When I was in the second year of grammar school during the late 1960s, I had the misfortune to be introduced to the headmaster’s cane.
I was one of three boys sent to Mr Taylor following a pre-lesson classroom fight which left two of the wooden chairs broken. Ironically, me and the other boys hadn’t been the main protagonists in the scrap but hangers-on on either side of the divide, as it were.
I didn’t really know the other boys very well and although they whispered to each other as we waited in the secretary’s office which adjoined the head’s study, they didn’t say anything to me. Eventually the internal phone rang, and the secretary Mrs Walker told us: “You can go in now, boys.”
Our class teacher had already given one of the other two boys, who were named Martin and Jason, a note to hand over to the head, explaining what had happened. This was duly handed over as we walked in.
Mr Taylor read the note thoughtfully for a minute, then looked up. “Well, what have you got to say for yourselves?” There then broke out a three-part fugue on our part about how it wasn’t really us, we didn’t mean to damage school property etc. The head let this run for about five minutes but eventually held up his hand. “Enough, boys. I don’t want to hear anything else from you, unless it’s crying.”
He went over to a cupboard and I felt sick as he removed the cane, swishing it experimentally in his hand. The cane was quite a thick one, around three and a half feet long and with the usual curved handle. Mr Taylor then took two school chairs from a corner of the room and placed them in the centre of his study, back to back.
To my dismay, he pointed to me first. “Kneel up there and place your hands on the seat of the chair in front, bottom well up, please.” I felt like my bones had been filleted as I unsteadily took up the required position.
“Three strokes each, and I don’t expect to see any of you in here again, or it will be six of the best. Understand?” “Yes, sir,” came back a chorus of boys, my own voice somewhat unsteady.
The next moment I felt the cane being put against the tightened seat of my school trousers. If this were fantasy, we’d have been done on the bare bottom and given dozens of strokes, of course – but this was the reality of most school CP in those days. A short, sharp shock, delivered with an instrument which was more than capable of defeating the modesty of a clothed bottom.
I barely heard the cane being drawn back, nor its subsequent impact. There was a sting across both my buttocks, and at first I thought it wasn’t going to be too bad. But almost immediately the pain in my bottom magnified to an almost unbearable heat and I realised with dread that I still had two strokes to come.
I’m proud even today to say that I didn’t cry, but there was water in my eyes when I finally got permission to stand up, my prescribed three strokes having been applied methodically and without mercy.
I watched as Jason went next, and now as a spectator I could fully appreciate how this caning method – known as the ‘Winchester position’, I believe – really exposed the boy’s bottom and tightened the fabric of his trousers. I could easily see Jason’s bottom cleavage through the material. Three more strokes were applied, and Jason got up as unsteadily as I had. The caning had definitely hurt – you could see it in his eyes – but there was no sign of tears. He was a tough lad.
Martin went last. He had quite a rough reputation in our year – so I was surprised that out of the three of us, he was the only boy who properly cried. Not the sort of wailing you’d get from a naughty toddler being spanked but definite sobbing. When he got up from his chastisement, his face was wet with tears. So now I didn’t feel too bad.
Our names duly went in the Punishment Book, but fortunately we didn’t get a note to take home. Caning was considered quite commonplace in our school, and once the punishment was administered, the matter was usually considered closed, unless it was really serious like a police matter.
We were sent back to class, where we sat down at our desks rather gingerly. A few girls nudged each other, smiled and whispered. I’m sure they were enjoying the idea of us having had our bottoms caned, perhaps even getting a little turned on by the thought if they fancied the boy in question. Girls themselves were rarely caned, by the way, although the slipper was in quite common use on female bums.
By the end of the day, I was feeling better though still a bit sore. I didn’t want anyone to engage me about the punishment, so I walked home a different route than usual, wincing occasionally as my underpants rubbed against my behind as I walked.
I didn’t say anything to my parents, of course. Just before bedtime, I was ordered by Mum to go and have a bath. I did so, and for some reason totally forgot to put the lock on the bathroom door. I had stripped off and was just getting into the tub when to my shock and dismay the door opened. Mum had come in for something and hadn’t realised I was already in there.
By 12, it had been quite some time since Mum had seen me naked. Instinctively I turned around to face her, then realised I had made things only ‘worse’ and cupped my hands in front of my privates.
“Tony, what’s happened to your bottom?” she asked. “Er, nothing.” I sat down in the warm water to try and escape further inspection but she came over to the bathtub and hauled me up by the arms. “Let me see.” She spun me around so my backside was facing her again. “I see,” she said drily. “Have you been a naughty boy at school, then?” “No Mum!” I protested.
I felt a healthy slap to my naked right bottom cheek. “Don’t you lie to me, young man! Do you think I don’t know what a caned bottom looks like?” Later on, actually, I would wonder how she did – it wasn’t something used in our house, for sure.
Mum sat down on the toilet, then said: “Tell me what happened.” I recounted what happened, once again trying to plead innocence. Obviously, Mum wasn’t convinced. She came over to the tub, pulled me up out of the water again and examined my marks more closely. I blushed with shame as I felt her finger tracing the three neat raised lines across both my buttocks.
“Well, young man,” she said eventually, “it looks to me like you got exactly what you deserved.” She spun me around again and my hands went back down to my groin. She slapped them away. “Don’t be so silly – do you think I haven’t seen all that before?” Well, of course but not for quite a few years! Nevertheless, I stood now with hands at my side, my still hairless genitals fully on parade.
Mum looked me in the eye. “You know if your father got to hear of this he’d probably take his belt to you, don’t you?” I nodded but quickly added: “Please, Mum…” “Don’t worry, I won’t tell him. Though half of me thinks I should put you across my knee myself for being such a silly, naughty boy. You’re not too old for a smacked bottom.” Now I really did blush.
One more smack on my wet backside, but this time I more affectionate one. “Right, get on with your bath and straight to bed afterwards. And Tony…” “Yes, Mum?” “If you get into trouble again at school, you can expect a sore bottom at home too. Do I make myself clear?” “Yes, Mum.” “Well, I hope so – or I might have to buy a cane for home as well.”
She left me in the tub, my bottom softening in the hot water but still smarting slightly from the two smacks she had applied, as well as the longer-term damage inflicted by the cane. I felt a ‘bit funny’ for a moment and idly played with my penis. It quickly got hard and I liked how it felt but with the door still unlocked I daren’t continue with my fun. But I did wank in bed afterwards, experiencing my first real orgasm although there was no semen yet.
That brief and painful encounter with the headmaster’s cane, magnified by Mum seeing my bottom and willy in the bathroom, was the spark for much similar activity as I continued to grow up.