Daphne Merkin (born 1954) is an American literary critic, essayist and novelist.
In February 1996, Daphne Merkin shocked readers of the magazine The New Yorker with her essay "Unlikely Obsession", in which she very openly told of her obsession with being spanked, and the erotic pleasure she derives from it.
According to Wall Street Journal Online, "Her article is still the major fact of her public identity; she will forever and always be Daphne Likes-to-Be-Spanked Merkin."
In 1997 she published the book, Dreaming of Hitler: Passions and Provocations. This collection of personal essays and articles includes "Spanking: A Romance".