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Message updated 25th June 2023

Saturday 17 January 2009

Mitchell's A-Z of Fetish Artists - Franco

This article first published in 2009 was extensively revised and extended in July 2017

Franco’s spanking pictures proliferate on the web and must be known to most of my readers. He also has produced a number of imaginative pictures you might classify as ‘lab experiments and machines’. These sometimes feature spanking but are generally focused on the milking of men who are effectively made captives for the duration of the experiment.

 In the spanking arena the sheer volume of Franco's work commands respect. Much of it is of the standard 'over the knee', older-younger scenario. I could not resist showing this young man's voluptuous bottom, beefy 'jock' thighs and puzzled expression as an otherwise prim and proper older man exacts a punishment he wouldn't have expected at his age. His decidedly skimpy and flimsy-looking underpants add a frisson of extra interest. In Franco's work the older spanker is usually presented in this ‘desexualised’ way. That is to say they are fully dressed in very conventional, formal clothing and their faces are mature and not particularly attractive, often gaunt and shrew-like. However the faces he draws are very varied and often strikingly realistic adult ‘types’.
Franco has an admirable knack for portraying expressive faces and wriggling bodies. The spanker in this picture is more kindly characterised than my previous example but the man over his knee seems to have been given the body of a much younger person. It seems to personify the childish punishment he is being given and the humiliation he is feeling.  It's an interesting variation on the 'transformation' ideas explored by Siproites and YoMero.

Brat Spank by Franco

 Franco's also makes good use of clothing in his pictures. The recipient of the spanking is usually naked from the waist down only. This focuses attention on the lower body 'target' area, which is usually lusciously shaped and presented with sensual skin toning and highlighting similar to Tom of Finland's style.

Superficially the retained T-shirt preserves 'decency' and a tenuous link with the idea that this is just a domestic punishment scene. The collar and tie usually worn by the prim-looking punisher (e.g. in the first picture of this article) is part of that smokescreen and at the same time a wry comment on the dubious motives of 'respectable' disciplinarians in times gone by. However this image is different and, unusually for Franco, the spanker himself looks young and virile and his shirt is open revealing a muscular torso and suggesting erotic possibilities of a sort that Franco usually avoided. In this context the boyish good looks of the recipient look decidedly dicey to modern eyes.

In this early picture there is nothing boyish about the man being spanked, in fact he looks quite the tough guy. Even the open, braced position of his feet says manly - continued manly acceptance despite being reduced to tears by this serious butt-roasting. The spanker's appearance, his face, torso and clothing seem equally 'butch' but his pressed together feet - a pose more usually associated with women than men - gives him an effeminate air. It suggests to the viewer that he may have sexual inclinations and motives of which his victim is unaware and would be horrified if he found out. Despite it's artistic imperfections it's a good joke and an excellent depiction of man-on-man humiliation. The slightly baggy socks, by the way, seem to bear the influence of Etienne and there are echoes of his style in other aspects of the picture too.

Franco - Stick it Out!
It's hard to imagine the power that would cause an unwilling man to allow another to spank him in real life. Expecting him not just to submit, but to offer up his ass in a specific fashion that is deemed acceptable (as the title implies here) is an even bigger ask. The possibility does make for an dramatic situation and a sexy pose, but in fact the facial expressions here are playful, the victim purely registering the sting of the hand rather than any embarrassment or resentment. His advanced state of excitement removes any doubt. Overtly connecting spanking and sexual gratification like this was heady stuff until relatively recently.

Interestingly, Franco's spanking settings are nearly always domestic like this or (even more controversially) in class-rooms. He rarely uses uniformed authoritarian figures like cops or the military and for that matter I have only seen one leather dungeon scene by him. There's quite a substantial group of pictures of men being spanked by older women but I hope my readers will forgive me if I pass them by without comment. Nor do I propose to discuss his images of Priests spanking young boys - oh dear!


Poor Jock by Franco

The Franco genre that really works for me is the ‘lab rat’ stuff (like Poor Jock above) in which young men are attached to machines for milking, probing or mechanised spanking. These are overtly sexual and Franco beautifully portrays the victim’s dismay and the professor’s evil interest. This example is particularly erotic and delightfully simple. I can just visualise the 'poor jock' lying down on the couch for a routine examination, naively allowing straps across his chest on some pretext, then finding he's helpless to prevent his wrists being secured too. Before he knows it, his legs are hoisted in the air and an invasive examination begins in earnest. The cock drawn through the legs where he cannot see or protect it seems to emphasise his vulnerability and the purely functional,  impersonal role which he is going to be expected to fulfil.

Franco - Milked
 This scene has a more improvised quality with the subject crudely bound to a post and his trousers and underwear roughly jerked down so that the milking 'glove' can be attached to him. The portrayal of the two characters in this drawing are amongst Franco's best work. You get a good sense of the captive's physical attractions and the dramatic assault upon his body. His drawn-in waist is a typical male, defensive response, but quite useless with a post behind him. The dispassionate professor will compel him to produce sample after sample until his youthful virility is exhausted. The extraction mechanism seems to be a crude replication of human technique but scientists amongst you may be intrigued by the mysterious nipple stimulator.

Franco - Milkomatic
This picture (often called 'Milking the Bulls' from variants with that logo on the captive jock's T-shirt) is probably one of Franco's best known lab/machine images. The spreadeagled plight of the subject being milked with his feet just of the ground is a strong image and there's a wealth of supporting detail enabling you to imagine how he got that way, once he had foolishly inserted his arms through those innocent-seeming holes in the back plate. The automated leg spreaders and sliding crotch support-cum-wedge provide devilish, visual clues to the machine's remorseless stimulation and draining capability, evidenced by a growing row of filled sample tubes.

Franco - The Orgasmatron
The total nudity of 'Billy' in this picture (like Poor Jock above) contrasts dramatically with the complexity of the cock stimulation and collection mechanisms which are attached to him. These are more physically demanding than the preceding examples with anal probes and electrified balls. It creates the impression that this is a serious 'lab-rat' experience and one that has become quite unpleasant. I find this arched body pose very erotic, seeming to invite tactile exploration. The scientist in the background seems to be offering a toast to his discomforted guest, courtesy of a flask of his own body fluid.

Franco - Vibrator Torment
 Franco takes that sexy arching effect further here, trapping his lab-rat (Frankie) in a supremely uncomfortable back-breaking position. Meanwhile his cock has been bound with tape at the root, forcing it away from his body and making the attachments on it seem particularly sinister and impersonal. The scientist here doesn't seem to require collection of what he produces, we cannot tell whether it's the performance of the complex vibrator he's interested in or Frankie's.

Franco - Dr Bottomthrobs Spanking Machine
I can't leave Franco's machines without an example of one that does spanking. It's a bit of a Heath-Robinson contraption but fiendishly inescapable because the jock's cock is stuck in a hole in the platform on which he rests. It will stay there for a long as he has an erection and dangles just above the gaping mouth of a sperm-collecting sleeve. You can see that the designer of this device expected large quantities of fluid to be produced as a by-product of the spanking (with only the help of an anal vibrator). It's not clear why the scientist needs to take cover behind a glass screen but this is actually a rather nice bit of male erotica.


A final section of Franco’s work worth mentioning is a group showing men spanked and tormented by Monks. I am wary of 'historical costumes' in erotica and always dubious about religious overtones, but I like the sinister mood conjured up by the monk’s cowled gowns which put me in mind of Indiana Jones-like, tomb raider punishments. Monks have something of a reputation for inflexibility and harshness in dealings with the outside world. It's as a result of their austere lifestyle, focused on self abasement and prayer but these are attitudes which makes them ideal villain material for more fantastical types of bdsm imagery.
Franco - Monk Muscle Spank
We can only speculate about how this muscular lad came to be tied to an altar rail and spanked by a Monk. I'm ruling out anything to do with choir boys or the confessional, preferring to think that he's a rogue who coveted the treasures of the Monastery or attempted to steal the lead off the roof. That doesn't quite explain why he's naked now. This spanking won't be the end of it, he'll be expected to repent as well, a major humiliation in itself for any red-blooded young man. Franco has conjured up a neat picture here, but you can that colourising it, while benefiting the atmospherics and providing red cheeks, has also spoilt the lines and the shapes, for example of his calves.

Franco - Spankus Ye Bare bottom
This rear end view is one of Franco's trademark poses and you'll find many other variants of it. It's another compact composition but noticeably weighted to the left. The blonds limbs are also stretched out protectively towards the 'empty' side. These elements suggest to the viewer that there may be something significant just out of sight to the right. An audience perhaps. The colourisation here is more sensitive than the previous example and gives the picture an intriguing sense of light which chimes with, but doesn't quite match the bizarre, stained glass window. It suggests enlightenment may be at hand for one of those involved here, but I wouldn't assume it's the blond!

Franco - Monks Tickle Ordeal

Tickling is a fetish of sorts, but it's one which has rarely troubled these pages, until now. Franco's Monks practise it a great deal, more for their own amusement than any one else's. I imagine most captives would be embarrassed by it's absurdity, rather than feeling threatened by it. However this fecund, naked, young man has responded to the feather's allure and now finds himself trapped by his own eager libido and a tormentor well versed in his esoteric craft. They don't have TV in Monasteries you see. I admit it's a sexy picture though.

Franco - Monk Sucking
Given the conventional religious sentiment that seems to rumble in the background of the previous pieces, this final picture is quite astonishing in it's way, showing the Monks contrived, erotic tormenting of unfortunates who come their way turning into full-blooded lust. Whatever misdeed this strapping, hairy man has committed, he can scarcely have anticipated it being dealt with like this. There are echoes of the crucifixion in the gloriously, Gothic suspension arrangement but fortunately Jesus doesn't figure in Monastic Orders. Otherwise the Abbot might have had a serious disciplinary incident on his hands. (Harm to third parties of course doesn't count).

As in other Franco images the captive's restraint is contrived to expose and display his undercarriage to the full and the Monk is taking full advantage. The gentle explorations of his right hand are no less erotic, possibly more so than the mouthful he is helping himself to. A glimpse of twiddling toes and gleaming skin provides graphic evidence that his manipulations are not falling entirely on stony ground.


Much of Franco’s circulating work is comprised of black and white drawings, some are in colour and appear to have been created that way, but a lot of it has been computer ‘enhanced’ and colourised. I don’t know if this has been done with Franco’s collaboration but the results are often disappointing.  I don’t disapprove of colourising as such - it can make pictures more interesting and accessible, but it can also obliterate detail and nearly always destroys the subtlety of the original lines. I have deliberately favoured black and white images here for that reason, there is a wealth of fine detail and subtlety in Franco's pictures which is masked out in the coloured equivalents. Backgrounds are sometimes completely wiped out but I will admit that colour can help in bringing out the complexity and menace of his various milking devices - the Vibrator Torment picture exemplifies this dilemma. Arguably much of Franco's fame and popularity is owed to the colourised versions, particularly of his lab rat work. However he is a perceptive artist of skill and delicacy and I much prefer his original versions.

Telemachus is a primary source for Franco's work,
 there's also some at cp4men and jockspank,
General internet searches will bring up loads.

There is a second part of this article featuring Franco's more recent work,
in which he has radically changed his style.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i too love franco´s work a lot...
stumbled over the pics over at flickr...
thanks for your great article

best, phil sidek