I got the first smacked bum I really remember in 1994. I was four years old and a cheeky little chappie; big smiles and lots of energy. I was Mum’s last child and came seven years after my next sibling – a bit of a surprise. I had a different dad as well.
Mum found Christ when I was three, and my siblings 10, 11 and 14 respectively. The church she found was small and not very child-friendly: no Messy Church, no Sunday school, just the kids in the normal sermon.
The pastor was a man in his 40s at the time. He was a grumpy man and didn’t really like children. After one sermon, where I’d been so bored I’d slid down onto the floor and started crawling under people’s legs, he took Mum aside and told her to smack me. She told me recently that at the time she had asked if he meant just one smack – but that wasn’t it.
I found out exactly what he had meant when we got home. I don’t remember all the details because I was only young, but Mum took me to my room and sat on my bed. It was a toddler bed and I do remember her knees being up at an angle because she was sat so low down. She told me off and I cried, then drew me across her lap, pulling my smart ‘church’ trousers down as she did so. I remember I had blue Thomas the Tank Engine pants on.
Mum gave me about ten hard smacks on my pants-covered bottom, and I cried and screamed. Afterwards, she hugged me and fumbled her way through some Bible verse or psalm, as she wasn’t yet fully familiar with scripture. As she did so, I remember my bottom throbbing and stinging.
A year later, it was my next oldest sibling’s 11th birthday. My sister Mary [names changed – Ed] had only received one spanking from Mum since the pastor told her to start smacking our bottoms – I think Mary felt she was almost immune.
She had a magician for her birthday party (something for which the pastor told mum off for the next week, because magic was bad in his eyes) but once her friends went home she got stroppy and rude because she hadn’t got some gift she wanted.
Mum afforded her a lot more patience than she usually would have, seeing as it was her birthday but my sister was eventually sent to the bedroom she shared with the next sibling up, 12-year-old Harriet. Mary stomped up but stayed in her room and Mum was quite cross.
This episode ended badly for me. I asked for some birthday cake before tea but was told ‘no’. I began to throw a tantrum but mum headed it off very quickly. As Mum in many respects took out her frustration with Mary’s behaviour on my own bottom, I found myself pinned across her lap, pants showing, for about 15 hard smacks across them. I remember she got my bare upper thigh with one smack. It hurt a lot more and I nearly wriggled free from being pinned under her leg.
I only got into trouble at school once – this was in 1996 when I was six. In the hall during dinner one day, I pinched a packet of crisps from another boy’s lunchbox. He noticed and started crying, and a dinner lady came over to ask what was wrong. He told on me and I was obviously guilty. The crisps were given back but the dinner lady told a teacher and the teacher phoned my mum at work.
When I got home I was in total disgrace. I was sent to my room straight away and told to get into my jammies. I started playing with my Lego but mum heard me, came upstairs and told me to get into bed. I was only allowed out of bed if I needed the loo.
I was bored but I fell asleep quite quickly and when I woke up it was getting dark out. All my siblings were home from their school and were helping mum with dinner or doing homework at the kitchen table. My tummy was rumbling and I began to cry – but Mum didn’t come.
It was nearly bedtime when she finally came into my room. She had a tray with a sandwich and a glass of milk on it, which she put on the floor near the closed door.
Then Mum told me to move one of my pillows into the middle of the bed and lie over it. I realised she was going to smack me, even though it was a different position than I was used to, and began to cry. Nevertheless, I obeyed because I knew Mum would smack me more if I didn’t.
Once I was over the pillow, she pulled my pyjama bottoms down to bare my buttocks. It was my first ever bare bottom smacking and it was a hard one. I don’t know how many smacks I got but I think there were more than usual, albeit perhaps a bit softer. But the stinging soon became unbearable and the punishment went on until I just was lying there crying and not fighting or trying to escape, just letting Mum smack my bottom.
Once it was over, Mum told me something from the Bible about stealing which made me cry all over again out of fear of Hell. Then she she sat me on her lap (which hurt my bum) and fed me my sandwich and milk. I was put back into bed and I fell asleep quickly.
The next day, I had to apologise to the boy I had. stolen from in front of our class. I remember being a bit confused about this, because I’d already apologised at lunch the previous day, and it wasn’t really embarrassing – at least not compared to Mum whacking my bare bum.
In 1997, Mum met Paul, my future stepdad. Mary, Harriet and my brother Robert (who was by then 17) all really liked Paul straight away, but I felt very jealous and perceived him as taking my mum from me. Robert was from our church and we’d known him peripherally since we joined, but the pastor asked him to help Mum with some DIY that needed doing and they fell in love quickly.
Paul had his own son, Ian, who was a year older than me. I liked Ian a lot but he lived with his mum most of the time, so we only saw him every other weekend and for a week over each school holiday once Paul moved in. Ian would share my bedroom and eventually we got bunk beds so he had a permanent bed of his own when he visited. My mum and Paul are still together, I should say, and Ian and I are still very close.
Not long after Ian and I first met, he came over with his dad one day. Mum had been unexpectedly called into an emergency situation at work and Paul had offered to step into the breach and look after me (and, to a lesser extent, my elder sisters and brother).
Ian and I were playing and having fun when Paul told us we needed to tidy up our toys so he could do some vacuuming for mum. I refused instantly and Ian refused too, probably egged on because it was my house. Paul raised one eyebrow and said: “Clear them up – or I will thrash you.” That was scary – but I didn’t obey because as far as I was concerned, Paul wasn’t anything to do with me and so had no authority. I remember Ian backing me up.
In response, Paul lifted me up and hoisted me over his shoulder, while telling his son to go into my bedroom. Ian by now looked very frightened and obeyed, while I kicked and tried to escape.
Once we were all in my room, Paul shut the door, sat on my bed and put me over his knee. I fought and kicked but my jeans and pants came down quickly and I got the hardest spanking of my life thus far. Paul’s hand hurt a lot more than Mum’s and I couldn’t help but cry.
Once I was had been ‘done’, Paul sent me to my homework desk to sit on the hard wooden chair there before taking down his own son’s trousers and pants and giving him a similar smacking.
Afterwards, Paul left the room momentarily and came back with an ottoman from the living room, and the Bible that was also kept there. He shifted me onto the ottoman, put Ian on the hard chair, and sat himself on the bed. He then read us a long passage from the Bible – I don’t remember any of it. Once the reading was over, Paul hugged us both and told us to go and clean up. Needless to say, we obeyed.
In 1998, the whole blended family went on a package holiday to Spain. Ian and I even got our own room, though admittedly it was attached to Mum and Paul’s room. The girls and Robert occupied an adjoining suite. It felt very fancy at the time, especially the all inclusive food. Ian and I probably had about six ice creams each every day for the whole two weeks!
The holiday didn’t get off to a good start, though. Ian and I had been noisy and annoying on the plane because it was a new and exciting experience for us, and both Paul and Mum had promised us smackings once we got to the hotel. Even Mary got the familiar threat of ’you’re not too old for a smacked bottom’ but I don’t think she’d had one in a year or so, and indeed would never have one again.
Once we checked in, Ian and I hoped our parents would forget their threat – but they didn’t. Mary, Harriet and Robert were sent down to the pool with their recently unpacked cossies and towels. Ian and I also got changed into our swimming trunks – but what was inside them was destined to be a little warmer than the other children’s.
In our little room, Mum sat on one bed and Paul on the other and we boys both got a massive telling-off. Then those trunks came down, Ian went over Paul’s lap and I went over Mum’s. We got a good spanking and we cried and wriggled as usual – but it wasn’t too bad honestly. Then, once some psalms were read, we all went to the pool and had a lovely time. The smackings weren’t quite forgotten since we definitely behaved better on the way home, but it didn’t sully the holiday much.
By the time I was nine, I had grown into quite an obedient little boy. I was beginning to find church quite interesting and the pastor had taken a bit of a shine to me, having me to his house to help him with gardening and teaching me DIY stuff. It was all entirely innocent, I should add – real mentoring and we got on well.
I did still have the ‘cheeky chappie’ spirit from my toddlerhood, though. One day, he sent me into the garden to pick some salad bits for lunch and I decided it would be funny to grab a couple of worms and bring them in too. I put them in his fruit bowl, where he spotted them near instantly.
He took it in good humour and made a joke about worms in apples but told me quite firmly to take them outside and not do it again because it could waste food if they were there for too long. I instead pocketed them and, for whatever reason, thought it would be funny to put them in the pastor’s tea caddy.
That night, Paul answered our phone and went from calm to cross very quickly. Once the call was over, Paul told me that the pastor had found the worms and was very disappointed because he had explicitly told me the natural consequences of my actions, and I’d still chosen to inconvenience him and waste food.
Paul asked me a few questions. Did I understand what I’d done? Did I understand why not wasting food was important? I felt quite ashamed and guilty and admitted that I did understand everything and had just made a bad choice. Paul asked me what I thought should happen and I slowly and stutteringly answered: “A-a spanking.” Paul nodded and sent me to my room to wait for him.
It was the first time I had truly understood guilt and punishment, and the need for the latter to cleanse the former. I felt like I needed punishment. Before Paul came up, I took my own jeans off and pants down and sat waiting on the bed.
Paul looked surprised when he came in and saw me already bare-bottomed. But once I was over his lap, he told me he was proud of me for taking full responsibility for my actions. I got a good spanking, and I cried – but I felt that I needed it and didn’t try to escape.
Afterwards, I phoned the pastor to apologise and told him that I’d been spanked. He forgave me, we prayed over the phone and then he told me a story about a time he’d stolen some biscuits when he was at boarding school. He had been caned for it and had understood why and accepted it as necessary.
In 2000, my mum saw something on BBC News about a parent getting into legal trouble for spanking their child and we had a family meeting about its implications.
Paul and Mum said that from now on, Ian and I would only get smacked for the absolutely worst things and that when it did happen we weren’t to tell anyone about it. We understood their anxiety and agreed. You’d have thought two young boys would be relieved at the prospect, but honestly we were both more annoyed than anything, because a smacked bottom was far preferable to a long grounding or copying lines from the Bible.
My first smacking afterward that meeting was because mum caught Ian and I playing video games late at night when we were meant to be asleep. We had been warned about this several times when Ian had stayed over before, and had been told if it happened again we’d be smacked. We were sent back to bed and told we’d be dealt with the next morning.
Morning came and Mum came in. She didn’t tell us off much – she just told us we knew what we’d done and that we needed to be punished for disobedience. She had both us boys bend over the bottom bunk, pulled down our pyjama bottoms and spanked us, alternating the smacks between Ian’s bare bum and mine.
I got my last smacked bum when I was 11. Mum and Paul were phasing out corporal punishment, partly because of the legal worries I mentioned and also because both us boys were getting older.
By now, most of the time I was the only child in the house, with Ian appearing at some weekends, and life was quite harmonious. However, when I went up to secondary school I had a troubled start, getting bullied, and I acted up quite a bit at home. Eventually, Mum told me that if I was disrespectful one more time, she was going to smack me. I replied “Yeah, right,” rolling my eyes as I did so.
Within moments, I found myself over the arm of the sofa. My school trousers and pants were pulled down and Mum gave me the longest and hardest spanking I ever got. Her hand went up and down my bum and thighs over and over, and I howled like never before. I felt so embarrassed and sore, and when she was done I covered myself up as quickly as possible.
After that smacking, school troubles stopped near enough, and I needed no more. Ian got one in around 2003 but that was the last of spankings in our family.
I got a lot more smackings than those I’ve mentioned but they were all quite similar – over my pants or on my bare bum, over the knee or bent over something, and hand applied until I cried and regretted it. Usually followed by a Bible reading, a prayer and a hug. I wouldn’t do it to my own kids – but I definitely needed it at times.