Here’s a “marriage enhancement program” that’s not quite the first thing you would expect to hear from your local church pastor. Spanking Blog has an anecdote involving an unnamed church in Georgia that counsels husbands to spank their wives. Spankings should be “firm but fair, merciful but memorable” and are to be accepted with “grace and dignity”:

About ten years ago we began going to a church here in Georgia that I guess qualifies as “conservative.” New members are encouraged to go through a marriage enhancement program.

Our church only discusses this in private counseling. But basically what they teach is that a husband has not just authority but also responsibility to his wife, and that a wife is to submit to that authority. The most loving think someone with authority can do is discipline the person s/he has authority over. So the most loving thing my husband can do is discipline me when I need it!

Our church offers the following guidelines: a spanking should be firm but fair, merciful but memorable. What that means is:

firm – to do what is promised. If I’m SUPPOSED to get spanked for something, I get it. If I’m supposed to get 10, I get 10.

fair – a level of discipline that matches the offence.

merciful – not mean spirited. not in anger.

memorable – a spanking that will come to mind the next time I think about doing whatever it was again.

The church also offers the advice that a woman should be able to accept discipline with “grace and dignity.” When my husband tells me I’m getting one, I am supposed to behave well about it. When the spanking actually comes, I am supposed to do what is expected of me and obey the instructions he gives me.

But don’t get this wrong, it isn’t supposed to be just another ancient remnant of joyless patriarchal privilege. They intend for it to lead to hot monkey lovin’, as everybody knows a good spousal spanking is inclined to do:

Is any of this sexual? Or erotic? Definitely! And our church acknowledges that. We don’t feel like there’s a contradiction in that. And sex almost always follows.

Who woulda thunk it?