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Rook

Desire or Obsession?

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When does a healthy interest become an unhealthy obsession.

The more I look through this site the more I find traces of addiction and obsession. I see people denying themselves relationships and social interactions among other things all for this supposed "need". That isn't healthy. I see people where spanking or being a "spanko" is their seemingly all they are. They take pride in nothing else. They care about nothing else. This is not healthy. Having a hobby or an interest is not a bad thing. But when one small portion of your overall life begins to overshadow everything else, when this one activity is your soul defining detail. You have a problem. When denial of a hobby makes you enraged or uncharacteristically frustrated. There's a problem. When all you can think/talk about is one thing, when you deny yourself health relationships/activities for this one thing, when your interest causes your more anger and anguish then enjoyment and you cant stop, when you become your interest. These are serious signs of an unhealthy obsession/addiction. 

Now take everything Ive said with a grain of salt. This is a spanking site. People come here to talk spanking, I get that. Sometimes people get frustrated or have a bad day.They say things that are either exaggerated or unfiltered to the point where the message can be misunderstood. I get that. But bottom line is some people here and in other places have some serious issues and need help.

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A fetish is a fixation on a certain desire. It's about a balance. Nothing is healthy, if it takes over your whole life.

However, some of us do live a more serious lifestyle and spanking is just one part of the BDSM (or dominate and submission); we enter into. You can identify as something and still have other hobbies or interests too. For me, spanking is not a hobby, interest, a game or role-play. It's part of my lifestyle choices. I'm a Submissive. It's taken me a very long time to realize that. Being a submissive does not define me, but it is a part of me, and I can't keep shunning 'her' anymore. 

I consent to being in a power-exchange dynamic, and have certain rules, that are easy to manage, and if I don't manage them I am punished; spanking can be part of that. Spanking isn't on my mind 24/7, in-fact most days, I do everything I can to avoid a serious spanking. With that said it keeps me level headed and I have a sense of calm when it's in my life.

Some people crave a romantic relationship with sex, or friendship with gossiping, I don't want sex or gossip, or drugs. A romantic or even non-romantic dynamic, with power-exchange is what connects me to certain people. I have plenty of friendships that don't include spanking dynamics. I have school, I have work, I have a family life, I have friends, and my own struggles that I deal with my adult life day-to-day. Submission is 'my drug' or 'yoga' -- what helps center me. 

When I come on SN I talk about spanking and my lifestyle dynamic that I am in. Because it's a safe haven for me. The only place I can talk about it and feel accepted.

I agree if the lifestyle you are in is causing you more harm than good, then you should stop. The problem with some members seem to be depression from not getting their needs met (being someone that truly has a spanking fetish it can be isolating not to get those needs met). This would be like telling the LGBT community to 'stop being depressed' that they can't find anyone; and they should accept being alone forever. Yes, people should be happy for themselves, but we all have needs to be loved. Spankos show/ need love in a different way.

 

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2 hours ago, Rook said:

When does a healthy interest become an unhealthy obsession.

The more I look through this site the more I find traces of addiction and obsession. I see people denying themselves relationships and social interactions among other things all for this supposed "need". That isn't healthy. I see people where spanking or being a "spanko" is their seemingly all they are. They take pride in nothing else. They care about nothing else. This is not healthy. Having a hobby or an interest is not a bad thing. But when one small portion of your overall life begins to overshadow everything else, when this one activity is your soul defining detail. You have a problem. When denial of a hobby makes you enraged or uncharacteristically frustrated. There's a problem. When all you can think/talk about is one thing, when you deny yourself health relationships/activities for this one thing, when your interest causes your more anger and anguish then enjoyment and you cant stop, when you become your interest. These are serious signs of an unhealthy obsession/addiction. 

Now take everything Ive said with a grain of salt. This is a spanking site. People come here to talk spanking, I get that. Sometimes people get frustrated or have a bad day.They say things that are either exaggerated or unfiltered to the point where the message can be misunderstood. I get that. But bottom line is some people here and in other places have some serious issues and need help.

For some of us, spanking is not a hobby or an interest--it's an integral part of our beings. And yes, having that part of ourselves being unfulfilled can lead to depression, frustration, and obsession. Is this unhealthy? Of course it is. But what's the alternative? Trying to just abandon the interest in spanking  just plain isn't an option for many. Sure, we may try, but it comes back. I've spoken to many spankos over the years, and many (perhaps most) of us have gone through at least one cycle of trying to stop, and purging all toys/porn/info/etc. But that just plain doesn't work for those of us who have spanking at our core--which you just don't seem to get. Your message essentially tells us to just get over it--or view it as a mental illness. I reject both options.

Would you be equally comfortable rewording your post to apply to sexual orientation or gender identity? Especially in the days before it finally became largely acceptable in the mainstream, being gay had many of the same characteristics. People denied themselves relationships and social interactions because the only available options were with the other sex, and their need was for same-sex relationships. Or they tried to made opposite-sex relationships work, often with disastrous consequences for both partners. Would you also say that they "have some serious issues and need help"? I wouldn't. Instead I feel very sad for the countless LGBT people over the centuries who were unable to meet their needs. And I also feel sad for the large number of spankos who are unable to meet our needs. Yes, we "need help"--but not in the sense you appear to mean. What we need is more sites like this one, where we can explore our needs, and perhaps find compatible others to have the relationships and social interactions to fulfill ourselves.

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How I see it is it's similar to sexual orientation.. obviously it's not the exact same but essentially asking someone to not be a spanko is like telling someone in LGBTQ to not be gay. Obviously a lesbian isnt going to date a man, they're incompatible. It's the same when a spanko decides not to date someone who isnt one isnt unhealthy to me, its apart of finding some one they're compatible with.. Being a spanko for many is a lifestyle, not a hobby or interest as you mentioned, but actually a huge part of their lives..  denying someone sex makes them irritable and frustrated but does that mean they're unhealthy? Why is spanking any different than that need?

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24 minutes ago, DougK said:

For some of us, spanking is not a hobby or an interest--it's an integral part of our beings. And yes, having that part of ourselves being unfulfilled can lead to depression, frustration, and obsession. Is this unhealthy? Of course it is. But what's the alternative? Trying to just abandon the interest in spanking  just plain isn't an option for many. Sure, we may try, but it comes back. I've spoken to many spankos over the years, and many (perhaps most) of us have gone through at least one cycle of trying to stop, and purging all toys/porn/info/etc. But that just plain doesn't work for those of us who have spanking at our core--which you just don't seem to get. Your message essentially tells us to just get over it--or view it as a mental illness. I reject both options.

Would you be equally comfortable rewording your post to apply to sexual orientation or gender identity? Especially in the days before it finally became largely acceptable in the mainstream, being gay had many of the same characteristics. People denied themselves relationships and social interactions because the only available options were with the other sex, and their need was for same-sex relationships. Or they tried to made opposite-sex relationships work, often with disastrous consequences for both partners. Would you also say that they "have some serious issues and need help"? I wouldn't. Instead I feel very sad for the countless LGBT people over the centuries who were unable to meet their needs. And I also feel sad for the large number of spankos who are unable to meet our needs. Yes, we "need help"--but not in the sense you appear to mean. What we need is more sites like this one, where we can explore our needs, and perhaps find compatible others to have the relationships and social interactions to fulfill ourselves.

I love this post. BDSM (Submission) is like a non-sexual orientation for me. If someone that identified as gay, that desired a partner, couldn't find such, depression and isolation would be the end result. People want love and connections.

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WOW do I agree with HannaKae !

I have no idea where my interest in spanking came from. I guess the gay people have no idea why they are gay. They are gay and I am a spanko. None of us care WHY anymore.

I am happy that all I got was an interest in spanking, and not something like being a pedophile. They can't control their desire any more than I can control my NEED for spanking!

Over the years I have spanked and been spanked by males and females. I prefer females but that is to hard to arrange. I only chat with play with meet with people over 21.

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I have barely ever said anything about myself on this site other than my interest in spanking and domestic discipline.  You are missing 95% of who I am.  And that's intentional.  I have no problem with compartmentalizing my life and my interests.  I'm sure I'm not the only one here that does that.  I am sure that many people here have a lot of other things going on that we don't talk about here, as I expect you do as well.  Imagine if you logged into a forum for coin collectors and then observed that all the participants are obsessed with coin collecting and that's all they talk about.  Would that be such a surprise?   BTW:  I know some obsessive coin collectors.  :)

 

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I would only be worried if this became such an obsession, that it was all I could think about, and it interfered with my daily life.  If it’s all I focused on, and pursued no other interests.   If it ruined friendships or family relationships due to me only investing time on my spanko needs. Yes I think about it, but not constantly. Everyone has lifestyle things they think about.   

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14 hours ago, Jaded said:

I would only be worried if this became such an obsession, that it was all I could think about, and it interfered with my daily life.  If it’s all I focused on, and pursued no other interests.   If it ruined friendships or family relationships due to me only investing time on my spanko needs. Yes I think about it, but not constantly. Everyone has lifestyle things they think about.   

I think Jaded has the right approach.  Spanking can be a serious interest, one that we devote a substantial amount of time (and emotional effort) to, but it should not be all-consuming.  If it does take over our lives, then someting is wrong, and it may not be spanking per se, but something deeper that a professional might be better served to deal with.

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On 11/16/2019 at 6:24 PM, Rand E said:

I have barely ever said anything about myself on this site other than my interest in spanking and domestic discipline.  You are missing 95% of who I am.  And that's intentional.  I have no problem with compartmentalizing my life and my interests.  I'm sure I'm not the only one here that does that.  I am sure that many people here have a lot of other things going on that we don't talk about here, as I expect you do as well.  Imagine if you logged into a forum for coin collectors and then observed that all the participants are obsessed with coin collecting and that's all they talk about.  Would that be such a surprise?   BTW:  I know some obsessive coin collectors.  :)

 

Yes obviously I understand this. I put a disclaimer at the bottom of the topic. When I come here it is 90-95% spanking talk. That is what the site is for. But there are subtle hints you pick up on. Language used, tone, topics of conversation, and other things are point blank said. If the thoughts on this topic are that I am trying to paint everyone on here as obsessive addicts then people are missing the point. The point of this was to bring up and talk about a serious issue. While some people have a healthy understanding of their desires, others do not. Whether you come into this with pre-existing issues and are using spanking as an escape, or developed issues over time. Obsessive, compulsive, addictive, and self-destructive behavior is never healthy. People need to know these problems exist and if you are experiencing them then you should seriously consider professional help.   

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3 hours ago, Rook said:

Yes obviously I understand this. I put a disclaimer at the bottom of the topic. When I come here it is 90-95% spanking talk. That is what the site is for. But there are subtle hints you pick up on. Language used, tone, topics of conversation, and other things are point blank said. If the thoughts on this topic are that I am trying to paint everyone on here as obsessive addicts then people are missing the point. The point of this was to bring up and talk about a serious issue. While some people have a healthy understanding of their desires, others do not. Whether you come into this with pre-existing issues and are using spanking as an escape, or developed issues over time. Obsessive, compulsive, addictive, and self-destructive behavior is never healthy. People need to know these problems exist and if you are experiencing them then you should seriously consider professional help.   

Sorry.  So many critics of adult spanking try to paint this all as some sort of dysfunctional pathology.  It's easy to be oversensitive.  I guess the main question I would ask (and for which I have no clue about the answer) is the extent to which spanking has a disproportionate amount of dysfunctional obsessive people involved in it.  We don't have a scientific sample on this forum, and the information posted here isn't terribly reliable in any case, so I can't say as I would draw many conclusions from what little I can glean here.  

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On 11/18/2019 at 12:51 PM, Rook said:

Yes obviously I understand this. I put a disclaimer at the bottom of the topic. When I come here it is 90-95% spanking talk. That is what the site is for. But there are subtle hints you pick up on. Language used, tone, topics of conversation, and other things are point blank said. If the thoughts on this topic are that I am trying to paint everyone on here as obsessive addicts then people are missing the point. The point of this was to bring up and talk about a serious issue. While some people have a healthy understanding of their desires, others do not. Whether you come into this with pre-existing issues and are using spanking as an escape, or developed issues over time. Obsessive, compulsive, addictive, and self-destructive behavior is never healthy. People need to know these problems exist and if you are experiencing them then you should seriously consider professional help.   

You never gave examples of 'serious issues' it came across as a blanket term alluding most that take the lifestyle seriously 'need help'. 

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Obsessive compulsive, addiction, are all pretty serious terms. While I'm sure there are a few people here who may fit that description, I'd maintain that on any 'interest' site (be it, cars, coins, spanking, etc.) you will find such people. Personally are there times I'd like to forget the world and focus on spanking, sure. Do I, never. I don't have that luxury, I have a good job, great family, responsibilities, etc. Do I sometimes, in my daily life, think about the next spanking or the last one; yes I do  - but then that takes back stage to the rest of my life. Spanking for me is an escape - calming, relaxing, stress reducing activity. If I was a runner I'd probably think about the next run or the last run. Although if I was a runner I'd probably be in more discomfort then from spanking myself - so maybe this is best. Here I talk about spanking, in the other parts of my life I talk about everything else but. This is my private space, private activity that I do to help myself. It is a piece of my life that I own and control, that aspect is liberating also. Will I think about a spanking when I get up in the morning, probably. I may (probably will) give myself one. Then it is back to 'real' life, but likely more relaxed to deal with the day. Anyone who can find a safe (legal) activity that helps then deal with the other parts of their life, is lucky in my book. A lot of people cannot for a variety of reasons. Just like everything else, moderation is the key.

 

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On 11/16/2019 at 4:24 PM, Rand E said:

I have barely ever said anything about myself on this site other than my interest in spanking and domestic discipline.  You are missing 95% of who I am.  And that's intentional.  I have no problem with compartmentalizing my life and my interests.  I'm sure I'm not the only one here that does that.  I am sure that many people here have a lot of other things going on that we don't talk about here, as I expect you do as well.  Imagine if you logged into a forum for coin collectors and then observed that all the participants are obsessed with coin collecting and that's all they talk about.  Would that be such a surprise?   BTW:  I know some obsessive coin collectors.  :)

Excellent, Rand E! 

I acknowledge where you're coming from, Rook. Sometimes the line between interest and obsession can indeed get fuzzy. At that same time, I don't know of a single member who's logged in all day long because we're each busy with other things. We all share one major similarity: we're into spanking. Aside from that, we rarely know much else about our fellow SN members. Each individual's life is multifaceted and complex. We're seeing only a snippet of it here.

 

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I have no idea where the line is between “interest” and “obsession,” but I blew past it a very long time ago.  I’m doing what I can to deal with the damaging effects, and it’s not going well.

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There is a guy with a Ph.D. in neuroscience over on FetLife who has written a great deal about the psychology and neurology of people into spanking and S/M.  There are lots of educated, smart people there who have salient comments about most of the issues in this thread.  They are more than willing to provide respectful, helpful insights into questions.   You may want to join and observe.

I don't relate FetLife especially because it seems to be mostly for heavy, out, and serious players.  Some of the things that people post there cause me enough discomfort that I don't look at it very often, but most people are  well-behaved and there are so many smart members that you may gain some valuable knowledge there.

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On 3/16/2020 at 1:14 PM, JonTx said:

There is a guy with a Ph.D. in neuroscience over on FetLife who has written a great deal about the psychology and neurology of people into spanking and S/M.  There are lots of educated, smart people there who have salient comments about most of the issues in this thread.

Would you share a name or two so I can quickly find some of this commentary? I'm not a huge fan of FetLife either, it takes too much time and effort to separate the wheat from the chaff but there certainly is quality material there as well.

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Sure: Chieftain50 and  CompassionSadist have both written detailed, footnoted posts and have responded to my questions.

The intelligence and academic grade postings there are incredible.  I think Chieftain is a neuroscientist. 

Just ask for help and there will be lots of responses.  

The only downside that I see to FetLife is that there is so much there that I am a bit overloaded.   The vibe seems to be scene player, so I don't think I would be able to make friends there, but I really respect the intellect and group.

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