Where to Draw the Line with OTS

We begin in the world of Turkish cinema, which is still a relatively unexplored source of mainstream spanking scenes. It will be useful to meet the actress Sevla Ferdag,

who’s destined to be spanked… maybe.

The film claiming our attention is Halime’den Mektup Var (Letter from Halime; 1964), whose scenario loosely follows that of The Magnificent Seven (which itself featured an, at best, half-hearted spanking image in its publicity). A group of itinerant bad guys are trying to take over a farm and are also pestering the farmer’s daughters. Fortunately he has friends he can call on for help: his old wartime comrades. Unfortunately the adjective old is to the point – so the ex-soldiers send their sons in their places. One of them is embarrassed not to have a son to send, and instead gives the task to his daughter Halime (Sevda Ferdag). She arrives dressed as a man, though you’d never guess that from the film poster.

Together they see off the villains, and Halime also falls in love with one of the sons, played by Ahmet Mekin. We are told that in the course of it he spanks her, as seen here:

And there’s the difficulty: because of the ambiguous visual semantics of OTS, as touched on last time, we can’t be sure, without actually seeing the film (which isn’t available), that what the picture shows is actually a spanking in the true sense of the term, rather than just an incidental smack on her bottom (if even that).

Of course we can still enjoy the photo as it stands for what it’s worth, but the issues of definition it raises are worth exploring further; and to do that, we’ll go to another insufficiently documented national cinema, that of India, where spanking scenes have evidently continued to be enjoyed long after they went out of fashion in Hollywood. This time the actress we shall be making the acquaintance of is Mamta Mohandas,

and the film in which she meets her nemesis is the musical fantasy Yamadonga (Yama and the Thief; 2007), in which Yama, the god of death, comes to Earth to avenge an insult from the confidence trickster Raja (N. T. R. Rao, Jr). The dastardly divine plan is to make him fall in love and thereby ruin his marriage, so Yama takes the bodily form of the beautiful Dhanalakshmi (Mamta Mohandas), and plays her as a come-hither man-magnet.

This results in a series of moments of humorous dramatic irony that are underlined by shots of the god briefly metamorphosing back into his undeniably masculine form, unseen by various men who think they are getting excited by a pretty girl. But Raja discovers the ruse (because the real Dhanalakshmi is making a rumpus somewhere else), and decides to fight back. The movie then continues with a struggle between them, with sometimes one and sometimes the other on top.

After engineering a week’s separation between Raja and his fiancée, the false Dhanalakshmi pretends to have the hots for him, setting off a flirtatious musical number,

in which she becomes progressively sexier while he tries to resist her advances. She wiggles her bottom at him, and he smacks it.

She does it some more, and so does he (with four loud Foley smacks).

The next move in the dance sees her hoisted up over his shoulder, and there are another four smacks in vision, again Foley-assisted, clearly followed by some more that we don’t get to see because of tight cutting.

The dance ends with one last almighty smack that knocks her off her footing,

and she is left complaining of an extremely sore bottom,

before the broader gender comedy reemerges as Yama changes back into divine form. And in the end, if you want to know, the god changes his mind and the trickster gets his happy marriage to the right (unspanked) girl.

Obviously this pushes at all sorts of borderlines and boundaries, and very much needs to be taken on whatever terms you will find it most enjoyable; but because this time the film is available (you can see it here), it’s also possible to think through exactly what is going on.

I’m not remotely interested in the latent M/M dimension, so I take what I see, with a female character on the receiving end, not the imaginary man/god ‘reality’ that reasserts itself at the end. I’m also not particularly interested in the question of how hard the actress Mamta Mohandas was smacked, so I’m content to take the Foley work for what it’s trying to represent, irrespective of how authentic (or obviously artificial) it sounds. But for the purposes of our discussion today, the issue is whether Dhanalakshmi is being smacked or spanked?

I’d argue it’s both. Obviously the sequence begins and ends with a single smack on her bottom, but it builds, from a smack to a smacking (when she gets four in a row), and then from a smacking to a spanking (when she goes into position over his shoulder for some more). If you accept my interpretation that the OTS sequence is only a fragment meant to imply something more extended, then the escalation is numerical as well as qualitative: one, then four, then more than four. And when the whole thing adds up to at least ten resounding slaps and leaves the lady with a serious impairment in the sitting department,

it really deserves the benefit of any possible doubt!

But doubt’s an irritating nag, isn’t she, so let’s tame her with a third example, this time from Mexican cinema, featuring two pertinent scenes, each on a different side of the boundary we’ve been trying to chart. The actress involved is Maria Félix,

who plays the wealthy and recently widowed Valentina Zúñiga, the title role in the romantic comedy La Valentina (1966), whose relevance to our theme is immediately apparent from the choice of scene to appear on the poster:

The other principal character is a crooked arms dealer, Genovevo (Piporro, otherwise known as Lalo Gonzalez), who is sent to abduct Valentina and take her to a man who has fallen in love with her. He succeeds in the first part of the mission,

but not without giving her a couple of smacks when she resists.

What follows is a ‘Golden Journey’ kind of story about the tension between them, partly because she resents having been kidnapped and partly because she dislikes the privations and humble rusticity that are the norm for Genovevo. It escalates to a sequence with her literally on her high horse and him on foot: she responds to his offer to help her down by kicking him away. Goaded by her laughter, he pulls her off and flings her over his shoulder for the sequence illustrated on the movie poster: a good 20 seconds and around 19 slaps as he spins round so that her face and bottom are alternately pointing at the camera.

What makes the difference between the two scenes is his intent. In the first, his primary purpose is to carry her away, and the smacks are incidental; but in the second scene, the only reason for her to be OTS is to put her bottom within reach of his hand – because, clearly, it isn’t convenient for him to sit down and put her across his knee.

So the first OTS scene was nothing but a smack or two; but in the second, undeniably, it’s an integrated, coherent spanking.

Some may feel that here I’ve been making heavy weather of precise definitions and classification, and that’s a point of view I won’t quarrel with. As I said before, all of this OTS material, smacking and spanking alike, should ultimately be taken for what it’s worth, and it will probably be valued differently by different enthusiasts: if you like it, that’s great, but if you don’t, there’s plenty else out there to enjoy instead. I doubt anyone will ever argue that the OTS position is better than OTK, but there’s still virtue in variety.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.