James Joyce

James Joice in 1915.

James Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish author and poet. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

What is still little known is that James Joyce was, as it seems, also a spanking fetishist. There is a good article The Spanking Fetishist James Joyce written by Wintermute, quoting James Joyce as follows:

I would be delighted to feel my flesh tingling under your hand. Do you know what I mean, Nora dear? I wish you would smack me or flog me even. Not in play, dear, in earnest and on my naked flesh. I wish you were strong, strong, dear, and had a big full proud bosom and big fat thighs. I would love to be whipped by you, Nora love! I would love to have done something to displease you, something trivial even, perhaps one of my rather dirty habits that make you laugh: and then to hear you call me into your room and then to find you sitting in an armchair with your fat thighs far apart and your face deep red with anger and a cane in your hand. To see you point to what I had done and then with a movement of rage pull me towards you and throw me face downwards across your lap. Then to feel your hands tearing down my trousers and inside clothes and turning up my shirt, to be struggling in your strong arms and in your lap, to feel you bending down (like an angry nurse whipping a child's bottom) until your big full bubbies almost touched me and to feel you flog, flog, flog me viciously on my naked quivering flesh!!
  — James Joyce, To Nora, Dublin (?) December 1909

The source of this quotation is here. James Joyce was 27 when he wrote these words to Nora Barnacle, a woman (two years younger to him) from Connemara, County Galway, who had become his lover, companion, inspiration and the mother of his two children.

An Encounter (from Dubliners)Edit

James Joyce books.

The short story “An Encounter” in “Dubliners” tells of a two boys playing truant. They meet with an odd elderly man with green eyes who sits next to them and begins to speak to them first on literature, and then suddenly about how wonderful it is for boys to have girlfriends ("sweethearts"). His mind seemed to got stuck on that subject. Then, after one of the boys had left chasing a cat, he abruptly talks to the other boy about how neccessary it is for naughty boys to be "whipped". His speech again becomes a strange repetitive monologue on that subject ("When a boy was rough and unruly there was nothing would do him any good but a good sound whipping. A slap on the hand or a box on the ear was no good: what he wanted was to get a nice warm whipping...") He says fondly that he can think of no more wonderful thing, and his voice seems to plead with the boy that he should understand him. The man was apparently a pervert, possibly a caricature of Joyce himself.

"Dubliners" was completed in 1905, when Joyce was 23 years old, but was not published until 1914.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManEdit

In this episode, the shy and overly sensitive poet and writer-to-be recalls his feelings on hearing references made to corporal punishment at school. He feels a potent mixture of dread, shame and fascination, He senses that the manner in which these themes touch his soul has its analogue in the feelings of his rough and ready peers, but that there is a mysterious and crucial difference as well. The images and sounds of these semi-taboo subjects stirs something deeper, more complex and affecting in Stephen. The following passage is perhaps one of the most subtle and truest accounts of the musings of a young man who is trying to come to terms with the paradoxical nature - the mystique - of this theme.

"It can't be helped;
It must be done
So down with your breeches
And out with your bum.
The fellows laughed; but he felt that they were a little afraid. In the silence of the soft grey air he heard the cricket bats from here and from there: pock. That was a sound to hear but if you were hit then you would feel a pain. The pandybat made a sound too but not like that. The fellows said it was made of whalebone and leather with lead inside: and he wondered what was the pain like. There were different kinds of sounds. A long thin cane would have a high whistling sound and he wondered what was that pain like. It made him shivery to think of it and cold: and what Athy said too. But what was there to laugh at in it? It made him shivery: but that was because you always felt like a shiver when you let down your trousers. It was the same in the bath when you undressed yourself. He wondered who had to let them down, the master or the boy himself. O how could they laugh about it that way?"

James Joyce and James LovebirchEdit


In his best known novel Ulysses (written in 1914-1921), Joyce mentions James Lovebirch, an author of French spanking novels. Joyce lived in Paris when he wrote Ulysses. So he had either come across James Lovebirch's writings in Paris — or, an admittedly dared speculation, "James Lovebirch", which is clearly a pseudonym, was James Joyce himself. Given his spanking fetish, his perfect fluency in French and his need for money, Joyce could theoretically have written French spanking erotica under that pen name.


Chapter 15 of Ulysses has a cult status amongst spankers. Here in a massive display of literary virtuosity, Joyce relates Leopold Bloom’s adventures in a brothel. In a stunning move, Joyce has the Madam and Bloom swap roles, and in the events that follow, there are many allusions to cross-dressing, mild flagellation, and submission. The whole episode, however, evokes very little of an Irish brothel, and everything with the sensibilities of a high-class French one. The French style in these matters is much more elegant than the British or German, more flirtatious and far more “cultured”. It is unarguable that Joyce was deeply fascinated by the mores of the French demi-monde in these matters, as he spoke French perfectly, and lived most of his life in Paris, although everything he wrote is set in his Ireland, most especially in Dublin.

Note: Notes on the text are by Susan McDonald. See also her website with further discussion of this chapter.

BLOOM: (Enthralled, bleats) I promise never to disobey.

BELLO: (Laughs loudly) Holy smoke! You little know what's in store for you. I'm the tartar to settle your little lot and break you in! I'll bet Kentucky cocktails all round I shame it out of you, old son. Cheek me, I dare you. If you do, tremble in anticipation of heel discipline to be inflicted in gym costume.

Note: She (referred to as 'he' in the text) threatens him with a spanking, and later we read:

BELLO: (Stands up) No more blow hot and cold. What you longed for has come to pass. Henceforth you are unmanned and mine in earnest, a thing under the yolk. Now for your punishment frock. You will shed your male garments, you understand, Ruby Cohen? and don the shot silk luxuriously rustling over your head and shoulders and quickly too.

BLOOM: (Shrinks) Silk, mistress said! O crinkly! scrapy! Must I tiptouch it with my nails?

BELLO: (Points to his whores) As they are now, so will you be, wigged, singed, perfumesprayed, ricepowdered, with smoothshaven armpits. Tape measurements will be taken next to your skin. You will be laced with cruel force into vicelike corsets of soft dove coutille, with whalebone busk, to the diamond trimmed pelvis, the absolute outside edge, while your figure, plumper than when at large, will be restrained in nettight frocks, pretty two ounce petticoats and fringes and things stamped, of course, with my houseflag, creations of lovely lingerie for Alice, and nice scent for Alice. Alice will feel the pullpull. Martha and Mary will be a little chilly at first in such delicate thighcasing but the frilly flimsiness of lace round your bare knees will remind you...

BLOOM: (A charming soubrette with dauby cheeks, mustard hair and large male hands and nose, leering mouth) I tried her things on only once, a small prank, in Holles Street. When we were hardup I washed them to save the laundry bill. My own shirts I turned. It was the purest thrift.

BELLO: (Jeers) Little jobs that make mother pleased, eh!

Note: Bella goes on to mention Leopold cross-dressing 'at the mirror behind closedrawn blinds' in 'That secondhand black opera top shift and short trunk leg naughties all split up the stitches at her last rape that Mrs Miriam Dandrade sold you from the Shelbourne Hotel, eh?' Bloom replies:

BLOOM: (Her hands and features working) It was Gerald converted me to be a true corsetlover when I was female impersonator in the High School play 'Vice Versa'. It was dear Gerald. He got that kink, fascinated by sister's stays. Now dearest Gerald uses pinky greasepaint and gilds his eyelids. Cult of the beautiful.

BELLO: (With wicked glee) Beautiful! Give us a breather! When you took your seat with womanish care, lifting your billowy flounces, on the smoothworn throne.

BLOOM: Science. To compare the various joys we each enjoy. (Earnestly) And really it's better the position...because often I used to wet...

Note: (Leopold is stating that he wore women's undies in order to better understand the experience of women, and that going to the lavatory 'the girl's way' is better than the male way, because it causes less mess).
Bella later expounds on the domestic duties which Leopold will be expected to perform as a ladies' maid:

BELLO: (Satirically) By day you will souse and bat our smelling underclothes, also when we ladies are unwell, and swab out our latrines with dress pinned up and a dishclout tied to your tail. Won't that be nice? (He places a ruby ring on her finger) And there now! With this ring I thee own. Say thank you, mistress.

BLOOM: Thank you, mistress.

Note: She gives poor Leopold a lot more duties, and then adds,

...you will dance attendance or I'll lecture you on your misdeeds, Miss Ruby, and spank your bare bot right well, miss, with the hairbrush. You'll be taught the error of your ways. At night your wellcreamed braceleted hands will wear fortythreebutton gloves newpowdered with talc and having delicately scented fingertips. For such favours knights of old laid down their lives...

Note: Leopold is eventually auctioned, ostensibly as a maid of all work, although to men rather than to imperious women. Bella shows him off:

BELLO: (Gaily) Right Let them come. The scanty, daringly short skirt, riding up at the knee to show a peep of white pantalette, is a potent weapon and transparent stockings, emeraldgartered, with the long straight seam trailing up behind the knee, appeal to the better instincts of the blase man about town. Learn the smooth mincing walk on four inch Louis XV heels, the Grecian bend with provoking croup, the thighs fluescent, knees modestly kissing. Bring all your power of fascination to bear on them. Pander to their Gomorrahan vices.

BLOOM: (Bends his blushing face into his armpit and simpers with forefinger in mouth) O, I know what you're hinting at now.

BELLO: What else are you good for, an impotent thing like you?

Note: Later in this fascinating phantasmagoria Leopold even meets the Nymph who was pictured in the 'splendid masterpiece in art colours' set over Leopold and Molly's bed. The Nymph reads from a paper:

THE NYMPH: (Sadly) Rubber goods. Neverrip. Brand as supplied to the aristocracy. Corsets for men. I cure fits or money refunded. Unsolicited testimonials for Professor Waldemann's wonderful chest exuber. My bust developed four inches in three weeks, reports Mrs Gus Rubin with photo.

BLOOM: You mean Photo Bits?

THE NYMPH: I do. You bore me away, framed me in oak and tinsel, set me above your marriage couch. Unseen, one summer eve, you kissed me in four places...

See alsoEdit


  This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at James Joyce. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.