Category Archives: Events

Remembering Murray Roberts

worms-head-gower 550 Michael has sent me a message with sad news from a wild and beautiful corner of the British Isles – home to one of the founding fathers of This Thing That We Do:

Hello Valdor, I’ve got some sad news I’m afraid. I’ve just had a phone call from Gower. Murray has died. He hadn’t been well for a long time. He was a lovely fellow; I’d known him for over 40 years. It was through the Janus Bookshop initially, when as a youngster I read its Collectors Corner, something of a forerunner of your marvellous site here.

I told them I’d like to talk with whoever put the Corner together, and he got in touch with me. We stayed in touch ever after – even when he left London (where he had worked though he actually lived in Herts then) I’d go down to Gower to stay with him, particularly latterly when joining his wife to go on the long trip to Australia to see their daughter was getting beyond him.

Latterly too he let me drive his car which was getting a bit beyond him. The previous summer there had been an incident with some sheep when he was driving me from Swansea Station across the moors-LOL. He was a real pioneer in the collection of spanking memorabilia, and a tireless researcher for new material. We spankos all owe him a lot.

He had one or two colleagues in America but on this side of the pond Murray Roberts was the first to record and share mainstream spankings. His seminal Collector’s Corner in Janus was avidly followed by a generation of up and coming spankos including yours truly. I never met him myself but, since starting this blog, I have been contacted by many readers who did know him personally and he will be much missed. He first approached me with the idea of submitting some novel extracts to the Spank Statement and the Library of Murray Roberts series was born. It ran for 3 years from 2009 – 2012. He was a huge fan of Kiss Me Kate and researched many pictures from that musical, and in 2011 he wrote a guest post on the subject. He also supplied rare movie clips to both the Spank Statement and Chross even though his lack of computer skills made this very difficult for him. In October 2010 the Spank Statement posted Murray’s personal list of all time favourite movie spankings. Murray was in his mid 80s and he kept up his interest right to the end. I know he made arrangements to preserve his huge collection of spanking memorabilia. Looking back, I last heard from him in September 2014 when he told me that, despite poor health, he was very much enjoying Harry’s theater series of posts. The view in the picture is one that Murray would have known and loved. As Michael says in his message, we all owe him a lot and I’m sure you will want to join me in paying tribute to the life and work of Murray Roberts. We will always remember him.

Introducing Murray Roberts
Kiss me Kate by Murray Roberts
Reader’s Top Tens – Murray Roberts
From the Library of Murray Roberts
Eloge de la Fessee by Jacques Serguine

Time Out or Spanking?

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Click on the image to read a page from Time Out, the London listings magazine. It’s a feature about sex salons held at upmarket lingerie boutique Coco de Mer in Covent Garden. The blonde lady being spanked with a ruler is Nichi Hodgon – “a 28-year-old journalist, card-carrying feminist, and occasional sexual submissive.” Her website, where I found the picture below, explains that:

Drawing on her experience as a professional dominatrix and a personal ‘switch’ and submissive, Nichi creates an intimate, relaxed atmosphere in which she shares sensual sexual knowledge and tips, and demonstrates how to use a wide array of sex toys, S and M props and domestic objects alike to enhance your pleasure in the bedroom.

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The domme in both pictures is Coco de Mer’s Allison England who featured in these previously posted tv clips. According to the Time Out article. Allison went over Nichi’s lap for “quite a walloping” in the shop window!?? Note too the nice pair of green silk assless panties in the bottom right corner.

Nichi Hodgson has written about sexual politics for The Guardian and Huffington Post amongst other websites, and recently released a BDSM flavoured memoir called Bound To You. One interesting example of her journalism poses the question “How realistic is the S&M in 50 Shades of Grey?

Personally, I prefer a partner to use their hands to chastise me and find looking up at someone I adore as I anticipate their slap across my cheek unbearably erotic.

In this piece for The New Statesman, she denounces the hypocrisy of The Sun newspaper which sent a photographer to one of the Coco de Mer sessions, but didn’t use any of the pictures because they were deemed “too racy”.

No Pants Subway Ride

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The annual No Pants Subway Ride, is organized by the New York City collective Improv Everywhere. Participants are supposed to act as if there is nothing strange as they enter a subway car without pants in the middle of winter. If asked, they claim that they simply “forgot” their pants.

It all started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration, with dozens of cities around the world taking part each January. Breaking a social taboo and seeing the reaction of people not aware of the event generally makes it fun for participants and photographers alike.

So let Harry be your guide as he takes you down in the subway on No Pants Ride day and brings you the highlights from the past few years of the event:

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Some of the most enjoyable images show the participants in everyday underwear as they are going about their everyday business. This is in the spirit of the instructions for the event: riders are asked not to wear comedy underwear which indicates that they are taking part in a prank.

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In practice there are a lot of slogans plastered across pert rears which are obviously meant to be seen and, in the case of the girl in the purple panties below, impossible to argue with!

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The undies worn by the ladies in this group are less attention-seeking and a nice range of colours and modern styles are on display.

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Occasionally there’s even more to be seen, though the
organizers do ask riders to avoid excessive exhibitionism. (Thongs are specifically banned.)

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The event has a spin off too in the shape of its summer time cousin, the New York Underwear Run.

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And just occasionally, there’s a bit of bottom smacking involved. The girl with the Cookie Monster panties has a very nice bottom.

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And before the day is out, that bottom is going to be smacked.

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And here’s a paddling, though with a singularly unsuitable instrument of punishment!

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But at least it seems to have made some kind of an impact on its target…

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At the end of the journey pants are hastily pulled on and normal decorum is restored.

‘Thank goodness I’ve got through the No Pants Subway Ride without anyone photographing my bottom!’

Inna Horizontal Position

Faithful followers of The Spank Statement will know Harry and remember with great fondness his two brilliantly researched and ground-breaking pieces on the November 2009 FEMEN protest in Kiev. (See top menu for links if you haven’t read them yet)

The bad news is there won’t be a third part this year, but Harry has been in touch to assure me that he is still following the activities of the FEMEN group and that:

The FEMEN girls are currently in Western Europe: they did a French maid stunt in Paris yesterday. (Maybe they will come to London and do a vice anglais show…?) You may also like the attached which is from this year’s annual July protest against the fact that all hot water in Kiev is turned off in the summer: their response is to wash themselves in the public fountains.

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The girl being scrubbed is Inna Shevchenko, Alexandra’s sister. She didn’t get involved in FEMEN until after the 2009 spanking protest, so we haven’t seen her in an even more appealing horizontal position!

The French maid stunt was a protest against Dominique Strauss Kahn and they performed it on the footsteps of his Paris home. The girls named the event “La France, sors, déshabille-toi et gagne!”, which means “France, go out, take off your clothes and win!”.

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You can see a gallery of pictures showing what they got up to during the protest here.

Bottom Blushers

A recent exhibition at an East London gallery featured what are quite possibly the world’s first spanking PROSTHETICS!

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Arising from the point at which fetish meets art culture, GOD SPANK THE QUEEN was an interactive exhibition of photography, illustration and installation created by the British print designer and artist Bert Gilbert. With influences ranging from Monty Python to Marilyn Manson her work is described as:

Exploring anatomy, deformity and botany, making a collection of curiosities, whose horrible beauty and childlike interpretation transforms pain and trauma into installations and objects revealing a macabre and cathartic sense of humour.

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The exhibits displayed here are known as Bottom Blushers and were commissioned by Sam Roddick, owner of the erotic emporium Coco de Mer. Available in both open and cup handed versions, they take the concept of designer spanking paddles to a whole new level. The smaller ones on the right of the picture are called Little Spankers.

The show also featured photography by Nathan Gallagher who contributed a couple of atmospheric sepia tinged shots of the bottom blushers being put to good use.

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Photos from last November’s event reveal that there was a “spanking post” – presumably the interactive element of the exhibition. I haven’t come across any pictures of visitors being spanked at the post, just this shot of a model who is clearly poised and ready for action.

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I did find a good picture from the after show party though. I believe the woman in the pink uniform who is “applying some blusher” is Bert Gilbert herself.

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The poster doesn’t gain many marks for originality and I’m not too convinced by how effective the bottom blushers would be as spanking implements but I do like the name. “You’ve been very naughty. Go and fetch the bottom blusher!” certainly has a nice ring to it.

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God Spank The Queen

FEMEN Protest: Corrections and Updates

RUSSIAN BABY TALK! COMEDY PANTIES! BOTTOMS STUCK IN CAR WINDOWS! EURO 2012! A LADY WHO CAN’T FIND THE LADIES! GIRL-SHAPED PARTS IN PERIL! HOW TO COOK PEPPERS! AND NOT FORGETTING…COWS ON ICE!!

If you thought that Harry’s highly praised piece on last year’s FEMEN protest was the final and definitive word on the subject, then think again…

It is now twelve months since FEMEN’s spanking protest in Kiev against sexual harassment in education. When I wrote about it at length last year, there were many things I didn’t know and a few things I misunderstood. Now I can set the record straight…

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A-Ta-Ta, the title of the performance, actually means spanking in Russian baby-talk.

The Cast

I now know the names of two more girls in the performance. They were the fourth and fifth in the queue for spanking and I nicknamed them the Lady and Lips, after the pictures on their panties. The Lady’s real name is Oksana Shachko. Here she is in a recent bare-bottomed protest against the scarcity of public toilets in Kiev.

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Lips is actually Nastia Magonova, who was later ostracized by her family after she was publicly ‘crucified’ in an Easter protest against church patriarchy.

It has been reported in the Ukrainian press that some of the FEMEN girls were actresses, not activists. The majority of the girls have been spotted in other FEMEN actions before or since, but four of them seem to have been only in this one performance, so they are the likeliest candidates: Yellow, Red, Mouse and Big Boots.

The Costumes

Alexandra Shevchenko braided her hair especially for the performance, to make herself look more student-like.

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Olesja’s outfit is not a maid’s costume: it’s a Russian school uniform.

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Big Boots turned up wearing jeans and had to change into her skirt and costume panties in public. (Skirt on, jeans off, panties on…)

The color of the FEMEN movement is pink, so most of the girls are wearing something pink: a necktie (Alexandra), a dress (Kristina), a watch and nail varnish (Olesja), a wristband (Big Boots), shoes (Nastia), pantyhose (Nastia) and panties (Kristina, Oksana, Nastia; and Stockings’ white panties have a pink waistband). Yellow has decorated one of her trainers with an anarchy symbol using the same pink paint as the protest banners. Three girls are ‘out of uniform’: Red, Smiley and Mouse, though Smiley’s bag (unlike herself) has bright pink cheeks.

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The Panties

Alexandra is the only one wearing what I’d call proper girls’ panties, with the lace edging that differentiates them from shorts or bikini bottoms. Top marks to her also for the pattern, and the absence of a slogan – they are a private garment, unlike six of the other girls, whose panties are evidently designed for people to read.

Bottom marks to Alexandra for wearing a second pair underneath, but (contrary to suggestions elsewhere) they don’t give her any extra protection, because on very close inspection it turns out that the pair you can’t see turn out to be a thong. (Bottom marks again..)

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(Sorry this thumbnail isn’t clickable at the moment)

I mistakenly said that Oksana is wearing two pairs of white panties, one on top of the other. In fact she is only wearing one pair, and they are pale pink with a white waistband. Far from going for extra coverage, she doesn’t have quite enough: the top of her bottom cleft is visible while she is being spanked. (Stockings has the same problem.)

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Big Boots’ panties read, in English, ‘It’s Fun to be Girl Shape’. It’s far from certain that the girl shaped part underneath is having fun during the spanking, but maybe she doesn’t speak English that well. (Remember that she’s wearing her ‘Friday’ panties on a Monday…)

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Red is wearing a blue bra and black panties. It remains a disappointment that we don’t get to see the latter exposed and upended. Mouse is wearing her own white panties underneath the red ones which are part of her costume.

The spankings

Alexandra is already across the Dean’s knee and about to be spanked when she realizes she has forgotten her books. That’s why her skirt is already raised when she goes to retrieve the books. One of them is about the theory of statistics, but the other is a cookery book about peppers, so she must be doing a strange combination of majors! She then forgets the books again before her second spanking – what a naughty girl!

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During her spanking, Olesja turns her book over so that it’s upside down – and then turns it right side up again. So she hasn’t been assessed on her reading skills…

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Alexandra did not raise her own skirt before going over the Professor’s knee, as I previously speculated; it was the Professor himself who did it.

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However, another speculation was right: Nastia does indeed get her second spanking directly on her pink panties. The motto on them translates as ‘The Higher the Love, the Lower the Kisses’.

While the Dean is spanking Yellow, Stockings (in the queue) says something cheeky to him, and he wags an admonitory finger. Evidently he’s saying something like ‘Just you wait. In a few minutes it’ll be you here across my knee!’

You’ll remember that Big Boots really, really doesn’t want to be spanked. She tries it on by sitting on the Dean’s lap, but he’s not having any of it and orders her across his knee.

When Nastia moves on from the Rector to the Professor, she presents herself to his left as if to be put across his knee, so clearly she is expecting a third spanking. In the end, of course, she does her third test perched on his knee, just like Big Boots was hoping for, but there’s still no photographic evidence to show how she escapes the spanking or how Red gets in on the examination.

Smiley does her examination (in Physics) sitting on the Rector’s knee rather than across it. As she gets up at the end, he pulls up her skirt, sees that her bottom is effectively bare, and gives her a smack on it. She leans across him, but apparently he opts not to pull her down across his lap, for reasons unknown. Five seconds later she’s retrieving her smiley bag, and probably very relieved to have escaped the bare bottom spanking she was about to receive.

In the final bundle, the Dean tries to spank Yellow as well as Olesja, and raises her skirt to do so.

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The uproarious laughter heard on the video soundtrack doesn’t come from someone in the crowd, as I said. It’s actually the Professor laughing.

Alexandra isn’t ‘carrying on’ like a spanked girl as I suggested: she’s leading the girls in a collective chant of ‘No to the Institute of Prostitution’.

The Aftermath

Before going to see the Minister with her bottom exposed, Alexandra thought to check her panties and was perturbed to find that her own underwear was showing over the waistband of the heart pattern pair which was part of her costume. Oksana helped her to straighten out her rear view before the all important interview.

Reporting the protest gave journalists worldwide plenty opportunity for puns, but this example from a Hong Kong paper takes the prize:

A Ukrainian women’s group says the lesson being delivered in front of the education ministry in Kiev is a slap for authorities, who are failed for turning the other cheek when hit by harassment claims from female students rather than getting to the bottom of them. Main targets of the spanking team are male professors at colleges, said to be in a class of their own for leaving no marks when some girls face exams.

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A few weeks after the performance, FEMEN had a shoot commemorating their various protest actions of 2009. Kristina dressed up in a version of her ‘A-Ta-Ta’ outfit and showed her bottom to the camera again. This time she wore heels rather than boots and a different, slightly briefer pair of panties. But the crucial difference was that there was no Rector to spank her…

FEMEN Update

FEMEN have continued to protest a range of issues in the streets of Kiev. The possibility that the Euro 2012 championship might be used as an opportunity for sex tourism and prostitution was highlighted in a mock football match in subzero temperatures. The players included five girls from the spanking protest.

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During the Ukrainian presidential election campaign, they handled corruption by stopping motorists and offering to buy their votes in what they called a ‘Sexit Poll’.

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There was even a memorable moment when one driver misunderstood and drove off with Alexandra’s bottom half stuck in his car window!

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A more frivolous cause for protest was the Ukrainian Olympic team’s failure to win even a single medal, which was commemorated with ‘Cows on Ice’, a farcical display of winter sports on an ice rink.

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Since the elections in February returned a more oppressive, less Western government, FEMEN’s activities have been more centered on feminist issues in domestic politics, and they have been arrested more often – usually under statutes prohibiting public nudity.

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Worldwide, however, A-Ta-Ta remains their most distinctive and best known protest action.

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Let’s hope for a repeat performance!

The Bare Bottomed Cheerleader’s Revenge

A team of models dressed as cheerleaders spelt out the message “BT? Fast broadband? My arse!” on their bare bottoms in central London today. The cheeky publicity stunt by Virgin Media took place in full view of the BT Tower.

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According to Virgin, it was “simply a humorous way to get across a serious message – that customers should demand what they are being promised from their internet providers”.

It’s not the first time that Richard Branson’s company has resorted to ass-vertising. The picture below was taken at this summer’s V Festival:

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