Family Crackers

Ethel Painter has bitter memories of feeling the strap across her teenage bottom, so now that she is a mother she has forbidden her husband Henry to use corporal punishment on her own teenage daughters. That is the core situation of the 1960 comedy Family Crackers by the Bradford playwright Marion Baines. In consequence, as The Stage explained in its review of the first production, ‘The younger one is getting out of hand, knowing that there is no fear of being spanked.’ So it’s pretty obvious where this play is going to end up…

Barbara Painter’s indiscipline is demonstrated early on when she uses her sister Lesley’s make-up without permission. Annoyed by this, Lesley strikes her, offstage, so Barbara goes and complains to her parents, then retaliates when Lesley comes on. The stage direction specifies: ‘Barbara runs up to Lesley and slaps her bottom, hard.’ It seems that, despite Ethel’s opinions, there is some satisfaction in a smacked bottom after all.

Barbara is obviously a troubled teen, and her parents refer her to a psychiatrist, who tells them that she must be allowed ‘free expression’. This free expression supplies much of the comedy as Barbara then proceeds to run riot. What the Painters don’t know until much later is that the head-shrinker is a charlatan. Finally they consult a real psychiatrist, Dr Young, and he has a very different recommendation:

ETHEL: Do you honestly think that a spanking is the cure?

HENRY: I don’t think, I know! (He picks up a slipper.)

DR YOUNG: But with due reserve, Mr Painter.

HENRY: Barbara. Come here.

BARBARA: I won’t.

HENRY: Come right over here you dear little vixen…

BARBARA: I won’t. You can’t scare me!

Henry grabs her. She struggles but he finally puts her across his knees and gives her six of the best with his slipper. Barbara shouts and yells. He releases her and she is silent.

The Lord Chamberlain licensed the play on January 26, 1960, and it opened at the Prince’s Theatre, Bradford, on February 8 in a Court Players production directed by Doel Luscombe. (This was the same repertory company that had produced Friendly Relations in 1953 with the future Pat Phoenix.) Henry was played by the ubiquitous northerner George Malpas, and Barbara was brown-haired Irish actress Marie Seaborne, still playing a teenager at the age of 25. She was near the end of her professional stage career: she left acting to become a French teacher after she married in 1961, though she continued to appear in amateur Shakespeare productions in Southsea for many years. The play itself had an even shorter life on the stage: after its week’s outing at Bradford, it was never published and never revived. The Sixties were, after all, just beginning…

In the Photographer’s Studio (33)

Of all the photographers in our series, Bob Moffa of M3 Imagery (now renamed The Photo Factory and Studio) is probably the one with the fewest pretensions. Based in Woodstock, Georgia, he’s a fun-lovin’ guy who owns a photographic business and sells his services to the public. No big claims about his objectives as an artist, just good clean fun and honestly earned bucks.

So without more ado, let’s meet the models. Here’s Mac Davis:

M3 imagery Mac Davis & Valerie Whittaker

Here’s Amy Dianne, who is also known as Amy Williams:

amy01M3 Imagery Amy DianneM3 imagery Amy D

And here’s Mac giving Amy something to remember him by… in two directions!

M3 Imagery 4c0534c355c85M3 Imagery 4c0532a1504a

If you are interested in Bob Moffa’s work, please visit his website.

The Ups and Downs of a Handyman

The Ups and Downs of a Handyman is one of those sex comedies that made up a significant part of the British film industry’s output in the 1970s – imagine Benny Hill with more nudity and you’re in the right ballpark. Made in 1975 and released early in 1976, Handyman is about a young couple who move into an English village (which was, in reality, a pair of Surrey villages, Chiddingfold and Hambledon). The husband, played by Barry Stokes, offers himself as a handyman for hire and finds to his dismay that the local wives want a rather different kind of service from him. Among these clients are several examples of 1970s feminine pulchritude, of varying levels of iconicity…

As ‘the Blonde’, Sue Lloyd:

00d Sue Lloyd

Playing the newsagent’s daughter, Helli Louise:

00e Helli Louise

As the farmer’s wife, Nita Lorraine:

00f Nita Lorraine

As a lady who should really have hired a plumber, Jeannie Collings:


In the role of the policeman’s wife, Alexandra Dane:

00h Alexandra Dane

And as ‘the Redhead’, the non-redhead Valerie Leon:

00i Valerie Leon

Despite this fine cast, it isn’t a movie that’s likely to edify anybody, even about the craft of film-making… but it is a movie with six spankings, and that might well be a record for a production that’s not primarily aimed at a fetish market.

The reason for this uncommon amplitude lies with one character: the village Squire, Bullsworthy, played by regular Benny Hill sidekick Bob Todd. Here he is with not quite the right idea:


As is well known, the character was based on Lieutenant Colonel John Brooks, the bowler-hatted lawyer whom the British press dubbed ‘the spanking colonel’ after he sued a Sunday newspaper for saying he was ‘a menace to young girls’,


and who was awarded the smallest possible sum in damages when he won his case in November 1974. It’s the Squire who gets to do all the spanking in the film.

What this means is that most of the spankings play around that interesting borderline where the consensual masquerades as the non-consensual: the spanked women are playing up to the Squire’s fantasy of disciplining naughty girls, so they are voluntarily pretending the spankings are involuntary. What it also means is that – since we aren’t dealing with an oldfashioned squire exercising droit de seigneur over the village wives’ bottoms – only a small group of girls get spanked … not including any of the ladies mentioned so far, you’ll no doubt be disappointed to hear. Two of them have clear reasons for being spanked: one is the Squire’s wife, and he’s a regular client of the other, who is a professional lady. The third girl’s motivation, as we’ll see, is a little less clear.

Before I talk in detail about my favorite, I’m going to introduce all six spankings, juxtaposing (and sometimes contrasting) images from the movie with text from the novelization…

01 novel

… written by the director himself, John Sealey – a man of relatively little experience as a film director, though he did work as the production manager of the 1970 film version of There’s a Girl in My Soup, in which Peter Sellers threatens to spank Goldie Hawn.

02 There's a Girl in My Soup

The first sign that we’re in for some fun comes when a group of village wives are discussing the fact that there’s a new maid at the manor. Here she is, looking cute:

03 Maid

Mrs Bullsworthy explains: she was tried for a minor offense by her husband, who is not only the Squire but also the local magistrate; ‘so he sentenced her to a good spanking, put her in my custody for good behavior and said he never wanted to see her up before him again’. But before we chalk up one to the Squire, let’s record with regret that the movie contains no footage of the maid receiving her sentence.

Never mind, because there’s not long to wait before we get to see:

Spanking # 1: Not Such a Scary Shower Scene

The slap of masculine hand on feminine bottom echoes in the shower room, amid the steam and hiss of the water.

The Squire is having his usual morning slap-and-shower with his wife. He is sitting on the stool and Prudence is spread across his lap. She is naked; he is wearing a bowler hat and wellington boots.


He pauses in his spanking and asks, conversationally: ‘What have you got planned for today, my dear?’

‘I’ve got the handyman coming to clean out the swimming pool,’ Prudence replies. The thought makes her buttocks tingle more.


The Squire gives her a last slap. ‘Good, well I must get ready to do a bit more hunting, you know,’ he says. He goes to stand up, and his wife almost falls off his lap. ‘Oh, sorry, my dear. I’m always doing that.’ he gently eases her to her feet.

This becomes a small running gag in the movie, and even more so in the novel, as we shall see…

Olivia Syson plays Mrs Bullsworthy (not Anouska Hempel as is sometimes claimed) and this is her only known acting work. Sad to say, it’s easy to see why… but then, she later told a reporter that she only took the job in order to make money to keep a gigolo!

Of the six spanking scenes, four were also photographed for possible use in publicity material, and this was one of them.


In the event, this was the only spanking photo to be included in the movie’s pressbook (advising exhibitors on how to publicize it), and the film poster is notable for the complete absence of spanking:

07a UK Poster

The weirdly inept poster for the US release was even less communicative about this recurring element of the film’s appeal…

07b US Poster

… whereas the shower scene was illustrated for the benefit of prospective Belgian filmgoers, only with a slight amendment:

07c Belgian poster

Yes, the young, attractive Barry Stokes has taken over spanking duties from the (ahem) less young, less attractive Bob Todd!

Spanking # 2: An Alternative to Fox Hunting

So Bob the Handyman is due to pay Prudence Bullsworthy a professional visit. The job? ‘I want my bottom scrubbed,’ she says. Of course she means the swimming pool. When Bob starts work, she loses no time in telling him that, according to the Squire, his wife ‘could do with a good spanking’. In case you want to judge for yourselves, here is Bob’s wife:

07h Bob's wife

She’s played by Penny Meredith, who is another of the film’s unspanked actresses: the Squire never catches up with her. But one person he does catch is a schoolgirl anti-bloodsports campaigner he found in the bushes during a fox hunt. Naturally he spanked her (another scene we only hear about after the event), but this didn’t teach her the error of her ways: now she attends every hunt meeting and the Squire has dogs specially trained to sniff her out. If this were a more sophisticated film, we might speculate that her motivation is to save the fox by nobly and self-sacrificingly distracting the Squire with a different kind of quarry. As it is, we’ll just observe that this side of the Squire’s character was surely inspired by this 1974 story in the Daily Mail


… and remember with eager anticipation that the Squire left home that morning to go out hunting…

Bob has something else on his mind during this conversation with Prudence:

‘Don’t you complain?’ he asks.

‘No, only when he stops,’ she replies with a grin.

‘You mean he spanks you as well?’

‘Of course he does. Look.’


Prudence turns around, lifts up her dress, bends over, and pulls down her panties.


In the novel, they’ve been specifically established as ‘very frilly panties’ in the previous scene, when she puts them on after being spanked.


If you notice a minor continuity problem here, you’re right. (It won’t be the last one…) The Squire administered Spanking # 1 left-handed… but that’s the print of a right hand on Prudence’s bottom! Perhaps it’s lucky there’s no credited continuity girl on the film; in view of what we’re going to uncover, we’d have to recommend that she should be spanked!!

But to return to the scene in question:


Bob drops the pole, which slides into the water and sinks. His eyes open wide as he finds himself staring at the cheeks of her bottom. He blinks, not knowing what to do.

‘Doesn’t it hurt?’ he asks her, trying to maintain the pretence that this is perfectly normal conversation.

‘Yes, it has to,’ she says, excitedly moving her buttocks.

‘What?’ he says, incomprehendingly.

‘The more it hurts, the better it is, isnt it?’

What you don’t get in the novel is the intercut footage of the Squire out hunting, during which the schoolgirl intercepts him, provokes him and earns herself a rather ungainly spanking on her bare bottom:


Spanking # 3: A Sex Game of Two Halves

Now we turn our attention to Maisie, whom Bob first encounters when she calls him in to repair her bed, which seems to have been getting a lot of use. The actress originally cast in the role was the goofy comedienne Hilary Pritchard:

11 Hilary Pritchard

… one of whose qualifications for the role may be observed here:


In the event, the role went instead to Gay Soper, whom we have met before in the television sitcom Romany Jones. She did well out of this film: she married the leading man, Barry Stokes!

But in the meantime, as Maisie, she has to reveal to him, as Bob, that she is doing for the local husbands what he has been trying to avoid doing for the wives. In other words, she’s the local prostitute.

Bob’s difficulties arise when, swamped with callouts from desperate housewives, he hires a ‘junior’, played by the 1970s ubiquitous comedy geriatric, Harold Bennett (best known as Young Mr Grace in Are You Being Served). Suddenly the demand for his services dries up and his former lady clients set out to make trouble for him. He goes for a drink and gets into conversation with Maisie, who takes pity on him. The chat continues with Maisie explaining what the husbands were up to while he was servicing the wives. There follows a montage as she explains the sexual tastes of her clients, including the one that interests us:

‘What about the Squire, then? He comes around every other day after he spends the morning dealing with wrongdoers, and makes me dress up as a schoolgirl and smacks my bottom.’


This is played at very high speed with a tinkly music track, creating a ‘larky’ silent movie ambience. What’s most interesting about it is how Gay plays the scene with a contrast between the two ends of her, pointing up the crossover of consensual and non-consensual. Down at her lower half, the focus of her client’s attention, her legs are kicking away furiously as she is spanked, but the upper half tells a very different story:


For this professional woman, a good spanking is all in a day’s work, not a cause for distress or panic; in fact, she’s so relaxed about it all that she’s smoking a cigar whilst being spanked!

Maisie has an idea that will help Bob: she decides to use her influence with the Squire to get him awarded the license to run the local pub. And that means, in short order, it’s time for:

Spanking # 4: Maisie Tops from the Bottom

The Squire guides her into the study with gentle taps on the bottom. He sits down behind his desk, slaps his thighs, and beckons her with his finger.

She walks around his desk, pulls up her skirt, and lies across his lap. He gives a great roar of laughter and begins to smack her bottom.

Maisie thinks: I’ll get this over with first and then talk to him.

This is not quite what was filmed. We don’t see the beginning of the spanking, but when it starts her skirt is down, and is lifted by the Squire in mid-spanking. But one detail that is consistent between the two versions amounts to a major drawback: he is indeed sitting behind a desk, so at first what we mainly see of Maisie is a bottom and legs sticking up over the top.


The dialogue is mainly played in close-ups,


and then they reposition her a bit higher as the Squire resumes.


Also in both novel and movie, this is an interrupted spanking: the local policeman turns up with Bob the Handyman, brought in for summary justice. And this won’t be the last time he comes between the Squire and his spanking pleasure. He knocks on the study door…

‘What’s that?’ Maisie asks.

The Squire pulls her knickers down further. ‘It’s only Knowles.’ He carries on smacking her bottom.

This is the moment Maisie has been waiting for. She raises her head and looks at the Squire over her shoulder.

And with that, she makes her suggestion: Bob should take over the pub.

The Squire stops spanking her. He puts his hand to his mouth and thinks about it, then smiles, and pats her bottom. ‘Handyman? What a good idea. That will keep him occupied.’ He brings his hand down with a resounding whack on Maisie’s bare buttocks.

It hurts, Maisie thinks, but it was worth it.

The knock on the door comes again.

‘I suppose I’d better deal with it,’ the Squire says. He stands up and Maisie falls to the floor. ‘Sorry, my dear. I’m always doing that,’ the Squire says. He helps her to her feet. She pulls her knickers up and he pats her bottom.

She gives a curtsey. ‘Thank you, Squire.’

This was the second spanking to be photographed for publicity, and we have both color and black-and-white shots:


The b/w photo brings out the seat of her panties especially nicely, including details like the lace edge that the movie camera didn’t really catch.

So Maisie’s kind intervention, and her spankable bottom, ensure that Bob gets the pub. But the local women aren’t giving up that easily. They lure him to what they intend will be a poolside orgy, and he… But you don’t really need to know the details, do you? What matters is that, in an overt nod to its comic roots, the movie’s climax is a slapstick chase sequence to music (sounding almost like the Benny Hill theme played backwards), during which many of the characters lose a lot of their clothes. What matters even more is that PC Knowles takes an interest, and ends up interrupting…

Spanking # 5: Yakkity Smacks

In the novel, the constable falls through a hedge, landing at the Squire’s feet. It is not the best moment:

The Squire, wearing his hunting clothes, is spanking the bottom of a girl in school uniform.

On seeing Knowles he leaps to his feet, ejecting the girl from his lap. He raises his hat, then runs away, leaving the dazed Knowles with his face against the bare bottom of the schoolgirl.

Again, this is not quite what happens on screen:


You’ll have noticed that the novel systematically has the Squire administer every spanking on the bare bottom, whereas the majority of the screen spankings are on panties (and so, for me at least, much more appealing). And on screen the Squire doesn’t get up with the girl still on his lap, tumbling her to the ground: she’s knocked off by the collision with the policeman. And the Squire doesn’t then run off straight away.

On paper, Knowles tries to salute the girl (whereas on screen it’s the Squire who is the recipient of his attempted respect) but has to disentangle his police whistle from her garter belt.


Then the girl runs off after the Squire – only on screen it’s vice versa, and she’s headed for…

Spanking # 6: Schoolgirl’s End

The Squire eventually catches up with the schoolgirl and puts her across his knee…


… whereupon, disappointingly, we cut to handyman Bob and his semi-naked pursuers. Also disappointingly, this incident doesn’t make even a fleeting appearance in the novel, in which the schoolgirl disappears from the narrative after a collision with the fleeing Bob, enabling him to be caught by the amorous women. But the spanking does happen, and is documented in photographs taken during the filming…


Olivia Syson watched as this scene was filmed, and later told a reporter: ‘Her behind was very red afterwards. She squealed a lot which means she probably enjoyed it.’

And that’s all there is to it. Didn’t they do well? Now let’s have a look at the old scoreboard. Which one is the winner?

The Ups and Downs of a Spanking Scene

Of these six scenes I have a clear favorite, without which I wouldn’t have devoted this much attention to what is, if we’re being honest, not a very good movie. Surprising as it may seem, my favorite is Spanking # 5.


It’s a real curate’s egg of a spanking, and inevitably you have to take its outstanding features alongside its drawbacks.


UP! Superb OTK positioning. The girl’s fully across his knee and there’s no way she can put her feet on the ground and escape: she’s there for the duration.


DOWN! It lasts less than a second, partly because we come in while the spanking is already taking place, partly because the point of the scene is to show it being interrupted before it’s finished and partly because of the sequence’s stylized ‘Benny Hill’ accelerated movement…


UP! … but at least in that time the Squire manages to get in three smacks…


DOWN! … even though, if you look closely, only one of them actually makes contact with her bottom.


UP! There are none of the telltale signs of collusion between the participants: they are both wearing all of their clothes, and the lay of the girl’s skirt shows that it was raised after the Squire put her across his knee. This is well staged to look like a non-consensual discipline spanking, even though that isn’t what it really is.


DOWN! The spanking is shot through foreground foliage, so we can’t see it as clearly as we might wish.


UP! The spanking is administered on the seat of white flowered panties.


DOWN! She’s wearing oldfashioned black seamed stockings and a white garter belt. Not my taste at all. This is fantasy schoolgirl uniform from the 1940s and 1950s, not the 1970s. And white knee socks are so much sexier.


UP! The girl’s legs are kicking wildly as she is spanked.


DOWN! You can’t see her face. I like a girl to look at the camera as she is spanked, with the wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression that says, in effect, ‘Oh no, I’m being spanked!’ No chance of that here, sadly.

The odd thing is that the last DOWN! may paradoxically have a little UP! to it, albeit perhaps only for me…

But before we get to that, we must look in detail at the way the sequence continues, which is in effect about tracking how the schoolgirl gets from Spanking # 5 to Spanking # 6.

Schoolgirl’s Progress

After they both get clear of the interfering cop, the Squire pursues her on horseback,


during which her dress falls off for no very good reason,


and she continues running away in her panties.


She runs past the swimming pool and knocks the policeman in:


She disposes of her blouse, again for no very good reason…


then bobs around on the spot waiting for the Squire to dismount, catch her and administer Spanking # 6:


After that, the continuity is a bit incoherent, but we do get two last glimpses of her, first back in her blouse beside the pool as the policeman tries unsuccessfully to get out…


and then, in the very next shot, standing in a completely different position to watch as the Squire too falls in.


And now she’s suddenly minus not just her blouse but her stockings and garter belt too! But if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have spotted that there’s a wider continuity problem with her underwear throughout the whole sequence.

In some shots she’s wearing a white garter belt and white cotton panties with a floral print, as featured in Spanking # 5 and its aftermath:


But in other shots the garter belt is black and the panties are white lace, as worn for Spanking # 6:


And that means it’s time to consider…

A Case of Identity

The actress credited as the schoolgirl is 19-year-old Ava Cadell:


Here she is:


She was born in Hungary (her real name is Ildiko Eva Csath), and was smuggled out as a baby to escape the Soviet invasion of 1956. She later got herself a doctorate and became a sex pundit on US television and in print.

Book Signing Party For Dr. Ava Cadell's "Pocket Idiot's Guide to Oral Sex"Book Signing Party For Dr. Ava Cadell's "Pocket Idiot's Guide to Oral Sex"55c55dat Dr. Ava Cadell's Book Release Party for "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Oral Sex", Erotic Museum, Hollywood, CA. 01-25-05

But in the mid-1970s she was a widely photographed glamor model who was seen, with few if any clothes, on everything from nude magazines to publicity stunts to popular book covers:


There’s absolutely no doubt that Ava is indeed the girl in Spanking # 6. Both ends prove it. The face is hers, and though bottoms have less individual distinctiveness, even Ava’s…

58a Ava Cadell

… there is also the fact that she wore the very same pair of panties in a pictorial spread she did for the glamor magazine Mayfair at around the same time as the filming.


But let’s take another look at Spanking # 5, both as seen on screen and (with apologies for a very poor quality picture) as it was staged for the stills photographer:


Spot the difference? In the film itself, the schoolgirl wears her straw boater on the side of her head, and even contrives to look to her right, away from the camera, as the spanking continues. Whereas in the still, the hat is in its natural position on the top of her head. And that small change of headgear position tells us a very great deal.

In the film and television of the 1970s, whenever you see a character deliberately concealing their face, it’s a sure sign that the part has been temporarily taken over by a stunt double. The principle may be attractively illustrated by this scene from the penultimate episode of The Bionic Woman

63 Bionic panties

… where not showing the stuntwoman’s face is evidently far more important than not showing anything else!

But the Handyman stills photographer on the day in question was less concerned with such matters, which is why there are some pictures showing both the girl’s panties and her face:


And that establishes definitively that the girl in this scene is not Ava Cadell. (Close examination of the footage indicates that she’s also a little longer in the thigh than Ava.)

So why did they engage a stuntwoman? It can’t have been to take a spanking on Ava’s behalf, because we’ve already seen this one has very little actual contact. What makes the scene dangerous is how the spanking ends: the policeman rolls down the bank and collides with the Squire, whereupon the girl is pitched off his lap and falls backwards over the constable.


That’s the stunt – not the spanking that precedes it. And the continuity tangle at the swimming pool also shows that the stuntwoman was used to run along the edge of the pool – a much slighter risk, it is true, but one which again involved contact with the actor playing PC Knowles. And this leaves us with a question:

Who’s That Stunt Girl?

In the 1970s, there were only around 120 professional stunt performers in Britain, and only one in ten of them were women, so there ought to be a chance of identifying this one. We have to proceed with caution, not only because face recognition is fraught with uncertainty, but also because I may have a dose of wishful thinking stirred in here. But taking all that into account, I think the stuntwoman in question is Sue Crosland.

Here’s another picture showing the girl’s face:


Here’s Sue Crosland in 1973, two years before the movie was made:

66 Sue Crosland 1973

And here she is five years afterwards:

67 Sue Crosland 1980

Sue began her stunt career on Doctor Who in 1971, playing a golden alien whose face slowly disintegrates. She continued to work until the late 1980s, notably doing the stunts on the films Labyrinth, Aliens and The Princess Bride. She later moved to Spain and founded a charity for neglected dogs. And another of her jobs, again in Doctor Who, was to be the stunt double for the late, great, much-loved and much-missed Elisabeth Sladen.

68 Lis

The adorable Lis herself was busy making Doctor Who throughout 1975 – far too busy to appear in a dubious sex comedy even if it were a job she’d ever have considered taking (and no, I really don’t think she would). But Sue Crosland was, in a sense, another performer who embodied her Doctor Who character, Sarah Jane Smith. What that means is that, if I’m right about the identity of the stuntwoman in this scene, The Ups and Downs of a Handyman is, by a couple of degrees of separation, probably the closest I shall ever come to seeing Sarah Jane get spanked.


And that’s why, in spite of everything, this cheap, cheesy movie will forever have a special place in my heart.

Le Médecin Malgré Lui in North America

In recent decades, the majority of performances of Médecin outside France have taken place in educational institutions, so the North American phenomenon of the high school yearbook gives the documentation of its stage history a historical depth not available elsewhere. The play has been on American campuses since at least 1915, usually in translation and entitled The Doctor in Spite of Himself, but for photographic evidence that, in the opening scene, Sganarelle’s blows were targeted specifically at his wife’s bottom, we have to wait until 1942, when, in the junior play at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana, Eugene Tepper did this to Betty Rosenberry:

Medecin 1942 Washington HS

And the earliest rendition I’ve found that was a spanking in the most precise sense of the term was at McMurray College, Texas, in 1953, starring Sheridan Mallott and Jan Jackson:

Medecin 1953 McMurry College Texas

But the play’s bumper decade, as far as spanking goes, was the 1960s:

Medecin 1960 Hayward HS

(Raymond Brandon whacks Susan Jacques at Hayward High School, California, in the school year 1959-60)

Medecin 1961 El Cerrito HS

(Adele Gordon is on the receiving end of harsh treatment from Stephen Schaffran at El Cerrito High School, California, in the school year 1960-61)

Medecin 1962 Lincoln HS Manitowoc

(‘Yeow!’ says Phyllis Fandrick as Scott Kliment punishes her in the 1962 spring play at Lincoln High School, Manitowoc, Wisconsin)

Medecin 1963 Kewaskum HS Wisconsin

(Mariel Seefeldt bends over for Ralph Albrecht at Kewaskum High School, Wisconsin, in the school year 1962-63)

Medecin 1965 Butler HS

(It’s a spanking at Butler High School, Vandalia, Ohio, on the nights of February 5 and 6, 1965 – but we don’t know the names of the participants!)

Medecin 1966 Chaplain Kapaun HS

(Thwack! goes the stick across the bottom of Sophie Bertha at Chaplain Kapaun Memorial High School, Wichita, Kansas, in the school year 1965-66; Howard Uhrich does the honors)

Medecin 1966 Will Rogers HS

(Charles Averill administers an outdoor rehearsal spanking to Susie Monger, somewhere in the vicinity of the Will Rogers High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma, where The Doctor in Spite of Himself was the junior play for the school year 1965-66)

Medecin 1967 Mulvane HS

(Carolyn Cobb is saved from the attentions of wild-eyed Weldon Carmicheal at Mulvane High School, Kansas, in the school year 1966-67)

Medecin 1968 Fresno State College

(At Fresno State College in 1968, Candace Holt gets her bottom burnt by Terry Burns, and gets herself into the newspapers too!)

Medecin 1970 Mt Pleasant HS

(Only a spanking can settle down Elaine Keefe, or so John Burrow believes; the production was at Mount Pleasant High School, Iowa, in the school year 1969-70)

And finally, of unknown date but similar vintage, here’s Bruno Zovich spanking Eileen Menchini at Lemoyne College, Syracuse, New York:


And in 1971, the Kansas-based K-State Continental Theatre Company toured with a musical adaptation of the play, from which we have a blurry newspaper photo of the spanking:

Medecin 1971 Continental Theatre Co

Another musical adaptation, by John Jakes, followed in 1973, under the title Doctor, Doctor! This premiered on July 20 in a production by the Dayton Theatre Guild, Ohio, with Ken Hardin as Sganarelle and Harriet Beaman as Martine. And in this version, the stage direction is explicit:

He seizes her, sits on bench, turns her over his knee and spanks her. Martine yells.

Here’s an example of a school production of Doctor, Doctor!, from Tracy High School, Minnesota, in the 1979 spring musical. Brian Flesner is spanking Lisa Pommler:

Doctor Doctor 1979 Tracy HS Minnesota

The play proper held its popularity with schools through the 1970s and ’80s before tailing off towards the end of the century, but yearbooks tended to illustrate it with other scenes. But the tradition continues, and in 2009, at Tidewater Community College in Virginia, Krys Wrenn put Amanda Gall across his knee.


To finish off, here are a couple of videos from 2012.

And one that’s off-camera, with a cast tending toward the economy-sized, but exciting sound:

In the Photographer’s Studio (32)

Sarah Tröster is a Stuttgart-based photographer whose photos are exhibited in art galleries and sold as decorative domestic art objects. And she also does pin-up work.

Normally I make a point of showing you the models first, but Sarah herself is as good-looking in front of the camera as she is talented behind it:

Sarah Troester 1 Sarah Troester 2 Sarah Troester 3 Sarah Troester 4

OK, I did also have an ulterior motive there. One element of one of those self-portraits will be reappearing later on…

… but not Sarah herself. Her models for the shoot in question are Mara Lubina…

Sarah Troester 5 Mara

… and Mademoiselle Raspberry Rose:

Sarah Troester 6 Raspberry RoseSarah Troester 7 Raspberry Rose

The shoot we’re looking at is early work, from August 29, 2008. Filtering dominance and submission themes through the lens of Bettie Page, it is entitled ‘Carrots and Sticks’, and shows the two models giving one another, shall we say, a little encouragement:

Sarah Troester 8Sarah Troester 9Sarah Troester 10

Now it’s Mara’s turn to take charge:

Sarah Troester 11Sarah Troester 12

But the Spank Statement believes there’s only one sure-fire way to handle a model… though whether it’s carrot or stick rather depends on her proclivities:

Sarah Troester 13

Did you spot the return appearance by Sarah’s red gingham dress?

If you are interested in Sarah’s work, please visit her website.

A Jolly Good Smacked Rowbottom

Romany Jones was a 1970s trailer trash sitcom originated by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, who are better known for On the Buses – which tells you something straight away about the level of the humor. The series was created as a vehicle for James Beck (Private Walker in Dad’s Army), playing Bert Jones, a newlywed layabout living on a caravan site and dong his best to avoid the threat of ever having to do any work. Redhead Jo Rowbottom was his long-suffering wife Betty:


And one of the things she had to suffer each week in the title sequence was what Bert did to her when he caught her bending:

02 Romany Jones

To be honest, I never found Jo Rowbottom a sexy woman back in her heyday, but I began to change my mind when I saw her in Romany Jones:

03 Romany Jones  2h 04 Romany Jones  2i 05 Romany Jones  2a

Then there’s her later appearance as Frank Finlay’s mistress in ‘There’s One Born Every Minute’, a 1981 episode of Tales of the Unexpected. At one point they’re together in bed, and she lays face down over his legs to use the telephone…

06 Tales of the Unexpected

… whereupon he does the obvious thing and gives her a few pats on the bottom. It’s not a spanking, as such, but it’s pleasant enough to watch.

Romany Jones hit problems when James Beck died unexpectedly in 1973, shortly after completing the second series and a month or so before it aired. It was decided to go on to another series, but with two completely new characters, a fish-out-of-water posh couple played by Jonathan Cecil and Gay Soper, who lasted for two more series before the show was retired in 1975. Coincidentally, she does reach across him in bed in one closing credits sequence…

07 Gay Soper

… but there’s no longer any smacking in the opening titles or indeed anywhere else.

But never mind. After she finished on Romany Jones, Gay Soper’s career was headed in a direction of interest to us. But she wasn’t just going to be smacked like Jo Rowbottom. Oh no, she was going to be spanked

Gay’s next role was Maisie the prostitute in The Ups and Downs of a Handyman – in which two spankings fell to her lot, and across the seat of her panties too!

Paper Cranes

01 Kari Bentley-Quinn

It took the New York playwright Kari Bentley-Quinn two years to write Paper Cranes, which she completed in June 2010. In the process, she had the active assistance of actress Susan Louise O’Connor, who was making her Broadway debut in the revival of Blithe Spirit with Angela Lansbury, and who won a Theatre World Award for her performance as Edith the psychic housemaid.

02 Susan Louise O'Connor

She was helping to develop the key character of Amy, whom she would play, first in a closed reading, and then in the first full production, which opened at the Access Theatre, New York, on April 15, 2011, after a month’s rehearsal. For our purposes, the other important character is David, played in the reading by Simon Kendall and in the production by Eric T. Miller, seen here with Susan:

03 Amy and David

The play was staged as an Equity showcase production, which meant that the run was strictly limited: it closed on May 8 after sixteen performances, just as the author felt it was beginning to gel. Naturally she was particularly pleased with one of the performances, and so, by the sound of it, would we have been:

’Susan Louise O’Connor had to get spanked and tied up every night, and she did it with elegance, grace and humor (she looked extra fabulous doing it, by the way).’

I’d like to be able to judge the accuracy of that statement, but no photographs of the spanking scene are available – or, in all likelihood, were ever taken. But (after the obligatory ‘strong language alert’) I can tell you more about the play itself…

The prologue uses interlocking monologues to establish three of the characters. First there is bereaved, grieving Mona, who has heard the Japanese tradition that you will be granted one wish if you fold a thousand origami cranes, but who didn’t make enough to save her husband; now she continues obsessively folding the paper birds that give the play its title. Then there are Amy and David, both addicts of a particular kind of sexual relationship. ‘I need to submit and they need to control,’ says Amy, while David is more explicit:

I see what have become countless, faceless asses

Upturned, red handprints on white flesh.

They go on to describe how they met on the internet and set up a liaison. Amy was instructed to wear all black, including her shoes and underwear, and to remain silent throughout.

DAVID: I promised I wouldn’t hurt her.

AMY: I said I wanted him to hurt me.

DAVID: I meant it.

AMY: He said he wouldn’t have to.

DAVID: I didn’t know what I meant.

AMY: I was turned on.

But David has a secret: if Amy wants and needs to be mastered, dominated, spanked, David feels a terrible sense of guilt at what he is doing. We shall find out why in due course.

This relationship is juxtaposed with Mona’s ongoing sense of loss, two years after she was widowed, and with a developing lesbian encounter between her daughter Maddie and Amy’s friend Julie. The Amy and David situation resumes in the second scene, set in his bedroom. He orders her to undress:

Amy starts with shoes – David stops her from removing them. Amy slides her black dress off. She is in very expensive and carefully purchased black lingerie – bra, panties, garters. The expensive shoes stay on.

He then ties her hands with a black silken rope, and instructs her that she must not speak or cry out except to say the safeword ‘Birdie’. And then:

David sits on the bed, snaps his fingers and motions for Amy to bend over his lap. She does so. He spanks her once, hard. She doesn’t cry out. He spanks her again, hard. She doesn’t cry out. He spanks her one more time, she almost cries out but manages to suppress it.

DAVID: Good girl.

And with that, the encounter moves on from spanking to sex.

When this scene was rehearsed, incidentally, they had cause to regret the requirement that Amy should not remove her shoes. While being spanked, Susan Louise O’Connor managed to put her heel through the mattress – and it was an air mattress… POP!!!

03a 04

Fast forward now to the aftermath. Amy makes her exit from the bedroom whilst David is still asleep, pausing only to steal a photograph from a drawer in the bedside table. She has discovered that there is, or was, another woman in his heart – that what she describes as the best sex of her life was for him an act of substitution. Amy looks almost exactly like his murdered girlfriend, and, as he later admits to Mona, ‘All I can see is Ashley.’

Amy’s next meeting with David moves them deeper into S/M territory:

Amy wordlessly undresses and crosses her arms in front of her to be tied. David takes great sensual pleasure in tying her wrists together. He puts her into position on the bed and reveals a long, thin riding crop. Amy can barely conceal her fear and desire. He smacks her once and then twice, and the lights go down on them for the third audible smack.

The scene ‘crossfades’ to Maddie and Julie, and later returns:

Lights come up on David’s bed, where Amy is being untied from the bedposts. She is, again, only in black underwear and bra. We can tell that her legs have been whipped or spanked – angry red welts appear on them. When David has finished untying her, Amy involuntarily throws her arms around him. David holds her for a long minute, remembers, and then lets her go.


He ensures that she is not hurt and will get home safely, then leaves her alone to get dressed.

Amy is emotional as she begins to put her clothes on – black skirt, black top. Amy slides the skirt over her legs, and smarts when it hits the welts. Amy examines them.

… and then she gets out her cellphone and rings Julie to ask her out for a drink. When they meet, she’s still wearing a skirt, and the marks on her legs are obvious. She keeps self-consciously pulling it down.’ The welts appal Julie: ‘This stuff is dangerous! Even with someone you know, never mind some grief stricken psychopath you met on the fucking internet!’

A monologue by David, addressed to the dead Ashley, explains how he came to do what he now does in the bedroom. In the immediate aftermath of her death, tormented with the memory of her, he went out and got drunk.

The pretty bartender took pity on me.

In her apartment I fucked her, nearly hysterical with pleasure and grief,

And in her drunken haze, she asked me to spank her.

So I did.


I looked down and saw my handprint materialize on her skin like a developing photo.

And suddenly, for one moment, you were there, my love,

Tossing your hair back, red as she was, red on white, until it blurred before me

And as I left her apartment at daybreak

I felt alive, and full of possibility.

There was a way to bring you back.

There was finally a way.

So, I’ve been chasing your ghost under the skirts of strangers.

Until there was her.

And that’s why he feels guilty: he’s not a natural born spanker, just someone who has found in spanking a means to an end. At their next encounter, he treats Amy with conventional sexual tenderness: no bondage, no spanking, just kissing and the missionary position and ‘I love you’ – and it absolutely terrifies her.


The relationship is at an end, but Amy takes Julie’s advice, Googles David and learns who Ashley was. She apologetically returns the purloined picture, and as we leave the play, most of the characters have found some kind of fulfillment: Julie and Maddie have come to terms with their lesbianism, and David is about to begin a new, non-spanking relationship with Mona. Only Amy’s emotional journey seems unfinished.


Paper Cranes is a humane, sensitive play that deals delicately with the sexual dimension of bereavement and with the ways that unconventional, ‘weird’ sexualities are open to misunderstanding. It deserves to be produced again. And who knows, in the wake of the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie, maybe it will be…


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