I’m coming to you all with a very deep concern regarding something that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Even when I was as young as four, I was aware of my desire to be physically disciplined. At the time, all I knew was that it felt good on an emotional level (because my family life and parents were not supportive) and on a physical level (because, c’mon, it feels good). I’ve always known that I wanted this, but also that it was an extremely private and, to most people, extremely strange desire.
Here’s my problem: I’m fast approaching marriage and I recently stumbled across something called “Christian Domestic Discipline”, which is an alternative Christian lifestyle in which the husband holds his wife accountable for her actions and uses corporal punishment, usually spanking, if necessary. Many of the websites advocating this insist that it is moral, according to the Bible, and that when done in a respectful way, it builds intimacy and trust and, overall, strengthens a marriage.
I’ve been trying to convince myself for YEARS that this is a disordered desire that has no place in a Catholic marriage. I share an extremely pure, God-centered relationship with my husband-to-be and I would rather die than soil that. But, would it be soiling it?.. or is this lifestyle actually something that could help someone like me, who desperately longs for that kind of guidance and rarely feels that the privacy of the Sacrament of Confession is enough to repair the relationships (here on Earth) that are damaged by my sins. (I am not concerned about this lifestyle degrading the sacrament of Reconciliation for this reason-- spanking does not equal forgiveness from God.)
What does the Catholic Church say about this stuff? Nothing as far as I can tell, no one talks about weird fetishes… so, I need help. Does this sound weird to you? (Don’t answer that, of course it does…) Does this sound IMMORAL to you, or like it would harm a marriage rather than help it?