Victorian DisciplineAll of my life, I’d had a fascination with Victorian punishments and female domination. I think this comes from early experiences in my life. In my case, the definition of “family” is kind of loose. I lived with my grandparents when I was very little, but after my Grandpa got sick I was sent to live with two older cousins, a brother and sister, and I addressed them as Aunt and Uncle. I was five when this happened.
My “Aunt” was in her 50's and had never had kids so she relied on our neighbors for advice. Which was weird because they were two old maid sisters who lived down the road from us and were good friends with Aunt. But they taught school at our local elementary school and so everyone thought they knew a lot about kids. They were very old fashioned about child-rearing. I call them Victorian but that may not be accurate. I think the truth is they didn’t like men and so they worked on the little boys in their classes to get rid of their “bad habits.” Not only did I have them as teachers when I was in 3rd and 4th grade, but I also rode to school with them every day, and they would keep me when my Aunt and Uncle took their trips. Normally I stayed with them three or four times a year, and in the summer when Aunt and Uncle went to Texas, I would stay with them for two or three weeks. When I was about 9 they would invite me to come and stay with them for several days at the beginning of the summer to help get their garden started. I begged Aunt not to make me go, but she said “oh it’s so nice” that they invite you, and so I had to do what the adults said.
Because of my screwed up childhood, I guess I did have some behavior problems. But “Miss Martha” and “Miss Mary” had lots of experience disciplining children—the truth is, I think they enjoyed it. I don’t know if it’s true, but the story was that their dad was a drunk; they told me he used the strap. And so I think they wanted revenge on men for what he had done. Miss Martha had me call her "Nanny" but she wasn't a nice nanny like the ones on t.v., she was very strict and she would work on me and encourage my Aunt and Uncle to be very strict. That's one reason that I've always been interested in Victorian times, because of little boys having to be under the complete control of strict nannies like I was.
So I had to be a very proper little boy; I had to be polite, obedient to all adults, help at mealtime and with chores, stay clean, and always play quietly. If I violated any of these rules there would be punishment. Bare bottom spankings, and when I got older, the belt. When I was 10, they gave me many, many enemas for nervousness. They did not have air conditioning; at night they would make me wear a little night shirt they made for me. I hated it because it was two short. It only barely covered my bottom so any time I bend over my bare bottom would show. I realize now that the embarrassment was another of their tools for controlling.
One time I didn’t put the hoe up after working in the garden in the afternoon and Nanny tripped on it. She says she is going to spank me after supper. I try to sneak out into the yard after I do the dishes, but she catches me and tells me to take my clothes off. She watches me undress, she says we are going to the wood shop. She has me by the ear; she is marching me to the shop. I hate having to walk across the backyard naked. There is a wooden bench that stays by the shop. She says to get it and set it out in the yard.
She puts a towel down on the bench; she goes in the shop and gets the measuring stick. It is like a yardstick but wider and thicker. She says to lay over the stool. I am crying, I say “please, no” but she just taps the stick on the bench. “Go on” she says. I am laying over the stool, my face and hands are on the ground, I can smell the grass.
She is kneeling down by me. I can feel her hand on my bottom, her fingers running down my crack as she rubs my bottom. She is talking, saying I must learn to obey, that I must be punished. She is standing over me, I can feel the stick as she rests it on my bottom. She begins very softly to give me little spanks with the stick. “Spank, spank, spank,” she hits me three times but it doesn’t really hurt. Then she stops, after a few seconds there is another “spank, spank, spank”—three quick spanks not so hard. She waits and in a minute there is another “spank, spank, SPANK” the last one is much harder and I start to really cry.
And so it went on and on, “spank, spank, SPANK” then a break to tell me to “stay still” and then another “spank, spank, SPANK.” After a minute or two each spanks burns and stings terrible, I cry and say I will be good, but each time there is just another “spank, spank, SPANK.” I don’t know how long it went on, but it seemed like a long time. She says to come in the house. I am holding my bottom with both hands, it burns awful. She says to stand in the corner. Miss Mary says “oh, look at that bright red bottom.”
I received many spanking like this from them. But my Aunt thought they were just two great old ladies and she took their advice about everything. They were like evil nannies, always poking me, and taking my temperature, giving me baths, and spanking my bare bottom while I was still wet from the tub. It was just hell to be under the complete control of these old bats, but I’m still left with this fascination for Victorian discipline and strict nannies and the little boys under their care.