There are the following variants:
- arms hanging
- hands (or forearms) on knees ("hands-on-knees position")
- hands (or forearms) placed on the seat of a chair or stool ("hands-on-chair position")
- hands grabbing ankles or touching toes
The spankee's legs can be kept together or apart. Placing the legs somewhat apart is often recommended for stability. The spankee can be required to keep in position by himself, or the spanker can steady the spankee with his/her non-spanking hand (see underarm position). The spankee can also bend over and put his/her head between the spanker's legs (see head-between-legs position).
The bent-over position is, above all, in three of its four variants a position that does not require any piece of furniture, neither for the spanker nor for the spankee. It is, or was, traditional for paddling (mainly in the U.S.) and caning (mainly in the UK and many of its former territories).
The main purpose of this position is that it conveniently presents the recipient's buttocks for punishment. When the recipient is wearing trousers or shorts, it also has the advantage of pulling the cloth smooth and taut across the full area of the buttocks so that no rucks or folds in the material can impede the impact of the cane or paddle as it strikes its target.
Note that the lower the spankee's head is in this position, the more blood will rush to his/her head, which is not good for lengthy spankings. So these variants should not be held for too long and are best for spankings that are hard but quickly over, such as canings.
The command phrase Bend over is often the command that starts the spanking, so by itself can be a hot button phrase for spankos. "Bend over" was the traditional schoolmaster's command prior to caning an offending schoolboy in the UK and in territories under British cultural influence. Another command with the same meaning, mainly used in the USA, is Assume the position, particularly commonly used in a college fraternity paddling context.
- Example of genital access in this position (M/F)
- Real-life stills and video of a teen student bending over for discipline at a private school in Canada in 1974 from World Corporal Punishment Research. The command "Bend over!" is clearly heard, whereupon the boy places his hands on his shins and receives one very hard swat with the paddle.
- YouTube clip - paddling scene from fictional film "Dead Poets' Society" set in U.S. private boys' school in 1959: at 0:25 the principal says "Assume the position" and the student bends over with his hands on the edge of the desk with his legs apart.
- Posed still picture in which an upper secondary student demonstrates "hands on seat of chair, feet wide apart" position required for caning at St Gabriel's Secondary School, Singapore in the present day. From SGWiki.