Dan used the quote from this scene in The Big Chill to start off his post. It's all about rationalizations being more important than sex!
I guess the best way to explain how I feel now is to recall how I used to feel when I first began exploring aspects of FLR in general and being spanked specifically. I was 19 when I first asked another person to spank me. It was a difficult and risky conversation to have at that age and at that time, since the subject was nowhere near as prevalent as it is now. It was definitely more of a fringe activity with more than its fair share of stigma. But I refused to live a lie and decided that I needed to keep taking risks being honest with people until I found what I needed.
Interestingly, this person, whom I would later marry and even later divorce, did not run away screaming. She said she would indulge this kink with the understanding that regardless of the reason, once it was settled that a spanking would take place, it would be a spanking in the true sense of the word. She wouldn’t try to kill me or injure me, but she would also not indulge the then common (and still recommended in BDSM circles) practice of warm-ups and coded feedback to ensure the experience was what “I” was enjoying. In her mind, a spanking was not something to be enjoyed….at least not in the moment.
At 19, I was simultaneously thrilled that someone seemed interested in taking the spanking reins and a bit disappointed that the controlled, moderated, sexier method of spanking that seemed to be de rigueur for everyone else was not going to be how things would go with me. And so the very first spanking I got as an adult was much closer to what I remembered as a punished kid than the more recent self-spanking episodes that permeated my pre-dating years.
And, while I appreciated getting some of what I wanted, I found myself struggling with rationalizing a male ego (kinky though it was) with what turned out to be very ‘real-ish’ spankings from a girlfriend who was very much equal to me in age, intelligence, economic background, etc. And she was struggling a bit too, especially since she wasn’t quite sure how dominant she wished to be. It was awkward going. And one solution that worked well for us was using chance, bets, and other non-behavioral excuses for her to spank.
In my head I was able to rationalize my submission as just ‘being a good sport’ and honoring the roll of the die (sometimes literally) rather than admit to any need for correction, or desire to be led.
Over time that shifted. It shifted by virtue of maturity and self-acceptance. It also helped that she also came to understand she had a dominant streak that liked being obeyed. Still it wasn’t a smooth fit all of the time and we both still struggled with our roles and rationalized them with further delusions or focus on selectively chosen truths. To be honest, we might just have not been as well-suited as we once thought, or perhaps we just grew apart. Or maybe she just went crazy. But just as it seemed like we hit a sweet stretch of each of us accepting our roles as appropriate in the 90’s, things deteriorated and eventually our relationship ended by 2000.
Other experiments with other people followed. But even then I can’t say that I learned anything significant. Not until Rosa. It was with her that I came in direct contact with some deep realizations which sprung out of ultimately trading in our earlier experimentation with BDSM for a genuine living contract of DD as an additional aspect to what we were already playing with.
In my past marriage we dabbled in genuine punishments and I certainly got a handful, but so few were of this variety that even now I remember what each was for due to their exceptional nature. But Rosa was not nearly as reticent and I was soon getting spanked genuinely and regularly. And to be honest, I appreciated it, but struggled with it as well. What made it more challenging was that at the time of my acquiescence to her authority, I saw it as some subs say, “a gift of submission”. I rationalized my role as this huge concession I was making as a tribute to her and as proof of my devotion. But Rosa didn’t see it that way. She would look at me quizzically whenever I waxed poetic over my role and acceptance of hers and responded with a much more simple view: each of us was merely being what we were meant to be. Each of us was in our natural and proper state…….period. No fancy rationalization, just a statement of blunt fact.
After pondering this, and during discussions with others I came around to a new rationalization: we were merely in the roles we were best suited for. Essentially this was the “My Honey knows best” philosophy. But even this rationalization chafed at the times when I realized that my Honey…...wonderful as she is…...didn’t always know best. Sometimes I knew best and she couldn’t see it. But, here we were: she being in charge and me being subject to her authority.
Now I have sort of given up on trying to settle on the one, true, rationalization that justifies why a person like me submits to DD with someone like her. Instead, if I need a rationalization, I just pop one into my head for the current situation, even if it doesn’t hold up for the next one. Disposable rationalizations. Use them as needed. Toss ‘em away when you’re done. Some current favorites:
"I need this (a spanking) now, so whatever gets me there….fine."
"This is the way I am."
"She was right several times when I thought I was, so maybe this time is the same."
"She needs this to feel empowered. Challenging her will thwart her growth."
"I brought this up and agreed to be accountable, so I’m just honoring the terms of the agreement."
"It’ll be over soon, so just suck it up."
"This will be good for me."
In making these up I toyed with a couple more, but those got me thinking that perhaps they weren’t really rationalizations….although they could be:
“I deserve it”
“She wants this and she’ll feel better if I go along with it.”
Each of these address DD as a need to one party or the other and is used to cover up some other less comfortable realization, these can be used as a crutch to get around a stickier wicket.
I’ve mentioned before that I had two long conversations with my mother about my lifestyle prior to her succumbing to cancer. One was a sort of ‘coming out’ and the second was very detailed. In that second conversation, I confessed some of my struggles with my role and my mother, rather than giving credibility to my occasional difficulties, advised me instead to embrace my role fully rather than resist it. That conversation had a big impact on me and converted several ‘doubts’ that required “rationalizations” into honest, personal realizations. Realizations that like Rosa had said from the outset: “this is just who you are”. When my mother sort of confirmed that, it made it harder to ignore or meander around. It was something I had certainly considered, but it is not something that is easily embraced in a society such as ours.
So now I wish I could say that I am fully secure in my role and never need to rationalize my lifestyle having come to full realization of its appropriateness and efficacy…...but I’d be lying. I still sway back and forth from self-acceptance to self-doubt made palatable with rationalizations and I doubt I will ever be free from the need for them.
Others might be thinking , “what’s the problem? What’s with all this angst over realizations, struggles and rationalizations? If this is you just be you.” And I would ask that person just how many people, particularly male acquaintances or even co-workers, who show no sign of being open to Femdom situations, have they candidly come out to? And if the answer is very few or none, I would ask, “why not?” And if they said, “well that’s something private between me and my wife. It’s none of their business.” I would conclude, “good for you! You just made your first rationalization.”
"Ya know you'd never get a crowd this big at my funeral."
"I'll come.........and I'll bring a date."