[Once upon a time in the summer of 2000, for a very brief couple of months, the usenet provider Newsguy paid me to write some articles on spanking. It was great fun being paid for writing about something I write about for free and I really enjoyed it. Sadly, they never found a way to do the age protection they felt the “adult” writing needed so my gig ended after only four articles. Still, I did love doing it. This is one of the pieces I produced.]

“A fetish is nothing if not specific.”

Pablo Stubbs made this wise remark to me at some point when I joked, with some amazement, at the effort and expense he had put into finding just the right gymslip and knickers for me (grey pleated and bottle green respectively). When one is dealing with something which has the power traditional school uniforms have for my partner, expense and inconvenience – not to mention my own physical discomfort, British school uniforms being somewhat less than seasonal in my desert clime – seem trivially unimportant.

“A fetish is nothing if not specific.”

My brain echoed the phrase again as we sat the other night admiring a friend’s canes. He’s got quite a few – all with distinct (and distinctly painful) qualities based on their length and the density of the rattan they’re made from. They are sanded and varnished to precise silky smoothness. All but one has the crook handle of a traditional English cane. Each cane has specific value to our friend for its own sake. As he flexed the canes, and swished them through the air, their number (six, I believe) obviously didn’t seem excessive to him. Choosing the right one to impart the right message was an important part of the ritual discipline h would be administering.

For me, sitting nervously watching and listening, which cane he would use seemed unimportant. Had he owned but one or two that would have been enough to make me shift nervously in my chair. The swishing of one would have made me cringe slightly, probably visibly. For me, the detail that was important – specific – was that I was to be caned in the specific and traditional manner of a very strict English school. The caning would be slow and exceptionally painful, yet I would be expected to remain as still and quiet as possible during it. Since for me restraints tend to make scenes easier, the authenticity of this caning was what would make it possible for me to restrain myself.

Our friend knew this about me, knew that how and why I was being caned was as important (or more important) than the caning itself. So beforehand we carefully discussed what I’d done which merited this level of punishment. As we talked, I became a disobedient schoolgirl who deserved the sort of strict, harsh punishment I imagined would be meted out by a traditional (and perhaps sadistic?) headmaster at a strict school sometime in the past. I felt guilty and nervous, my hand finally shaking as it tapped gently on his “office” door.

This is the power of specificity for me. My friend, knowing his role, scolded me and slowly manoeuvred me into position. In the past this part has been extended by conversation, time in the corner, essay and line writing. By the time I’m bent over, standing on tip-toe, blushing and dying of shame as my knickers are slowly lowered to my knees, I’m generally already in tears. Some might think (and sadly have thought) that the caning itself is irrelevant at this point, that the strokes don’t need to be very severe. But for me anyway this isn’t the case. Our friend didn’t disappoint; each stroke was delivered with full force, in straight lines, with a great deal of time between each. I thanked him for each one and willed myself to stay in position for “twelve of the best”, as befits a girl receiving such a traditional punishment.

In the morning I could see where each stroke had left the distinctive double marks or “tram-lines” that are the evidence of a traditional caning. I couldn’t help smiling at the proof of my “punishment” as I admired it in the mirror. It’s all about details, you know.

After all, a fetish is nothing if not specific.

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