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woman ready for punishment 21406094_sHello, everyone! Did you realize that October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month”? I think that’s a very pertinent topic as we regard spanking romance novels. A great many people — not you, of course — think that spanking is violence. Somehow this usually pertains only to women getting spanked, though men go in for it too occasionally. But that’s a topic for another post. We’ll focus on women today.

Let me tell you why I don’t think Domestic Discipline (spanking, corner time, writing lines) is “domestic violence”. Two words tell it all, as far as I’m concerned, injury and victim. No one, not one person, in my spanking romance books, intends to injure the person being spanked. Pain is not injury. Pain is a reminder, so long as it doesn’t go further. The people in my books, and the vast majority of other spanking novels, are loving couples who believe in male dominance and female submission. The spankee does not feel like a victim; she feels like she’s being cared for and nurtured. Attitude counts.

No, I do not condone violence against others. But it’s dangerous when you lump every touch into one category, without nuance or serious thought. Spanking is not injurious, and in Domestic Discipline relationships, it is accepted, even welcomed, by both parties. No one is a victim.

So, let’s contemplate “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” carefully. Do you feel that a woman who chooses to be spanked is a victim of domestic violence?

Food for thought.



  1. A timely post, Trish. I agreed that education is needed.

    • Thank you, Cara. I think each of us writing spanking or BDSM romance are making a difference. What we do is the kind of education we get in kindergarten with picture books. More complex, of course, but easily digested.

  2. For me, Patricia, it comes down to the notion of consent. In the BDSM community, we talk about consent a lot. To me, I see consent happening in every spanking romance I’ve read. Sure, maybe not in the moment, but the relationship as a whole is consented to. It’s like the lifestyle D/s relationship I live in; my Master doesn’t seek my verbal consent for every thing He does because I consented at the beginning of the relationship and we regularly check in with each other not in the heat of emotion and arousal. There is also the issue of “knowledgeable consent,” a little more than just consent, yes. I came to this relationship with years of BDSM experience, knowing what I wanted, having an intellectual idea of what it would be like to live this way 24/7. I also chose this- it’s not my culture telling me this is the only acceptable way to live. In fact, I’ve had so-called feminists tell me that I’d made the wrong choice :(. As I’ve challenged many a person, try to find a domestic abuse victim who talks, writes, and reads about abuse as constantly as I do about BDSM- this is not abuse.

    • I was a part of the BDSM community for quite some time, and yes, consent is key.There are entire classes at the big clubs, focusing on consent and only consent. I think that’s valuable.

      Rabid feminists are the bane of my existence. Which is not to knock all feminists, only the ones who have an agenda that involves getting rid of men. I like men. 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by to give your opinion. It’s valuable to the discussion.

  3. I know mostly women bring up the idea of DD into a relationship. I longed for a DD relationship really from the time I can remember. But these thoughts of rules, discipline, spanking all seemed so taboo I waited until I was well into middle age before bringing them up. When you have a good relationship with two mature partners DD can be a truly wonderful things for both parties.

    My only fear is that some young women have this longing long before they have the maturity to tell the difference between a dominate man and an abusive bully. I feel I could have been swayed by a charming abuser had I been exposed to one in my late teens and early twenties.

    DD can be great, but go slow. Love, trust and mutual caring should come first if you are beginning a new relationship. Be sure the man you care for is worthy of the gift of your submission and mature enough to handle it.

    • You bring up a good point, PK. Maturity is an issue in terms of consent. However, after 18, none of us has the right to tell a young woman she’s not mature enough to make those decisions. Moms and Dads have the *opportunity* to tell their adult children, but they can’t make them stop unwise behavior. The predators are the ones that need to be shunned and punished, but to do that, we need a clearer picture and sounder wisdom about what is abuse and what is guidance. Certainly, bullying is abuse, hands down. Thank you for giving your perspective. I appreciate it.

  4. Not being in a DD relationship, I’ve come to understand them, at least a little, almost entirely through Trish’s books. And yes, in the beginning I couldn’t see the difference between “abuse” and “spanking.” But I do have an open mind and gave it a chance to convince me otherwise. It’s still not my cup of tea personally, but the books portray the characters as being in a loving relationship where no one is to be harmed and everyone is to be a better person for it. And I enjoy them because they are well-written and present something different than what I know. I totally agree that abuse is a horrible problem; spanking within a DD relationship between consenting adults, in my opinion, is not. Excellent, thought-provoking post, Trish.

    • Thanks, Jenna. I’m glad the post made sense. I find current political correctness so conflicting, where one behavior that was frowned upon in the past is suddenly okay, while another behavior that was encouraged in the past is suddenly frowned upon in the name of “protecting the victims.” Yes, victims do need protection, but strong people, comfortable with their DD relationships are not victims. They are participants. The difference is huge. I’m glad you came by to comment.

  5. As a spanked and spanking husband, I find it ironic to be asked as part of the now routine doctor’s-appointment intake interview if I “feel safe at home.” I do NOT tell my doctor “Yes, and never more so than when I am over my wife’s thigh getting my bottom smacked good and hard,” but it’s true enough. And this is not diminished by the fact that the general rule is that the spanking isn’t over till the spanker says it is. (We have a safeword but almost never does either of us actually use it.)

    This said, it should be noted that our arrangement is not domestic discipline; we spank as foreplay or when we feel we need our attitude adjusted. I think a DD household may have to be much more vigilant that the power relations remain consensual. In our house there may well be behavior in need of correction but that gets negotiated through talk as neither of us feels that a spanking is the appropriate way to accomplish this; indeed, much though there are occasions when each would LIKE to give the spouse a proper punishment spanking it is precisely because the issues are real and need to be solved cognitively that this is not an option (though I personally would like to get to the place where, when I am convinced I have not behaved well towards her, after the discussion a sound spanking would seal the bargain.)

    And yes, there is a

    • And yes, there is a real phenomenon of domestic violence out there that deserves to have an awareness month. I once participated in an intervention and helped a neighbor get out of an abusive relationship complicated by her own ambivalence about her lover’s alternating affection and brutality — obvious enough to the rest of us that she would be much better off out of it (as indeed she came to agree once taking the leap of faith to leave him). I think spankos may be better positioned than most, and therefore under an enhanced epistemic responsibility, to read the subtleties in such situations because we have all at one time or another had to reconcile the “as-if” of what is, after all, a humiliating and painful experience with the sensory and emotional payoff within a carefully negotiated real-life relationship in which no really does mean no.

    • I’m glad you dropped by, Nick. I’ll reply to your two comments in this one answer. I absolutely, totally, agree that there is a real problem with domestic violence. Oddly enough, physical altercations are more often started by women than men (a push, a punch, a slap upside the head, a bite). Unfortunately, because women are almost always smaller than men, when men finish the argument, it’s the woman who’s injured. Not always, though, and it’s a hopeless way to resolve anything.

      A negotiation, either before DD is initiated or at each incidence, is an excellent way to structure things. I think there needs to be mutual agreement and consensus among the parties. Without that, it is bullying and intolerable. Trust has to be maintained or the “relationship” is a hollow, nightmarish shell. I think trust is an integral part of any relationship, no matter the label you put on it.

      I hope you find what you’re looking for with regard to your own relationship, Nick. It sounds like you’ve got a good scaffold in place to get there. And your partner is with you on the journey.

  6. My husband did not agree to spank me, because of his fear that it was violent and abusive. He “saw” some other men online, and felt they were pushing their power over their wives, instead of trying to nurture them.

    I can’t say if that is what those men were doing, or not, but I can say that hubby had a very valid “fear”.

    It took a lot of communicating, on both of our sides, for me to express my needs, and for him to understand that I do feel safer, and more cared for, when he takes me in hand.

    I choose to submit to him for myself and the betterment of our relationship. I choose to accept his guidance and /or punishments when he chooses to give them. For my relationship, I firmly believe ours is not abusive.

    Thanks for posting, Patricia.
    Noone deserves to be abused, belittled or injured in any way. My prayers go out to the men and women that do suffer from abuse.

    And no one deserves to be humilitated because they want to be in a “different” relationship than is considered “normal”.

    Great post, Trish!

    • Thanks, Katherine. I was looking over my holiday list and though maybe I would so something a little controversial for a change. Usually, I stick to “safe” topics. But I really feel strongly about DD not being abuse, and find it frustrating when people automatically assume the submissive partner is some sort of milquetoast or mental case. So long as no one is being damaged, either physically or mentally, it is wrong to point a finger and say it’s “sick.” I find that rabid feminists are the absolute worst about this, and yet, if you pointed to lesbian relationships and call them unnatural or twisted, they’d be the first ones to castigate you. Just as we now think GLBT relationships are okay, so too we should accept that people have a variety of alternate lifestyles that are perfectly acceptable, including BDSM, DD and polyamory. Attitudes change over time, so hopefully the attitude toward DD will change also, given some exposure through reputable books that aren’t hidden in dark corners.

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