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Much of this article is based on Chastisement by John Barry, published in 1966 by Brandon House Books of California. We suspect that it is out of print.

Spanking has a long history, probably as long as the Oldest Profession. Dating back to 500 BC, what is clearly an erotic whipping is shown in The Tomb of the whipping. It is an Etruscan tomb from Tarquinia in central Italy. (Click HERE for picture). In the scene, a woman is shown bending forward holding the hips of a naked man, who is smiling down at her. She is naked except for a tutulus (a conical hat of the time). A youth stands behind her, one hand caressing her bottom, the other whipping her back. Presumably, the occupant of the tomb was a fellow enthusiast!

The first documented incidents seem to date back to Ancient Greece.  Then it was customary for childless women to visit the temple of Juno in Athens, to be cured of sterility by the priests of Pan. The women had to lie face down on the temple floor, and be whipped with a lash made of goat's hide. The priests clearly were aware of the erotic powers of the whip, but history does not tell us whether or not the resultant children were sired by the whip-wielding priests.

The Roman story-teller, Virgil, in about 50 BC, describes the feast of Lupercalia, where naked men danced in the streets beating every woman they came across, thought to have been a fertility rite. The Romans also had a fascinating tradition for ensuring the fertility of brides to be.   The girl was placed across the knees of the 'sponsor', then the girl's bottom was bared and strapped to the accompaniment of clashing cymbals.

The theory that whipping would make barren women fertile lasted until the sixteenth century.  Then the wife of the heir to the throne of France was childless. It was decided that a spanking would be administered daily to the princess. After a long period, she gave birth;  causality not proven!

Erotic whipping became common in the French court of that period. Ladies bottoms were frequently whipped in public!  The church even defined different types of whipping; superior was whipping on the back, while inferior referred to the naked buttocks. In due course, only the latter was recommended as it was less likely to result in permanent injury.

Priests used whipping as a means of expiating sins. It was common for women, after confession, to retire to a priest's room and have her bare bottom birched while resting on a specially designed kneeler. Scandal inevitably resulted.  A fifty year old Jesuit, Father Giraud, wound up in court for his whipping the very pretty twenty five year old Catherine Cadiere. To facilitate his pleasure, he even out her in a nunnery for unlimited access!

The most famous whipper of the pretty bottoms of female penitants was Father Cornelius Adriason. The punishment came to be known as the Cornelian Discipline , such was his fame for flogging female bottoms.  Following many a scandal, Pope Adrian the First finally ended, or was supposed to end such practices.

Aristocrats enjoyed the sound of hand on rump as much as the clergy. For instance, Catherine de Medici was notorious for her delight in seeing female bottoms being smacked. At a banquet in 1577, she made the most beautiful and noble ladies of the court serve half naked. She personally spanked them on the buttocks with the palm of her hand, with great blows and fairly rough handling.

In America in 1936, Mrs Dorothy Spencer published her famous Spencer Spanking Plan. This was meant to result in marital bliss. It clearly defined when a man could spank his wife, and when a woman could whip her husband. Very detailed, it required that the rules and regulations be observed to the letter. In particular, women were to be spanked, never whipped. One leather goods store sold 297 whips in one day just after it was published. Someone must have believed in it!

Devotees of the plan pointed out that the US divorce rate fell 37% in the three years that it was the rage. The plan gained a phenominal amount of publicity, and clubs were even formed to discuss and promote it.  The advertising pitch stated that spanking is never given in anger, rather in love. Amen to that!   As late as the 1950's, whips and paddles were a section in the New York Yellow Pages.

Britain, of course, remained true to the cause even at the most ludicrous times. In early 1940, with Hitler trying to pound the British into lonely submission, a major row broke out as a Dr Kitching denounced the caning of teenage girls, causing a major storm. The teaching profession defended the practice with enthusiasm, even for girls up to eighteen.

England in the fifties set up a magazine, Corpun, to sell his wares, and founded The National Society for the Retention of Corporal Punishment. He widely advertised his malacca canesand assured parents that his leather tawses were ideal for naughty teenagers.

At the same time in America, spanking was the rage, as a proxy for erotica. Shapely female bottoms could be described during spanking while in any other context would have been taboo. And remember all those figure-hugging skirts, especially at the office; bottoms were in! Thrilling Confessions carried a section of spanking letters from its first issue. Both the New York Daily News and the New York Enquirer ran substantial numbers of letters on spanking, but banned them when they twigged to their erotic content.

The leading romantic magazine, Your Romance, also published a large volume purporting to come from ladies, but minimal scrutiny reveals that most of them are male fantasies.

Interest in the press has never diminished. In the sixties, when a male dancer at the Folies Bergere spanked a dancer Lydia de Lipski, it made world headlines.  He claimed that she insulted him beyond description, and as a result spanked her bottom in a most sound fashion. She told the court that she could not work for eight days because of the marks. He was fined $112 (�40) at the prevailing exchange rates or about $200 at current prices.

In 1974, the spanking colonel, John Brooks made headlines sued the Sunday People for libel when they reported his spanking the delicious 21 year old Sue Carr.  The case ran for six days and knocked all other news off the headlines.  In court the colonel stated, "I think that spanking a girl's bottom -  if she is willing and likes it and enjoys it - is simply part of fun. Provided it is with her consent, it is nothing more notorious than the Italian habit of bottom-pinching."  What she seemed to object to most was that he poured whisky over her bottom before he spanked it. (Hope it wasn't a good malt; ed)  He won his case and was awarded one penny damages; Oh dear. 

By the end of the 1970s, films were being made about spanking. In 1977, Shangrila Productions in France made La Fessee ou Les Memoires de M. Leon, Maitre-Fesseur. A bank manager has an evening job as a spanker of females.   A brilliant film which is a must for spanking enthusiasts.

This can only be a short summary of 2,000 of erotic spanking practice, yet is surely proff that we all practice a noble art, central to the erotic pleasures of millions of people over a very long period.