I have a slight masochistic kink. How can I persuade my strait-laced ( though loving ) wife that occasionally beating my bum with a hairbrush before, during, or sometimes instead of sex is harmless fun rather than a disgusting perversion ?
Dr Thomas Stuttaford is The Times doctor. He says: Sado-masochism is difficult to define. In medical terms masochism, your particular proclivity, is defined as recurrent intense sexual urges which have persisted for at least six months of being subjected to acts, real and not simulated, of being humiliated, beaten, bound or otherwise made to suffer. Erotic beatings are only one example of the genre. It is said that mild degrees of masochism are common and the psychiatric teaching is that masochistic fantasies are experienced by nearly everyone. I can think of one exception.
Although these fantasies start in childhood it is only in adult life when they begin to have sexual partners that people have opportunities of pursuing these urges. Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the 19th-century aristocrat and author of Venus in Furs, delighted in playing the part of a humble and sometimes errant slave to women. His first great experience with a woman was with Anna von Kottwitz, who was the stereotype dominatrix, older and more experienced, dominating and powerful.
The 21st-century socialised manifestations of the desires of Sacher-Masoch is the token patting or smacking for imagined misbehaviour so that the chastised partner may then, having received appropriate punishment and been forgiven, give a great display of the love they feel.
Other people owe their masochistic desires to their childhood, when they were powerless in the presence of their mother, the woman they loved best, and were smacked on their bottoms for trivial misdemeanours. Which category being smacked by your wife with a hairbrush falls into is open to question. What is certain is that if your wife doesn’t care for the idea of beating you, however much a token it might be, you shouldn’t insist.
Beating, flagellation, humiliation, all are common paraphilias (abnormal sexual desires); less common are those patients who want to be seriously hurt. I was always surprised by the stories told to me by prostitutes in the clinic of the degree of humiliation which some men found pleasing. Their clients wanted to be treated as a slave, stripped, beaten and examined before being led around on a chain, manacled or incarcerated. Their clients’ desires were as weird as the equipment needed to satisfy them. What is abnormal is if a man or woman can achieve sexual fulfilment only as the result of sadomasochism before, during or after sexual intercourse.
It is assumed by the authors of An Outline of Psychiatry, a standard textbook of psychiatry now in its tenth edition, that all men display “mildly sadistic trends”, but these don’t usually find expression in inflicting serious pain, merely the euphemistic love pats. Masochistic tendencies are more common in women. Flagellation clubs for women existed in the 17th and 18th centuries. They met once a week for mutual beatings, rather as reading groups might meet to discuss books today.
It is assumed that those women who enjoy mild masochistic foreplay do so because they still subconsciously feel that women are the passive partner. Conversely, the man has been encouraged since childhood to be assertive and dominant. The late Anthony Storr, the distinguished Oxford psychiatrist, wrote that it wasn’t uncommon in clinical practice to find even quite intensely masochistic women who needed some masochistic foreplay to become erotically aroused but that he had rarely come across the whip-cracking, sadistic dominatrix other than in men’s imaginations or in prostitutes.
Suzi Godson is a sex writer and columnist. She says: I have to admit that I’m curious as to how you managed to meet, marry and get a mortgage with your strait-laced wife without ever mentioning your “masochistic kink”. It strikes me as odd that you could develop such an intimate relationship yet fail to share the fact that you have a penchant for being spanked on the bum. And I suspect that it will strike your wife as kind of odd, too.
Having a fetish is not a big deal as long as your partner digs it and no one gets hurt. But since your wife didn’t vow to share her marital bed with a hairbrush, you ought to appreciate that the biggest hurdle you face won’t be persuading her that spanking is fun but convincing her that your sex life to date has not been a total sham.
A hairbrush fetish doesn’t constitute infidelity in a physical sense, but you haven’t exactly been honest with her, have you? If she sees your “kink” as undermining the connection between the two of you, or her sexual significance to you, not only will there be no spanking, there will be no sex either. So tread carefully because you are, in effect, treading on her ego.
If you tell her the truth she will undoubtedly have questions. How long have you felt like this? Have you done it before? Where? With whom? Mason Pearson or Denman? One of her main concerns will be trying to establish the level of masochism attached to your “kink”. Like piercing, spanking can be as “aah” as a pearl earring or as “ouch” as a Prince Albert, and right now you are the only one who can reassure her that what you want really is only harmless fun.
Since fetishes don’t appear overnight she will probably conclude that this has been preying on your mind for some time. And as you don’t appear to have had an outlet for your interest she will probably accuse you, rightly or wrongly, of indulging it online. This may be your undoing because the majority of spanking websites are a rather disturbing collection of images of red raw bottoms with whiplash marks, weeping wounds, welts and blisters. If your wife sees any of this, you will be using a comb until you go bald.
If you want to avoid the Spanish Inquisition (though you might actually get off on that), I suggest that, initially, you should dress up your rather specific fantasy as a general desire for more experimental sex.
Though relatively few people get into heavy fetish, most couples mess around with blindfolds and restraints (we’re talking Rotary Club ties and nylon tights, not cuffs and manacles) at some stage. And if your wife is open to the suggestion of gentle bondage, theoretically you should then be able to introduce your hairbrush as a natural extension of this mild sub/dom behaviour.
By knitting it into a wider process of sexploration, your longing to be spanked won’t stand out as a screaming fetish and that might make it more acceptable to her.
The fact that your wife is “strait-laced” may actually work in your favour too. Spanking is a form of sexual role play and people typically choose “personalities” which are very opposite to their real character.
Your rather conservative wife might just come into her own as a mistress/dominatrix if you give her enough encouragement. And it will of, course, give her an opportunity to punish you for the fact that you have kept your “dirty little secret” from her for so long.