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[Image of Little Miss Naughty]A Fetish, the Internet and Me
by Mija

Wow. After months of talking about having a column on Newsguy, I guess this is my big introduction. How do I start? "Hi, my name is Mija. Over the last three and a half years I've spent countless hours reading and writing about spanking on Usenet"?

Okay, that sounded pretty much like support-group speak and hardly even naughty, but now maybe I have your attention. Especially if you're attracted in some way to spanking too. Honestly, it feels odd to be a woman, one who is considered and considers herself to be a feminist, and admit having a fetish. And maybe especially admitting to this one, one which for me is all about being treated like a child. Admitting I'm into spanking brings feelings of embarrassment and a tinge of fear, but also a relief at not hiding it any more.

Over three years ago now, knowing nothing about Usenet or the web, I stumbled upon a newsgroup devoted to my fetish - spanking. Now I'd known I had a strong interest (okay, and a really strong one!) in spanking as far back as I could remember. I'd spent a lot of time looking up references in libraries and always checked out the word 'spank' in any dictionary I could find, usually before I checked out anything else.

Because I'd already found erotic spanking novels by the time I was 13, I knew there were other people out there somewhere with this same interest. But except for the personal ads in alternative newspapers that I read covertly, I didn't really know there were a number of other people with the same interest. That is, I knew they existed, but where I could find them was another matter. (Answering a personal ad seemed too scary an idea to even consider.) I also partly questioned whether there could be women other than me with this interest, or if it was one only men had, since I never saw ads from any women.

And then I found the newsgroup, joined in the discussions and was part of the subsequent creation vote for soc.sexuality.spanking.

I discovered other people - men, but even more importantly, women - with the same fetish as me (though 'same' needs perhaps to be qualified since I also discovered there are ways of imagining spanking I'd never considered). These people were like and unlike me in numerous ways. Some were funny and witty, others boring and rude. And most had looked up 'spanking' in the dictionary, so we had that much in common. But most of all, the people I met were ordinary - with a diverse range of interests like people everywhere. Their humanity made a huge difference in my levels of acceptance and even celebration of my fetish.

So, my fetish is spanking. And exploring it through discussion, fiction, shopping, romance, friendships, on-line and real-life scenes has been an amazing trip. The exploration hasn't changed who or what I am, but it's made me that much more so. And it all somehow started on Usenet.

Okay, so this wasn't very naughty. But just wait 'til next time.

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