To celebrate the One millionth hit, I asked the Spanking artist Franco if he would submit to an interview about himself and his work. He kindly agreed, and here is that interviwe with Franco
Well, I don't think or ever thought about being a famous "gay" spanking artist, or even a prolific artist. It wasn't until my early forties I realized fully what fetish art was. Truth is, I started drawing spankings as a result of erotic effects childhood spanking had on me. Kids can get erotic feelings and sensations, but I think puberty internalizes these feelings into more usual, adult sexual triggers and actions. So, to answer these childhood feelings, I began to draw spankings. As I kid I liked to draw the usual, houses, cars, etc, but in finding an excellent and realistic drawing of "The Old Woman In The Shoe", I used that drawing as my template, and from that began drawing and thus explaining to myself, my initial spanking fascination, which at that time was, F/M, bare bottom OTK hand spankings. So began the compulsion to relive my boyhood spankings and understand them.
Sometimes our erotic "triggers and fetishes" make better servants than masters, which probably explains the number of drawings I've done. I never wanted to be "prolific".
What always fascinated me was the sensual nature of the over the knee spanking. I guess I brought to my pencil, what I experienced; detailed ritual, exposure, embarrassment, and little pain, but great sexual tension, in a pure electric manner, believe it or not, delivered in a loving manner. So, I did not have to adapt any erotic feelings in coping with pain, the pleasures were build in, and that's what I enjoyed depicting in the drawings. It was important to express an appearance of indignation and high moral duty on part of the spanker, but in reality all were having a great time, playing rolls of administrator, and receiver, with the male posterior the center of the universe, both in action and visually. So while I'm drawing a spanking, I seek to depict it is pure eroticism, via the caress of an articulated slap, delivered in a brisk, unbroken cadence, which affirms control, and the depiction of a good position of reception. I hope I made sense here.
Are you an artist in “real life” or does your artistic talent only reveal itself when dealing with this subject?
No, While I did some "mechanical art", I am not a professional artist, especially not an illustrator, nor designer. There are many other artists who have brought some excellent talents to this field. I do think that the difference between myself and some of the great commissioned spanking art I've seen is again, because of my experience. What I lacked in technical expertise, I had in the windmills of my mind. That was a joke.
Are you a member of what might be called the “Spanking Community” in the wider sense?
Not now no. When I was a young adult, I had no idea there was anything like that. Maybe in the mid/late seventies there weren't. But I was a bottom then and sought old or older men to redden my bottom, and I had some wonderful experiences. As I got older I started to give more than receive. I did go to a few spanking clubs in my forties and enjoyed the encounter. But I have to be honest. I appreciated spanking first and spanking as a complete act in itself. The disapointment I had with spanking clubs is that they seemed to be more of extensions of gay sex rather than a pure exploration of spanking. In fact, if there is any criticism I have of "gay spanking" is that the gay seems to overshadow the spanking. Believe me, secure men into spanking will cross all the usual lines, meaning I've found the best tops and bottoms were actually straight.Your work falls largely into two categories, scenes of young men being spanked, and what one might call images involving “man and machine” where your subjects are probed and punished by progressively more imaginative contraptions, do you see these as a separate genres or an extension of the same theme?
Well, I think that they are an extension. In fact, in my mind, I see similar components at work in both. With the lengthy, erotic, spanking as in prolonged edging sessions, both have dominant and submissive partners, as well as a bondage aspect at work in both scenes. In spanking the bondage may more be one of emotional, and sexual reactions aided by good OKT positioning, the other a combination of positioning with restraints. Both, if done right are (hopefully), sexually charged, and in the apex of both, less stimulation, and even indirect stimulation is key. In both, the journey is more important than the arrival. Again, keep in mind, my take on spanking is erotic, so the sting is sweet, bittersweet, actually being more on the sweet side. It is the duration of the spanking and all the tactile trappings that work, for the unique individuals who respond to this interplay. It is a specific take on spanking, and not just having your "ass" beaten by someone who thinks their tenderizing a steak.
So the neophyte riding out his first erotic spanking with wide eyed wonder, thrown into a battle of sensations, and yearning for a climax, because he's being stimulated so powerfully yet indirectly, giving him the hope and need of an orgasm, may be traveling the same road as the young man who has been tied up, and edged lovingly with various methods.
I have drawn more severe spanking, meaning the usual thing you'd expect to see in school paddlings and domestic styled spanking. Thats as "severe" as I've gone to. Spanking is so erotic to me, that the sexual component is built in. In other words, guys can come from being spanked, actually ejaculate and orgasm, others don't but some have come, inside, which brings a release. Sex is more than intercourse, masturbation, or felatio. While all that's nice, we have needs to control and be controlled in a loving assuring manner. So, I guess you can say, in spanking art, I've only dabbled in depictions of real punishments.
I think it can have an impact, but I think it just happens in my drawings. I want to show the characters being overwhelmed, embarrassed, or dazzled by sensations. If humor happens in my pieces that's fine. I'm not into making dark drawings. While some of the bondage, monk, mad scientist stuff I've drawn may be more intense, I wanted to get powerful, overwhelming pleasure across, not darkness or heaviness. Humor is wonderful and part of life, and I've enjoyed it in the works of these great artists you mentioned. Finally for me depicting some form of embarrassment or humiliation never goes into a grinding degrading of a human being, even in a fictional depiction, I don't believe that that is a healthy thing to dwell upon.
How important is “humiliation” to your art and to your spanking fantasies in general?
Humiliation, or embarrassment is part of life, and like most people who had childhood spanking experiences being embarrassed or humiliated is part of it. However, what was the tone of the embarrassment, how did the humiliation occur? Red ears and a red bum seem to go together, again, as I said earlier, being humiliated through being degraded or beraded is an entirely different ball game.
Although, as I understand it, you are a gay man, a significant amount of your work involves a Fem Dom theme, usually older women punishing fit young men. What is it about this area which so attracts you?
I'ts unusual. i'ts straight from my childhood. I don't flatly embrace "Fem Dom". My interest lies in the domestic style setting of spanking which is usually, bare hand to bare bottom. The contrast of older woman, to young man, or even old man to young man is very pleasing to me, and seeing a fit young man, positioned, embarrassed, and slapped by a jaded old woman or man is in essence a formula that I've always found fascinating. It could go like this:
Maturity in age, expertise from experience Vs Youthful energy, beauty and inexperience
Again, this could be in both the spanking and edging arena.
In F/M spanking I see the matronly lap a place of more deliberate positioning, which adds to the humiliation, exposure and sexual tension. I see the female spanking much longer than severely. I see the jaded matron, getting sexual jollies out of this unlikely coupling, as her expertise in years is applied to his bared and pinioned posterior as she claims to be slapping the wickedness out of that perfect male bottom, but actually in her own way and from such a hidden safe vantage she is sexualizing him. So, as a homosexual, I can enjoy the display of the fit young male in a vulnerable venue.
Mine, usually are jack off fantasies, regarding old, or older mature and high moral adults catching young men in the act of masturbation, then spanking them for it. Now, I really don't believe in the practice of punishment for masturbation, but this is fantasy, the trick is that the spanking actually helps the boys along, and becomes a vehicle of slow, pleasurable agonizing torture, where they are spanked to an intense orgasm. Anytime stimulation, powerful stimulation is hindered, focused, minimialized, or given in carefully measured fashion, and/or applied through the concepts of "yin and yang", the end result is powerful. Theres my favorite scenario.Do you enjoy the work of other spanking artists?
Oh Yes, theres a lot of experiences from those artists, as well as concepts, ideas, technique. I've always enjoyed the works of Jonathan, Copper, Spryte, and others, I can think of right now. I love Lord Iron's works, but he's not into spanking...I wish he'd do one just the same.
Do you watch many spanking videos/DVDs, and do you have particular views on the various studios past and present?
In the past I have, but I don't keep tapes or CDs around much anymore. I remember when AIDS first arrived on the scene and fetish films came into their own, by fetish, I mean spanking. Theres been lots of great work out there, and yet, I sometimes feel that quality has been sacrificed for quality. Another aspect which I think is a negative is that the fetish of spanking depicted on video, seems to take a backseat to sexual orientation. Male/male spanking is usually depicted to gay for me. I've often talked to those who do straight spanking, usually M/F and suggested that they get a straight top to spank young men, same with F/M spanking videos, suggesting that they drop the MTV vixens spanking overweight middle aged men, and get some matrons, who don't look like professional doms, to spank young, fit men. I think this is going to happen because there are studios that seem to be delving into this expression, and their work reflects not only good technical execution and angles, but good spanking technique executed by more mature spankers. But then again, I speak from my niche.
I asked you if you would give this interview to celebrate JockSpank receiving the one millionth hit, since the hit counter was installed last November. You have told me before that you are a fan of JockSpank, do you have any suggestions as to how we could make it better.
I think you have it down pat. How can you improve on such an eclectic and open mindset? The variety of this blogg is wonderful for the spanking fan as well as the butt fans out there. Appreciation for the male posterior and spanking go hand in hand and you've got both, plus studying artistic expressions.
Keep doing what your doing, and showing other artists as well. It' s what made me look and it will make others continue to do the same. Personally, I think Jock spank and Jock Spank II reflect your open, and explorative view of erotica. It is refreshing as well as an excellent commentary on the topic.
Thanks to Franco for taking us on that journey into a spanking artist's mind. Finally I asked Franco if he would let me post a selection of his drawings which he particularly enjoyed, and here they are.