Vanilla’s Okay, But I Prefer Rocky Road
ollowing is a personal account written by Jillian G., a 21-year-old college student who became interested in masochistic behavior when she was 6 years old.
As an American, I enjoy my constitutional rights. As a child of the 80s, I really enjoy The Breakfast Club. As a human, I can’t help but love Oreos. I’m just like you. But I’m also a masochist; and as a masochist, I enjoy being tied up and spanked.
When a Dominant puts me over his knee and spanks me, first gently, then harder, with escalating force—it’s an amazing feeling. At first I feel the warmth of his hand and legs and perhaps I feel his pulse picking up despite his composed expression. Then the pain sets in, and that’s all I can think of; that shocking, delicious pain and the knowledge that I could stop it if I really wanted to, but I don’t want to. The experience is too wonderful; the spanking itself, the warmth my reddening skin gives off, the intermittent kneading after every ten slaps or so. Now, he changes to a paddle, wood or leather for preference; adding to the shock of pain the surprise of sudden coolness against my hot skin, the flat firmness contrasting the soft contours of his hand. Everything else fades away Maybe there are others in the dark watching this little tableau, maybe I had a fight with a friend and it’s been haunting me, maybe my foot has fallen asleep—at this moment none of that matters. My world consists solely of the spanker, my body and the wonderful sensations.
I realized I was a submissive by the time I turned 6 years old. When I was 11, roaming the stacks of my local library I found a copy of Exit to Eden—a romantic novel set on an island resort devoted to sadistic and masochistic fantasies. That’s how I learned that I was a masochist and that’s how I learned there were other people like me.
There are a lot of people in the psychological community and the community at large who would say
that wanting what I want and doing what I do means that there’s something wrong with me, that something happened to me when I was a child to pervert my sexual behavior. But they’re wrong; this is who I am. Though I can and do, on occasion, enjoy what is known as "vanilla sex," I just prefer "rocky road."
I became an active member in the "scene," or the sadomasochism community, when I turned 21. Before then I’d tried a few Internet fetish dating sites, with very limited success. I enjoy myself and life more now then I ever did when I repressed my "deviant" desires. Like any interest that isn’t totally mainstream, it’s easier to become more comfortable with yourself once you socialize with your peers. I joined The Eulenspiegel Society, an organization concerned mainly with safety, education and socializing within the BDSM (bondage/ discipline/sadism/masochism) community. I met some great friends, learned a terrific amount of stuff about the scene and myself; and became more confident and assertive in my everyday life—a great lesson I learned there was just because I’m submissive doesn’t mean I’m submissive to YOU. Another terrific factor of being out and about "in the scene" is I can casually ask someone what they’re "into." After stumbling through explanations to several boyfriends about wanting to be tied up and spanked, it’s a really amazing, really freeing experience to be able to be so open so easily.
Writing this has been freeing, as well; I’ve been given the opportunity to give you a first-hand account from the other side; I’m not a psychologist, but I do know myself. And there’s nothing sick or wrong about what I do. People like me follow the same basic tenets as you do—actually, we’re known for it: "Safe, Sane and Consensual" has always been our motto. It’s just that where you say potato, we say kinky sex.
Source: Author’s files.
Exhibitionism and Voyeurism
Visual stimuli are basic aspects of sexuality; most sexually active people enjoy looking at the nude bodies of their partners, and such things as lingerie and the act of undressing one’s partner can enhance the sexual nature of the human form. The enormous industry of adult magazines and books, the almost obligatory nude scene in modern movies, the embarrassment most people feel when seen naked inappropriately, and even the common nighttime dream of being caught naked in public all show the fundamental psychological power of visual sexual stimuli.
For some people, looking at nudity or sexual acts, or being seen naked or engaging in sex, become the paramount activities of sexuality. The person who becomes sexually
aroused primarily from displaying his (or, more rarely, her) genitals, nudity, or sexuality to strangers is an exhibitionist; the person whose primary mode of sexual stimulation is to watch others naked or engaging in sex is called a voyeur. Langevin and Lang (1987) review a number of studies that show that there is a close connection between exhibitionism and voyeurism; most exhibitionists engaged in voyeuristic habits before beginning to expose themselves.
Exhibitionism Exhibitionism involves exposing the genitals to a stranger (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). As such, this behavior is nonconsensual. The exhibitionist (or “flasher”), who is usually male, achieves sexual gratification from exposing his genitals in public or to unsuspecting people. What excites the exhibitionist is not usually the nudity itself but the lack of consent of the victim as expressed in his or her shocked or fearful reaction. True exhibitionists would not get the same sexual charge being naked on a nude beach, for example, where everyone is naked.
Exhibitionists usually have erections while exposing themselves, and they masturbate either then and there or later, while thinking about the reactions of their victims. Usually exhibitionism begins in the teen years and decreases as a man ages; however, it may worsen in times of stress or disappointment (American Psyciatric Association, 2000; Seligman & Hardenburg, 2000).
Exhibitionism is legally classified as “indecent exposure” and accounts for up to one – third of all sex convictions in the United States, Canada, and Europe (Langevin & Lang, 1987). However, it’s important to keep in mind that exhibitionists have a witness to their crimes, unlike some of the other paraphilias (such as voyeurism). As such, there is a higher likelihood of being caught. Although overall rates of exhibitionism are difficult to determine, between 33% and 35% of women in a United States college sample (D. J. Cox, 1988) and in a similar Hong Kong sample (D. J. Cox et al., 1982) reported being subjected to a male exhibitionist, most commonly in their early adolescence.
Many exhibitionists do not desire actual sexual activity with the victim. Research has failed to confirm any personality characteristics that might be common to exhibitionists except that the behavior is compulsive and very difficult to stop (Rabinowitz et al., 2002). Many exhibitionists have normal dating and sexual histories, are married and have normal sexual relations with their spouses, and do not seem to engage in their behavior instead of heterosexual intercourse (Langevin & Lang, 1987). Others tend to be shy and withdrawn and to marry their first girlfriend. If you are approached by a flasher, the best option would be to quietly walk away.
Exhibitionism in women is rare, although cases of it are reported in the literature (Grob, 1985; Rhoads & Boekelheide, 1985). Rhoads and Boekelheide (1985) suggest that the female exhibitionist may desire to feel feminine and appreciated, and seeing men admire her naked body reinforces her sense of sexual value and femininity. Perhaps, then, exhibitionism in women just takes a different form than in men. Another factor may be that women have much more opportunity to expose their bodies in social settings without being arrested. Even sophisticated eveningwear often exposes the woman’s cleavage, and short skirts and women’s bathing suits (such as thong-style suits) cover very little. Women, therefore, have more legitimate ways to expose their bodies than men do. This type of exposure may be enough for female exhibitionists.
Obscene Telephone Callers The exhibitionist must have the courage to confront his victims in person; the telephone allows a more anonymous kind of contact for the timid paraphiliac. Scatolophilia (scat-oh-low-FILL-ee-uh), the technical name for obscene telephone calling, is a form of exhibitionism in which a person, almost always male, calls women and becomes excited as the victims react to his obscene suggestions. Most scatolophiliacs masturbate either during the call or afterward. Like exhibitionism, scatophilia is nonconsensual, and the scatolophiliac becomes excited by the victim’s reactions of fear, disgust, or outrage.
Most scatolophiliacs have problems in their relationships and suffer from feelings of isolation and inadequacy. For many, scatolophilia is the only way they can express themselves sexually (Holmes, 1991). Scatolophiliacs often have coexisting paraphilias, such as exhibitionism or voyeurism (Price et al., 2002).