A few years ago I got hold of a large, gold-covered Taschen paperback. Taschen isn’t the most prestigious brand, but they introduced me to a lot of my favourite art growing up (and enabled me to discover fetish photography at a tender age, thanks to the ease with which you could buy books of classic photographs of lingerie and corsetry from budget bookshops).
This volume was called 1000 Nudes, and compiled the photography collection of Uwe Scheid. I started flicking through it on the train, looking for out-of-copyright nude studies I could use as inspiration for erotic paintings. I was astonished – and delighted – to discover a handful of spanking photos dating from the late 19th and early 20th century.
I marked all the pages with post-its, scanned them all, and have been posting them on and off to this blog ever since. This is the last one.
This photo fascinates me for a number of reasons. The composition seems a little artificial, but that just adds to the sense of theatrical mystery that surrounds the scene. The anonymous masked tormentors, the elegant furniture – it all suggests that the scene is taking place at a rather debauched evening revel – or after it.
I absolutely love the hopeless expression and limp posture of the spankee. Has she drunk too much after-dinner sherry, causing her to allow her captors such shocking liberties? Has she been blackmailed, or overpowered? Is this the first time this has happened, or is she doomed to suffer again and again at the hands of her vicious acquaintances? I like to think that her will to escape has been broken, and she’s resigned to enduring her fate. She’s physically pinioned by the lady straddling her waist, but she isn’t attempting to struggle: she’s already given up. Her bottom is as yet unmarked; one wonders what power is being wielded over her that makes her so readily accept her own helplessness.
And because I am ever predictable, I can’t let this pass without mentioning the bloomers. A full Victorian evening gown, disarrayed to uncover a froth of white undergarments, untied and loosened to reveal a smooth-skinned, shapely, vulnerable bottom. Perfectly framed for a thrashing.
I love this lesbian photo from the 1920s. The eye contact between the two women; their voluptuous curves; the contrast of the thin, whippy crop pressing into the soft side of the sub; her wordless plea for mercy, which she will quite clearly not receive…
It’s not unusual for the spanking to be the least painful aspect of a CP shoot. I have back problems and inconveniently tight hamstrings; if my trapezius muscle isn’t aching, then my legs are usually trembling from the effort of touching my toes. As such, I prefer positions that grant me some degree of stability. Being able to rest my weight on a trestle or desk is ideal. I prefer to lean on my forearms than my hands, as it makes my bottom stick out more attractively as well as taking some of the weight off my thighs.
I would find it very difficult indeed to lean on a a moving handhold. And yet that’s exactly what the spankee in this picture seems to be doing:
What is she holding onto? Winches of some kind? Weights? Either way, they don’t look very steady. They look, in fact, like they’d wobble crazily from side to side unless she kept her poise perfectly symmetrical.
Perhaps that’s why the top is holding tight onto her shoulder, to keep her in place when the blows start to fall?
Tuesday’s post has got me in the mood for some genuine Victoriana. I’ve had a couple of comments and emails from those of you who like watching a girl hold open her own split bloomers in preparation for a punishment, and I couldn’t agree more. But how about the bloomers being held apart by someone else?
How hot is that? The poor girl is helpless and outnumbered, held in place by one tormentor while the other one lays into her exposed bottom. I particularly like the way the spankee’s head is hanging in embarrassment and shame. I tend to hide my own face when I’m being punished, and during a shoot photographers usually prefer you to keep your head up so they can get facial reaction shots. But whenever I do see an image with a girl in that pose – shoulders bunched, head tucked away – there seems something very natural and vulnerable about it.
I don’t know what this girl’s done to deserve her whipping, but the outfits and body language are so good I don’t really care. But – what’s she being whipped with? The photographer was so busy trying to fit three dynamic poses into their composition that they have cropped the implement out of the frame. It could be anything. A hazel switch? A riding crop? A wet haddock? Who can tell?
I’m healing nicely, if by “nicely” you’re referring to scabs and itching. The bruises are getting that old look, and I think the last stroke might leave a scar. At least, it’s starting to look like one of those pasted-on fake wounds. Make that sexy if you can. ;)
Speaking of welts, how’s this for a vintage spanking photo:
I love the classic Victorian “chained beauties” theme – it seems to have such an innocence to it, despite the total lack of innocence implicit in voluptuous naked girls being photographed bound and helpless. But one has to wonder if this photographer was genuinely into caning girls. At the very least the person in charge of props seems to have got the wrong end of the stick. As it were.
Pain4Fem gave us a choice of canes: 10mm or 12mm, peeled or not peeled (Amy tested them out and voted for unpeeled; I said I’d have what she was having. I may have still been slightly dazed by the sight of Amy thrashing the air in the studio with full force). And one huge rod the size of a walking stick, easily 18mm or 20mm across. Peter laughed about it but we weren’t entirely sure whether it was a joke or not.
I’ve been hit by something that thickness before, and not with the kind of power that we were subject to in our judicial punishments. This domme appears to be using it with a gentle wrist action. I can tell you now, something that size would never leave neat little welts like that.
There are several things I love about this spanking photo from the 1920s. The hair-pulling, first and foremost – one of my favourite things in real scenes, and I don’t get to see it nearly often enough in photos. The happy little smile on the sadist’s face reminds me of my own sadists, and contrasts deliciously from his sub’s obvious discomfort. This seems much more real than a lot of the vintage spanking photos I’ve seen.
Then there’s the way the power relationship is made explicit in both the photo’s composition and the body language of the models: the sub on all fours at the bottom of the frame, naked except for some scraps of underwear that only serve to emphasise her nakedness; and the top standing, fully clothed, above her. And the position of his hand on her bottom invites curiosity about quite how intimately he’s caressing her…
>There’s an odd tendency in vintage spanking erotica towards spankees with saintlike, patient expressions, eyes lifted heavenward, perhaps in an attempt to convey an impression of penitence. Unfortunately, the result is often a scene in which the girl being punished looks bored out of her brain:
In fact, in both these pictures the spankee seems to be an anonymous sidekick to the cute little spankers who are the focus of attention. Both of them look deliciously cross, a bit hot and flustered, and utterly adorable. I’d normally expect to see pouts like that on the face of the girl being spanked – in fact, if the facial expressions of the two girls were reversed, these pictures would both make slightly more sense (the eyes glancing heavenward could perhaps be read as an expression of tested patience on the face of the spanker).
The girl in the first is showing off her perfect breasts to such fine advantage that one might be forgiven for supposing that the photographer was more interested in this part of her anatomy than her victim’s posterior. (Given the matching spotty pyjamas in these two photos, they may well have both been taken on the same shoot.) F/m fans are used to the domme stealing all the limelight, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in F/f.
While I was moving house, I came across a bunch of old postcards which I’d forgotten I had. I’ve had them since a friend visited France a few years ago.
“Would you like me to bring anything back for you from Paris?” she asked. I’d only visited Paris once, at that point, with my parents. I remembered the fascinating stalls of art cards on the left bank, filled with tantalisingly erotic prints which I’d wanted to linger over, but hadn’t dared with my parents nearby.
So I asked her to bring me some rude postcards from the left bank, and she very kindly obliged. I don’t think I’d really discussed my interest in spanking with her very much, but the prints she chose were surprisingly … focussed:
I love so many things about this image. The composition of the light; her poise and grace; the focus on the derrière but suggestion of elegant power in her bearing. Something about the mood of this image reminds me of Olivia Manners :)
This photo is, of course, incredibly famous (and I saw the real thing in the Pompidou Centre a few weeks ago) but this postcard was my first introduction to it.
And my two absolute favourites: