Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is a bad idea 12: Summing up 1

The general case against beating children

There are good non-bdsm reasons for not hitting children. We know that it doesn’t work, that it makes kids more violent, and that there that there are other, more effective ways of disciplining children. That should be enough to end the practice, right there.

But we also know that it operates in a racist way: that children from ethnic minorities are the most likely to be beaten in schools. We also know something that may be marginally more horrific, which is that children with a disability are the most likely to be beaten.

In short, it’s cruel, it’s deliberately degrading, it doesn’t work, and (despite my respect for the teaching profession as a whole) the schools that allow “corporal punishment” have amply demonstrated that they are incapable in implementing it “fairly”, that is, without racism or bias against people with a disability.

It needs to be outlawed. Now.

The bdsm-related case against beating children

The bdsm case against child beating is that ritualised beating, especially on the buttocks, is sexual. Forcing sex acts on a child is sexual abuse. “Corporal punishment” is child-molesting.

Vile book by vile people is all about the child-beating (also punishment starvings). It is implicated in the deaths of three children.

Vile book, by vile people, advocates child-beating (also punishment starvings). It is implicated in the deaths of three children.

People who argue against this usually make two claims. The first claim is that school and parental beatings are different from sexual beatings. Because they hurt too much to be sexual.

All they’re saying is that they don’t know anything at all about sexual spankings. Sexual spankings can be delivered using a paddle or cane, and be far harder than anything that could legally be inflicted in a school.

Doms soon learn that some submissives can have an amazing ability to take and eroticise pain. In my own experience as a dom, the upper limit can be my own squeamishness, and not the submissive’s desires and response. There is no identifiable point at which a spanking is “too hard to be sexual”.

People who say, “Beat children hard and then they won’t be turned on,” are revealing some ugly things about themselves. One of those things is that they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.  

The other claim is that beating is only sexual for a tiny minority of the population, as if it’s okay if it’s a sexual act in a few cases, because it’s worth it for all the yummy pain, fear and humiliation it inflicts on children.

But their belief, or at least claim, that only a tiny minority of the population is likely to interpret a beating sexually is wrong. That’s a matter of established fact.

About 10% of child-beatings at school are likely to be sexually charged for at least one of the participants, the punisher or the beaten child. So, of the approximate 326,400 child-beatings in US schools, each year, about 32,600 involve an adult or a child who is directly aware, from their own reaction, that this is a sexually charged act.

Tomorrow we’re going to explore a question whose answer seems comically obvious. But it is worth thinking about it: So a significant proportion of both teachers and children are responding sexually to child-beatings in schools: what’s wrong with that?


Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is a bad idea 11:

Does child-beating in schools “cause” people do become involved in bdsm as adults?

In one sense the answer is “yes”. 

Charles Moser’s research on a bdsm community in California found that about 5% of the community members had became aware of their sexual interest through a childhood spanking. About one in 20 (that ratio keeps coming up in this context!) bdsm participants were launched on their bdsm career by being spanked by an adult, when they were a child. 

Disciplinary condition at the Shelbyville Baptist School were especially strict because ... Jesus.

Disciplinary conditions at the Shelbyville Baptist School were strict because … Jesus.

Although that’s a minority of bdsm participants, and it’s not the only experience that makes people aware of their response to bdsm, that means it’s still common for adult participants in bdsm to have had their first bdsm sexual experience, which they remember as a sexual experience, while being beaten as a child. 

So how many people are we talking about?

If we apply Moser’s finding to the 16,000,000 people who take part in bdsm or sexual spanking in the United States alone, that comes to 800,000 Americans.

Given the strong advocacy for child-beating from the US Chrstian right, which  hates everything they consider to be “perversion”, it’s ironic that so many people have the US Christian right to thank for their bdsm sexual awakening.  

Bdsm “trigger events” 

In another sense the answer is “probably not, exactly”.

That’s because some people have some genetic susceptibility to interest in bdsm, but they need a trigger event, something to show them bdsm and its erotic possibilities, before they develop that interest.

A similar process – genetic susceptibility plus a trigger event to bring out that genetic potential – applies in the development of phobias. I’m not comparing bdsm to phobias in any other sense, of course.

Child-beatings in schools are only one kind of event that can trigger an interest in bdsm, and particularly in sexual spankings. If you remove child-beating from the mix, there would still be plenty of other triggers that a bdsm-susceptible person will notice and respond to.

Potential bdsm triggers include passages in books, scenes in movies, in TV shows, in fashion shows, images on advertising billboards, and so on.

A rough night in Castle Anthrax. Spankee doctors Winston and Piglet

A hot night in Castle Anthrax. Spankee doctors Winston and Piglet

I know a woman who discovered her interest in submission during a screening of, of all things, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was the scene where a bunch of Glasgow girls dressed as novices (hah! I’ve been to Glasgow) demand to be spanked.

The woman was surprised to find she thought it was even sexier than it was funny. It stayed with her.

She kept on saying the punch line, “And … after the spanking, the oral sex!” at odd moments for years afterwards. Caught my attention, anyway.

The point is, the trigger event can be something that other people don’t see as sexual at all. 

When “corporal punishment” is finally banned in all schools, and parents are educated about spanking’s sexual payload, bdsm won’t disappear or even shrink. People who have a propensity to notice and react erotically to bdsm triggers, including spankings, will mostly become bdsm-aware through some other stimulus instead. 

But it’s better that people pick this sexual interest, bdsm, voluntarily in their own time, and not through a dangerous punishment ritual forced on them by an adult.

Some bdsm-related reasons why beating children is a bad idea 10: children’s reactions to being beaten

How often will both the teacher and the child be aroused during a “spanking”?

The 5% rule means there are likely to be 816 instances a year where both the teacher and the child are mutually aroused by the spanking experience they are sharing. 

However, the true number is likely to be more than that. Because children who discover an arousing situation are liable to search it out – or make sure it happens – so they can experience it again.

It's a great porn scenario, and it can be a fun role-play for those that role-play. But let's make it fictional, huh?

It’s a great porn scenario, and it can be a fun role-play for those that role-play. But it belongs in fiction, not the real world. Love her specs, by the way.

Likewise, teachers choose who they beat. Only a small proportion of school children and young people in schools get beaten. Children selected for beatings tend to be from minority ethnic groups or to have a disability.

Also, they tend to be the vulnerable children.

They won’t be the children who have powerful, well-connected parents, but they will be the ones who have a single working parent, or parents who are highly unlikely to have the skills or the networks to challenge the authority of the school.

We also know that within those minority groups some children are likely to be singled out and repeatedly beaten. (That makes nonsense of one of the key supposed justifications of child-beating: that it has a “deterrent effect”.)

Some of the children will be repeatedly beaten because they are “badly behaved”. Beating a “badly behaved” child may sound like easier work than trying to find out what the problem is, but any teacher with any experience knows that hitting a child only means you have to hit them again, because it doesn’t change “bad behaviour”.

There can be multiple motivations in play. As we’ve noted, the children who are picked for repeated beatings are those whose parents are least able to do anything about it. 

But there’s another issue. The priests and lay brothers (and others: this isn’t just a problem in religious schools) who raped children after beating them, selected their victims for powerless and “attractiveness”. A child who is in one of the vulnerable categories is therefor more likely to be beaten if he or she is perceived to be “pretty”. 

There are also the children who have a nascent sexual response to their beating. This may be hard to explain to people who don’t include spanking in their sex lives. But the fact is that anyone who has spanked a few people of the sex or sexes they prefer knows when the spanking is working and their “victim” is turned on. It can be a subtle thing, a matter of a certain kind of silence and attention, of small body movements and so on during the spanking, and the abstracted emotional tone they have afterwards. 

Teachers who have bdsm sensitivity will recognise those and similar signs. That child and that teacher, who is in denial about their own attraction to spanking, or is aware of it and unscrupulous, will meet again, and re-enact that ritual, in an odd form of erotic courtship and release.

This isn’t common. It’s somewhere over 0.25% of all school beatings. The odds are that it won’t any particular parent’s children who get caught up in that cruel and unfairly balanced erotic ritual, but it will be someone’s children. 


Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is a bad idea 4: Abuse and anger

Adults who spank children usually believe they’re behaving responsibly. Most certainly don’t believe that they are acting sexually, either from their own or the child’s perspective.

Suggestions to the contrary can enrage people, like the PJMedia people who called Jillian Keenan a pervert, a weirdo and so on. She’s “that disgusting woman” on a Christian right site for people who passionately like the idea of children being beaten, so long as they’re sure no one’s enjoying it. They call the site “Bring Back the Rod”, which sounds incredibly like a porn site, but isn’t. They don’t have any sense of irony, but they make up for that in anger. 

See? Jesus spanks little girls bare-bottomed, and there's nothing weird about the Lord! (From US Christian right pamphlet)

See? Jesus prefers to  spank little girls with their pants down, and there’s nothing weird about the Lord! My sweet saviour is not a pervert!”  (Illustration from US Christian right pamphlet)

The anger that’s tied in with denial is understandable, in a way. There’s huge cultural and emotional investment in child-beating, reinforced, in many cases, by religion.

Most people who beat their own children, or who support the idea of their and other people’s children being beaten in schools, had parents who beat them, or allowed their school to do it.  

So pointing out the sexually abusive aspect can seem like an attack on their parents.

Worse, once a parent has beaten a child, that parent will find information about the sexual aspects of “punishment” incredibly confronting. They have strong feelings about child molesters, and they don’t like to think of themselves shading into that group.

On my side, my feelings about any adult who hits a child with a strap or piece of wood or bamboo tend to start with anger. And contempt. And get stronger from there. 

And yet, it’s not helpful to think about this in solely emotional terms. Most, as in more than half, of physical assaults on children are not perceived as sexual by either the child or the adult. I think that people who hit children are wrong for a number of reasons, but in most cases they’re not “abusive” in the tabloid media sense.

In most cases the adult didn’t touch the child sexually, or rather, they didn’t understand that they were touching the child sexually when they held his or her body to theirs and touched their buttocks, and they didn’t knowingly make any sexual suggestions to the child. 

So, most of the time, the job is to educate people, not to shame them. 

Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is a bad idea 3: sex fantasy and reality

Today’s post was planned to be about why so-called “corporal punishment” is unethical. But I’ve decided to leave that argument till later.

You can think this looks like they're having fun...

You can think this looks like they’re having sexy  fun…

This post is about sex fantasy and reality, and how they do and don’t overlap.

I’m writing this series on child-beating in schools and in the home, and at the same time I’m writing a “bad headmaster/naughty schoolgirl” sex scenario. I’m doing it for my lover and for Wicked Wednesday.

He said, nobly.  

I considered having these two series a little further apart, but I decided they complement each other. Because “it’s a sexy scenario” is relevant to both series.

The actions and the symbolic interaction between an adult and a child or young person have some very powerful sexual messages and signals for both parties.That’s unavoidably true, and it’s a key reason why beating of children and young people, at school or in the home, should not be accepted or legal.

So “it’s sexy” is a good reason for having and enjoying the scenario as fantasy or play for consenting adults, and it’s a key reason why so-called “corporal punishment” should never, ever happen with real, non-consenting children or young people. 

I started writing the schoolgirl fantasy because my lover wrote a schoolgirl fantasy, and we thought it’d be a good idea if I wrote roughly the same story, but from the headmaster’s point of view. 

I made a few concessions, but even so I’m finding it quite hard to write. There’s a reason schoolgirl spanking stories are usually told from the POV of the schoolgirl. She’s an innocent, and she’s being swept along, having a sexy time. That’s easy.

But when you imagine and write the headmaster POV, you have to acknowledge just how dark that POV has to be, for him to do what he does.

The concessions I made include that my heroine, Jennifer Perch, is over the age of consent, and she does lust after Mr Beecham, the headmaster. That wouldn’t help the headmaster in a prosecution, and nor should it, but it makes  him more tolerable as a story character. There’s some mutuality going on.

As well, the headmaster has moments where he reveals that he doesn’t just desire Jennifer, he also wants to do what’s best for her. Though his ideas of “what’s best” wouldn’t stand up in a courthouse, either, and nor should they.

Ans support outlawing child or young person beating in schools and at home.

And still support outlawing child or young person beating in schools and at home.

Still, as a passionate opponent of beating children and young people, so-called “corporal punishment”, in schools and in the family, I don’t have a problem with making the forbidden and dark aspects of the fantasy sexy.

As sexy as I can, even. 

The uniform, the authoritarian aspects of it, the shifting balance of power and meaning all help to make the fantasy sexy. And little pleated skirts are sexy. Period.

It’ll still be a sexy scenario when all assaults on children and young people are outlawed.

Similarly, I doubt if there are many French maids called “Fifi” left in the real world, who get spanked and inevitably fucked because they broke their employer’s best vase and tried to hide it. If you have a maid, and she happens to be French, and if you lay a hand on her because she broke something, you’d make a court appearance and the front pages. But the French maid game, ooh la la, donne-moi une fessée, s’il te plait, M’sieur, will always be sexy even as reality drifts farther and farther away from it.

So, “it’s sexy” is true. It’s hot in sex play and in fantasy and that fact is damn confronting to people who argue against the abolition of so-called “corporal punishment”. Their discomfort is telling, and it’s well-earned. 

Jennifer’s pleats and pleas is, among other things, a pair of fingers waved in their general direction.


Some bdsm-related reasons why hitting children is wrong 2

There hasn’t been much research on whether children get turned on by being spanked.

It’s not a research project you’d ever get past a university ethics committee, and no private research company would touch it because it’s one of those things that a lot of people don’t want to know. 

Ah, the Folsom Street Fair. And a woman dressed as a schoolgirl getting the cane. A memory for some and a fantasy for others.

Ah, the Folsom Street Fair. And a woman dressed as a schoolgirl getting the cane. A memory for some becomes a fantasy for others.

Still, a survey taken among participants in a California-based bdsm community (in 1979) found that nearly one in five of them remembered having been sexually aroused by one or more spankings they’d received as children. 

So it’s not a question of, “is there a danger that in spanking or paddling children, they may find that it turns them on sexually?” We know that that happens, for a significant minority of people. 

So the question we should be asking now (apart from asking someone to up-date that 1979 research), is not a factual one but an ethical one:

Is it right to impose a form of adult sexuality on non-consenting children?

And: does it make any difference if the adult concerned is unaware of the child’s possible sexual response to the spanking they’re experiencing, or the adult is in denial about it?

We’ll talk ethics in the next post in this series. Then we’ll start looking about the mechanisms: why is school or home beating of children likely to become sexual for some children, regardless of the adults’ intentions?

By the way, that this isn’t an argument that attraction to bdsm is”caused” by childhood beatings. It’s more that, for a significant minority of people, a beating experienced in childhood is their first experience of sexual arousal in a bdsm context.

In fact we know, because of the two Australian Surveys on Health and Relationships, that people who’ve taken part in bdsm activities in the past year are no more likely to have experienced childhood sexual coercion than anybody else, and they have the same mental and physical health as everybody else. 

There won’t be fewer people attracted to bdsm if we make homes and schools safer environments for children. The question here is the ethical one, that is: Is it right to impose a form of adult sexuality on non-consenting children?


Marie Bonaparte’s amazing moveable clitoris!

Marie Bonaparte. Great grand-daughter of the Emperor. Mad as a meat-axe. Orthodox Freudian.

Marie Bonaparte. Grand-niece of the Emperor. Mad as a meat-axe. Ultra-orthodox Freudian.

I’ve finished Between the Lines, revised, final edition! This involved, among other things, going through and making sure all the footnotes are correct.

The last footnote I verified concerned the amazing mobile clitoris of Marie Bonaparte, grand-niece of Napoleon.  

Freud’s disciples followed him in focussing on the problem of ‘masochism’. After all, if you think masochism causes Nazism, as Freud did, then you’re bound to pay it a bit of attention.

 The orthodox insiders included Anna Freud, Karen Horney, Marie Bonaparte, Theodor Reik, Helene Deutsch, Karl Abraham, Melanie Klein and others, up to the June Rathbones of today.

They’re as eccentric a line-up, in their various ways, as the Medieval Catholic saints.

Marie Bonaparte for example, great grandniece of the Emperor Napoleon, had such faith in the doctrine of female masochism that she “discovered” the masochistic ovum.

She believed that because eggs are female and they are beaten by the head of the penis during intercourse – Bam! Bam! Bam! – they come to enjoy that pounding. This, she concluded, is the cause of the essential masochism of women. As a Freudian true believer, Bonaparte had to believe in the essential masochism of women. 

Clitoris, getting the hell out of Marie Bonaparte's way.

Clitoris, getting the hell out of Marie Bonaparte’s way.

In one of the more amazing demonstrations of faith that any disciple has ever given a cult leader, Bonaparte had her clitoris surgically relocated closer to her vaginal entrance, so that she complied with Freud’s directives on the superiority of vaginal orgasms.

She needed another operation later, to fix the mess made by the first operation. Her Freudian wound never healed.[i]

[i] Appignanesi, Lisa, and Forrester, John, Freud’s Women, Basic Books, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1992, pp 329-351.

Homo-phobia: stay away from Russians in uniform



It’s nice when a violently homophobic country like Russia decides to reach out to gays by naming their special police forces in their honour.

These are two officers of the Otryad Mobilny Osobogo Naznacheniya or Special Purpose Mobility Unit, who beat up and sometimes kill civilians at the orders of the Russian government. Gays, lesbians, transvestite and transgender people are frequent targets.

According to Wiki the unit was broken up three months ago. All I can say about that is that I took this photo yesterday, and there are still a hell of a lot of them around.

The previous post was about Russians being cool. Something fairly nasty happened yesterday, which I can’t talk about because there are going to be processes happening about that. But I had to revise that view.

Russians are cool, generally. Really. But Russians wearing uniforms are the faecal-matter-in-skinbags scum of the earth: stupid, corrupt and brutal. Long, nasty story, not for here. Anyway, here are two paramilitary cops wearing the names of people they hate.

(I flipped the image horizontally. Butterfingers!)

A Malmö question: Can men come without touching their cocks?

I’m at a sexology conference in Malmö, in south Sweden. It’s just across the water from Copenhagen, with a rail bridge connecting the two cities, and countries.

images-3Malmö’s not as cool a town as Copenhagen, where I’d move at the drop of a troll hat. I haven’t found a really nice place in the shade looking at water, where some waiter will bring me beers or mineral waters whenever I manage to make eye contact. Lots of places like that in Copenhagen; scarcer in Malmö.

Before I get to my question, here are some observations about Scandinavia, as experienced by me so far. 

1  The people here, and the way of doing things, are friendly and (some people would say “but”) punctual and efficient. 

2  It’s all very civilised. For example, they’ve preserved weekends as times when friends and family can get together and do things, because most people aren’t working at week-ends. Most English-speaking countries were fooled and bullied into giving that away, at great social cost and to no economic benefit. 

3  However, they can’t make a cup of chai tea to save their lives. I asked for a cup in Christiania in Copenhagen, and the girl asked me “what flavour”. By “chai” they mean some sort of powder that you mix with hot water, and that might be vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or whatever. 

4  You should have heard the cheers when England lost to Iceland at soccer the other day. Brexit has not exactly endeared the English to Europeans. 

5  There are no non-pretty girls in Scandinavia. Or if there is one, she must be hiding in Trollhättan. (Trollhättan is a town in Sweden. I think of it as meaning “Behatted Troll”. Obviously, it doesn’t mean that. I think “hättan” has the same meaning as in “Manhattan”.)

Anyway, at the conference there are poster sessions for academics who have something interesting to say, but who don’t have the material or weight for a full session of their own. So you get a room full of posters, with the relevant person standing beside it hoping you’re interested enough to want to talk about their work.  

The orgasm question

One raised a question about male and female orgasm. It’s that some women can come without touching their own genitals, or having someone else do it for them. Just the arousal, the flow of erotic ideas, can bring them to orgasm. But men can’t do that. They can get erect, obviously, without penile touch by themselves or others, but they can’t come without touch. They need friction, ideally slippery friction, to be able to come. 

I thought about that. In bdsm we do a lot of orgasm control. Me, I like female orgasms (I might be a female orgasm fetishist), so as a dom I may deny a submissive girl the right to come without my permission, and sometimes withhold that permission when she really, really wants to let go. However, usually I don’t deny her for long, if we’re in the same bed. Even a few minutes of denial, where she’s fighting back her orgasm while still being vigorously fucked, can get a huge release when I finally tell her to come. 

There are doms who’ve taken that further than I’ve ever felt the urge to. So they might deny the girl any orgasm while she’s being fucked. And then tell her to hold herself in suspense, not erotically relaxing, until he or she gives the word.

Because I like female orgasms, and the more of them the merrier, I’ve never done the kind of training. you need for that However, I’ve met submissive women who can hold on to their peak ready-to-come level for over an hour, and you can command them to come when they’re doing something like watching a movie or doing the dishes. I think of that as interesting rather than peak sexy, but it is interesting.

Master? Tell me a story?

Master? Tell me a story?

The closest I’ve come to that is getting a girl to come by tying her legs apart and her hands behind her back, and telling her a story calculated to appeal to her particular sexual tastes and fantasies. It’s the best possible writer’s audience. 

But she was cheating in a way. That is, she wasn’t being touched externally, but she could get physical stimulation by clenching and unclenching the muscles around her vulva and clitoris.

think that’s how women get to orgasm without apparent touch, though I could be wrong.

But men … We don’t seem to be able to do that, or any useful equivalent. If I have an erection, and I clench the muscles around my penis, I’ll make it wave up and down in a friendly way. But there’s no stimulation for me in it.

And I thought: If anyone can make a man, at least a submissive man, come without his being touched, it’d be a pro-domme. I asked this on Twitter, and got a couple of replies from pro-dommes saying that they’d never seen it done.   

Now I’m throwing the question to the room. Does anybody know of men being made to come without touch?

I’d  count it if the dom/domme used touch to bring the man close to orgasm, followed by orgasm denial, followed by instructing him to stay ready, and more than an hour passing before he was told to come. 

Can anyone help? (I mean, with reports of having that done to them, or doing it to some guy.)