In common with many of you, I discovered a love of spanking as a fairly young child; I remember playing spanking games in infant school as a six year old.
I never wondered why spanking excited me so, despite spending time each day thinking about it. Clearly I was not a sexual being at that age, so the attraction lies some way beyond the prosaic erotic one.
As a child I was always aware that most of the people I knew and played with (in the general rather than spanko sense) had no interest in smacked bottoms. I remember reading Fantastic Four issue 164, which contained a reference to the Thing putting the Invisible Woman over his knee, and running to share this with my best friend, a fellow comic fan, who just shrugged.
However there were always one or two whose eyes lit up at any mention of a spanking.
As far as I know neither of my parents had any interest in spanking; whilst I grew up when corporal punishment was still a popular tool they never really practised it, beyond the odd slap when I was quite young.
As far as I know neither of my children have any interest in spanking. We are pretty open about sexual relations, and my son felt able to share his urge towards bisexuality when he was 16, so I think I'd at least have an inkling. We are non-judgemental, and I suppose quite liberal.
In my case I don't think the spanking urge was passed down to me, and I can't see that I was unduly influenced by environmental factors as I grew up. I don't have a clue as to where my total fascination and basically life-changing obsession with spanking came from.
I regret, in many ways, that I didn't grow up 20 years or so later, as I think that there are more avenues available to the average spanko to practice his art now than has previously been the case. The proliferation of the internet has made it possible to safely link up with like minded individuals. It has also made contacting professionals easier.
I'm 51 years old. From the time I was 22 until 4 years ago I had never smacked the bottom of anyone other than my wife, and, whilst she seemed to be quite into it when we first started going out, over the years she has become less keen. During the last few years spanking has been confined to the bedroom, as a form of foreplay.
In a house with two teenagers our opportunities to indulge in any kind of noisy sex are severely limited.
I am hugely pleased that we now live in a society where most people accept the existence of gay men and women; while I accept that it's not always easy for some to come out to their loved ones the vicious and ugly abuse that was a norm even when I was young has decreased. I'm not sure it will ever entirely be eliminated, as, in the words of Game of Thrones "There's no cure for being a cunt" and some people just are. But most are better and more accepting.
Sadly, despite the increasing mainstream interest in spanking, I don't think that the average Daily Mail reader would be as tolerant if faced with a self confessed spankophile.
Some of this comes from the traditional image of spankers, as whip-wielding sadists, or ogre-like teachers mercilessly thrashing their charges with a bamboo rod. Spankees meanwhile are portrayed as spineless wimps, who get off on all types of physical and verbal abuse.
Now, you and I, old chum, know that this is not how we are. I struggle to explain my interest in spanking, but I know that I am neither sadist or masochist.
Spanking is, by definition, an act intended to provoke pain. It would be a pretty ineffectual punishment if it were not. I like spanking. I like to see spanking videos where the spankees clearly experience discomfort. Therefore I like pain. I am a sadist.
Like fuck I am. I like pain when administered either to the bottom of a woman, or administered by a woman to the bottom of a man.
I do not like pain when administered any other way. I will happily watch a spanking model being given six of the best across her naked bottom. Try to show me even one stroke across her hands and I'll run in the opposite direction.
I love the sensation of being spanked. I love the slap of palm on (somewhat flabby) flesh. I love the heat, and sting. I warm to the splash of a paddle against my cheeks. I even quite enjoy the burning stripe of a cane across my bum. I thoroughly crave the ache I feel in the muscles of my buttocks for a couple of days after a thorough spanking. I enjoy the sensations traditionally associated with punishment. I like the pain. I am a masochist.
Bollocks to that. I like pain in my bottom. Nowhere else. I dislike being slapped on the thighs or legs whilst in role play. I regard face slapping as ridiculous and insulting. I suffer quite bad arthritis, to the extent that the joints in my little fingers have entirely eroded, so that they don't bend and the nerves have effectively burnt out. Believe me, this was a gradual painful process, and I got no pleasure from it at all. Well, not until the nerves gave up anyway.
So I'm not a sadist or a masochist. Where does my love of spanking come from?
As an older teenager I remember telling a girl I had spanked at a party (and subsequently went out with for several months) that I liked to spank as a reaction to having a dominant mother. In those days I was purely a top (although I had never heard of that as concept). This made a little sense to me.
I'm pretty sure that I was wrong. I liked to spank before it ever occurred to me that my Mom had a stronger personality than other moms. I've never been drawn to women of my Mom's physical type.
A few years ago I became interested in being spanked. This came as a huge surprise to me, as it had never been anything I thought held any attraction for me. Perhaps seeing and reading about men being spanked on the internet provoked an interest. I think that, when I was young, the idea of what a man should be might have prevented me considering acting the more passive or submissive role.
I'm a few years past caring what anyone thinks of me, or what I do. I'm comfortable with my desires and needs. It could be that I was always inclined towards being a switch but that subconsciously I suppressed this until my conscious mind had matured enough to accept it.
Whatever the reasons for how I am, I really am comfortable with it. I accept that my fetish is outside the mainstream, but, largely through the internet, I have friends who share my needs. By pushing my comfort zone a bit further, and attending munches and spanking meets, there is the potential for me to develop real people relationships with fellow spankos, and perhaps even to play with some of them.
I'm still evolving.
It's taken me over fifty years to get this far. If, twenty years ago, I'd known what I know now, I'm sure I'd be more relaxed and confident now in dealing with spanking related issues, but that's just crying over burnt toast. Scraping off some of the blackened bits doesn't change what it is.
So, to return to the title of this post, or, more properly, to actually ask the question I hinted around, if one of your kids came to you and expressed an interest in spanking would you encourage them?
I find this an extremely difficult question.
Firstly, I think that parents have a duty to support their kids, whether you agree with their choices or not.
I'm just not sure that, in every case, a spanking obsession is the beginning of the road to a happy and fulfilled life. I'm sure it is for some, but I think a lot of us lurkers find it impossible to satisfy our cravings sufficiently.
Yes, I'm happy with what I want. I'm not happy with the degree to which I can satisfy my needs. I've seen a couple of professional spankees this year, on maybe 6 or 7 occasions. Financially I've had quite a good year, up until 2 months ago when illness interrupted it, and I could afford this.
Next year things might be tighter. And it's not like I wouldn't have had many more sessions if I could have paid for them.
Some of you out there are in spanking relationships, and I'm entirely jealous of you. Lucky, lucky bastards.
One of you is Mike the Spanking Dutchman, and words cannot begin to describe the depths of my envy for him.
Some of you are financially independent (for which read wealthy) and can afford frequent visits to these ladies we spank (and/or who spank us). I'm pretty jealous of you too.
Some of you have never gotten to play with either a professional or real life partner; I feel sorry for you, but at least you don't know what you're missing.
I think that the saddest cases are those, like myself, who get to experience some spanking, but nowhere near enough, and who can't significantly change things.
Self pity? Why, yes, of course. But I'm stuck in a rut.
Spanking is fun; it can be emotionally and physically satisfying. It may be a route to sexual pleasure.
It's not always easy though. I suspect that, for most of us, a spanking obsession has uncomfortable elements.
I confess that I'm happy that my parents aren't aware of my fascination with c.p. None of my friends, outside of the few I've made within the scene, are either. It makes for an easier life.
They say that you don't regret what you do, only what you don't. I'm not sure I entirely accept that, but I admit that it's the opportunities I've either never had, or else that I've let pass me by, that hurt the most. These are the ones that haunt me, and sometimes cost me sleep.
Would I recommend spanking? As a lifetime fascination?
Nah. I don't think so.
But my life would be a greyer, colder place without it. At times writing this blog has kept me going when other things have made life seem a bit too much trouble.
I know that, however fed up I may be, I can log onto my PC and watch a few of my favourite spanking videos, and be taken to a more charming place.
It's not a perfect life, but it has it's compensations.
Are you glad that you're a spanko?
All the best
Pictures taken from Real Life Spanking, courtesy of the generosity of Mike the Spanking Dutchman. None of them are strictly relevant to the words, but it's nice to distract you from what I'm actually saying when I start to make less sense than usual.
All images feature the spectacularly gorgeous Leandra, just because I like watching her being spanked.