Fifty Shades of Spankings

Apr 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Columns

I know, I know. Everyone’s talking about Fifty Shades of Grey. But I have to be honest–I didn’t really know about it until Eileen’s lovely entry on it earlier this month. Perhaps a new working title should be Fifty Shades of Beige or Bored Housewives with Libidos.

So I guess I should be happy for a fan fiction writer to get such success, but does it mean that her book is any good? It’s nothing new. Back in the 1800s, Marquis de Sade defined the genre and Pauline Reage’s Story of O is an honored classic. I’m not sure if a woman who based her career off the Twilight series realizes what has come before her.

This leads me to the ultimate in BDSM whimsy, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. For those of you unfortunate souls who are not familiar with this, you are missing out on the good stuff: archetype characters, cheesy raunchiness and a fantasy setting full of knights, princesses, riding crops and orgies. Seriously, I slept with a copy of the The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty under my pillow for about three months.

So, haters are gonna hate and some people will stand by their love of Fifty Shades of Blah, but just in case you’re curious, here are the cliff notes of an awesome book:

Eileen can't wait to read this in HARDcover. (Gross.)

Plot Summary

Beauty has been cursed to sleep for a hundred years and Prince Charming, a generic but loathsomely handsome douchebag, arrives to awaken her from her slumber–with a hot beef injection. Thus she awakens and the curse is lifted, her kingdom can prosper and she lived happily ever after.

That is until she is sent as tribute to Queen Eleanor’s domain. Thus, Beauty spends the rest of the novel absolutely naked, with the exception of her glorious blonde hair and nipple clamps, as she is taught the ways of servitude. Once at the palace, she learns that all neighboring kingdoms must send their young nubile princes and princesses for their “training.”

A lot of spanking occurs. Barehanded spanking, wooden paddle spanking, golden paddle spanking, spanking that happens while being chased by a lady on horseback. And some fornicating happens as well, but not enough to spoil over two-hundred pages of glorious spanking!

Beauty is kept as the Prince’s prized possession, but is still forced visit the other parts of the castle. Along with the other tributes, she meets various members of the court, from her groomer Leon to misanthropic Chelsea Handler … errr … Lady Julianna. In the Hall of Punishments, Beauty is warned that rebelling will only lead to “punishment,” which seems no different than the typical daily occurrences around the palace (consistency is important). Prince Alexis, the Queen’s favored tribute, intrigues Beauty and later she meets with him and they “copulate” and “share their feelings” and he goes on a long droning back story about his own arrival at the castle two years prior, which is not so much different from Beauty’s experience with the exception of more man-on-man spanking and stuff.

Oh yes – and there’s the Bridle Path, perhaps the most poignant novel chapter ever written in the American Literary Canon. One of the favored sports of the court is to have the young tributes march down through the gardens while a Lord or Lady rides behind them and swats them with a golden paddle. Beauty is just such a quick learner, she gets to participate on page 136!

While Beauty learns quickly to be a submissive good slave and to enjoy being poked by every passing noble, she continually earns the favor of the court. However, as a last minute plot twist, she chooses to rebel! Then the reader becomes aware of a secondary plot twist where Prince Charming, in order to maintain his dignified station, must sentence Beauty to be punished in the village. And this leads into the next book, Beauty’s Punishment, which has evil inn keepers, pony play and eventually pirates!


Beauty – aptly named, Beauty is young, morose and ultimately scandalized by the shame thrust upon her. She is the poster child for liberals who are fighting against the conservatives’ war on women.

Imagine Taylor Swift walks into a male strip club and says, “Oh my! I only needed to use the bathroom!” and after a few lines of coke later, she walks out as Lindsay Lohan.

Prince Charming – Remember that dude who was in your freshmen composition class in college who showed up drunk to class and wrote a four page final research paper on why the NY Yankees are the greatest bowling team in history? You know, who I’m talking about. He was in this frat and was talking about how much he couldn’t wait to paddle the next rounds of pledges and then he tried to win chicks because he suddenly turned artistic?

No? Ok, here’s a picture of James Franco.

This is James Franco.

Queen Eleanor – After a long career of terrorizing the American political system and a failed attempt at the Republican nomination for President, Michelle Bachmann goes home, hides from her gay husband, has a cigarette and decides she needs a little stress relief. Enough said.

Leon – Beauty’s groomer and confidant. As a groom, it is his duty to bathe and massage Beauty after her various training sessions as well as answer any questions she has in regards to the happenings in the castle. He supplies a rationale voice in the novel and represents the close relationships between women and their gay stylists.

Lord Gregory – a fine mixture proper and molesty, Lord Gregory oversees the various pages and the instruction of the slaves.

Lady Julianna – One of the mistresses of the court, no one is quite sure where she came from and what exactly she’s doing there. But she has a thing for young princesses and riding horses. A severely flawed character that helped create the stereotype: lipstick lesbians cannot be trusted.

Prince Alexis – while dozens of other tributes are seen or mentioned, Prince Alexis is the only other noble slave that gets any characterization. He is described as “handsome” or “naked,” which narrowly defines him as significant, much like Beauty. While a public example of humility and submission, he harbors a deep seeded spark of rebellion deep within his bowels and thus is favored by the Queen. In essence, Prince Alexis proves that erotic novels do not rely on heavy characterization.

Locations of Significance

The Training Hall and the Hall of Punishments

“The room was dimly lit by a nearby fire, but its doors were open to the garden. And here Beauty saw that many captives were positioned on tables as she had been in the Great Hall, each with a Page in attendance. And all the Pages worked diligently taking no note of cries or commotion at any other table.

Several young men knelt with their hands strapped behind them. They were paddled steadily while at the same time their were being given pleasure. Here a Page stroked the engorged as he worked the. Here two Pages attended the same Prince mercilessly.” (pg. 96)

I’ve heard rumors that the basement offices of Defenestration Headquarters are used for these purposes as well.


The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy actually defines fan fiction. Drawing upon folklore iconography, the text incorporates both the style and imagery of the fairytale motif. Okay, so Beauty becomes an anti-feminist symbol of passivity and is brutalized by many male authority figures. But in a way, it gets the Disney treatment: no one ever gets pregnant, emotionally scarred or ever has to use the bathroom. One lost chapter from the original manuscript: “Beauty Uses the Chamber Pot while Pervs Watch!” (I’m alright with this being left out.)

At the same time, the gender inequality gets taken care of – both princes and princesses are subjected to the torments and equally used and abused. While the typical straight male reader may be uncomfortable reading about a prince having to give a little sucky-sucky to a Lord, lady readers will find themselves smirking while saying, “Harder than it looks, buddy!”


After reading this, I was minding my own business in a department store one day and realized that I wanted to start baking bread. I also had a craving for a good spanking. So, I purchased a lovely wooden serving board with a good firm handle, something understated that would go well with my dishes. Once home, I appropriately labeled the bread board with a magic marker – one side “A” and the other side “B.”

Note: If you are at my house for dinner and I serve bread and cheese on the “A” side, DON’T EAT IT!

Which side will it be, tribute?

Possibility for a Movie Adaptation

Hell yes.

Little does the public know that a Muppets’ rendition was scheduled, casting Miss Piggy as Beauty, Kermit the Frog as sinister Prince Charming and special guest star Susan Sarandon as the evil queen. Rumor had it that Bjork was even composing the soundtrack with musical numbers such as: “Rubber Dildo, You’re the One!” and “Labia the Beautiful.”

Somewhere in the great beyond, Jim Henson is twiddling his fingers while saying, “excellent.”


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