“Spanking brings couples together” says a brief study on the hormones that are released during a spanking.
Brad Sagarin at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and colleagues measured
levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 13 men and women at an S&M party in
Arizona, before, during and after participating in activities. During S&M
scenes, cortisol rose significantly in those receiving stimulation, but dropped
back to normal within 40 minutes if the scene went well. There was no change in
those inflicting the activity.
At an S&M event in Colorado, testosterone was measured in 45 men and women. It increased significantly in receiving women only. Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa, Italy, says the boost may help women cope with the aggressive nature of S&M activities, or that it could be another sign of stress. In both studies, couples who said the party went well also reported increases in relationship closeness (Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI: 10.1007/s10508-008-9374-5).
It’s important to note that levels of both hormones dropped back down in couples who enjoyed the experience, Marazziti says. “When sexual intercourse is consensual it is not stressful – even if it is extreme sex.”
That’s a really small study to make a statement that any spanko could tell you. It takes trust to be in that situation on both sides, it involves a little communication, and it is time well spent on an intimate activity. It makes sense that it would be partner building.
I did think the rise in testosterone is interesting. I like their claim that it is to help process the ‘aggressive nature’ of S&M but it could also easily be the spike in sexual arousal or a combination of both.
In the nature of science, I advise everyone to go and test the merits of this study. All previous spankings must be disregarded as no one had the data in mind. All studies must be repeatable in order to have credibility and all possible factors must be considered. I have not been spanked in Arizona or Colorado, for instance, and maybe the location had an impact in this. The only way to know for certain is to have more spankings.