Fessée is a British spanking magazine published between 1989 and 1992 by Jardale Publishing of 16 Preston Street, Brighton. Its title is the French word for ‘spanking’. There were eleven issues of 64 pages each, with 24 pages in colour. The price was £8 until No.11, which was £10.
The covers of Fessée are highly distinctive: instead of a photograph, each carries a colour illustration by Paula Meadows (otherwise Lynn Paula Russell). The strapline ‘Spanking Entertainment for Adults Only’ was added from No.7.
Style and content
In short stories, articles, photography, artwork, and readers’ letters, Fessée considered the spanking of adult women by either men or women, with the eroticism of the practice subtly acknowledged. It resembled Janus in the amount of space that it devoted to substantial photo-stories, while offering three times as many colour pages.
All punishments were presented as being explicitly consensual. Photographs did not show marks on bottoms, and, unlike most other spanking periodicals, models were never clad in fetishistic school uniforms. This policy complied with the restrictions placed on adult magazine content by British distributors at the time. This allowed the magazine to be sold by mainstream newsagents instead of being limited to underground sex shops. Surprisingly, however, the title was bold enough to carry advertisements for spanking videos, specifically the productions of Vexfilms and Spanking for Pleasure.
Philosophy and contributors
In the first issue, the publishers stated that their aim was ‘to demonstrate a wider range of fantasy and attitude than is to be found in other publications on this particular theme’. This was most obviously achieved by giving greater expression than was usual to the voices of submissive female spankophiles. Among Fessée’s writers were Julie Holmes, Tabatha James, Hannah Jacobs, Josephine Ventnor, and Camilla Hope. The most prominent personality was Paula Meadows, who, in addition to supplying many finely detailed illustrations, also responded to readers’ letters, and contributed a column called ‘Paula’s Page’ from No.7. Male contributors included Paul Blakeney, Andrew Carson, Charles Cavanagh, Tom Horner, Lawrence Mason, Mark Rowan, and Nicholas Stanton. The magazine maintained a high standard of literacy.
Fessée encouraged its readers to be more open about their interest in erotic spanking where possible. Urging them in No.1 to buy the magazine with pride, Tabatha James added, ‘I should hate to think of it being hidden at the bottom of a briefcase or under a mattress!’ The readiness of Paula Meadows to write frankly about her personal experiences as well as to appear in photographs clearly set an example, and the readers’ letters sounded authentic.
The magazine also printed two cartoon strips. ‘Vanda Gunther’s Finishing School’ by Paul Walsh ended abruptly in No.3. It was replaced by ‘The Exploits of Mitzi’ by Paula Meadows, telling of a light-fingered French maid.
Some models who appeared in Fessée were popular figures on the British spanking scene, e.g., Anne Proto (No.1), Suzi Martell (No.2), Minnie Champ (No.4), and Luna Winter (No.6). Others were much better known for mainstream glamour work, e.g., Lorraine Ward (No.3), Jane Warner (No.4), Tara Bardot (No.6), and Lynda Leigh (No.8). Male spankers in photo-stories included Larry Barnes (No.2), Christian Fennington (No.4), and Michael Dawes (No.10).
For a short-lived magazine, Fessée is well remembered. This is partly because of its quality and partly because of a high degree of continuity between it and a later title. In style, ethos, and personnel, Fessée was the precursor of Februs.
The magazines remain available as digital downloads from the Spanking for Pleasure website.