Generally fetishism is defined as a pathological assignment of sexual fixation, fantasies or behaviors toward an inanimate object such as an item of clothing (underclothing, high-heeled shoes, etc.) or to non-genital body parts such as the feet, but the definition also includes circumstances where a person experiences arousal from participating in activities not normally considered to be sexual in nature, like spanking.
According to psychology practitioners, there is a degree of fetishistic arousal in most “normal” individuals. Fetishistic arousal is generally considered a problem only when it interferes with normal sexual or social functioning or where sexual arousal is impossible without the object of the fetish.
While I have very limited experience with erotic spankings, I do find the concept very erotic and arousing. I have spanked two past vanilla female sexual partners both over-the-knee and in conjunction with “doggie style” sexual intercourse. Both of them later told me that they didn’t find the over-the-knee spankings particularly arousing but both did very much feel that it contributed a great deal to their arousal when experienced in conjunction with penetrative sex. From my perspective I did not find giving spankings to be arousing, beyond simply the act of touching their bare bottoms which is not surprising since I consider the female bottom to be the single most erotic female body part. Yet fantasizing about being spanked is something I do find very arousing. Since I do experience sexual arousal from any number of stimuli I would assume that spankophilia is a benign fetish for me since it is only one of many things that I find arousing. I have never received an erotic spanking but have spanked myself at the direction of a dominant woman and I did find that to be an arousing experience. I feel that for me personally, it was the domination/submission dynamics of the situations involved that was most responsible for the feelings of arousal since I am not at all very masochistic and do not generally seek out opportunities to experience pain.
There is an ongoing debate in psychology circles about why a person might enjoy and find the idea of being spanked to be arousing, either actually receiving a spanking or through fantasizing about it. Some believe it caused by the person receiving or witnessing spankings during childhood, especially around the age of puberty. This idea corresponds to classical psychology theories. According to Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, sexual deviations are developed in childhood. The basis of his theory was that children may cope with a painful or traumatic experience by “eroticizing” it. Interestingly enough, I recently read an article concerning a survey conducted in the UK where 35% of the respondents who identified themselves as persons who found spanking to be erotic and sexually arousing, stated that they had never been spanked or witnessed a spanking, which seems to indicate rather clearly, that the Freud’s theory doesn’t provide an all inclusive explanation.
Another theory is that some people find spanking to be arousing because of the fact that physical pain is known to cause an endorphin rush for some individuals which causes spanking to be a pleasant experience, comparable to the effects of certain drugs. If the person is spanked hard and frequently (resulting in frequent and intense endorphin rushes) they may become “addicted” to spankings. Over time they come to associate spankings with not only pleasant but erotic feelings. Again not all submissives are masochistic, and so this theory to has its inherent limitations.
Thus far we have considered only erotic spankings, spankings used for the purpose of sexual play. With regards to submissive men and female led relationships, there is also disciplinary spanking. As a submissive man I find the idea of being spanked by a dominant female partner to be a normal and beneficial part of a female led relationship. Like anyone else I am at time prone to make mistakes and need correction. I need to be held accountable and a spanking could provide that accountability. If I failed in some way towards her by say being inadvertently inconsiderate or disrespectful to her or by failing by design or neglect to perform some assigned task, then I feel I would be most deserving of a spanking which would be a very practical means of making amends. As the dominant partner, she certainly would have the right to choose the kind of amends based on the nature of my offense that she felt best addressed and corrected the problem and if she chose to spank me over say simply accepting my heartfelt and sincere apology, then of course I would willingly submit to her decision. While this kind of spanking would not be enjoyable or pleasurable I doubt it would be sexually arousing either. In fact I have read numerous accounts from dominant women who regularly spank their submissive male partners in which all agreed, when done correctly, it is not at all a pleasant experience for the man and is very effective in eliminating the offending behaviors that precipitated the spankings.
I think disciplinary spanking appeals to me with respect to female led relationships on two levels. First, submitting to being spanked would provide a very strong image of her dominance over me and my submission to her. Second, being spanked would allow me to pay for my transgression in a tangible way which would make me feel better about the situation and would allow us to put the affront behind us and in the past so that we could go forward with my behavior appropriately modified. I would also love to experience the erotic variety as well, just to learn what the effects were with regard to arousal.