Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

We’re the same, and yet we’re different, part 952

Warning: Controversy and opinions ahead.

Since there are so many photo sites out there in the spankosphere, one is exposed to an infinite amount of spanking pictures on any given day. I happen to belong to a private spanking group on Facebook, of all places, and the group leader makes a point of posting all different types of pictures, for the widest variety of appeal. Recently, within a week of each other, two photos were posted, and they elicited fully opposite reactions from me, quite extreme ones. One, I loved. I couldn’t stop looking at it. I reposted it on FetLife and asked where it was from. I looked at it again. And again. I squirmed in my chair and couldn’t concentrate on my work. Yes, it was that intense. The second one, I hated. Passionately. Everything about it. It made me angry.

So I got to thinking about how different we all are, and how these pictures touch things in some of us and trigger things in others. And how one person can love a photo and the next person will loathe it.

I’m going to post both pictures and explain why I feel the way I do about them.
This is not, repeat, not a post claiming that my likes are better than your likes, that so-and-so’s scenes are wrong and my preferences are the correct ones, etc. Because I invite anyone who wishes to comment to tell me honestly about how you feel. I’m curious what makes people tick. It’s part of my never-ending fascination with This Thing We Do.

So, without further blathering on my part, here’s the first shot, the one I loved.

hotspankingpic

Yes, it’s clearly posed. Someone on FetLife thought it was from a commercial (and vanilla) photo shoot for lingerie or something like that. Yeah… if the person who conceived of this photo setup is vanilla, I’m a virgin.

What do I love? Everything. The lighting. The attractiveness of both participants. The blissful smile on the woman’s face, the sweet curve of her bottom, the sweep of her hair. His open shirt, his hand on her butt cheek, and the sexy, hungry way he’s gazing down at her. To me, this photo is art. This is something I would actually want framed and hanging on my wall. It’s gorgeous. And it’s so damned sexy, it gives me goosebumps. And other bodily reactions.

Next, the second shot.

grosshorriblespankingpic

Obviously, this is from RGE Films. I hadn’t heard of them, so I looked them up. They specialize in extreme pain and humiliation. OK, fine, to each their own. But that notwithstanding, this picture really pisses me off.

First: how much torture is one body supposed to withstand? Is it really necessary to have extreme caning, figging, soaping, AND kneeling naked on a hard floor all at once? One, maybe two, but not all four. Overkill.

Second, and one of my big pet peeves in the scene: Terrible technique. On both women, the right ass cheek is torn all to hell, way more than the left. Why do tops do this? I get it, I know it happens by accident sometimes in a session. But come on. They can see everything that’s happening to the bottom’s body. They can see that way more damage is being incurred on one side. If they can’t see it, then they shouldn’t be spanking without glasses. If they can see it and don’t care… well. I will censor my thoughts there. Besides being excruciating, I find the asymmetry to be aesthetically displeasing. But that could just be my OCD talking.

And finally, I freaking loathe this creep hovering over them, with his scruffy bald head in the viewers’ faces. He’s probably sneering at them. He just seems… mean. I don’t mind strict tops. I don’t mind tough tops. But I don’t like mean ones.

So, here’s where it gets interesting. Because I know very well that someone else will look at this pair of pictures and see the opposite. They’ll think the first picture is sissified, romanticized, fake, too pretty. Spanking Lite. Kink viewed through rose-colored glasses. And that the second photo is raw, real, and powerful. That it appeals to the dark side, to those who crave real punishment, real pain.

I like darkness too. I just think this photo is a poor example of it.

What do you think, readers? How do these two pictures make you feel? I am genuinely interested in varied viewpoints, because, like I said at the beginning, I find this utterly fascinating.

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26 thoughts on “We’re the same, and yet we’re different, part 952

  1. Erica, I, too, enjoyed the first picture far more than the second. The first one might have been staged but get me a ticket to that play. The second picture simply gave me the creeps.

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  2. I love the first picture. It seems to capture the happiness of a young couple discovering their shared spanking kink.
    I know the second picture is dark and creepy and sadistic… but there’s just something about women suffering in white knee socks that brings out the sadist in me 😀

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    • Rox — yeahhhh. I’d pose with him any day!

      QBuzz — thank you for being honest! See, I’m not going to rip people who like (or somewhat like) that picture. I found my own extreme reaction interesting and was curious to hear those of others.

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  3. I feel the same way as you, Erica. I like the true quality of the pleasure on the woman’s face in the first picture. The man is showing delight in her pleasure while enjoying the kink – like he really loves her as well as loving to spank women.How spanking should be -emphasising womanly curves, a bit of glamour and romance. It’s posed divinely showing knowledgeable input beyond the expressionless, or the ‘you wouldn’t dare’ look, or scissor kicking pictures one would normally see from the vanilla world of adverts.
    I simply hate the second picture and it strikes me as stupid,cold and horrible.Would prefer politicians in such humiliation rather than those ladies.

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  4. I’m reluctant to judge a film based on a single still. I don’t know how the setup was developed in the film scene. I agree that there is probably too much going on in the film scene but again, I don’t know how they pair ended up in this position.
    But this leads me to how this apple oranges comparison is rather pointless. As you’ve hinted, the above photo is likely from a lingerie sales campaign and thus it was all about this one image to appeal to the greatest number of lingerie buyers. The spanker is also chosen not for his spanking skills (I think we can agree) but because of his photogenic qualities. He has hair where he should and removed where he shouldn’t. Spanking Lite is apropos in this post 50 shades market.
    Which is not to say that the film still isn’t also about selling a product, but a very different product. Since the male lead is not chosen for his obvious sex appeal, does that not imply that he was chosen for his spanking skills?
    Both images are rather formulaic, just different formulas. And this quality renders both rather mundane in my mind, which is because I am not in either target market audience.

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  5. Darren — in complete agreement about the politicians! I had to giggle when you mentioned the “you wouldn’t dare” look. That’s one of my signature faces (I call it my “righteous indignation” face).

    Potomacker — interesting points! However, riddle me this — if the guy in the picture was indeed chosen for his spanking skills (as opposed to his looks), then why in holy hell can’t he cane a butt evenly??

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    • I’ve already had my say in my own comment, but I find myself with something to say here. The guy in the second photo may have been chosen because he owns or co-owns the studio or is a friend of the owner, and this job lets him be cruel to women and maybe (if an owner) get paid for it. That said, “even” caning is nowhere on the list of priorities for this style of video. They have an entirely different aesthetic. Lower back, upper thigh, wrap the right side, they actually LIKE it when that happens. They don’t even try to aim. What they want is brutality. They’re not trying to show skill. Oh, some of the older Lupus productions, like the Headmaster series, might have had actors who exercised SOME precision. But now they and Mood mostly just want blood. They don’t want it to look pretty, they want it to look scary. I tried to find an example, but everyone seems to post entire movies instead of clips, and I don’t want you to have to scroll through to find the examples, so lucky you I won’t impose any. But the guy was probably chosen for some connection to the production company or for his cruelty, not skill. IMHO.

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  6. I’m … astonished you’ve managed to spend quite a while in the scene and not run across RGE. Maybe you already knew them by one of their other names? Lupus Pictures? Rigid East? They were Mood before Mood — Eastern Europe, lots of blood. Maybe you actually have managed to concentrate so much on relatively romantic “pure” spanking (though I think you’ve done some flogging and even though [as I understand it] flogging is more like massage than punishment, some “pure” spankos disapprove of it, like it’s the gateway drug to BDSM) that you managed to avoid them till now. You never started surfing one link after another till you wound up on the brutal side of the kink.

    Lupus’s Headmaster’s Study series were some of the first canings I ever saw where I wondered (when I saw the same actresses in more than one scene) “How do they ever get them to do that AGAIN?” (The rumors used to be that they were coerced by the Russian mob or, only slightly more benignly, that it was a rite of passage to get into the profitable side of organized crime. I doubt it, but it would explain things.)

    That said, the photo you showed was … especially ugly. Not merely brutal, but unesthetic about it. Arguably bad BDSM; definitely atrocious art.

    As for the one you liked … it’s a little too much of everything you liked, for me. It’s the Hallmark Card version of spanking play. I agree it was done by a spanko, but I also agree it might just as well have been an ad for her lingerie. However, if asked to choose between them, I would vote for the one you liked 100 times out of 100. There’s no question.

    For something more pleasing — yet still from a brutal beating — I offer this from perhaps the first Headmaster’s Study video http://dlsrv02.rge-films.com/Shadow/DIR-001/123.jpg or this from Detention House 2 … And Justice for Nobody http://dlsrv02.rge-films.com/Shadow/RGE-017/019.jpg or this from The Warlock’s Revenge http://dlsrv02.rge-films.com/Shadow/LP-013/041.jpg (love that tied-to-a-bench position). I’ll stop now lest I sample their entire huge catalogg and give you indigestion. I can enjoy romantic spanking photos, but to me spanking IN THE IMAGINATION (not in real life!) is more exciting if it has an element of imposition, of exerting power, of unwillingness. And that’s what the “other” kind of photo appeals to.

    I Google Image Searched “romantic spanking” (without the quotes) to try to find a link to cleanse your palate, and it’s hard to believe what a bad selection that returned. The best I got was Richard Windsor and Pixie, which is age inappropriate, but at least it’s less Hallmarky for me, and friendlier for you http://richardwindsor.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/IMG_0275.jpg

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  7. Anonymous on said:

    I agree with most of things that have been said here. I like the first photo a lot but I’m also a man so I would’ve liked it more if the girl was wearing less. But I like the happy atmosphere it conveys. Secondly I spank women; I don’t commit assault and battery. In the second photo I would consider the left cheeks of the two women to be evidence of a good caning. The right cheek just looks like assault and battery. I don’t think some of the caning delivered to the right cheek should have been moved to the left, I just think the caning on the right should been cut back to match the caning on left. That’s my opinion I understand this is a site devoted to extreme pain and humiliation, and for people who like that sort of thing maybe it’s okay, to each his own, but I don’t like it.
    Now there’s another factor in play here that no one has mentioned but as an experienced photographer I noticed it right away. The photographer who took the first photo is very much better than the photographer who took the second one. In addition to anything else, the second photo is an example of poor composition. The photographer was obviously standing up and angled the camera downward to get the subjects into the frame. Very bad, that introduced a lot of perspective distortion to the photo. The guy on top looks compressed in the women’s legs look elongated. That distortion makes the photo look darker than the original seen probably was. Although I’m sure the original seenwas darker than I would’ve liked. But I think anyone who does these photos should learn some basic photographic skills.

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  8. Michael — ah. You’re right; I am familiar with Lupus/Rigid East. I had never heard the RGE Films version before. But yes, I’ve known of them for years.

    I have stopped calling myself a spanko purist. It seems to offend people. When I said it on FetLife, an especially nasty woman anyone who uses the term “purist” probably approves of “ethnic cleansing” as well. In other words, I’m a Neo-Nazi because I just like spanking. So, yeah. I do like flogging and some other things. But spanking remains my truest fetish.

    Anonymous — the photography skill in the first one definitely adds to the artistic feel, no doubt with a big budget if it was an ad campaign. I guess the photographer in the second one wasn’t attempting to create something aesthetically pleasing.

    I agree with you — the left cheeks were enough. The right were way too much for me. I knew someone who used to shoot for Lupus — she said it would take six months to heal from a shoot. Now I understand why.

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  9. the first one is too staged for my liking, the second one is terrible, horrible stuff, who the hell wants to inflict that on a person, I couldn`t even if I tried, for me I like stuff that’s natural, not some women dressed in kinky clothes

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  10. I would name the first pic Love and the second one “hate”

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  11. Graham — agreed, the first one is staged. I like it purely for the beauty of it.

    Dorota — that’s a good summary, I’d say.

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  12. The first picture is lovely,first and foremost it portrays surrender and pleasure in such a playfully direct way. For me, the second picture just looks.. too artificial, too much a set-up that in real ;ife would not make much sense.

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  13. I hate the second one, but then I’m not a fan of soaping. It’s way outside my comfort zone. I also think it’s too stagey.

    The first one is sweet, although I’d need the guy’s hand to be raised in order to get turned on by it.

    Hugs,
    Hermione

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  14. Chibob on said:

    The first picture is trying to portray an idyllic spanking scene. Fun for everyone. I like it and it would be great art for the playroom wall.

    The second is the norm for Lupus or The Old Russian Woodshed. I never subscribed to either one. The girls always look scared. I don’t like that. It smacks of Russian mob human trafficking.

    There must be a market for that or they wouldn’t be in business. Not my cup of tea.

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    • Hermione — a raised hand would be sexy, I agree. But I like the hand resting on the bottom too. It kind of says, “Mine.”

      Chibob — I guess there is indeed a market for everything.

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  15. Hugo B00m on said:

    I don’t go to your website all the time, and I hardly ever feel like commenting, but this time I think I have something to say.

    Like most of the other comments I’ve seen, I like the first one and not the second. As a male, I usually look at spanking pictures and imagine myself in the man’s place. In the first picture, the man looks happy and so does the woman.

    This is the kind of picture that I like to imagine what the story is: Maybe she teasingly did something he told her not to do. “If you don’t stop that right now, I’m going to turn you over my knee!”

    “You wouldn’t DARE! Giggle giggle!”

    “Alright then. You asked for it! Ha ha!” He puts her across his lap and delivers a few playful swats. Afterwards, they have a good laugh, and maybe indulge in some lovemaking.

    The second picture: I don’t want to put myself in that man’s place, and I don’t want to think about what the story might be.

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  16. Hiya!

    The first picture is interactive. The couple is playing together. A mutual caring and respect is implied. Any “hurt” is not directed at the soul.

    The second pic, although probably all hooey and staged, does seem to promote mere meanness, possibly hatred of women.

    There’s enough ugliness abroad without encouraging it as recreation.

    If you’re going to box with your brother, wrestle with your kids, or spank your wife in the bedroom (among other choices) there are limits imposed by love, respect, and humor. Actually damaging someone is destructive on a bunch of levels. It’s not fun.

    I think my attitude about that gets into my cartoons, which I’ve seen popular with a bunch of “Vanilla” folk.

    And now that I’ve had my say, I’ll go back and read the other comments. Thanks, Erica!

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  17. I too like the first picture better. It has a light, playful feel to it. The look is very polished and happy.

    The second photo I don’t think it’s entirely bad (though they did catch the top in an unfortunate pose), but it does feel like a lot crammed into one scene. Combining caning, figging and soaping in one shot feels like overkill. Plus I like how the first shot looks fun, like both parties are enjoying it. In the second, it doesn’t have that same air of a good time being shared.

    In my experience it seems quite common for tops to favour one side (cheek) over the other, typically the side of their dominant hand. Tops tend to spank from their weak side (ie a right-handed top will stand to the bottom’s left) and that position naturally causes a longer arc and faster moving hand/implement on the far side. So left-handed tops strike harder on a bottom’s left and right-handed strike harder on the bottom’s right side.

    It’s tricky to overcome and I see a lot of tops, even experienced ones, do it in professional shoots. Take Michael Masterson – he posts almost daily, professional content on FetLife and is clearly a highly respected top with decades of experience. Yet in almost all of his “after” photos you can see he has fallen into the habit of spanking a bottom harder on the dominant side. Maybe it’s on purpose as he is more focused on punishment than pleasure.

    It takes a while to break the one-sided habit. I try to switch sides and use implements in my “off” hand frequently to balance things out, but it takes practise.

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    • Ben — Very good points. I do understand the physics of why one cheek gets more than the other. And point taken about Michael M., whom I know and am very fond of. Still, for bottoms, it remains a frustration. And I probably wouldn’t be so vociferous about it if I had never encountered a top who knew how to compensate for the imbalance and make the cheeks even, but I have. There are definitely ways to do so, but it takes some extra effort. With implements, for example, when the bottoms are over something and the top is standing? Some tops switch sides halfway through the scene. When OTK, shifting the bottom over the lap slightly forward helps grant access to the cheek that’s closest.

      I don’t object to a slight imbalance. But when the left cheek is simply pink/red and the right cheek looks like a bus ran over it, backed up and ran over it again, then I have a problem.

      Other bottoms have spoken of this. I believe Ten Amorette coined the admonishment “Make it even!” And years ago, a former spanking icon in a crowded party room yelled to the group at large: “Is there ANY top in here who can spank my left cheek??”

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  18. Joseoh on said:

    Both very posed..but the second just plain seedy, cheap and nasty. I spank a few ladies, and my aim is to leave them smiling..

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