The Virtues of a Sore Bottom

After an extended separation and a rocky reunion, my partner and I seem to be back in the Domestic Discipline (DD) groove. Translation: peaceful relationship, great sex and a sore bottom -- my first in three very long months.

After the last few posts focusing on the dangers, pitfalls and setbacks that can happen with a DD lifestyle, this seems like be a good time to revisit the reasons why we put ourselves through the complicated and occasionally comical process of developing a solid DD relationship in the first place.

Those of us who are already in (relatively) successful DD relationships are well aware, of course, of the benefits of this lifestyle. And part of the fun complexity of DD is that the benefits are different depending on which side of the paddle you're on.

For the most part, our partners benefit from DD indirectly. (I'm assuming here a traditional one-way DD relationship in which the dominant partner disciplines the submissive partner. ) Our partners benefit not so much from the discipline itself, but more from the effect that the discipline has on us and on the relationship.

But our partners don't get the privilege of experiencing the visceral, dramatic attitude shift that we get when we're properly disciplined. It amazes me how radically the presence of a sore bottom affects not just my relationship with my partner, but my entire outlook on life.

A sore bottom is a gift (that keeps on giving...?). It's a precious gift from my partner that demonstrates the love and commitment he has for our relationship, and for helping me to grow and become healthier human beings . Every time I feel the after-effects of a spanking, I am reminded that I am loved, cherished and important to my partner, and that he demonstrates this in part by taking the time to spank me.

A sore bottom also gives me a delicious sexual charge that helps to keep my relationship with my partner romantic and excitin. Since the majority, if not all, women come to DD out of an interest in erotic spanking,
even (and perhaps especially) a disciplinary spanking has erotic overtones (after all, aren't most of our fantasies about disciplinary spankings?). A sore bottom is a little reminder of that sexual energy. Feeling that soreness makes me desire my partner more, which in turn makes me more sexually responsive to him, which in turn makes for better sex for both of us.

Perhaps the most intriguing benefit of having a sore bottom is that when I have one, I feel more feminine and submissive, and more confident and capable -- all at the same time. For me, this is the most fascinating and powerful part of DD -- its paradoxical ability to empower me through the experience of submission.

A submissive reaction to DD is, of course, something of a given. The experience of being spanked (i.e., physically and psychologically dominated) by my partner encourages my submissive side to come to the surface. And when I have a sore bottom, I can feel myself striving to act more respectful, loving and nurturing towards not only my partner, but towards the other people in my life. And because a spanking is also an effective stress reliever, a thorough spanking causes me to radiate a feeling of calm, peaceful energy. I am slower to anger and quicker to forgive. In short, I am softer.

My partner also tells me that I'm particularly beautiful after a spanking, and I feel that way, too. Perhaps it's a self-fulfilling prophecy -- because I feel more beautiful, relaxed and nurturing, I radiate that inner beauty to others. After a spanking, I'm also aware of feeling more physically graceful. My body posture and movements become more fluid and elegant. I tend to select softer, more feminine clothing. I walk and speak more softly. I walk more softly. And I laugh and smile more easily after a spanking. In short, I am more feminine.

But the most intriguing part of a sore bottom to me is that when I am well and regularly spanked for my misbehavior, I experience a significantly enhanced feeling of self-confidence and personal power. With a sore bottom, I feel as though I can do things that I previously didn't feel capable of doing. My head is clear and I seem to make better life decisions. And I am told by my partner (and others who don't know the cause) that I have a particular aura of confidence when I've been recently disciplined. In short, I am more powerful.

And here then, in the experience of a sore bottom, is the missing element of feminism -- that true feminine power is rooted in softness. True feminism isn't about borrowing male power and trying to make it fit. It's also not about disowning and repressing our softer, more nurturing qualities as signs of weakness.

For years, feminism has carried the message that to be an empowered woman, we have to act like a man. To be strong, we have to do his job (and do it the way he does it), wear his clothes (a skirt doesn't fully feminize a power suit) and play by his rules ("there's no crying in baseball!"). But the implication of that approach is that as women, we have no strength of our own and that the only way to get power is to imitate men. And that viewpoint strikes me as profoundly dis-empowering and anti-feminist.

The paradox of DD and of feminism is that the more in touch with our authentic feminine nature we are, the more empowered and capable we become in our careers, relationships and in the world in general. We can go out in the world and be leaders if we choose to, but we can do so as women, not as pretend-men. True feminine power -- the deepest, more primal essence of being female -- is the ability to find strength in our softness, not in spite of it.


  1. Anonymous20:01

    Interesting. I'd love it if you could write more about how we can be stronger by being softer. It seems that it would be the opposite, but I think you're onto something. I wish you'd say more on this or can you refer to any other articles on that?

  2. Vivian,

    Thank you for a brilliant essay. I love how you explored the depths of this enigma and emerged with a resolution that is both sensible and intuitive.

    I never feel stronger or more confident than when I'm basking in the afterglow of a recent spanking. It's a wonderfully theraputic experience. I just hadn't placed into context as you do. You made me think.

    Thank you!


  3. Anonymous11:27

    You give us new insight into the expression "sitting pretty."

  4. Anonymous22:41

    I love your thought provoking explorations. It is hard to argue that my confidence is anything but stronger on account of many a spanked bottom. I love what being spanked and having structure does for my life. I also love the freedom to be feminine that his dominance gives me. I feel so sheltered and happy - ans so totally myself.

  5. Thank you all for sharing your experiences on this subject. As requested, I'm working on an article that talks more about feminine energy and the soft=strong issue. I'm so glad that there are others out there who share my interest in this paradox.

    By the way, in one of those coincidences that aren't really coincidences, my new issue of Yoga Journal arrived today and the interview on the last page talks a bit about the issue of feminine strength as being rooted in softness.


  6. Anonymous01:56

    I am a male switch, happily married to a gorgeous woman.

    My psycho-social persona also benefits from receiving a good spanking from my wife.

    I walk better, talk better, dance with more elegance, fluidity, and expression.

    At the same time, my masculinity is undiminished: I box better, take shocks better, pick locks better.

    Girlfriends were always telling me that I ought to get in touch with my feminine side. Now I know which side that is!

  7. Anonymous14:11

    Wonderfully thought out and expressed. Bravo!

  8. Anonymous11:14


    I was recently talking to a feminist friend of my father's. She is a first wave, Germaine Greer, patriarch-hating feminist who burned her bra 35 years ago. I told her that not only did I spank my 23 year old fiancee, but that Dad (her valued friend of forty years) did too. I expected her to be scandalised and to descend into a 'lefty' rant about women's rights, but instead she related something to me that I'd never heard before. Until the age of 18 her own father had regularly spanked her and when he passed away, she missed him and his belt more than she ever thought possible. It was then and only then that she became a militant feminist, rejecting the 'natural order' and becoming a typical 'angry young woman'.


  9. Anonymous07:58

    Thank you. I have been wanting a spanking for quite a while and I know that I want it from someone who is large and strong.

    I am always in charge and complete control as a divorced mother and in my career. I don't feel feminine at all.

    Now I realize how my wants are solutions to my need to feel feminine and to give up control. Even if for only 20 minutes, it is an opportunity to explore my feminine side and let it have its moment "to be".

    Before reading your blog, I had lots of thoughts but couldn't bring them together to make sense. Your explanation went right through me, from my head to my gut, and I realized this was my goal. Thank you again.

  10. Anonymous09:52

    I'm a male - first time reader and poster to your blog.

    You are so right. There is No question that a woman's real power is in her femininity. I am a dominant man with my own business, and have been in the business world many years. In negotiating with women counterparts, I have noticed that the ones who haven't lost their femininity in the business world can normally get pretty much anything (within reason) that they want in the negotiation. Their softness (don't confuse this with lack of toughness or purposefulness) and womanliness are traits that I admire and respect. They make me want to work with them to achieve a good deal for both of our companies.

    Women who try to act tough or masculine are a real turn off - in a lot of ways. Whenever I come across one, I always think, "if only she knew how much power she was losing by acting like this..."

    One of the real benefits to administering a good spanking to my wife, is to see the feminine beauty and strength shine through.

    I enjoy your posts.

  11. Anonymous12:09

    Having a sore bottom tends to make me feel great, very relaxed and happy and submissive towards my husband and strongly attracted to him. These are all benefits to him of spanking me, quite apart from the main one of being able to 'take it out on your bottom' as he says when he is annoyed with me.

    I don't think I am particuarly feminine. I am a full-time housewife and don't have a career, but I like wearing trousers and when I was young I did historical re-enactment which involved wearing men's clothes most of the time. This did not seem to put men off me at all, so i suppose I was 'feminine' enough for them. it's not something I've ever worried about much. I am not particularly interested in classifying people rigidly as 'masculine' and 'feminine', I have found most people to be a bit of a mixture.


  12. Anonymous14:55

    I liked your post "The virtues of a sore bottom" You are so right that feminism is reclaiming the femaleness, too - not about choice, behaving like men etc. Females, in my book, are soft in a particular way, an accepting way.

  13. It's great to hear that women are re-discovering their feminity in this way. As a man I have a feminine side but don't believe in domination or punishment from the wife, but I do enjoy her spanking me. I also do it to her but very gentle as she does not share my kink.

    Apart from that she goes out of her way to be subject to me.

  14. Anonymous12:46

    Great essay. I love your blog. I recently met a man who is into discipline. First he suggested books for me to read, since I have previously only experienced erotic spanking-- and loved it. The more I read the books and blogs on LDD, the more I crave a spanking, but this seemed to fly in the face of my feminist beliefs. Your blog has helped me greatly.

  15. Anonymous12:58

    Hi Vivian,

    Congratulations on such a wise and insightful article. Everything you say is true! My wife and I are well into our fourth decade of marriage, and she feels exactly the way you describe feeling when she has a sore bottom; Soft, feminine and loving, but at the same time, stronge and confident.


  16. Anonymous05:26

    u r blog Is very nice

  17. Anonymous06:22

    I've just begun exploring spanking, and thinking about it in terms of feminism and my own femininity. It never occurred to me that the two could be intertwined but your essays have helped me better understand their relationship. Thanks for the thoughtful analysis.

  18. Anonymous13:22

    I think your blog will help many of my fairer sex to get the ballence right! after a spanking from my husbund I feel so femminine and submissive, unyet as you say 'strong and clear headed, my posture becomes to me somthing that i am more acutely aware of than before. My husbund just smiles and seems to have known this all along!

  19. Anonymous20:31

    Thanks for your blog and this kind of thinking. I was a child going into my teens during the feminist movement. It was all so confusing to me. I didn't want to act like a man and I didn't want to look like one either. Bravo, women can be women and achieve things like a woman and not a 'pretend man'. My husband was more of a feminist than I was when I met him. He's had to change his thinking a lot. He realizes that when I'm destructive in my mood, I don't achieve what I want to in life. After a good hard spanking from him, I feel freed of negative emotions and empowered to go after my goals. I kept wondering how being spanked by my husband made me a feminist and not a June Cleaver. You put it so aptly. I don't think my husband will ever understand, but he did step up to the plate and delivers a good sore bottom to me when I need it. He notices the difference in me and that is why he is not afraid to spank hard and spank long, until I get rid of negative emotions. I'm sitting on a sore bottom now and it feels so good. That does not mean I'm submissive to other men, only my husband. That's the difference my husband said, as a feminist I'm choosing to be spanked and it is not against my will, because he wants to bend me to his. He does it for my benefit and not his. I ask to be spanked. I decide when I need it. He may suggest it, but in the end, it's my decision and I usually like one or two really good bare bottom, over the knee hand spankings once or twice a week. I'm a calmer person for it. Being a feminist means we have the right to choose. This isn't forced on us. Big difference when you think of countries where it is forced on woman by all men.

  20. Anonymous21:19

    I love spanking my wife...almost as much as she does.

  21. Anonymous23:53

    This blog and your books / articles are great for both males and females that maybe thinking of spanking for discipline and even a more intimate "connection" to each other.

    Great information and thank you.


  22. Anonymous17:11

    I loved this post. I love a warm bottom when walking aroung work or the grocery store, etc.... I do find power, clarity, and more feminine. It also makes me think of my partner and how sexy I think he is. He was always sexy to me, but since he understood what spanking does for me and takes on this role for me, upped his sexy factor by about 1000%. All the things you mentioned above and my shared sentiments with them, lead to me also feeling more sexy which leads to great, intimate sex. Bravo on the post. Very well said.

  23. As a male often spanked by my wife, I totally agree that after a spanking one feels much more confident and empowered; absolutely glows from the inside out; is kinder and more patient with loved ones and others; has much better posture and grace; and yes is a little more feminine. Feminine does not mean weak. I have coach ed male and female teams. Female s are easier to coach and usually work harder. Even during high school and college I noticed that the female athletes are often the best. Feminine does not mean weak.

  24. Anonymous15:29

    I know this is older but I want to comment anyway. I love what you've shared and it's so true. I was really, at times, bratty, rude obstinate. I have a hard time believing it but really think I was testing my fiancé'. At some point he'd had enough. He pulled me across his lap and gave me the spanking of my life! I was shocked,mad and even more upset when he threw me my jacket and told me to leave. I cursed my way out as I rubbed my sore yoga pants covered butt. Shockingly the two days later I showed up at his door and apologized meekly for my horrible behavior. I loved him and still wanted to be together. I can't tell you how centered, and calm I felt after that spanking.
    I went back to my bratty side relatively quick and was once again a bear to be around. About six months later I was off the charts, arguing with my older sister when my fiance' tried to calm me down. I freaked at him and was shocked when out of my mouth I snapped, Well what do you expect it's been months since the spanking you gave me!"
    I think we all were kind of shocked and even more so when right there he pulled me over his lap again and spanked the daylights out of me as my sister looked on. I apologized profusely to both.My sister said "Well that worked."
    My fiance' told me I could expect the same a lot sooner if I acted up.
    Our wedding date was a few months later and at my shower my maid of honor/my big sis gave me a paddle as a "gag" gift. In private she told me it would probably be worn out by our second anniversary.
    After 4 years of marriage the paddle isn't worn out but it has been well used!
    And we are happier for it!
    So I totally understand where your coming from, agree with you but have a hard time wrapping my head around it all. Becky

  25. Anonymous10:54

    Lao Tse famously wrote that there is nothing softer than water yet over time it cuts through the hardest of stone. So too is the effect of a woman's submission to the man she loves, to become the best feminine woman she can be. Nature is full of comparable paradoxes, and you have written well here of one more.