Spanking fetishism

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Note: "Spanko" redirects here. For the artist, see Spanko (artist).
Illustration by Georges Topfer (1921).
Illustration of a story of someone stumbling into a scene of erotic adult F/M flagellation (1752). The long text is worth reading.
Illustration from Thérèse philosophe (London, 1774) showing a woman birching a man (who is wearing a wig) while another woman, kneeling with her skirts pushed up, is masturbating him.

Spanking fetishism, also colloquially known as spankophilia, is a paraphilia about spanking. Spanking fetishists are also called spankophiles, or spankos for short.


A spanko might like to get spanked, to spank, to watch while someone gets spanked, to fantasize about spanking, to read spanking stories, to view spanking art, to watch spanking videos, etc. In a simplified view, spankos can be divided into three broad groups: spankers, spankees and switches.

The sadomasochistic (sadistic/masochistic) aspect is only one of several aspects that make spanking interesting to spankos. Other aspects include dominance and submission, roleplay, ageplay, nudity, and forms of fetishism such as buttocks fetishism, panty fetishism, etc. Spankos also often share an interest in other erotic activities related to punishment and/or the buttocks, such as corner time or enemas.

Spankos can be of both genders and realisation can come at any age, before, in, or after puberty.

Being a masochistic spanko does not imply that getting spanked will always be pleasureable or erotic: a spanking has to be given in the right way (and often, by the right person) in order to be enjoyable.

Whether someone prefers erotic spanking or discipline or any other combination is considered to be the kink particular to the person. No study or psychology has ever proven the origins of a spanko's preferred kink.

Spankophilia is usually considered a subgroup within BDSM, although its adherents tend to view themselves as separate from "typical" BDSM. It seems a lot of spankophiles have no particular liking for what is found in "typical" BDSM play. The reason is that such sexual practices belong to different forms of fetishism. They also come with connotations of torture rather than disciplinary punishment, which makes an important difference for spankos. In consensual spanking, the spanker and spankee are simply playing out the spanking act. BDSM practices aren't specifically involved.


Thinking or reading about spanking, watching spanking, or the active experience of spanking (giving or receiving), with the right partner and in the right way, may produce sexual arousal, up to producing a more intense sexual orgasm.

Spankophiles often enjoy enacting domestic or school punishment scenes with spanking play in all its many variations. This is often combined with roleplaying, sometimes with ageplay. Most practitioners find not only the physical act, but also the psychological side, such as the experience of guilt followed by punishment, humiliation and helplessness important. For that reason, nudity and embarrassing postures are often included in spankophile play, and these also feature prominently in spanking art, literature and videos.

Other important subjects in the spankophile scene are spanking positions and spanking implements, because these allow for interesting variations of the subject. Other (non-spanking) stereotypical domestic or school child punishments such as corner time or mouth soaping are also popular. Bondage may or may not be involved in the game.

The main principle of BDSM, safe, sane and consensual (SSC), also applies to spanking play.

Creative spankos[edit]

The people who like to create spanking art, literature, and videos - the artists, authors and models - are usually also spankos who add a creative, artistic side to their interest.

According to Sigmund Freud, people with a strong paraphilia can turn their paraphilia into creativity by a process called sublimation - the refocusing of psychic (erotic) energy to "socially useful" outlets, mainly art. Freud considered this defense mechanism the most productive compared to the others that he identified: repression, displacement, denial, reaction formation, intellectualization and projection.

This is sometimes refered to as being a High-Functioning individual.

Celebrity spankos[edit]

Singer Carly Simon on Fox News (2008).

Celebrities who are known or strongly suspected of being spankos include:

  • Catherine de' Medici (1519-1589), the wife of King Henri II of France (according to a comment to La Vie des Dames Galantes)
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778), Swiss-French philosopher
  • Algernon Swinburne (1837 – 1909), English poet
  • James Joyce (1882 – 1941), Irish writer and poet
  • Percy Grainger (1882 – 1961), Australian-born composer.
  • Sabina Spielrein (1885 - 1942), Russian physician and one of the first female psychoanalysts (see also A Dangerous Method)
  • Robert E. Howard (1906 – 1936), American fantasy and horror writer
  • T. H. White (1906 – 1964), English author
  • Ian Fleming (1908 – 1964), British author of the James Bond spy novels. Fleming collected vintage flagellation novels and had a sadomasochistic relationship with his wife. This was revealed in the book, The Letters of Anne Fleming (1985), published after her death.
  • Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt (born 1928), French-German writer and translator
  • Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (1928 – 2002), German transvestite and founder of the Gründerzeit Museum in Berlin-Mahlsdorf
  • Jack Nicholson (born 1937), American actor, nicknamed "Spanking Jack"
  • Carly Simon (born 1945), American singer-songwriter and musician. Revealed on Fox News that she gets ritual backstage spankings to overcome stage fright.
  • Ramsey Campbell (born 1946), British horror writer
  • Daphne Merkin (born 1954), American literary critic, essayist and novelist
  • Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone, born 1958), American recording artist and actress
  • Elizabeth Hurley (born 1965), English actress, fashion model, producer and designer (rumored to be a spanko and host spanking parties)
  • Heather Mills (born 1968), English entrepreneur and environmentalist
  • Sarah Silverman (born 1970), American actress and comedian
  • Dita Von Teese (born 1972), American exotic dancer/actress. She told Steppin' Out magazine, "I'm into bondage. I think it's really fun, and I love playing the part of the damsel in distress. The feeling is amazing when someone (spanks me) right."
  • Fiona Apple (born 1977) used to get spanked by David Blaine
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt (born 1979), interviewed in 2011 on "The Talk", the actress described playing "Drag Queen Bingo" and getting "spanked on the bum with a paddle" as part of the game.
  • Rihanna (born 1988), the pop singer revealed in Rolling Stone (April 2011) that she likes to be spanked and tied up. This is reflected in her single "S&M" and her video for "We Found Love".

Spankos in spanking literature[edit]

Spankos themselves are often portrayed in spanking literature. In stories on consensual spanking, the characters are usually both spankos. In some nonconsensual stories, the spanker is a spanko while the spankee is not. For example, in Lurking Dragon's Melody's Stories, the protagonist Melody is given in the custody of spanko parents. There are a few rare stories where the spanker is not a spanko and treating the spanking as a NC spanking, but with the spankee secretly a spanko, enjoying and sometimes having deliberately provoked the spanking. There are also spanking stories in which the spankee is not knowingly a spanko, but still becomes sexually aroused from spanking—be it due to the erogenous effects of this kind of stimulation, or be it that they have masochistic leanings they didn't know about.

There are also spanking stories in which neither the spanker nor the spankee is a spanko. These spankings are purely disciplinary in nature and are not erotically enjoyed by either participating character—but perhaps by a third character witnessing or describing them, such as a narrator—and by a reader who is a spanko.

From individuals to subculture[edit]

Groups of people sharing similar sexual kinks tend to form subcultures where they not only find suitable partners and play partners but also, above all, people to socialize with who understand where they come from because they share the same kink, or at least some aspects of it.

In the case of spankophilia, these subcultures are often called the spanking scene. With the advent of the Internet, it has become easy for people to find like-minded people whatever topic it is. There are no country barriers, however there are still language barriers. Within the spankophile subculture there are further specializations, sub-subcultures as it were. For example there are groups, websites and publications for people who share an interest specifically in boy spanking art, girl spanking art, M/F, F/M, F/F, or M/M spanking, in spanking and anime, in spanking and ageplay, in spanking and AB/DL play, in spanking and enemas, in spanking and furries, in spanking and BDSM, in spanking and forced feminization, etc.

Spankophiles have formed spanking clubs in many countries to meet and socialize. Free Internet sites offer access to a community of spankos. There are thousands of free Web forums and Web groups for fans of spanking and/or spanking art.

Products and services[edit]

Spanking magazines in English and other languages are produced for the worldwide spankophile readership. Vendors offer all kinds of spanking implements for spanking play. There are many pro-dommes (and a couple of pro-subs) who specialize in spanking services (without any sexual services), while some prostitutes specialize in spanking (giving or receiving) combined with sexual services.

Another business that provides services for spankophiles are Internet sites (including pay sites) that sell access to spanking erotica (such as illustrations, photos, and videos). In recent years the number of spanking video producers has climbed to several dozens. See also the article spanking company for more on the spanking fetishism industry.


If you typed “spanking” into a search engine, you’re erotically interested. Period.
  Bethany Burke, 2003


See also[edit]


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