A student discovers how education has changed over the last fifty years.

By Steven Wilson

“Yes, that’s a promising start, Abigail, but I think you need to bring a bit of focus to your writing, otherwise it is in danger of meandering all over the place without coming to any real conclusion. Might I suggest that you consider, let’s say, two significant differences, and concentrate on those and develop them to their full potential. I think you would then have a more thought-provoking and interesting piece of work.”

I breathed a sigh of relief; the comment could have been worse, at least he thought what I’d written so far was promising if not going in exactly the right direction, but I could work on that. The ‘he’ I was referring to was my tutor, Mr Jenkins, or David as he preferred to be called by his students, as he was not one for formalities.

My name is Abigail Stevens and I am an undergraduate at Durham University where I am studying for a degree in history. I am fortunate to come from a rather privileged middle-class background and attended a private school for girls which provided me with a good education and was beneficial in helping me gain entry to the University of my choice, namely Durham. Despite these advantages I consider myself to be a typical, normal, down-to-earth teenager, although that will not be for much longer as in six weeks time I will be celebrating my twentieth birthday. I am of average height, slim, with light brown hair that extends down over my shoulders. I am considered attractive and don’t seem to have much difficulty in attracting the attentions of the male students in my year, although at present I do not have a boyfriend. I recently came out of a relationship with a boy I had met just over a year ago and have decided I need a little time to myself before getting involved intimately with anyone again.

I am currently on the second year of my degree and as part of that am required to submit a thesis on a topic of my choice within the overall syllabus. I have an interest in social history and decided that I would contrast education in schools half a century ago to the present day. It was only after I started on my thesis that I realised how wide ranging my chosen subject was, and being honest, I was struggling to put any structure to it.

This afternoon was the first opportunity for my tutor David to see how far I had progressed and I had been dreading his reaction to my musings so far.

“I have a suggestion for you. I am still in touch with one of my old teachers, a nice old fellow called Henry Thomas, or Mr Thomas as he always was to me. He’s in his late seventies now but still bright as a button mentally and lives locally too. He could perhaps help you with your thesis as he was involved in education for all of his adult life until he retired, which covers much of the period you are looking at. If you’d like me to, I could see if I could arrange a meeting for the two of you if he were willing.

“Yes please, that could be most useful, if you could.”

“Excellent, I’ll see what I can do then.”

A couple of days later David caught me in the corridor and gave me the news that Mr Thomas would be delighted to have the company of an intelligent young lady for the afternoon and to help me in any way he could with my thesis, and so it was arranged for me to visit him at his home the following Wednesday.

The journey by train from the halls of residence didn’t take long, being just a few stops, and the directions I’d been given to find his house were straightforward and only entailed a walk of around five minutes. As I approached the top of his road, I couldn’t say that I was enthralled at the prospect of spending the next couple of hours talking with a pensioner, but it was all arranged now, and if he could give me any help with my thesis I would be grateful.

The houses on the road were all from the Victorian era, either detached or large semi-detached properties, and it appeared to be a fairly desirable neighbourhood. Mr Thomas’s house was number twenty-seven and I found it without any difficulty, walked up the path, and rang the bell. The door was opened almost immediately and the person standing in the doorway took me a little by surprise. I had been expecting somebody old, walking and moving slowly, perhaps with the help of a walking stick or some other aid. Instead, Mr Thomas, although obviously of a certain age, was quite fit and trim looking, with a thick head of silver-grey hair and dressed in jeans and a casual shirt with the cuffs rolled back. You could certainly knock several years off the age I’d been told he was.

“Mr Thomas?”

“Yes, that’s me,” he smiled. “And you must be Abigail; do come in. Oh, and no more Mr Thomas, I’m Henry to everyone I know. Let me take your coat.”

I slipped my jacket off and handed it to him.

“Go into the lounge there,” he said, indicating a door to my right. “Would you like a coffee or a tea before we get started?”

“A coffee would be great.”

I went into the lounge; it was a large room and I suppose, being typical of Victorian houses, a little dark and gloomy. The furniture, however, was all quite modern by comparison. There was a large flat screen television in one corner, two small settees and a couple of easy chairs, a coffee table and a couple more smaller tables with lamps on them. One wall was dominated by a large fireplace, but with the weather being quite warm at this time of year the fire wasn’t lit. On the other walls there were numerous photos and pictures which I went across to look at.

“My younger self in most of those.”

I turned around and Mr Thomas, or Henry, had come in and was putting a tray with two steaming mugs of coffee on it down on the coffee table.

“Shall we sit here?” he said pointing to the two easy chairs which he moved closer together.

I nodded and sat down and picked up my coffee. Over the next twenty minutes or so, Henry gave me a brief outline of his time in education. He had left university and taken up a position as a junior teacher at a boys secondary school before moving to a private school for boys where he had become head of history and, latterly, Deputy Headmaster, before retiring. It was at this school that David, my tutor at university, had at one time been a pupil of his and he had kept in touch with him and followed his career ever since.

“Yes, I could tell you a few stories about David, but not for now. It would take up too much time.” He laughed.

Henry was indeed in his late seventies but, as in my first impression of him, didn’t look or act his age. He was engaging to listen to, and as David had initially told me, still bright as a button and with a good sense of humour too.

“So what is this thesis that I may be able to help you with?”

“I’ve actually brought it with me, at least what I’ve done so far. If you’d like to read it, you can let me know what you think.”

I reached into my bag and pulled out the sheets of paper and handed them to him.

“It’s just rough ideas at the moment, nothing final at all.”

We sat in silence as Henry quickly read through what I’d written before he put it down on the coffee table and sat back again.

“So what does David think of it?”

“He said it was a promising start but that I needed to find a point of focus. He suggested that I should decide on two significant differences and concentrate on those.”

“That’s good advice, and have you decided on what those should be?”

“No, that’s the problem. There are so many things I could write about I can’t decide what’s really important.

I could tell that Henry was thinking hard about something as he sat, hands clasped together as if in prayer, with fingers touching his lips. Eventually he lowered them and spoke.

“Technology and discipline.”

“Technology and discipline?” I repeated.

“Yes, I think they are the two areas that have changed the most over my time as a teacher. They are certainly two topics you could get your teeth into. If you think about technology, when I started teaching there were no computers, laptops, or mobile phones, and the internet hadn’t even been thought about, never mind exist. Come to think of it, we didn’t even have calculators in those days. They were a revelation when they appeared, although I think people’s ability to perform mental arithmetic has suffered as a result.”

“That’s a good suggestion. I can’t imagine being without my mobile or the internet; it seems primitive.”

“We all manged quite well without them, believe me. People are too obsessed with them these days, but I’m as guilty as the next person as I’d be lost without my phone and the internet too.” Henry laughed.

“I can see technology being a good topic to concentrate on but what exactly do you mean by ‘discipline’?”

“I think discipline, or the lack of it in schools these days, has been perhaps the most fundamental change since I first became a teacher, or even since I retired. It gets me very annoyed, and is a sad reflection on society these days, when I read about teachers getting ignored, sworn at, or in the worst cases threatened and assaulted by pupils in some schools. Fifty years ago, no boy or girl would have dreamed of doing such things as they wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a week by the time they’d been dealt with. It all started when corporal punishment began to be phased out in schools. Nowadays, teachers have no deterrent or authority as there is nothing that youngsters have to fear anymore. Detention or essays do not have the same effect as a swiftly administered slippering or caning. I’m sorry, I can get a little too carried away once I get going on this topic, but it’s a real irritation to me.”

“I hadn’t really thought about discipline, but I suppose things are quite different in schools these days, aren’t they? I couldn’t imagine anyone getting hit or physically punished with anything today.”

“And more’s the pity.” Henry sighed. “Sorry again, that probably didn’t come out as I intended it to. I’m not in favour of thrashing boys and girls for the sake of it. Corporal punishment didn’t have to be administered severely to be effective, often just the threat of it was enough to ensure good behaviour and respect for teachers.”

“What sort of punishments were used in the past then?”

“Most schools used the slipper and cane. It was called the slipper, but usually it was a well worn plimsoll with a rubber sole that could impart a good sting to an upturned bottom. Canes were made of rattan and would vary in thickness with junior canes being thinner and senior canes thicker. Some schools used leather straps, and the tawse was particularly popular up in Scotland, but I never encountered one of those.”

“Did girls get punished the same as the boys?”

“I believe so. I only ever attended and taught at boys schools, but from what I was aware of girls were slippered and caned just the same. Indeed some girls schools that were run by nuns had a reputation for being very severe in their punishments. There was a tendency in some schools to cane girls on the hands rather than the bottom, possibly in the belief that it was more dignified, but that’s a practice I never saw the sense in.”

“Did you ever punish anyone?”

“Good Lord, yes. As Deputy Head at my last school it was my responsibility along with the Headmaster to administer corporal punishment. I couldn’t begin to think how many boys I slippered, or caned come to that, it was just part of the job description. I didn’t get any enjoyment from it, and often wished it wasn’t necessary to have to do it, but it was a task that had to be done when required, so you just got on with it.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, were you ever slippered or caned when you were at school?”

“No, I don’t mind at all, and yes, I was. I got the slipper quite a few times and the cane on three occasions, if I remember correctly. I wasn’t particularly badly behaved, no more than any other boy, it was just the accepted form of punishment in those days. Rarely did a boy ever go through school without getting his bottom warmed on at least one occasion.”

“Did it hurt a lot?”

“Of course it hurt, that was the point of it, to make the boy not wish to repeat the experience, but you lived. The effects of the cane lasted a lot longer than the slipper, the sting soon went after a slippering but you could be sore for a couple of days after a caning and the marks take several days more to disappear. We accepted it, though. If you did wrong, you got punished, and nobody thought otherwise. I think the majority of us would have preferred a slippering, which was over and done with quickly, to having to spend an hour in detention or write out an essay or lines.”

Henry continued elaborating on the effects of corporal punishment, giving examples of his own punishments and some he’d handed out to others, until I glanced at my watch and saw that I’d been talking with him for far longer than I’d intended and didn’t want to overstay my welcome.

“I’ve just seen the time and I think I should be going. I didn’t realise I’d been here so long. It’s been really interesting listening to you and you’ve given me some good ideas to think about, thanks.”

“My pleasure; I’m pleased I haven’t bored you or rambled on too much. If you’d like to visit again the same time next week I’d be more than happy to see you. I don’t often get visits from attractive young girls, if I’m allowed to say that sort of thing these days.” he laughed.

“Yes, I’d like to come again. It’s been really helpful this afternoon.”

“Good, well, I’ll see you same time next Wednesday then, and perhaps you could tell me a little about yourself next time, stop me doing all the talking.”

I followed him out of the lounge and put my jacket on as he opened the front door for me. Just as I was about to step through he spoke again.

“I’ve just remembered. I think I’ve actually got an old school cane shoved away somewhere. Silly of me I know, but when I retired and was clearing out my study I came across my canes in a cupboard, they hadn’t had any use for a few years ever since caning was abolished, but I remember bringing one home as a kind of souvenir, I suppose. I think it’s in the loft. If you’d like to see it, I’ll try and find it before you visit next week.”

“Yes, I would, I’ve never seen an actual cane other than in a drawing.”

“Fine, I’ll see if I can find it then.”

As I sat on the train home I thought about my visit. I’d enjoyed it far more than I imagined I would have done beforehand. I liked Henry Thomas, he was not what I had been expecting, and his stories and recollections had been interesting and entertaining to listen to. More than that, he had given me guidance on what I should be concentrating on for my thesis; Technology and Discipline. Technology was an obvious subject now it had been pointed out to me, but I would never have thought of discipline on my own.

Discipline and corporal punishment had never really entered my mind until now, but as I listened to Henry I could see that it was indeed a fundamental change in schools over the last fifty years and had made a real difference to how teachers and pupils interacted with one another. That would be the second topic I would concentrate on, and I felt an excitement at the thought of delving into something that was new to me. I also felt relief that I had at last decided on the main subjects of my thesis.

The following Wednesday, I set off with a sense of anticipation rather than the slight dread that had accompanied me the previous week. The journey was once again without incident and I was soon standing in Henry’s lounge contemplating some of his pictures while he was making coffee. This time over coffee it was my turn to talk as I told him about my education to date, my degree course, and my hopes and ambitions for the future.

“I could listen to you all day, Abigail, but it’s not really helping you with your thesis, is it? There’s something I need to get for you, that item I promised you I’d look for last week.”

With that, he got up and left the room. My mind went back to last week, the conversation we’d had as I’d been about to leave, and a surge of excitement went through me. He must have found it, the school cane. A minute or two later he returned and I saw he had two items with him. In his left hand he held what looked like a battered old shoe that had perhaps once been white but was now looking much the worse for wear. In his right hand, he held the cane.

“I was right about the cane being in the loft. I found it without too much bother, and not only that, alongside it was my old plimsoll that has warmed many a boy’s bottom. I had no idea I’d brought that home with me too.”

He placed the plimsoll on the coffee table, and then, taking hold of the cane with both hands, he flexed it into an arc shape before releasing it and swishing it through the air several times. I cannot explain why, but the sound of the cane whistling through the air had a profound effect on me. I felt a mixture of fear and a kind of excitement, and I was aware that the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end and my heartbeat quickening. Perhaps it was my subconsciousness imaging the object being wielded in front of me making contact with somebody’s bottom in anger, but the affect it had on me took me by surprise.

“It hasn’t lost any of its flexibility with age. It would still be capable of giving a good caning to anyone who deserved it.” Henry laughed.

He put it down on the table alongside the plimsoll.

“Pick it up and have a go for yourself. It’s my old senior cane, capable of giving a meaningful sting and a good set of stripes to those on the receiving end.”

Nervously, and trying to hide the slight tremble in my hand, I reached out and picked it up. The cane was somewhere between two and a half feet and three feet in length and about the thickness of my little finger, with the traditional crook shape at one end. It was lighter than I had anticipated and, as I grasped it between my two hands, I found I could flex it fairly easily. I swished it through the air, although not with the same authority that Henry had done so, and once again there was that sound, frightening yet exciting at the same time. I quickly placed it back down on the coffee table again.

Henry had now picked up the plimsoll and holding it in his right hand was tapping its sole purposefully against his left hand.

“I wonder how many bottoms I used this on,” he mused.

The change in attention away from the cane caused me to return to my senses and my nerves relaxed as I began to feel my normal self again. I was pleased to change the subject of the conversation.

“How did you slipper boys? Did you make them bend over?”

“Touching toes, that was always the position for the plimsoll. I think there’s something about being told to bend over and touch your toes that is an essential part of a slippering, and of course the fact that it presents the bottom in an ideal position for punishment. I would normally slipper a boy over his underpants with trousers down, although there were exceptions. On occasions I would make senior boys, or those that were frequent visitors to my study, take their underpants down too and slipper them on the bare bottom just to get the message across. The cane was different, that was always given on the bare bottom with trousers and underpants removed completely. It was more so I could see where the strokes were landing than for any other reason. I used to pride myself on being able to deliver a well spaced out set of stripes. The recipient would also be bent over a chair rather than touching toes to give them something to hold on to and brace themselves.”

He placed the plimsoll back down on the table and sat down again.

“What does it feel like to get the slipper or cane?” I asked rather naively.

“Ah, a good question and one that is not easy to answer. For a start, it depends on how hard the punishment is administered, and secondly the number of strokes. If you imagine that cane being tapped lightly against your bottom it wouldn’t hurt at all, but one forceful stroke could have you in real discomfort. As for number of strokes, the more strokes given the more painful the punishment. Usually it would be the traditional six of the best, but sometimes I would only give three or four strokes if it was a boy’s first time, or in more exceptional circumstances something between six and a maximum of twelve strokes for very serious offences. As for what it actually feels like, have you ever been spanked?”

The question took me somewhat by surprise.

“Err, no, I’ve never been spanked.”

“Hmm a pity, it makes it difficult to say anything to you that is really meaningful because you have nothing to compare it to. Both the plimsoll and the cane sting, but the plimsoll creates a more widespread sting whereas the cane is more localised and intense, and with it more painful!”

“Yes, you’re right, that doesn’t really help. I’ll just have to imagine what the sting is like.” I laughed.

There was a short silence before Henry spoke.

“If you really want to have an idea of what it is like, I could give you a slippering, not a proper slippering of course, but just a few light whacks to give you a feel of the sensation it gives. I’m sure my old friend here would be up to warming another bottom.” He nodded towards the plimsoll reclining on the coffee table. “It would be a first for me too as in all my years I’ve never punished a girl’s bottom before.” He laughed.

I hesitated, was he serious or just joking, and if he was serious did I really want to be slippered? Being curious was one thing, but subjecting myself to something which might be painful was quite another. Then it occurred to me that having a better understanding of what a slippering was like might in some way help me with my thesis, and so against my better judgement I found myself agreeing to it.

“Okay, why not? At least it will give me some idea.” I tried to sound nonchalant, but I was anything but.

“I’ll go easy on you, no need to worry, and if you don’t like it just say and we’ll stop.”

We both stood and Henry picked up the plimsoll and moved away from the chairs and table into the middle of the room where there was ample space for proceedings to take place.

“Come here, Abigail, and bend over and touch your toes.”

Nervously I walked across to where he was indicating, bent over at the waist and reached for my toes. It was a position I had never adopted before and I was very aware of my bottom being thrust upwards and how tight my jeans were over it. I awaited the plimsoll except that it didn’t arrive.

“Stand up please.”

Somewhat confused, I straightened up, my face flushed from the position I’d been in.

“If we’re to make this meaningful in any way I think those jeans need to come off, Abigail, as they offer you far too much protection and will not give you the sensation of a proper slippering.”

I hesitated. I was wearing jeans and a tee shirt and had not been anticipating having to remove any of my clothing for what we were about to do. I could see his point though. The denim would have quite an effect on the plimsoll and would make a substantial difference. I often wear a G-string beneath my jeans, but by luck, today I was wearing a proper pair of knickers, white with a small blue motif on them, which were fairly full in the way they covered my bottom. I made my decision.

“Okay.”

I fumbled with the buckle of my belt, evidence of my barely suppressed nerves or was it excitement, but finally unfastened it, pulled down the zip and lowered my jeans down my legs, kicking off my shoes to enable me to finally step out of them. I then stood now just in socks, tee shirt and knickers, feeling rather exposed and slightly embarrassed.

“That’s better. Now bend over and touch your toes again, legs straight and bottom well up.”

I did as I was told, now less restricted than when I was wearing my jeans. I felt Henry take hold of the hem of my tee shirt and lift it slightly higher so that my bottom, with my knickers stretched tightly over it, was now fully exposed. In my current position I imagined the view I must be presenting to him and wondered what he thought of it. My thoughts were short lived, however, as I felt the plimsoll tapping lightly against my upturned buttocks. I could not prevent myself tensing and tightening those said buttocks as I waited for that first impact.

When it came, I was taken by surprise. Firstly by the sting it produced, which was quite unlike anything I’d ever experienced before and which seemed to spread all over my bottom, and secondly by the fact that it didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as I’d expected.

“Is that okay for you?”

“Yes,” I replied.

Two more whacks followed which increased the sense of stinging, but not to a level that I was uncomfortable with or couldn’t cope with.

“Still okay? I can do it a little harder if you’d like.”

“Yes, if you want.”

The next two whacks were harder and the stinging was now on the verge of becoming uncomfortable, but I was still coping fine with it.

“Last one, now bottom right up for this one.”

I straightened my legs and pushed my bottom as far out and up as I could and must have presented a most provocative spectacle in the process. My efforts were met with another slightly harder whack that caused me to gasp out and made the stinging in my bottom reach a level that was no longer within my comfort zone.

“All done, you can get up now. So how was it?”

I straightened up, my hands going to my bottom, rubbing it over my knickers. I felt flushed from being bent over with my head down, and my bottom had a warmth coming from it that, if I was being honest, was rather nice and not unpleasant. If anything, I was a little disappointed at how much it hadn’t hurt.

“It was fine, not too bad at all.”

“So has that given you a better idea of what a slippering would be like?”

“I suppose so. Was that really a proper slippering though, the sort you would have given a boy at school, because it didn’t really hurt that much? It wouldn’t exactly worry me about getting it again.”

“No it was not a proper slippering, I just thought you wanted an idea of what it would feel like, not six of the best like I would normally have given in the past.”

I think my disappointment must have been apparent.

“I tell you what, I’ll give you two proper whacks and you can then let me know if you want the remaining four. Get down and touch your toes again and see what you make of these.”

I bent over again and waited for the plimsoll to descend. The sound that it made this time when it connected with my bottom was like a pistol shot going off in the room, and my mouth and eyes opened in surprise as my breath was taken away and an intense burning sensation seemed to spread all over my bottom. I was in such a state of shock that I barely moved until the second impact landed, taking the burning to a whole new level and causing me to shout out a loud: “Owww!” before straightening up and rubbing my bottom furiously in an attempt to ease the stinging.

Henry stood beside me laughing.

“Was that better? Would you like another four to complete your six of the best?”

“No. No, that’s enough.” I gasped out.

“Well you should be careful what you wish for, but perhaps that has now given you an idea of what a proper slippering feels like.”

Indeed it had. The initial slippering had in retrospect lulled me into a false sense of security as I now realised that Henry had put very little effort into it. The two whacks I had just received were a different matter entirely, and I could only begin to imagine how six delivered like that would feel. I would surely be in tears and never wishing to receive such punishment again, which as Henry had said previously was the whole point of it.

I stood in my knickers for the next few minutes before picking my jeans up and sliding myself back into them. I then learned that tight fitting jeans were not the ideal accompaniment to a recently slippered bottom as their grip on my buttock cheeks intensified the stinging that still remained, although I was also made more aware of that warmth radiating from my bottom which was not unpleasant at all and in actual fact felt rather nice.

“I take it you don’t want to experience the cane too while we are at it?” said Henry still smiling.

“No, I don’t think so, that’s enough for today.”

I sat gingerly on the chair for the next half hour or so as we chatted about various topics, but was constantly aware of the discomfort and warmth in my bottom which made concentrating difficult. Eventually it was time to leave and, as he showed me to the door, Henry had one final message for me.

“I hope you got something out of that slippering today and didn’t find it too painful. I was only intending to go easy on you until you asked for those extra strokes at the end. If you’d like to try the cane next time we could go easy with that too and just give you an idea of the sensation it gives. I take it you will be coming again next week, won’t you?”

“Yes, of course I will. We’ve still got lots to talk about and I want to let you see how my thesis is going along. The slippering was fine, it was my fault for asking for it harder, but it has given me a much better understanding of what it was like to receive corporal punishment in the past.”

“Good. And if you do decide you want to try the cane next time, I suggest you wear a skirt as I think you’ll find it more comfortable to put on afterwards.”

Over the next week, my mind wandered frequently back to my last meeting with Henry Thomas. I still couldn’t quite work out why I had allowed myself to be slippered by him or why I had removed my jeans and let him see me in my knickers. Actually, that wasn’t even the half of it. Back home, I had bent over in my knickers in front of a mirror, bottom thrust up as it had been in his lounge and I was shocked by the provocative view I must have given him. I was actually quite a reserved girl and presenting myself like that was most out of character for me.

Then there was the slippering itself. I had not enjoyed the final two whacks, but the previous six had not been that unpleasant and the warmth in my bottom that they generated had been a rather pleasurable experience that I would not perhaps be averse to repeating, which then led me to the cane. I had two dilemmas. Firstly, should I take up Henry’s offer of a caning? And then, secondly, if so, what sort of caning should I receive? I was both curious to know what the cane would feel like, but also fearful of how much it might hurt. And then if I accepted Henry’s proposition of a light or token caning, would that, like the slippering, leave me with a sense of disappointment? But then I doubted that I could take, or want to take, a proper six of the best. I didn’t have an answer to either question.

That was still the case the following Wednesday morning as I showered before getting dressed to head to Henry Thomas’s house. I decided to keep my options open, so instead of my usual jeans I put on a summery dress with a fairly generous skirt to it and, with the weather being warm, decided that bare legs would be fine too. After the previous week, I also selected some plain white knickers that were quite modest and covered most of my bottom and resisted the urge to wear some that were sexier and probably inappropriate in the circumstances.

I arrived on time and with a feeling of excitement and apprehension as I wasn’t sure what was about to take place over the next couple of hours. As we had our customary coffee, Henry changed the conversation to the one topic that had been avoided up to that point.

“Do I take it that because you are not wearing jeans today that you are wanting the cane from me?”

I felt myself tense and my heart begin to race. This was it; decision time. I took a deep breath.

“Yes, I want to try the cane please. There’s just one thing; can it be a proper caning, six of the best like you would have given in school so I know what it would have really felt like?”

There, I’d said it, although I couldn’t quite believe what I’d just said.

Henry sat back in his chair with a thoughtful look on his face.

“I’m quite happy to cane you, but I am really not sure that you know what you are letting yourself in for with a proper six of the best. I have doubts that you would wish to take that.”

I had doubts too, but I decided to persist.

“You might be right, but I really want a proper caning if I’m going to put myself through it.”

“Okay, a suggestion then. I will give you six strokes but I will make the first three moderate ones and the final three ‘of the best’, then if you feel you’re still not satisfied I can give you a further three hard stokes if you desire them.”

“Agreed.”

I knew it was sensible and I would probably have greatly regretted a full six of the best, and at least following this course of action I could have the additional strokes afterwards if I was still in the mood for them.

“Good, I’ll go and fetch the cane then.”

As I waited for Henry to return, I began to feel more nervous and question myself. What on earth was I doing asking for him to cane me? Before I could change my mind, however, he entered the room again and in his right hand was the cane that I had seen on my previous visit which he placed down on the coffee table.

“I’ll be back in a second,” he said as he once again left the room.

He returned almost immediately and I saw he was carrying a low backed dining chair which he must have got from the room next door. He placed it in the empty space in the centre of the room.

“Stand up, Abigail.”

I did as I was told and could see that he was looking at me with something on his mind.

“I think we could do with that dress off. It’s only going to get in the way when you’re bent over this chair. Can you remove it please?”

As last week, I hesitated. He was right, of course. The full skirt of the dress would be awkward to keep out the way and I cursed myself for not realising this beforehand and putting on a separate blouse and skirt, but I now had little choice but to take it off. I reached behind me and lowered the zip to my waist, then pulled my arms out of the dress and lowered it to the floor before stepping out of it. I then bent and removed my shoes, leaving me in bare feet. I was now standing in just my bra and knickers, feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Henry picked up the cane from the coffee table, flexed it between his hands and then swished it through the air. That sound again, the one that had affected me so much the previous week, was having its effect again. I could feel myself both fearful of, and yet wanting to feel, that cane making contact with my bottom.

“Well, Abigail, are you are going to take it like a boy?”

“What do you mean?” I didn’t understand what he was asking.

“Are you going to take it on the bare bottom like the boys at school used to take it?”

I froze. It had never occurred to me until that moment that I might be bare bottomed for the caning. I always assumed I’d have my knickers on as for the slippering, but then I remembered Henry telling me about him always caning boys on their bare bottoms so he could see where the strokes landed. If I really wanted a proper caning then I would have to bare my bottom too.

“I suppose so.”

“Good girl, now take your knickers off for me then.”

It may have been my imagination, or just my own personal feelings, but I sensed a tension in the air as I slipped my fingers into the waistband of my knickers and slid them down my legs before stepping out of them, my hands quickly returning to cover my pubic area from view. I was now in just my bra and, for a moment, I was tempted to go the whole hog and remove that too and be naked, but I hadn’t been asked to do that, although I have little doubt that I would have done so if it had been requested of me.

“Put your hands by your sides, please Abigail.”

I slowly did as I was asked and could feel myself blush as I did so. Like most girls of my age, I shave my pubic hair so there was nothing there to keep any semblance of modesty. My embarrassment didn’t last long, though, as Henry spoke again.

“Come here and bend yourself over the back of the chair. Grip the sides of the seat with your hands.”

I walked over, now less concerned with my near nakedness and more with what was about to come. I stretched over the chair back and reached down to grasp the seat.

“Good, now spread your legs and keep them straight, get up on your toes if you have to.”

I shuffled my legs slightly apart and straightened them out.

“Wider, come on you can spread them further than that and get your bottom well up and out.”

I spread myself as wide as I comfortably could, raising myself onto my toes and thrusting my bottom out. If I had been concerned about the view I had presented last week while being slippered, it was nothing compared to the view I must be presenting now, with no knickers in place to hide anything, and my bottom totally bared.

“That’s excellent, Abigail. Try to keep that position and grip the chair seat tightly. I’m now going to give you the first stroke.”

I felt the cane tap against my bottom and I couldn’t prevent myself from clenching my cheeks tightly together in anticipation of the stroke. I waited, but it was only when my bottom relaxed again that it landed. I felt as if somebody had drawn a line of fire across my buttocks. It was far worse and much more intense than the sting I’d felt from the plimsoll the previous week. There was a wait of around thirty seconds while I got my breath back and steadied myself.

“Here’s the second one.”

Again two taps to my bottom, my involuntary clenching of the cheeks, and then the stroke landing just as I relaxed. This time I grunted out loud as the burning intensified and I gripped the seat for dear life.

There was no announcement of the third stroke and no taps either, so I didn’t clench myself and was taken by surprise instead. I shouted out a loud “Owww!” and couldn’t help but start to raise myself up from the chair, but a firm hand on my back pushed me back down again.

“That’s halfway, Abigail, you are doing well. They were the moderate strokes. Do you want me to continue? The remaining three strokes will be ‘of the best’ if I do.”

Everything inside me was saying no, I’d had enough, but for some unexplained reason I heard my voice saying: “Yes, please continue.”

“Good girl. Keep a firm grip on the seat and it will soon be over.”

The next stroke was absolute agony and felt like the previous three all delivered at once. I yelled out and could feel tears starting to form in my eyes. The fifth stroke caused them to start flowing slowly down my cheeks as I thrust my hips about, not caring what I showed in the process, in an effort to reduce the pain as Henry’s firm hand on my back again prevented me from rising.

“Last one and then it’s over. Now bottom right out for me, please, up on your toes and thrust it right back for me.”

Somehow I managed to do as I was told and pushed my bottom out as lewdly as I could manage, up on my toes with legs spread apart. The stroke landed on the crease between my buttocks and thighs and I shot up in agony, a hand not preventing me from doing so this time, as my own hands went to my bottom to rub it furiously trying to ease the burning pain. As I hopped around I was unaware that my right breast had fallen out of my bra and was fully exposed doing its own little dance in time with the rest of me. The burning was unlike anything I’d experienced the previous week with the plimsoll, and I would later be grateful that I’d not received a full ‘six of the best’ as I had originally asked for.

“I take it you don’t want another three strokes? Here’s a handkerchief to dry your eyes.”

I was crying, but through my tears managed to let out a “No” before taking the handkerchief and start trying to compose myself. It was at this point I became aware of my exposed breast and for a few seconds my hands left my bottom alone while I struggled to get it back into my bra.

Henry left the room to give me some privacy and moments to myself, but it was several minutes before the tears had fully stopped and I had begun to regain my composure. When he returned, he had a look of concern on his face.

“Are you okay? I did warn you it would be painful. I would have stopped if you’d asked me to.”

“I’m okay, just sore, but it’s not your fault, it’s what I wanted, a proper caning and I know what it’s like now.”

“And what do you think?”

“It’s horrible. I would never want it again.” I managed a weak smile back at him.

“That is the purpose of a caning, Abigail. Anyway, you’ve got some good stripes to show for it. Follow me, and you can see them.”

I followed Henry out into the hallway where there was a full length mirror, and turned my back towards it. I was shocked by the state of my bottom. There were three deep crimson stripes across it which, when I felt them, had raised the skin, and mixed within them were three more stripes that were not quite so vivid or raised, obviously from my first three more moderate strokes.

“You’ll have those for a few days, I’m afraid, so you had better watch out who sees your bottom.”

It was at that point that I realised I was still practically naked apart from my bra, and decided that it was time I made myself more decent, so returned to the lounge and put my dress back on, pleased that it wasn’t a pair of tight jeans like last time which would have been agony on my freshly striped bottom. I picked my knickers up but decided to go without, so slipped them into my bag instead.

It was six weeks later that I was once again sitting in David’s study waiting nervously as he read through my thesis, the finished article this time. Eventually he looked up.

“An excellent piece of work, Abigail. I have no hesitation in giving you a grade A for it. I’m pleased you took my advice about concentrating on just two main topics, and selecting technology and discipline was an inspired choice; well done. I’m most impressed, too, with your description of the effects of corporal punishment. Anyone would think you had first hand knowledge of it.”

“I’ve got Mr Thomas to thank for that. He was, well, very helpful and it was his idea to concentrate on those two subjects.”

“Well I’m pleased you found your meetings with him useful. I take it you found him entertaining company?”

“Yes, very much so. I couldn’t have done this without his help.”

I had visited Henry Thomas twice more after the caning, although he did not punish me again on either of those occasions. I had no desire to ever be caned again or to receive a proper slippering, although the prospect of a mild slippering, one that induced that pleasing warmth in my bottom, was one I would perhaps not object to submitting to again, but for now that would remain in my thoughts and fantasies only. I still had trouble reconciling in my own mind why I had subjected myself to such punishments. Was it purely in the pursuit of research for my thesis?

I also wondered what Henry made of my punishments, especially the caning where I had been practically naked and freely displayed my most intimate parts to him during its course. But then, if I had given him some enjoyment in seeing a young girl’s body, where was the harm in that? A fair exchange, perhaps, for the help he’d given me with my thesis, and he had never made any improper touching or suggestions throughout.

I decided I would go and visit him once more tomorrow afternoon to let him read my final thesis and tell him of my good news about the grade I had received, and of course to thank him once again for his help too. I will however be wearing jeans and not my dress that, thank you, will not be extended to offering him my bottom for punishment again!

The End

© Steven Wilson 2019