Do all Kinksters think the same?

3 differen female spankos in good girl white knickers, in different positions.

Jillian Keenan’s youtube videos ‘Do all Spankos think the same?’ sparked more questions than Boris Johnson’s Covid speeches in my close circles. If you haven’t already watched, I highly recommend watching Keenan’s Part 1 and Part 2 before reading this post!

I’m a big fan of Keenan and think she is a really great voice for the spanking community. I have been enjoying lockdown with her book Sex with Shakespeare and have had moments throughout shouting ‘Yes!’ in agreement. Yet, my initial reaction to the first video on whether all Spanko’s think the same was ‘Oh, maybe I’m not a true Spanko?’ A problematic view, especially to anyone who’s spanked me or watched me be spanked, who will beg to differ with it! I will be honest, I was mainly watching to begin with because my dear friend Katie-Jane is starring in the panel. Which I should add, is still a very worthwhile reason for viewing, she comes across delightfully and I giggled to myself when she made comments about a female disciplinarian that I also very much admire. I certainly didn’t expect to find myself questioning my sexual orientation and having a mini identity-wobble! However, the confusion and contradictions I found whilst watching, eased as I began sharing and debating the video with other kinky friends, not just ‘spankos’. I will do my best to share some of the key points covered in these discussions, exploring the main themes of sexual orientation, non-monogamy and what is sex or kink?

The Kinsey Scale

‘My fetish is my sexual orientation’ was one prompt that made me feel like an outsider. Everyone in the panel sat down to agree with this, articulating their love language as spanking full stop. Whilst spanking is my biggest fetish, I had never put it in the same camp as being bisexual. So for me this was rather confusing. At first, my thought process was, they must have been born with a spanking gene and maybe I wasn’t … but then I don’t believe I was necessarily ‘born’ bisexual any more than I was ‘born’ with my love of being over someone’s lap. I was quite late to discovering and embracing my kinky side. Despite having playground memories of power play games scarily close to my sexual role-play now!

Another fetish of mine is rope, admittedly not on the same level as spanking, and peers agreed that they weren’t ‘born’ into rope but it’s bigger for them than sexual intercourse, and they could live without it although they’d choose not to (in the same way all people can live without sex, it’s not actually a need, read Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski if you don’t believe me). I guess whilst I can’t imagine my life without spanking, it’s in the same way as my close mountain man can’t imagine his life without climbing. Spanking is intimate, but is not always about sex for me. Therefore I just can’t choose between the two. I’m a spanking fetishist and sex-orientated. I personally prefer the broad open label ‘kinky’ where I feel less pigeon-holed. I felt a tad uncomfortable after the video about my love of spanking, like I wasn’t in the true spanko community of pure, spanking-only fetishists. When I discussed this insecurity, my rope friend shared ‘It sounds a bit elitist’. I just don’t feel like the panel represented me here, and actually I do know a lot of other people really into spanking who also love other forms of power play and kink varieties and/or sex.

I was further baffled, when the question of non-monogamy came up. This split the panel, mainly due to people’s different semantic understandings. I was with Keenan on this one, and class myself as non-monogamous due to my playful relationships with other kinksters, yet romantically would say I am monogamous and most often (but not always) sex is kept within my romantic relationship. A lot of kinky people I know are poly, but hardly anyone defines themselves as monogamous – so this was another shock to me to see many did! I found this extra weird following the prior emphasis on their fetish being their sexual orientation. If spanking is someone’s primary sexual orientation, then how is spanking play not seen as multiple play relationships? Semantics are so important in the kink community in order for everyone to be able to communicate clearly and play in a safe and consensual way with one another. Whilst I’m trying to adopt Keenan’s progressive view of sexual orientation as a bisexual fetishist, I do think the panel should have all recognised their non-monogamy, even if they are not polyamorous. That said, at the same time, I understand the resistance here. My ‘vanilla’ family and friends who know a little of what I’m into, have no problem at all with spanking or rope, but seemingly have a huge issue with the idea of multiple partners, even if ‘play’, any label other than social norm of monogamy is often met with judgement. The definitions I find helpful can be found here, non-monogamy can simply mean more than one relationship.

What even is sex?

Keenan didn’t actually ask this, but my friends and I ended up discussing it, A LOT. My initial problem with defining my own sexual orientation was my narrow interpretation of the word ‘sexual’, but then I realised you can be bisexual and asexual just basing it on attraction. If it helps, we all watched this lady’s inclusive definition of sex before tweaking it to decide on our own understandings. To bring it back to spanking, what is it that makes it someone’s sex? Or any other fetish? I realised after considerable debate, that ‘sex’ for me, includes physical genital stimulation of some sort. So spanking or rope at a workshop or play event with a new person may be intimate and make me feel alive (like dancing or a mountain view) but it’s mostly playful and non-sexual. Alternatively, it might be non-sexual but emotionally liberating and cathartic, helping me to let go of some personal pain with a trusted top. Yet other times, say with a repeated play partner or someone with whom I am very physically attracted to or hold a strong power play dynamic, a spanking may feel ‘sexual’ because I am incredibly sexually aroused, and any genital touch would make it suddenly a ‘sex’ act in my head. Should only ‘sexual’ spankings like this count as non-monogamy? The definition of sex seems to differ for everyone though, some may class phone sex as better than the physical act, or dismiss the word ‘sex’ altogether and I think with reflection it makes sense that different forms intimacy can impact people in individual ways, and any fetish could be more meaningful and essential to someone than anyone actual physical touch of their genitals.

By Gillan Keenan, image from youtube vid Is Fetish a Sexual Orientation ?

I later attended Durham munch where the great discussion with a variety of kinksters started with the prompt ‘what does kink mean to you?’. For instance, my kink is not only spanking but rather my innate attraction to power exchange. The fetish-sexual orientation question was also discussed, and it was a much more mixed response, with most people agreeing they weren’t born kinky. I guess I currently feel my sexual orientation seems separate and less important than my ‘kink’ orientation. The problem with mixing the two, and Keenan’s graph, is that it leaves no room for asexuals. I would like a kin’k’sey scale where you can be vanilla – fetishist to varying degrees depending on how you love, accompanied by a private-exhibitionist measure. I’d adapt the Kinsey sex orientation scale to include room for asexuality and pansexuality and keep it separate. For instance, if sex is nothing to you and you secretly only get off on tickling, you could be asexual and a private tickle fetishist. Or in Keenan’s case, she would be bisexual and an out-and-proud spanko, with more emphasis on the latter. Just an idea. Like sex and gender, I think the definition of kink needs to be inclusive and variable.

Keenan’s other points that raised eyebrows included ‘do converted ‘vanilla’s’ exist?’ and ‘do you trust kinky people more?’ To the latter I would say no! I might be more open and not face judgement with fellow kinksters, but that’s not the same as trust. If anything, I have experienced boundaries being crossed and narcissism, so now tread more cautiously and mistrust sadists on average more! As for the vanilla question, my friend pointed out the word ‘vanilla’ is now thrown about as an insult, when actually, a lot of kinksters once held different views and were seemingly ‘vanilla’ at some point, just as some people may be privately kinky behind closed doors but not social about it. Having tried a kink free long-term relationship which just didn’t work out, I agree on the one hand that on some level you just can’t change people. Yet on the other, I think people can change themselves, and I have definitely helped some’vanilla’ people who were curious on how to spank and tie rope, and found they are naturals. I think a lot of it comes down to attitude and openness. For me, accepting the non-monogamous nature of kink has really been enlightening. I don’t expect to find a life partner who fulfills every single need of mine, rather I would like to find a romantic partner that I can connect with on a least some of my preferred levels of intimacy, who is open-minded enough to let me embrace other playful relationships. Again, I’m not sure an elite ‘kink’ club is a good thing, I would like to encourage a bit more fluidity here as I think you get different levels of kink, people outside of any kink community who enjoy sex, could often still be somewhere on the kink spectrum, even if they don’t prioritise it like a fetishist would.

Does spanking correct you?

Finally, another thing that really struck me in the video was the gorgeous Kelly May’s description of why spankings do not work for behaviour modification, specifically when she described her earlier self ‘I had to keep breaking myself so someone could put me back together’. I identified with this 100%. Personally, I don’t now want a disciplinarian to actually correct me. We can play at it, DEFINITELY, the scolding is a key part of the fetish for me and helps me feel smaller/get into a subby headspace. But I am already extremely self critical, so to be spanked for behaviour that actually needs correcting feels unnecessarily mean, abusive or just annoying. I have actually tried it for small things I’d like to change and failed, so I know empirically it doesn’t work on me. People sometimes pick up on the submissive elements of my nature and decide I must be dangerously vulnerable and in need of their saviour, they often try to ‘fix’ me or try to show kindness by taking control, and ‘sexually’ it makes me unattracted and want to run. I am a free spirit, proud of my softness, yet very much in control of myself thank you. I value my ability to submit. Then when I do let go, I feel truly free and not coerced. But it’s taken me a lot of trial and error to get to the headstrong place I’m currently in, and I have a genuine fear based on experienced manipulation. I find it fascinating that some people rely on spanking as an effective part of actual behaviour correction (not in isolation), Keenan included. I can identify on some level having enjoyed cathartic pain, I think trauma lives in the body, and in some way this need to mentally go somewhere beyond pleasurable appears linked to making sense of injustice or uncomfortable feelings. I’ve found for instance that some older spanking fetishists who were actually abused in school with implements, find a need to re-live this extreme pain and ‘own’ this experience of submission, re-experiencing the trauma again and again, something I can’t completely identify with but appreciate the intensity of this d/s interaction.

I would love to discover where other people identify in terms of sexual orientation, non-monogamy and where they sit on my vanilla-fetish spectrum. I’m so grateful to Keenan for creating these videos, in particular for highlighting her views around sexual orientation as it has really made me reflect more critically on how I view myself as spanking fetishist with a broad sexual and kink appetite privately, and it has highlighted the importance of power play for me (which comes with a zillion warning tags and it’s own issues/debates). Discussing this has also made me realise that a key trait for me in any close relationship is open-mindedness. I hope reading this and watching her videos has sparked similarly interesting thoughts for you. Maybe another good adjustment to debating from prompts in Keenan’s video would be rather than to answer yes/no, to have scale of 1-10. I would add the questions, Do you enjoy play with people other than your romantic partner(s)? Were you born with this fetish? Most of my spanking friends are social and open in the kink community, but I’m curious how many private fetishists there are out there! I would love to explore this further so please feel free to reach out or comment on this.

Thank you for reading if you’re still here! I got a bit carried away!

xxx

11 thoughts on “Do all Kinksters think the same?

  1. Thank you Dilan, this is a fantastic piece of writing that has made me question more but also put into words that which I have been struggling to really make sense of since watching Keenan’s videos.

    Before I go into it, I just want to say that this is my own opinion, I am not judging or shaming anyone elses kink, opinion or practices.

    The question of whether spanking is your sexual orientation was very odd for me because I do not think it really can be? If so, does all spanking count as sex? Have I unknowingly had sex with one member of that panel? Of course not. I think spanking is a sexual fetish that can make one become aroused but I do not believe for one moment all of the spankings I have given her has caused that reaction in her, so how can it be a sexual orientation or hold the same weight as actual sexual intercourse for instance? I am surrounded by spanko friends, genuine, die hard spankos and to the vast majority of them, it’s only spanking. They just love being spanked and it can honestly have no sexual outcome at all, even if they do feel slightly turned on by it. Spanking can really just be spanking. It can be BETTER than sex, but it’s still just spanking.
    I agree that spanking as foreplay is brilliant and it can be added as an activity before and during any sort of ‘sex’ but as a sexual activity itself? Not in my opinion.

    Also I totally agree with what you say about the issues surrounding monogamy if that is the case.
    If you are non monogamous for spanking but monogamous for sexual activities, yet spanking is your sexual identity, then surely you are then non monogamous?

    Puzzling indeed!
    Very interested however, I do hope you get more thoughts on this topic! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Goddess Soria for taking the time to read and comment! I think spanking, as great as it is, is in it’s own category for me too and just find it a bit confusing to try and tie it in with gendered orientations. I also hope to learn more from others on this, and wonder if kinky people with other fetishes would also describe their fetish as their orientation? Or whether they see it as different.

      Kink itself is just a different category in my head! Pleased I wasn’t the only one a little puzzled, really hope for more thoughts too!

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  2. I think it’s important here not to confuse the act of “normal” sexual intercourse with sexual orientation. They are different things. For me being a spanko would be the same as considering myself either heterosexual or bisexual for example. I’m attracted to the act of spanking/ and spanking dynamics in a way that a heterosexual woman may be attracted to a man.

    For me without the element of spanking I’m just not attracted to a person, regardless of gender. So this means that spanking (and being a spanko) is a bigger part of my sexual identity than anything else. Without spanking (or a spanking dynamic) I just don’t (usually) have sexual feelings, I can admire someone who is good-looking but I have no further desire if it isn’t involved.

    But this doesn’t mean that spanking is the exact same to me as sex would be to a sex-orientated person, and it also doesn’t mean that spanking for me is always an act of sex. The act of sexual intercourse is almost unimportant here.

    Instead I think it’s better to compare being a “spanko” with being “heterosexual” for instance (rather than comparing spanking to sex). A relationship between a heterosexual man and woman is about a lot more than just sex, they could just be friends, there may be flirting, joking, foreplay – a million other things. I can only speak for myself when I say that for me spanking can have all of these different levels too. I can “play” with people who are just friends, I can have dynamics that are more serious, or I could have a more romantic spanking relationship with someone.

    Overall the point I’m making is that I can’t call myself a hetero, bi, gay, etc… The sexiest guy in the world could ask me out (in my dreams ha) but if he’s also not going to spank me then I would not be attracted to him.

    Spanking is my sexual orientation because it forms the very basis of attraction for me, without it, there’s nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for adding further thought and clarity on this Katie! I should add I also really liked in the vid how you said you were romantically monogamous but enjoy play with others, I think you articulated it so well.

      Discussions I had just naturally led onto ‘sex’ because it felt like Keenan was making that comparison by calling non-spankos ‘sex-orientated people’ and ‘how’ they love in the first place. I personally don’t like this ‘sex-orientated’ label. Before watching the videos, I’d always thought sex orientation is more gender-based, as in biological or chosen ‘sex’ like male/female/trans etc, the ‘who’, and therefore not comparable to ‘how’. I agree that acts of sex/intercourse don’t have to come into attraction, but in the same way neither does spanking. It is also the strong attraction and arousal that makes it comparable here, as well as being an ‘act’ and not a gender.

      I love spanking, but it’s almost in a category of it’s own and I guess I would argue I’m pansexual when it comes to being spanked, if it feels good it’s great regardless of gender. Do you see what I mean? I think the fact most people into spanking admit to having gender preferences romantically .. it shows they have different sex orientations (based on gender) as well as their fetish/kink orientations.

      But open to learning/adapting and keen to hear from other fetishists on this!

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  3. It’s so interesting hearing other people’s points of view on this! I don’t think there is a specific right or wrong answer because everyone thinks differently, so this is a great platform to talk about it!

    And I think the question of mono/ poly is a good one, for me it’s just about how we define it. I do only want one romantic relationship while still playing with other people (I’m just greedy! haha) so I know technically I would be considered poly – I’m totally OK with that ( =

    I see what you’re saying about sex orientation and it being traditionally gender-based, and I think this is how most people view it. But I think that’s changing. While for romantic relationships I definitely have a preference towards men, my first preference is for a spanko, that is the non-negotiable part.

    This is why I struggle with the traditional view of sexual orientation, it’s too simplified. Defining myself as a heterosexual woman just isn’t right for me, it’s more complicated than that. I just don’t think the traditional view of sexual orientation recognises me, it’s very exclusive to traditional normative sexual lifestyles.

    it’s just not enough for me that a man is a man, there’s no arousal or sexual attraction without spanking, which is why it’s the most important defining thing in my sexual orientation and identity. And I’m speaking as someone who does actually like sexual intercourse too! But saying that if I were never to have another romantic spanking dynamic again, I would also never have sex again – because spanking is the key thing here, without it I have zero sexual desire.

    And I think with the term ‘sex-orientated’ is in no way meant to be offensive. It’s intended more to show a distinction that for some people sex is the end goal/ main event and for others it’s not. And it’s so important to have this distinction. I’ve played with a lot of guys in the scene and now I prefer to play only with those who think the same way as me (so they see spanking and not sex as the main event/ end goal). Honestly I’m tired of pretending to enjoy a little spanking as foreplay and then long “normal” sex sessions. Spanking is 100% not foreplay to me. It’s the be all and end all, the main exciting amazing event! Sex sometimes comes after and that’s great! But if it doesn’t I’m happy and satisfied regardless ( = Put another way spanking for me is not just an element of sex.

    Also yes totally agree that traditional sexual orientation (towards a gender) also plays a part for a lot of people, it works in tandem with their sexual identity as a spanko, it’s just that for some people being a spanko is a bigger part.

    ANYWAY so sorry for the long ramble on your blog post haha. Spanking just so happens to be my absolute favourite thing to talk about!!! ( =

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t apologise I really appreciate it. It has and is still really making me think. With gender becoming so fluid, how helpful even is sexual orientation as a thing!? I don’t fit into the old version either, or at least I would be more than one. If spanko is included, I think it has to be open to all fetishes/kinks/core attractions .. I guess where I feel sad is that I want to say I’m a spankee, but as I like other things too I feel now like I can’t, sex also often isn’t the end goal, but I this is the same for a lot of non-kinky heterosexual people too, intimacy often lies in care and kindness. So maybe I could be a spankee but it’s not my orientation, but this is what I meant by not feeling like a true one – but maybe i’m not, like I’m not truly heterosexual. Maybe I should class myself as queer? I think maybe the best thing to do is ask what labels people prefer.

      I’m also now thinking, how when I have work interviews and they do the anonymous equal opportunities questionnaire bit, I normally tick bisexual. I appreciate the point of this is to be more inclusive/monitor discrimination which I’m normally in favour of. But I think it would be more inclusive to not share this with work at all. I’m thinking I might start ticking other or prefer not say!

      As for monogamy, I’m like you, but with the definitions shared above I’d say I am still technically non-monogamous rather than poly. I think this too needs to remain variable and could even change for me. Other people may see me as poly, which I’m fine with but would correct, as most kinky interactions for me are playful and I want one core partner. I also don’t personally like the hierarchical poly description of primary, secondary, tertiary. All relationships are meaningful ones for me but I class a lot as friendships.

      Soo much food for thought!
      Miss you
      xxx

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  4. I really enjoyed reading your blog. When I read Jillian Keenan’s book I was really taken with the idea of spanking as a sexual orientation because if we define sex as physical contact of genitals then I’m completely uninterested be that with men or women. Spanking on the other hand…. And within that I would much prefer to be spanked by a woman but have only ever been spanked by men. For years when faced with those equal opportunities forms where it asks sexuality if there’s a option for none then I tick that but there usually isn’t so I tick prefer not to say. Although it isn’t that I prefer not to say, I just don’t know what to put. I am totally with you that to be spanked for behaviour that actually needs correcting feels unnecessarily mean, abusive or just annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts! Obviously you are a good girl like me and just need no correction 😘 Although it sounds like you need to meet Goddess Soria!! I’m definitely recognising issues with ‘sex orientation’ in general. Maybe I’ll start writing ‘other’ or ‘questioning’ even if it’s not on a form! I also like that with spankos even if I am very aroused, other sexual play is often not expected, it’s safe and playful and satisfying within itself, similarly with rope.

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      1. I’m terribly good. If I were in a cartoon there’d be an arrow pointing at me saying ‘Goody-two-shoes’. I would love to meet Goddess Soria some day but I think I’ll have to wait till the children leave home so that’s many years away. For now, I’ll keep watching the video clips of you and her.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t believe it took me so long to see this brilliant post! I also have been racking my brains after watching those videos!
    First of all, I’m 100% sure that I am a true spanko, because it’s such a big part of me that I think about spanking literally all the time. Only spanking (in discipline scenarios), nothing else. So is spanking my sexual orientation? I thought so at first, because I’ve never craved sex, or anything related to genitals, the way I do spanking. I get bored with sex after 5 minutes, but I can never get bored with spanking even if I keep at it for hours and days. What doesn’t fit is the fact that it’s generally not sexual for me, in the sense that I might find myself aroused sometimes, but like I’ve never felt the need or the urge to masturbate watching spanking videos, for example. Maybe I am asexual, so can’t fit on the Keenan scale, but I’ve had vanilla relationships with men and women I was attracted to and it’s mostly been an attraction of the mind, so maybe I’m actually sapiosexual. So many labels these days!
    Nevertheless, I believe it can be like sex for some individuals who think of it that way. If they can get sexual satisfaction from a spanking session, I don’t see why it can’t be considered as sex. So my opinion is that spanking can be just spanking, but it can also be sex depending on how people view it. One could also only perceive it as sex in some circumstances and not all the time, because they might only be able to reach that sense of satisfaction in some cases.
    That said, I do agree that if someone thinks of spanking as their sex, then playing with more than one person should be considered non-monogamous.

    As to the question whether spanking can correct behaviour, I would say that the act on its own cannot, because behaviour comes from either decision or habit so, in either case, it comes your conscious or subconscious mind. If you are to modify that, it takes something that has a deep psychological impact, not to mention that the spankee’s mind needs to be willing to accept the change, which is easier said than done.
    As someone who is also extremely self-critical and a bit of a perfectionist, I’ve always noticed more of my flaws than my qualities. I’ve spent so long hoping to find the ideal disciplinarian who could “fix” me, until I realised that I might not meet this person for years to come and couldn’t just let my life slide until then. What if I never meet that person? Do I just grow old messing up my life? I would rather not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading Christy! What a wonderfully thoughtful reply. It seems lots of us agree we just love spanking for spanking and not for actual correction! I think I am also sapiosexual, intellect is very attractive indeed! And yes I’m finding the labels run the risk of pigeon holing people when everyone is their own unique mix when it comes to attraction. I’m still unsure and don’t want to limit myself to a label in fear of missing out on an amazing connection I may not have expected! I’m really enjoying all the conversations the videos have started and learning more about myself the more I hear from others and discuss! Xx

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