Rachel Kramer Bussel is a prolific producer of erotica anthologies--the last time we spoke with her, we marveled that she was the editor of not one but two anthologies just on spanking alone. Well, turns out that she still had more to show and tell when it comes to spanking, because she just put out her third anthology on the topic: Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica. We figured it was about time with sat down with Rachel for a good ol' natter about the art of spanking.

What makes a good spanking story?

Buildup and anticipation. You have to show the reader why the person wants to spank or be spanked, what about their partner drew them in; is it a case of them just needing to be spanked, or is there something about this particular person that makes them want to bend over? Creativity is key too; there are so many ways you can get spanked, so many implements and scenarios. Yes, some may be clichéd (schoolgirl, punishment, etc.) but even those you can add new life into if you do it right.

This is your third spanking anthology! Is there really that much to say about spanking?

I think spanking is so varied because it touches on the physical and emotional, and each encounter is different.

So what's the physical appeal of spanking?

I'm not a doctor so I don't know exactly, but for some people the charge they get from being spanked turns them on, plain and simple. Everything from the positioning (bent over, for example) to the way the spanking impacts your genitals, can cause arousal. For me, it's one of the fastest ways to get me close to orgasm, and that happens very quickly--not every single time, but if the other person is into it and we're connecting on that kinky level, yes.

After the jump: D.I.Y. spanking props, spanking roleplaying, and the spanking "sweet spot," oh my!...

And it's not just about the physical feeling, right? It's also about the sound, and the visual? There's a reason why the subtitle is "Red-Cheeked Erotica"...

It's definitely about the sound, the visual effects, the mood, the motives behind the spanking. For some people, it's purely physical--they get off on the sensation of being spanked, like any other sexual act, and it's not necessarily about who in particular is doing the spanking. But I think for many, if not most, people into spanking, it's also about the mood. Spankings can be happy and playful, like in L. Elise Bland's "The Breeding Barn," or they can be intense and dark like my "The Depths of Despair" [both stories in this anthology]. They can be about mock punishment, or about living out an alter ego. The positioning is also important: having someone over your knee, versus bent over a chair versus against the wall, can make a difference in the spanking dynamic.

What would you say is the emotional appeal of spanking? me, spanking strips away so many of the outer layers of protection I have around my emotional core, in a way that even sex doesn't always do. When I'm being spanked, I'm so in the moment; all I care about is when the next smack is coming and how it feels and whether I'm doing a "good job" of being a spankee. It's such a rush and it brings out all my needs to be wanted and praised. And when I'm spanking someone, I'm always just in awe that they'll let me do that, let me go there; it often gets very heated (in both senses of the word), very fast. For a lot of people, getting spanked is a way to be vulnerable and let go. In my story in Spanked, the protagonist wants to cry during her spanking; I think people cry from being spanked not so much because it hurts per se, but for the same reason people cry sometimes after sex--it's so powerful their body just needs an outlet.

Is there usually some element of role-playing in spanking? (i.e. "Someone's been a naughty boy...")

There definitely is for many people; others simple love spanking and don't need that element. But I think many want to be told they've been "bad" and transgressed in some way. Spanking is excellent for all kinds of roleplaying, and can help get you in the mood. Some people prefer or need this to feel like it's okay to explore spanking; it gives them an out, so as opposed to having to say (even to themselves) "I want to be spanked," they can say, "I've been bad, so I deserve to be spanked," even if everyone knows that they're really the same thing.

What would you say to someone who wants to try spanking but is afraid they'll feel silly and laugh?

First of all, it's okay to laugh; it can be fun and it's fine to find spanking both amusing and hot. Second, why not go for it? The worst that happens is you find it ridiculous or not fun and you do something else. What I like about spanking is that it can be totally lighthearted--you can basically play "drums" on someone's butt--or it can escalate into something super erotic. It's all good. There's no right or wrong when it comes to how to conduct a spanking. That being said, even I find it challenging at times to ask to be spanked, especially if I'm asking someone and don't know if they're into spanking or not. It can be nervewracking but is worth a shot. What I love about spanking is that it can go from silly to totally serious and sexy (and vice versa) in a second, just based on a tone of voice or the tension between the people.

What's your number one spanking tip?

If you're giving a spanking, teasing and anticipation (and maybe a little frustration) are always good. Especially if the other person is just dying to be spanked, withholding that reward can be hot; see how far they'll go to get that spanking. Make them beg. It'll still feel good later.

What's one thing that a lot of people do wrong when spanking?

Go too fast and play too rough. You don't need to spank them as hard as you possibly can for them to enjoy it. Feel them out; if you know they can take a lot or are into it, sure, go ahead and slap them hard. Then maybe wait a moment and do something else or lightly stroke the area you spanked. The joy of getting spanking isn't necessarily taking as much as you can immediately (or ever). There's much to be said for building up a spanking, both in a single session and over time. You can always give them something to look forward to, and often spanking them in the same spot repeatedly can have just as powerful an effect as going all out from the start.

What are some spanking safety tips people should bear in mind?

The part of the butt to focus on is the so-called "sweet spot," the inner quadrant where the butt cheeks meet. You can move around but you don't want to spank the tailbone. Check in with the person you're spanking to make sure they're physically okay and are enjoying what you're doing. If you're a bottom, make sure that you either have a safeword or another way to stop the spanking if it's going too far for your comfort, and also make sure you're okay telling the person spanking you that you need a break. Just because someone is taking a dominant role doesn't mean they know everything about you and your responses. Be extra cautious with things like whips that might wrap around the butt to hit the hipbone; that's a no-no. But mainly for both parties to be aware of the other's limits and just pay attention, especially at first; once you get to know someone and what they're into, you can better know how far to push them (or how far you want to be pushed).

What's your favorite DIY spanking prop?

Books are good! I like rulers even though I probably couldn't locate one easily in my home. Really, though, one of the best, and certainly easiest and cheapest spanking props is your hand. There's something extra intimate about giving or getting a hand spanking, because the spanker feels it as much as the spankee. Next to that, I'd say a ruler.

And what's your favorite purpose-made spanking prop?

I have this fabulous (and fashionable) paddle that's black leather on one side and leopard-print fake fur on the other. It looks cool hanging up, delivers a nice sting, and then can be used to make nice on someone's ass. Pretty paddles are always tops in my book; I just got a new (and, so far, unused) one shaped like a cat. It's purple and I like it cause it looks so damn cute but I know can really deliver a blow. [Shop here or here for some cute spanking paddles of your own.]

Finally, we have to ask: do you think these undies were invented by a spanking fan?

They certainly look like it! Or someone who just wants easy access. Either way, they're hot!

For more information on Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica, visit


eroticanews said:

Yes .... She led me into raptures. Feel deeply human approach to understand the problem. The author of many thanks. She touched me.

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