A former co-worker enters into a strange agreement
By Julie Baker
My name is Yan Deng. I am 26 years old and I live in London. My routes are Chinese-American, but I now feel very comfortable living in the UK. My parents run two restaurants in Lower Manhattan, New York, and I lived with them in a lovely apartment in the Lower Eastside until I was 18. I have two older brothers and we were all educated in the standard local schools. As a family we were not rich but my brothers and I were well looked after and we were a happy, supportive unit. My brothers used to tease me that not only was I blessed with good looks but I also got more than my fair share of the family brains! I suppose I have the classic Asian look; black hair, darker skin tone and, relative to most Americans, a small frame. I am slim and have always felt comfortable about my appearance.
I would have to say that I was one of the smartest at my school. The academic side came easily and I was generally the top student in my year group throughout my school career. I was particularly good with numbers and my parents recognised early on that it would be a waste of my talents to channel me into the family business. I was majoring in Economics towards the end of my time at school and realised that I had important decisions to make about University. My mother’s parents live in London and I was keen on the idea of spending three years in the UK studying for my degree. I managed to get sponsorship from the Bank of America in New York to study abroad and then got offered a place at The London School of Economics to do a degree in Accounts and Finance. I was just 18 when I left New York to stay with my grandparents in Putney, south west London.
I loved London from the first day that I spent there. Student life was brilliant, people were friendly, London famously never stops and I fell in love with the English countryside when I could escape the city. I made loads of friends for life during those years and I thrived academically, graduating with a first. The Bank of America initially wanted me to return to New York but I managed to persuade them to give me a post in their London office. I had agreed to work for them for three years after graduation in exchange for their sponsorship but how enforceable that would have been, I really don’t know. The idea was that I would work in their backroom functions initially with the possibility of joining their bond trading team if all went well.
Initially it did go well. I moved out of my grandparents spare room and got myself a flat in Tooting. I loved my new found freedom and the job at the bank was going well, although I found the culture there was a bit difficult to cope with on occasions. Finally, I was given a trial on the trading team. My basic salary was increased substantially and I could almost double that if my performance was as expected. Sensibly, and fortunately, I stuck in my little flat in Tooting, although there was no doubt that I could have afforded much better at that time. Then the wheels started to come off at work. I made some good friends but equally not everyone liked my style and in particular I found my immediate boss difficult to get along with. I made the odd mistake, which is inevitable in trading, and I didn’t get the support that I expected. On occasions, I felt very lonely. I was managing, but increasingly I began to realise that corporate banking was maybe not for me. I needed a radical rethink.
I have always paid a lot of attention to my physical appearance. I work out regularly in the gym to keep my body toned, I love good quality clothes and I never go out of the house without spending at least half an hour on my makeup. Yes, I’m lucky to have been born with a degree of natural beauty, but I still think it is my duty to myself to make the most of what I have been given. At this crossroads in my young life I therefore wondered about the possibility of switching professions out of banking and into the beauty industry. I recognised the financial rewards would not be as great, but suddenly I was more focused on the quality of my life rather than the pursuit of money. After much investigation, I enrolled in a crash course in hairdressing.
I know this sounds like a huge shift. It was. The college offered to get me fully trained within 9 months through evening classes 4 nights a week and working for a full day in a salon every Saturday. The 9 months would take me through until the end of my 3 year stint at the Bank and I could afford the college fees as I was still on my bank salary. London is a big place and I managed to complete the course without anyone at the office being aware of what I was up to. I was on 3 months’ notice and I timed my resignation so that my bank job and training finished in the same week. I walked out of the bank on a Friday and started my new business as an upmarket mobile hairdressing service on the following Monday.
Inevitably it was a bit slow to begin with, but I was amazed at how quickly I managed to build up my client base. I had a wide circle of friends from my university days and through the bank, plus I advertised on all the normal social media outlets. I managed to save money during that last year at the bank which enabled be to buy all the equipment needed to run my new business with some left over. My savings were certainly eroding slowly in those early days, but I convinced myself that once I got established that I would be working full time and would be able to increase my fees. My objective was nothing more than to be able to stay in my modest flat in Tooting, earn enough money to pay the bills and have a bit left over for socialising with my friends. I had no aspirations to be going on expensive holidays or eating in the best restaurants.
One of my earliest and best clients was John from the bank. He was a bond trader in his early 40s and he and I had always hit it off. He was one of the few people there who really understood what I was doing. Most thought I was crazy to be giving up on such a great opportunity. As soon as he knew of my plans he asked if he could become my first customer. Of course I was delighted. I knew that he worked incredibly long hours during the week and he asked me if I could go to his house every first Friday of the month at 9.00 pm to wash, cut, colour and blow-dry his hair. This wasn’t great timing for me, but I could see that he didn’t want to waste time during the weekdays getting his hair fixed and that Friday evenings was one time when markets were generally quiet. I quoted him £140 per visit all in and he accepted.
I used to look forward to those visits. We would set up in his bathroom, which was quite spacious, very nicely appointed and the walls which weren’t occupied by the bath, sink and shower were covered in full length mirrors. We had some great conversations about all sorts of things and I almost always came away from his house feeling better than when I arrived. He was funny, as well as being good looking, and would take any chance to gently tease me about something that I either said or did. There was just one time when my visit didn’t go well. I was 20 minutes late and he wasn’t happy. Admittedly, he caught me by surprise, because I didn’t expect this to be a problem, but I had seriously misjudged the situation. In no uncertain terms he told me that if I was ever more than 10 minutes late in future that our arrangement would be terminated. I got it.
After a year, the financial side of my business wasn’t getting any better. Despite all of my efforts to increase my revenues, my savings were continuing to dwindle. I was faced with the prospect of having to move to a cheaper flat, maybe even doing a house share, or cutting my losses and going back to work in the family business in New York. None of these were attractive. I was having this conversation with John during one of my Friday evening appointments.
“You need another income stream, Yan,” he advised. “You are asking your clients to pay more, but you have competition and you are not offering them anything extra for the higher fee.”
“Well, great theory, John,” I retorted. “But it’s a bit difficult to see what I could do differently, given that I’m now a simple hairdresser.”
“Fair point,” he said, and then there was a period of silence. It felt a bit awkward, given that we both knew he had an endless supply of money and the few pounds that I was short of would be of little consequence to him. However, between friends this is the way it has to be. Gifts, or even worse loans, are a sure fire way of ending a friendship. Eventually John spoke.
“I’ll tell you what you could do for me.” When he continued to speak he had a bit of a chuckle in his voice, a bit like when he was teasing me, but I could tell that what he was saying was half serious or maybe half not. I think he was giving me the opportunity to decide which way so that I was controlling the outcome.
“When you fix my hair on these visits you could do it either topless or bottomless. Your choice. If you do this, I will double your fee. You are a very attractive girl, Yan, and there is no doubt that seeing a bit more of you would brighten up my Friday evenings. No touching, and nothing beyond seeing a bit more of your beautiful body. Have a think about it and if it’s not your bag then we can forget about it.”
Well, that gave me something to think about on the bus home. Nudity and showing off my body were not an issue. I know my body looks good. During adulthood, I have had a policy of being clean shaven from my neck downwards. No body hair. Nothing. Not anywhere! Also, getting an extra £140 was a clear win given that I wasn’t being asked to spend any more time on the appointments. The problem was that I had never been paid before for providing this type of service. I had friends at university who used to work as escort girls, and said that it was easy money, but I had never wanted to go down that route. I couldn’t help wondering whether this would be the start of ceasing to be a hairdresser and starting to become a sex worker. However, I respected John for saying that it was my choice, and I could certainly use the money.
If I’m honest, I hadn’t fully made up my mind on what to do when I turned up at his house the following month. John greeted me at the front door as usual and was just his normal self. No questions asked and we went upstairs to his bathroom. It was normal for me to make use of his loo next to the bathroom before we started and, as I sat in that small room, I knew that this was decision time. My standard dress for appointments was a short cropped white T-shirt, skin-tight light blue Levi jeans and trainers. With a sudden impulse I knew what I was going to do. I kicked off my trainers and, instead of pulling up my panties and jeans, I eased them over my feet, leaving myself naked from my navel downwards.
I walked back into the bathroom. John was sitting on his normal chair facing away from me, but he was able to see everything that was happening behind him in the mirror.
“Good girl,” was all he said, in a low voice that was barely audible.
I busied myself as normal and soon forgot that I was operating semi-naked. It wasn’t long before we picked up on our normal types of conversation, but I could tell that John was following my every move. By the nature of what I was doing I was sometimes quite close to him and every time I turned to get supplies from my case I knew that he would be getting a full view of my bare legs and bottom in the mirror. When I finished I went back to his loo, put on my clothes and then returned to the bathroom to say goodbye and retrieve my equipment. He handed me £280 and said that he would look forward to seeing me the following month.
Actually I felt fine about what had happened. He seemed happy and I knew that I hadn’t taken money for any physical access to my body. This situation carried on for a few months. Sometimes I would go topless, but I sensed that John particularly liked it when I went the other way and he could feast his eyes on my bottom. It was a few months before John raised the topic of our unusual arrangement.
“Are you sure you are OK, Yan, with doing my hair half undressed?” he ventured.
“Sure, John,” I replied. “You obviously like it. I’m quite relaxed about doing it, and the extra money is a definite help. Please tell me if you aren’t happy. We can always revert to our previous arrangement if you want. No problem to me.”
“No, I love your visits and wouldn’t have it any other way. There is one thing that’s troubling me though,” he continued. “Do you remember the time that you were late?”
I nodded, not knowing where this was heading.
“I think that I was a bit unfair with what I said to you. Yes, I hate it when anyone isn’t punctual, but you are travelling all over London and I suppose there could be odd times when you are late through no fault of yours. The trouble is, I have no way of knowing whether you are late because of your poor organisational skills or for some other reason. Therefore I was thinking, if you are late again I will give you a choice. You can either leave and not come back, as previously discussed, or I could cane you. If you opted for the latter I would suggest two strokes of the cane on your bare bottom plus an extra one for each 10 minutes that you are late.”
There was a then stunned silence. I didn’t know what to say. John must have read my mind.
“You don’t need to say anything, Yan. In a way, nothing has changed. I’m simply giving you a way of not being fired if you are late again, but you don’t have to decide anything now. Maybe you will never be late again.”
This turn of events really set my mind racing on the bus back to Tooting. For me, this did feel like a red line that couldn’t be crossed. John wasn’t really proposing to pay me for having my bottom spanked, but it felt like it wasn’t far off it. This certainly had the ‘sex worker’ feel to it and I was pretty confident that I couldn’t accept this man caning my bottom under any circumstances. He was right that I still had the option of walking away and I resolved, as a way out of this dilemma, to make sure that I was never going to be more than 10 minutes late for one of his appointments. This seemed to be a simple way out and maybe this was just his way of emphasising that I needed to be on time.
This conversation did result in me turning over in my mind what John’s motives might have been in introducing this new aspect into our relationship. I’m not naive. I realised that John would be getting some sort of kick out of discussing corporal punishment with me and fantasising about the prospect of applying a cane to my bottom. I’ve had several lovely boyfriends over the years, but none of them, to the best of my knowledge, had been into the world of spanking. My parents had never physically chastised us as children and by the time I went to school the paddle had been banned. I’d simply never experienced it so didn’t know how I would react. Instinctively I was wary. At the very least it would be painful and that seemed to be a good reason to avoid it if at all possible.
The following months passed by without any further developments of note. I was just about keeping my head above water financially and, whilst I was unable to add to my savings, at least they weren’t now going down. I was surviving, but I would have to say that I was missing the comfort of the monthly salary payments from the bank and I was starting to wonder about my long term plans for the future. This time last year, we were all at the start of a new decade which seemed to be a good point in time for a reassessment of my life. As it happened February 2020 then turned out to be a big and important month for me and, as often happens, events turn out to be capable of unleashing much stronger forces than your own planning can achieve.
The first Friday in February 2020 was at the end of the first working week of the month. The week had started cold and wet in London but by Friday morning there were a few snow flurries in the air. Fridays have always been my busiest day, as clients want to look at their best for the weekend’s activities. However, I have always built in a couple of free hours at around tea time so that I could get something to eat but, more importantly, so that there was no danger of me arriving late at John’s house.
My last appointment that day was at Stratford, on the other side of the city, but I knew that I should be finished there no later than 5.00 pm. Actually, the buses were running late that day because of the snow, so it was after 6.00 when I left. Seemingly still plenty of time, but you can probably see where this one is heading. I had to get back to Tooting to pick up the right kit for John, but I didn’t get home until 7.15. Still plenty of time. I left my flat after a quick bite to eat and headed down to Tooting Broadway to catch the Northern Line train to Primrose Hill; journey time 51 minutes. When I got there, the barricades were up as there were no trains due to an electrical fault. By now it was just before 8.00, not a taxi in sight, and my only option was the number 88 bus that takes just over an hour for that journey.
No way was I going to make it to John’s house by 9.00. As I waited for the bus, I sent a text to John explaining what had happened and that I was going to be slightly late. He then replied saying that I didn’t have to come over if I didn’t want to, and I replied saying that I was fine to make the journey if it was still OK with him.
My spirits lifted when he replied with a cheery, “No problem. See you when you get here.”
The bus was slower than normal as the snow was now starting to settle, and when I eventually rang the bell at John’s house it was 10 to 10. A full 50 minutes late.
From then onwards, it was just like any other appointment at John’s house. I decided to reward him for being so understanding by going bottomless. He seemed to be in a particularly good mood and by 11.00 o’clock we were all done. I expected to get my £280 and that I would be heading home within a few minutes. There was a momentary pause.
“OK, Yan,” he then said. “Where do you want to go for your caning?”
I was flabbergasted. I hadn’t seen that one coming.
“Sorry, John, what do you mean?” I managed to get out. I knew that I had gone bright red with embarrassment.
“Well, Yan, we have an arrangement to cover the eventuality of you being late. In our text exchange you turned down the opportunity of not coming, therefore you have, in effect, agreed to take a caning rather than lose me as a customer. Which bit of this am I getting wrong?”
He was staying quite calm and I could suddenly see how this was logically playing out in his own mind.
“Oh John, please can we sort this out some other way? Please. I couldn’t help the snow and the train cancellation, and I just thought that you would let me off under the circumstances. I’ve never been punished in this way before and, if I’m honest, I’m a little bit scared. I know that was the deal and I suppose I’ll have to go through with it if there is no other way. Maybe if I don’t take any money from you today, would that be enough for you to have made your point?”
In reality I knew the £280 was nothing to him. I think he did take a degree of pity on me as he could hear that my voice was trembling and that I was at a significant psychological disadvantage, given that I was semi-naked. But not enough to change his mind.
“There is no other way, Yan. It’s now a matter of honour for both of us to stick to the agreement made. However, I suggest you come through to my sitting room where it is warmer and I’ll get you a glass of wine to settle your nerves. It will quickly be over and I’ll not be too severe on you. This is about teaching you a lesson, not hurting you unnecessarily. Fifty minutes late earns you 5 strokes of the cane, plus the 2 basic ones, gives a total of 7 to receive. I’ll then be giving you your £280 and you can scoot off home.”
So this is what we did. I didn’t bother putting on my jeans and panties, so I sat on his nice leather Chesterfield sofa, feeling my bare bottom against the cool leather, and he sat in an armchair while we chatted and both downed a rather nice glass of his Chablis.
“I’ll go and get the cane,” he eventually said.
In a few moments, he returned with a traditional looking cane that was about a meter in length, had a crook handle, and looked like it was made from some sort of bamboo. It was thinner than I expected.
“Can I have a look at it, John?” I asked.
He handed it to me and I could feel my heart starting to race. I gave it a couple of gentle taps on my hand. Even they stung. I decided to take some measure of control as the best way through the next few minutes.
“OK John,” I said, looking at him straight in the eye. “Give me 7 strokes of the cane and I’ll leave you to judge how hard they are. Whatever you give me, I’ll take. Is it OK if I bend over the back of your sofa?”
“Yes, whatever is most comfortable for you, Yan.”
I walked round to the back of the sofa and positioned my feet together so that my toes were just touching the lower valance. Without being instructed, I then rested my hips on the top of the back of the sofa and slowly lowered myself forward until my elbows rested on the cushions below. My bottom was offered up, totally bare, and perfectly positioned for John to apply the cane.
“I’m ready,” I said.
I could then feel the cane resting on my smooth, soft skin. John gave a couple of gentle taps.
“Number1 coming up,” he said.
I heard the swish of the cane before it landed on my bottom. I could feel the impact before the surging pain then exploded inside me. As the caning progressed the sound of the cane, the impact and the pain all merged into one. John counted each one and the build-up of fire in my bottom was unbelievable. I was barely hanging on. By the second half, I was quietly crying out after each stroke, despite my plan of remaining silent while the caning was in progress. I also could feel warm, salty tears running down my face. It was the most intense combination of anguish and exhilaration that I had ever experienced.
“That’s your 7, Yan. You can get up now.”
When I turned to face him, I could see that he, too, was a bit upset that he had maybe treated me too harshly. He gave me a short embrace and told me to go and get dressed. I had a quick look at my bottom in the cloakroom mirror. I could count the seven red stripes marching up and down my little bottom. Even I could see that I had received a very skilful caning. He had made full use of the space available, but none of the seven strokes was even close to overlapping with one of the others. I was soon back in the sitting room and John handed me my £280. It was a quarter to midnight.
“Have you looked out the window, Yan?” John asked.
I hadn’t, but when I did I could see there was a full-on blizzard going on outside.
“I’ve checked on the transport website,” he said. “There are no buses running tonight and there’s a reduced service on the underground. It mentioned the problems on the Northern line and said they hoped to get it back in service by midnight. I tried for a taxi, but there are none available now, and the best I could get was a possible one at 1.00 am.”
“Oh, don’t worry, John. I’ll go to the tube station and take my chance. I’d back myself to get home somehow.”
“Or you could stay here, Yan. That would be fine with me,” he offered.
So that is what I did.
And I’ve lived in John’s house ever since.
It is now nearly a year since that first Friday in February 2020. I have continued to work as normal, apart from during the various lockdowns, and last spring I gave up my flat in Tooting to move in with John permanently. I’m currently unable to work because of the latest restrictions, but John is doing a combination of office and home working so we are getting to see a bit more of each other than before. I am so happy and John seems delighted with the way it has worked out. Also, being with John has solved my financial situation.
It turns out that my relationship with the cane is quite complex. I’m with a straight-forward dominant male who finds the punishment of a girl’s bare bottom to be his number one erotic turn on. As I’ve said before, I came into this current relationship with no previous experience or preconceived ideas. I was a blank canvas. What I have discovered is that, despite being a strong, independent woman, I do have a submissive side to me. I am not a masochist and I don’t allow myself to be caned because I like the pain. That isn’t where I am. But what I do love is the feeling of not being in control, even though, in reality, it’s my choice. When I’m told that I deserve to be caned, and to get myself ready, my senses are all suddenly on high alert. I get butterflies in my tummy when I offer up my bottom for punishment and afterwards I am absolutely buzzing and ready for whatever might follow.
© Julie Baker 2021
Julie welcomes contact from her readers. Email at: email@example.com or Julie’s Twitter address is: @JulieBaker_cane