Although I avoided typical sexual exploration during my teen years, I explored another avenue: online. Of course, at the time I did not connect my spanking interest with my sexuality, so this exploration was perhaps not what you might expect.
When I was fifteen, my parents bought me a laptop and ran a phone line into my bedroom to provide an internet connection. I'm old enough that this was both highly unusual and well before the public was aware of the danger minors could find online. My older siblings had sold my parents on the wonders of email communication, so we had an internet connection at home before my school had a connection.
I started with all the searches I had been unable to complete on the family computer. This quickly led me to A.S.S. and later S.S.S - boards full of spanking stories. From there, I found several sites that collected or published stories. And, of course, I found Shadowlane and began to dream about attending a spanking party.
But I also spend hours playing on a MUSH (multi-user shared hallucination), a text-based roleplaying game similar to a MUD (multi-user dungeon). I was active on several different vanilla MUSHes, based on my favorite fantasy books at the time. Of course, in these flexible environments, I found a few people interested in roleplaying other types of interactions.
I developed a "relationship" with one of those people. He described himself as a boy near my age, perhaps a bit older. He would roleplay spanking me. In exchange, we would also roleplay scenes in which he would nurse from me. I couldn't imagine why he wanted to do this, but I also hadn't met anyone who had my reaction to spanking, so I went along with it. I still didn't think of this as sexual. The spanking roleplays we enacted were just fun, exciting stories I told with another person.
I wanted to meet him, eventually. But to do that, I had to explain to my mother where I had met this person. She put the kabosh on that idea right quick. She may not have had a clue about internet safety, but my mother had a healthy dose of common sense. This discussion was also the second step in outing myself to my mother - I allowed her to read some of the exchanges. She was disturbed by the spanking scenes we had written, but not the nursing scenes. This was memorable, but I refuse to think any further about it.
During my senior year, I found Adult Friend Finder. There, I found someone interested primarily in spanking. We talked for a long time. During the summer after my senior year, I decided I would meet him in person. I asked my oldest sister to act as my safe call. Unfortunately, she changed her mind and I decided not to meet him at that time.
Three months later, I met him without the safety of a safe call. While I certainly wouldn't recommend that method to anyone, it worked out fine for me. I had my first spanking. We've gotten together several times over the years. He's still one of my dearest friends.