Imogen is a 60-year-old English grandmother. She has just the one son, Michael, who was no stranger to a sore bottom during his formative years.
Tell us about your own experiences of motherhood.
Well, I brought up my son Michael on my own, which was difficult. Being a young single mum was hard back in the 1970s.
Was spanking something you decided to use from the outset? When did Michael get his first time?
Oh, I knew even before I he was born that I would discipline him that way – you have to remember it was a very common way of bringing up children back then. I first spanked Michael when he was four years old.
It wasn’t planned at all. We had been out at the supermarket and he walked away from me after I had specifically told him to stay close. As I hurried him back to the car, the heavens opened up. Realising an opportunity, I sat on the back seat with him and put him face down across my knee.
The rain hit the windows with such force that you couldn’t see in or out of the car, but even so, Michael’s first spanking was essentially in public.
What was your own reaction to spanking him?
It made my heart race – I found it incredibly exciting.
Exciting in a sexual way?
I guess you could say that, yes, if I’m honest.
Did you do anything about those feeling afterwards?
No – although it was definitely a sexual feeling, I didn’t feel the need to masturbate, although perhaps some mothers might. Having said that, I enjoyed the ritual and there were certainly days when I was almost praying Michael would have done something naughty at school, so I had a reason to smack his bottom that evening.
So after that first spanking, what sort of pattern did corporal punishment take in your household?
Spankings became frequent – it felt to me that between the ages of five and eight, Michael was always having his pants taken down for some reason or other.
Unless he had done something really naughty which needed immediate chastisement, I preferred to wait until bedtime to give him his spanking. These always took place in his bedroom, with Michael in his pyjamas. I used to like to carry him to the bedroom to receive his punishment – having him in my arms created such a lovely, strong feeling of complete control.
Was it at this time that those same feelings would return?
Yes. There’s something exciting about a little boy in pyjamas who’s about to be punished by his mummy. I liked how pulling down his pyjama trousers immediately exposed his bare bottom for the spanking.
Did you use an implement to spank Michael?
No, I only ever used my hand. I felt it was more personal and intimate, which I liked, and I never had problems making him cry with it.
Having said that, I remember a funny moment when I was in Marks & Spencer [a large UK chain store – Ed] actually buying a hairbrush for the reason it was invented. The elderly woman at the checkout looked down at my son and gave me wry smile. To this day, I’m certain she thought I had purchased the hairbrush to spank my naughty little boy with!
Did you talk much about spanking with others?
Oh yes. You have to remember that in the 70s, corporal punishment of children was something that was quite openly discussed.
At one point, Michael’s primary school teacher was actually a close friend of mine. So, of course, she would report on any misbehaviour in class and I would administer the required punishment at bedtime.
Once, when Michael was little, I suddenly got the urge to spank him while out shopping. He had repeatedly ignored my warnings and although I usually waited until I got him home, I asked a woman in the shop if they had a toilet I could use to smack my little boy’s bottom. She said ‘yes’ and led me there. By the way she looked at me as I left the shop with a tearful little boy, I’m pretty sure she had listened at the door as I gave Michael his punishment.
Did you witness other mothers spanking?
Yes, occasionally. I remember one summer, long ago, when my best friend Kerry spanked her son in front of me. He was only wearing his swimming trunks, which Kerry took no time in pulling down completely from his little bottom. She pulled out a chair, placed him on her lap and spanked him briskly.
Did you ever spank each other’s children?
No. We did babysit for each other fairly often but we never spanked the other’s child. Of course, if they had been naughty, we would certainly tell each other and then the child would be spanked by his mother, out of respect for one another.
How old was Michael when spankings stopped?
I stopped when he was ten. By that age, other punishments were proving to be more effective.
How do you view spanking today?
I think there are many children still very much in need of it, unfortunately. I often see boys especially behaving badly for their mothers. It’s plain they don’t spank. I know exactly what I’d do to them if they were mine!