Where the Spankings Come From

Latin America seems to have a much more relaxed and much less complicated attitude to spanking than many people do in the tormented liberal north. Nowhere is this truer than Brazil, itself a society of admirable and long-standing liberal values, where it is illegal to spank children, but where television viewers can enjoy an abundance of the kind of traditional M/F spanking scenes that fell out of fashion decades ago in the English-speaking world.

To illustrate that, we turn to the prolific Brazilian ‘telenovela’ genre, halfway between a very long serial and a soap opera. Our initial set of examples spans more than a quarter of a century, from the late 1980s to the mid-2010s:

2011 Morde & Assopra

This is relatively unexplored territory: each series is extensive and there have been hundreds of them over the years. There are probably a number of spanking scenes that have yet to come to light – and there must be many more that never will, since Brazilian television certainly used the scenario in its programming well before the era of home video and accessible viewing, or indeed responsible broadcast archiving. This is a progressive modern nation enjoying a plenitude of mainstream media spanking to rival the Golden Age of Hollywood in the Thirties and Forties.

So if you’re an actress in Brazil today, your chances of making it through to the end of your career without being spanked are worse than those of your fellow professionals in the USA or Britain!

For a case in point, let’s turn to Regiane Alves.

She has worked as a model, albeit not always as underdressed as this:

And as an actress her big break came in 2003 when she was cast to play the conceited, self-centered Doris in the telenovela Mulheres Apaixonadas (Women in Love), a character who achieved infamy in Brazil for the way she mistreated her grandmothers. In the final episode, Doris at long last meets with retribution, administered by her father, played by Marcos Caruso.

To publicize this pleasing outcome, some photographs were taken:

Mulheres Apaixonadas 3Mulheres Apaixonadas 2Mulheres Apaixonadas 1 Marcos Caruso & Regiane Alves

After that, the actual episode comes as a bit of a disappointment, because what Doris gets isn’t an OTK spanking at all but a full-on belt thrashing:

That was the end of Doris and Mulheres Apaixonadas, but Regiane Alves wasn’t finished with telenovelas, nor with us. In 2010, she joined the cast of Tempos Modernos (Modern Times), which is all about Leal, a millionaire who divides his business empire between his three daughters – a story that may seem just a little familiar to anyone who knows their Shakespeare. Regiane plays the middle daughter, Goretti, whose efforts to run her share of the business are not as successful as Leal would like. In fact, she makes such a mess of it that he decides what she needs is…

2010 Tempos Modernos Antonio Fagundes spanks Regiane Alves

And, thanks to the magic of closed-circuit television, she gets it in front of her entire disgruntled workforce too!

So Tempos Modernos inducted Regiane into the ‘spanked more than once club’. And what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The actor playing her father is Antonio Fagundes, and he has a track record that goes way back to 1974, when he played the male lead in the telenovela O Machao (The Tough Guy). It’s all about Petruchio, a macho man who agrees to marry a rich man’s daughter in a bid to settle his debts, even though the young woman has an aversion to men. That too is a story that may seem just a little Shakespearean, and indeed Petruchio’s reluctant bride, played by Maria Izabel de Lizandra, is named Caterina. So it may not be much of a surprise to learn that the taming of this shrew entails the following:

1974 O Machao with Antonio Fagundes & Maria Izabel de Lizandra

So Fagundes is notable for his longevity, but for frequency and impact (in every sense), the king of the Brazilian spankers has to be Jose Mayer, known informally as Zé.

This probably has something to do with the type of alpha male he tends to play: rough, aggressive countrymen, whose way of handling romantic complications is likely to be a little less urbane than the usual stereotypically suave Latin lover. In 1988, for example, he took the role of the farmer Fernando Flores in Fera Radical (Wild Beast), the story of Claudia, who, as a teenager, witnessed the murder of her family by arson and now returns home determined to take revenge. She’s played by Malu Mader:

Claudia is sure that the Flores family is responsible for the crime, but she eventually falls in love with Fernando. But telenovelas tell long, long stories, and the path of true love rarely runs entirely smooth:

By Brazilian standards, this is a very short spanking: it’s rare for an actress to get fewer than ten slaps, nor is it uncommon to go beyond twenty, but Claudia gets only five. Twelve years later, however, Mayer upped his game when he appeared in 2000’s Laços de Familia (Family Ties) with Deborah Secco.

Deborah Secco aDeborah Secco

Deborah plays Iris, a manipulative young woman who falls for the rough stable-owner Pedro (Mayer) and tries everything she possibly can to split him up with his girlfriend Cintia (Helena Ranaldi). For his part, he regards her as nothing but a spoilt child, which has predictable consequences at a relatively early point in the series:

Lacos 2000 1

Lacos 2000 2

Lacos 2000 3

There are two unusual things about this scene. One is that Iris is wearing only a top and her panties: in telenovelas it’s much more common for girls to be spanked fully dressed. And the other is that the scene ends while the spanking is still going on (after nineteen slaps, stats fans). These two unusual things may not be entirely unconnected.

Deborah Secco was keen to give the scene the impact of authenticity, so during rehearsals, she asked Jose Mayer to spank her for real, and when it came to film the scene, he duly obliged. She had arguably miscalculated in two ways. The first was that, with very little protection for her vulnerable rear end, it hurt a lot more than she expected; she was nursing a sore bottom for the next week. And more immediately, the power of the ongoing spanking eventually made her break character. She was supposed to ad lib variants on the line ‘Stop, Pedro, stop!’ (in Portuguese, of course), but some way into the spanking, what came out of her mouth was, ‘Para, Zé, para, nao aguento mas’ (‘Stop, Zé, stop – I can’t take it any more’) – which meant they had to stop filming. Cutting early to a new scene was a generous alternative to making her do a retake.

But Iris wasn’t done with Pedro, and Jose Mayer wasn’t done with Deborah. Later in the series, Iris dolls herself up in a clingy little black dress and throws herself at Pedro again. His response is a display of hyper-masculinity: he carries her bodily to the sink,

forcibly washes the make-up off her face,

then holds her under the shower until she’s dripping and, when she takes that badly, throws her over his knee and spanks her – at length!

And if Deborah couldn’t take it any more after nineteen on the seat of her panties, this time she got thirty-one through a very wet dress! But it was worth it: this spanking is now considered one of the iconic scenes of Brazilian television history.

Jose Mayer can act and he can spank, but that’s not the end of his talents: he can sing too. So when a major new production of Kiss Me Kate was planned for Rio in 2015, it was obvious who should play Petruchio to Alessandra Verney’s Kate:

So Alessandra got expert treatment,

O ator José Mayer e a atriz Alessandra Verney com os figurinos da peça Kiss Me, Kate.

as did another suitable lady who happened to be passing:

2015 Rio Carol Lobato

(She’s actually the production’s costume designer.)

So let’s hear it for Brazil, where not only the nuts but the spankings come from!

2 thoughts on “Where the Spankings Come From

  1. Sammi says:

    This review is nothing short of brilliant! Your research and exposition are top notch, and the English-speaking spankophile world is lucky to have you. Thanks so much!

    Like

  2. Flatfish says:

    Another brilliantly researched fascinating article. I particularly enjoyed the section on Laços de Familia. I have seen the Deborah Secco clip before but your behind the scenes account added a richness to the scene that was very enjoyable. Thank you.

    Like

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