Fiona Lewison concludes her exploration of the different roles women play in spanking magazine fantasies and their enduring appeal. You can read part one and part two by clicking on the highlighted link.
Let me say straight away that I don’t believe boyfriends have sufficient authority to administer a punishment to a woman. They are incapable of mustering the necessary gravitas, they have no idea what they’re doing, and they are acting entirely out of self-interest. If a boyfriend is into spanking his girl, it’s because it turns him on and will enhance the act of lovemaking for him. Nothing wrong with that; there are plenty of women who will join in for exactly the same reason. But it’s foreplay, not punishment. It’s a game, and you could see representations of it in magazines like Swish! in which soppy blokes with beards laughed their way through ludicrous slap and tickle routines. If you think I disapprove, you’d be absolutely correct.
Ironically, my first spanking, apart from a few tentative smacks as a teenager, was at the hands of an enthusiastic boyfriend. If you’ve read A Woman’s Awakening you’ll know that it was, for me at least, a disaster. Years of hopeful anticipation were crushed in seconds. The post-spanking sex was riotous and uncharacteristically prolonged, but my real needs hadn’t been addressed. The spanking was for him, not me.
So it’s not really a surprise that I can’t think of a single boyfriend/girlfriend photo-story in the proper spanking magazines of the 1980s and 1990s. If you can correct me on this, I’d be glad to hear from you, but I think the editors knew that it wasn’t a serious enough story line; it couldn’t convey the vital sense of menace and exploitation. More simply, it just wasn’t important enough for the upper tier to which we all belonged. Someone (male or female) has to be ‘in charge’, and that just doesn’t apply to two people co-habiting in a relationship that is likely to be short lived. There is no authority, and therefore no justification. Rant over.
When I got married in 1985 I promised, among other things, to obey my husband. I said the words with pleasure, knowing that at last I was with a man who had what I believed was the authority to chastise me if I needed it. I admit that I didn’t obey him in all things, but I did when it came to punishment and it made me very happy. The nice thing about wives is that regular discipline goes with the territory. They spend too much on the credit card, they get drunk at parties and flirt with other men, they screw up in the kitchen when hubby’s boss is round for dinner, and they are always a little bit stroppy and argumentative. And we all know that it’s a husband’s duty to take matters into his own hands, and show her the error of her ways. It’s cosy and believable, and we can imagine it happening behind a thousand front doors.
What we seem to find quite often in spanking photo-stories is a wife who is appalled to find herself being spanked or caned by her brute of a husband. She yelps and kicks throughout her ordeal, and can’t believe the man she loves could be so cruel and uncaring. But when it’s over, she undergoes a strange catharsis and realises that it’s what she wanted him to do all along. It’s a miracle. Hugs and kisses all round. The problem for me is that, when it comes to spanking literature, I don’t like happy endings. Give me simmering resentment any day. Give me a woman who is furious about being humiliated and belittled, but who has promised to obey and has no choice but to accept. Because that’s the point about punishment: there’s no choice. This is probably a bit controversial, but that’s the way I like it. I don’t want to see a woman enjoying a punishment, I want to see her hating it. I want to look at a picture and feel the terror of a roller-coaster ride from the safety of my sofa.
Janus, in particular, managed to achieve this with a peculiar finesse and sophistication, often with dark and moody photos that really gripped my imagination. This black and white shot is one of my favourites.