A History of Spanking and BDSM Photography

29Sep18

1art0 unknown1art0 unknown2Despite the bold claim of the title this is no more than a few observations about spanking erotica since the advent of the camera. Most weeks I run a feature called Vintage Sunday in which features old photographs that have some obvious appeal for a spanko readership.

Whilst actual spanking pictures are not rare as such, they are often not the most appealing. This is because the photographer often had no feel for the subject matter and was merely doing a job to order; ‘a bit of flage,’ as it is known in the trade.

I rarely explain or even know the background or context of the images, which is a shame. The ones above I stumbled upon on a short-lived Tumblr recently and I had never seen them before anywhere. They have the look of ‘flage’ about them and yet these Edwardian ladies maybe have something about them that maybe the photographer captured by accident.

I remember years ago watching a documentary about erotica (and porn) and several naked young women had to go through the motions of having sex for the camera. Once the shoot ended the impassioned women all went cool and business-like; all except one girl who was clearly lost in the experience. In the post production interview the previous self-confessed heterosexual woman admitted that she had enjoyed the experience and effectively came out as bi-sexual on camera. One wonders how often this has happened for spanking and BDSM related projects.

For me the difference between pornography and erotica is in the intent. Erotica is an art. It is a genuine attempt to explore sexuality and project either a genuine fantasy or reveal the truth of one. This is as opposed the ‘industrial’ exploitative ‘see what sells’ approach that is sadly in the majority.

The best picture not only reveal the heart and soul of what is arousing to the photographer, but carry on through to the model and is in her eyes: in short she too is touched by the scenario and lets it show.

I have included some racier BDSM images below, one of them is really quite graphic so don’t scroll down of you are of certain disposition. I do not know the artists but it is clear that no ‘flage’ exploiter could have easily faked this, the scenario’s are too specific. Also note the eyes of the woman below and those of the ‘tormentor’ in the next picture.
1art5 BDSM1art4 BDSM

Maybe some of these are early amateur to or even documentary subjects, but that is the point, the artists cannot fake it, which is while they hold genuine appeal to us sometimes more than 100 years after they were taken.1art3 Carl Breuer-Corth1art2 Carl Breuer-Corth1art1 Carl Breuer-Corth

Most of the artist here are unknown to me at least, but show a true feel for spanking and BDSM art right up to modern. The 1930s images above are by Carl Breuer-Corth I believe and the last image below is by Martin Zurmühle, who very much pursues this tradition.

I think it is interesting that these images all feature only women. One supposes that historically professional productions had only one audience in mind. But it is worth pointing out that there are many F/M BDSM that capture something real as far back as the 1920s and are excluded here as they are off-topic. The real shame is that M/F art before recent times was so very rare and usually have an exploitative feel.

Nevertheless, we will return to this subject and focus on M/F at a future date.

1art7 Martin Zurmühle



5 Responses to “A History of Spanking and BDSM Photography”

  1. 1 Tony

    I don’t know if this is the proper place to post this comment / question. I’m sure somewhere in reading spankO stories you have come across the mention of a PUNISHMENT BOOK. I have read where the naughty student gets sent to the principles office and he puts their name and date and the number of swats or cane strokes and the reason for them. My question has anyone actually see a punishment book. When I was young 5th grade I get 4 swats with the paddle but the principle never wrote anything down that I know of. Is the idea of the punishment book a real book?

  2. 2 spankynyc

    Thanks for the information and pictures. That first picture is a real keeper.

    • 3 DJ

      Glad you liked it Spanky

      Tony – A punishment book is a record of punishments still used in UK educational establishments today. For instance a £20 fine for undergraduates might get recorded by the SAB at a UK College or a sanction at a Secondary school.

      In days past the punishment book would have recorded CP penalties.

      I have seen such a book when I worked at a school in the 1980s – I have also seen a Victorian version at a museum school at Ironbridge UK.

      As you say it records student name – offence – number of strokes/swats – implement.

      Long story – but when I was in college I stumbled across the CP records and procedures for British schools in the University Library.

      There was a long list of boys getting caned 3/4/6/8/12 strokes trousers up – trousers down – even bare. I saw a couple of girls names, including six formers (that’s 17/18 years olds) but the most fascinating thing was the discussion about CP for girls.

      It was a given that boys got thrashed but some educationalists argued that girls were more body conscious and would struggle more with the cane etc. Nevertheless – if I recall correctly – Buckingham County Council (for one) allowed the caning of girls up to the age of 20-years-old (the maximum age a student could still be educated at a Secondary school at that time) on the bare bottom up to 12 strokes for one offence and no more than twice in one day.

      It doesn’t mean it happened – there were pages of this stuff and I saw relatively few girl’s names.

      There was lot of talk about last resort and that head teachers should strive to have girls only caned by women teachers or at least have a female teacher as a witness etc… canings should usually be applied to underwear or girls should be permitted trousers etc…

      I know girls got caned at my school up to the age 19 in one case. The circumstances are unknown to me – although I have my suspicions.

      I hope that answers your question.

  3. 4 Tony

    Thank you so much for your detailed response. That answered my question. I don’t believe the practice of a punishment book ever caught on in the US. Here punishment was done with a paddle and not a cane. Interesting how the British use a slipper where we use a hairbrush. The British use a cane where we use a paddle. Same results I’m sure.


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