Girlfriend wants birthday spanking

Hey Alice,

My girlfriend wants me to give her a birthday spanking. One spank for each year. I have some concerns, but thought it might be a fun idea to explore....

Her birthday is a month away and I am not sure what to do?

Dear Reader,

Well, it sure beats going to the movies…or does it? Your ambivalence about giving your girlfriend the gift that keeps on stinging may stem from wanting to please your girlfriend on her special day, while simultaneously wondering if it's up your alley. Spanking may not be for everyone, but it's not just limited to leather-bound S/M'ers (sadomasochism enthusiasts). Some may enjoy experimenting with various types of sex play that stray from the "standard" sexual positions. However, if you don't feel comfortable giving a spanking-new birthday gift, you may just want to follow your instincts.

You mention that spanking your girlfriend "might be a fun idea." Could this also mean that "it might be fun to try?" Perhaps you would like to consider the upcoming spanking gift as a one-time experiment — one that you won't have to repeat unless you feel that it's exciting, fun, and safe for both you and your girlfriend. If you would like to give spanking a chance, you'll want to have a conversation with your partner to establish guidelines, and together, you both could think of ways that would make the experience more comfortable. For example, could you start this year with just one inaugural spank as a way of easing you into this new activity? Lights on or off? Music, perhaps?

Still, with your girlfriend's birthday a month away, you may want to use this time as an opportunity to explore the extent of your comfort, or discomfort, with spanking. Being very specific about what you desire can help you identify the source of your discomfort. For instance, maybe the idea of spanking her with a belt makes you uncomfortable, but you would be open to doing it with your hand. How would you feel if you did spank your girlfriend and either one or both of you decided it's not the way to go? Are you worried that you may hurt your girlfriend when spanking her? Do you feel that spanking your girlfriend may indicate violence or abnormality in your relationship? Are there other types of sex play with which you may feel more comfortable? Thinking through these questions may help you figure out what steps you'd like to take next. 

In the meantime, you may want to strongly consider having a talk with your girlfriend about her birthday wish and share any concerns that you may have about spanking her. Do you feel compatible with each other, sexually or otherwise? Are there other types of play you both would like to try? Remember that you are half of your relationship, so it's only fair and healthy for you to communicate with your girlfriend to let her know how you feel and what you want (or don't want!) — even if it's her special day. If you're uncomfortable broaching this topic with your girlfriend, ask yourself why this may be.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you feel comfortable with your decision. If you choose to grant her birthday wish, open communication is key to having an enjoyable experience. You two should choose a safeword to use if one of you becomes uncomfortable and wants to stop. When choosing your safeword, it's key to pick a random word that typically wouldn't be used in the bedroom, like "flamingo" or "applesauce." Communicating with your girlfriend about your wishes, as well as hers, may help you (and her) understand any underlying doubts about spanking and about other types of sex play. And who knows, maybe one day you'll want to be the one on the receiving end of that hand…

Last updated Sep 23, 2022
Originally published Mar 31, 2000

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