Thanks - a great treatise on the enduring appeal of marks! Admittedly not everyone’s fetish, but some of us, while displaying absolutely no other narcissistic traits, really do engage with our marks - both as a badge of honour (“A caning’s not a caning without a thorough marking….”) and for their aesthetic and emotional appeal – a step towards the branding / body modification culture but without the permanency. As you say, marks are quixotic, which is why it’s so exciting to track their progress as they rapidly wax then so slowly wane (including those occasional strange ones that appear out of nowhere with no concrete recollection of their origin). A mirror and a camera are indeed a bottom’s best friend! Is part of the intrigue that the bottom is hidden from one’s gaze so we must make special efforts to observe our marks? (I once took a fairly severe hand tawseing, to see what the hype was all about. Fascinating to watch the wrist grow purple and swollen over the next few days, butnthis didn’t have the same deep attachment as bottom marks.) I wonder, did the warriors of old take such pride in their battle scars? I suspect they did. It’s many years since I did the ‘emotional piece’ in s/m play but, yes, I well remember the sense of the marks being a ‘shared creation’, with the marker taking almost as much interest in their progression as the markee. Perhaps a similar ‘common bond’ to that experienced by the artist and the model (and viewing the marks as a form of body art almost takes us full circle….)? One of life’s lesser tragedies is that these hard-earned marks we treasure so deeply are so tricky to share with others! Just sometimes, almost subconsciously, they find an excuse for a popping out for a brief airing – the glutes stretch in the gym shorts, or the vanilla slideshow on the camera to friends which accidentally scrolls back just one frame too far! A natural human desire to want to share that which we’re proud of? It was also a little sad that, in the distant days when domestic / school CP was not unheard of, the withering threat was always “You won’t be sitting down for a week!” and not “Your bottom’ll be well marked for a week!” Why did they emphasise the negative rather than the positive? And to address the problem of a bottom that no longer marks to its owner’s satisfaction, there’s several other fleshy areas on the human body almost crying out for their inaugural marking……(with a sensible implement, of course). A minority of bottoms may exhibit a desire to raise the bar, seeking ever ‘better’ marks at each play. Probably it helps that this is a mutual activity so the responsible top can exercise due restraint. Your final points are well made – almost a quality v. quantity dilemma. But could you really survive a year without spanking – I mean, what would you write about!?

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