by C. Brian Smith
I’m naked and bent over the lap of a 72-year-old bald man named “Dr. Don” who is spanking me with a bare hand in his second floor apartment in East L.A. He keeps a steady pace — equal intervals between spanks — which occasionally syncs up with the steadfast tick of a grandfather clock in the corner.
While neither an M.D. nor a Ph.D. — nor any D, for that matter — Dr. Don explains he’s a “Spankologist,” or an expert in adult male spanking. “People who have spanked for as many years as I have are considered doctors of their trade,” he reasons. His gentle demeanor and hypnotic voice contrast with a gaunt, villainous gaze that seems to wander. It’s as if Mr. Rogers had broken bad instead of Walter White.
Dr. Don’s a member of a growing community that practices Spank Therapy, or “spanking for wellness.” He’s written multiple books on the subject, including Behind Closed Doors: In the Secrecy of Darkness and Red Tail Bible, which defines spanking as “the act of striking the buttocks of another person with an open hand to cause temporary pain without producing physical injury.”
Drawing from more than 30 years of administering spank therapy and pointing to a 2005 Russian study from the Novosibirsk Institute of Medicineon corporal punishment, Dr. Don says spanking’s therapeutic benefits include…
- Crying: “Tears are a cathartic release, allowing the body and mind to deal with negative thoughts and emotions.”
- A rush of endorphins: “The same chemicals responsible for a ‘runner’s high.’”
- Guilt relief: “It’s a form of penance, allowing the spankee to accept the spanker’s forgiveness.”
- Improved sexual tension: “Couples may use spanking to clear away blockages in their sex life.”
- Stress relief: “Giving up control allows people in stressful jobs to escape and realign their minds for a while — the same reason people use drugs.”
Naturally, spanking started out as a hobby for Dr. Don. “I enjoyed spanking and began doing it for fun,” he says. “A businessman was referred to me, and I spanked him — the whole nine yards. When we were done, he put $100 down on my desk and said, ‘I’m a married man. It’s got to be a business transaction or I can’t do it.’ I thought, People will actually pay me to do this? It had never dawned on me that that would happen. So I put an ad in the paper.”
The ad read: “My name is Don. I’m a heterosexual real dad looking for young men who grew up without a dad. You missed the bonding between father and son, but I can provide you with something else: Discipline with a good ol’ fashioned spanking. To be clear, this isn’t for a sexual connection, but the real experience of being spanked. $20 an hour.”
“Man, did my phone light up like crazy!” he says. “I didn’t realize there were so many straight guys who were into getting spanked. I thought, Oh my god! Is this possible? I was getting so many people taking up my time that I figured if I raised the price to $50 it would discourage some people. It didn’t change a thing.”
Today, his clients fly in from all over the world to pay $175 for a 1-hour session. They continue to be exclusively men. “Women’s asses aren’t good for spanking — they’re like saddle bags hanging over that you can’t contain,” he says.
His clients almost all also work high-stress jobs. “I have three trial lawyers who come from the courthouses to get spanked on their lunch hour,” Dr. Don explains. “They call it their ‘mini-vacation’ — a chance to clear their mind and give up control to someone else, which allows them to regain their focus and return to court with a clear mind.” Age-wise, the men he spanks are well into adulthood, usually somewhere between 35 and 60. “I endorse spanking your fully grown children,” he enthuses. “As long as you’re supporting them and they’re under your control on your dime — you whip their ass!”
Dr. Don says he raised a son on his own and spanked him so he wouldn’t get into trouble. “The last time I spanked him was when he was 19. He was in the Army and came home with a real mouth on him. I said, ‘You’re disrespecting me.’ I grabbed him, threw him over my knee, pulled his underwear down and started whacking him right in front of his friends.”
My session starts in Dr. Don’s bedroom, where what appears to be a replica of the Mayflower is bookended by pastel portraits of his parents. (Ironically, he was a good kid who never got spanked.)
Dr. Don arranges his weaponry on the bed. “These are the implements we work with,” he explains. There’s a homemade plywood paddle (“I call this the ‘beginner paddle’ because it’s thin”); the back end of a wooden bath brush (“very stingy”); a plastic kitchen utility spoon (“hitting the crack with this will send a sensation up through the balls”); a studded leather mallet (“weighted, for impact”); a collar (“for guys who want to feel like slaves and prefer to be on a leash”); a wooden cane (“my grandmother would go out and cut a switch like this from a tree”); and something called a “leather strapper” with a double tongue at the end (“this is what made the priest cry when I used it on him. He said, ‘Holy Jesus, I just saw the face of God!’”).
He invites me to undress and join him in the other room. “If there’s anything curious you want to try just bring it with you.”
I opt for the strapper…