The Romance of Chastisement

The Romance of Chastisement

Monday, August 6, 2012

Who Was Will Henry?

Who the hell was Will Henry? He is mentioned every now and then in various spanking story forums, but so far no one has really explained who he was and what he had to do with TTWD. The short answer is that he was a writer. His real name was Will Deer and he was a lawyer in a suburb of Chicago. He wrote pulp fiction in the ‘60’s, 70’s and up through the mid 80’s. He died in the fall of 1986. Before explaining his contribution to our art form, a little history is in order.

Before the internet, before DVD’s, even before VCR’s, there were books. In the mid ‘60’s erotic media consisted essentially of magazines, grainy 8mm film and books. Books were sold in “adult bookstores” which were located the seedier parts of the downtown cores of major American cities. “Dirty books” were big back then, and these crummy porn shops had racks and racks of them. At that time the spanking fetish was little understood by the producers of mainstream porn who furnished the content for adult bookstores. It seemed to be lumped in with “sadism and masochism” or “bondage”, stuff featuring mainly female domination. In New York City there were the Nutrix pamphlets and other very short booklets that featured spanking stories and a few drawings or cheesy pictures. Spanking content in magazines was rare and poorly presented, if at all. You were just as likely to see a photo of some crazed misogynist whacking some woman with a tennis racquet or a frying pan as an actual spanking, yet they called it “spanking”. I actually remember a magazine I once saw called “Hit and Fun”.

Prior to the 1960’s flagellant literature was dominated by the classic Victorian pieces probably penned around the turn of the century, and a bit later by Eric Wildman. All of it came from England. There were no American writers of note. Will Henry and Paul Little changed all that by providing spanking erotica from a uniquely American perspective.

Will Henry was an oasis in a desert of porn that displayed no understanding of what readers having an interest in spanking really wanted. But he did. He wrote under the names Will Henry and William St Cyr. There were several other pseudonyms. Some of his more famous titles were: SPANKMANSHIP, SUBURBAN SPANKING, SPANKING STEWARDESSES, MODERN SPANKING and THE HEADMASTER. Many of his books were actually collections of “case studies” which were first person accounts of wife spanking, sorority initiations, spanking clubs, and family discipline. These read a lot like the “letters” featured in magazines like “Mr.”, which are here in the library. Some of these, I suspect, were actually penned by Mr. Henry himself. He tended toward M/F but did include a good bit of F/M content as well.

The following passage from THE PASSIONATE PRISONERS is typical:

With little difficulty, Dale managed to pull his attractive victim into
position over his knees, her long, nylon-clad legs up on the bed and in
full view. Her girlishly buxom, pantie-clad bottom wriggled anxiously
over his lap,…

With his free right hand, Dale slowly began working her black panties
down. Contrasting vividly with her black panties, her pink-white
buttocks were thoroughly breath-catching as they slowly came into view.
Perfectly rounded and femininely plump, the two satiny smooth mounds
wriggled and flexed in pretty anxiety as Dale slipped the panties down
to the tops of her stockings. Feeling the soft breeze from the nearby
window against her bare charms, Judy moaned softly through her gag and
tried to brace herself for the spanking to come.

Slap! Dale applied the first spank quite lightly squarely across her
right buttock, letting his hand remain in place for a moment afterward.
The spank stung mildly, and Judy squirmed with embarrassment and
excitement as she felt his masculine palm resting familiarly on her
exposed bottom. The pretty young secretary always found it exquisitely
humiliating to be spanked like a small child, yet her mortification was
always mixed with sensual arousal.

Judy's right buttock was slightly pink when Dale finally raised his
right hand. Slap! The second introductory spank landed on her left
buttock, and once again Judy wriggled prettily across his lap….

 Forced to move in unison by the ropes at her knees and ankles,
Judy's nyloned legs swung back prettily as if to protest the violation
of her curvaceous buttocks.

Smack! The third spank landed with a crisp smacking noise squarely
across the crevice of her buttocks.

… she instinctively
turned her face back over her shoulder in a futile effort to plead with
him to stop.

Smack! Smack! Smack! Working slowly and systematically, Dale began
spanking her plump buttocks with crisp but not brutally hard spanks.
Each smack produced a muffled yelp and a pretty, almost snakelike
wriggle from his comely victim. In a few moments, Judy's cute bottom was
a light shade of pink on both cheeks and it was quite apparent that the
spanks were beginning to raise the temperature of her pretty nates.

"Mmmmmm! Mmmmmmm!" Judy tried to protest, although she knew only too
well that she would have to take it as long as he chose.

Here is an F/M scene from the same work:

From the beginning, Arthur was kept under extremely strict discipline.
There can be little doubt that his Aunt Helen was a sadist. For the
slightest infraction of her rules, Arthur was soundly spanked with the
hand and hairbrush. He was always spanked on the completely bare bottom,
and his aunt did not even permit him to prepare himself. Instead, his
aunt personally lowered this trousers and shorts for him, even after he
was a mature young man well into his teens.

The spankings were never laughing matters by any means. Pulling her
skirts up out of the way, his aunt would make him stand sideways between
her legs and bend over her left thigh until his head was nearly touching
the floor. Holding him firmly between her strong thighs, she would apply
a long and sound spanking. Her procedure was almost always the same. She
would commence with her hand and spank until her palm was stinging too
much to continue. She would then switch to the hairbrush and apply it
almost unmercifully. Finally, she would toss the hairbrush aside and
finish up with her hand, once again smacking away until her palm stung
too much to continue. Although her hand was large and capable of
imparting much more pain than might be imagined, it was the hairbrush
that really hurt. Arthur inevitably wound up howling and sobbing long
before the spanking came to a halt.

Henry’s books were sold by several publishing houses including Satan Press and Eros Goldstripe. They were also pirated by many others and republished under altered titles. Henry was famous for writing very evocative scenes that got right to the heart of the erotic spanking fantasy. He never dwelled on plot or characterization, preferring instead to paint lurid word pictures of spanking scenes frequently followed by sex. His novels featured multiple characters and scenes, usually one pairing per chapter. He’d describe a scene then quickly move to something else, like a different pair of characters. His emphasis was on home and school spanking and while there was a bit of bondage, he never strayed very far into BDSM. He pioneered many themes which readers now recognize as familiar. For example, the male disciplinarian in an apartment shared by several females is, to my knowledge, his invention. I’ve used it several times as have others. He was probably alone in featuring sorority and club initiation scenes in both his “case studies” and novels.

The thing that distinguished Henry from other writers of his era like Paul Little, Gerda Mundinger and Joe Weiss, was his emphasis on setting. His books were nearly always set in a suburban late 1950’s-early 1960’s America. They most always dealt with domestic or school discipline. Today it’s like reading a spanking story set on the old prime time soap opera “Peyton Place”, or in an episode of “The Donna Reed Show” or even in “Mayberry RFD”. One can well imagine spanking scenes in a show like “Mad Men”, and if they were there, they would sound like Will Henry had written them. The characters are ordinary people in the heartland of country America or suburbia. The milieu has a veneer of mom and apple pie innocence, under which the reader often finds a smoldering sexuality fueled by consensual and semi-consensual spanking. Husbands spank wives, girlfriends spank boyfriends, roommates spank each other, high school athletic clubs have paddling initiations. Sometimes wife swapping clubs form that feature spanking. You don’t find exotic locations, New York chic, or elements of BDSM in Henry’s works (except occasional bondage), but you do find spanking and sex----and plenty of it.

Today, many of his novels are available in ebook form from Of  course now with the explosion of  self published ebooks, any author can write literature of any sort and place it out there for public consumption. BDSM novels number in the thousands on Amazon. The meteoric rise of the “spanking romance” genre is another example of the popularity of self publishing in niche markets. Today if you read Will Henry his prose sounds quaint and dated, certainly compared to our many talented authors writing in the same field. But sometimes it is instructive to return to one’s roots if for no other reason to see where it all began.


taskmaster said...

I remember Henry and, in particular, Joe Weiss whose prose and male characters were a little crude, in the Mickey Spillane way. His stories, if written today, would not very popular. He would be viewed as a mysogynist. But back in the late 50s, when I as a teenager prowled the shops on 42nd Street, Weiss was big name in spanking.

Rollin said...

I remember Weiss too. He was a bit more crude than Henry and not as prolific. But there was also Paul Little, a/k/a Kenneth Harding, A de Granamour, Jack Warren and several other aliases. He also wrote flagellant fiction that ranged from domestic type spanking to hard BDSM.