"WHAT" is going on here? Good question! Well . . . .
Shortly after Fellowship of the Ring came out I saw a post on the Lord of the Rings Discipline Yahoo group from a reader who for some time had been longing for a story featuring Boromir as the "recipient." Boromir. Hmmm. I was intrigued, so when Shot (our reader) provided a wonderful little factoid from Tolkien's canon I saw how the story might work. And off I went on this journey into my own little Middle Earth AU. At present I've written 61 stories featuring Tolkien's wide variety of beloved characters and a few of my own.
My outlook on spanking is as follows: Rather than viewing it as a painful 'punishment' administered in anger, I see spanking as loving discipline meted out by caring individuals to those who seek attention for various reasons. In my AU all the characters share this intrinsic understanding of a world wherein disciplinary spanking is part of the culture, all cultures. And, as the characters in my stories best express my position on spanking, I’ll step aside and let them speak for me. I've singled out a few passages from various stories that serve to illustrate my writing.
From my first story, Attention Deserved, Aragorn's thoughts when spanking Boromir:
For within the conquered man wilted over my lap beat the heart of my willful fledgling, that tenacious spirit lying dormant at the moment, but still potent. And that was how it should be. It was never my goal to break the spirit.
A spanking is not meant to diminish. It is meant to nourish. The unspoken message conveyed to anyone over my knee, hobbit, elf, or man is, 'I care about you. I am not indifferent to your need, your guilt, your loneliness. I will not walk away. You will not be passed over or ignored. I see you, and I care enough to discipline you.'
It's a loving act, a trust, and a bond. Indeed, who among us does not suffer the worst anguish possible when our pain goes unheeded, or worse yet, when it is seen, yet dismissed? And who does not need a little attention sometimes simply because they do?
That was what I wanted for my fledgling, the knowledge and the acceptance that there was nothing wrong with needing the attention he so deserved. He'd lost that knowledge long ago, his yearning to be noticed ignored until he finally shoved aside any further desire for it rather than to go on suffering its loss. He'd locked away that need in his little boy heart until it was forgotten.
But, like hope itself, the longing for concern and affection from another never entirely dies, especially when it was once enjoyed and lost. And so the appearance of Thorongil had reawakened that longing in Boromir, rousing not only his hope, but his confusion and fear. Little wonder he lay here quivering. And little wonder he would struggle mightily with what I had to say.
And further on in the scene:
"As you see, we will still be addressing this matter of obedience from time to time. So be it. I am content with that, because the little boy I see living in you still is a good little boy, worthy of my attention. He needs a loving hand to correct him when he misbehaves, for he is too brutal with himself if he feels he's done something wrong. My fledgling shows compassion to others, yet he spares little of it for himself.
"But you will never escape my notice, Boromir. When you need my attention, you will be given it. When your mutinous air resurfaces, and rest assured, my unruly fledgling, it will, I promise you this: I will never think less of you for it. Nor for any other headstrong acts. Neither will I ignore the matter, nor cast you from my affections, nor make you live with your guilt. You will be attended to, just as you have been here, and then all will be forgiven and forgotten." I paused and grinned. "Until the next time."
Legolas while spanking Aragorn in Ranger-child VI:
I did not like the fact that the actual spanking was hurting him. I felt certain that no one who was spanking another enjoyed their subject's cries. But I knew that, while the discomfort was something he could not ignore, it was a secondary consideration to him, as it was to me when I was being spanked, as indeed I suspected it was for all and any of us who had been disciplined this way. Yes, it hurt, and yes it was meant to, for that was what made it something to be avoided. The pain could serve as a deterrent, making one think twice about foolhardy acts, but the pain was transitory, and, for one such as Aragorn, it did not even hold the power to sway.
But a spanking served many purposes, and the physical pain itself was nothing compared to the anguish of indifference, or dismissal. It could not compare to the pain of guilt, or remorse, or the desolation of being alone with one's inner torment, bereft of comfort or care. Were I inflicting those hurtful things upon Aragorn, I would indeed feel badly. But although I knew this spanking was physically hurting him, it was also healing him. He felt cared for and loved. He felt noticed. He felt that he mattered. And I could not feel badly for giving him that, even when he needed it delivered in this way. I understood it.
The times I remember feeling the greatest bliss and harmony were the times after Aragorn had spanked me, then held me, and comforted me, and told me all was well now, and I was beloved of him. There were no words, Westron, Sindarin, or Quenya to describe it, and what a privilege I now had to give the same to him.
Thoughts from Legolas while spanking Faramir - Ere The Final March Chapter VI:
Most of all Faramir yearned for this closeness, the position and the feeling of attention and worthiness, the love from a figure of authority. I marveled, as I often did, that this simple act carried so much power. Faramir was drawing what he needed from it, as we all did, each in his own fashion. To be forced into a situation so overwhelming, forced by a loving hand into a rare and delicious place of protected helplessness . . . ahhh, it warmed and thrilled, each searing spank ripping through the body, leaving you exhausted and softened, stricken, and yet always, always sheltered, watched over, loved.
It might seem unbefitting to feel pleasure in spanking another. When Aragorn or Boromir or one of the little ones lay kicking and crying over my lap, his bottom growing redder and hotter from my spanking hand, it might seem unfeeling to smile, even softly. But I sometimes caught myself doing just that. And I had seen others do the same. Anyone who had spanked another would understand the plain truth of it - doing this for another, with another, was an act of devotion, and it felt good. It could even make one smile. The person over my knee was suffering, but only in the physical sense. Hidden within a spanking were countless, glorious blessings, and those hidden blessings were pleasurable to the soul.
And, further on in the same scene:
But it is only then that they understand, only when discomfort wrenches them from their rebellion and slides them into a realization as to what is really happening here. For a spanking is never about bending another to one's will through the application of pain. It is something far deeper, something felt with the heart. It is helping another allow themselves the acceptance of grace, letting them first pass through the intensity of a spanking in order to be reminded of certain truths, that they are loved, they are safe, and they are worthy of this attention.
So, in conclusion, the repeated theme of attention and caring, love and devotion is the basis for, and the catalyst behind, the kind of spanking, or loving discipline, in my stories, and the answer to, "What is going on here?"