As spanking aficionados ourselves, we like to feature a wide range of implements in our films. Bare hand spanking and canes are probably our most-used tools, of course, but we’ve got a bit of everything: paddles, belts, riding crops, floggers, hairbrushes, tawses, rulers and the occasional wooden spoon.
There’s something a bit special about leather, isn’t there? It has a certain smell, a certain texture. New leather is polished and stingy, but with age and use a leather implement becomes softer and more supple and packs more of a thud. The pointed ends of a tawse give a sharp, sudden kind of pain; the click of a belt-buckle before a beating adds a frisson to any encounter.
A razor strop is a flexible leather strap designed for the polishing of blades. They’re a little archaic now in the age of disposable razors, but once upon a time you’d find them hanging on every bedroom wall - in easy, convenient reach. Many of them have a metal loop on the end to make them easier to mount; ours doesn’t, for safety reasons (the bite that would add when spanking would be actively unethical), but it still has the classic polished wooden handle.
There’s a very particular feel to the razor strop. Leather paddles are heavy and rigid; tawses have split tails; belts tend to be much narrower. A strop is broad, flexible and supple, often soft with age and use but no less punishing for it when applied to the backside.
Rebecca Belacqua hadn’t experienced one of these until this week’s shoot - and she seems to take to it pretty quickly. She kicks and squirms beautifully, both performer and character wriggling and wincing under Kelley May’s hand. There’s a lovely moment in the backstage extras where Kelley mentions how much she’d been enjoying her co-star’s reactions; “I kept having to remember that I’m her mother in this scene, I can’t look at her like that!”
I, too, have always loved being beaten with leather - so I particularly took to this scene, and should you share my predilections I’m sure you’ll agree.