My lover, Pavel, decided to punish me very seriously. It was the first time since we had lived together. Now, Pavel always beat me quite a lot-- it was a large part of the attraction between us, his beating me and my liking to be beaten. It ranged from a spanking with his bare hand on my bare bottom (`Smackbottom, Charlotte,' he would say, and I would bare and bend over) to quite intense sessions with the strap or (in season) a birch rod.
He had never spanked or beaten me, though, as an actual punishment; and it was not something he decided to do on his own. I was in a state of absolute anguish over something I had done: it is too complicated to explain here, but I had broken a pretty serious promise, and done so in a more or less deliberately hurtful fashion. Pavel was not inclined to punish me physically for something like that; but as we tried to talk it through I, after much hesitation, finally blurted out that I would like to be physically punished, that it would be a relief compared with the really excruciating punishment of having alienated him with my actions. I felt acutely embarrassed to have come out with this, because I knew how sort of manipulative it sounded; but once I had said it I did not wish to take it back, either.
Pavel said, `Charlotte, I really cannot punish you like that. I can't get angry and scold and beat you for something you have-- or supposedly have-- done wrong to me. As you know I can work myself up with pretended anger; but I cannot see myself doing this when there is a real issue between us.'
`I know, Pavel, and I am sorry to have asked you this as it seems unfair. Only it is something I have fantasized about several times in the past. After hurting a good friend of mine once, I kept wishing I would go to a third person and confess what I had done after which I would be scolded and punished very severely. That would make me feel better but it would not put any pressure on the person whom I had actually harmed.'
I sat there, temporarily forgetful of my present troubles, recalling this occasion when I had been too ashamed even to get in touch with my friend and I had longed to go to some sympathetic figure-- a woman if possible-- and pour out my heart knowing I would be punished and then forgiven. Not as a means to reconciliation with my friend-- since that seemed too much to hope for-- but as therapy for myself, to help me live with myself. Pavel broke in upon these recollections:
`Charlotte, perhaps this is a solution after all. If you want to be punished so very much... well, I am still unwilling to do it myself, but I think I could get Mrs. Martin to beat you.'
Mrs. Martin was Pavel's personal assistant: a woman in her forties, a former lover of Pavel's who was perfectly nice to me but clearly did not like me much. I was a little dismayed when Pavel mentioned her: this was not my fantasy of a wise loving older woman. Then again, perhaps it was asking too much of a person who was fond of me to administer a real punishment beating; perhaps it would be easy for Mrs. Martin and thus fulfill all the better my present need to efface myself.
`Right, Charlotte,' Pavel said now. `Go to your room. I cannot bring myself to withhold affection from you in your presence-- I am not that kind of person-- but I think it would be a good idea for you to be separated from me until your punishment is over. I will, however, come in and inform you of the plan as soon as I have spoken to Mrs. Martin.'
He spoke kindly, and for the first time since the unfortunate incident I felt a warming and a melting: a faint stirring of hope that there might be some solution to this intractable problem. I slipped off my shoes and lay on the bed. I must have fallen asleep-- I had been wretchedly sleepless the night before-- because I jumped and my muscles seized up when Pavel opened the door.
`My dear, you really are terribly tense,' he said, kneading my shoulder a little, but absently. `I have spoken with Mrs. Martin, and she has agreed to visit us this evening. I have asked her to bring an instrument, because I do not want this punishment to involve any of those instruments which you associate with our love beatings. She tells me that she has a leather whip, short and light enough that you can probably take a couple of dozen strokes.
`We are going to postpone this whipping until bedtime, since no doubt the pain will be enough to be incapacitating for a couple of hours. I want you to wear your pyjamas so that they can be pulled down just to the knees: nothing bare except for your bottom and thighs.
`Now, I am really not looking forward to watching this-- as I sense that you are feeling exceptionally masochistic about it-- but I think I should; and at least when it is over it will be over for good. `
I had several hours to wait. I opened an old anthology of poetry to Coleridge's `Christabel' and I read that peculiar, melancholy tale with a kind of gloomy pleasure. After a while I decided to bathe and change into my pyjamas early.
I hesitated for a time over whether to braid my hair or leave it hanging down. If I didn't braid I got terrible tangles; but it was also on my mind that I would look more attractive with my long blonde curls tumbling all over the place; and I did want to look attractive for Pavel and Mrs. Martin. Bad enough that I had to wear pyjamas instead of a nightdress. I hated being spanked in pyjamas, it felt so sexless, like a young boy in boarding school having to bend over his bed and push his pyjama trousers down for the slipper.
I got into bed and read some more Coleridge. I felt hungry and wondered whether anyone would bring some food. And after a while Pavel did come in, acting as distant as he had earlier, and give me a bowl of some funny kind of soup laced with Madeira. Punishment food? It was odd. After I ate it I had a perverse desire to masturbate, but I resisted because recent sexual gratification makes a painful beating so much more difficult to take.
I heard voices downstairs and far off, and I supposed Mrs. Martin had arrived. She and Pavel came up and opened my door, but stood just outside it, talking about me, which I found disconcerting. `At least two dozen strokes.. don't worry if she cries as she certainly will... `
I stood up to shake Mrs. Martin's hand, and she said, `Do you want to go to the lavatory? I think you'd better.' It was rather chilling: Pavel never said anything like this. She turned away and began smoothing the bedclothes back up.
When I came back out she had opened her case-- her usual slim briefcase. Inside was the leather whip, folded but not coiled-- it was not that long-- and a number of men's silk neckties, knotted at intervals.
I had never been tied before and I looked incredulously at Pavel but he said nothing.
`Lie face down on the bed, lengthwise,' said Mrs. Martin. `No, no pillow. Flat out.' I lay down and bared my thighs and buttocks hurriedly, so that she would not decide to do it. `Reach your hands out,' she said, `and hold the bed frame.' It was a brass bed, with bars I had sometimes in the past gripped while being spanked or fucked. Mrs. Martin took a couple of the silk ties and wrapped them around my wrists. `I'm not going to tie you tightly, you see; you could even slip your hands out if you really tired. This is just to help you keep still. The same with your ankles now.' She tied my feet so that my legs were apart, but only slightly so.
This was different from any of my usual positions. Generally I was beaten with my body bent over. Sometimes my legs and buttocks were also separated; in any case the effect was that the hand, or strap, or birch rod not only punished the surface of my bottom but also stimulated the inside: not usually painfully but sometimes enough to cause numbness. This experience was much different.
Mrs. Martin did not ask if I was ready, or anything like that. She just started lashing my bottom: first my lower bottom, then my upper thighs, then back up over my bottom. At first I tired to hold my lower bottom up to encourage the whip falling there, but as it becamse increasingly sore I stopped that.
I was crying-- blubbing really, after about ten strokes; and there must have been at least three dozen. I was tied lossely enough so that I could indeed wriggle and thrash about a little; but I found that I was, as Mrs. Martin suggested, grateful that the restraints kept me from turning over or rolling up into a ball. This was so much worse than a birching, I couldn't believe it. The whip cut into my bottom so cruelly that if felt like it was piercing the skin, and not just superficially like the birch, but so that blood was welling up all along the cuts. (In fact, when I looked in the mirror later I did not have the knifelike wounds I expected, but my behind was a mass of bright red welts.)
I have often cried and sobbed a little during spanking; but this time I made the most embarrassing racket. Along with shrieks and sobs I kept yelling things like `Oh! My bottom! My legs my bottom! It hurts!' When Mrs. Martin finished and put down the whip-- she seemed to have been counting although I had lost track early on-- I was weeping silently and convulsively, lying on a coverlet that was now damp with my sweat.
Mrs. Martin untied me, legs first. Instantly my body rolled up and I lay on my side; my hands. once freed went down to clutch my bottom. Suddenly Pavel moved to the side of the bed and in a spontaneous angry gesture turned me back over and slapped me hard with his had, once, twice, three times across my lacerated rear end. It was the first time, as an adult, that while being spanked I have felt exactly as I did when my father used to turn me over in bed and whack me.
Pavel and Mrs. Martin left the room without saying anything to me. I took my pyjama bottoms entirely off-- it would have hurt to much to pull them back on-- and drew my stiff legs up under the covers. Despite the unusual degree of pain I felt some of the sexual stirrings which usually follow a beating by Pavel. But they disturbed me, and I tried to ignore them; because what ran through my mind was the moment when Pavel ran over to the bed and administered those three sharp and strangely humiliating spanks with his bare hand on my bare bottom. Eventually I did sleep; after all I had not slept the night before.
In the morning, I was awakened by Pavel's arrival. He kissed me and stroked my hair; and although he said nothing it was clear that my punishment was over.