As a child, I was smacked very rarely and then only by my mother. Her method was the old standby – over the knee with trousers and underpants down, and a bottom warming with her hand. She was a good performer and I usually ended up in tears.
When I was 13 years old, I was allowed to go for five weeks in the summer to friends of my parents in Gourock, a seaside town in the west of Scotland. This was during the latter part of World War II, when holidays were not the easiest of things to arrange.
I was very excited about the prospect of a whole five weeks away at the home of Mr and Mrs Morrison. Mrs Morrison was an attractive well-built lady in her early 30s with a baby son of 2 years old.
My mother gave me the most strict instructions as to my behaviour whilst with Aunt Agnes, as I had to call Mrs Morrison – any report of bad behaviour and I would be in very serious trouble.
Although I believed that I was then too old to be smacked I had a feeling that she might not see things that way.
After the first week away, I was enjoying the freedom to roam around the town which was quite new to me. Aunt Agnes always wanted to know where I was going and when I should return. I complied with her wishes to begin with but after a few days, I was becoming irritated by her constant requests for information.
One day at the beginning of my second week, after lunch, I decided I was going on a bus trip to Greenock, the neighbouring large town. Aunt Agnes was not too sure about this but eventually relented, with the clear requirement that I be back no later than half past four.
This seemed to me to be too restrictive and I began to argue, but to no avail. She reminded me that she was acting as my parent and that was to be that.
I muttered unaccountably the words ‘stupid old sow’ under my breath, or so I thought. Aunt Agnes flushed and demanded that I repeat what I had said. I said ‘nothing’ but she repeated the question, pointing out that she did not wish to have to send me home early. Faced with what this would mean, I duly repeated the unfortunate words.
Aunt Agnes looked at me for a few moments in silence, then slowly and deliberately turned one of the chairs from the table outwards. She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me over to her.
I was expecting perhaps a few smacks from her hand on my backside but I was astonished to feel her undoing the buttons of my trousers, which were swiftly pulled down, followed immediately by my underpants and I was then hoisted over her lap; it all seemed to happen as one co-ordinated action.
To find myself in such a situation with a woman other than my mother was unbelievable and for a moment quite exciting (I was, of course entering puberty). I was not aware, however, that she had removed her leather slipper and my reverie was rudely shattered by the first hard smack of the slipper on my bare bottom.
I yelled and wriggled and put up my hand to protect my exposed rear. Aunt Agnes gripped my wrist and held me down fast whilst continuing the smacking. When at last she stopped – and I was sobbing real tears – she set me onto my feet.
The humiliation was then complete. I was still crying, my trousers around my ankles, underpants at my knees, my bottom on fire and my penis fully erect! I wanted the floor to open and swallow me. I was told to pull up my trousers and go to the front room until I was ready to apologise.
After about a quarter of an hour, I quietly returned to the living room and told Aunt Agnes how sorry I was and pleaded that she would not tell my parents.
She said that the punishment had been completed and that would be the end of the matter. I was free to go out but the ultimatum of a return by 4.30 remained. She then said with some firmness and a glint in her eye that should I disobey or show any more insolence, my bare bottom would be treated to the tawse.
Now, I had experienced the tawse (or strap) on the hand at school and the thought of having it applied to my bottom was too much to contemplate.
My afternoon expedition was not too enjoyable – the after effects of contact with the leather slipper took some time to wear off and in addition I was almost obsessed with watching the time lest I should fail to comply with the 4.30 curfew.
Suffice to say that I was back at base well before the appointed hour!