Not just for me, but for many people from ancient times onward
I have to confess, I have a bit of a spanking obsession. The mere thought of being put over my lover’s knee to have my bare ass swatted by him engenders an erotic buzz. (I’ve not yet been spanked by a woman, but I hope to be someday.) Looking at images of people being spanked as I did research for this story raised my blood pressure more than a few points. Spanking appears in most of the erotica that I write because I find it so incredibly arousing. It turns out I’m not alone.
Erotic spanking has been a sexual practice since at least the days of Pompeii, and depictions of it have been found on the walls of the famous brothel there, the Lupanar, as well as in some other Etruscan frescoes such as the one above. Spanking featured prominently in Victorian erotica and French publishers of the 1920s and 30s put out a vast quantity of spanking novels complete with illustrations.
19th-century dominatrix, Theresa Berkley, specialized in spanking. She was a bit of a celebrity in her day and provided her services to many of the British aristocracy — both male and female. She even invented a special stand to comfortably accomodate her clients while they were being spanked or flogged known as the Berkley Horse. Berkley had a high class “flagellation brothel” (what we might call a dungeon) that was quite financially lucrative. At the time of her death in 1836, her estate was worth some £100,000.
Spanking remains popular in the present day, as a stand-alone activity, as an element of foreplay, or as something that happens while other sexual acts are taking place. In 2019 survey of 4,500 participants revealed that 75% of women and 66% of men enjoyed erotic spanking.
Erotic spanking may be arousing for a variety of reasons, some of them physical and some psychological.
Spanking involves the use of the palm of the hand against flesh, usually the well-padded flesh of the buttocks. It can sting but does not cause serious pain or harm.
The sensation can give rise to an adrenaline surge that can heighten emotion and sensation.
Moreover, the additional blood flow to the surface of the skin that results from a playful slap makes all of the nerve receptors in the skin more sensitive, enhancing the sensation of a caress.
Some kinksters do go in for the greater pain of caning or other forms of flagellation that may leave bruises or other marks, but in general, spanking done with the hand or a paddle is more about the juxtaposition of intensity and pleasure than about true pain. It can certainly sting, and it’s always best to spank the fleshy part of the buttocks for the sweet spot between the two elements. It’s also a good idea to avoid the tailbone and hip bones so as not to bruise them.
Some other common implements used for spanking might be a hairbrush, a strap, or a rolled up newspaper. Floggers may be used in more playful spanking as well as in more intensive flagellation. Theresa Berkley was known for her birch switches, which she stored in water to keep them green and pliant. For my money, nothing beats the intimacy of a bare hand and it’s also easier to gauge intensity without an implement between you and the other person.
I like the physical sensation of being spanked, but the emotional/mental aspects are also attractive. I remember once telling a new lover that it was OK for him to spank me and he replied, “Oh, I am going to spank you,” in a sexy growl which set the whole encounter off on the right foot. It was playful, and just a bit dominant without being bossy or entitled. He spanked me intermittently while he was fucking me from behind and the combination of those sensations together was utterly delicious.
I also enjoy spanking as a part of a more scripted scene where I am either the giver or the receiver. Although I like both, my true preference is to be the one getting spanked. As with anything that is sexually submissive, if I’m with someone that I really trust, I find it incredibly relaxing as well as mentally erotic. I am completely in the hands of the spanker.
“The thing that I like most about being spanked is that it releases endorphins and makes me feel calm,” said one woman who was interviewed about her fondness for the practice.
My first time being spanked in this way was also my first submissive experience of any sort. My husband James and I had gone to a hotel for the weekend and had just spent several hours with a couple that we were playing with at the time. The man had spanked me a few times when we were fucking and I realized then how much I enjoyed that. After they went home, I asked James if we could play out a more formalized scene and he of course, agreed.
The hotel room had a seating area with a padded ottoman that was just long enough for me to get on all fours. I’d thrown on a long shirt and a pair of panties to say goodbye to our friends, and that worked perfectly for what we had in mind. James walked around me a few times, perched there on the ottoman before deciding what to do with me.
First he tied a scarf around my eyes so that my other senses were heightened, before eventually pulling my shirt up over my hips. As he slowly pealed my underwear down to expose my bare ass, I thought that I might implode right then and there. James then began rubbing and caressing my rear before mixing in a few firm spanks, the intensity building as my ass heated up with the increased blood flow. After a while he decided to balance a glass of wine on the small of my back, which I had to keep from spilling while he continued to massage and swat me. It wasn’t easy, but I managed it.
My reward was for him to pull my panties down further so that he could begin exploring my pussy from behind, fingering me while he continued to spank me. By the time he was ready to fuck me, I was so turned on I could hardly stand it. We went home and bought a padded ottoman that we used as a sex prop for years to come.
There seems to be no agreement about why spanking is so psychologically arousing and indeed there is probably no one reason. For me, I think it’s the power dynamics combined with the intensity of physical sensation, and the endorphins that are released.The inherent intimacy of the act is another factor as well as the erotic experience of having my ass in the air and on full display. The thought of lying flat on a bed or table and being spanked with say, a ruler doesn’t have near the arousal quality of being layed across the lap of my lover while he provides a variety of sensations with his hand.
All in all, although spanking has long been a popular erotic endeavor, it is highly individualized as to how, and how intensely. Although it’s a rather wide-spread kink, it is still a kink, and not something that appeals to everyone.
A preference to spank, to be spanked, or to not partake in the practice at all represents a person’s orientation to their sexuality, gender, and personality. While spanking includes a host of different sexual reactions to different types of striking, it’s still an umbrella term — not all spanking gives people the same type of pleasure, if any at all.
© Copyright Elle Beau 2020
Elle Beau writes on Medium about sex, life, relationships, society, anthropology, spirituality, and love. If this story is appearing anywhere other than Medium.com, it appears without my consent and has been stolen.
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