A few months after my initial dive into the world of masochism, I met (and quickly began dating) a man who truly loved to fulfill my desires of being hit. It seemed like a dream come true — he loved being a giver, and I loved being a receiver. Sometimes, we would have sex, but our sexual relationship primarily consisted of impact play. He would give me the most intense beatings I’d ever received, and I loved it. We eventually began to venture outside the realm of spanking, and I began asking for riskier types of hitting, such as getting hit in the face (which is incredibly dangerous and highly discouraged by the BDSM community
, since it can cause serious permanent injuries). But when I began to get frightening bruises on my face, I quickly had to check myself about how safely I was playing, so we returned to only engaging in butt-spanking.
Even though we had no problems with our impact play, my relationship with him ended rather quickly. He’d been dishonest with me about several things, and our positive sexual energy faded. And when the relationship ended, my interest in getting spanked and hit vanished. It felt as though our intense kink had caused me to reach my carrying capacity, and my desires imploded into a need to return to very "vanilla" sexual encounters.
It’s now been two years since that six-month period I spent actively seeking out pain. With so much distance between those days and my present life, I have no idea how I was ever into such hard-core play, and I have a hard time recalling what attracted me to it in the first place. A person’s interests and tastes change naturally over time, so I think I satisfied my need for spanking to the point that I didn’t feel the need to continue engaging in that type of play any longer. (But I have absolutely no judgment for people who safely and consensually continue to enjoy impact play.)
I think other people who hear my experience might make assumptions about me — that I chose to behave this way because I’ve been abused or that I’ve experienced some sort of mental trauma. But there was no dark secret shrouding my kink, which is something that’s true for many, if not most people in the BDSM community. (In fact, a 2013 study
found that BDSM practitioners scored higher than non-kinky people on tests that measured certain aspects of mental health.) It’s much simpler than that: I just genuinely enjoyed the mental and physical experience of being consensually spanked and the unique bond it gave me and my sexual partners.
These days, I approach sex much differently than I used to. I started my own business in the past year, and I’m generally more anxious and stressed on a daily basis. So I find myself enjoying sex that is sweet, slow, and pleasantly lazy. When I spend intimate time with my partner, I want sex to feel rejuvenating and healing, not dramatic and performative, like it did during my masochistic phase. I still have the floggers and paddles from those days, but they now decorate my bedroom walls as ornaments instead.
I’m still unpacking why, as a strong, direct woman, I gravitated toward a sex act that made me feel helpless, passive, and even humiliated. But I don’t judge myself anymore, and I’m not troubled by it; I just find it interesting. And even though I no longer want to be spanked, I think that same sexual energy still lies within me; I just express it in a different manner.
Those six months might make me uncomfortable to think about, but I know I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I refuse to be ashamed of my desires. And I’m learning that that’s what makes me a strong woman in the bedroom, no matter what kind of sex I’m having.