Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Time to Play: A Spanking Memoir

This is a bit dated as I wrote it about two and half years ago, but it's a good introduction to my spanking kink.

Note, it's also a bit long...

Time to Play: A Spanking Memoir

It started with Ping. The story about the little duckling who lived on a little boat in China with his zillions of aunts, uncles and cousins. Everyday the ducks would venture off from the boat in search of food and then at night the boatman would call them home. The last duck to straggle in got a spank on his back. Ping’s adventures came when he realized one night he will be the last one to return. To avoid the inevitable spank, he remained on land that night. Ultimately land life proved more frightening than the spank so Ping returned to the boat, rushing in at the last minute, took his spank, and then basked in the domestic bliss and comfort of his vast family. The Story About Ping was the first book I ever checked out of the library. And it was the first time I ever read about a spanking and felt some inexplicable appeal.

As I am being trained as an historian, I know that such cultural changes do not occur in a vacuum. Prior to Ping, my feelings about spanking had no positive aspect. I certainly disliked getting one from my mom. When we visited my grandpa, he thought it was funny to play spank us, something I simply found annoying.

First grade was the last time my mother ever spanked me. Actually, it was the second day of first grade to be precise. My single-parent mother entrusted me with a key to our apartment so that I could let myself in after school, thus promoting me to the ever-growing ranks of latchkey kids filling my generation. “Now DON’T lose this key,” my mother admonished me after taking pictures before I left for my first day of school. “If you do, I’m going to spank you.” I accepted the key, acknowledged the penalty of its abandonment and then promptly lost it the next day.

I was apparently not devious enough to figure out a way to simply break into our apartment. Rather, I joined my sister and brother at the babysitter’s until my mom arrived. We were going straight to my grandmother’s house from there and when we arrived, my mom hauled me into the bathroom and whacked me several times on my bottom. When she finished, I looked up to her and asked calmly, “okay, can I go play now?” She never spanked me after that.

I went to a private evangelical Christian school for first grade. These were fundamentalists who took the Bible literally, including passages that admonished liberal use of the rod. Even though I was fascinated with the idea of being spanked, I was one of only two students in my class who never experienced a swat on the backside from Mrs. Leiser. I was quite smug about my uniqueness in this area that was shared only with the love of my life: Jeff Bartell. He and I were models, and I relished this role.

However, my need to be teacher’s pet didn’t stop me from incorporating my spanking curiosity into recess. My classmates and I created a game that I vaguely recall went something like us girls would do something to the boys (to be honest, I cannot remember exactly what) and then we would run. If one of the boys caught one of us, he would take us to a makeshift prison (the stairs of the stage if it was raining and we were in the multipurpose room, or the jungle gym if we were outside) and threaten or give a certain number of whacks (usually 5 or so). I wonder if any of my classmates grew up and turned this idea into an S&M website. . .

A lot of my desire for a spanking had to do with what I’ve always called the Dad Thing. Every since my mom left my legal father when I was four, I wanted a daddy. A lot of it had to do with the fact I was quite the tomboy and missed a masculine influence. But, I also just missed having a parent. Yes, I had my mom, but she was an older, more experienced friend rather than a parent. She always treated me like adult, even if I was woefully inadequate as one. When I acted like a child she got a highly disdainful tone in her voice. “Michelle -- GROW UP!” And usually I did. But once when I was bouncing around impishly she spat out, “you know, if you had a father, he’d make you behave!” I was a bit puzzled as I didn’t realize I was misbehaving. At the same time, I so wanted a father to make me behave.

However, I got a stepfather who did more than make me behave; he broke my spirit. Any misdeed, no matter how trivial, could result in a ferocious spanking. On a Sunday not long after he and my mom married, I remember watching a children’s show and then going down to the basement to play. A few minutes later my stepfather came down and towered in front of me, his eyes wild with rage. “Did you leave the T.V on?” he barked. I had but it was because I thought my brother was still watching it. Before I could verbalize this, he grabbed me and flailed my backside with a force I didn’t know was possible.

It was just a spanking. Just his hand. But it was different than anything my mom had done. Or Mrs. Leiser. Or what I imagined a father wanting to help me behave better would do. It was unfettered rage. Wild and pointless. And that’s the way it always was with him. You never knew what would set him off. A voice raised one or two decibels. Papers left next to a broken baseboard heater. He took my spirit and broke it like a china plate on the hard floor.

But, spanking still captivated me nonetheless. My friend Rachelle and I would play tic-tac-toe and then whoever lost would get paddled with a ping-pong paddle. When my pastor mentioned spanking his kids, I would imagine being one of his children disciplined for playing where I wasn’t suppose to. Then there was my pioneer phase: I would imagine I was Laura Ingalls or some mischievous kid coming over the Oregon Trail who had earned a whipping with a switch or her pa’s belt.

Throughout elementary school and junior high, I searched out books with stories that included spanking – or at least would have a high probability of a spanking occurring. And then, of course, read those scenes over and over. Laura’s spanking in Little House in the Big Woods. Miz Crocker’s “whipping chair” from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Tom getting paddled by Mr. Standish in The Great Brain. Papa accidentally spanking Henny’s friend instead of her in More All-of-a-Kind-Family. And, of course, Tom taking Becky’s whipping in Tom Sawyer.

I also began to create my own stories. They were not really spanking stories for the spanking was only part of the larger plot rather than the main event. These narratives usually took place in the past, reflecting my growing affection for history. A rebellious brother and sister who decide to fight with the Sons of Liberty during the American Revolution (influenced, of course, by Johnny Tremain). Or a sacrificing daughter who saves her medieval family from economic ruin by working as whipping girl (hey, if Prince Edward could have a whipping boy in the Prince and the Pauper, why couldn’t a princess have a whipping girl?).

And then there was Allie. Her full name was Alexandra Mary Toggins and she lived in Oregon in 1897 with her Papa. I created her at the end of seventh grade and wrote about her all the way up through my freshman year of college. Again, the stories had complex plots in which spanking was sometimes apart, but Allie’s good-natured mischievousness, often with the participation of her best friend Jason, landed her in trouble on a number of occasions.

Her shining moment of naughtiness came the second day of fifth grade. Allie and the teacher of the town school, Mr. Clayson, shared a mutual dislike for each other and on the first day of school he accused Allie of posting a picture of a jackass on the chalkboard labeled with his name. His was oblivious to her adamant denial and when she refused to comply with his request to step to the front of the room, he stormed down the aisle to her desk, grabbed her by the ear, marched her up to a chair where he laid her over his knee, paddled her and sent her to the corner for the rest of the afternoon.

The extended time in the corner simply gave Allie time to plot her revenge. The next day during the lunch break, she sabotaged the classroom. Cooking lard on the floor around Mr. Clayson’s desk. Paste in the chalk tray. Spilled ink on his grade book. A picture posted on the chalkboard of a monkey labeled with his name on it. Upon returning from lunch and finding the school in such disarray, Mr. Clayson expelled her and sent her home, a punishment Allie had not expected.

Distraught, Allie straggled home, where to her surprise, she met Papa, who had stopped by the house to pick up something before returning to the bank, which he ran in the small town. Likewise surprised to see his daughter home so early from school, Papa felt her forehead and asked if she came home early because she was ill. She really did feel ill and so simply nodded. Of course, by the time Papa got home that night, he had found out the truth. Horrified by her actions at school, and dejected by her lie, he sent her to her room after dinner to get ready for bed while he went to cut a switch. After laying the switch long and hard on her bottom as she lay bent over the end of her bed, he held her as she sobbed and whispered, “O my sweet girl, don’t make me ever have to do that again…”

In real life, I was nothing like Allie. I was meek and passive at home because of my intimidating stepfather, and at church because I wanted God and other Christians to like me. I was the mother for my sister and brother when my mother started beauty school my freshman year of high school and then divorced my stepfather, thereby starting her second adolescence. I broke my ankle when I was ten and because it never healed properly, I experienced a multitude of injuries and eventual arthritis. Allie was the way the emotional me survived – though that emotional part never grew past ten-years-old without a parent of my own. And I so wanted someone to raise me. To help me grow up. To know I really was only ten years old, even if I acted thirty for everyone else.

I dreamed of finishing a book about Allie and getting it published. The editor of the book would adopt me and set strict boundaries to help me reach the potential at which teachers said I never worked. Throughout college and at the beginning of graduate school as I focused on the Arab World, an area I had been interested in since elementary school, I imagined an Arab couple adopting me. They would compel me to learn the study habits I should have learned long before, as well as practice my Arabic. I held out hope that some day I would find the childhood I lived only in my imagination. That I would find someone to raise the emotional me and help it catch up to the level of development as the rest of me.

My second year of grad school I had surgery on the ankle I broke when I was ten, as well as on the knee above it now malformed after years of walking on a weak ankle. It was successful for the ankle but a disaster for the rest of my body as I had complications that included blood clots in my legs and lungs and hemorrhaging in my knee from the blood thinners used to treat the blood clots. After a year and a half, I was still fairly disabled and ached for my childhood even more. I also could not stop thinking about spanking. And so, despite the mounting imcompletes screaming for my attention, I decided to explore the subject on the Internet.

I was bewitched. Like most spankos, I was astounded to find I was not the only freak in the world. Indeed, there was a whole spanking culture out there. There were stories where spankings were narrated with intimate detail. There were live chat rooms where I could actually talk to people about it. There was an avenue by which I could move out of the isolation of my inner world.

After weeks of lurking throughout the Internet world of spanking, I mustered the courage to actually post on a spanking club for my city on Yahoo. “Chubby little girl needs a daddy…” I thought I was crazy. That I was courting unmistakable danger. But I also glowed with a giddy eagerness.

The first of two responses came from a contractor in his mid-forties. We corresponded by email, then began talking on Yahoo Instant Messenger, then the phone, and then met in person. He reminded me a lot of my biological father – intelligent, liked to work with his hands, and talked about the golden days of the seventies. I reminded him of the little girl he once dreamed he would have years before. “My long lost daughter…” he called me. I have a biological father, a legal father, and a stepfather, but he is Dad. Someone to be proud of me, to spend his birthday with me in the emergency room, to attend my chrismation, to threaten any guy I date with imminent death if they hurt me and me with punishment if I stay out too late. Though, I must stress the word threaten as the closest my dad has ever come to disciplining me was a lecture about speeding. “I needed a family, and you needed a dad,” he always tells me. And with a smile I think, yep, totally.

I also discovered the world of age-play. In an age-play chat room I could climb trees, jump out of swings, run after other kids, and do cartwheels – activities difficult to do with the cane I was still using at the time. After a while, a group of us created a sort of cyber family. It was like playing “House.” Except within a week or so it had degenerated into a sort of bizarre soap opera, which I came to realize was quite common within the chat server genre of the spanking community and subsequently decided that occasional visits to age-play rooms would be sufficient for me. My own dysfunctional family is quite enough, thank you.

A couple of months later I began to talk with the second response to my post. We also talked via Yahoo Messenger and created various spanking scenarios together. We lived in the same city and one night as we were talking through a scenario, we just had to meet. “I can be there in an hour,” he said in response to my question. Throughout that hour we each wondered what the hell we were doing meeting a total stranger from the Internet like this. When he arrived and I opened the door, it was just right. After fifteen minutes of small talk, he looked sheepishly at me and said, “I, uh, REALLY want to spank you…” I laughed my high, full laugh, and then, without a thought, we both assumed our role-play.

It was my first real life spanking as an adult – well, as a physical adult. A few days later I received my first kiss. Boys and sexuality were, and still are, an area where I’ve stayed very much a child. I’m not completely sure why that has been so. Partly because I was too busy raising my sister and brother as a teenager. Partly because I was too focused on academia and Church throughout college. And I suppose that in my mind I’ve just been 10-years-old and didn’t feel old enough to date.

That first kiss led to a little tongue. Eventually I learned the pleasure of having someone kiss my neck and play with my breasts. And of course, spank my jiggly behind. For the first time I was with someone with whom I could be both an adult and a child. Who I could play “Little House on the Prairie” with and make out with on the couch. We never actually had sex as I have the old-fashioned desire to wait until marriage that, as much as he respected, I know was difficult for him, as it was for me at times. Eventually he fell in love with a barista from Starbucks and I struggled along with that old Shakespeare admonition “better to have loved and lost…”

Despite an understanding for the erotic nature of spanking, sex and spanking remain separate for me. Spanking does not make me think about sex, though because I began to explore my sexuality at the same time as my interest in spanking, I have a hard time thinking about sex without spanking.

For me, spanking has always been about childhood. About play. About the world of pretend. About a desire for the care and comfort of structure and boundaries. About submitting to that structure, but certainly not being dominated. On one of my favorite websites about spanking, Pablo and Mija’s Treehouse, Mija explains in one of their chats that, “Basically at the core I'm a kid. Not a brat, not even very naughty, but a kid and feel most happy and comfortable when I'm being cared for.” Me too.

A year and a half ago, after those initial few weeks of age-play, I dug up the abandoned file folder holding the novel about Allie that had wilted in a plastic crate for eight years. And I realized how much I needed her back. Her emotional energy. Her willfulness. Her playfulness. Her immature selfishness. I need her to feel the feelings my intellect has long ago explained away. To temper my endless caregiving with the demands of my own needs. To stamp her foot and say, “it’s time to play.”


Anonymous said...

I'm in portland.. and would to spank you... or have you spnk me...

kingkewl said...

I'm in portland.. and would love to have you spank me ... or have me, spank you..

kingkewl said...

I'm in portland.. and would love to have you spank me ... or have me, spank you..

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your blog and you're an excellent writer. I wish you good health and look forward to reading whatever you have to say. Your blog is a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your personal account of spanking and what it means to you. As a woman, I could identify with just about everything you discussed when it comes to father needs and spanking (except for your step-father - how horrifying that must have been for you.) I hope that you end up marrying a good man who can fulfill these needs for you as well as for himself. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michelle, reading this touched my heart so much. The "father-thing" and spanking, creating your own stories... I've lived it all. Thank you for sharing and I hope you find what you need.