In the mid-1970s, the Japanese artist and musician Michi Tanaka created a series of humorous musical instruments based on the human body, including teeth castanets, a leg you could play as a flute,
and a board of boobs that squeaked when tweaked.
The percussion instrument in the range was a complete lady, and she could be played by smacking her bottom:
Some have suggested that instruments of this kind might usefully encourage enthusiastic drumming:
Here’s an attempt to put the theory into practice in real life:
Not quite the same is it? For an alternative approach, let’s look at the video for ‘Dancing Cyprine’, in which the French techno band Omaha Bitch pretend to play women as musical instruments, including a lot of bum-drumming:
Anyone concerned about objectification should make a point of watching to the very end of the video. The two-part behind the scenes video is well worth a look, too:
And the point, of course, is that they only appear to be playing femme-struments. That sort of thing may work in cartoons and fantasy, as witness this encapsulation of the principle in the Manga cartoon First Human Giatrus:
Don’t forget that the Japanese read right to left, which establishes the cause-and-effect sequence: percussive impact at one end leads to musical output at the other. But try playing a real woman and you may achieve less of a virtuoso performance than you’d have liked,
because, surprise, surprise, real women aren’t built the same way as pianos: it’s still just a witty visual pun (see other examples here and here). But perhaps the question of whether a woman might be useful in a drum kit depends on which end of the sticks she happens to be on.
At this point it will be relevant to reintroduce you to Fauve Hautot,
the redheaded French danceuse who’s always getting turned upside down and spanked.
It’s a maneuver the French call the tam-tam fesses, which translates very literally as butt bongo, and Fauve’s adoption of it as a signature dance move prompted a craze, which led to a few awkward moments for TV star Dorothée Kristy.
She too found herself getting her fesses tam-tammed on the chat show Touche Pas à Mon Poste!
But it takes more than two to make a craze.
And some of them seem to be very naughty ones.
Fashionable French fads notwithstanding, this fusion of percussion music and spanking is long established and international. You may remember the 1953 edition of I Love Lucy in which Lucy tries to finagle herself into Ricky’s stage act,
only to find herself suspended in mid-air while Ricky uses her as the bongos for his theme song, bringing the episode to a close:
Actually the trope is older than that – much, much older. We find it in the 14th-century satirical fantasy The Land of Cokayne, a poem which tells of a paradisal land of plenty with frolicsome monks whose abbot has a unique method for summoning them to evensong:
When the abbot him i-seeth [sees]
That his monks from him fleeth, [run away]
He taketh a maiden of the rout [crowd]
And turneth up her white toute [bottom]
And beateth the tabors with his hand
To make his monks light to land!
When his monks that i-seeth,
To the maiden they fleeth
And goeth the wench all about
And thakketh [spank] all her white toute.
An obvious question that arises is, if you don’t have Kirby wires like Lucy and Ricky, or even (like the abbot) live in a time before they have been invented, how exactly do you ‘turn up’ a girl’s bottom for percussion purposes? The French, whose penchant for SLB illustrates their approval of strenuous, masculinity-defining spanking positions, may favor the dance move we’ve seen being undertaken by Fauve and her followers, but for those who prefer a less exacting option, there’s always the tried and tested method:
It’s how Virginia Williams finds herself being ‘bongoed’ in the 2013 comedy 10 Rules for Sleeping Around:
All of which raises the further question of where you draw the line: when does it go from being pervy percussion to straightforward spanking? A drummer in a North Carolina band really walked that line in 2016 when he was called upon to administer a birthday spanking, and brought the lucky lady up onstage to take the place of his drum kit:
And that’s a fate a girl may well feel inclined to try and evade! If so, she might do worse than adopt the kind of protective cover seen in this 2010 production of the musical Hello, Dolly! at Brno: