When an Incentive is Needed

A swimming coach helps a squad member to maintain standards 

By Julie Baker

My name is Cara Curry. I am 39 years old and happily married with two small children. I was born in Birmingham and I was brought up as an only child in Solihull. I attended local schools which managed to give me a good enough education to be able to go to university to study English. My childhood was unremarkable and I was never in any serious trouble at home or at school. I have always been a very sociable person with a wide circle of friends but I was often criticised in those earlier years for lacking application and not making the best of my abilities.

This was certainly true of my swimming career. In my early teenage years I grew to be tall and slim but with very strong arms and legs. My parents had taken me for swimming coaching from a very early age but as I grew older it became obvious that my talent for swimming was such that I was being noticed on a national level. When I was 15 I represented Britain in the under 16s breaststroke team and my life became a never ending circle of training and representing school, county and country in various competitions. I loved the thrill of competing but I found the never ending training sessions a bit of a drag. However well I did in training, I always did better when under the pressure of having to take part in an event.

My swimming coach during my late teens was a guy called Peter Shanks. He was the head coach at the main swimming baths in Birmingham and he took the training for all the elite squads. He was one of the top coaches around at the time and wanted the best for everyone, but he couldn’t cope with individuals who were not prepared to put in the required effort to make the most of their talents.

At that time he would have been about the same age as I am now. He was married to a doctor and they had two children. I had a massive crush on him! I thought he was so good looking and had a great air of authority about him when he was barking out the orders to his swimmers. To me he was a glamorous figure and I fantasised endlessly about what it would be like to have an affair with him. I knew that I was a very pretty and attractive girl. This gave me a certain power over him but I never quite worked out how I could utilise these factors to achieve my goal. In reality it probably wasn’t at all realistic!

I heard last week that he had died at the early age of 61. I was genuinely sad and upset to get this news, but it has enabled me to finally be able to tell the story about what happened between him and me over 20 years ago. We had an arrangement that what happened would not be disclosed to anyone else and, over the years, I have stuck to this and, to the best of my knowledge, he has also not shared our story. I have changed his and my names in this account but, given that he is no longer with us, I now feel that I am free to share the full details about what happened between us.

We generally got on really well but the process of the weekly grind of training sessions was the one area over which we didn’t see eye-to-eye. I knew that I had to turn up for them otherwise I wouldn’t get his support to be in the teams that enabled me to swim competitively. I wanted to please him but I struggled to find the strength of will to put in the effort that he required. I knew that come the day I would pull out a performance that would surprise everyone and I tried to argue that this meant that he shouldn’t be too concerned about the effort that I put in during the training sessions. He couldn’t see this and I think he felt that he couldn’t afford to be seen to be treating me differently from the other swimmers. We clashed constantly and on several occasions he threatened to throw me out of his swimming squads all together.

Matters came to a head during my last year at school. I was under some pressure trying to study for my A levels, trying to get over finishing with my boyfriend and trying to compete in swimming events around the country. I was not at my best during training sessions and my level of application probably fell to an all time low. Peter was not happy with me and we had a number of pretty blunt exchanges between us in the spring of that year.

The swimming baths in Birmingham were set out in a very traditional fashion. It no longer exists in its current format but in those days the building consisted of a full sized Olympic pool with changing rooms and offices at one end and a diving pool at the other end with store rooms behind. Originally there were three storerooms but one had been converted into an office for Peter. It had no windows and must have been no more than 3 meters square. The room contained a desk with a leather chair, a cupboard and about four grey plastic stacking seats but there was no room for anything else.

After one particularly acrimonious exchange in the pool he asked me to see him in his office after training. I went to get a towel to drape around my shoulders but I didn’t bother drying off totally. I was wearing my still wet county swimming costume which I always used for training sessions. It was tight fitting to the skin which meant that my body shape was very much evident and on view. It was dark blue, which suited my colouring, with a high cut style around the top of my legs and bottom plus a plunging back and sides around my hips and waist. It sat lightly on the body creating the effect of feeling that you were almost naked whilst actually wearing a full swimming costume.

When I got into his office he was sat in his chair looking very subdued. I subsequently realised that this had everything to do with the fact that he really felt that he had reached the end of the road with me. When I sat down he launched into a long monologue about how he really liked me, thought I had great potential but couldn’t cope with seeing me not give everything I had into the training sessions. I was close to tears when he had finished as I could see that my brief swimming career was coming to a premature end. We briefly managed eye contact and I think he could see that I was upset. There was an awkward silence.

Eventually he raised his eyes to meet mine and with a mixture of regret and irritation he made what was intended to be a throw away remark.

“You know what Cara? You need a rocket up your arse!”

His gaze dropped again and there was another brief period of silence. When he spoke again his voice was low and I could only just catch what he was saying.

“Actually Cara you need a slipper on your arse. That’s what I would do if you were one of my kids!” He looked up and met my eyes again. “Now off you go and I’m going to give you one final chance. I’ll see you for training later in the week and make sure you give it your best ever effort.”

With this I got up, left the room without saying anything, and went back to get changed. On the bus going home I mulled over what Peter had said to me. He was right that I hadn’t been putting in enough effort and maybe he was right to keep the pressure on me by threatening to throw me out of his squad. But I also knew that eventually he would have to carry out his threat otherwise it would become meaningless.

I also couldn’t help tossing around in my mind the concept of him applying a slipper to my bottom to keep my performance levels up. I realised that he had made a throw away remark with no forethought, but this idea both terrified me and excited me in equal measure. I resolved to go the next session and give my all but I would then ask to see Peter afterwards to discuss how we might work together to make sure that my effort levels were sustained.

And this is what I did. I asked to see him in his office after the next training session and I put forward my suggestion of how we might go forward. This was my turn for a long monologue and I told him what a fantastic coach he was, how I enjoyed being in his company and that I desperately wanted to continue to compete in swimming at the highest level. I also acknowledged his frustration at my apparent inability to train well and conceded that this could limit my progress going forward.

“So we need to find a way of ensuring that I’m always up to scratch in your training sessions,” I concluded. “You mentioned the possibility of giving me the slipper when we discussed this earlier in the week if I under performed. I’ve never been physically punished before and, I must say, the prospect is terrifying. My best friend at school was slippered by our headmistress recently and she was in a dreadful state afterwards. So if this is the route we agree to go down I am sincerely hoping that it remains only a possibility and you would never actually have to see it through. That thought in the back of my mind, though, might just be enough to make me careful about how I perform. What do you think?”

I could see that I had wrong-footed him. He took a few moments to respond.

“OK Cara, I can see where you are coming from. How old are you?” He asked. I replied that I was 18.

“Fair enough,” he continued. “If you think it might help then here are my conditions. Firstly, you will have to sign a simple agreement that we are two adults and that you have given me permission to physically chastise you if necessary. Secondly, you will have to accept that this is for real. If you don’t train well you will be punished. Finally, you must give me your word that this arrangement is strictly between the two of us and you will not discuss it with anyone else. Ever.”

“OK, I agree. You’re on. We have a deal,” I replied. “You give me the agreement at the next training session and I’ll sign it. Thanks, Peter, and let’s hope you never have to carry it through.”

On the bus home I felt very pleased with myself. I thought that I had probably hit upon a plan that would keep me working hard but also there was a certain erotic thrill in having such an intimate arrangement with Peter. The fact that it had to be kept secret only heightened this aspect. After the next training session I once again found myself in Peter’s office dressed only in my swimming costume and towel.

“Here is the agreement,” he informed me as he slid it across his desk. “I’ve signed it and, if you are happy, please sign it above where I have printed your name.”

There wasn’t much to it, so I signed and passed the sheet of paper back to him. He then reached down to his bottom drawer and produced a canvas tennis shoe. He passed it across to me.

“This is what I will use on your bottom if I deem it necessary. Have a good look at it and try to imagine what it would feel like crashing into your rear end! I’m going to leave it in full view at the end of my desk and you will come in here after every training session so that you will be reminded of our deal and you will be constantly in fear of me saying that your training effort was not satisfactory. If this ever happens I would then be asking you to bend over to receive your punishment. Is that clear?”

“Yes Peter,” I said as I handed him back the tennis shoe.

Training for the next few weeks went fine. I saw Peter after each session and he confirmed that he was happy with me. I did look nervously at the shoe on the table each time, but getting it applied to my bottom did seem like a distant prospect. However my exam time was approaching and my standards did start to slip slightly. Peter spotted this and reminded me of the consequences if the trend continued. I made corrections but then during one training session I was badly distracted and when I went to Peter’s office afterwards I could tell that there was a change of atmosphere.

“I’ve given you fair warning, Cara, but today your effort in training was not acceptable. We have an agreement and you know what’s coming. Stand up, remove your towel and put it over the back of the chair. When you have done this I want you to face the door and touch your toes. I’m going to slipper you with four strokes of my shoe and I’ll see what difference that makes.”

He could see that I was hesitating.

“Your choice, Cara. You take the slippering that we agreed to or you can leave now and never come back. As I say, your choice.”

What could I do? I wasn’t really in a position to argue. I had been poor in training and this is what I had signed up for. Literally! I really felt that I had no way out so I did as he had asked and within moments I was bent over with my bottom presented ready for punishment. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Peter pick up the tennis shoe from the desk and then he went to the door and quietly turned the key in the lock. He was right handed so took up a position to my left. In theory my bottom was covered by my swimming costume but in practice I guessed that a lot of my flesh in that area was exposed.

“Are you ready Cara?”

“Yes Peter,” I replied.

Nothing can prepare you for the shock of being slippered for the first time. When the first blow landed it felt like my entire bottom was about to explode. I instantly straightened up and my hands went round the back to vigorously rub the affected area. I was also stunned by the noise that the shoe made on impact. Quite a crack that I hadn’t anticipated. Possibly this was due to the wet material that made up my costume, but I was relieved that the sound of me being punished was well removed from the changing rooms and the ears of my fellow swimmers.

“Come on Cara. You must remain in position,” Peter was telling me in a clearly irritated voice. “Any repeat of that kind of reaction will result in extras at the end. Now bend over again and take the rest of your punishment with some level of dignity.”

This I managed to do. The second one stung just as badly but I managed to hold my position. The third one really began to build the pain and I could feel tears in my eyes. The fourth was certainly the worst one. I don’t know whether it was the cumulative effect building, or whether Peter applied the shoe more firmly to my bottom. Either way I cried out with the pain and when I straightened up I was sobbing gently. I didn’t know whether to use my hands to cover my face or try to massage the pain away in my bottom. In the end I used one for each purpose.

I really didn’t know what to do thereafter. Peter said nothing and I grabbed my towel before turning to go to the door. Peter moved across to the door and turned to key to let me out. At this moment we were quite close. He put a kindly hand on my shoulder.

“I’m sorry if that hurt too much Cara. I’m trying to make things better for you. You are welcome back for the next session if you want. However I have to warn you that if there is a next time then I’ll be giving you six of the best, not four. Keep your standards up girl!”

With that I was through the door and off to the showers. I tucked my towel round my waist so that nobody could see if there were any stray marks from the slippering and I disappeared into the first available shower cubicle. I had a long shower to ensure that everyone else had left before it was time for me to get dressed. By looking over my shoulder I could see a mass of red inflamed skin but it was only when I got home to the privacy of my bedroom that I could see the extent of the damage. The redness and bruising lasted for a week but, despite my bottom being quite small, I could see that he had accurately confined each blow to the area covered by my costume. Useful, given the frequency of the training sessions.

I was therefore able to return to training as normal for the next session. I got a certain sort of pleasure from looking back on the experience but I had certainly not enjoyed the slippering itself whilst it was happening to me. I wasn’t looking for a quick repeat performance and I dreaded the prospect of having to take an extra two blows from his tennis shoe. In this way, I suppose the plan was working but in the back of my mind I knew that another poor training session was inevitable. Sure enough three weeks later I was back in Peter’s office and we both knew what was coming. It was the same routine.

“OK Cara, turn and face the door and touch your toes.”

When I had counted to four I really couldn’t see how I was going to survive the additional two. My bottom was hurting so much and Peter was giving me very little recovery time between each strike of the shoe. I was yelping after each one and by the end I was in floods of tears. Peter embraced me after it was over and held me until I had calmed down.

“You took it well, Cara, but what we need to aim for going forward is more consistency in training. Please try to make this the last time. I can see how distressed you are. However, if there is a next time I must warn you that it will get worse. It will be six of the best on your bare bottom with no costume to protect you. Now back to the changing room and I’ll see you at the next training session.”

Once again I was back out of that room and quickly into the shower. Fortunately I didn’t see anyone as my eyes were red from crying and my whole body was glowing pink from the training and the slippering. On the bus home I was once again in two minds over the possible prospect of Peter seeing my bare bottom and what six of the best would feel like with no protection whatsoever. It didn’t take long to find out. Two weeks later I was back in his office knowing that I was about to suffer the ultimate humiliation.

“I’m sorry, Cara, but that was simply not good enough,” he opened up with. “You know what your punishment is going to be. As always, the choice is yours. You can leave my office now, have a shower, get dressed, go home and never come back. Or you will have to take a slippering with your costume lowered and no protection for your bottom. You decide.”

“I’ll take the slippering, Peter.”

“OK, get yourself ready. You know the routine,” and with this he moved over to the door and quietly locked it.

After the briefest of hesitation, while I gathered by thoughts, I stood up to face the door. Peter was beside the door and looking at my every move. I slipped each strap on my costume over my shoulders and extracted both arms so that the costume sat just above my breasts. I wasn’t rushing but eventually I lowered the garment so that both of my breasts were exposed. I have small firm breasts and I often feel that they are my best feature. Showing them to Peter was therefore a pleasure rather than an ordeal. Pulling my costume down lower, though, made me feel less comfortable but it had to be done. I slipped it down over my hips and soon it was sitting bunched up around my upper thighs. I was completely shaved down below so I was happy with how I looked to Peter, but nevertheless this process was certainly going up a level in my mind. I stood there as Peter moved over the desk to collect the shoe and get his first view of my naked bottom.

“Bend over, Cara,” he asked in a soft voice. For the first time I detected that he might be actually enjoying the situation.

Down I went and waited for the first of the six to arrive on my bare flesh. I was getting used to the pain but what struck me was the different sound that the shoe made when hitting my bare skin rather than the fabric of the costume; much more of a slapping sound. However the pain level did go up a notch and I was really struggling to hold my position by the time the end approached. Once again I was crying freely when Peter told me that I could stand up. He gave me a bit of a cuddle while I calmed down and when we parted he gave my bottom a little tap.

“Next time, Cara, it will be on your bare bottom but you will be bent over my desk and I’ll be using my cane. Now off to the shower and I’ll see you at the next session.”

Following the established pattern I was soon sat on the bus reflecting on the day’s events. There was no doubt that I was coping with the punishments better and I was still getting some guilty pleasure from the interaction with Peter. I knew that I fancied him and I suspected that it would not be difficult to develop this on into a full blown affair. He was at least twenty years older than me and was the figure of authority, yet it felt like I had the power in determining where this whole chain of events could lead to. I was the fresh young girl with the firm flesh and attractive body who could grant him his wishes. That made me feel I was firmly in control.

There were also a couple of things that made me a little uneasy. Firstly, I could see why he would need me bent over his desk for a caning, given the need for stability, but that would make me feel much more vulnerable and exposed. I could see from his perspective that this would be a good position to have me in if he had any desires to go further with me. Also he had dropped the use of the word ‘if’ when referring to the next possible episode. Suddenly there was no ‘if I need to punish you’. To me this implied an assumption he would be making sure he would be using his cane on me, and it was only a matter of time.

I decided there and then on that bus home that this was the end of it.

I sent Peter a hand written note the following day resigning from the club and thanking him for all the help that he had given me. I never got a reply. I had applied to go to Birmingham or Aston universities so that I could continue to do my swimming in the same setup with Peter as my coach but when my A level results came through I refused both places and ended up getting an offer to study English at Newcastle University. It turned out to be a great place to be for three years, but my swimming career faltered somewhat. So, when I eventually returned to Birmingham, I didn’t see Peter at all.

One of my old swimming pals told me about his death and I do feel genuinely sorry. He was a brilliant coach who had helped me enormously and put up with my indifferent training standards. I will never know what was going on in his head while he was giving me the slipper but it didn’t do me any harm and it did open my mind to the erotic delights of corporal punishment. No bad thing!

The End

© Julie Baker 2017

Julie is happy to correspond with readers via Twitter @JulieBaker_cane, or email: julie.baker_cane@mail.com