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"If that's news to you, it's only because it's a rather well-kept secret. Like many tastes that contradict what society pretends is normal, paddle lovers find themselves in a closet of their own making."

More of You Than You Think
by Jack Rinella

A young man whom I'll call Rich called last week to ask me how he could find a spanking partner. By the tone of his voice and the hesitancy of his words, you'd get the idea that he thought it was a strange request. Like many of us, he suffers a bit from the "I think I'm the only one" syndrome.

The good news, of course, is that his request is hardly unique and the number of people, of either gender or sexual orientation, who have or wish they had spanking as their fetish, is surprisingly large. The practitioners are quite varied in their habits, but their love of having an ass warmed by a paddle is surprisingly common.

If that's news to you, it's only because it's a rather well-kept secret. Like many tastes that contradict what society pretends is normal, paddle lovers find themselves in a closet of their own making.

As a novice, Rich was somewhat unsure as to what to do. At this point he mostly fantasizes about the event, though he did say he has been spanked once or twice. I asked him about his experiences and suggested that for the highest success rate in his search he ought to be open to the largest number of scenarios.

I told Rich to take out an ad, suggesting he find a magazine that caters to, or at least, attracts spankers, such as Leather Journal, Metro slave, Drummer, etc. I also suggested that he might have better luck actually meeting a spanking partner if he placed an ad or two locally, in the classified section of Gay Chicago Magazine. He need only put the word "spanking" in the ad and I'm sure he'd get a good deal more answers than he expected.

Over the years I've found that spankers (and here I include both givers and receivers) come in all sizes and shapes, with or without sex, dream of a wide variety of scenarios (coach, teacher, adversary, etc.), and use all sorts of instruments.

The most popular spanking tool, of course, is the fraternity paddle with its various finishings, widths, thicknesses, and materials: wood, plastic, leather, and rubber. Collecting instruments seems to be a basic part of the spanker's repertoire. I once visited a guy who wanted to be spanked and was amazed at his collection of instruments.

He showed me more than 50 home-made and store-bought wooden paddles, as well as ones made of Lucite, Plexiglas, and caning. The wooden ones were highly crafted and polished to a brilliant sheen, as if lacquering and polishing a paddle was as much a fetish as having it used.

This guy was exceptionally creative, not only in making his own, but in finding suitable instruments of punishment where the average person wouldn't ever think to look. Rug beaters, pastry whips, and spoons hung neatly next to crops, whips, and floggers. Here was a collector who took his hobby seriously, even to asking, almost insisting, that I not stop until I had drawn blood. Doing so means that one spanks past pink, past dark red, past white, past blisters, past the lymph fluid that oozes when those blisters burst, right into blood blisters and blood. At that point, he's happy and I my arm is ready to fall off.

That isn't a joke. The average spanker's ass can take punishment that will weary even the strongest arm.

But I describe a spanker in the extreme. Most only seek a hot glow and the opportunity to jerk off while the paddle is being applied. In that vein, for those of us who acquiesce to make their dreams come true, there isn't as much sexual fulfillment as I'd like. In fact, for many spankers, sex isn't a very big part of the scene at all. Oh, they're accommodating enough but many prefer a paddle to a prick any day.

Another suggestion I had for Rich was to be willing to switch between giving and getting. Not only is this a great way to learn all the dos and don'ts, it also has the happy effect of doubling the number of potential partners.

Some spankers really only want to go one way or the other. Give and take, though, is fair and square. More than just that, I remember an exciting evening spent in a hotel room with an acquaintance from Texas who was into mutual spanking. His scenario was the "take it like a man" viewpoint: I'll give you five; you give me five; let's see who gives up first. It's often best to practice saying "Uncle" before you begin to play with a dude as intense as this one. Seriously, though, it was a good time.

The spanking "fraternity" is large but you'll have to work at finding its members. The aura of shame, the fear of rejection, and society-imposed guilt often keep novices from doing the advertising needed to find their spanking satisfaction.

It boils down to the fact that there's a partner for everyone willing to look for him. What applies to my friend Rich applies to everyone. You've got to do some looking, some advertising, some negotiating, and some sharing.

Asking around, as Rich did when he called me, is a good way to start. Besides asking columnists, talk with bartenders, club members, and friends. The key concept here is "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Advertising means using the classifieds. Magazines, computer lines, and phone services come to mind most readily, though I always caution not to run up large phone bills. Signally with hankies or a paddle attached to your belt works well in the right kind of bars. They tell me that spankers wear fuchsia, on the right for receiving, on the left for giving. I have to admit that I've never seen it and if I did the bar was probably too dark for me to tell what the color was anyway.

The negotiation part ought to be fairly obvious. You've got to talk to your prospective partner to really know what the two of you can agree on doing. With a fetish as specific as spanking you'll want to know you share to same interests. You don't want to start paddling a person who doesn't expect it. After all, once you've got him or her home, there's little chance you'll be able to find someone else that same night. Talk it over before you get into the bedroom.

Lastly, I'm a firm believer in the value of sharing. That doesn't always mean that you switch. It means that you both experience satisfaction. If you can't make your partner feel good then don't expect to see your partner again. Keep them happy and they'll come back to make you happy too.

Just because spanking isn't your fetish, doesn't mean you can avoid the basic guidelines about cruising that are listed above. No matter what your fantasy, there's more than likely someone who shares it with you. Get out of your closet and look, there's more of you than you think.

Copyright 1999 by Jack Rinella. This material may not be copied in any manner. For permission to reproduce this essay, contact

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