When I was thirteen years old, I took second place in a regional spelling bee. I had two reasons for working hard. I was an excellent student and loved the confidence academic excellence brought me. And my mother—who rarely rewarded me—had promised me a brand new bicycle—a grownup ten-speed Schwinn with curved handlebars—if I performed well in the spelling bee. I won’t lie. I really, really wanted that bike. Two of my friends had gear bikes, and my single-speed cruiser couldn’t keep up.
Every day on the way home from school I’d stop at Merton’s Bike Shop and run my fingers over the frame of the coveted bike. Then I’d go home and drill myself for hours, dreaming of both pleasing my mother and racing my friends on my new bike. The day of the spelling bee, I felt good about my chances. My parents, who were usually working and didn’t attend school events, were both there for this one.
It was my moment to shine, for myself and for them. And I did, until the very end. There were two of us left, and the word that lost the competition for me is one I still spell flawlessly to this very day, having missed it then. That word was soliloquy. I left out the second ‘l,’ even though I remember spelling it correctly in my drills. I still can’t account for the mistake, but it was devastating.
What happened next was worse.
I’d still finished a respectable second out of three hundred students. I got a nice rosette and a small trophy and lots of handshakes and hugs from my teachers, who seemed pleased to have the small private Carver Day School place second in such a prestigious contest.
I was ready to go bike shopping, and all but hopped over to my mother and asked her if we could head straight to the store.
“We’ll talk about it in the car,” she said.
It’s a good thing we waited. When she announced that there would be no bike, I burst into tears. But she was unmoved. ‘Soliloquy’ was an easy word, she said, and she would not reward sloppiness, even if I did get a trophy. I didn’t deserve to be rewarded for losing what should have been won, she told me. I deserved to be punished. She said I would thank her later, because this would make me a better person.
I hated her ever since. And I hated my father for sitting there, complicit to her cruelty by refusing to intervene on my behalf.
But enough about my shitty childhood. Let’s just say that my mother was one of those people who used punishment as an excuse to deny me things she didn’t want to give me anyway. That very afternoon, she purchased a three-hundred-dollar handbag for herself, the price of her new treasure close to what she would have spent on the promised bike.
In our house, punishment was not about training and molding me to be a better person, and I found myself envying my school friends who were fairly punished, as much as I envied them when they were genuinely hugged.
“No punishments,” I’d told Mr. M. the day that came up in negotiations. We were sitting at a corner table in the café, and I spoke the words quietly but firmly. Mr. M. and I had been discussing our sexual and psychological attraction to rules. I longed for the safety and security of boundaries. He longed to provide them. But my experience with punishment had fixed it in my mind as something punitive and unloving.
“But we can’t have rules without consequences,” he said. There was steel in his tone.
“I don’t need consequences if I follow the rules,” I said. “And we’re working on a contract that says I’ll have to follow the rules or we end the relationship. So, isn’t that the consequence?”
“That’s what you want?” he asked. “To stop seeing each other because of a one-off infraction? Nobody’s perfect, Sloane. Not even you.”
I frowned at this. It had only been a short time, and he already knew me so well, knew my penchant for staying in control, knew my need to hand some of that control over to him before I collapsed under my own expectations.
I twirled a strand of hair around my finger—a nervous habit I’d developed as a child—as I pondered what he was saying. I was already falling hard for this man. Even though we were from different worlds, even though I worked for security and he worked for fun. I couldn’t imagine breaking up with him.
“What kind of punishment?” I asked.
“Were you spanked as a child?”
I shifted in my seat. I’d not been spanked, but part and parcel of my submission was a fascination with spanking.
“No,” I said. “Just by you.”
He grinned rakishly, no doubt remembering our first night together. He’d hiked up my skirt, rubbed my ass, and smacked it until I’d whimpered and pushed back against him.
“But I like it when you spank me,” I said, lowering my voice as a barista walked past on her way to the restroom.
I’ll never forget what he said next. “You won’t like it when I spank you for punishment.”
I felt a simultaneous thrill and chill, the kind you get when your roller coaster car goes to the top and you know you’re about to drop into an unknown that you desire yet fear.
“It will only be for correction, and never punitive,” he continued. “I can spank you any time you want in bed. But punishment spankings will not be erotic. They’ll be delivered with caring concern, but they will be firm and there will be no safeword. Understand?”
Capricorn. That is our safeword. I’ve only used it a couple of times, and both times it was only until I got over the embarrassment of something new he was trying with me.
I imagined being ass-up over his knee, spanked hard. My pussy grew wet. He had spanked me hard for play. So why not agree to it? I wanted to stay with him. I wanted to please him. And besides, I wasn’t planning to break any rules. So, when all was said and done, that became a rule. I would agree to submit to being spanked. Which brings me to this morning…
I must always log my running route with Mr. M., who must approve it. Today I wanted to run at the north end of the park. It’s crisp and cool and there’s a hill there that’s particularly challenging. But there was a man apprehended there two nights ago for trying to assault a woman walking her dog. Mr. M. thought it best for me to avoid the area.
I objected. The man who’d tried to abduct the woman had been arrested, but he insisted it wasn’t safe. There was more gang activity on the north side, he said, and that attempted assault was indicative of the growing crime in the area.
This was the first order he’d given me that I felt I could dismiss. Mr. M. isn’t a runner, I told myself, at least not like me. And there’s danger everywhere, every day. It seemed silly to restrict my route due to one bad apple. So, I smiled and told him, “Fine, I’ll stick to the south end.”
Was it my tone? Was it the way I glanced down instead of meeting his gaze when I acquiesced? Whatever it was, he decided to follow me. I hadn’t even broken a sweat after two miles, and was heading toward the hill, when I saw his car coming toward me. I stopped, my heart pounding, as he pulled over.
“Get in,” he said stonily. I didn’t argue. I didn’t object. I did look longingly toward the hill. I’ve never interrupted a run. I almost started crying right there. But I got in.
When we got back to his place, the first thing Mr. M. did was point to the sofa. “Sit down,” he said. I sat down and watched as he fetched his laptop and opened it. He was tapping on keys as he walked over and then he put it down on the coffee table, and I found myself staring at a midday follow-up news report on the previous night’s assault. As it turns out, it had been a gang initiation, and the young man who’d been arrested had admitted to police that others had been planned.
“Do you have anything to say before I bare your ass and spank it?” he asked.
The words made me feel both jarred and convicted.
“Mr. M.…” I began. But the plea forming in my throat died away as I remembered his comment about breaking up over a one-off violation. And let me just say here that I am not the kind of woman who’d take any kind of shit just to be with a man. But Mr. M. isn’t any man. He’s the first man who’s gotten me to open up, to step outside of myself. He protects and guides me, but he also challenges me. I don’t want to end our arrangement. I want to see where he’ll take me.
“I didn’t think so,” he said when I remained silent. “Stand up, Sloane.”
My legs felt rubbery, like… half marathon rubbery. But it was nerves this time and not fatigue. Mr. M. looked grim as he jerked my shorts down. The panties followed and I braced myself, thinking I was about to go over his knee. But Mr. M. didn’t do that. I yelped as he stood and took me by my ear—my ear!—and pulled me to the corner like a naughty child. Then he left me, and he didn’t have to tell me not to move.
So here I am… Standing here in the corner, with my running shorts and panties lowered to the top of my thighs and my top raised to my lower back, the thrill part of that roller coaster feeling I mentioned earlier is absent, and I’m left with just the chill.
I fidget, and he barks for me to stand still. I stand still. The room is cool, and the air from the vent brushes across my exposed bottom. Before, when he’s spanked me for pleasure, I’ve been naked. But my bottom feels even more naked now, framed by the raised shirt and lowered shorts and panties. I’m more aware of it, and of what he’s planning to do. My fists clench and unclench nervously at my sides. The skin of my backside tingles.
Mr. M. turns the television on. He reminds me to keep my nose in the corner, and I can hear him clicking through the channels. I hear the Weather Channel meteorologist tracking a storm front moving through the Ohio Valley. Then I hear a commercial for some wonder drug with awful side effects. Then Wolf Blitzer is moderating an angry debate over tax reform. I shift from foot to foot, and resist the urge to look back. Is Mr. M. watching the television, or is he staring at my exposed bottom? Now he’s turned the channel again, this time to a History Channel documentary about World War II code breakers. The narrator’s voice is smooth and drones on and on, and I’m starting to get irritated. I don’t want a spanking, but waiting for it is making my imagination run wild. He’s told me it will hurt. He’s told me I won’t like it. We never talked about how he’d spank me. Will he use his hand? A belt? My stomach flips at the latter. I’ve never been hit with a belt, but I know I’d hate it.
“Sloane, come here.” He’s clicked off the television and I turn, feeling awkward. My movement is hampered by my shorts and although he’s seen every inch of my pussy, I feel self-conscious of the visible mound of flesh between my hobbled thighs. I drop my hands, shielding myself as I make my way over. When I reach him, he slaps them out of the way.
“Don’t ever cover yourself around me. Understand?”
Tears sting my eyes. His tone hurts my feelings. He sounds so disapproving. My heart begins to pound.
“You’re angry,” I say accusingly.
“No, I’m not,” he says. “I frankly expected some disobedience from you before this. You’ve been a good girl, Sloane. But running where I told you not to run was an act of defiance, and now I’m going to teach you what happens when you defy me. Teachers don’t get angry. They teach.” He pauses. “I’m not like your folks.”
My folks. I’ve told him a bit about them, just dribs and drabs. Not the whole story, mind you, but enough for him to piece together what things from my past trigger me.
He sees through my narrative even before I figured out what I was trying to do. I was trying to make him the bad guy. And he’s not. He’s just keeping his promise to correct me.
Now he does pull me over his knee, and the feel of his hard thighs through the fabric of his dress slacks is more arousing than I expected. Ass up. Vulnerable. My pussy is wet, and I squeeze my thighs together, trying to hide the secret of my excitement.
“Spread your legs, Sloane. I’m going to sting that ass, not bruise it. No clenching.”
I groan as I obey. I know the inside of my thighs are slick, and his next comment fills me with shame.
“Little slut.” He brings his finger up through my slit. “Your body thinks it’s getting something it wants.”
I don’t have time to ponder what he means. His arm goes around my waist, and he wrenches me toward his middle. Then he shifts, and in my peripheral vision I can see his hand raise a split second before it descends with a blistering crack of pain that drives me forward on his lap.
I hear a wail and realize it’s mine. He’s right. It hurts. And I don’t like it. The hand that has brought me such expert pleasure is hurting me. He lands another hard spank, and I’m begging even though I know that this is just beginning, that the stinging heat suffusing my bottom is just beginning.
I push against his leg, trying to work myself off his lap. He’s spanking me fast and hard. He won’t stop. The smacks resound around the room, thwacks of flesh against flesh. I look back, pleading, and he won’t even look at me. He’s staring at my bottom, aiming his smacks to parts he’s not reddened yet. His huge hand catches the lower portion of both cheeks in an uppercut blow. It hurts the worst. He does it again and again. My bottom is throbbing. I can’t get away. I’m bawling, tears running into my wailing mouth. I feel like a little child. My legs are kicking wildly. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I disobeyed. I try to promise never to do it again, but my words are blubbering nonsense.
His large, heavy hand hurts as much as any paddle ever could. He’s directing the blows onto the crest of my bottom now. Three smacks on the left side, three on the right. Three on the left, three on the right. It’s a pattern that is increasingly painful with each repetition. He’s applying heat on heat, sting on sting. I can’t take any more. Why won’t he stop? Please stop! Please stop! Please stop! I silently beg him. I strain against his hold until I can’t strain anymore. He’s too strong. I go limp, kicking my feet weakly as the last five blows land on the tops of my thighs.
I can’t believe how much it hurts. My bottom has a pulse, a painful, throbbing pulse. The pain is coupled with a strong desire to be comforted, to be absolved. When Mr. M. raises me to standing and guides me back to the corner, it feels like being abandoned and my wails become mournful, shameless sobs that I can’t control.
He doesn’t turn the television on, at least. But I sense he’s left the room although I dare not turn and look. Rationally, I know that he doesn’t leave me standing that long, but it feels longer than the wait. And when his hand finally falls on my shoulder and he says, “Come here,” his voice is gentle again and I follow him back to the sofa like an obedient puppy. When Mr. M. sits down and opens his arms, I climb into them, not caring that the pressure contact with his lap is excruciating against puffy welts his long fingers left on my tender skin.
“You h-h-hurt me,” I say brokenly.
“Yes.” He puts his lips in my hair. “But it’s a hurt that will go away, pet. If you’d gone running today… if one of those monsters had grabbed you… the hurt he caused wouldn’t go away. And it would be a lot worse than this. It’s the difference between hurt and harm, Sloane.”
I sniff. My breath is coming in slow hitches now, and I know he’s right. I should have listened. I promised I’d obey. I didn’t obey. I was corrected. At the tender age of thirty, I’ve just received my first real punishment, my first spanking. For years, I’d been meekly obedient to professors and employers because of my aversion to any kind of correction. In retrospect, it often left me resentful and frustrated. But Mr. M.’s hard, guiding hand proves that even painful consequences aren’t painful forever, and as I nuzzle into his neck, I realize that correction can even be cathartic.
Mr. M. is right about something else, too. There is nothing sexual about a real punishment, although later, as I reflect on how helpless I was to his strength, on how he could do that any time he wanted at his discretion, I can’t deny the erotic component of this facet of our relationship.
“I’ll never be bad again,” I say as he kisses the top of my hair. But even as I promise this, I know it isn’t true. I realize it’s okay to be bad occasionally. I am no longer afraid.
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