Saturday, October 13, 2007

Story: A Grown Man [M/m]

Awhile back Kayley mentioned that M/m stories were connecting with her spanking imagination, which made me exclaim to my computer "omg - me too!" In fact, I thought I was quite odd even among us spanko freaks because I really liked reading M/m stories. But then Mija mentioned on the newsgroup once (or more) that she fantasized about being a naughty boy punished by an older man, and I had that same feeling I had when I first typed spanking into Google. You know, "omg -- I'm not the only one!"

Like Kayley, I suspect what fuels my M/m fantasies are the fact that most spankings in non-kinky fiction are boys being spanked by male teachers and parents. And historically speaking, boys were far more likely to be whipped than girls.

Before I got distracted by what became my research field before I left academia (American Evangelicalism and the Israel-Palestine conflict), I initially wanted to study/teach about the history of childhood in the Middle East. It would have been a brilliant way to read about spanking and get paid/funded for it. And as an undergraduate I took a seminar on the Oregon Trail to get practice using an archive (the Oregon Historical Society archive was -- and still is -- just down the street from me) and wrote my paper on emigrant attitudes towards education and child-rearing -- to practice writing legitimate research papers that fueled my kinky imagination. Despite my prof's concern that I wouldn't find enough to fill a twenty page paper, I found plenty, including the following anecdote from said paper that inspired the story for the 2002 SSS Short Story Contest that follows.

"The journey, however, presented parents with a number
of challenges to maintaining consistency in teaching their
children morals. One particularly devastating challenge was
sickness. Abraham Henry Garrison's father encountered this
difficulty when he became severely ill and was forced to
remain in bed for a significant amount of the trip. Henry
(as he was called), though only fourteen, but also the oldest
child, was required to take on the responsibilities of his
father, particularly in handling livestock. Yet, when he got
into a fight with another boy in their train, his father sought
to punish him because he had always taught Henry not to
fight. However, his father was physically unable to punish
him and so he sought the assistance of the captain of the
wagon train. The captain refused, arguing that the boy with
whom Henry had fought 'had it coming' and also that Henry
was doing the job of a grown man. Henry's father insisted
until the captain finally exclaimed, 'The man that tries to
whip Henry will have me to whip!' leaving Henry's father
helpless and Henry free of punishment." (See Garrison,
Abraham Henry. "Recollections, 1846 (1903)." Mss. 874.
Oregon Historical Society.)


Story: A Grown Man [M/m]

Henry kept his face turned left where the glow of the fireplace might not discover his bruising eye. Might not betray him to Father, who sat in the rocking chair next to the fireplace. His worn, leather Bible upon his lap.

“Henry -- is something wrong with your neck, Son?”

“No, Father.” Henry shifted his body toward the shadows.

“Son, look at me.” Father sighed as Henry turned. “You’ve been fightin’ again, have ya?”

“Father, I had to. Our family honor was at stake.”

“Oh, I doubt it was in that much trouble.” Father closed the Bible and set it on the table. “I’ve always taught ya not to fight, haven’t I, Son? To use your brains, not your fists…”

“Yes, Sir.” Henry looked down at the floor.

“Off to the barn with you, then.” Father stood up, walked to the kitchen and grabbed the razor strop.


It had been weeks since the Garrisons left Missouri and three days since the wagon train camped along the Platt River. More than half the members were sick with cholera, including Father. For the last two weeks Henry alone had driven the oxen team, saw to the care of the livestock and his siblings. Even cooked the meals.

“You’re a fine lad, Henry,” Captain Pert said as he checked on the families under his command. “Don’t let that Prentiss boy get to you.”

Billy Prentiss, who was two years older, felt compelled to criticize the way Henry fed the livestock. Or loaded the wagon. Or made a stew. Not five minutes after Captain Pert left, Billy stood over Henry as he fed buffalo chips to the fire.

“You use too many chips.”

“How would you know?”

“You want my help, or don’t ya?”

“Not particularly.” Henry continued feeding chips to the fire. Billy glared at Henry. Picked up a buffalo chip.

“Don’t forget this one.” He hurled the dried dung at Henry, who had to step back to catch his balance when it hit his neck. Henry heaved a heavy breath, then turned and landed his fist into Billy’s eye. Then again across his right cheek. Billy fell to the ground and Henry jumped on him with another punch to his right jawline. Not more than two blows later Captain Pert was there to break it up.

“What’s that happening out there?” Father’s weak voice drifted from the wagon.

“Oh, nothing – just a skirmish between the boys.”

“Henry – you are fighting again?”

Henry hung his head as he and the Captain walked to the wagon. His temper had once again subjugated him.

“Captain Pert, I’ve always taught Henry not to fight but I am too sick to punish him – you must for me.”

“No, Billy’s had it coming. Besides, Henry’s been doing the work of a grown man. I can’t whip him.”

“But you must.”

“Look, the man that tries to whip Henry will have to whip me!” With that, Captain Pert left and Henry remained a grown man.


Jigsaw Analogy said...

Nicely written! Sometimes, I do have to wonder at how similar we are, though, since I also chose the history of childhood as a focus (not ENTIRELY because of kink, though).

Natty said...

Thanks! And one more thing to add to our list of similarities. :-)

I think my interest in the history of childhood had as much to do with my lack of one (which I know we share so it may have been what motivated yours also) as it did with my kink -- though those two things can be difficult to separate. I knew I was missing something, but I wanted to understand what. Once I answered my questions, as well as wrote a kick-ass paper on American Evanglicalism and U.S. Foreign Policy under the Reagan Administration for my U.S. Diplomatic History class, I decided to switch topics. Ever so conveniently after I'd already applied to grad school. ::grin::

Iris said...

Natty, my dear. Once again, you have brought up an issue that is of great interest to me--and you've dealt with it articulately. Brava! You inspired me, in fact, and I posted my own (slightly different) ideas on the genre.

hermione said...

Very interesting story. I saw something similar - an old black and white TV program set in the Wild West, about a widow and her 14 year old son who was taking care of the ranch. She wanted to switch him for cursing, and he refused to let her. Ultimately he gave in, she gave him one lick then broke the switch and threw it away, saying he was a man now.

Natty said...

Why, thank you, Iris! And I should note that your thoughtful post can be found here.

And that's an clever observation, Hermione. There does seem to be a certain coming of age ritual in both primary source material and in popular culture (i.e. the Western) of boys (and I can't think of any females I've seen in this category) being faced with punishment but it being either not carried out or carried out only symbolically because the boy is now "a grown man." This is, of course, a specifically male phenomenon most likely because girls never became "grown women" but in many respects (certainly legally, at least) remained children.