I was born in 1956 in Staffordshire, the third of four children. My older sisters, Patricia and Jane, are eight and 11 years older than me, while my younger brother Peter is only 11 months younger. So while Peter and I were very close growing up, we were somewhat distant from Patricia and Jane.
One of my earliest memories is of my mother giving Patricia a thrashing. I was probably about three years old, so Patricia would have been eleven, and it was likely during the summer months as Patricia was home from boarding and was wearing a dress.
I don’t remember the inciting incident, but I do remember my mother’s grip on Pat’s arm as she took her over to the couch. Across Mother’s lap she went, and her white knickers were smacked hard. Pat didn’t cry out nor try to escape, she simply took it and fled once she was released. That’s how we did it in those days – we simply accepted our punishment as bravely as possible.
The first thrashing I remember was at school, aged about five. Until I was eight I attended a semi-local, private, mixed sex ‘pre-prep’ school. The school was small – I only had four classmates – and was designed to prepare us for prep school, which was the next step.
This school was relatively progressive and modern in that we were all educated in the same way: boys and girls all taught the same things. During Physical Studies (the term used for gym/PE/sports) all ages from three to eight worked together, which was sometimes frustrating.
The school had corporal punishment, but I had been told by Pat and Jane that it was imposed only quite rarely.
One day, during PS, we were playing cricket. I found the game quite confusing and silly, and wasn’t really participating. Mr Wentworth, the PS master, pulled me aside and told me to try harder. I don’t know what came over me, but I refused and even sat down on the field. Mr Wentworth wasn’t pleased! He picked me up by the arm and told me to go to the headmistress’s office at once.
The headmistress was a very sweet, gentle lady named Miss Frobisher. She hosted fun assemblies and would make recommendations for prep schools to families who didn’t already have one in mind, based on the needs of the child.
On this occasion, however, she was not particularly gentle. She got the story out of me and called me over to her. In one smooth movement I was lifted over her lap, my black PS shorts tight across my bottom. I knew what was about to happen and felt very anxious, but I also knew what was expected of me and lay still and quiet, waiting for my punishment.
A drawer was opened, something withdrawn, and then closed again. Moments later, I felt a terrific whack across my bottom. It was a plimsoll, and a hot burning itch flooded my bottom. Two more strokes came, and I began to cry. One more landed before I was eased off of Miss Frobisher’s lap again. Then I was sent back to PS, wherein I played cricket with newly-found vigour!
The first corporal punishment I remember receiving at home came a year or so later after this slippering. I don’t remember what I had done wrong, but I had been sent to my bedroom in disgrace, and several hours passed before Father entered my room.
My pyjama bottoms were pulled down, I was bent over the edge of the bed, and around 12 hard smacks from my father’s hand came. I cried, because it was very sore, but I was given a hug and the throbbing in my bottom faded after an hour or so.
My prep school was a private all-girls affair, and selective based on academia. It was emphasised to me how lucky I was to get in there – neither Pat nor Jane had achieved sufficiently good academic results to get in, and so had to go to a ‘lesser’ prep school. I was warned to behave impeccably, but unfortunately I didn’t always take the warning to heart!
Every master and mistress had the right to use corporal punishment, and they did so often. The first port of call was usually the application of wooden ruler to the palm or knuckles. Matron would be involved for any uniform infractions, dorm messiness or similar, and would apply her wooden hairbrush to our bare thighs.
I remember once, in third form, my entire dorm of eight girls got into trouble with her for something. She bent us all over the end of our beds and gave us eight whacks each. All of us had oval-shaped bruises for a week or so on our thighs, and other dorms poked fun at us.
The headmistress usually used the cane on the palm of a girl’s hand, though moreegregious offences would lead to it being applied to her bottom. I don’t think a week went by between the ages of eight and fourteen where I didn’t get sore hands, a sore bottom, or sore thighs.
In fifth form I was a prefect, and the saying ‘prefects get it worse’ really did apply to our school. I was thrashed far less often, but when I did receive it, it was far worse.
The worst was when I brought in some chewing tobacco I’d stolen from my father, and another girl found it in my trunk and told tales on me. I got nine strokes of the cane across my knickers, and I couldn’t maintain the stoicicism and stiff upper lip – I wept while I was beaten.
A letter was sent home to my parents about it, and Mother duly gave me a good thrashing with her hairbrush for the same offence, so I was well and truly punished for my theft and contraband!
My upper school also had corporal punishment, but it was exclusively the cane and exclusively from the headmistress. Plenty of girls went throughout their school lives without receiving it.
By this age, though, I was becoming aware of my fascination with thrashings, and my previously relatively good behaviour (hence me being a prefect at my old school) rather went out of the window, as I sought out a beating as often as I dared.
The worst incident happened when I was 15. We went on a week-long trip to Switzerland as part of an international debating tournament, and I became friendly with a girl from the South African team. who had a bottle of illicit gin.
A Belgian girl and two Chinese girls joined us, and we got thoroughly sozzled. We were discovered by a member of the staff of the hotel the tournament was held in, and after some lies and giggling, eventually delivered back to the appropriate wings of the hotel.
The mistress who hosted the debating club, Miss Holmes, was beyond furious. I was confined to the hotel room for the rest of the trip, with the promise that upon returning to school I would be thrashed. Thrashed I was! Twelve strokes of the cane across my bare bottom, which the headmistress told me was unheard of, and that I was a thread away from expulsion.
My parents were so furious they didn’t wait until the next hols to smack me themselves – they drove up the next Saturday, when my bottom was still bruised, and Mother gave me the hardest hairbrush thrashing I ever received.
I wasn’t aware of sadomasochism, and for a long time assumed my fascination with spanking was something that no-one else shared. As I grew up, I desperately craved the thrashings of my youth, and plotted and schemed on how to get them.
When I got married to Henry, a minor member of the English nobility, my father unintentionally opened the gate for me. He jokily said during his wedding breakfast speech: “Marie needed a lot of smacked backsides growing up to keep her in line, I hope that Henry will continue to keep her in line!”
Everyone laughed, but later that night I confessed to my new husband that I didn’t feel quite grown up yet. He is over a decade older than me (as was expected of relations at the time), and he had no arguments when I desperately said: “I make a lot of very poor choices, and I still need a firm hand. Will you thrash me if you think I really need it?”
Of course, it didn’t take long for him to notice my arousal during these thrashings, and he introduced me to terms like ‘sado-masochist’ and ‘Janus’. That, of course, is another story!