The gentlemanly art of spanking

When women turn the other cheek, what are they asking for?

By Carson Fitzgerald
January 7, 1999 6:07PM (UTC)
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In my early 20s, I bought a book called "The Intimate Kiss," a
tract on the art of cunnilingus, which I studied diligently in hopes of
becoming a great lover. Over the years, I read other books on
lovemaking techniques and, on the whole, have left behind many
well-loved, satisfied women. I hope I don't sound like I'm bragging: I
am suggesting that the men reading this article can consciously improve
their love lives by learning a few things and paying attention to their partners.

Despite my studies, I never gave spanking much thought and I was totally unaware of the generation and transmission of erotic power inherent in the act. Although I always enjoyed pictures of women in leather and rubber fetish
gear, the actuality of bondage, submission, discipline seemed quite
scary. Spanking, giving and receiving, was relegated to "too kinky" whenever I thought about it, which wasn't often.


The first time I spanked someone, it was not out of erotic play or
intent. My then-wife and I were having a terrible argument. Our
marriage was almost over -- actually it had been for a while. The passion
was gone, she wanted me to move out. For a couple of years, sex had been perfunctory at best.

We were in the bedroom. She was being absolutely unreasonable and would not listen to me. Out of sheer frustration, I grabbed her, threw her over my knee and administered a thorough bare-handed disciplining ... after which she jumped up, attacked me and tore off my clothes. We
had the hottest, most passionate sex we had had in years.


The connection between the two acts was not lost on me. But I was too
busy suffering through our separation and divorce over the next couple
years to think about it much.

I belong to a small mailing list on the Internet dedicated to analog
synthesizers, their upkeep, market value, use, repairs, modifications:
traditional Internet geek speak, in other words. For the most part these
discussions remain tame and technical, but several years ago, an Australian
named Robin Whittle, legendary in synthesizer circles for the modifications
he developed for a little synth known as the Roland TB-303, reminded me of
my spanking experience with a rather unorthodox letter he posted to the

At first the letter seemed unremarkable -- he was describing the genesis of his modifications, the intent and the results. And then, as the
piece progressed, odd tidbits popped up. Discussing the TB-303 as fetish,
he wrote: "Some people have to have the pure, original machine, so they can
sound like their heroes. This is fetishism of a boring, narrowing kind."
(Fetishism, presumably for Whittle, is fine when it leads to fresh
combinations -- as in, I have a substantial collection of exotic corsetry
and bonzai trees.)


We hadn't seen anything like this on the list before. Whittle developed the spanking/discipline/synthesizer theme for the rest of the piece,
stressing the erotic act of pushing one's synthesizer to its limits.

"Investigate feedback loops [in the studio] and tweak them beyond
stability. Dim the lights, flex your arms, turn on the tape-recorder,
and deliver the punishment your studio/synthesizer needs to find its
true voice -- wailing into new musical territory."


On visiting his Web site, I
discovered several lengthy essays about spanking, discipline,
masculinity, as well as the TB-303 and various and sundry other topics.
Whittle's interest is not so much in spanking as erotic foreplay,
although that is part of it, but as a necessary component of male-female
relationships. The implication in his writings is that women by nature get
out of line and men must assert themselves for the health of the
relationship, because they care for and love their women.

This is rather strange turf we enter at this point -- the turf across
which the archetypal cartoon caveman is dragging his beloved, whom he has
just clubbed, to his cave. The older I get the less I know about
fundamental motivations for human behavior. God knows I can barely explain
my own behavior sometimes.

Do women act out of line? Without a doubt. Are they testing their mates?


Right now, this moment, I find myself wondering if regular spankings
might have saved my marriage, had I cared enough, had I had the will,
courage and conviction to demonstrate that care. I don't think so -- it was
over. You go down that path a few more steps and you are O.J. Simpson.

Nonetheless, Whittle very eloquently makes his case for spanking, for
the emotional, as opposed to erotic, leverage it brings to a relationship
as a stabilizing force. While I cannot vouch for their authenticity, he
posts many letters from women who share his views. Here is an excerpt:

"Women cannot, and will not, respect perceived weakness or any man that
will not fight for their relationship," wrote one of his many adulatory
female correspondents. "So, I want you to understand that I really believe
you have tapped into a pulsing, unseen vein in society that needs to be
oxygenated, explored and put out there in print. Spanking is not simply
some strange fetish used for sexual arousal and enjoyment! ... I have
said for years that spanking was an emotional issue -- a heart issue that
has very little to do with sex to start. Now to have a deep need met with
a spanking will definitely endear you LUSTILY to the one you now see as a
savior of your insecurities, but it still starts, in my opinion, with
basic, unmet, emotional needs. Perhaps it is too embarrassing for many to
take spanking out of the sexual realm."


This was interesting -- especially since it was so contrary to much of
what we have heard from women over the past 30 years of the
"I prefer kind men who can express their feelings" ilk. But it wasn't
something around which I was going to
plan a new erotic life. On the synth mailing list, we made lots of
jokes about spanking synths for a while. A year later, I met someone
who asked me to spank her during our lovemaking.

Much to my surprise, I found myself enjoying watching the crimson
flush spread across her smooth white butt, my hand meeting her rounded
flesh, the sound of the smack bouncing sharply off the bedroom wall, her
gasps, the intensity of her sexual response geometrically increasing with
each slap, the heat, physical, emotional, primal, generated, juices flowing
like lava, a feedback loop of pure sexual energy, nova time.

It was as if a world of intense sexual possibility, hitherto hidden, or
at least unexplored, revealed itself to me that night. Mind you, she had
been spanked before, but it was all new to me. I cannot offer any
psychological analysis here. But as a man who has always loved sex with
women, the incredible moment of a woman's orgasm -- being there with it, in
it (Tennessee Williams once pointed out that homosexual men never
experience that with a man) -- I was amazed by the all-around intensity
my bare-handed paddling generated. Imagine my surprise this late in life.

Was this sadism on my part, masochism on hers? Of course not --
sadomasochism implies fetishism, guilt, transference of real sexual
feelings to objects, rituals and other stuff not normally connected to sex. Spanking seemed only an addition to what had hitherto been my rather orthodox approach to sex.


Cut to my high school reunion a few months ago. I hadn't seen Cheryl since
the last one, five years ago. She still looked cute. Single, like me. She
asked me to dance, early on. By night's end, we were pretty friendly.
We ended up necking at my place. Swatted her bottom lightly. She said
harder. I obliged. Things progressed. Nova time again.

Later she explained, "I love getting spanked. It makes my whole body just
vibrate. I had a lover who used a belt and just the sound of it coming
out of his pants and being folded over was completely exciting."

So I'm turning into quite the enthusiastic spanker by this time, not that I'm going to Bondage a-Go-Go every week -- I went once years ago and it
wasn't the public paddling that shocked me (after a while anyway) -- it was
a guy kneeling by the bar with a line of women in front of him, waiting to
have their boots licked clean by him, one at a time, resting on his raised
knee, their conversations as they stood there, drinks and cigarettes in
hand, as banal as anything you might hear in a suburban beauty parlor on
any given afternoon.

I want to know more about spanking: I guess my pride as a great lover has taken a blow.


I asked a gay friend, quite knowledgeable about sexual matters, gay and
straight, why women like to get spanked. He said, without hesitation, "The
same reason men like to get spanked."

This didn't quite resonate with yours truly. Nonetheless, in the search
for erotic possibility and truth, a short time later I asked my friend
Mary if she wanted to try spanking me. Yes she did, and did so ... but no
major heat was generated. No explanation here. I cannot attribute it to
cultural conditioning ... or whatever. Perhaps I was just too uptight to
enjoy it ... most likely not -- I think getting spanked is just not going to
do it for me, ever. Biting, scratching, pinching ... yes.

Later, after checking the spanking personal ads on the Web (there are
lots), I determined to take a poll about spanking among my women friends.

Although a couple of women dismissed it as "creepy," a
majority of them admitted that during the act of lovemaking, they enjoy it.
Maybe it's just the circles I run in, but I don't think so.

A 40-year-old writer at a major daily newspaper confessed, "I was having
a fight with my boyfriend. All of a sudden he spanked me, and then took me by force. It was absolutely one of the hottest sexual encounters of my life. It
was like my body took over, responding on its own, counter to everything
I had believed I would and should like, especially considering my
feminist sensibilities."

She then counseled me that if I were going to write a balanced piece on
spanking that I had to survey my male friends as well.

So I asked a few. One friend admitted to getting spanked by a dominatrix
in public at a fetish club in San Francisco. He said it didn't really
turn him on. Another friend will not speak about something that happened
at the same club, nor will he return there. None of my close straight male
friends expressed any interest in being the spankee, much preferring to
be the spanker. There are men, I am sure, who like to be spanked.

This is everything I know today about spanking.

Conclusion: By a margin of 3-1, women enjoy getting spanked (by
someone they trust) as a part of lovemaking, taking spanking out of the
area of kink and putting it squarely into the realm of normal sexual
behavior. Men: Are you up to it?

Conclusion: Bottoms are well-padded for a good reason.

Conclusion: Well-rounded butts appeal to me quite differently these

Conclusion: Further study is recommended.

Carson Fitzgerald

Carson Fitzgerald is a freelance writer and composer living in Oakland, Calif.

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