Trigger warning for Hurts Me More Than You series: posts in this series may include detailed descriptions of corporal punishment and physical abuse and violence towards children.
Additional content warning for Deborah and Janet’s stories: descriptions of sexual arousal and sexual abuse from corporal punishment.
I always felt traumatized by spanking whether it was me or someone else. When I was really young I would try to get my teenage brother in trouble but to be fair he tried to get me in trouble a lot too and teased me a lot. Once I got to be a couple years older I didn’t ever want to get people in trouble. Somehow, it just seemed so much worse for them to get spanked than most things they might do to annoy me.
Anyway, even though my parents generally only hit me once, it was done/threatened for all kinds of things from the look on my face, to not closing a door carefully enough that would often slam itself shut when the window was open, to a vague statement from my mom to my dad about not getting a lot done for him that day because she had to take care of me and teach me school at eight years old.
Sometimes I even got smacked without verbal warning while sitting on my dad’s lap if I was sitting in a way that hurt him and I didn’t realize it.
I got spanked pretty much every day from before I was old enough to remember until I hit puberty at ten. Then I got lectured pretty much every day and spanked sometimes. The last time I got spanked, I was fourteen. I cried all day because I felt completely degraded. I had worked so hard to become a competent homemaker and learn to be a proper submissive woman only to find I would still be hit if I had an opinion. It didn’t really hurt that much, but inside it was devastating.
The worst part of getting spanked was never the humiliation or the pain or the endless guilt and self-loathing or even the forced hugs and prayers. The worst part was that every single time I got spanked, I would get turned on. A lot of people hear this and say something along the lines of, “Well that is why you should never spank someone past puberty.” I have news for you. It didn’t start at puberty. If it had, I might have been able to understand that it was something sexual or weird. It started by my earliest memories of being spanked. I remember it every time I remember getting spanked. I just thought it was part of the deal. It wasn’t until I learned about sexual arousal as an adult that I understood it.
Imagine how disgusting it would be to grow up thinking something was normal only to find out that your parents were causing you to be sexually aroused while hurting you on a daily basis for your entire childhood and occasionally in your teens.
The trauma this caused me really can’t be properly described. I don’t have the words to explain how it feels to this day.
So to anyone considering spanking their children, just please, please don’t. It is not worth the risk to their bodies or their emotional and sexual health. Sure it may not affect every child this way, but if it does affect your child that way you will probably never know and never be able to even say you are sorry much less make it right. It is a form of sexual abuse to some children at least and now you know it.
Why would you take the risk of sexually abusing your own child?
I was being spanked for squirming while being spanked for getting mad while being spanked for throwing my math book on the floor because I desperately wanted to understand but no one could explain in words I could grasp.
Sure, throwing a textbook on the floor and sobbing in frustrated rage isn’t going to further my education. But neither is spanking my eight year old self for expressing my utter rage that I didn’t have someone who could help me understand. I desperately wanted to learn and most things came easy for me, but math wasn’t that way.
It had been easy for my mom in grade school and high school, so she didn’t have the words to explain to my stumped mind. When I would slam my book shut and cry because the frustration was so great I physically hurt, I was ushered into the bedroom, my skirt hiked up, my underwear dragged down, and I was spanked – first for one thing, then another, then another. Compound spankings lasting sometimes as long as an hour were a common element of my growing up years. I can remember getting five, six, even seven separate spankings all in a row because each time I wouldn’t fully “surrender.” I remember my mom sobbing while she spanked me, saying how she just wanted me to submit — all I needed to do was let her break my will and it would be over. Too bad breaking wasn’t my cup of tea.
First it was a fiberglass stick, until it got too short to sting because it had been broken over my bare backside too many times. Then it was a wooden spoon. Several, actually, because they kept breaking too.
Different families have different methods for how they spank. Some say pants on, some say pants off. Some determine it based on how severe the infraction was. For me it was always sans-underwear, no matter what.
For a young child raised in the extreme end of purity culture (short sleeves were immodest until my parents “loosened up” and allowed them when I was around 10), demanding that your child strip naked from the waist down for punishment (often doing it herself) was incredibly confusing and embarrassing. In retrospect, being naked in front of my mother or father was worse for me than the spanking itself, because it was so ingrained in me that good Christian girls must cover themselves from neck to wrist to ankle.
Spankings became a time when I was not only physically hurt, but also forced against my will to show my body — something that only the wicked hell-bound world did.
My early childhood memories are a strange jumble and sometimes I wonder if I’ve really remembered everything correctly. Were the spankings really that bad? Really that scarring? Sometimes I’m tempted to pass memories off as creative embellishment, since I have a vibrant imagination.
But then I remember the two things that began so young I can’t remember a time without them: spankings and masturbation. Maybe there wasn’t a link at the very beginning – somewhere around the age of two or three, I think – but there was soon enough. I masturbated to self-soothe after spankings. Then, whenever I was trying to survive those moments in which I waited in dread of the impending spanking. Eventually I did it when I was frustrated too, or just plain bored.
I began to imagine being spanked to arouse myself (though it’s weird to type the word “arouse” since I had no grasp of what was even happening). I pictured myself being forced to strip, doing things that I hated, that made me feel sick, vulnerable, and ashamed, feeling the burning hits on my bottom. I imagined it in vivid detail as I would touch my little five year old body. Yes, you read that right: five. Maybe I imagined it even earlier than that – I don’t remember. But it went on for years.
Before I knew the slightest thing about sexuality I’d already spent nearly ten years masturbating to the equivalent of BDSM fantasies — all inspired by the spankings I endured.
I still can’t find the words to express what that childhood was like. Whatever your personal opinion is on BDSM, I think we can all agree that it’s not healthy in the context of a five year old’s everyday imagination! It’s taken me years to break that mental link between physical pain/humiliation and sexuality.
Of course my parents knew none of this. They caught me masturbating once or twice and were at a complete loss for what to do. I think they probably tried to deny that I was even masturbating. Nor did they know what to do when they discovered that at the age of nine I was making out with other girls my age. “That’s a sin,” they would say, “don’t do that.” They probably prayed and cried a lot, and talked in hushed tones about what to do, but they never made the connection in their mind. They still don’t know why I did it or what I
My parents really did love me and I know they were only spanking me because they thought that’s what God wanted them to do. Would they even believe me now if I told them? I don’t blame them as much as I blame the generally held belief among fundamentalist Christians that if you spank your children nothing will go wrong. Something went very wrong with me.
So tell me, readers:
Am I the only one who laid in bed at night masturbating to the thought of my parents forcing me to strip from the waist down and lay down defenseless in front of them so they could spank me? Am I as alone as I feel?
No, you’re not the only one. I could have written this article myself; every word in it applies to me as well. Unfortunately, I have yet to successfully “break that mental link between physical pain/humiliation and sexuality.” You are not alone.
You aren’t alone. I never masturbated as a child (I didn’t know I could, because I was afraid of my body), but I experienced sexual arousal (without know what it was) from fantasies of spanking (but not the real thing, that was too humiliating and painful) from as early as I can remember. I have no interest in condemning people who are into BDSM, but experiencing arousal from things connected to my very worst memories is incredibly traumatic for me, even to this day.
Janet, You are definitely NOT the only one..
I’m shaking almost too much to type, so bear with me.
You can read my comment on Polly’s story, which I won’t rehash again here. Suffice it to say, I’m another person who was involuntarily aroused while being spanked. My mother always held me down hard against her knee/lap or the edge of the bed. I was a little kid, painfully rock hard, mashed into a firm surface. My genitals hurt regularly for years.
Although I do not enjoy spanking/bdsm as an adult, I completely understand and validate those that do (especially if they grew up like I did). You are free to enjoy whatever you want.
I also happened to end up using masturbation as a soothing technique, and it’s one of the three types of soothing I put together with my therapist. It took until I was 22 years old to be able to soothe without terrible fundamentalist shame. I’m very lucky to be married to an amazingly open-minded and loyal woman (who is also processing her own issues), and to have a therapist who can handle a LOT of abuse trauma memories.
I know some parents think masturbating is a sin or addiction, and I always hate hearing that now. Don’t spank your kids, period, and especially don’t spank them for masturbating. Your intentions or motivations or biblical beliefs do not matter, parents—only your actions and the outcomes.
You absolutely are not alone with this story. I too became aroused by spankings, I can remember being about 4 and tattling on myself and suggesting a spanking as punishment. I masturbated as far back as I can remember, it started as something I did before a spanking to help me get though the pain and eventually grew into a self soothing technique. I feel kinky and dirty and confused about it all now, in a sense I really was sexually abused by my parents, the knew it turned me on and still didn’t stop
Oh god, Janet.
Your whole post.
My stomach is in knots, I’m triggered as hell, I’m flashing back to dozens and dozens of memories. Feeling waves of guilt, of confusion, of the sick nauseating somehow-breathtaking panic. Remembering how I felt, remembering things done to me, things I did, remembering the thought that something must be horribly horribly wrong with me.
I’m so sorry. And you aren’t alone. Not at all.
I have often had that very same thought of “Don’t spank into puberty… but I was turned on by it as long as I can remember and didnt develop until 12..” I swore up and down that I had never masturbated, because I truly believed I hadn’t. I had no idea that “the feeling that makes me have to pee when I rub my”self”” was maturbating. Like I got married insisting I never had and then I realized after marriage I’d been doing it since I was 4, but I didn’t know that’s what it was. I took would do it before and after spankings because I liked THAT feeling I just didn’t like the pain.
I also wondered why it was so very important to be “modest modest modest” and yet it was fine for my dad to see me “bare down there”…granted those stopped in early elementary, if he spanked me after that it was always over my underwear, but still it confused me. And made me feel ashamed.
So familiar – how on earth did you progress through the healing after this? I grew up with similar behaviors, and it tortures me now.
You are certainly not alone. Small negligible details are different regarding frequency of spankings. But otherwise your story shares in all the key aspects as my own. Beginning at age 3-4 being whipped with a belt, in violent anger, by my father who in a state of rage, stripped me naked and beat me with his belt with all the strength of he had. A forty year old especially muscular man. I have such early memories fantasizing about being tortured. Even that word was in mind . I remember tangling myself in the legs of two upside down chairs, as I twisted my limbs with 8 of from the chair. Imagining it was my cage and I was forded to endure a very alluring mix of emotion . The slury of pain, humiliation, and emotional pleasure, Iidentify now as arousal. Once riding home from Safeway on a grocery shopping trip. I sat crammed in the car with all the grocery bags. The cold quart of milk, was positioned up against my clitoris. It felt good and too much all at the same time. I needed relief , yet I strived to endure, to undertake torchure. And saw endurance in this way a worthy aim. Where, I have asked myself did such concepts and knowledge and practiced behaviors come from in a girl my age. At this age I would achieve orgasm riding toys similar to big wheels , one was a plastic motorcycle, and the vibration as I rode it back and forth along the side walk brought me regularly to orgasm. At that age that was the only method I used to reach that state.
My therapist, one internationally recognized , in Childhood Sexual Trama. Believes my arousal response to anything to do with aspects of my personal story of having been whipped with a belt, as a result of FUSION.
His belief that I having been sexually abused, was also whipped at such times as to blur the it all into a melting pot of fused emotions.
Personally I’m still searching for further understanding, in my specific story, as to the origins. I have read hundreds of personal accounts of children who have an arrousal response to there abuse. BUT I AM STUNNED, as your story reveals fantasies nearly identical to mine. Never having read a first hand account speaking g exactly to this same shared experience , in which I hope to learn a greater understanding of all their causes of origin.
Thank you for sharing so explicitly .
You are not alone.
Not alone at all. And I’m so glad you posted this because there’s still so little out there about it. Almost everything spanking-related online is either (1) porn/erotica, (2) pro-spank parents defending their choices; or (3) science that says spanking harms kids. The latter will sometimes mention how it can affect children’s sexuality, but it seems for most people it’s still too taboo or incomprehensible to talk about.
I had a slightly different experience in that I wanted to *give* spankings, not receive them. When I did receive them as a very young girl, it felt like rape–justified rape, because wasn’t I a nasty little creature for wanting to do that to someone else? I wish I could go back and hold that girl and tell her she’s not evil or messed up and that none of this is her fault; that we can’t control our desires but we *can* control our boundaries, if we’re brave enough; and that no one ever gets to hurt us without our consent. Especially those we most trust.
No, you aren’t. I was spanked quite often as a child, sometimes for things that I hadn’t even done. I realized that it aroused me at six years old, and have been aroused by spanking ever since. The difference is, I have no shame in admitting that I am aroused by spanking because in my logic there is nothing wrong with it. Sure, I get horny and masturbate multiple times a day but I have been doing it for 16 years with no side-affects. Perhaps I was one of the few people to have my sexual maturity interrupted by frequent spanking at a young age (all the way up to the age of 14) and not have a problem with it, because simply being horny and masturbating isn’t a bad thing.
Yep, same here as the original posters–and no, I’m not ok with it. This isn’t about whether sexual arousal and masturbation are “ok,” it’s about whether children, like everyone else, have a right to be free from sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact and stimulation. That fact that some kids don’t mind being spanked, even when they eroticize it, doesn’t imply that those of us who DO mind just need to become more accepting of our sexuality! That’s like saying because some people really enjoy sex, rape victims shouldn’t complain–or that because one kid had a positive sexual experience with an adult, adult-to-child sex doesn’t really cause any harm–or that one adult who gets turned on by consensual spanking with a partner can tell other people who hate being spanked to just lighten up. None of that is true. When spanking causes sexual trauma, it’s not the fault of the child or anything to do with their “acceptance” surrounding sex. Not all sexual arousal is ok, and some of it is life-shattering.
I also had the sense as a young child (corroborated by other memories including seeing Dad “spank” Mom as foreplay) that my parent(s) knew it was sexual and chose to do it anyway, “punishing” me for having inappropriate responses to the very thing they had threatened/forced upon me in the first place. It was just an infinite loop of shame and humiliation–way too much for a four-year-old’s mind to handle, or really any adult’s who hasn’t pushed through the discomfort of how destructive and arousing spanking can be, even if it’s seemingly done “appropriately.” No one ever understood my situation or helped me understand, either, but now I do. It was disgusting and I never should have had to go through it. No child should, or any person either. It’s not about the specific act, it’s about the dynamic it sets up, and for some kids they have absolutely no control over how that’s going to play out. So don’t put them at risk. It’s not ok.