Erotic spanking is the act of spanking another person for the sexual arousal or gratification of either or both parties. Activities range from a spontaneous smack on bare buttocks during a sexual activity, to occasional sexual roleplay, such as ageplay, to domestic discipline and may involve the use of a hand or the use of a variety of spanking implements, such as a spanking paddle or cane. Erotic spankings are commonly combined with other forms of sexual foreplay. The most common type of erotic spanking is administered on the bare buttocks, but can also be combined with bondage, in order to heighten sexual arousal and feelings of helplessness.
History and literature
In some cultures, the spanking of women by the male head of the family or by the husband – sometimes called domestic discipline – has been, and sometimes continues to be, a common and approved custom. In those cultures people believe that the husband, as head of the family, has a right and duty to discipline his wife and children when he sees fit. Manuals are available to instruct the husband how to discipline his household. In most western countries, this practice has come to be regarded as unlawful and socially unacceptable wife-beating, domestic violence or abuse. Routine corporal punishment of women by their husbands, however, does still exist in some parts of the developing world, and still occurs in isolated cases in western countries. However, today, spanking of an adult tends to be confined to erotic spanking or to BDSM contexts.
Representations of erotic spanking and flagellation make up a large portion of Victorian pornography, for instance 1000 Nudes by Koetzle.) Hundreds of thousands of engravings, photographs, and literary depictions of spanking and flagellation ("birching") fantasies circulated during the Victorian era, including erotic novellas like The Whippingham Papers, The Birchen Bouquet, Exhibition of Female Flagellants or the pornographic comic opera Lady Bumtickler's Revels. Since their deaths, many well-known people have been discovered to have enjoyed spankings for erotic purposes or emotional gratification, including the noted British Army officer T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), influential English theatre critic Kenneth Tynan, TV broadcaster Frank Bough, and English writer John Mortimer.
... Miss Lambercier... exerted a mother's authority, even to inflicting on us... the punishment of infants... Who would believe this childish discipline, received at eight years old, from the hands of a woman of thirty, should influence my propensities, my desires, my passions, for the rest of my life... To fall at the feet of an imperious mistress, obey her mandates, or implore pardon, were for me the most exquisite enjoyments, and the more my blood was inflamed by the efforts of a lively imagination the more I acquired the appearance of a whining lover."
According to Dan Savage, journalist Jillian Keenan is "America's most prominent spanking fetishist" today. She has written about erotic spanking for the New York Times, Slate, and Pacific Standard. Keenan has argued that spanking fetishism is a form of sexual orientation, which should not be considered a mental illness.
A spanking may be carried out with the use of a bare or gloved hand, or with any of a variety of implements, including a paddle, strap, hairbrush, feather duster or belt. Other popular implements are canes, riding crops, whips, switches, birches, sneakers, phonebooks, rolled-up catalogs or newspapers, rulers or martinet.
A spank skirt or spanking skirt has an additional opening in back designed to expose the buttocks. While the name spank skirt suggests that the wearer could be spanked "bare bottom" without removing or repositioning the skirt, this item may be worn for reasons other than spanking, for instance, exposure). Considered fetish wear, spank skirts are typically tight-fitting and made of fetishistic materials (such as leather, PVC or latex). Regardless of the gender of the wearer, spank skirts are usually considered female attire. The male gender role equivalent might be motorcycle chaps.
A spanking bench or spanking horse is a piece of furniture used to position a spankee on, with or without restraints. They come in many sizes and styles, the most popular of which is similar to a sawhorse with a padded top and rings for restraints. The 19th-century British dominatrix Mrs. Theresa Berkley became famous for her invention of the Berkley Horse, a similar form of BDSM apparatus.
Howard Stern's paddle machine, the "Robospanker", has been used on his show to spank numerous guests, including Jessica Jaymes, Jennifer Krum, Haydn Porter, Tabitha Stevens, Victoria Zdrok, and Valentina Vaughn.
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Spanking can be administered in a number of spanking positions. The choice of position takes into account the spankee's comfort in the position for long periods of time, the spanker's ability to swing at the spankee at a comfortable, natural angle, complete access to the spankee's buttocks, the spanker's control of the spankee's position and ability to readjust as necessary, safety, and the amount of strength the top is able to generate from such a position. Positions can also be chosen specifically for added effects such as increased humiliation, elevation and suspension.
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- Dan Savage, , The Stranger, September 18, 2014
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- Haydn Porter being paddled by a paddle machine during A Spanking New Year, the 4 January 2007 episode of The Howard Stern Show.
- Koetzle, Michael. 1000 Nudes: A History of Erotic Photography from 1839-1939. Taschen, 2005.
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