To be strictly accurate, ‘spanking’ is normally defined by the slapping of hand against bottom. Slightly more loosely, it may also include slapping other body areas such as the thighs. But the ‘spanking fetish’ allows for the use of a variety of implements, most usually applied to the bottom.
These implements fall into several groups which are defined by the type of impact they produce. A Paddle, much favoured in the U.S., is most like an open palm in that its impact is a broad ‘splatt’ against one or both bottom cheeks. Intensity and severity is governed by the relative thickness, and therefore weight, of the paddle blade. A light paddle producing a shallow but intense sting, while a thicker, heavier paddle provides a much deeper, more bruising impact. Also falling into this category are a number of other common household implements that have traditionally been used to apply parental discipline to offspring, such as the classic mother’s favourite hairbrush, wooden kitchen spoon or spatula, or even a ‘yardstick’ or similar shaped piece of timber from father’s shed.
Still on the home theme, father’s slipper offers a more flexible alternative to a paddle, particularly if it happens to be one of the classic leather-soled variety. And while on the subject of footwear, many a teacher has used a gym-shoe (sneaker) on an errant pupil in the past.
The ‘flexible friend’ theme leads into the use of other domestic items, most notably ‘the belt’, and in past times, ‘the razor strop’. There is something in the properties of leather, when applied vigorously to an ‘errant’ backside, that produces a unique type of sting. Individually, the strokes are not particularly intense. Rather, a good belting will begin with a warm burning sensation that is not unpleasant, but as the number of strokes increases, so does the burning intensity!
Schools obviously appreciated the punishment potential of leather, and a dedicated ‘instrument’ was born, the Tawse. Used principly, but not exclusively, in Scotland and Ireland, a heavy 18 inch strip of leather was shaped to form a comfortable handle at one end, while the business end was typically split into 2, 3 or 4 parallel blades. The most common use of a tawse was to apply it along the length of the upturned fingers and palms of a pupil standing at the front of the class. But stories abound of altogether more intimate applications within the confines of the head’s office.
And school provides the scene for one of the best known disciplinary implements, the Cane. Originating from the British rule of India, where cane was presumably used to discipline, it was imported back to the UK and distributed to every school in the land to be used as the ‘ultimate sanction’. The Cane became irrevocably burned into minds (and often bottoms!) of English school children up to the 1960s, when it was phased out. The surprise is that fifty years on, its mystique remains, and a caning can produce a very powerful subspace for a willing recipient.
Meanwhile Europe tended to utilize a variety of dedicated instruments which had their roots in whips or quirts. Specifics vary from country, and there are many names for these implements, all of which sound positively evil. Bastinado springs to mind.
Whips feature more heavily in out-and-out BDSM play, ranging from long bull-whips, to multi-thonged flays, more usually made from leather. Application includes the bottom, but they may also be used on the back, particularly across the shoulders. Not my thing, and so I am not qualified to provide much more detail, but there are a multitude of BDSM websites which can inform if you have the inclination.
One final group of disciplinary implements remain, those that are provided by mother nature and used in an almost raw form. Simplest of all, the Switch. Nothing more than a suitable straight and flexible twig with its leaves and bugs stripped off. I understand Hazel is a favourite, although tree identification is not my strong-point. Used intensively in Europe, its use was exported to the U.S. by the flood of immigrants, where it was widely adopted by many families who preferred to send its intended victim out to cut their own from a backyard tree. The Victorians took this simple implement a stage or two further by bundling Birch twigs together to form a Birchrod, otherwise known simply as a ‘birch’, or ‘rod’. Somewhat surprisingly, these were considered suitable for application to primarily young and female offspring, as well as female servants. There is plenty of evidence of this fact in the online books published by SAXON Anthology of Victorian Erotica, The Yellow Room being a renowned classic of its type.
So what does all this mean to us erotic spankers and spankees?
To my mind, if it involves ‘discipline’, and we get off on discipline, then any and all of the above mentioned implements may be experimented with, and if it goes well, adopted for regular use. Some of the implements are capable of inflicting wicked pain, and even breaking the skin if used sufficiently vigorously. But an erotic thrill can be had from wielding, and submitting to, any of them, providing they are used sensibly. In fact in my experience, the more ‘scary’ the implement, the greater the eroticism surrounding it.
I like to focus my attention on the mental side of a play session and with a bit of practice, and a degree of experience and trust in one’s partner, it is possible to have a girl trembling in erotic trepidation and fulfillment without ever actually landing a stroke with the implement. More than one roleplay has been enacted with ‘a cane laying threateningly on the headmaster’s desk’, laying in wait as the ultimate deterrent if she doesn’t do precisely as she is told, but never actually used. For this to work properly, she must have some idea of what the implement actually feels like, otherwise it becomes an empty threat that loses its impact over time.
Many submissives make it a ‘hard rule’ that certain implements are never used, which is a great shame because I am confident that, if used carefully, they would actually enjoy them immensely. But it can be the case that the erotic fear of an implement is so great that the erotic part of the fear vanishes, leaving sheer dread behind. With a bit of courage, and an inquisitive nature, this can be overcome provided the wielder of the implement is competent in its use.
Speaking for myself, I do not enjoy using any implement that is rigid. I am thinking particularly of paddles and the like. Because of their weight, I think, they do not provide impact feedback, which for me is crucial in sensing severity. Additionally, I do not find the resulting marks to be visually erotic, looking more like battered meat than a chastised human bottom. I think good old-fashioned hand spanking is core to any spanking session, but the addition of a sturdy leather belt, or a good quality cane, generally adds a bit of spice to any event.