During the 1970s, the cane was quite often in use at the primary school I attended, although one had to be pretty badly behaved to warrant its attention, or that of the headmaster.
Although I never received the cane myself, I learned from several other pupils who had that the routine for its application was quite formal. The child in question would have to knock on the door of the headmaster’s office. This would usually be answered by Miss Mills, his young and attractive secretary who shared the office space.
After receiving the customary dressing down from the headmaster, the boy or girl would be told to ask for a cane from Miss Mills. She would stand up and open a large cupboard behind her desk, in which several canes hung from a rail, along with various coats. Miss Mills would hand you the cane, which you passed to the headmaster. You would the be ordered to bend over and justice would be applied to your bottom.
Inevitably, there was a fascination with this sanction, particularly amongst those of us for whom it did its real work as a deterrent. We would often talk to boys and girls who had had it, about what it felt like and – most importantly – what it did to your bum.
One of my classmates informed me that he seen his sister’s bottom after she had the cane, although she was quite a bit older than us. Apparently, she showed him her stripes and told him that this was what happened if you misbehaved in school. He said she’d had six of the best.
My mind raced – and although I was terrified of receiving the cane, at the same time I wanted to know what it was like. I guess you could say it both excited and terrified me.
At around the age of 10, I acquired my first girlfriend, a lovely blonde haired girl called Sarah. She was kind and funny, we spent many hours together roaming the fields behind our houses climbing trees, playing hide and seek, birdwatching, making dens and in general enjoying healthy pursuits. Sarah was in my year and class at school, but we kept our friendship a secret as I was slightly embarrassed around my friends.
However, the truth was that I actually preferred Sarah‘s company to any of my male friends. I adored her company, and what’s more we often talked about corporal punishment at school.
I should say at this point that Sarah was impeccably well-behaved and intelligent. She had an older brother and sister, and the family had moved down from the north of England about a year before. Her home was near to mine and we seemed to form a bond right from the day we first met.
One day, Sarah asked me if I had ever been caned. I replied in the negative, and she told me she hadn’t either. However, I did vouchsafe that I’d had several spankings – and the slipper on a few occasions too – from various female teachers before Sarah had arrived at our school. The keenest exponents of these more minor corporal punishments were Miss Ponting and Miss Woods. However, they were not permitted to use the cane.
“I’d be really frightened if I was sent for the cane,” Sarah said. I explained that it was rare for girls to be caned, although we both knew about my friend’s sister and her striped bum.
Then I added: “I’d like to be caned one day, just to know what it felt like. Not the headmaster, though (he was a very frightening man) – maybe Miss Woods (whom we all loved for her kindness and beauty, and used the slipper only when truly deserved). Or perhaps Miss Mills (several of us boys had a faintly-concealed crush on her too!) My secret confessed, Sarah smiled and agreed with me.
One day, Sarah and I were playing after school and wandering down the country lanes. As we did so, on impulse I picked a switch from a hedge. It was thin and whippy, and I used my pocket knife to cut and trim it. Mission accomplished, I proceeded to scythe at the lush green flora that grew in abundance, enjoying the satisfying swish as the switch cut through the air.
I passed Sarah the switch, and then watched mesmerised as she deftly cut the lush vegetation with her own strokes. I enjoyed the sight of her young, muscular bare arm in action. Suddenly, I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment – and I think the same thought might have entered Sarah’s mind at precisely the same time.
I turned to her. “Would you cane me with this stick so that I know what it feels like? Then, if I get sent for it at school, I’ll know what to expect.” Sarah smiled. “I would if you want me to – but won’t it hurt?” I assured her that I was very tough. “I’ll probably get sent for it at school some time anyway. You must do it as hard as you can, so it’ll be like school.”
“Well, OK. But this is a stick – not a cane.” I couldn’t dispute her logic but luckily we both knew of a bamboo bush growing in one of the neighbourhood gardens (of course, we had no idea at that time that school canes were made of much more flexible rattan rather than bamboo).
Dropping the stick, we ran back down the country lane to the garden, where using my pen knife I reached over the fence to cut a long green bamboo switch.
From there we made our way to a quiet field over a mile away, where there was a fallen tree near a stream. One of the tree’s branches was quite low, and I bent over it as Sarah gave me one or two flicks with the ‘cane’. These were delivered on the seat of my jeans, and unsurprisingly I didn’t really feel it that much. I was disappointed by the lack of pain. I stood up and took the rod from Sarah. “You’ve got to do it harder,” I said. “Like this.” In demonstration, I brought the cane down hard on the branch itself. Disappointingly, in retrospect, it never occurred to me to demonstrate it on my girlfriend’s bottom.
Sarah hit the branch firmly a few times, this time cutting the air viciously as she had earlier along the country lane. Feeling deliciously naughty, I took down my jeans and underpants and bent over again, my white cheeks pointing skywards. I remember hearing Sarah chuckle and felt her tapping my bare bottom with the cane. “Go on,” I urged, “do it!”
I heard the cane cut the air and immediately felt it land across my bottom. It felt like a line of fire – I screamed, gasped and clutched my naked bum. Looking over my shoulder, I saw Sarah looking horrified. She dropped the cane and began to run away. I shouted desperately after her: “It’s OK! You can do it again!”
Sarah came back and picked the cane back up – I noticed a broad smile across her face, and it was obvious she had enjoyed it. Eventually, we agreed that I should take six ‘like at school’, and Sarah gave me six of the best with full force. I screamed and jumped throughout, and by the time Sarah had finished I was crying openly and rubbing my bottom. Things improved rapidly though, as she offered to rub my bottom too. I enjoyed this for a while, then finally made myself decent and we walked home together.
When Sarah and I eventually met again a few days later, she asked me how my bottom was. Again, we went somewhere private and I took my pants down to show her. The stripes she had applied were still very visible, and I’d had to take great care to make sure my parents didn’t see the marks, or else they would obviously have asked some very awkward questions!
I told her I felt more equipped to deal with a caning at school now, thinking that was that. To my surprise, Sarah asked me if she could cane me again. I said she could and it became a weekly ritual every time we went to that fallen tree in the quiet field. With my bare bottom pointing high and proud, I was able to take subsequent canings with slightly more stoicism.
I must have taken dozens and dozens of beatings from Sarah and my bottom seemed to be permanently striped during this time, but it was by far our favourite game. Sarah would even impersonate the headmaster from his school assemblies in the morning, whilst ordering me to bend over.
Sadly, just over a year later, Sarah’s family moved back north and that was the end of that. But we shared some lovely moments – not only my first caning but also my first ‘proper’ kiss. Sarah had warned me I wouldn’t enjoy it – but she was wrong and I still remember the warmth of her lips and the taste of her mouth.
As for those beatings, only once were the tables turned. We were alone in Sarah’s house, in her bedroom, when she asked me whether I would whip her bottom with the riding crop her sister used when she rode her horse. Skirt raised but knickers sadly firmly in place, I gave Sarah one almighty swish, which caused her to sob gently into her pillow, as I rubbed her bottom better.
I never knew what happened to Sarah – a year later I started at the local comprehensive and didn’t have another girlfriend until I was 19. Although Sarah and I were too young to be sexually attracted in the traditional sense, I definitely feel that these experiences had a big impact on my sexuality.
Incidentally, I never did get the cane at my primary school. The nearest I got to it was when the headmaster was standing in for another teacher. The lesson became rowdy and he sent me to fetch a cane from Miss Mills ‘in case I feel like using it’.
When I got to his office, Miss Mills misunderstood why I was there, and said: “I’m sorry you’ve been such a naughty boy that it’s come to this, Mark, but in my opinion you’ve been asking for it for some time.” She selected a cane and flexed it. “I wouldn’t mind caning your bottom myself, if it was allowed.”
I went the colour of a beetroot and my mind raced. For a moment, I almost bared my bottom and bent over there and then – I wondered how an adult caning would compare to Sarah, plus I could tell her all about it. But of course, what I actually did was blush an even deeper red and explained the situation. Miss Mills looked a little disappointed as she handed me the cane to take away!
I didn’t receive the cane again until I was 17, and had left school – but that’s another story. I still often wonder what became of Sarah and whether her fondness for caning bottoms lingered into adulthood.