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Spanking Good

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Pleasure Books, New York, 1980
(price: $2.25; 192 pages)

The blurb on the back:

"Oh yes," she admitted. "I've been a bad girl. Yes, yes, I deserve to be punished, just like a bad little girl. Are you going to punish me Mr Bixby?"
"I don't know," Bixby answered. "You seem almost too anxious, almost as if you like it. Do you like it my dear?"
"Oh yes, yes I do. Please Mr Bixby, please spank me so I can be good."

Tricky one, this. If you're someone who finds that the very words 'spank' and 'paddle' produce a stirring in the loins, then this is good stuff: not very well written, but hitting all the right buttons. If, on the other hand, you'd rather turn the other cheek (as it were), and spanking does nothing for you, then it's downright laughable. Essentially it's a set of variations on a limited theme, with our hero, John Bixby, administering a series of spankings to various women of various ages, using various implements. There are also various pretexts given for the spankings, but the flimsiness of the excuses don't survive Bixby's inevitable tumescence: this ain't discipline, this is foreplay.

Consequently the book's got a certain charm. In a world where every branch of WH Smith's contains a selection of books claiming to include serious floggings in mid-European castles, it's quite sweet to revisit a time when a woman can have difficulty with a wayward 17-year-old daughter because of 'the generation gap'. (Both mother and daughter, inevitably, find that a suitably applied hairbrush can sort out most of their problems.)

The suggestion of incest, incidentally, is not accidental. Amongst the four books advertised in the back pages are All In The Family and My Mother, My Sister and Me, promoted respectively with the slogans: 'Incest is Best' and 'The family that plays together stays together.'

The other interest to be had here - if, that is, you're a spanking enthusiast - is that it tells the story principally from Bixby's angle, which is less common than it might be.