The crescendo principle is a technique and principle that is often found in spanking. It is named in analogy to the crescendo technique from music which means "gradually become louder and more intense".
The crescendo principle means that the spanking begins very light and gradually becomes harder and more painful with time. It enhances the natural pain buildup effect and counters the opposite numbness and endorphin-triggered insensitivity effects that may come with lengthy spankings. The crescendo principle is also popular among spankers for its strong psychological effect and for sensation play.
The crescendo principle can be applied in different ways:
- gradually increasing the strength of the spanks with time
- beginning the spanking fully clothed, then after spanking for some time, removing the outermost garment, continuing the spanking on the underwear-clad bottom, then after some time pulling down the underwear and finishing the spanking on the bare bottom
- beginning with a hand-spanking, then switching to an implement, and possibly finishing with an even more painful implement
- any combination of the above methods
The crescendo principle is popular both for long spankings and for spankings of medium duration.
In consensual spanking, the buildup of an endorphin high is usually welcome, and the crescendo principle helps to make the spanking an enjoyable experience: the spanking begins with a light warm-up spanking for some minutes until the spankee is really in the "getting spanked" feeling, well warmed up and ready for harder spanks, which are then given only after the spankee is able to take and enjoy them best.
The removal of clothing in the course of the spanking may also be welcome because the spankee will be less concerned with shame from nudity after having been spanked for a while, and may actually appreciate getting out of some of their clothes because they are hot and sweating by that time. It is possible to begin a spanking fully clothed (shoes off, skirt possibly raised), then remove the pants or skirt and maybe socks, stockings and/or an upper body garment such as a sweater, then leaving only underwear on, and finally ending up completely nude. In erotic spanking, the nudity makes it easy for sexual activities to follow.
For some spankos, gradual stripping during the spanking session is very attractive and erotic, while others prefer undressing the spankee to the desired degree of nudity (possibly fully nude or naked from the waist down) as part of the preparation before the spanking begins.