Elizabeth Coldwell is the editor of the UK edition of Forum magazine. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies including Best SM Erotica 1 and 2, Five Minute Fantasies 2 and Spank Me. She firmly believes that naughty boys need to learn their lesson.
Tell us a little about yourself that’s not in your official bio.
I love cheese (to the extent that my brother thinks I’m actually part mouse), my favourite song of all time is ‘Only Time Will Tell’ by Asia and I’m a very dedicated supporter of my home town football (soccer for those in the US) team, Rotherham United. Any or all of these may have had some influence on my writing over the years…
What inspired your story “Through A Glass, Sharply,” in Spanked?
I was originally working on a completely different story, and then I received an e-mail reminding me of the deadline for submissions which mentioned that you hadn’t had many stories in which a man was being spanked. That sparked something off, because I haven’t written that much in which the man in one the receiving end, and I put the other story to one side. Once I knew what the character of Elliott was going to be like, I based his look on someone real. It’s someone I don’t actually fancy, which is fairly unusual if I’m ‘borrowing’ someone for a story, but he does have an incredible arse!
Your female narrator spanks her husband, Elliott, and you write, “Elliott had to find some excuse to be punished — neither of us would gain any enjoyment if I were to spank him without cause…” Within their dynamic, why does punishment have to be a factor? Is it more enjoyable to write punishment scenes than “spanking for fun” ones?
He’s very successful in his career, and she’s his support network, but having to be the corporate wife bores and frustrates her. Acting out a punishment scene is his way of indulging her and letting her take control for a change, and it also enables her to let off steam. I also prefer writing punishment scenes because there’s more in the way of anticipation and tension, which I think is an important part of any good erotic story, and because it enables me to explore situations I find hot, such as being systematically undressed and getting off on being told what to do.
I like the way you acknowledge that how we look on the outside may have nothing to do with our sexual interests; Elliott looks dominant while the narrator is petite and blonde, “seemingly designed to be hauled over his knee to squeal and wriggle beautifully as he turns my bottom a blushing crimson.” You also allude to the idea that spanking is a secret between them that nobody else knows about, which I imagine is pretty common. How does this secrecy play into their enjoyment of spanking?
I deliberately wanted to have a couple where, if people knew they were into BDSM, they would automatically assume that he was the top and she was the bottom, because that’s how it so often is, particularly in fiction, and I felt like subverting that. I think it’s also harder for men to admit that they’re the one who likes to be spanked, because somehow they would be perceived as being weak or henpecked, where in reality being able to reveal your vulnerability and give up power on a temporary basis is a sign of strength. As for keeping it a secret, in the story it’s partly because he has the sort of job where if it was discovered he was ‘kinky’ it wouldn’t be looked on too kindly, but also because if you have some kind of activity where you can use a code or an action to trigger it off, you’re already building towards a scene and no one else knows about it, or is made to feel uncomfortable by it.
As the editor of Forum (UK), have you found any particular types of spanking stories to be most popular?
Old-fashioned school discipline will always be popular – the English are still fascinated with having to go to the headmaster for six of the best, even though that was phased out in reality a long time ago. And ‘naughty girl is given loving discipline by strict older man’ goes down well, too. It contrasts to the genuine letters we receive for the magazine, which are often written by men describing how they’ve gone to another man for a spanking/punishment session.
Why do you enjoy writing spanking erotica? Is there anything different for you about writing spanking erotica vs. other kinds of erotica?
I think everyone who loves writing spanking stories does so because either the thought of spanking or being spanked appeals to all their important little places…
As a reader, do you have a favorite spanking erotica story?
I’ve read so many over the years it’s hard to pick particular ones out. There’s a well-known Scottish CP author called Sarah Veitch, who also edits Submission magazine, and for years she wrote stories which were always quite light-hearted and humorous, with a typically bratty heroine who inevitably earned herself a spanking. Then she produced a story for Forum, ‘Initiation’, which was about a woman who was going to a Master to receive her first ever spanking, and because it was slightly darker and more intense than her previous work, it always stuck in my mind. And I have a great story coming up in the mag in a couple of months, by Sommer Marsden. It involves a woman taking her husband to a man who specialises in ‘ego restriction’, because she thinks being punished will make him less arrogant. As soon as I read it, I thought, ‘I’ve got to use this – this is fabulous!’
What’s next for you?
I’ve had a story accepted for the next Best Women’s Erotica anthology (I always find it stupidly gratifying to be in a collection which has ‘best’ in the title, and the football season starts in a couple of weeks, so I’m getting ready to follow my Rotherham boys again. More immediately, I’ve got to edit down a long, rambling and probably totally made-up letter for Forum into something approaching English – what fun!
Here’s an excerpt from Elizabeth Coldwell’s story “Through a Glass, Sharply” – read the whole story in Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica.
“I’ll tell you what would make me happy.” My voice is soft, so that he has to stoop slightly to hear me. As I speak, I run my hand over the front of his trousers, feeling the hard length of his cock rising up toward his belly. I suspect he has been hard from the moment he knocked over that glass of wine. “Turning that backside of yours scarlet with the flat of my palm. Take off your shoes, socks, and jacket and pull down your trousers, Elliott. Then bend over the back of the armchair.”
Elliott hurries to obey. We have a leather-backed armchair in the room that would be more fitting for a Victorian gentleman’s study than our modern, minimally decorated home, but it has pride of place because it is always the centerpiece of our punishment scenes. I watch as my husband takes off his jacket, folds it and lays it on the seat of the chair. His shoes and socks follow, discarded socks tucked into shoes, shoes pushed under the chair, out of sight. Then he unbuckles his belt and lets his trousers fall to his knees. As he bends over the chair, the tails of his crisp white shirt partly conceal his firm buttocks. I come up behind him and tuck them back on themselves, then run my hand gently over his bottom, stroking it through the clinging cotton jersey of his underwear.
“What a beautiful arse,” I tell him, and I mean it. It’s a part of his body I would love even if I didn’t have any interest in spanking it, muscular from the hours he spends in the gym and the Sunday morning football kickabouts he enjoys with his friends. “But it needs to be taught a lesson. This arse needs to know that when the boss is round for dinner, we all have to be on our best behavior.”
By the end of the sentence, my gentle caresses have become firm taps. Not enough to make Elliott flinch, but enough to begin the process of warming up his bottom, ready for the harder blows to come.
“Yes, ma’am, I’ll remember that in future,” Elliott says. And then he doesn’t say anything for a while, as I begin the process of spanking him in earnest. My hand comes down on his buttocks over and over, sharp little slaps paced so that he never knows quite how long he will have to wait before the next one comes down. He can take a lot of punishment, particularly when I’m using my hand, instead of my hairbrush or the doubled-over length of his belt, and he squirms slightly but I know I’m not really hurting him.