Spanking fetishism

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Illustration from Thérèse philosophe (London, 1774) showing a woman birching a man (who is wearing a wig) while another woman is masturbating him.

Spanking fetishism, also colloquially known as spankophilia, is a paraphilia about spanking. People who have either the Sadism or Masochism paraphilias are known as spanking fetishists, spankophiles, or spankos for short. The act of spanking may produce an intense erotic sensation in some people, up to producing a more intense sexual orgasm.

Spankophilia is usually considered a subgroup within BDSM, although its adherents tend to view themselves as separate from "typical" BDSM. It seems a lot of spankophiles have no particular liking for what is found in "typical" BDSM play. The reason is that such sexual practices belong to different forms of fetishism. They also come with connotations of torture rather than disciplinary punishment, which makes an important difference for spankos. In consensual spanking, the spanker and spankee are simply playing out the spanking act. BDSM practices aren't specifically involved.


Spankophiles prefer enacting domestic or school punishment scenes with spanking play in all its many variations, often combined with role playing, sometimes ageplay. To experience the feeling of humiliation and helplessness is important for most spankophiles. For that reason, nudity and embarrassing postures are often included in spankophile play. Bondage may or may not be involved in the game. Additionally, many spankophiles like to experience other typical domestic or school "child punishments" such as corner time.

The main principle of BDSM, safe, sane and consensual (SSC), also applies to spanking play.

Clubs and communities

Spankophiles have formed spanking clubs in many countries to meet and socialize. Free Internet sites offer access to a community of spankos. There are thousands of free Web forums and Web groups for fans of spanking and/or spanking art.

Products and services

Spanking magazines in english and other languages are produced for the worldwide spankophile readership. Vendors offer all kinds of spanking implements for spanking play. There are many pro-dommes who specialize in spanking services (without any sexual services), while some prostitutes specialize in spanking (giving or receiving) combined with sexual services.

Another business that provides services for spankophiles are Internet sites (including pay sites) that sell access to spanking erotica (such as illustrations, photos, and videos). In recent years the number of spanking video producers has climbed to several dozens.

See also the article spanking company for more on the spanking fetishism industry.


If you typed “spanking” into a search engine, you’re erotically interested. Period.

Bethany Burke, 2003


See also