The Romance of Chastisement

The Romance of Chastisement

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Writing the spanking scene--part 4

Nobody guessed but the previous writer was Paul Little, aka Jack Warren, Kenneth Harding, A de Granamour and many others. Purple prose indeed. The thing to remember is that in his era Little was writing for an almost exclusively male market who purchased these books in "Adult Bookstores"--remember those?--places where women feared to tread, and with good reason.

But now things have changed quite a bit. The internet, the eBook reader, and the popularity of mainstream titles like 50 SOG have made what was once the exclusive territory of males open and available to women. But let's go back a little. Even before the Kindle and the iPAD there were books marketing to a mixed audience that included women. Two examples are the publishing houses BLUSHING BOOKS and PINK FLAMINGO. BB from its onset was devoted to erotic/romantic spanking nearly exclusively. PF was broader based, including more BDSM-oriented literature. Both houses, and this continues today are devoted to erotic literature. This is to be contrasted with the spanko porn stylings of Henry and Little. The writing technique is very different as well. The over-the-top sometimes blow by blow descriptions are largely gone as is the use of onomatopoeia.

Here is a scene from Sharon Greene's BARBARIAN WORLDS. It's a different type of spanking erotica, a sci-fi novel with an external plot. The thing that brings it into the ambit of spanking erotica is the setting. The tale takes place on a planet where the men are dominant and the women are spanked if they don't behave.

"No, please, you can't do this to me here!" she insisted as she struggled against being held. "If you have to beat me, the least you can do is do the beating in private!" "As your misbehavior was performed before all, so shall your punishment be done," the lighter-haired man said as he pinned her wrists behind her. "When the others are drawn here by your howling, they will understand at once the reason for the disturbance and will likely remain to see the end of the doing. Now it begins." Denne came up with a choked-down "Oh!" at the first smack of the big man's hand, her pudgy body beginning to squirm. Connis had been able to see at once that Denne was more than a little overweight, something her clothing had been able to hide. But now that she wore nothing of clothing the truth was there for everyone to see, especially when the lighter-haired man's hand reached her bottom. Connis had assumed that Denne's well-padded seat would be more protection during a spanking than Bayla's narrower seat, but that didn't seem to be true. Denne kicked and squirmed and made muffled sounds of pain every time another smack reached her, making it clear that she wasn't better protected. The spanking went on for at least as long as Bayla's had, long enough for Denne's bottom to be turned an embarrassing red. Denne was mewling and almost choking in an effort to keep from making so much noise that others came, and Connis noticed that Bayla was watching every smack reach Denne's backside. Connis herself had finally looked away in a belated effort to give Denne as much privacy as it was possible to give, but Bayla seemed grimly satisfied that someone else was now being given the same humiliation she'd had.
Tears had long since started to run down Denne's cheeks before the spanking was over. When she was lifted from the man's lap and put on her knees, Denne covered her face with her hands and sobbed even as she bounced a little from the ache in her bottom.

Green, Sharon (2009-03-26). Barbarian Worlds I & II Books/ABCD Webmasters. Kindle Edition. 

Note that this is not an overly lurid description. It is somewhat matter-of-fact. Does it have the emotional impact the reader is looking for? I think she needed one more paragraph to ratchet up the intensity. Maybe something featuring the spankee's point of view which I will talk about in a future part in this series.

Next, here is a scene toward the end of the book, A FIRM HUSBAND by Sue Lyndon. This book is a recent "spanking romance" like that of Renee Rose, above. The link to Amazon is HERE.

This one is a western, a favorite setting of romance writers. Why? Because setting the story in a bygone era eliminates the modern notions of feminism and political correctness, not to mention pesky criminal laws, that can get in the way of a good spanking story. This is an excellent book, by the way and is highly recommended. So let's see how Ms. Lyndon handles the spanking scene.

Clara’s lip trembled and she wanted to sink into the bed.  His gaze was so intense, even as she looked down she felt his disappointment burning into her.  “I’m sorry,” she sobbed, burying her face into her hands.  The realization of what she’d done came down upon her full-force.  It was too much to bear. “Stand up.”  His tone wasn’t as hard as it usually was during a punishment. Clara rose to her feet, and looked at William with pleading eyes.  She was truly sorry, and while she didn’t want to be punished, she knew she deserved whatever William was about to give her. “I want your clothes off,” he said, standing back to wait. With uncertain eyes, Clara moved to take her dress off, but then she stopped.  “All of them?” “Yes,” he replied.  “I want you naked.” He stepped forward.  “Because I told you to do it,” he said, looking her up and down.  “And also, because I’m going to love you afterwards until the sun rises.” 

Though she was both taken aback and relieved, Clara quickly removed her dress and underclothes.  The air was cool against her breasts and her nipples hardened as she shivered, partly because of the temperature and partly because of fear. As William pulled her over his lap, Clara realized this was the first time William had a reason to punish her since they’d been married.  Somehow, it was more humbling now that they were husband and wife. “I don’t like causing you pain or making you cry, Clara,” he said, resting a hand on her upturned bottom, “But when you disobey me, you deserve to be punished.  And when you do something dangerous, you deserve to be punished.  You deserve this spanking.” A few silent tears escaped from Clara’s eyelids, and she buried her face into the covers.  He was right.  She deserved this spanking.  Closing her eyes tight, she vowed to accept her punishment without kicking or begging.  William was a firm husband, but he was a good husband, and she wanted nothing more than to make him happy and proud of her. Smack!  The first few slaps crashed down, quickly turning the pale flesh of her backside a deep crimson.  It stung badly, just like every spanking at William’s hand had.  Though it was terribly difficult to refrain from struggling against the sharp slaps, Clara managed to keep still even as William covered her thighs. The room was filled with the sounds of Clara’s silky sobs and William’s hand smacking her bottom.  “Your punishment is almost over,” he said, pausing.  “I’m proud of you for keeping so still.  These next few spanks are going to hurt the worst, but I want you to be brave.  No kicking.  No screaming out.  Do you understand, sweetheart?”  His voice was smooth like velvet, and Clara could only nod in response. True to his word, the next few slaps were the most painful.  Pushing Clara’s bottom
higher in the air, he quickly covered the base of her bottom, sharply bringing his hand down upon the tender skin above her thighs.  Clara bit her lip to keep from screaming out.  When his pace increased, she held her breath. 

“It’s over,” William finally said, pulling her into his lap. 
 She cried until she didn’t think she could cry anymore.  She cried because she feared William and the other riders would never return.  She cried because she’d disappointed William.  And she cried because of the spanking itself . . . sitting would be a veritable challenge for the next few days. “I really am sorry,” she whispered after she was all cried out.  “Do you forgive me?” William pulled back and looked down at her.  “Of course I forgive you, sweetheart.” Clara smiled up at him, feeling at peace with the world.  When William’s lips joined with hers, she melted into his gentle kiss.  Keeping her firmly in his lap, he trailed his lips along her neck.  She leaned back, welcoming his advances.  It wasn’t long before she ached with urgency, desperate to feel him between her legs. “Lay down on your stomach,” he whispered as he nibbled her earlobe.  “It won’t hurt as much that way.” Though it pained her to pull away for even a moment, Clara gingerly rose off his lap to lie on her stomach.  From over her shoulder, she watched him undress.  Naked and gloriously aroused, he nestled...

Lyndon, Sue (2012-05-26). A Firm Husband (Kindle Locations 1091-1103). Blushing Books Publications. Kindle Edition.
Wow! Ok, ok! Things are getting steamy without being overly lurid. The description dwells more on the emotional content of the scene and less on the mechanical description of the spanking. Notice it's consensual and the husband is firm but caring. This is the hallmark of the modern way of writing this type of scene for the romance audience. Is it intense enough from a description standpoint? Does the author deliver the goods? This one, I'd say yes. I'd only change things a little, especially if it were the penultimate scene. I would add a sentence or two. In my view the scene is just a little too short. The spanking ends too quickly. Remember a spanking is effective because the sensation is an intensifying one. No one spank is all that important, it builds over time--it's the repetition. But in describing such an event, repetition can be boring. So it's a delicate balance and I think all of us struggle with how to achieve that balance.

Next time--how point of view figures into an effective spanking scene.


Sue Lyndon said...

Enjoyed your writing post, Rollin, and thank you for using A Firm Husband as an example:) It's interesting how spanking stories have evolved over the years. My first exposure to spanking stories was on Blushing Books, I believe back when only Bethany's Woodshed existed.

Rollin said...

Your first exposure, Sue? That's fairly recent history in my book which goes back to...well, let's not dwell on that. Suffice it to say that spanking erotica goes back pretty far, and it is interesting to see how it has evolved over time.

Sue Lyndon said...

Yes, that was my first exposure. Well, beyond the occasional spanking scene I'd come across in a romance novel. I wrote a post about it for Wellred Weekly a while back:

Lizbeth Dusseau said...

Thank you for the mention of Pink Flamingo. I peek at your site from time to time, read a little, and get titillating reminders of what are for me the "old days" of my erotica writing career. PF began as a spanking publisher, and I still love those stories. Love this excerpt from A Firm Husband. Puts a smile on my face.

Constance Masters said...

Great post Rollin and I enjoyed the excerpts. Sue’s A Firm Husband is a favourite of mine :)

Bruce said...

I hadn't read your post til this morning and did not have time for a reply, which due to lack of known writers (by me) back in the day, would likely have been Jack Warren. Being an English major, I liked his workmanship as well as the spanking theme (the bondage wasn't heavy). I only ever encountered two of his books at the adult stores in those days. I'm looking at my Satan Press copy of The Hairbrush Caper, from 1972. Close enough style although the story is well written in a old school detective-Sam Spade, Mike Hammer, Shell Scott style. Your sample seems a little more refined and adjective filled. 'Hairbrush' would really be an acceptable story even today. I also have his Eros Rural Spanking and Bondage School from 1971. Almost 45 years of my kink it seems in print as there are another 30 'lurid' paperbacks of the period' from when I was 18 years old in 1964 til 1980, in my collection of pre-Internet spanking/bondage paperbacks. If mags like MR./Letters,etc mentioned 'spanking' I bought it. I may need to sell them before the need arises for a 'porn buddy' like in "Coupling', which BTW was much better than the American version of it- 'Friends'.

Rollin said...

You mention the Mr. magazine letters Bruce, and it would not surprise me at all if those had been penned by Paul Little.

Rollin said...

Thanks, Lizbeth. I've been writing spanking fiction for 13 years but just started as a publisher. I became aware of Pink Flamingo very early on, and yes, a lot of it was spanking erotica.

Rollin said...

Thanks, Constance. You are on my list too as a favorite spanking romance writer. I've got one or two of yours I want to talk about at some point.

Anonymous said...

This is a helpful series of articles, thank you Rollin. I always find the spanking/punishment the hardest bit to write in my own stories. I'm having a short break from writing anyway, but will return to this series when I am ready to write again.


Bruce said...

Oh and speaking of spanking in stories. I just finished reading Big Girl Panties. This is a brand new mainstream romantic novel by Stephanie Evanovich. She is the niece of the famous author of the Stephanie Plum bounty hunter Series, Janet Evanovich. In it, two of the major characters have a spanking relationship which is addressed prominently in a believable non blow-by-blow way although the sex certainly is. An enjoyable well written read.

Rollin said...

I'll have to check this out. Thanks, Bruce

Rollin said...

Constance, check out the current part, part 5.

mangyscavenger said...

Yes, yes, and yes, that last excerpt delivered the goods. There was a heavy focus on the emotional aspect of the spanking and I sensed character growth in the way she decided to "take her medicine" with no kicking or struggling. Really reinforced the growth of the relationship, as well.

If I'd written it, I'd have focused a tad more on the sting to enhance her effort to accept her punishment, which would have lengthened the actual spanking a bit. After all, a spanking is repetitious, but the burn is not. It builds and intensifies. Putting focus on the sting/pain and how the Spankee manages it is an easy way to extend a spanking scene without becoming repetitious about it.

Great article.