I read an interesting article a few hours ago that says yes to this very question. One I’d never even considered until this read. A woman identified her spanking fetish at a very young age… around 5 or 6 years old. She identifies spanking as her sexual orientation because sex has no interest to her at all… spanking is her sole path to sexual gratification and the person delivering makes no difference at all. The point she’s putting out is that associating sex with spanking at a very young age meant that being spanked as a punishment non-consensually had the same emotional and psychological affect on her traditional as childhood sexual abuse. She made me stop and think. Here’s the link to the article: https://medium.com/the-establishment/its-difficult-to-admit-that-childhood-spankings-can-be-sexual-assault-702d96c4617a
She touched on some really important points about childhood spanking in general and how we treat the rights to body autonomy of children across the board. I like how she treated the subject of spanking as sexual assualt. She started by saying that the vast majority of kids are spanked with absolutely no negative effects from it. Her case is rare, but there are likely others who have developed along the same lines she did. If illegalizing spanking can stop the feeling of being sexually assaulted by even one child isn’t that worth it?
This is a new topic, at least for me, and not one I’ve ever heard people talking about. It’s uncomfortable and controversial on so many levels. The very fact that it makes me uncomfortable and not want to talk about it screams that there is something to consider at the very least.
I just about jumped for joy when I read my first article about parents not passing their children to people that make them cry or forcing hugs with Grandma when they don’t want to. The reasoning parents were giving was allowing children the choice of who touches them. As adults we have this choice and enforce it ruthlessly. We try to teach kids what good and bad touch is and it’s ok to tell someone no, yet we force kids to let people touch them that make them uncomfortable to the point of being punished for not allowing it when told to. This seems so intuitive when you hear it, yet we somehow don’t think about it in daily life because for many of us it’s never been considered. Acknowledging that children have a right to choose what happens to their bodies is huge!! I think this is the very first level to be considered in this conversation about spanking in general and the potential for sexual assault.
I think the biggest issue being raised by this woman is sexual orientation. She’s introducing an orientation which is considered a fetish or kink by most people. I struggle to wrap my head around the concept of this being a sexual orientation. It doesn’t begin to fit into my concept of what sexual orientation means. Adding in the factor of a child identifying with this orientation is beyond my scope of processing at the moment. I can’t begin to imagine how parents who disown their non-hetero kids would react to this coming out?! It’s not comfortable to think of a child having a fetish, but it makes more sense to me than calling it a sexual orientation.
The more I think on this topic, I don’t struggle with the concept of a child being sexually assaulted by spanking based on their sexualization of it. Fetishes are common and many start very young. If an act is forced on a child which intentionally, or not, hits on a fetish then it’s sexual assualt. I liken it to a woman orgasming during rape. The pleasure response creates even more shame and extreme confusion because it wasn’t consensual.
Big topic. I’m curious to hear what others think. Especially those of you with spanking kinks/fetishes. A perspective I don’t have.