John Gerber, prime minister of the small nation of Adanac, introduced the New Modesty to his citizens in a televised speech streamed live from the living room of his residence. His wife Marjorie and his eighteen- and twenty-year-old daughters June and Heather sat around him as he informed the nation that they would henceforth be subject to successful social policies developed by Adanac’s corporate partner, Selecta, for certain American neighborhoods.
“Our prosperous American neighbors,” his excellency said, gesturing to a chart he held on his knees, “have lowered their tax burden very significantly with the help of their corporate laws. I want to share that same benefit with the citizens of this great nation that we all know has fallen on difficult times. You elected me because I promised to bring Adanac back to our roots in the old-fashioned values of mutual respect and common endeavor—the only source of true prosperity. As you’ll learn very soon, Selecta shares that aim for everyone their many activities reach.”
John turned to Marjorie, sitting on the loveseat next to him. “May I have the next placard, darling?”
Marjorie gave him an uncertain smile. After twenty-one years of marriage his wife—now the first lady of Adanac—could still make John’s heart ache with her grace and beauty. It ached all the more because he knew how difficult Marjorie would find her role in the new shape of the nation’s social fabric.
As she handed over the stiff cardboard whose face bore the first details of the plan John had put together with the aid of Selecta’s marketing department, Marjorie glanced at her daughters, seated on the other loveseat. A glance at the monitor told John that the camera had pulled back to show the whole Gerber family, so the nation would see that June and Heather, too, looked anxious as their mother handed the graphic to John.
Given their behavior lately, John thought a little grimly, all three of them have good reason to feel nervous.
Throughout the grueling campaign John had worked hard to separate his personal life from the frustration he felt about his own family’s behavior. Nevertheless, he hadn’t been able to help thinking of his struggle with his girls—in whom he included Marjorie, especially given her recent misbehavior—as a representation and even as a symbol of his struggle to bring a new, but also in important ways very old, way of doing things to his country.
He turned the cardboard sheet to face the camera, seeing on the monitor how the camera pulled in to focus tightly on the information it bore.
The New Modesty in Adanac
A proposal from the Selecta Corporation
- A return to old-fashioned gender relations.
- Proven to stimulate the economy through stronger family bonds, enhanced educational opportunity for both sexes, and a ‘well-disciplined’ approach to life and work.
- Fully funded by Selecta.
An image of a young couple in clothing reminiscent of the 1950s, pretty wife in husband’s lap, a look of slight apprehension on her face as she gazed down adoringly, graced the slide. So did a chart that showed the results in America from the New Modesty communities, over the five years the program had run, thus far.
John knew with complete certainty, based on the extensive polling Selecta had done for him, that the attractions of the third bullet point would prove so irresistible that the Adanacian parliament would conduct no examination of the confidential elements of the proposal. Selecta would rebuild the shamefully dilapidated infrastructure of Adanac and would restore order to a people greatly confused by the disruptions of modern life. Neither people nor parliament would spend much time looking further than that.
None of the disciplinary aspects of the New Modesty was compulsory, after all. Many Adanacian wives would never feel their husbands’ firm hands across their backsides. Many young women would never have their bottoms bared for discipline by their accepted boyfriends.
And if John knew that certain women, identified as candidates for Selecta’s more private activities, would find themselves learning much more rigorous lessons and experiencing a kind of pleasure they had never anticipated, well, his contact at Selecta had persuaded John that it would in the end promote not only Adanac’s wealth but the nation’s social harmony. It had begun, after all, with a message from Kevin Logan about Marjorie Gerber that had given John hope for his marriage when it had seemed in terrible danger.
As he thought back to the day he had received the email, it all still seemed unreal.
John knew, of course, who Kevin Logan was. The American president’s most trusted advisor now worked behind the scenes, it was said, to smooth international relations. Something to do with energy markets, the whispers said.
But Adanac had nothing of interest when it came to energy—in fact, the volatility of the exchange via which the small nation had to import ninety percent of its electricity posed a serious problem. The difficulty of negotiating for energy bore a good deal of responsibility for Adanac’s terrible deficit.
Why was there an email from Kevin Logan in John’s inbox?
Dear Mr. Gerber,
You will find this mail strange, but I assure you it’s quite serious, despite the liberty it takes with information I’m sure you regard as private, but which as I think you also know, is freely available to those with the ability to obtain it.
To put it very briefly, I have good data showing that Marjorie needs a spanking.
If the idea interests you, and if as reports suggest you are planning to take control of your party and of the Adanacian parliament, why don’t you let me know when and where we might meet, during your trip to Washington next week?
They met near the Jefferson Memorial. John had done as much research as he could without exciting suspicion into the nature of Kevin’s activities, but he had discovered only that Kevin had a good deal to do with the corporate giant Selecta. Rumors connected him also to the complicated phenomenon of the New Modesty, and in particular to the remarkable reality channels that had sprung up recently, purporting to ‘cover’ the development of the program. John occasionally watched the more remarkable one, New Modesty Blue, to unwind—though of course he did so on an anonymized laptop usually hidden deep in the bottom drawer of his desk.
John couldn’t deny the appeal of NMB, but the idea of his wife—let alone their daughters—agreeing to live the New Modesty lifestyle struck him as ridiculous. He had no doubt that Kevin would try to convince him to try it, perhaps as a way of getting Selecta’s influence into the politics of a bordering nation, to exploit Adanac’s energy crisis. John felt sure, though, that nothing in what the American might propose would have any appeal for him: he had set up the meeting in order to gather political intelligence. If someone offers you information, you take it, he reasoned—making sure to evaluate that information very thoroughly.
Still, the men and women enjoying mastering and being mastered on NMB, all behind the guise of innocent propriety and old-fashioned discipline, seemed to have the time of their lives. John couldn’t deny that when he had stumbled across the rumor of Kevin’s connection to the channel, his remaining hesitation to meet had quickly dissipated, especially given the extraordinary communication of his wife’s purported need for old-fashioned family discipline.
“Let me get right to the heart of the matter, Mr. Gerber,” Kevin said immediately after shaking John’s hand. “We’re fairly certain you’re a fan of New Modesty Blue, and we’re even more certain that your wife has hidden submissive desires, and that your daughters are in need of old-fashioned discipline. That makes you an ideal candidate for a central role in a project we’d like to implement in Adanac—a project that will benefit everyone involved, a group that arguably includes the whole population of your nation.”
John frowned. “And who is ‘we,’ exactly? I mean, it’s an open secret, apparently, that you work for Selecta these days, but before I even entertain the possibility that you and I are even having a conversation as insane as this one, I’ll need a good deal more specificity.”
Kevin chuckled at that. “Think of the team behind this project as a collaboration among Selecta corporate, the American government, and the Institute.”
“The Institute,” John said, his blood pumping fast in his veins at the generic name that carried so much particular force for any man who watched New Modesty Blue on an anonymized laptop.
Kevin nodded. “We’ll share our data on the New Modesty with you—as much of it as you’d like to see—but the upshot is that Selecta is ready to go all in on an experiment with a small- to mid-sized nation state. Adanac would be our first choice.”
“But not your only one,” John said, hearing the beginning of a negotiation in Kevin’s tone.
“No,” Kevin responded flatly. “After we’ve made our proposal, you’ll have one chance to take it or leave it. There are a lot of countries being adversely affected by the volatility of the energy markets, where an investment of the size Selecta wants to make could do a great deal of good.”
John knew he was hooked when he asked the question Kevin clearly wanted him to ask: “Just how big an investment are we talking about?”
John smiled to himself, as he sat with his family back in the living room of his residence, as the cameras continued to flash, his mind returning to the present time. The number that Kevin had given him had had a life of its own in John’s mind. Enough, first of all, for his campaign for leadership of his party, and then for his party’s campaign, to make their electoral victory a foregone conclusion. Enough, then, to repair every aging bridge in Adanac, as well as lift the nation’s poor into the middle-class at a single stroke.
And to build the new women’s college for girls eighteen and up, where June and Heather would soon begin their remedial studies. And to turn ten underused suites in the nation’s health centers into ‘Family Harmony Clinics,’ where husbands could take their wives, and accepted boyfriends their girlfriends, to learn how to guide them properly, with a firm disciplinary hand applied as necessary to a naughty bottom and a hard cock reinforcing the lesson with pleasure afterward, as warranted.
For the sake of his nation, prime minister John Gerber had to make an example now of his own family, and the way his girls had behaved on the campaign trail made it clear to him that everything the Institute had to say on the subject of family discipline—at least for Marjorie, June, and Heather—made eminent sense.
He addressed Adanac now in his natural symbolic role as daddy of his country—paterfamilias, even, of the nation.
“Because I would not ask you, my fellow citizens, to make these difficult changes in your own family lives without demonstrating that I will share the burden, I am going to show you here and now, live in my living room, what the New Modesty will mean in my home.”
He looked over at Marjorie. He had discussed with Kevin Logan whether he should tell her beforehand that she would be spanked on the live broadcast, but he had advised against it, as a kindness to her and so that her reactions would seem to the viewer as authentic as possible. Her face had gone white as a sheet.
Marjorie Gerber, educated in America and fully liberated as a political spouse, had agreed with distaste to the provisions of Selecta’s deal. John had made it clear that the standards laid out for family life in Adanac would apply to their home as well, but from her reaction it seemed she hadn’t considered the idea with the seriousness it deserved.
Things hadn’t been going well between them either in their daily public lives or in the bedroom for John and Marjorie for several years now. He frankly didn’t know whether this would help as much as Kevin assured him it would, but at the very least he had to respect the Institute’s analysis of his wife as very much in need of old-fashioned discipline. John certainly had no compunction in administering it since he had just now told the rest of the nation that they would be expected to do the same.
Marjorie’s lips parted slightly, but no sound came out. In her beautiful face, framed by the short haircut she had favored in recent years for her golden hair, he saw all the professionalism that had attracted him to her in their college days, when she was a freshman and he a senior. Even at eighteen, Marjorie Fredericks had been going great places. They had gone there together, for the past twenty-one years, now, but especially as his ministerial ambitions went forward their paths had seemed to diverge.
“Mrs. Gerber,” John said, turning back to the camera, “has a spanking coming.”
Jessica Logan, watching the video feed from far away—under the Adanacian embassy in Washington DC, to be precise—gave a little cheer.
“Perfect!” she said to Kevin, and won a kiss from him for her enthusiasm. “I mean, look at the numbers.”
The Logans’ video feed from the scene in the prime-ministerial residence in Owotta, Adanac’s capital city, had a good deal more complexity to it than the one the citizens of the little nation had—or even Adanac’s highest ranking officials, the other ministers of John Gerber’s cabinet. Jessica and Kevin could see a stream of data emerging from the many sensors with which Institute teams had covered the house and, more important, the three women.
At their last medical checkups, a frequent occurrence of course for people so important to their nation, Marjorie, June, and Heather had each received without her knowledge a special, microscopic implant placed between her vagina and her anus. The daughters’ sensors would be activated once they reached their new college, but the first lady’s already worked. It told Kevin Logan, director of the Adanac New Modesty program, and his special assistant and wife Jessica, of Marjorie Gerber’s strong arousal at the news she would soon feel her husband’s firm hand at last.
To be precise, her overall arousal—a sort of compilation of temperature, humidity, and galvanic skin data—had shot up: from the 4 she had felt when listening to John talk in vague terms about the discipline inherent in the New Modesty to a 9 at the word spanking. Of course, a 9 at this stage of her development as a submissive wife didn’t mean a great deal of arousal as the sexually fulfilled—or even the general—population would deem it. Marjorie would recalibrate, as the Institute’s assessors called it, many times on the way to her true sexual identity as her dominant husband’s eager, yielding helpmeet and playmate, the 10 on her scale flashing in the video feed as her body reached a level of ecstatic pleasure the first lady had never before known. With any luck, the first such recalibration would occur in just a little while, after her spanking, when John insisted for the first time upon exercising his marital rights.
Though Marjorie’s face appeared shocked, the white in her cheeks now flushing bright red, her eyes wide open in clear alarm, the Institute’s data-stream had already confirmed in real time all the data they had gathered about the woman’s repressed submissive sexuality over the past two years. Marjorie Gerber’s reading habits had come to the attention of Selecta’s corporate/governmental interface arm, and thence to the attention of the Institute’s assessment team, long before the wild idea of a New Modesty takeover of Adanac had arisen in Sarah Bennett’s wonderful, fevered imagination, as Jessica always thought of her CIA-trained friend’s way of looking at the world.
John looked at the camera. “I’m going to send June and Heather to their rooms, now. They’ll be headed off to our new college tomorrow, and the disciplinary issues that have unfortunately troubled our home will be resolved, in their cases, with firm academic correction.” He didn’t look at his daughters as he continued, “I invite you to have your own children stop watching, if they are under eighteen, or, if older than that, to watch this broadcast separately. These matters can be uncomfortable for parents to discuss with children, but that’s all the more reason why our New Modesty program, with its special facilities for learning about the proper approach to discipline and gender relations, will help Adanac so very much.”
Now he turned to June and Heather, and he delivered the message on which Jessica and Kevin had coached him. John had the profile of a loving dominant, but he had never yet had the opportunity to live that identity. He had welcomed the Institute’s help, and the Logans had gladly given it, on the prime minister’s last trip to Washington.
“Girls, it’s extremely important to me that the first family set the proper example to the rest of the nation. Your antics in the media over the past six months have been a constant worry to your mother and to me. Your habit of changing boyfriends every five minutes may entertain the less serious among your fellow citizens, but you have a responsibility not just as my daughters but as adults to learn to behave in a modest way. You two will be the first young women to enroll in Adanac’s National College for Women, and I can assure you that with the help of appropriate, traditional discipline, you will learn to set the example I need you to set. Now go to your rooms. You will have your suppers there, and depart for school in the morning.”
Jessica’s euphoria had turned into businesslike concentration as soon as John had begun this speech. Now she watched the feed from the camera focused on June’s and Heather’s faces. The metadata scrape for both girls showed a very high correlation for submissive sexuality, but the results had not yet been characterized by the Institute’s assessors as conclusive, simply through a lack of time to gather the quantity of metadata necessary to take the decisive steps allowed under the agreement signed by the Gerber government.
It would however be their experiences at college that determined their fates. At this point Jessica found it difficult to predict whether, as contemplated in the plan coauthored by Sarah Bennett and Jessica herself, either of the first daughters of Adanac would be taken for training at the Institute.
John Gerber of course had no thought that he had signed his daughters into possible concubinage. The agreement between Adanac and Selecta, though, included provisions that allowed for the pickup of any Adanacian woman whom Selecta could demonstrate as benefitting from Institute training and service, with a healthy percentage of the girl’s price going back into the coffers of Adanac’s government.
Kevin and Jessica, obeying longstanding Institute policy regarding the handling of families, had not mentioned the first daughters’ sexuality when meeting with the prime minister. If a pickup occurred, it would be covered over, as far as the vast majority of the world’s media consumers were concerned, with an extended vacation. From John and Marjorie’s perspective, their daughter would have gone on ‘special assignment’ at Selecta.
No such doubt existed about Marjorie, however. The assessment team assigned to the Adanac project had rated her at A+ for repressed submission.
With their daughters gone, now, ushered quickly away before they could even consider protesting the unexpected turn their father’s broadcast had taken, John turned to his wife, a stern expression on his face. The very sight of that expression raised Marjorie’s heart rate and sent her arousal to 10—her highest observed arousal. The first lady of Adanac had only felt this erotically needy, thus far in her life as observed by the Institute, when reading her spanking stories and gently squeezing her thighs together with crossed legs.
“Marjorie,” John said quietly but with great authority, “stand up, please.”
The planning of this portion of the broadcast had occupied a great deal of time on the schedules of the Logans and the assessment team. Much of that time and effort had arisen from the need to satisfy another organization, even more shadowy than the Institute itself: the Pretorian Guard. Since the beginning of the relationship between the Institute and the Guard, whose purpose was to save civilization from the economic collapse they anticipated, the benefits to both sides had been great, but coordinating the divergent interests always proved challenging.
Jessica had worked very hard indeed to give her friend, Sarah Bennett, the Guard’s liaison with the Institute, the assurances requested by Sarah’s organization. Those principally included ensuring that the Institute could deliver a very important message—one that everyone concerned wanted to reach not only Marjorie but the entire adult population of a small nation.
In this aspect of the project more than anywhere else, Sarah’s perspective—unique in Jessica’s experience but of course representative of what her husband Robert, head of the Guard, wished from the joint operation—excited Jessica almost as much as it frustrated her. The Pretorian Guard’s partnership with Selecta and the Institute had already allowed Jessica to feel like she had made the kind of difference in the world that she could never have anticipated making, especially at the age of twenty.
The totality of the Guard’s motives, and the real reasons they asked for some of the things they did, remained opaque most of the time. “For your own safety,” Sarah would always say when Jessica pleaded with her to divulge why for example Marjorie Gerber had to be wearing a particular pair of panties today, or the entire project would need to be scrubbed until a later date.
Sometimes the Guard’s requests seemed more comprehensible, though Jessica often found herself wondering whether the obvious interpretation masked something deeper. In this case, Sarah had demanded that at this point Marjorie attempt to end the broadcast—indeed, more specifically, that she appeal to a certain bystander, her old friend Patricia Jones, the Adanacian minister of energy, for help in ending it.
The surface meaning, it seemed to Jessica, would be that what the citizenry of Adanac witnessed on the broadcast would appear more authentic when they saw the first lady try desperately to get out of her spanking by pleading with a friend. When Patricia rebuffed her, the viewers would see the importance of the New Modesty to their government.
But the Pretorian Guard concerned itself above all with energy markets, and Jessica felt by no means certain that another message wouldn’t be conveyed—perhaps to the corporate forces arrayed against Adanac, against whom the Guard meant to move. The government of Sindland, in Scandinavia, had taken a hard line in recent negotiations concerning Adanac’s power subsidies, claiming that Adanac’s government lacked the ability to discipline the nation’s energy needs. How could there not be a connection? But Sarah had of course not even mentioned the fact that Patricia Jones held the energy portfolio when she demanded that Marjorie look to her at this point in the broadcast.
Jessica just wished Sarah would tell her a little more about what the Guard’s actions really meant. Both the Guard and the Institute believed in the preservation of human happiness through the free exercise of dominant and submissive sexuality: it would just make Jessica’s life as Institute liaison so much simpler if she had more insight into the shape of the future as the Guard saw it.
Marjorie did look straight at Patricia, now. The assessment team had ensured that by arranging the cabinet behind the camera with Patricia closest to Marjorie’s eye line when seated next to her husband on the loveseat.
Marjorie’s blush glowed as red as the setting sun as her eyes met her friend’s. Then she looked at John, just as Jessica expected—the actual appeal to Patricia would come in a moment, according to the assessment team’s prediction, to which they had in the end felt able to attach a probability of eighty-five percent, just barely enough to satisfy Sarah.
Marjorie spoke in acid tones. “I don’t know what you mean by this stunt, John, but we’re going to end this broadcast right now.” She looked directly at the camera. “My fellow citizens, I am sorry, but it appears—”
John cut her off. “Marjorie, stand up and come around to my right side, then lay yourself over my knee. I’m going to spank you.”
The 10 on Marjorie’s data-feed flashed. She had just experienced greater arousal than her body had ever known, at least in the time the Institute had monitored her.
“Nice,” Kevin commented from over Jessica’s shoulder. She turned back to flash him a grateful smile. She wished, as she always did when monitoring a developing scene of discipline, that there was time to ask for—or, better, to earn—her own spanking from her own dominant husband.
There’s always time later, she thought with a glow and a bit of heat down below. What a lucky girl I am. Poor Marjorie. All those years not getting what she needed.
Now the first lady of Adanac did turn to her friend the minister of energy. “Patricia,” she said in a pleading voice. “Put a stop to this, please.”
Patricia’s response hadn’t, thankfully, been one of the things the Guard had asked Jessica to control. Either they had run their own models, and knew—something that lay beyond the scope of the Institute’s data, which concerned sexual response almost exclusively—or what Patricia did didn’t have the same importance as the fact of Marjorie’s appeal to her.
Patricia said, off camera as far as the citizens of Adanac were concerned but on camera for Jessica and her many-angled resources, “I can’t, Marjorie. You’re going to be spanked, now.”