Fans of 'The Big Bang Theory' will remember this scene: Sheldon berates Amy for cheating on him. "She deserves punishment", he says. A spanking — no more, no less. What ensues is an uncharacteristic bit of physical contact between these two characters. The not-so-prude scientist lies across her boyfriend's knee to receive her penance. Of course, it has a comical tone, but Amy's expression perfectly reflects the excitement of the moment. “I know of nothing more magnificent than the buttocks that buck under the hand, stiffen, then reach out to beg the next blow. They yield and rebel in the same movement..." (The Art of Spanking, Jean-Pierre Enard).
Erotic spanking is nothing new. There's no punitive intent; it doesn't involve real punishment nor violence. The verb itself is suggestive, erotic and should have nothing to do with the concept of childhood chastisement (thankfully this type of discipline is no longer the norm nowadays). Neither should it be related with misogeny nor violence as expressed by Nietzsche in ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra' (1883): "Do you go to women? Do not forget the whip". Nudity, heat, voluntary surrender and, adrenaline. The body produces endorphins and the pleasure surges.
What is spanking?
The joy of spanking or being spanked in an erotic context and its roots can be easily traced throughout history. For example, in an Etruscan painting dated around 490 BC and located in Tarquinia (Italy), the so-called 'Tomb of the Scourging' shows two men whipping a woman on the buttocks for sexual pleasure. The ancient Romans bestowed almost magical powers on this practice and at the Lupercales, men would run around whipping anyone they met with leather whips to increase the fertility of women and the virility of men. In fact, in Petronius' 'The Satiricon', the priestess advises to treat Encolpius' impotence by whipping him with nettle branches (not recommended, it might sting a bit).
And now, we reach Victorian England, naturally, and the widespread custom of disciplining youngsters by turning their arses into bright-red tomatoes. ‘The English Vice’ is a book by historian Ian Gibson all about the Victorian connection between punishment and sexual pleasure: “In my view, no discussion of British sexuality is possible without taking into account the practice of caning which, after originating in public schools, spread everywhere. Powerless without recourse to spanking, either real or imagined, the countless victims of the system were not only condemned to a life of shameful and unspeakable desires, which made a satisfying marital relationship difficult, if not impossible, but their condition gave rise to a veritable ocean of pornography in which the longed-for childhood scenes and their ramifications were recreated ad-infinitum".
Regardless of the analyses and interpretations, getting turned on by spanking or being spanked is not wrong, pathological or cruel. It's a physical and mental game on which both partners must consent. The roles are assigned and there is an intimacy that is difficult to reproduce in other scenarios.
How do you perform spanking?
According to a study conduced by a well-known brand of sex toys, 70% of women and 64% of men become more aroused when sex includes spanking. There are even experts, such as Carol Queen, author of 'Exhibitionism for the Shy', who argue that a good spanking on the buttocks could stimulate the nerve endings in the vagina. How should this be done?
On the buttocks, but never any higher than that. You can also spank on the upper thighs, although more gently. Control the rhythm and intensity. Start gently, paying attention to how the other person responds, how their body reacts — then increase the intensity until it's just right.
This isn't an unsafe activity, but even so, if it's the first time you're doing it together, it's a good idea to decide in advance how far you're willing to go, while still leaving room for a degree of spontaneity. Spanking can be part of foreplay or can be performed in the middle of intercourse — it's all a matter of taste. And yes, there are positions that make receiving a spanking easier: kneeling, during doggy style or on top while straddling your partner.
Use some erotic accessories
Some people prefer a firm hand, while others are looking for a different touch, firmness or intensity. And that’s where floggers come in. These accessories can be used to experiment, to spice up play, to add a touch of refinement or the game or to empower the players. Because spanking by hand is not the same as spanking with a whip, a riding crop or a paddle — each experience is different.
Leather, rubber, synthetic vegan leather; short or long; ones with metal, wooden or glass handles — there are many types of whips. Just choose the one that best suits your needs and the one that'll become an extension of your hand.
Firm and flexible, made of patent or faux leather, featuring a variety of differently shaped tips and a very soft feel, bdsm floggers are among the most sophisticated spanking tools in existence.
Legend has it that actor Jack Nicholson armed himself with a ping-pong paddle when he wanted to spank his lovers to orgasm. But the truth is that you don't need to dig into your sports gear; there are paddles specifically designed for the most pleasurable spanking.
Tips on how to get started with spanking:
- Remember that this type of play has no violent or sexist connotations whatsoever.
- Discuss it beforehand with your partner.
- It's best to start gently.
- You may spank on the upper thighs as well as the buttocks — but never above the buttocks.
- The most important factor is rhythm and intensity.
- If you're the one spanking, pay attention to how your partner responds.
- If you're on the receiving end, let your partner know if you like it or not.
A small amount of pain, depending on how it's applied and what you use to administer it, can be incredibly erotic. “I asked Michèle if the spanking had hurt her. She said yes, with a tone whose modesty irresistibly suggested pride and a pleasure, a happiness even — muted and wild.” (Praise of Spanking, Jacques Serguine).