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A martinet.


Externally hosted image on Boyz Being Boyz  Warning: 18+
Artwork by Waldo.


Externally hosted image on Boyz Being Boyz  Warning: 18+
Artwork by Waldo.
Note: This article is about a spanking implement. For other meanings, see Martinet (magazine).

A martinet (French) is a short whip made of a wooden handle of about 25 cm (9.8 inches) in length and 5 to 18 thin leather thongs, like bootlaces. It is a traditional instrument of corporal punishment in France and other European countries. The traditional martinet has short, rounded and soft thongs to make it easy to handle and to avoid damage. It is a comparatively safe instrument, specifically designed for the corporal punishment of children: it is very painful with little risk of damage. Serious damage can only be caused when the tips of the thongs wrap around and hit weak tissue with excessive force.

The martinet is used on bare skin; it would be little or not effective over clothing. The martinet was most often applied on the calves or thighs, for children did not have to disrobe that way. For quick correction, usually just one or two strokes were given on the legs. For a more prolonged punishment it was applied on the bare buttocks. A severe spanking may have consisted of 80 to 300 strokes. The thongs curve round the contours of legs or buttocks and then draw over the skin, causing an intense stinging pain. The martinet leaves burning, red weals that disappear quickly.

The martinet was, and still is, also used to train animals such as dogs. It is generally considered abusive to use it on children nowadays. Still, according to one survey, ten percent of French parents still use a martinet, and many households still have one, even if they don't use it. Today, martinets are sold in BDSM shops and sometimes also in the pet sections of French supermarkets.

About the name[edit]

The martinet was named after the French lieutenant-colonel and Inspector General Jean Martinet (died 1672), who was a severe drillmaster.

In English, a martinet can also refer to a strict disciplinarian. The meaning of the word as "an officer who is a stickler for strict discipline" first appeared in 1779.

Gallery 1 (art)[edit]

Gallery 2 (photos)[edit]

See also[edit]