irrefutable.

This Californication scene represents the same dichotomy. The young woman, Dani (Rachel Miner), is the assistant of Charlie (Evan Handler), a married man and talent agent. Hapless Charlie, who makes any number of terrible decisions in his own right, doesn't realize that Dani is merely climbing the corporate ladder by climbing over his lap. She's not topping from the bottom as a spankophile presenting her bare behind and saying "Spank me please." She's bottoming from the top, commandeering the situation for her own gain. Naturally, threats of litigation and dramatic conjugal hi jinks ensue.

Still, what is refreshing about the plotline is that Dani is devious for trapping Charlie, not for engaging in acts of fetishism. Charlie, likewise, is devious for cheating on his wife (and yes, in the microcosm of the show, what he is doing in this scene and others counts as cheating, intercourse or no) but is not deviant for being curious about spanking and BDSM. It may not end in everyone living happily ever after in Fetishland, but they weren't wrong for taking a vacation there. They were just wrong for going on vacation with the wrong people, for the wrong reasons. Fetishland, meanwhile, gains a place on Hollywood's map of normal sexual behaviors, right next to Blowjobtown and up the street from Lookingatpornville.

In other words, it's all good. Just don't do it behind your wife's back or to get a promotion. Otherwise, spank away, characters. Spank away.