Spankee Doodle Dandy

I just celebrated my birthday, and in addition to thickly frosted cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, I indulged in another delicious tradition: the birthday spanking. Each one of my guests got the chance to administer a single smack to my rear end in honor of the day I came roaring out of my mother's womb. Some of my pals giggled and gently swatted, while others were determined to make me scream. I don't recall that first slap every baby is rumored to receive from the obstetrician, nor do I ever remember Mom doing the honors when I was a bad little girl, yet I still love a good spanking.

Maybe it's because my ass is a site of many pleasures or because I'm just an old-fashioned kind of girl, but spanking holds a special place in my heart (well, maybe not my heart, but you get the idea), and I am not alone. Rouging the rump has its own subgenre in adult videos (Billy Big Hands, Blistered Buns, Hotel Derriere, Stinging Tails), and there is even a book devoted entirely to the subject (The Compleat Spanker by Lady Green). Google "spanking" and you'll get over 5 million responses (compared to a mere 200,000 for "Al Qaeda"), including Whap!—which stands for Women Who Administer Punishment (whapmag.com), a great site for women who spank men and the men who love them—and SpankingCollege.com, specializing in traditional English discipline. One popular site's main page reads, "Welcome to RedHot Spankings. Please note that we have moved to http://www.bunbeatingfun.com." It's important not to leave your fans with their pants around their ankles and nowhere to go.

For some, a back-end batting goes along with fantasy role-playing—naughty schoolgirls and unruly boys disciplined at the hands of a cruel teacher, a stern governess, or an unforgiving nun. Perhaps the play is closer to home, with Mommy or Daddy wielding the unrelenting hairbrush. Others use spanking as a tool of dominance and submission, an expression of control, humiliation, and punishment (or reward!). Whenever I attend a BDSM event, there is very likely a class on spanking and plenty of fanny-beating fun in the dungeon; in fact, many pervy people report that spanking was the first "kinky" thing they did, the pig in a blanket to a leather buffet.

But not all spankers and spankees consider themselves kinky. Interestingly, some rosy-cheeked lovers see themselves as completely separate and wholly different from the whips-and-chaps crowd. Spanking is an erotic activity, foreplay with no further implications, no power exchange, no childhood re-enactment; in other words, the act itself needs no knee socks or dominatrix boots to get participants off. Instead, these folks—commonly known as the OTK set (that's Over the Knee)—describe themselves as adults who enjoy spanking or being spanked by other grown-ups. The epicenter of this world is Shadow Lane (shadowlane.com), a veritable red-bottomed consumer orgy, selling everything from audio tapes, videos, and DVDs to novels and copies of the magazine Stand Corrected; they even run chat rooms, a personals network, and real-time spanking parties. In addition to its pulp fiction artwork (think romance novel covers with the heroine blushing in a decidedly different way), perhaps the most amusing, and telling, element of Shadow Lane is its motto: "Making you feel good about being into spanking through our uniquely romantic approach to traditional discipline." In other words, spankers aren't like those leather-clad pervs (which they really are!). Spankers engage in something traditional and romantic (so do we!).

Spanking—whether one experienced it as a child or not—seems to resonate with almost everyone. It can be dreaded and scary or sweet and sexy, but it is undeniably a very intimate act. If your birthday's coming up (or not), and you're ready to bend over for that special someone, here are some hints before you pick up that hairbrush. Get your bottom in a comfortable position; for example, lying over your partner's lap, on all fours, or bent over the bed or a table. Like most things, it's best to start out slowly, beginning with light, gentle taps before moving on to full-handed slaps. Not only does this make the spanking more fun, but the person can usually take it longer and harder if you warm up the ass first. Begin alternating sides with a light spank, followed by a massage. Keep your hand as close to the ass as possible in the beginning; the farther away you take your hand, the less control you have over hitting the exact spot you are aiming for and the more likely you are to hit it too hard. Remember, the more aroused he or she is, the more enjoyable the spanking will be for both of you, so don't hold back on stroking the other nearby parts, too. As you move on to harder slaps, experiment with different sensations—the tips of your fingers versus your entire hand, the middle of the ass versus right where the cheek curves into the thigh.

You'd be surprised at just how much "damage" you can do with your own bare hand, but toys are fun as well, from common household items like wooden spoons, spatulas, and rulers to store-bought goodies like leather slappers, wooden paddles, and rattan canes. I like to alternate the sting of a smack with a warm and fuzzy feeling, like the rub of a fur mitt or the tickle of a feather. To create a combination of hot and cold, after a particularly hard spanking or in between two mild sets, rub an ice cube over the ass, making sure to let some water drip between the cheeks.

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