Erotic spanking is the practice of spanking another person for the sexual gratification of either or both parties. Erotic spanking is generally regarded as a form of BDSM activity (sadomasochism in particular), although many spanking devotees do not regard it as such. Spanking can be carried out with the bare hands, gloves, a ruler, hairbrush, paddle, switch, cane, crop, birch, martinet or whip; it is sometimes combined with sexual roleplaying and/or ageplay. It is often delivered on the bare buttocks, and sometimes the spankee is fully nude, for additional humiliation and arousal.
Positions for spanking include:
- over the knees (OTK) or across the lap
- lying face down on a bed
- hands on knees
- diaper position (genital exposure to enhance humiliation)
- wooden horse
- birching block
- bent under the arm of the spanker
- bent over touching toes.
Those interested in giving or receiving erotic spankings are sometimes known as spankophiles or spankos. Examples include the poet Algernon Swinburne and the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Many people with a sexual interest in spanking draw on historical corporal punishment techniques used in homes, schools, courts or prisons. However they are generally careful to distinguish their consensual sexual activities from their views of child-rearing, education and public policy. Punishment spankings and erotic spankings are sometimes hard to separate, see domestic discipline.
For straight men who like to be spanked, their spanking fetish usually is accompanied by a leg/feet and nylon fetish as well. Men usually like the women to wear a skirt, high heels and nylons when they spank.
Spanking fetishism in gay men
Spanking fetishism in gay men has many varieties. Some gay men with spanking fetishes are "turned on" by spanking with various instruments within BDSM relationships. In the erotic fiction of this type, spanking is seen as natural as a reflex as sitting on a chair or making dinner. Other types include "spanking between friends", "father-son spankings" (most commonly of a father spanking a preteen or teen son), "brother-brother spanking" (often reciprocated from a spanking by a father), and authoritarian school disciplines. The least personalised and least overtly erotic are usually the authoritarian school discipline stories and pictures, which are less popular in the United States, where there is little of this culture. In the United States, "father-son" (especially paddling and belting), "brother-brother", and "between friends" are more common as pornography.