In recent weeks, we have seen a rich selection of objects that can be used for spanking purposes, in the home and elsewhere. But if you really want to be sure of having something to hand at the time of need, it’s best to spank with something you carry around with you.
In a more violent age, a gentleman wasn’t properly dressed without his sword, and for soldiers it was even part of the uniform. But a sword doesn’t only have sharp edges but a flat side that can also be put to use.
Of course, not everyone who carried a sword was a perfect gentleman, and, no, I don’t mean what Ken Berry is doing to Jackie Joseph in the second picture, a publicity still for a 1966 episode of the Western sitcom F Troop. Take a look at Donald O’Connor doing the same to Peggy Ryan in a shot for Chip Off the Old Block (1944):
But I’m doing him an injustice, because the only piracy he’s involved in there has more to do with Penzance than the Spanish Main: they’re both appearing in a musical stage show, The Captain’s Kids, being put on at his naval academy in the film.
While we’re on the subject of weapons that are really stage props, let’s not forget what happens to knife-thrower Elena del Rio (Adele Mara) in the 1947 Gene Autry Western, Twilight on the Rio Grande:
But I’m starting to digress. Nowadays it’s not usual to go around armed, and even in countries that don’t have sensible gun laws, you shouldn’t be walking the streets with a sword at your side. The only people who can legitimately pack the kind of weaponry that might be suitable for administering a spanking, as well as something more extreme, are the guardians of law and order. But we’ve already seen how equivocally people react to the use of a police stick on bottoms rather than heads. And if in doubt, here’s one young lady who should be able to tell you exactly how it feels:
And in fairness, here’s a policewoman acquiring the same knowledge:
If you’re a private citizen in this day and age, you’re far likelier to be carrying an umbrella, and far safer too, though the same can’t necessarily be said of any naughty girls you might happen to encounter.
And if there’s no danger of rain, and so no reason to bring your brolly, don’t worry: a young lady of a certain class and a certain era will often have a parasol. Here’s Charles Laughton seizing his chance, and Elsa Lanchester regretting it, in a publicity shot for the 1939 South Sea islands comedy, The Beachcomber, in which he plays a drunken beach bum and she’s the missionary trying to reform him:
She may well object that this doesn’t comply with the ‘rule of thumb’.
(Correction: in Massachusetts, a husband may not beat his wife at all – according to a very old law of 1641!)
But there are other reasons why she might prefer him to lay off the parasol. In the German comedy Das Schwarz-Weiss-Rote Himmelbett (1962), the voluptuous Germaine (Daliah Lavi)
is chased by a gentleman friend (Karl Schönböck) with the objective of giving her a spanking:
But her biggest concern is not the risk to her bottom, but to her parasol:
So he discards the fragile accessory and treats the spanking as a piece of manual labor:
But for absolute certainty of being equipped when you need to be, don’t think about what you or anyone else is carrying, but what you’re wearing: from head to toe, you have a veritable arsenal of spanking implements!
Let’s start at the top with the 1933 Hal Roach comedy short Fallen Arches, in which Charley Chase’s character is comically literal-minded and does everything he’s told exactly to the letter; so when his boss sends him to run the Los Angeles office with the words ‘take a hike to LA’, he sets out… on foot! The boss sends his daughter (Muriel Evans) after him, and a series of amusing misunderstandings follow. After one mistake, she makes suitably apologetic noises: ‘I’m so ashamed of myself. Someone should give me a good spanking for that.’ Not the best figure of speech to use when talking to Charley, because he does…
using his own hat!
Incidentally, Muriel Evans later reminisced about Charley Chase and this scene in particular:
‘He was a perfect gentleman. He teased me about wanting to rehearse the spanking scene, but we never really did, and only shot it once.’
But if you want to make more impact than a straw boater, wear a Stetson, like the hero of this unidentified Western love story from the 1930s, whose girl tells him she’s going off to marry someone else:
‘Then I reckon a wedding gift is in order!’ Jimmy’s face was gray with anger. ‘One I’ve been hankering to give you for a long time!’ He flung a long arm about her, picked her up and strode out the side door where piled-up bales of hay made a sheltered nook.
He planted one foot on a bale, deftly turned Sanna over it, and the next minute she felt the hard blows of his Stetson in rhythmic fashion.
‘Jimmy, you quit!’ she screamed. ‘Oh, I’ll hate you forever! Jimmy!’ But the blows went on.
And if even that’s not enough of an impact for you, look lower, to waist level.
The belt is a truly fearful prospect, especially for a naughty girl with insufficient protection.
And obviously things have gone really, really badly for this Russian schoolgirl:
We’ve seen tears before in this series, and they are certainly warranted now.
So perhaps it’s surprising that the belt isn’t uncommon in the playful spankings captured in candid photography.
And what would you like for your birthday? Maybe not this:
The belt is also not absolutely avoided in burlesque performances like this one:
On the other hand, there are very few belt spankings in the cinema, no doubt for the protection of actresses, but even so I can think of a handful (not including exploitation films). One is in the spaghetti Western Johnny Hamlet (1968), based on Shakespeare’s play, in which the hero witnesses some of the bedroom games of his mother and uncle (Francoise Prevost and Horst Frank), including the deployment of his belt across the seat of her nightie. It’s not tremendously effectual in itself, but Francoise Prevost sells it well in her reactions:
(You can see the movie here.)
For a more extended scene, with more impact (in all senses), we turn to the Mexican comedy, El Gangster (1965).
The title character, Antonio Paredes (Arturo de Cordova), has been away gangstering in Chicago, but has now decided to retire. Back home, he is appalled by the indiscipline of modern Mexican youth, including his fatherless niece Carito, played by former child star Angelica Maria. What he eventually decides to do about it is:
Look downwards again, and you come to footwear: shoes, trainers, slippers…
Our screen example comes from the Mexican television comedy Hospital el Paisa, in which the episode ‘Pos… esa Espanta’ (October 27, 2004) is a parody of The Exorcist, with Regina Blandón in the Linda Blair role. Here she is in an unpossessed state:
She’s brought into the hospital by her mother, and proceeds to slobber and levitate her way through the action until eventually her doctor prescribes the only remaining treatment option, ‘the most drastic of all’, which is of course…
You don’t actually have to be wearing the footwear you use: here’s a spectacular ending to a game of ‘hunt the slipper’ that went on longer than one of the players would have liked.
If you do use your own, you’ll have to deal with a few practical difficulties. The lady on top here has successfully removed her boot and is putting it to good use on the lady underneath:
But of course, she is on top. It won’t be so easy taking off your own shoe when you have a bad girl across your knee who doesn’t want to be there. But in those circumstances, there is likely to be an alternative source of footwear closer to hand. We’ll let trumpeter Ronnie Hughes demonstrate using his wife, singer Lita Roza, who is here temporarily minus one of her espadrilles:
Women have been spanked with their own footwear across a long period and in many different genres: in the movies (Streamline Express, 1935), in men’s pin-up periodicals (Eyeful, April 1949) and women’s magazines (Annabel, October 1969)…
But there’s one strange recurring phenomenon in a series of examples from the 1930s and ’40s:
They’re holding the shoe at the toe end and spanking with the heel end, which is surely the less convenient way around, and looks especially odd when there’s a stiletto involved. But as it happens, implement spanking often throws up issues of practicality and logic. We shall look into some more of them next time.