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In rude health

March 29th, 2005

Dr Petra

Biologist Dr Sergei Speransky of the Novosibirsk Institute of Medicine in Russia has recommended a radical new treatment for problems such as depression or alcoholism.

Caning.

According to research by Dr Speransky and his team, a course of 30 sessions of 60 firm spanks to the buttocks leads to the release of endorphins – hormones that make you feel good.

Stand back and wait for magazines and newspapers to start advocating this in features. They love anything to do with hormones.

Devotees of discipline have claimed they experience a ‘rush’ after a good spanking. However, we still need more information about Dr Speransky’s research. How did they test that mood had changed? They could have used a self-report questionnaire to monitor how participants thought they were feeling. But to specifically measure hormone levels they’d need to take blood samples from participants at a regular basis during the 30 caning treatments.

Perhaps they also identified if participants’ depression appeared to diminish, or perhaps they cut down or stopped drinking. But if this information wasn’t collected, then the results are only based on supposition, and all that spanking may not have been the cause in perceived mood change.

And of course there are ethical issues here – presumably the people who signed up for smacking were fully aware what was going on (well I expect they were after the first treatment), and were agreeable to consent to this procedure.

Reports on this study suggest participants were paid, so there may have been an element of coercion. There’s also the factor of volunteer bias – perhaps the treatment only worked because those who joined in the study were keen on caning.

Finally, to show this treatment really does have effects, it needs to be compare with other approaches – for example does medication, or perhaps a talking therapy produce the same results as six of the best?

Outside of this research, spanking is getting a more positive coverage. For many years, the desire to discipline (or be disciplined) was seen as sexually deviant, particularly for women devotees of spanking who were seen as being secretly complicit in abuse.

Nowadays people have created guides for safe spanking – Greenery Press prints a particularly helpful range. And it’s been recognised that discipline is more than just the physical experience of smacking or being spanked, it’s about roleplay, consent, sharing fantasies, and communicating with a partner.

If you’re having problems with depression or alcohol abuse, it’s better to consult with your GP before you opt for being spanked! And if you are interested in discipline, talk to people who know about this issue, read up on the topic and learn from experts in discipline. That way, when you play with pain and pleasure, you always stay safe.

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