For me, growing up was a bit all over the place as an experience, with care homes and foster homes aplenty. My mum and dad weren’t bad parents – just very poor, and they couldn’t always afford to keep my sisters and I.
The times when we were at home were filled with love and joy, with rarely a cross word. As far as discipline is concerned, I think our parents might have given us the odd slap, but it wasn’t really anything memorable.
In stark contrast, care and foster homes in the 70s and 80s were by no means cosy, homely places. They were most definitely institutions and my sisters and I had a great deal of trauma associated with those times.
However, these places did allow my spanking fetish to flourish, although whether that’s an entirely good thing is open to debate, of course! There was a lot of random violence, which I found distasteful, but there were enough formal spankings to tweak my interest in the subject.
Between the ages of eight and 10, I stayed at one particular home for about 16 months. This one was less institutional than most – we were encouraged to call the staff ‘auntie’ and ‘uncle’, and there were only about 10 kids at one time, instead of commonly 20 or more.
The house matron was a lady we called Auntie Kate, and she and her husband (‘Uncle John’) lived in the house with us, with other staff coming in and out on a rotating basis. Uncle John was a mostly distant figure, who nevertheless occasionally took his belt to the backsides of older boys at the behest of his wife.
Auntie Kate was quite brisk in her manner – in my memories, she’s always brushing her hands on her apron, a habit she had. She had a fairly simple approach to discipline – if you misbehaved, she’d smack your arse proper for you! In retrospect, I think this was probably against the local authority rules at the time but like many such places, the home was largely a law unto itself. I remember complaining to one of my social workers about having being smacked – her only comment was that I had probably deserved it.
A typical smacking from Auntie Kate was administered on the spot. She’d summon you with a crooked finger, and after a while you learned to obey, or the spanking would be much worse. Even the disabled and mentally challenged boys quickly learned to come for a smacking when summoned.
Trousers or shorts would come down, but your pants would stay up. Auntie Kate would normally smack for only about 10 to 20 seconds, but you would definitely know you’d been spanked! There were never any bruises but it certainly hurt.
Perhaps the most memorable spanking I got to watch was that of a girl. She had been teasing me and calling me ‘Macky Mackerel’ – a silly joke based on my name. Auntie Kate sat down and put the girl over her knee. Lo and behold, for some reason the girl had not put any knickers on that morning, so when Auntie Kate lifted her skirt for the smacking, we all saw her bare bum. It must have been very embarrassing for her, not to say a lot more painful without the protection of pants.
Bare bottom smackings were not unknown, but they were far less common and given in private. As a budding spanko, needless to say that although I feared the pain, these were my favourite type of smackings.
To receive one of these, you’d be sent to Auntie Kate and Uncle John’s office to wait. Eventually Auntie Kate would come in and sit on ‘the bench’ – this was also where you’d sit with your social worker when being checked up on, so it saw plenty of tears even without bottoms being smacked!
Auntie Kate would then draw you close and bare your bottom, usually saying something like: “You need this.” Then she would push you over her knee and smack your bum red raw.
Once it was done, you’d be planted bare (and sore) bottomed on the bench and left on your own for a while to have a think about your behaviour, until Auntie Kate came back and dismissed you.
I’m glad kids don’t get treated like this nowadays, especially in care, but my memories are very special to me. There were lots of other smackings, a few beltings, one caning, and one very memorable dose of the slipper during these years too, but those are stories for another day.