Why is spanking prevalent in older romances? I kid you not the hero gets upset then he takes heroine and bends her over his knee to end an argument. Is it supposed to be sexy? It just comes across as daddy issues gone wrong.
My recent read had such a scene and it was very jarring with the rest of the story. My take on spanking is that with the exception of erotica stories, the usual reaction from a woman should be “WTF is wrong with you? You’re not my father. Stay away!” as she runs from the guy.
I believe it was a tactic by the author to stop a seemingly childish argument from lasting longer. The point isn’t whether or not the argument was childish it is the reaction that of the hero that concerns me. Spanking comes across very controlling; it is after all a form of behavioral punishment.
Disciplinary spanking is often reserved for parent/child relationships. Sometimes it appears for non-sexual purposes in husband/wife relationships as a “part of their [couple’s] overall belief system in how a husband and wife should interrelate.” Even then it’s still between two consenting adults.
In the case of an older romance novel it appears to come about at the frustration of the hero. He simply snaps and surprises the heroine with this form of punishment. The scene is not consenting at all. The heroine usually struggles for release.
Was spanking a way to show off how alpha the hero was? Is this just another in a long line of heroes showing off their manliness in the wrong way? Should this type of hero be labeled spanking-alpha hero to go alongside his cousin rapist-alpha hero and his twin wife-rapist-alpha hero?
As far as I can tell it's not limited to just romance novels - take the picture shown above. Ricky Ricardio is spanking Lucy. Non-erotica romances today aren't filled with spanking heroes, so was this simply a sign of the times?
What are your thoughts?
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