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Resistance is futile.
  — Popular phrase


Externally hosted image on Handprints: Drawings Gallery #20
A defiant girl. Artwork by Sassy Bottoms.

Resistance or defiance is the action of opposing something that one disapproves or disagrees with. Resistance can be verbal and/or physical, and physical resistance can be active or passive. The corresponding verb is to resist or to defy, the corresponding adjective is to be resistant or defiant.

Resistance has more positive connotations, such as "resistance against an oppressor", wheras defiance has more negative connotations of rebellion against a reasonable command, a rule, a law or generally an authority. From the point of view of the authority, resistance and defiance are acts of disobedience and can constitute a punishable offense.

Resistance to punishment[edit]

M/F spanking drawing by Andrew Wolkoff (2012).

When a person faces punishment (which is, by definition, unpleasant), there are two possible reactions: compliance or resistance.

Compliance is usually found when:

  • the delinquent agrees that the punishment is deserved and fair
  • the delinquent respects the punisher's authority and decision
  • the delinquent believes that resistance will be fruitless
  • the delinquent fears that resistance will make their situation worse
  • the delinquent hopes that compliance will ease the punishment

Resistance is usually found when:

  • the delinquent thinks that the punishment is undeserved and/or unfair
  • the delinquent disrespects the punisher's authority and/or decision
  • the delinquent believes that resistance will be advantageous

Examples of resistance to corporal punishment such as a spanking:

  • verbal resistance:
    • protest/backtalk (e.g. saying "no" or "don't dare to touch me")
    • begging (e.g. "please don't spank me", "I didn't mean it" or "I won't do it again")
  • passive physical resistance:
  • active physical resistance:

There may also be partial compliance and partial resistance, such as:

  • agreeing that one deserves punishment, but not a spanking
  • agreeing with a spanking, but not bare bottom
  • agreeing with a spanking, but not with a certain implement
  • agreeing with a spanking, but not while somebody is watching
  • agreeing with a spanking, but not given by a specific person

Breaking resistance[edit]

Resistance is usually unwanted by the executer of the punishment because it makes the process difficult, laborious and unsafe. Resistance can be broken by verbal and/or physical means. Examples:

  • verbal: by scolding and explaining why the punishment is well-deserved
  • verbal: by emphasizing the rules and the need for submission and discipline
  • verbal: by threatening that resistance will result in extra punishment
  • physical: by overpowering (e.g. pinning the hand on the lower back when a spankee tries to block the spanks)
  • physical: by forced motion (e.g. pulling, carrying)
  • physical: by hitting, slapping or spanking

Often, the delinquent may change their strategy in the course of the proceedings. For example, They may first try backtalk. When this is ineffective, they may try passive physical resistance, and when this broken, they may turn to begging as a last attempt to escape their unpleasant fate.

In traditional society, children were trained from a young age to always respect their elder's decisions and to always fully comply with any punishments that were given to them by their parents, guardians, teachers, and employers. To achieve such compliance, any resistance to punishment, when verbal and especially when physical, would traditionally result in a more severe punishment for additional disobedience.

Resistance in consensual spanking[edit]

Resistance is usually a sure sign of nonconsensuality, whereas compliance can both be found in nonconsensual and in consensual situations.

In consensual spanking, there is typically either no resistance at all (the spankee behaves submissively, compliant and obedient), or the spankee shows some degree of resistance, which is then broken by the spanker (and/or assisting persons). The latter is usually found in roleplay. Strong resistance is typical for brat players.

Since some spankers may enjoy "breaking the spankee's resistance" while other spankers (especially in D/s relationships) may dislike resistance and prefer slave-like humble submission, this is a topic that the play partners may want to discuss beforehand.


Nonverbal backtalk. Mame (2017)
  • arguing
  • backtalk
  • disagreement
  • disobedience
  • objection
  • opposition
  • protest

See also[edit]