No Defenses

Preparing to film a certain scene in Bunker Bean (1936), Louise Latimer told a passing reporter, ‘You’re just in time to witness a Roman holiday. They’re going to turn a poor, defenseless girl over to the lions.’ She pointed to her co-star, Owen Davis, Jr: ‘That lion in particular!’

‘You see, I’m to play “she who gets spanked” in this scene. There’s one thing sure about evening gowns – they leave no room for padding!’

Now, I can’t claim to be an expert on 1930s evening gowns, but I also can’t see what she meant by ‘no room for padding’. Here she is being spanked:

All things considered, that is quite a loose gown: her frenzied kicking causes it to ride up, daringly, to just above the knee, and, looking higher still, it’s not nearly as tight around the hips as a fan magazine artist made it in a contemporary drawing of the scene.

No room for padding? Phooey! Which in no way invalidates the later press story that, with retake after retake after retake of what was in any event one of the longer screen spankings of the 1930s, Miss Latimer had trouble sitting down afterwards.

In truth, there was plenty room for padding under the gown, along with all the other underpinnings that are hinted at in that spicier depiction. But that’s not to say that there actually was any padding, because, as we’ve previously had occasion to observe, golden age Hollywood didn’t generally go in for that kind of actress protection: most spanking scenes had some level of authenticity to them, and one early review of Bunker Bean in particular describes ‘slaps given with fervor and received with indignant tears’. So, yes, Miss Latimer was spanked, and spanked hard, through the gown and petticoat and whatever else she had on underneath in the ordinary way of things, which in all likelihood meant her panties, and perhaps also a girdle.

She could count her lucky stars she wasn’t making the scene in the Sixties, especially in the liberated cultural environment of Continental Europe, which continued to make movies with spanking scenes long after they more or less dried up in Hollywood. Let’s take as our examples the experiences of Hanne Borchsenius in the Danish comedy Martha (1967), the story of which is briefly outlined here,

and of Geraldine Chaplin in the Spanish art movie Stress es Tres, Tres (Three’s a Crowd; 1968), in which her character, Teresa, flirts on the beach with her husband’s best friend, and pays the penalty:

Oh yes, those lovely Europeans carried on doing swimwear spankings a decade after that brief and spectacular Hollywood example in The Female Animal. And if Miss Louise Latimer wants to know what ‘no room for padding’ really looks like, she might usefully pay attention to the following:

No gown, no girdle, no petticoat, no padding…

Just a skimpy bathing suit with, quite obviously, nothing underneath!

There is another side to this, however. As I’ve already mentioned, the spanking in Bunker Bean is on the long side for the movies; to be precise, it runs for eleven seconds, with seventeen smacks delivered in vision, plus another seven during a cutaway shot (and therefore, potentially, Foley work rather than sound recorded on set). The duration and intensity of cinematic spankings is a subject that calls for systematic coverage another time; for now, all we need to observe is that movie spankings only last as long as they need to in order to fulfill their narrative and dramatic purpose. It is therefore relevant that one early review of Bunker Bean praised Louise Latimer for doing such ‘a masterful job of making herself completely unlikeable as the badly spoiled daughter of an air company magnate that the audience wants to spank her’. And that accounts for why it goes on uncommonly long when eventually she is spanked: it’s a satisfying moment of payoff as well as a staging point in the ongoing story.

But there are limits to what you can ask even a professional actress to undergo, and those limits are more obvious, and therefore tend to be narrower, when she’s wearing a swimsuit and there really is ‘no room for padding’. The otherwise terrific spanking in The Female Animal, for instance, amounts to three seconds and three smacks, while in Martha the tally is five smacks in vision, plus cutaway. In fact, most of the eighteen-second Martha scene is done in cutaway, with another fourteen hearty smacks and yelps that we hear but don’t see. And that’s completely understandable when you consider that what we do see is a very energetic, high-handed, bottom-bouncing spanking! (The scene can be viewed here.)

Anyone who ever feels a generalization coming on should always check out alternative examples, and that’s where it becomes relevant to look at what happens to Geraldine Chaplin in Stress es Tres, Tres. Although both are swimsuit spankings, this couldn’t be a more different piece of movie-making from the Martha scene: director Carlos Saura shoots the whole thing in a single shot with no cutaways, meaning she gets thirteen smacks in vision. One reason may have been to make it possible, if they were lucky, to polish off the whole spanking in a single take; and of course it may also be that the actress’s tolerances were different. (She was spanked again in La Madriguera the following year, also for Saura, this time with a ruler on her panties.) But the real difference is in the performance.

What we see of the spanking in Martha is in a relatively long shot, tying in with the cutaways that establish how everyone aboard the ship is watching their not altogether welcome passenger get her comeuppance. In consequence, the visual action is big and vigorous, and a lot of the impact is also conveyed by sound – from both ends of Hanne Borchsenius! In contrast, the one other person present in the Stress scene seems barely interested, and Saura’s cinematographer, Luis Cuadrado, places the camera much closer to the action.

That means that Fernando Cebrián doesn’t need to spank on such a large scale as Morten Grunwald in Martha, because he’s not trying to be seen at a distance. He’s leaning forward as he sits, and he never raises his arm above shoulder height, so he only gives it half the swing:

In consequence, a lot more of the scene’s impact comes from Geraldine Chaplin’s reactions.

So that’s another way to make a swimsuit spanking easier on the actress, if she’s up to it: less full-on spanking, more full-on acting!

But there is a third option, which we can illustrate from the same year, but half a world away in the farthest flung of the United States.

What became the movie Kona Coast was originally conceived as Bimini Girl, a TV pilot for Robert Mitchum set in the Bahamas. Then the production company changed hands, so plans for a TV series were dropped, the setting shifted to Hawaii and the star became Richard Boone, who just happened to be based in Hawaii at the time. He plays Sam Moran, a grizzled charter boat captain seeking revenge on the playboy who murdered his illegitimate daughter. The villain’s counter-plot involves trying to entrap him with a girl named Mim Lowry, played by Gina Villines.

Will he be tempted to his doom?

Fortunately for Sam, he gets wise to the plot. Unfortunately for Mim, he decides to exact retribution on the seat of her bikini bottoms:

But fortunately for both Mim and Gina who plays her, and unfortunately for us, he is stopped before he can put it into action.

‘Damn you,’ says another lady friend, ‘you think you can solve every problem with a punch, a grab or a shove!’ But not, alas, with a spanking!

And that’s the third way, and the least satisfying, of looking after an actress whose costume leaves her lacking in the usual rear defenses that Louise Latimer had at her disposal!

Kiss Me Kate: 2004

For Kiss Me Kate, the year began January 26 through 31 in the east of England. Peter Howell and Sarah Pryde of the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society were Fred and Lilli, and they posed for the publicity photographer thus:

Onstage, the costumes were different but the spanking was the same:

Over on Vancouver Island in the west of Canada, the Cowichan Musical Society produced the musical February 6 through 14. Here are Monty Bjornson and Christine Fagan posing for the publicity shot:

And on the same day it closed in Canada, KMK opened on a third continent in the production by Turkey’s Mersin Opera. This had a double cast: Kenan Korbek and Kivanc Ugrasbul as Fred, and Nazh Alptekin as Aysegul Serdar as Lilli. But we have only one photograph, and no information as to which of the casts it shows:

We have the opposite problem on February 22: we know the name of the lady being spanked, Rachel Hanson, but have no information about the production she’s in!

On February 28, it’s back to Europe for the opening of a production that played in both Baden and Vienna, with Matthias Kostya as Fred and, as Lilli, Patricia Nessy (who later returned to the role in Magdeburg in 2012):


You can’t really tell from the photograph, but this was a raised-skirt spanking – on modern panties!

To Scotland next, for the March 1-6 production by the East Kilbride Light Opera, starring Craig Lundie and Frances Taylor:

March 11 through 14 saw a production at a high school on Staten Island, New York. Here’s Lilli:

And here she is being spanked in three of the four performances:

Back to the east of England on April 2 for the Lewes Operatic Society production, where the spanking was administered on bloomers:

And here’s the aftercare, not administered on bloomers:

Now for a trip to Ohio. Here are Rick Kramer and Stacey Bausch, who played Fred and Lilli for Cincinnati Music Theatre in the first week of May:

So what’s Rick going to do about that?

A high school in Warrenton, Virginia produced the musical May 7 through 15:

And the latter part of that run, May 12-15, coincided with the production by the Strathmore Players of Alberta, Canada. Here’s Tanya Wolff being spanked by Graydon Pease:

Then it’s back yet again to the east of England, where June 8 through 12 were the production dates for the Festival Players of Cambridge. And, just like in Norwich, Nigel Murfitt and Linda Thomas wore one set of costumes for the publicity shots,

and another for the scene as it appeared onstage:

Still in England, but further north, was the St Anne’s on Sea Operatic and Dramatic Society production, which ran June 12 through 19 and starred Nigel Taylor and Joan Aitchinson:

Next up is Bohemia – Bohemia, New York, that is, where the Airport Playhouse ran KMK June 23 through 27, with Chris Dufrenoy as Fred giving a performance that was perhaps a little too energetic for the stills camera!

How does Lilli feel about sitting down after that?

There’s no exact date for the Theatre on a Shoestring production with Brian Hemstock and Jana Wacker (who was, of course, actually a whackee), but as it seems to have been the second of three productions they mounted in 2004, it can reasonably be placed at the mid-point of the year…

which is where we are now. Come back next week for the other half of the year!

Photographer of the Week: Jason Nak

Jason Nak is a photography enthusiast based in Seattle. What does he like to shoot? ‘Just about everything’ is the answer. But one thing is clear: he particularly likes photographing pretty girls.

Asian Girls…

Caucasian Girls…

Inked girls…

Forgetful tennis girls…

Thong girls…

White panty girls…

And girls having fun…

(The models there are Olive Malu being spanked by Chorus Nyx.)

If you are interested in Jason’s work, please visit his Instagram account.

Schoberová Spanked

Meet Olga Schoberová, the striking Czech actress best known to cinema history for playing the title role in Hammer’s The Vengeance of She (1968): She Who Must Be Obeyed.

And better known to us, perhaps, as She Who Must Be Spanked,

thanks to two outings in earlier European movies, which we’ll take in reverse order, meaning we arrive at the less memorable of them first: the 1966 Western comedy Graf Bobby, der Schrecken des Wilden Westens (Count Bobby, the Terror of the Wild West), which was the third and last in a series about the adventures of the penniless Viennese baron Bobby von Pichusky, played by Peter Alexander. This time round, he inherits a saloon in Devil’s Town, Arizona, and goes to America to claim the inheritance, attracted by the prospect that the estate also includes a gold mine. And there are other attractions he didn’t suspect in advance…

Olga plays the local sheriff’s tomboy daughter Milli Miller, whose overall significance in the plot lies in her being a romantic interest for the Count. But romances often begin rockily, sometimes with what happens when he gets into an altercation with her in the saloon:

It’s an incidental moment in a story that’s mainly about the successive discoveries that there’s no gold in that thar mine, but there is oil on that thar land, so Bobby’s fortune is made after all. And he also gets the girl he spanked.

Olga, in turn, got the guy who spanked her – only not Peter Alexander. It was while she was making the Graf Bobby film that she became engaged to Brad Harris, whom she met in 1964 while they were making Das Geheimnis der Chinesischen Nelke (The Mystery of the Chinese Carnation).

She plays Susan Bexter, the niece of a professor who has invented a revolutionary new secret formula for a pollution-free fuel. That brings him to the attention of a criminal organization connected to the Chinese Carnation bar that gives the movie its title; and since he can also be got at through Susan, she is sent to the country and the private detective Donald Ramsey (Harris) is assigned to guard her and keep her out of trouble.

We see an example of his work in Susan’s very first scene in the picture, in which she is scantily clad, running away from Ramsey and insisting that she’s not a child – something that doesn’t really need to be pointed out.

Except that, as Ramsey comments, she is behaving childishly. And that can mean only one thing:

She hasn’t been on screen ten seconds and already she’s being spanked!

I guess that means we don’t need to trouble ourselves unduly with the thin chaseabout plot, in which the Professor sends Susan the microfilm containing the formula just before he is murdered, and she and Ramsey have to keep it out of the hands of the crooks. Instead we can go directly to consider a more intriguing case: Das Geheimnis von Olgas Kleidung.

The first time I saw this rather exciting scene, which gains so much from Olga’s animated performance, it was completely out of context, cut down to just the spanking itself. I didn’t even know what childish behavior she was being spanked for, which isn’t a complete misrepresentation, because you’re in the same position viewing the film as a whole: we only learn afterwards that he’s trying to prevent her from going skinny-dipping in the river. And that’s where we come to the geheimnis I mentioned, the Mystery of Olga’s Attire…

Out of context, I simply assumed that she’s wearing a bikini, for reasons I was not in a position to know. But in context, why would she bother to put on swimwear if her objective is to swim in the nude? So is it a bikini after all, or is it her bra and panties?

Girls can go swimming in their undies, of course, as Olga demonstrated in The Vengeance of She:

And that at least helps to illustrate one visible difference between swimwear and underwear: underwear is more likely to be decorative in ways that go beyond the pattern. (Think of the visual ‘code’ differentiating panties from bikini bottoms in vintage cartoons and, until relatively recently, in real-life garment design: if they have a lacy edge, they’re panties.) But that doesn’t get us very far in the case of the Chinese Carnation outfit, and our opportunities to get a closer look are limited by the fact that Susan strips off after the spanking and defiantly slips naked into the stream.

She also throws the garments she removes at Ramsey, who catches them.

There are two things here that have a bearing on the mystery. One is that women’s underwear tends to be flimsier than a bikini, and so looks smaller off than on, which is certainly true of the items in Ramsey’s hands. And when he meets someone else moments later, he seems embarrassed and hides them behind his back, which might be understandable either way, but makes better sense if they’re garments that ought decently to remain hidden. And that taboo also makes Susan’s behavior all the more outrageous, and the spanking all the more justifiable.

But even with all that analysis, it’s an unsolved mystery, a case too close to call. Does Susan get spanked on a relatively sturdy bikini or a thin pair of panties?

Only Olga knows the answer!

Men are Like Streetcars: 1961-62

The first major event of the school year at Sandwich High School, Illinois, was Karen Dummer being spanked by Ed Wade:

Or was it the junior play that was the major event?

November 7 saw Streetcars staged as the junior play at Ponca City High School, Oklahoma. Here’s a rehearsal shot of Joe Harris spanking Yvonne Meadows:

The scene also made the local newspaper:

November 29: the senior play at Hancock Central High School, Michigan; Charles Bettinson spanks Joan Brodeur:

March 9-10: the junior play at Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey; Robert Johnson spanks Kathleen Nyman:

34 1962 Haddonfield Memorial HS

March 16: Central High School, Ogden, Utah; Richard Gladwell spanks Jackie Hayes:

May 19: Berea High School, Ohio; Ed Hillson spanks Linda Cole:

27 1962 Berea HS

And one lacking a precise date: the junior play at Cocalico High School, Denver, Pennsylvania; Gerald Longenecker spanks Dorothy Goode:

12 1962 Cocalico HS

And on we go to 1962-3!

Photographer of the Week: Ray Smith II

00 with Ray Smith

One of these ladies will be spanked by the time this article is done. But which one, and who will be doing the spanking?

Here’s a clue: the guy in the middle is the award-winning glamor photographer Ray Smith II of Detroit. He’ll be taking the photo, which means incoming F/F!

You can see straight away that Ray’s work draws on vintage pinup for its inspiration.

But he also shoots more conventional glamor.

Some of his models behave in a way that’s seriously unwise,

while others suffer nothing more alarming than the everyday tribulations of a pinup model,

which of course include being spanked from time to time!

But before we go there, let’s meet the relevant models properly, sometimes through Ray’s lens and sometimes through others’. One of these ladies is Ada Vice:

She’s the blonde on the left in white panties. Let’s take a closer look, first with and then without panties:

And here’s Lolo Lombard in black:

Whoever you might think had the upper hand earlier on, here’s how things panned out:

If you are interested in Ray Smith II’s work, please visit his website.

A Swimsuit Hiatus

Let’s look at some sequences from newspaper comics in the middle of the last century, starting just before the Second World War in 1938 with Bernard Dibble’s series known variously as Looy Dot Dope, The Misadventures of Louie or just Looy, depending on which paper you were reading it in. The hapless hero Louie is on a private beach with a friend when their seclusion is disturbed by a trespassing blonde in a two-piece bathing suit.

looy 1938 a

She explains that she’s trying to get away from a boor chosen by her aunt (and legal guardian) to be her fiancé.

looy context 1

The sympathetic Louie wonders what such a man must be like.

looy context

He finds out when Boris Bolgoff Bulgaria Baron turns up and tries to pick a fight with him, after which he will deal with the young lady…

1938 Looy

Except that Louie decks him, and so the spanking doesn’t happen.

Fast-forward to the very last weeks of the war, and Paul Robinson’s long-running Etta Kett strip featured a storyline in which Etta, desperate to meet a particular movie star, hears that said star sunbathes every day at a lighthouse a mile out to sea.

Etta Kett 1945 context 3

She swims out there, against the tide,

Etta Kett 1945 context 1

but what shows up is not the object of her desire but a storm, leaving her stranded.

Etta Kett 1945 context 2

Luckily for her, her boyfriend Ken has access to a seaplane. Unluckily for her, he also has opinions about what should happen to girls who undertake dangerous swims for trivial reasons:

1945 Aug 1 Etta Kett

Unluckily for us, he doesn’t do anything about it!

Also straddling the end of the war is ‘Coast of Jeopardy’, a story which ran in Frank Tinsley’s adventure strip Captain Yank from June to September 1945, when it reached a conclusion that couldn’t possibly have been planned from the start:

Captain Yank end of war

The girl bringing the joyful news for non-residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is Captain Yank’s red-headed girlfriend Wanda, a news photographer who has been assigned to cover the Pacific task force.

Captain Yank wanda color

Yank has been given a clandestine mission to survey the China coast prior to the landing of an invasion force, using a specially camouflaged boat skippered by Bob Hogan. His orders include a ban on press coverage, but Wanda is never one to allow orders to stop her getting a good picture. She hides on board, and is only discovered when the mission is already under way, unwittingly sleeping on top of the boat’s self-destruct mechanism, a payload of TNT. ‘A woman aboard ship means trouble,’ says Yank, and his opinions on how to handle stowaways are not unique to him:

1945 July 8 Captain Yank

Despite what he says there, however, Bob Hogan is not of the same mind, for reasons hinted at in the very next panel.

Captain Yank

You or I might think that having an attractive stern might increase a girl’s risk of being spanked, but it seems Captain Bob sees it differently. It’s the old story of how a pretty girl can get away with things – and if she enhances her appeal by wearing a bathing suit, then it seems she will get away with even more!

But you have only to look a little earlier in comics history to see that swimsuit girls didn’t bear an altogether charmed life. Roy Crane’s hero Captain Easy will give us our examples. The first comes from the Wash Tubbs strip in 1932, when he encounters the Latino general’s daughter Lola Fedora.

1932 wash Tubbs 7 Oct

She does beat it as instructed and so isn’t spanked – yet. But it later emerges that she is also trying to double-cross him, so when they next meet, as she puts it afterwards,

‘He geef me the spank. Oo, how I scream! Oo, how ‘e spank!’

Oo indeed! Though it has to be said that it’s not altogether clear why she should be wearing a bathing suit in the first place. That’s rectified in the second example, from 1937, when Easy has graduated to his own strip and is entangled with the deposed Crown Prince of Kleptomania (an imaginary European state, not a mental ailment), who is now down on his luck in America. The dictatorship that supplanted him fears that he may attempt to mount a counter-revolution, so they dispatch their secret agent Helga to the States with orders to get herself into a swimsuit. That’s not completely arbitrary, because the plot is for her to seduce Prince Hugo, and get him to forfeit the throne by marrying a commoner; so she needs to look as sexy as she can within the confines of a family newspaper strip…

Capt Easy 1937 context a

But Helga is possibly not the ablest graduate of the Kleptomanian secret agent academy, for two reasons. Firstly, because Prince Hugo sees through her ‘matrimonial trap’ easily enough, which leads to a fight in which Easy becomes involved.

‘Oo, how he spank!’ In some ways this is a close rerun of the Lola Fedora swimsuit spanking from five years earlier, with a more fully worked-out rationale for her outfit, though not necessarily for her overall involvement. For the second reason she’s not destined for Kleptomanian Double-O status is that she’s very easily distracted from her mission – and what distracts her is being spanked. It turns out that she enjoyed it – a lot!

So when she returns to base, it’s not altogether a surprise to find that she gets fired…

So it seems that, as an artist and storyteller, Roy Crane liked the idea of swimsuited girls being spanked. He certainly liked the spanking trope, because he was responsible for at least another five spanking scenes between 1937 and 1947, an uncommonly rich output from which we’ll glance at two more examples, before taking a longer look at a third. One is from Captain Easy in 1941…

and the other from a 1944 episode of Crane’s next comic strip venture, Buz Sawyer:

Both are powerful, well-executed spanking illustrations, in many ways superior to the examples from 1932 and 1937; but what I want to call attention to is the progressive increase in bodily coverage, right in the period when the other strips suggest that swimsuit spanking was being avoided. Crane never drew another of those, but we can see him moving back in that direction in another Buz Sawyer strip from 1947, in which Sawyer and an eminent plastic surgeon are abducted to Africa with the minor participation of a petty crook named Kitty Dean.

Buz Sawyer 1947 context ag

What none of them know, even Kitty, is that the whole thing is a dastardly plot to give a new face to a fugitive dictator who was thought to have died in a Berlin bunker two years before. Kitty is double-crossed by her Nazi employers and, overhearing Sawyer’s escape plan, forces him reluctantly to take her with him.

Buz Sawyer 1947 context ao

For a while, the pursuing enemy is put to one side and the Hitler facelift forgotten as the strip concentrates on the rigors of the journey downriver through the jungle towards the coast and freedom. Kitty does her utmost to look decorative and seductive, and though Sawyer mentions getting her more practical clothes to travel in, this never happens, perhaps in part because of where the story, and Kitty, are headed.

She resents the chores she has to do, really resents Sawyer’s lack of interest in her as a woman and eventually decides she’ll be better off stealing the canoe and going back to the Nazi camp. This leads to a close encounter with an equally deadly menace:

Buz Sawyer 1947

She also resents the rescue, and offers violence, with predictable results, at least for anyone who remembers what happened to Helga:

So the Roy Crane spanking trajectory is from swimsuits in the 1930s to an abbreviated ‘Jane’-style jungle dress in 1941, to jodhpurs in 1944, but then to Bermuda shorts in 1947. It’s only a short step from those shorts back to the swimsuit, and it was taken by the end of the 1940s, as we can begin to illustrate with this splendid Matt Baker panel from a romance comic book of July 1949:

03 Teenage Romances July 1949

We’ll take a more extended example from Zack Mosley’s Smilin’ Jack strip, which in 1952 featured a naughty girl named Pandora who schemes to break up Jack’s marriage by arranging to be marooned alone overnight with him in the Florida swamps. Confronted by Jack’s friend Nidney, she claims it was an accident, so he takes her upstream and confronts her with evidence of the truth:

Smilin Jack 1952 09 09

When Pandora protests innocence and tries counter-accusation (‘How dare you accuse me of such horrible things?’), Nidney goes into action:

Unlike the 1949 Matt Baker scene on the beach, there’s no compelling reason for Pandora to be wearing a bikini, though it’s also not quite as gratuitous as in the 1932 Roy Crane scene: they are outdoors on a boating trip, so she could legitimately dress for the sun and the water. But she’s also dressed to be spanked, to make the scene a spectacle of the kind that had been pointedly avoided in the 1940s, but was now returning in the 1950s and became all the more spectacular as the decade went on.

For a case in point, we won’t do better than what happened to a spoiled rich girl in ‘Robin Greene’s Date with Danger’, a 1957 serial in the Steve Roper strip, drawn at this time by William Overgard. The portrait used to introduce Robin in a trailer for the story suggests what a little devil she must be:

But our first sight of her in the story is pointedly from the other side, as she waves her father off at the airport:

steve roper 0

It’s a side of her that Overgard clearly enjoyed drawing, as we see in these examples from later in the story, after she has fallen into the bad company of an ‘easy rider’ motorbike hoodlum:

But let’s get back to the start: ‘Please at least try to keep out of trouble,’ asks her father; but Robin doesn’t, perhaps even can’t. While he’s out of town, she buzzes the airport control tower in a private plane, meaning that this time the trouble is big. It’s clearly a bid for paternal attention, but what she actually gets is a talking-to from the family lawyer. It almost looks like a throwback to the Forties: a naughty girl dressed for the pool being scolded in terms that are obviously headed for, but never actually reach, the words spank you:

steve roper a

But this one isn’t going nowhere…

Her father calls in Steve Roper to supply a minder for her, and he passes the job on to his sidekick, rugged Mike Nomad. Nomad resents having to play nursemaid, but does it conscientiously. The big problem is that Robin dislikes him intensely, and takes every opportunity to embarrass and humiliate him.

steve roper

The crunch comes out on a picnic, when she does her best to entrap him into inappropriate advances that would cost him his job, hence her choice of attire:


It’s a choice she has cause to regret after her scheme fails and, piqued, she offers more direct hostilities…



which means it’s time for Robin Greene’s Date with Spanking:

steve roper ots

steve roper otk

No 1940s evasion here: that wet swimsuit makes it quite possibly the most powerful and erotic spanking scene ever to feature in a newspaper strip.

And swimsuit spanking continued to be presented in comic book genres aimed at both genders, from raunchy Mexican Westerns to love stories, both represented here in examples from the mid-1970s:

This is a history that has striking parallels with the development of cinema spanking from the pre-Code era, through the dominance of the Hays Office and into its decline: the scenes started out racy, became more restrained, then went back to being racy again – with the difference that the raciness left the comics later and came back earlier. But in the middle, it really looks as if the closest you could get to a swimsuit spanking was an unfulfilled threat, conjuring up a pleasant idea but leaving it entirely in the mind of the reader. So it seems that what happened to America in the course of the 1930s went beyond the impact of the Production Code on Hollywood: it spread across different media, limiting the range of acceptable artistic expression, especially in matters with the kind of mildly erotic connotations that spanking has. But it was a phenomenon that passed…