To count is to recite or list numbers in order or enumerate items by units or groups, e.g. counted by tens. Counting may be ascending, e.g. 1-2-3-4-5, or descending, e.g. 5-4-3-2-1. Counting is to list the units one by one in order to determine the total. Counting may be done out loud or silently.
Counting in spanking
In spanking, the spankee may be instructed to count out loud. This ritual has a number of benefits. Such utterances may reinforce the spankee's submission. To count out loud also keeps the spankee involved in the scene. If the top announced the punishment, the bottom understands how much remains, e.g. three strappings of 25 strokes each. Occasionally, spankees may lose their place in counting. The spanker may then tell the spankee to start over at 1.
A further variant is to make the spankee count the spanks before they are given, not after. This means that effectively it is the spankee themselves who is triggering the first and each next spank. The spankee will be instructed to count out each new spank "when they are ready for it", but are also told that they must not make the time span between spanks too long. If they do, they might get a spank for stalling that does not count towards their punishment goal.
A similar technique is to instruct the spankee to count each stroke afterwards, followed by asking for the next stroke, e.g. "Seven - one more please." or "Seven - please my I have another?". Here too, a stalling penalty can be that a given spank does not "count" and will be repeated.