Marilyn met me at the airport with a passionate embrace. She shed a tear, and I suspect I did too. In the twelve long months since we had seen each other I had been travelling far from postal routes, let alone anything resembling a phone.
As soon as we could separate enough to speak, I asked: ‘How are the girls?’
A glum look interrupted Marilyn’s glow of pleasure. ‘It’s not been easy, Howard,’ Marilyn confessed. ‘They can be so thoughtless sometimes. Vicky seems to need so much. And Vanessa doesn’t always co-operate.’
Vicky and Vanessa were the au pairs I had engaged to live with Marilyn during my absence. At least, Vicky was; but even before my departure her elder sister had arrived unexpectedly, in floods of tears. Her husband of a few months had deserted her, and she had been unable to face their parents. Vicky had begged for her to be allowed to stay, and Marilyn had a soft heart.
Both sisters had proved to be inadequately disciplined. Vicky was the messy one, self-indulgent, used to servants to clear up after her. Vanessa’s selfishness took a different form. She became a ghost in the house: moody, withdrawn, contributing nothing, preoccupying her little sister’s already scattered brain. I had had to take a firm line with them, and instructed Marilyn to maintain it while I was away.
‘Vicky’s got a boyfriend,’ said Marilyn, almost apologetically, as if she thought the sexual imperatives of twenty-year-olds was something she ought to have been able to contain. She put her hand on my thigh.
‘Don’t worry, darling,’ I said, while we drove home. ‘Im back. I’ll take care of them. I’ll take care of all three of you,’ I promised.
Marilyn gave a delicate laugh. ‘Oh dear.’
‘We’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for,’ I said.
She kissed me fondly on the cheek. ‘I knew you’d say that,’ she said, with unbecoming smugness.
The girls appeared as soon as we drew up at the house. Vicky ran to open the car door for me. As I got out, I caught Marilyn’s eye and we smiled. Clearly twelve months’ interruption and the advent of a new male interest had done nothing to dampen the crush Victoria had visibly developed for me. She plainly wanted to hug me, and I let her.
Her sister Vanessa, more restrained, stood smiling at the door, shading her eyes from the sun.
‘Mr Morgan, Mr Morgan!’ cried Vicky. ‘Welcome home!’
Freeing myself with some difficulty from her hug, I said, ‘It’s very nice to see you, Vicky.’
She was casually dressed, in a jumper, skirt and knee socks. I took her by the elbow. ‘Turn around,’ I said.
Readily she did, with a swing of her hair, and an almost provocative look over her shoulder.
I patted her affectionately on the bottom. ‘You’ve put on some weight,’ I observed.
‘Mr Morgan!’ she protested.
‘In all the right places,’ I added, with a gallantry that was perfectly sincere.
Vanessa had approached at a calmer pace. ‘Hello, Mr Morgan,’ she said, her voice quiet and deep. ‘Welcome home.’ She touched my elbow gently in greeting, and accepted a kiss on the cheek.
Her sophistication was complete. Her perfume was cool and floral, her make-up perfect and discreet. Her hair was short, freshly cut in a style that would have turned heads on any street of any city in the world. She was wearing a suit: French navy, striped shiny and matt, with a high-waisted jacket. I suddenly realised Vanessa had dressed up for the special occasion of my return. I was touched.
‘I had forgotten how elegant you are, Vanessa,’ I told her. ‘Quite ravishing.’
Marilyn seemed almost embarrassed. ‘Howard, you mustn’t tease them!’ she exclaimed.
‘I assure you I mean every word I say,’ I replied, absolutely serious. ‘Turn around, Vanessa. Let me have a look at you too.’
Was there a trace of reluctance as Vanessa turned in her high-heeled shoes and permitted me to run a judicious hand across her bottom? ‘Trim as ever,’ I pronounced. ‘I can see you’ve been exercising.’
* * *
Over a splendid homecoming dinner Vanessa spoke little, while the questions poured from Vicky. She wanted to know everything that had happened to me since she had seen me last, now, all at once. Marilyn had to suffer herself to be interrupted several times.
Afterwards, before anyone rose, I pushed back my chair, saying: ‘Now then, Vicky, Vanessa –’
The sisters looked at me apprehensively. I could believe they knew what was coming.
I put out my hands and patted theirs across at the table. ‘I want to see each of you now, in the drawing room.’
Vicky coloured. Vanessa, with a small self-conscious smile, touched a hand to her hair and looked down.
‘Who’s going to be first?’ I said.
It was Vicky, to be sure, who said: ‘I am, Mr Morgan!’ She got out of her seat and came round the table to stand ready for me.
‘Good,’ I said. ‘Vanessa: perhaps you’d like to come in twenty minutes’ time.’
Vanessa seemed even less animated than she had, I thought, and wouldn’t meet my eyes; but she nodded and said obediently enough, ‘Yes, Mr Morgan.’
I took Vicky into the drawing room and sat myself down on the sofa. Vicky hovered. I was sure if I had permitted it she would have sat on my lap.
‘Stand there, Vicky,’ I said, pointing to a spot on the carpet in front of me. Obediently, she stood there, facing me, her hands at her sides.
‘Now then, Vicky. How have you been getting on?’
‘Very well,’ she said, a bit breathlessly. ‘Very, very well.’
‘Mrs Morgan tells me there’s a boyfriend now,’ I said.
Vicky went pink, and said there was. He was a medical student, he was from her country. His name was George.
‘She tells me sometimes you misbehave with him,’ I said.
She blushed deeper and looked down at the carpet.
‘Vicky? Is it true?’
‘Do you let him touch your breasts?’ I asked.
‘Sometimes, Mr Morgan,’ she said.
‘And put his hand up your skirt?
‘Sometimes, Mr Morgan.’
‘Have you made love with him?’
She shot me a wounded glance. ‘No, Mr Morgan!’
I believed it was the truth.
‘Lift your skirt, please, Vicky.’ She began. ‘That’s far enough. Hold it there.’
She stood before me, still decent, only her thighs exposed. I sat forward, and laid an experimental hand on her bare thigh. She seemed as resilient there as I remembered.
I told her to drop her skirt hem and sat back. We talked about other things. I found out from Vicky what had been happening with Vanessa. Her sister’s husband had communicated formally with her parents, and she had received a coldly worded letter of displeasure. Vanessa was determined never to go home, but to establish her independence and apply for resident status.
I said: ‘May we have you over now, please?’
The au pair came to me and lay face down across my lap.
I set my hand on her, re-establishing my authority, measuring her bottom with my palm. It seemed ample.
Vicky lay very still. It was the first time I had seen her completely at rest since she had come bounding out of the front door to greet me.
‘When did Mrs Morgan last see to you?’ I asked her.
She did give a twitch then. ‘She smacked our legs this morning.’
‘Both of you?’
‘To remind us to behave ourselves this evening.’
‘And did you?
‘Oh, yes!’ she cried, injured.
‘You didn’t,’ I said. ‘At dinner you constantly interrupted Mrs Morgan.’
To do the girl justice, she didn’t attempt to deny it.
‘When did you last have a proper spanking?’
‘Monday,’ said Vicky.
‘What was that for?’
She hesitated. ‘Oh… um… well…’
I lifted my hand and brought it down hard on the seat of her skirt.
‘What was it for, Victoria?’
‘I let George touch me on Sunday,’ she said, in a small voice.
‘Where?’ I asked.
‘In Kentucky Fried Chicken,’ she said.
I smacked her again, harder. ‘Vicky! You know perfectly well what I mean. Where did George touch you?’
‘Where you’re touching me now,’ she said, impertinently.
I lifted my hand, remembering my own courting days. Marilyn’s parents had been very strict. They had not hesitated to punish her in the old-fashioned way for the slightest suspicion of misconduct. I didn’t think it had done us any harm, being made to wait for the pleasures of intimacy.
‘What happens when you forget what a punishment was for?’ I asked.
‘A second helping,’ said Vicky sadly.
Of course, I had already decided to let her off. ‘It’s a good job you remembered, then, isn’t it?’
‘Yes, Mr Morgan,’ she said, with a little noise that was almost, but luckily for her not quite, a giggle. I gave her two smacks for it anyway.
‘Tell me more about Monday,’ I said.
‘It was a hand-spanking,’ she said, trying to rub her bottom.
I pushed her hand away. ‘Across the knee?’
‘Skirt up?’ I asked.
Vicky misunderstood my words as an instruction. Reaching behind her, she pulled her skirt up at the back.
This time she pulled it all the way up to her waist.
Her knickers were new, midnight blue sateen, as if in unconscious imitation of her sister’s suit. I lay my hand on her scat again.
‘Did these come down,’ I asked, ‘on Monday?’
‘Yes,’ said Vicky. ‘Nearly always, knickers down.’
‘I’m glad to hear it,’ I said.
She made a small, rueful sound.
‘How many did Mrs Morgan give you?’ I asked her.
‘She didn’t make me count,’ she said quickly. ‘Many, many. Really.’
‘And are you ready for some more now?’ I asked quietly.
‘Yes, Mr Morgan,’ said Vicky, with a sigh of resignation.
She wriggled briefly on my lap, getting comfortable.
I peeled the knickers from her bottom.
Sadly I regarded the defenceless white curves; the sweetly shaped cleavage between. What a shame I must punish them. I raised my hand and smacked her twelve times, with some force: one for each month of my absence. The twelfth made her lift her head and cry out.
I paused, rubbing her gently. My own hand stung. How unfamiliar, yet familiar that sensation seemed.
‘Very good, Vicky,’ I said.
She took a deep, gulping breath. ‘Mr Morgan?’
I started spanking her again, with care, reacquainting myself with her bottom. I tested it, exploring its surfaces with the impact of my palm. Vicky bucked and gave a groan. Convulsively she grabbed one of the cushions, burying her face, just as she always used to.
‘I hear Mrs Morgan has had to take a hairbrush to you,’ I remarked, spanking her continuously.
‘Sometimes,’ she said, her voice muffled by the cushion.
‘No, Mr Morgan!’ she said, squirming out from under the cushion, tossing her long brown hair. ‘Sorry, Mr Morgan! Ow!’
I continued my offensive. Her bottom was starting to glow merrily with a profusion of prints of my palm. ‘Why do you need the hairbrush, Vicky?’ I asked her.
‘Because Mrs Morgan’s – hand gets – tired,’ she panted.
I started to spank her harder still. ‘I’m sure that’s not the main reason, Vicky,’ I said sternly.
‘No, Mr Morgan!’ she cried. ‘Sorry, Mr Morgan!’
‘I’m sure you have the hairbrush because you deserve it, Vicky!’
‘Yes, Mr Morgan! Ow –!’
‘I wonder if you ought to fetch that hairbrush now, Vicky.’
She flung her head up. ‘No, Mr Morgan! Please, Mr Morgan – it’s twenty minutes!’
Surprised, I looked at the drawing room clock. Vicky was right. Her time was officially up. It scarcely seemed possible.
‘Vanessa’s turn now,’ she said.
Was there the slightest trace of complacency in her voice? That would not do.
‘Vanessa will just have to wait a little longer,’ I said. ‘I want to get you done properly.’
‘The hairbrush?’ exclaimed Vicky in dread.
‘No, not today,’ I said.
‘Thank you, Mr Morgan!’
‘Tomorrow,’ I said.
‘Yes, Mr Morgan…’
‘For now I’ll just ask you to open your legs, please, Vicky.’
‘Oh, Mr Morgan!’
I found ample room to extend her punishment into areas where I thought it would remain with her for a little while.
When her cries began to sound truly penitent, I stopped and let her up. She put her arms around me, her head on my shoulder while I rubbed her flaming flesh for her. Nothing had changed.
‘Sometimes I think this is the only part of the proceedings you take any notice of,’ I remarked.
‘No, Mr Morgan,’ she breathed, very near my ear.
I sent her to stand in the corner, where I could look at her now and then. She wiggled her hips as she went. I took no notice.
I stretched, easing my shoulders, and examined the palm of my hand. It was red; almost as red as Vicky’s bottom. It had been a long time since I had exercised it so much.
I tidied the cushions on the sofa and sat back.
There was a moment of silence; a restful pause.
Then came the knock at the door.
‘Come in, Vanessa,’ I said.
In she came, and closed the door. She couldn’t help giving a quick glance at her sister in the corner with her hands on her head. I knew she had been listening outside, if only for the last couple of minutes. All well and good. I hoped what she had heard of Vicky’s punishment had put her in a properly receptive frame of mind.
I stood to welcome her, embraced her and helped her off with her jacket.
She was tense.
‘Your sister tells me you both had your legs smacked this morning,’ I said.
‘Yes, Mr Morgan.’
‘I see,’ I said. ‘And what did you think about that?’
Vicky’s elder sister stood up straight and tall in her white blouse and high heels. ‘It wasn’t really necessary,’ she said sulkily.
‘I think we’ll let Mrs Morgan be the judge of that, shall we?’ I said, not without sharpness. I eased the wristband of my watch. ‘Come here, Vanessa, please,’ I said. ‘Sit here, beside me.’
She sat down gracefully, her knees together and angled slightly towards me. Her legs were beautiful in sheer black nylon. The effect of the handful of years between her and her sister were manifest.
‘How are you getting on with the Home Office?’ I asked.
Vanessa shrugged. ‘Civil servants,’ she said, dismissively.
I held her eye. ‘You do understand that as long as you live here under my roof,’ I said, ‘you will continue to receive whatever discipline I think appropriate, Vanessa. When I’m away, you will receive it from Mrs Morgan.’
She made a small moue. Her eyes flicked towards her sister and back to me. They were inseparable. It was understood.
‘When was your last thorough spanking?’ I asked.
‘The week before last week,’ Vanessa said.
‘And what was that for?’
‘Arguing with Vicky,’ she said. She glanced again at her sister, listening in the corner. I felt sure Marilyn had upheld my policy of making the girls witness each other’s confessions and punishments occasionally.
‘I suppose that meant a spanking for Vicky too,’ I said.
Vanessa gave a brief shake of her head. ‘Mrs Morgan said it was my fault.’
‘And was it?’
‘I suppose so.’ She seemed dispirited, as though her own behaviour was a mystery to her, the source of many defeats.
‘Did she use a hairbrush on you?’
‘It was the slipper,’ said Vanessa, colouring.
Mentally I complimented Marilyn on her decision. I could imagine how it must humiliate this lovely young woman to have to take such a childish punishment.
‘Stand up, Vanessa, please.’
She rose. She radiated tension. My heart went out to her.
‘Would you like to lift your skirt for me, please? All the way.’
Beneath her blouse Vanessa’s bosom rose as she took a breath. She raised her skirt to show me white panties, with a matching suspender belt. Her legs were as I remembered, quite beautiful.
I got to my feet. ‘Would you like to take the skirt off, Vanessa?’ I suggested. ‘I’m sure you don’t want to get it creased.’
Her face impassive, she removed the skirt, and when I asked for it, gave it to me.
As I lay it carefully across the arm of a chair, I remarked: ‘Mrs Morgan tells me you aren’t always this co-operative.’
Her voice was low. ‘Sometimes I am so angry.’
‘With Mrs Morgan?’ I asked.
‘It’s not her fault,’ she said.
I felt she needed me to be stern, to brace her. ‘Whose fault is it, Vanessa?’
Her composure almost broke. I thought for an instant she would burst into tears. ‘Mine, Mr Morgan!’
To my surprise, her arms came up beseechingly. Vanessa, too, needed me to hug her. This was not something that had ever happened before; and rather unexpected.
I let her hold me tight. She clung to me as if I had come home to save her from something. Perhaps I had.
I held her as long as I decently could before detaching her. ‘Let’s see if you can still touch your toes,’ I said.
I put my hand on her bottom. How sad her life had become. I was sure she wished only for perfection, as in a romantic novel.
I made up my mind to ask her then what I had refrained from asking her the previous year.
‘I don’t want to bring back unhappy memories, Vanessa, but I think I must ask you now about your husband.’
‘Yes.’ Her head was down, her voice barely audible.
‘What did he use on you?’
‘He didn’t use,’ she said.
‘I don’t understand,’ I said; though naturally I rather thought I was beginning to at last.
‘He chose not,’ she said stiffly.
‘And you didn’t remind him of his duty,’ I said.
Vanessa did not reply.
Much was now clear, including what must happen next.
‘It’s over, Vanessa,’ I said. ‘You must learn to accept that.’
Her silence was obedience. The curve of her back was consent.
I stroked the young woman’s taut bottom, and traced the line of a suspender with the tip of my finger. ‘Remind me, Vanessa. How old are you?’
‘Twenty-six, Mr Morgan.’
‘You’re young. You made a mistake. It’s over.’
‘Yes, Mr Morgan.’
I made a calculation. ‘I assume you’ve become acquainted with the strap while I was away.’
Her reply was the merest, briefest whisper. ‘No…’
‘No,’ she repeated.
‘Not yet?’ I said, ruminating.
‘Not – yet,’ echoed Vanessa. She was starting to sound frightened.
Worse and worse. Through the silky fabric of her panties I felt the warmth and suppleness of her young flesh.
I came to a decision. ‘Vicky,’ I said. ‘Would you go and ask Mrs Morgan to come in, please!’
Vicky started out of her corner, pulling up her knickers and straightening her skirt.
‘If she has nothing for you to do, you can go to bed,’ I told her.
She had to pass me on her way to the door. She swayed, brushing me with her hips.
I caught her by the arm, detaining her. I paused a moment until she knew what to expect; then I lifted her skirt and gave her one more smack, a hard one.
‘I meant to smack your legs,’ I said.
‘Goodnight, Mr Morgan!’ said Vicky, and she left the room in untidy haste.
I left Vanessa where she was, bending, and went to the window. I lifted the curtain. Outside, the indifferent town consoled itself with streetlights and television.
* * *
‘Howard?’ Marilyn barely glanced at Vanessa as she came in. She was anxious. They all were. They needed reminding, and reassuring. ‘What is it?’ asked my wife. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘I’m surprised to hear you haven’t started Vanessa on the strap yet, my love,’ I said.
‘Recently we’ve been using the slipper, mostly,’ she said.
‘And the hairbrush, presumably?’ I said.
‘Dear me, let me think,’ she said, and she put her hand to her throat.
‘Not since you went away, I don’t think, have you, Vanessa?’
‘No, Mrs Morgan,’ said Vanessa.
I raised my eyebrows, and had the satisfaction of seeing Marilyn flush slightly.
‘So since I left this twenty-six year-old woman has been smacked and slippered, and that’s all,’ I said.
‘Yes, Howard. I think that’s right.’
I knew why, obviously. Marilyn had been feeling sorry for Vanessa, as any woman would.
‘That does seem extraordinarily lenient,’ I said. ‘I presume she’s told you her husband – what was his name again?’
‘Pascal,’ murmured Marilyn, in some unease. ‘Their parents left it to him to decide – you know – well, whether he should.’
‘And he failed to divine his responsibility,’ I said coolly.
Vanessa started to tremble. Up till now she had been maintaining her position, legs straight, fingers on toes, with the perfect poise and balance of a gymnast. I stroked her bottom once more, calming her.
‘I presume the cupboard’s still locked, is it?’
It was, of course. To her credit, Marilyn had the key to hand.
There they all were, just I had left them: the disciplinary implements Marilyn’s father had handed on to me at our wedding. I remembered how keen he had been to instruct me in their use; the weekly practice sessions he had selflessly supervised until he was convinced I was proficient with the whole set. I was sure Marilyn remembered those sessions too.
I lifted down the lightest of the straps, a supple length of leather two inches wide, and flexed it between my hands. A reassuring aroma of Neat’s foot oil rose from it.
‘I’m glad to see you have been looking after them, at least,’ I said.
‘Yes – well – I didn’t like to use them, Howard,’ my wife confessed in a low voice. ‘They are yours.’
I was touched by the sentiment; by her loyalty. Nevertheless, I had to correct her. ‘Ours, darling,’ I said.
Rebuked, Marilyn clasped her hands in front of her and bowed her head.
I ran the strap through my fingers, reacquainting myself with the capable heft of it.
‘Panties down, please, Vanessa.’
Our guest reached behind her and lowered her white panties.
She had been trained well, to do exactly what she was told and no more. When she returned her fingertips to her toes, her panties remained at mid-thigh. Her legs were slightly parted. Her display was, frankly, breathtaking.
How could any man have withheld his hand? The fool had obviously been unworthy of her. Our nation would provide someone better than Pascal for her, I was sure.
It is not unusual for a young woman’s first encounter with the strap to be immediately effective. As soon as Vanessa felt the leather smack down across her bare bottom, she began to call out. It was the sound of frustration, loneliness and guilt, held too long inside. ‘Let it out, Vanessa,’ I said, encouraging her with the strap.
It continued as I stood back to listen. I tested her temperature with the back of my hand. I looked at Marilyn, who was watching keenly, her anxiety still evident. ‘Not much more,’ I said, for her sake as much as Vanessa’s.
I delivered another stroke, and another. On the third Vanessa’s hands flew back to protect herself. I was sure it was something she would never have done except in extremity. Tears were falling from her eyes; and I decided her punishment was over.
I raised her up and embraced her briefly, formally, before passing her to my wife, on whose shoulder she wept out the rest of her woes.
‘Say thank you to Mr Morgan,’ said Marilyn.
‘Thank you… Mr Morgan,’ said Vanessa, sniffling.
‘Everything will be all right,’ I told her, while Marilyn helped her gather up her clothes. ‘We’ll have a talk in a couple of days, about the Home Office.’
‘I’m sure you can help her, can’t you, Howard?’ said Marilyn.
A handkerchief pressed to her face, Vanessa hurried gasping up to bed.
Marilyn came to me. I took her in my arms, but did not hold her long. There was more yet to be done. ‘Will you go up and get ready now?’ I asked her. She nodded, almost as tense as Vanessa had been before. ‘I’ll be up in a minute,’ I said.
I sat alone in the drawing room and drank a glass of Glenmorangie. The smell of home surrounded me, as if the very furniture was congratulating and welcoming me. I thought, if I felt proud and pleased with my homecoming, I had every reason.
I rinsed out my glass and stood it to drain. I checked the doors were all locked and the lights turned off. Then I went up to say goodnight to the girls.
Vanessa was tucked up in bed. Her eyes were still red, but her face seemed calm now and relaxed. She looked up at me with something resembling gratitude.
‘What do you think of the strap?’ I asked.
She gave a pout. ‘It hurts,’ she said.
I put my hand on the duvet. ‘May I see?’ I asked.
Vanessa hesitated the merest instant, then pulled the quilt aside. I had not realised she would be naked beneath it. Her body was slender and pale. The shadowy triangle beneath her belly was a promise of bliss for some future fortunate man.
At my bidding she turned over and lifted her bottom for me to look. I adjusted the shade of the bedside lamp. The marks of the strap were red and angry.
‘The pain is not all,’ she said.
Vanessa gave me permission to soothe her with some lotion from her dressing table. She did not object when my hand lingered over the task, frankly enjoying the feel of her flesh. I covered her up and left her to dream of a happier future.
Vicky was already asleep. As I stood there looking down at her tousled hair I wondered which had needed the punishment more, she or her sister. No doubt the amount of discipline they earned or avoided might be another cause of rivalry between them. I felt sure we could give them both the best, before they went home.
Softly I touched Vicky’s foot through the covers, smiling as I thought of her hero-worship. ‘Hairbrush tomorrow,’ I promised, quietly, then turned and left the room.
* * *
Marilyn was kneeling on our bed. She was naked. Her beautiful bottom was turned towards me. The bedroom was perfumed with desire.
I went to her and caressed her.
‘I wish we had had someone to take care of you for me, my love,’ I said, ‘while I was gone.’
‘I didn’t mind waiting, Howard,’ she said, not turning round. ‘Howard?’
‘Yes, my love?’
‘Is it the cane?’
‘I’m afraid it must be,’ I said.
‘I don’t mind,’ she said quickly. ‘It’s been very hard –’
Thoughtfully I went back downstairs and took the length of yellow wood from the cupboard. I would use it now, then not again on Marilyn for another year, perhaps. Our two young houseguests knew about it, though neither of them had tasted it yet. Marilyn’s father had taught us it is always a good idea to keep something in reserve, for grievous offences and very special occasions.
Marilyn had not moved. I took my position, behind her and to the left, the fingertips of my left hand resting on her spine. She was not trembling, not even slightly.
‘I love you, darling,’ she said.
The cane sliced into her.
‘Oh!’ she cried.
Now she trembled.
I watched the tracks burn across the white hills of her cheeks. Perhaps I should have woken Vanessa and Vicky, to watch this and learn what the future might hold. I raised the cane again, and took a breath, and brought it down.
It was the swiftest of canings. She had been waiting too long already. I striped her bottom with a classic six, then flung the rod aside and pulled off my own clothes. Seizing Marilyn by the hips, I thrust. Gasping already, she reached back and guided me in. We rocked and swayed together for a timeless time. I climbed up on the bed, in front of her now. She swam backwards across the mattress, pushing, pushing back at me. Our tongues found one another.
Thus we moved, back and forth, this way and that, until Marilyn raised her legs to me and put them on my shoulders. She lifted her bottom as if in pride, showing me the stripes I had engraved there; and the next instant we extinguished in each other the loneliness and longing of a thousand days.
Afterwards Marilyn cuddled up to me, pressing against my chest. She could not bear to be so much as an inch away, it seemed. She kissed me consummately, and taking hold of my hands, pulled them onto her bottom, rubbing herself with them, as if only the hand that had marked her could soothe her.
She murmured in her most satisfied tone, and kissed my neck. ‘I’m so very glad you’re home, darling.’
THE HEADMASTER, a large broad man with a face that seemed to have been wiped clean of bluffness and geniality shook hands with Mr Blake, the youngest of the school’s governors.
‘I have two girls to be caned,’ said Mr Hargreaves. ‘I’m sorry you have been troubled.’
‘Not at all,’ smiled Mr Blake, his blue eyes twinkling at the prospect in store. ‘One has to take the rough with the smooth.’
The young governor did not say whether he thought witnessing a caning came under the category of ‘rough’ or ‘smooth’. Actually it was the best part of being a governor of Abbeyfield School. Abbeyfield was a very expensive Girls’ Boarding School with an excellent academic record. It was a very strict school but canings were the exception rather than the rule. It was also a rule that a school governor attended such occasions. Firstly, he was an impartial witness and secondly, it showed the erring young ladies just how serious the situation was. An Abbeyfield girl might be caned once, but never twice.
‘We’ll get it over with right away,’ sighed the Head. ‘Then you can take tea with us.’
He went outside to give his secretary an instruction and then he produced a thin, crook-handled cane from the centre drawer of a large oak desk. The desk was a piece of furniture that would make an American antiques collector drool with envy. Mr Blake ran a comb through his tidy, fair hair and brushed away some imaginary flecks from his neat grey suit. Then he moved his chair to the wall. This was an excellent position from which to view the caning. There was a timid knock on the door.
‘Come in!’ called out Mr Hargreaves, drawing himself up to his full height and clutching at the lapels of his checked sports jacket.
The door opened to admit a tall blonde girl. Mr Blake’s mouth dropped open at the sight of the gorgeous creature. She invoked a twinge in his scrotum right away. The girl closed the door by leaning her back against it. She remained in that position for several long seconds before moving to the centre of the room. Her legs were slim and superbly shaped and she teetered on narrow, high-heeled shoes as she approached the desk.
‘Diana,’ began Mr Hargreaves.
‘No sir.’ She shook her head, a mop of blonde bubble curls. ‘Felicity.’
‘Well Felicity,’ said the Head slowly. ‘Perhaps you would like to tell Mr Blake, the governor, exactly why you are being caned.’
She turned to look at the fair-haired young man. Her face flushed and she bit her lip. Felicity hesitated, but she was well aware of the fact that the independent witness had to know exactly what she had done that warranted the ultimate punishment that Abbeyfield School could give. The governor was only just getting over the shock of seeing such a beautiful girl. He gazed, almost in awe, at her. Felicity was a limpid-eyed blonde who looked as if more than butter had just melted in her mouth.
The electric tingling in his loins increased as Felicity guiltily and haltingly recounted her ‘crime’. It was more than butter that had melted in her mouth. The gardener’s boy had got the sack but Felicity was to get the cane! She hung her head contritely after her confession. Mr Blake stared at her with the same intensity as a fan would stare at his film idol. Felicity was obviously a girl who created havoc in the hearts and loins of all who saw her.
‘Don’t you agree that such conduct is absolutely disgraceful?’ Mr Hargreaves asked of the governor.
Mr Blake agreed – eventually. Somehow the words seemed to stick in his throat. There was an aura of sensual innocence about the girl – a sort of wet-dream like quality. Her eyes, large and long-lashed, looked at the young governor. They were inviting, challenging almost. The gardener’s boy couldn’t have had a chance. The poor lad might have got the sack, but he probably wouldn’t care if he never worked again. He watched her closely as Mr Hargreaves delivered a lecture. Mr Blake wasn’t listening to it and he doubted very much whether Felicity was either. Her mouth was like a little rosebud and her front teeth, which were slightly prominent, served only to increase the girl’s sensual appeal.
Mr Blake wisely decided to cross one leg over the other. He sat, spellbound. Felicity was wildly beautiful. Her eyes were so big and blue, he felt he could jump off a springboard and swim in them. Mr Hargreaves carried on with his homily. He seemed to be completely unmoved by the girl’s beauty. Perhaps his many years in the company of young beauties had dulled his senses. The young governor wished that the event could be witnessed by a video camera so that he could relive it over and over again. He tried to memorise every detail of the girl’s looks and appearance so that he could bring her to mind whenever he wished. Her nose seemed just right for the mouth. The eyes were exactly the right size and shape and colour for her hair and everything.
‘Remove your clothing, Felicity!’
Mr Blake’s heart lurched as he heard the order barked by the Headmaster. Felicity’s tongue darted out and she flicked it across her lips. Her nostrils flared. It was customary for Abbeyfield girls to be naked when they were being caned. Many years ago, when the rules had been laid down, Abbeyfield girls left the school long before they reached their eighteenth birthday. Although it now catered for girls taking their ‘A’ levels, no-one had thought fit the change to rules. Besides, schools like Abbeyfield did not like seeing their customs changed, even if it meant sixth formers baring their all.
So it was that Felicity lowered her head and started to remove her white blouse with long, trembling fingers. When it was open all the way, she shrugged her lovely body out of it and laid it on the Headmaster’s desk. Her flesh was firm and youthful. Her breasts filled out her brassiere. Was that the next piece of clothing she would discard? No. Her hands went to the fastener of her navy blue skirt. Suddenly it slid down her legs and landed at her feet. They were the most graceful legs that Mr Blake had ever seen – bare, shapely and expertly moulded.
She twisted as she extricated her feet. Her skimpy pants clung to her bottom, leaving taut crescents of delectable flesh visible to Mr Blake. Mr Hargreaves tapped the palm of one hand with the cane whilst he waited patiently for Felicity to complete her undressing.Her bra was next. Suddenly it was off. A little embarrassed, Felicity tried to cover herself. All she did however was to display her white exciting breasts to even greater advantage. She seemed to be holding two captured doves in her hands.
Mr Blake’s eyes moved on downwards. Her semi-transparent panties revealed the wad of hairs beneath. Even before they were removed it was obvious that Felicity was a natural blonde. Her ‘collar and cuffs’ matched perfectly. To peel down her knicks she had to take her hands away from her upper half. Her two full white mounds were perfectly proportioned and her tiny, bright pink nipples were erect and very pretty. Mr Blake naturally stared at the blonde pubic curls. If only he could entwine them around his fingers…
Her embarrassment gone, Felicity displayed her body to his hungry gaze before Mr Hargreaves moved around to the other side of his desk. Her nudity had the startling quality of an alabaster statue. The sight was almost too much to take in. Almost!
‘Over the desk please, Felicity,’ ordered the Headmaster.
The girl took a deep breath with her beautiful breasts rising proudly. Then she teetered on the high-heeled shoes towards the desk. Stretching out her arms, she lay over the highly polished top of one of Abbeyfield’s precious heirlooms and poked her rear high into the air. Her bottom looked like two smooth balls with golden wisps curling between them. Mr Blake uncrossed his legs, made an adjustment for his personal comfort and then crossed them again. Mr Hargreaves lined up the cane by placing it on the round target. Then he raised it high into the air before bringing it down with all his power.
The result sounded like a pistol shot. Felicity gave vent to a loud ‘Owww!’
Her bottom looked like a hot cross bun with a thin red line at right angles to her deep dividing cleft. Mr Blake hit her again. Her body trembled, then she went rigid emitting a little squeal as she did so. Now there was a set of tramlines running straight across the delightful contours of her posterior. The Head brought down the cane once more. It was the halfway mark. Another stripe, lower down this time, adorned Felicity’s young and tender bum flesh. The blonde howled and Mr Blake’s nostrils flared as he watched her writhing haunches.
Her pretty bottom was just not pretty anymore – or maybe, in a way, it was more pretty than ever! Mr Hargreaves had really laid into her. The poor girl was going to experience discomfort for some time. The Headmaster paused in his efforts. The sore bumcheeks clenched as they waited for the next cut.
‘Yeeowww!’ roared out Felicity as the cane hit the join between her thighs and buttocks.
There were still two to go. Mr Blake knew that the Head would not let up. Felicity knew it too. Sobbing openly now, her hands clenched and unclenched tremulously.
‘Ow.. oh.. ooh.. agh!’ yelled out the stricken girl as the cane dug into her rich moons.
Her legs flailed obscenely. Mr Blake had picked the perfect position. Now he had seen absolutely everything Felicity had to offer. The governor sighed. There was only one more stroke to go. What a pity! He wanted it to go on and on. Mr Hargreaves waited for the girl to stop squirming. He didn’t like the way she had parted her thighs but it couldn’t really be helped. The cane began its whipping descent. There were five marks disfiguring the girl’s bum. And there would still be only five when he had delivered the sixth and last stroke. The last one cracked into one of the earlier weals and Felicity nearly went berserk. Then her back arched and she squealed softly for a long few seconds. Visibly she relaxed and moaned again very softly to herself.
She lay panting for a while. Mr Hargreaves moved slowly round to the other side of the desk. Mr Blake stared at the slashed buttocks and the valley between until Felicity stood painfully upright. Crying openly, she put her clothes back on to cover up the lovely body that the Creator had given to her. She rubbed her eyes with her fists as Mr Hargreaves delivered a few final, well-chosen words.
‘We’ll have the other one in now,’ he ended by saying.
Felicity hobbled out of the room. Mr Blake felt the loss of her presence immediately the door closed behind her. It was almost a traumatic shock.
There was another timid knock. Then the door opened to admit the second girl who was down for a caning. Mr Blake had been so absorbed in the delights of Felicity that he had forgotten there was to be a second caning. His mouth dropped open. He couldn’t believe his eyes. The gorgeous, bubble-curled creature teetered towards the Headmaster on her narrow, high-heeled shoes. Her legs were so long it seemed as though they were never going to stop.
‘Well, Diana,’ began Mr Hargreaves.
Mr Blake had still not recovered from his shock when Felicity’s twin sister turned towards him to confess in a voice sweetly softened by shame what she, too, had done with the gardener’s boy.
Fiona Lewison continues her exploration of the different roles women play in spanking magazine fantasies and their enduring appeal. You can read part one by clicking on the highlighted link.
Nursing is a tough, yet rewarding, job that carries a lot of responsibility and requires a good deal of emotional investment in the business of caring for the sick. At least that’s how I saw it when I was in training. The reality is somewhat different, but I won’t go into that here. Suffice to say, a pretty girl in a crisply starched nurses’ uniform is a prime target for a disciplinary fantasy, and Janus etc were not slow to exploit it. In my day, the worst you could expect was being barked at by Sister, but that didn’t stop my mind wandering off into a dream world where I faced a hastily convened tribunal for a series of life-threatening mistakes and ended up over the lap of a handsome doctor. And quite right too. Nurses need to behave responsibly at all times, and what better than the threat of a smacked bottom to keep them on their toes? It’s perfectly natural and, of course, very entertaining.
I think my favourite photo-story is the caning of Nurse Brierley in Janus 48. The uniform is authentic, there’s a palpable air of menace about the beastly male doctor, and there’s a couple of very atmospheric shots of our heroine staring with disbelief at the dreaded implement that’s about to be used on her. It’s a nice touch. She is also, in keeping with pretty much every depiction of a nurse, wrapped up nicely in black stockings and suspenders. I know for a fact you’ll think I’m making this up, but when I was at Westminster Hospital almost all of us wore stockings rather than tights. You’re on your feet all day in a warm and stuffy environment, and stockings were simply more comfortable and hygienic. So if you’ve ever been in hospital and wondered what that pretty nurse wore under her uniform, now you know (probably).
Other photo-stories explore the primly dressed, and often rather flustered, district nurse, who has heard stories about old Mr So-and-So but arrives breathlessly on a bicycle determined that there will be no funny business whatsoever. Inevitably, she falls foul of her libidinous patient, who is miraculously more fit and able than was anticipated, and is persuaded over his lap for a nice bare bottom spanking. At least she can cycle off in the knowledge that she has done her bit to improve patient morale, and that Mr So-and-So will make a full recovery sooner than expected. Florence Nightingale would have approved.
I’m sure you’ll all agree that there’s something rather special about a tight-skirted secretary being spanked over her boss’s lap or bent over her desk for a sharp dose of the office ruler. The employer/employee relationship provides all the justification we need for a realistic fantasy, and we can easily imagine a clause in the contract of employment stating specifically that junior females are liable to, or can opt for, corporal punishment at the manager’s discretion. The secretary could, of course, refuse the boss’s disciplinary advances, but that would mean losing her job. Reason prevails, and she takes the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. Sensible girl.
I was a secretary myself in the mid-1980s, and I often imagined just such a situation. My boss was a gruff, old-fashioned man in his fifties (I was 22 or 23), and frankly he would not have looked out of place in a Janus photo-story. Would I have taken a spanking from him if he’d suggested it? I don’t know. Probably not, because I would have been too frightened. But I thought about it a lot, and I’ve had a soft spot for this fantasy ever since. There’s just something about it that has always appealed to me. It is, I suppose, one of the few fantasies that you can actually imagine happening. There are undoubtedly young women out there who would take this kind of opportunity to avoid being dismissed. Some of them would welcome it too, and that’s a very interesting thought.
The idea reached the mainstream in the 2002 film Secretary, and I’m guessing there’s not a single reader here who hasn’t seen it. I didn’t particularly like it, but it was undoubtedly a breakthrough piece of cinema. I found the spanking scenes over-sexualised and a little frenzied, even sadistic, and I just couldn’t connect with them as much as I wanted to. Maggie Gyllenhaal is magnificent as the troubled, self-harming masochist, but what her character seeks isn’t punishment, as I understand it, but simply another form of pain.
If I have a favourite ‘secretary’ it’s Abigail Laine from Janus 136. She’s sexy and very cheeky, and the perfect candidate for a smacked bottom. She understands the need for it, and takes it with good grace as every woman should.
In next week’s final part Fiona concludes her look at female roles in spanking magazines with ‘Guilty girlfriends’ and ‘Wilful wives’.
Fiona Lewison reflects on the different roles women play in spanking magazines and their enduring appeal.
It occurred to me the other day that, over the course of my life, I’ve been a daughter, a schoolgirl, a nurse, a secretary, a girlfriend and a wife. I’ve never committed a serious criminal offence, so I haven’t been summoned to a meeting with the Moral Welfare Officer. I’ve never been a flight attendant, a maid, a shop girl or a Wren. But, apart from these, which are niche even in our little world, I’ve lived through pretty much every female role in the pages of Janus and other magazines of its kind. So I thought I’d take a look at these different roles to find out why they’re so popular, and hopefully to get your views on the subject. Do you have a favourite school or domestic photo-shoot? Is there a particular scenario that touches a nerve in you? Does it matter who the woman is, as long as she’s getting her just deserves? I tend to agree with this last statement, and that the stereotype merely adds spice to an already stimulating picture in our minds. But perhaps you have a different view.
A little research seems to show that daughters generally appear in spanking magazines only when they’re someone else’s. It’s an interesting distinction, and perhaps the editors and the audience of the time felt that direct parental discipline was somehow off limits. Was it too close to home? Was it considered inappropriate? There’s a perfectly good argument against a photo-story showing a man smacking his own daughter’s bottom. But surely we would all accept mum doing it? It’s a cosy domestic scene; a glimpse into a private affair that we feel a sense of privilege in seeing. We can easily believe in the maternal instincts at play, and we know that it’s not motivated by sexual desire. And yet, despite this, it’s very sexy. The daughter is at least 18, she’s probably going out to work, and she almost certainly has a boyfriend. But she’s not too old to be turned over mum’s knee and taught a lesson that we all know is good for her. It has warmth, and a sense of justice and usefulness.
But when it comes to someone else’s daughter we have a free rein, and this is where it gets really interesting. Some of the time, in Janus and its rivals, it’s a mum who lacks assertiveness and is at her wits’ end when it comes to her daughter’s behaviour. She has applied to a neighbour, or relative or family friend for help, and we all know what that means: a stay at a strange house with draughty corridors, creaking stairs and an occupant who is not always acting in the girl’s best interests. It’s generally an older man, and he is depicted as having a rather pleasant time in his role as temporary guardian. Tight pyjamas seem popular, as does the suggestion that a girl should not be alarmed or ashamed about being au naturel. And, of course, there’s a daily routine of largely gratuitous punishments involving a particularly ripe and appealing bottom.
Other stories suggest something more subtle. A particular favourite of mine is mum having a little chat with her daughter before the girl skips off to work in her first job. The boss is known for his old-fashioned ways, and the daughter should not worry about anything and just do as he says even if what he demands seems odd and unnecessary. The girl hasn’t a clue what her mum is talking about, but she soon finds out and before long we see her meekly accepting a spanking or a dose of the strap. And the boss, of course, is having a whale of a time taking advantage of the girl’s youth and naivety. All very naughty and delicious.
‘Schoolgirls’ are the staple of any spanking magazine, and for good reason. There’s an implicit unadulterated youthfulness, a sexy uniform and a chance for male readers to identify with a classic authority figure who holds sway over perhaps hundreds of likely candidates for a little ‘personal attention’. There’s also a perfectly valid excuse for corrective punishment. Girls at school today are punished with detentions, gating and exclusion, and it is easy for us to imagine a bygone age when discipline was a more summary affair. It is difficult to justify the prevalence in spanking magazines of male teachers and headmasters with the authority to deal with recalcitrant girls on the bare bottom, but there’s no good reason for that to bother us. It’s vaguely plausible, and we can accept it quite happily. It also makes it much more serious and frightening for the girl. And we like that sense of fear, because that’s what makes it a punishment and not a piece of frivolous nonsense.
Back in the early 1980s, I went to great lengths to buy what I thought was a nice school uniform. From the waist up, and from the knee down, it was entirely authentic: white blouse, striped tie, prefect badge, knee socks, flat shoes. The middle part, i.e. the skirt, was subject to a little artistic licence in that it was, of course, a games skirt. No self-respecting girl would wear such a short item for class, let alone a visit to the headmaster’s study or the punishment room. But, let’s face it, it’s more fun that way, both for the wearer and the viewer. It made me feel young and sexy, even virginal, and I enjoyed the pleasure it gave to me and others.
School punishments in the pages of Janus and its kind, although exploiting a well-used female stereotype, were highly charged, highly sexual affairs. What I found particularly exciting was the glaringly obvious conflict of interest. On the surface, we have a male teacher who is simply doing his duty by the pupils in his charge. We all accept that girls at school should be spanked when they misbehave, and who better to take on that responsibility than an upstanding member of the educational establishment? All well and good, except for the rather unnerving fact that we’re talking about an adult male seeing, touching and smacking a girl’s bottom. It seems to me there’s a strong likelihood that he’ll enjoy this particular duty. And why wouldn’t he? The girl is young, pretty and at his mercy. It ticks all the right boxes. And that’s not the worst of it, as I’m sure you know. Some physical reactions are just unstoppable. And that is grossly inappropriate for a man with such serious responsibilities. So, it’s wrong on all counts, and that’s what makes the fantasy so utterly spellbinding.
Next week Fiona continues her journey through female roles in spanking magazines and considers ‘Negligent Nurses’ and ‘Sloppy Secretaries’.
Janus’ legendary illustrator and model Paula Meadows reflects on her time with the long running spanking magazine and beyond to a life after CP.
Interview by Jon Rayworth
Jon Rayworth: It’s great to meet you Paula. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview.
Paula Meadows: My pleasure.
JR: We know quite a lot about how you discovered CP (see Janus 29) but we don’t know how you came to be involved with Janus. Can you tell us how that came about?
PM: I had done some modeling for soft-core magazines in the early 80s… to explain why I did that would take far too long – it was one of those peculiar shots in the dark that propelled me into a different mode. Anyway, through this I met photographers, and one of them was Vic Barnes. He told me he was also doing photo-shoots for Janus and was always on the lookout for new locations. I said he could use my flat in Ladbroke Grove, which had quite a large living room/kitchen area. Vic was someone I immediately trusted. He was friendly and very careful to ensure that his female models felt comfortable. (In the context of a Janus shoot this has to be interpreted slightly differently!)
I knew very little about Janus at this point but had a sudden inkling that I might enjoy that sort of modeling. When I told Vic that I would be quite happy to take a spanking myself on camera he arranged to include me in the next shoot at my own home.
JR: Was this the one where you modeled as Lesley?
PM: Yes, that’s right. The very first shoot was the one that appeared in Janus 13 with that lovely dark haired dominant lady, who later became a close friend.
JR: So, when did you start as Janus illustrator?
PM: After we had finished that shoot and Vic was packing up his equipment he mentioned that Janus had recently taken on a new editor and they were now looking for an illustrator. He knew I was an artist so suggested I went along to meet Peter.
JR: What was your interview with Peter like?
PM: Here I must mention that back in 1981 a woman going alone into a sex shop in Old Compton Street was almost unheard of! I had never been in one and I thought the men inside would have been extremely embarrassed if I had – such was the general shame that surrounded us then, and the uncomfortable separation between men and women where any sort of erotica was concerned. That discomfort was even more pronounced in the world of CP. It was generally believed that this was a male driven activity and women only consented to be on the receiving end if they were coerced, intimidated or paid large sums of money. Now, here I was proving that this was not the case.
It felt very exciting, and a little strange, to be going to the Janus shop – well, not actually going in but better still, going back stage, so to speak. Penetrating into the workings of the minds that created it and seeing how it functioned. I entered the side door, next to the shop, climbed the stairs gingerly and found Peter in his office.
The thing I remember about him was his exacting attention to detail. Only the very best would be tolerated for Janus! Do you know, he had such a bearing about him that you automatically pictured him with a cane in his hand. The cane was a sort of extension of his arm, and personality. The moment I went into his office, I had a strong intuition that he would cane me sometime.
JR: And did he?
PM: As a matter of fact, yes. It was something that happened because I had a naughty twinkle in my eye in those days and wanted to push things as far as they would go. I am not sure how I would describe those canings now. It was all very controlled and proper. He was a great expert. Most people might assume that he was taking advantage of his position as editor, but nothing could be further from the truth. I really think that I expected it of him. I would deliver the drawings and receive a short sharp six of the best. I daresay he thought he was keeping his staff in order – but I used to joke about it being my reward!
JR: What were your first impressions once you started illustrating for Janus?
PM: Well, to begin with, the Janus themes of naughty schoolgirls and discipline didn’t gel with me at all. It simply wasn’t my world. Up until then I had experienced spanking as a means of stimulation and helping me override inhibitions. My fascination was the idea of submitting to a man by choice to see what would happen. The one thing I never thought about was punishment and discipline. I hate to disappoint fans of Janus but since I am now retired from it all I would like to speak out and say that I never felt turned on by the idea of a fault-finding headmaster giving me a ticking off! Neither did I relish the humiliation of being spread-eagled across someone’s knee.
JR: But you managed to draw all those things with relish.
PM: Oh yes, I did. The scenes of punishment offered me great opportunities to create exciting dramatic situations with intense emotions, and facial expressions to go with it. I used to be an actress, remember! I really got involved with illustrating those scenes and began to understand how being punished in school (particularly during an era when sex was kept well hidden) could become a really erotic experience because you were so exposed. I used to identify with the dominant and the submissive while I was drawing.
JR: You mentioned in an earlier interview that you got to know Richard Manton who created the character of Lesley and wrote many classic stories for the magazine over the years. What can you tell us about him and what do you remember about your first appearance as Lesley?
PM: I believe two Lesley stories appeared in the magazine and it was the photoshoot for the second one that stands out most vividly in my memory. I particularly remember that Lesley had to be attired exactly as described in the text– flesh-coloured tights and a little white singlet. This made me feel strangely vulnerable. Come to think of it, Peter was rather partial to girls being chastised in innocent white vests – he had me wearing one again for a much later shoot in a flat with some very busy red flock wallpaper… honestly, it really was overpowering. Ha… it’s coming to something when you have to compete with the wallpaper for attention! At one point Peter made me run on the spot and I remember thinking, ‘Oh dear, I’m getting too old for wearing little girl undies and being put through these sorts of indignities!’ But of course, that was the whole point of the exercise.
Oh sorry, I’m digressing. You were asking about RM – I first met him during that second Lesley shoot. He looked in to give some guidance, if I remember correctly. We tried hard to reconstruct his story to perfection, but no one was willing to show their face for the camera on that occasion, so we just had a mysterious hand appearing out of the corner of the shot, holding a cane. This made me realize that the male dominants were in an invidious position… I was willing to reveal myself because being the passive submissive was not as difficult to admit to – unless, of course, you happened to be talking to militant feminists! Strangely enough, that question never bothered me. I was just following my own instincts and this was what I needed to do at the time.
JR: What was RM like?
PM: He was a very shy and restrained man, extremely charming and respectful. We got on very well and I still value his friendship and appreciate his wit and humour. You have to admit… even in an extreme punishment scenario there is still a funny side. He was very fond of researching the Victorians and digging up stories of stern disciplinarians who took their duties terribly seriously. Nowadays we might think of them as hypocritical old windbags – or worse still –insane! But those stories were all based on fact. Ha ha… to our sensibilities today all those houses of discipline were a lot more bizarre than any fiction we might dream up… and yet these were run by very respectable people who were pillars of Victorian society.
JR: We can see some of your artwork on the wall in the photos from Janus 13. Was it shot at your house?
PM: Yes that was shot in the flat we lived in at the time. That painting on the wall was part of a series called ‘Bodyscapes’.
JR: So, how did your career as an artist begin?
PM: Well, I went to art school in Canterbury during the late 60s, which gives my age away! I studied graphics, but when the time came to leave and go out to work I chose to go into the theatre and become an actress instead. I had a great love for the theatre and for five or six years I managed to get work in rep and TV, but my beginners luck did not last and I began to be aware of my limitations as an actress. When my partner and I got together he was writing a book for children, which I illustrated. That was my first professional illustration job.
As theatre work on-stage tailed off, I began to work back-stage in London theatres instead. From that vantage point I managed to get commissions for painting portraits of the performers in the shows. It was only when I started to explore my sexuality that a more erotic sort of art began to emerge. That was like a big breakthrough. It felt as if I had found my subject… the thing I really wanted to devote myself to!
JR: You were the only member of the Janus team to have a public face. Whose idea was it to unmask Lesley as Paula Meadows the Janus artist?
PM: I deliberately chose to ‘come out’ and reveal myself because it seemed right. I was in a position to do that because I had no children to worry about and in a way, since I had elected to be honest and straightforward, it was no good me veiling myself and remaining anonymous. Someone has to speak out and say, ‘I do this and I like it!’ Sometimes we have to go beyond what the world thinks of as ‘perverted’ and admit to it so we can understand it as a need. I don’t really care what the world in general thinks any more.
The year before I started at Janus my family found out that I had appeared in an X rated video so the worst had already happened! Once I had weathered that, there were no more reasons for covering up.
JR: You eventually left Janus to work on a new spanking magazine – Fessée. I was wondering how that came about and what you enjoyed most about your time working on those eleven excellent issues?
PM: Oh, was it only 11? It certainly seemed like a lot more at the time.
Yes, Janus came to an end because I spent rather a long time in the USA and another illustrator had to be found. I think Peter probably felt I let him down.
I can remember clearly meeting St. John and Michael for the first time – I was very surprised by them… their attitude towards me seemed almost reverential! Because of this I realized that my work was starting to acquire something of a reputation. They were quite young men, late twenties early thirties, while I was in my late thirties by that time. They were relatively inexperienced at publishing, but their enthusiasm was enormous.
PCs were not in use then so magazines had to be typeset and pasted up… a process that now seems impossibly laborious. I had several years experience doing paste-up so we agreed that The Boys – I always called them that – would take care of photo-shoots and financial matters and I would do all the rest. We were a good team. When Fessée number 1 finally came out there was a real sense of achievement! It had been such hard work.
JR: Eventually the call came to return to the Janus fold and the opportunity for creative control of your own magazine – Februs. Can you tell us how that happened?
PM: This was a great opportunity! The invitation to create a new magazine came completely out of the blue, from the publisher. This time St.John and I would be putting it together. We did have computers now and we found a designer who would take care of the technical stuff. This lady became a friend and although she wasn’t a devotee of CP at all, she began to learn about it and became quite intrigued. We used to discuss the stories over the phone sometimes and I used to hear her chortling.
It dawned on me that Februs could be a wonderful means of making contact with all those aficionados – the lonely, frustrated ones as well as the fulfilled ones… and both male and female this time. No longer was this the preserve of men only! This new magazine would hopefully appeal to women too. I longed to talk for real about my own experiences and hear what readers had to say… and I could choose stories and do most of the drawings myself – how many other artist have this privilege?
JR: What did you enjoy most about your time editing Februs?
PM: Hm… let me see… I think, looking back, that one of the most enjoyable parts of it was being able to write up my own thoughts on the subject. I know the readers wanted genuine comments from real women. When you look back to sex magazines of the 70s there were often female editors (like Fiona Richmond) who supposedly wrote columns but it was obvious that a man had written it… so readers were naturally suspicious. Now here I was being given the freedom to express my own point of view and I had to make sure it was genuine. In the background I was having a lot of erotic adventures at the time, most of which featured a bit of s/m role-play, and experimenting with different implements and situations. It was very satisfying to be able to describe them and mull over in my mind what was happening. To write something is to make it more understandable and lots of things occurred to me while I was doing it. At one time I thought I could cure all the world’s psychological ills with a dose of CP, if administered in the right way. I’m not kidding… such was my idealistic zeal! I thought I had stumbled on a great secret.
Obviously I enjoyed doing the drawings more than anything else, for the same reason. Although they illustrated a specific story, they were also a personal expression of what was happening for real in my life. I always imagined myself and my friends in the pictures… each one came alive while I was doing it… well, usually it did. If it didn’t then it wasn’t much good!
JR: I wonder if we could talk a little about how the magazine was put together. How long did it take to prepare each issue and how ‘hands-on’ were you with regard to the photography, fiction etc?
PM: Oh, I was very ‘hands-on!’ St.John organized the shoot but I frequently came along to help him direct the storyline. The photos would then be sent to me and I would choose the ones I wanted to use. A pile of manuscripts had to be read and I would select the ones that appealed and forward them to our designer to type up. I wasn’t very computer literate in those days… just about managed to type my column but couldn’t do the clever stuff with design programmes. I would get copies of the text and lay it out with the photos and drawings… did a quick paste-up job and then sent it all back to the designer to finalize and send to the printer. An important part was editing and doing last minute corrections. The printer was a very nice, friendly fellow. He often used to drop the latest issue in to me, hot off the press, so we could look through it together.
JR: I counted 13 original pieces of artwork in just one issue of Februs – how long would it take you to produce this content?
PM: The magazine came out every two months and I remember feeling very pressurized to get it done. We were only a small team, you see. It was great to see it in print – when it all looked good, that is. When something was wrong – like a drawing not printed properly, or an error of some sort… I was usually infuriated and a bit obsessed about it for a while. Yes, I did work hard on the drawings for each issue. I wanted it to be the best we could make it and stand out from the rest.
Will Scarlet’s interview was usually genuine, believe it or not, although there were times when girls decided to disguise themselves. He used to be in touch with me all the time discussing his ideas, but I must admit that I worried about the whole concept of him spanking each girl he interviewed. One of those days I feared he would get into trouble. I’m glad to say he didn’t. Well, he was such a fun person to be with and had a lovely sense of humour. I’m sure no one ever felt threatened by him.
I remember in the early days we tried various photographers and St.John managed to find some wonderfully photogenic models… some of them were good actresses too. Later on we decided to ask Vic to help us with his expertise, which he did. His photos were excellent. He had the ability to find just the right angle for a bottom, to light it and show off its plumpness to perfection! But in later editions of Februs it became more and more difficult to find models who resembled normal girls with some individuality… and normal bushy pubic hair. All the models seemed to have become homogenized with the same glamorous blond hair and Brazilian wax.
JR: What was the funniest thing that occurred during your time on the magazines?
PM: Hm… it all seems amusing to me now… particularly the way I strove to get myself into the most extreme and uncomfortable positions for my readers. What a driven person I was in those days.
JR: What do you miss most about your time working on Janus and Februs?
PM: Miss? I don’t miss any of it now. When the time came to call it a day it was just the right thing to happen. I had been thinking, breathing, experiencing, writing and drawing CP for many years and it was time to say goodbye to it.
JR: It’s 11 years since Februs ceased publication. The era of spanking magazines has given way to online content and forums. What do you think have been the most significant changes the Internet has brought about for the spanking community?
PM: The reason for Februs’ demise was exactly as you have just suggested. In a word – Internet! People could find whatever they wanted, for nothing and they didn’t even have to go into a shop to ask for it. One person could buy a copy of a magazine and then post it up for all his friends! Why should they pay for it? Everyone wants things for nothing nowadays, whether it is music or images – they think they have a right to it, but this attitude is very short sighted. If the Janus publisher had not paid us in the first place to do that work, it would not have been done. Who is going to pay for the creations of the future?
That is just a general observation from my own point of view. As regards the spanking community, I cannot really comment because I have not been part of it for some time. I think any sort of interactive site carries its own risks, but may also open up avenues and prevent people feeling cut off and isolated. We can all make contact so quickly nowadays and build up huge networks in a jiffy. That’s rather daunting.
JR: Do you think Februs was ahead of its time? How do you think it would be received today?
PM: I would guess that Februs was in the forefront of something that was coming. I was just one of many women who were beginning to explore and talk about sexuality, CP and otherwise. Men could not properly be themselves until we did. I think, on the whole, women are more honest then men, now that they are out of the closet at last. It was time for this new freedom to happen.
Interest in erotic CP has been with us a long time but it changes its emphasis. In earlier times when women had an obligation to obey their husbands I can’t imagine them getting much pleasure from fantasizing about being dominated. In the 70s and 80s, many men were getting uneasy with the way females were beginning to gain confidence and this led to interesting power struggles that come out in sex play.
Nowadays young couples enter relationships with the expectation of being equals, and if they desire to explore CP together it is for the sake of extending the parameters of their relationship and getting to know each other more thoroughly. This is a healthy thing. Februs was all for this, but I am not sure that all its readers approved. I remember a few letters from members of the old school who expressed the view that some of our female authors were getting a bit too uppity for their liking! When it comes to the submissive dictating her own punishment, then that is going too far!
JR: Quite right too! Now Paula, you appeared in many issues of Janus and Februs but you only starred in a couple of spanking films. Do you have any classics hidden away in your loft that you might be tempted to release one day?! Was there any reason why you didn’t appear in more spanking films?
PM: Yes, there was! The two I did were quite enough to convince me that this was not the direction for me. In both cases I was hit much too hard and quite indiscriminately by actors who hadn’t a clue what they were doing. I know they didn’t mean to hurt me – they just lacked the skill and understanding… but why on earth would anyone in their right mind volunteer for more of that?
JR: Yes, I see. I’m guessing you never enjoyed watching those films?
PM: No, I didn’t want to watch them… but I think a lot of girls would say the same – if they’ve had experiences with people they didn’t trust.
JR: Let’s leave that behind now. Tell us about your career since Februs came to an end.
PM: I did a lot of work in France, when Februs was still going, and some of my strip cartoons are still being reissued today, by a publisher in Paris called La Musardine. For the last few years I have mainly been doing commissions for private collectors, so none of that will show up in books or magazines, unfortunately.
Have to admit, after my husband died I have been taking things at a more leisurely pace… still inspired by sensual erotic subjects, of course, and the female bottom still features in a lot of my work – but not bottoms bent over covered in stripes! Visitors to my website will see that I have also been exploring the spiritual meanings of Tarot and designing a new deck, which of course is highly erotic. How could it not be?
A few years ago an American man emailed me to find out how I was doing. He knew of me only as someone who had worked in ‘porn’ (a word I detest). After receiving my positive reply, he said, ‘Paula, I am so pleased to know that there is life after porn!’ This shocked me – he had been assuming that because I had entered this dangerous and corrupt way of life, I must necessarily be suffering from drug overdoses, attempted suicide and goodness knows what else. The fact that I was drifting happily towards my sixties, still living with the same man after 30 years, never having taken a drug in my life, seemed quite astonishing to him!
It’s true, though, that there are many casualties of the porn industry, many women – and some men! – who feel undervalued and desired only for their bodies. This is why so many of them go off to look after animals, or work for charities protecting animals. I suppose I too have felt the need to go off in a different direction since Februs came to an end. I decided that, from now on, I wanted to protect my body from any more painful whippings and canings, because it really had had enough over the years. It was time to find out why I had so passionately looked for those experiences. It’s been an interesting journey and these days my interests take me more towards the healing arts.
JR: It sounds like you’ve been doing quite a bit of reflecting?
PM: Yes, I have. I’ve been doing some writing too, trying to make sense of all my adventures… but I doubt that any of it is suitable for publication – far too personal and analytical, not written for titillation at all.
JR: Paula I think it would be fair to describe your contribution to the CP scene as a model, illustrator and editor as immense. I know this part of your life has come to a close but on behalf of the many people who continue to appreciate and enjoy your work, thank you for all you have done and for giving up your time to do this interview.
PM: Oh, that’s very kind of you, Jon. Actually…I have to admit that when you suggested interviewing me I imagined it would be difficult going back over all this, but in fact it wasn’t. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you. It’s made me realize how fortunate I have been. That whole period working for Janus allowed me the rare chance to safely experience what I wanted to experience. The work gave me the opportunity to extend myself and really delve in deep to find out about the CP world – a world that had been completely hidden before… and it allowed me to be an editor and develop my writing and my art in complete freedom. I can’t imagine having the chance to do that anywhere else.
And that seems like a good note to end on. These are probably my last words as Paula Meadows – she is now consigned to history! Come to think of it, she was first ‘invented’ in 1980, for that infamous video I made. I used the name Paula because that is my second name… and I still answer to that today, but I don’t think of myself as Paula Meadows any more.
JR: For the last time then, Paula Meadows, thank you very much. We wish you well.
The Artist Formerly Known As Paula Meadows
Paula illustrated every issue of Fessée and Februs and appeared as a model in Janus 13, Janus 21, Janus 29 and Janus 38. She also modelled in Februs 18, Februs 22 and Februs 25. A Janus Collection celebrating her favourite illustrations for the magazine is also available along with Encore Janus 9 which brings together all the surviving images from Paula’s appearances in Janus. All these magazines can be downloaded by clicking on the highlighted links.