Recently an acquaintance of mine wrote a post on Fetlife called “kink is not a competition”, talking about how, while she considers herself a hard player, not everyone’s hard is the same. And she’s right. I’ve seen her play, and she can take some pretty heavy stuff (in my opinion), but that doesn’t mean someone else’s “hard” isn’t her “light”.
I have one partner who is a fairly light bottom. A “firm” spank from me is “hard” for her. So when I spank her, I spank more lightly than I might otherwise do. I enjoy it because she enjoys it. Since we have an established relationship, I want to make her happy, and spanking her the way she likes makes her happy. (I also sometimes spank her a little harder than she likes, but if I go too far, she can always safeword. The trick is to not go too far.)
At TASSP I spanked a heavier bottom on Friday and Saturday. For her, my light-to-medium “calibration” spanks, which I always do when I play with someone new, were too light for her. My “firm” was her “light-to-medium”. So I adjusted. I like giving hard spanks, but to be honest, I like it more when I can spank at my own rate (intensity-wise) and throw in some harder whacks every now and then before finishing with a set of very hard ones. I still enjoyed spanking this person, and she enjoyed it too.
It’s not a competition between my partner and this person from TASSP. Hell, it’s not even a competition among my partners themselves. Every human is different. If you can only take “light” or “medium” spankings, then that’s okay. If you prefer “as hard as possible” spankings, that’s okay too.
And as far as tops go: don’t think you have to measure up to other tops. There are some tops out there who are known for certain types of spankings. I like to think I’m known for giving very good hand spankings. I don’t use varying techniques, like some tops, and I don’t usually vary my speed, like some other tops. My hand spankings are regular, firm (or hard), and inexorable: you will get spanked until I’m done, whenever that may be. There are several tops in my area that are “better” than I am at various things, and I learned rather quickly that when I try to be like them I actually do worse at the things I’m good at.
The only time kink should be a competition is when there is an actual declared competition, such as a caning contest. Otherwise, you just need to find someone who’s good at doing what you like the way you like it (or receiving what you like the way you like to do it) (or both) and enjoy yourself. That’s what it’s all about.