Spryte - Steam
If the current day tentacle phenomenon is intriguing, the spanking world's obsessive, fascination with a specific, ritualised form of male humiliation is no less fascinating. Humour is a key ingredient for the genre and Spryte is one of it's prime exponents. Thus, in 'Steam', four marines are hung up by their underpants and spanked by a primitive, steam-driven machine straight out of the Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Bill era. This is essentially four studies of chastised buttocks with sexy glimpses of tightly wrapped balls in between and the smooth shaved backsides enhance the erotic interest no end! No reason for the punishment is supplied, but then arbitrary humiliation is part and parcel of military service. The spanking machine is a wacky device (!) that just emphasises the impersonal, unstoppable nature of the punishment. Franco is famous for his machines of course and a similar, rotating, suspension device also appears in Jonathan's memorable series, 'Tourists'.
Spryte - Barber Shop
Spanking is regarded as a non-sexual pastime by some of it's exponents, but Spryte's victims usually present an erotic display and he is not reluctant to show spankers (or spectators) with erections. This barber shop image directly links spanking and sexual excitement, with the razor strop belt as a key ingredient. It's not clear if the the customer's long hair and beard is responsible for this assault, or the result of putting off the experience!
The erotic potential of the traditional barber is under-exploited in fetish art – we have haircutting and shaving, both intimate personal services with fetish connections. The imposing chair is just right for bondage and the customer's body is mysteriously cloaked in a protective sheet. In a more delicate, all-male era, the customary offer of 'something for the weekend, sir?' (i.e. condoms) was an excitingly sexual question.
Spryte - Builders
This image is one of a series showing macho, hairy-arsed, construction workers being ordered around and punished by a particularly effeminate, upper crust manager who seizes on any opportunity to give them spankings – for smoking, time wasting, organising strikes etc. The oppression role-reversal message is not particularly subtle, but the humiliation of beefy builders, forced to expose their assets and endure endless rear-end pain is no less enjoyable for that.
Spryte - Juice
Spryte's output is not dedicated solely to spanking. This plant attack picture might be considered as tentacle-ania, but the tightly wrapped men's bodies, about to be engulfed (and consumed?) by the carnivorous plant is closer to high bondage art, dressed up in an exotic form. The groping and probing of the 'tentacles' here is just a means of luring the victims to their fate, whereas in most tentacle pictures, the groping and probing is their fate. The background figure disappearing into the flower head is a particularly sexy idea and the device of having two buddies suffering together adds an extra erotic twist It also allows him to elaborate on the plant's modus operandi. Despite the comic format, this picture is not really funny at all, but probably most viewers instinctively recognise and enjoy the Freudian psychology at work – man transformed into a penis and drawn into the womb, or if you prefer, man rendered helpless by his sexual excitement and hence vulnerable to being consumed by the object of his desire. What a way to go!
Spryte - Prison Scene
This prison scenario has no spanking ingredients either, but there's another striking power reversal as white prison officers perform on each other for the pleasure of a black inmate. The prisoner's characterisation is a cut above Spryte's normal cartooning and very attractive – he's streetwise, confident, muscular and well-endowed. In contrast to his power, the captive officers, deprived of their uniforms, have a hairless, fleshy, soft-skinned quality that is curiously submissive and erotic.
Spryte - Boxer
Many of Spryte's pictures show animals and mythical creatures turning on their human tormentors and returning their abuse in like form (e.g. by branding them or springing mousetraps on tender regions). More role reversal. Sometimes, however, the motivation is pure devilment, as in this image of an entangled boxer, biting his lip in pain, as a small, malevolent spirit uses his dangling tackle for a miniature punch bag. In some pictures the devil is identified as Spryte's alter ego, enjoying similar sadistic pleasures at the expense of strapping lads.
Spryte's light hearted cartoons are justifiably popular and he shows great imagination and originality of thought in his wide ranging exploration of male humilation and revenge scenarios. Despite the simplicity of style, his depictions of muscular victims, clad only in skimpy/ripped clothing often have a genuinely sensual quality. His depictions of the most attractive and powerful of male stereotypes, inexplicably controlled and suffering at the hands of the most unlikely of tormentors, taps into deeply erotic and emotional feelings and gives hope to us all!
Thanks to SoupGoblin who has kindly provided me with some links for Spryte - see the first comment below. There's a decent collection at Jock Spank (link in sidebar), Google will throw up lots of examples too.
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