Maternal DisciplineMy mom paddled- especially as a teenager and a young adult my bare butt from the ages of 7 to 21 (before that I got only the hairbrush). The paddle was kept in plain sight in the living room which was embarrassing as hell (Most of my friends’ parents kept the family paddle in the hall closet).Mom felt that a narrow paddle was more effective. The paddle was 2 ½’’ wide, a full inch thick, 27’’ long including a 12’’ handle, mahogany, stained with a dark varnish, with seven holes (they didn’t have any beveling) the diameter of a quarter in a vertical line down the business end, and bright orange electric tape on the extra long handle. (I measured it as a teenager) Mom felt that the electric tape improved her grip (she used a two-handed grip, and swung with all her strength). Mom, as I guess you can tell from this, had rather decided views on corporal punishment. She felt mahogany, rather than maple or oak, was the best hardwood for a paddle. It was certainly heavy. She also felt that the thin blade, varnish, extra long handle, and holes (she preferred large holes rather than smaller ones) maximized impact. At the same time, she also kept a wider frat-style paddle which was also frequently used. Of course, it was always on the bare buttocks. I had to remove my shirt so that it didn’t get in the way. Mom would undo my belt and pull down my pants and jockey shorts down to my ankles. Mom also felt that a paddling was more effective if the glut muscles were stretched so that I had to grab my ankles. There weren’t any warnings. Embarrassment was part of the discipline. The paddling took place right there in the family room regardless of who was around. Afterwards, my buttocks still bared, I had to kneel with my nose to the wall and a book in each outstretched hand for five minutes for every whack.
If I was going to get beaten, mom would give me a sharp look and move her upturned palm through the air in the Universal gesture for corporal punishment. I had to remove whatever I was wearing from the waist up, hand her the paddle, and once my butt was bared assume the position. There was no discussion or conversation; and punishment was automatic. The minimum was five whacks which I got for looking the wrong way or a hint of a rebellious attitude. Seven to ten was not uncommon for anything more than a trifling offence. Twenty-five whacks was the maximum though more than fifteen was relatively uncommon. I only got twenty or twenty-five for open disrespect, explicit disobedience or a grade below a B on a quiz or test. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV or listen to music Monday to Thursday or Sunday. I was required to study at my desk for three hours after dinner on school nights and play sports after school. Privileges were very few and swiftly revoked. I wasn’t allowed to speak to an adult unless addressed. I was expected to say “sir” or “ma’am” (or “mom,” “aunt,” etc.). at the end of a sentence).
A stiff paddling was enough to tear up my butt pretty badly, breaking blood vessels, bruising pretty badly, blistering, leaving my *** a red, black and blue mess, and often actually breaking the skin. If the skin did break, mom would sponge peroxide and alcohol on my ***. Very often, I slept on my stomach for a week or more, and would have done my homework standing up if I’d been allowed,
My aunt was just as strict as my mom, and swung just as hard, though she used a wider, larger paddle. This one was maple, unstained, 24’’ long including a 9’’ handle, 5 ½”” wide, ¾ of an inch thick, with 21 holes each ½ an inch wide. She also had me bend brace myself over a tall-backed chair while grabbing the front legs. Of course, it was always on the bare Everything else was pretty much the same. If my mom was a 10+ on a pain/effects scale, my aunt was about 9 ¾ approaching 10. My aunt, though, was even more prone to revoke privileges and assign extra chores or tasks. Like my mom, she had a policy that my punishment would be increased if I attempted to offer an excuse. I had to kneel on hard chick peas, again my butt still bared, for thirty minutes to an hour after a beating. My mom had special ordered her paddle at a lumber yard. My aunt bought hers at a hardware store.
They paddled my butt throughout high school. That was a pretty conventional paddle much like my aunt’s though I suspect slightly thinner. It still hurt like hell. You got three whacks for really trivial stuff (like hair touching the collar, cutting through the rector’s passageway, etc. Five, which you’d get for a missing homework assignment, more than trivial lateness, etc. was pretty common. Towel flicking in the showers/locker room, relatively serious fighting, open disrespect or disobedience earned you an automatic seven. They never went above ten; and that had to involve open dishonesty. Still, a visit to the prefect of discipline’s office automatically meant a paddling. If you were a junior or a senior, and a repeat offender, he’d swing as hard as he could. Still, per lick, that was a 6 or a seven compared to what I got at home. Since it was an all boys’ Catholic high school, they also paddled on the bare buttocks. You had to bend over the prefect’s desk. I’ve never been paddled over clothes except for much rarer, and milder, paddling in public school when I was younger.
Unfortunately, my mom had a rule that if I got paddled in school I’d get at least as many, and probably more, whacks at home. You can imagine how much that hurt. If I was paddled more than once in any week, I’d automatically get grounded for two weeks. My aunt, on the other hand, had a rule that if I was paddled more than once in any given week, or if I got more than ten whacks, I’d get a whipping the next Friday night. I’d have to go to my room, ***** all the way, and lay on my stomach with a pillow underneath to prop my butt up. The whipping would be twenty-five or fifty licks. She used a razor strop she’s bought at a barber supply store when I turned thirteen (before that she used a thin belt. The strop was 21’’ long, including a 6’’ handle, 3 ½ long, and 3/8 of an inch thick. It hurt quite a bit more than the belt. As an older teen and young, I was whipped with a much more severe strap: this was about 2 lbs. of leather, about 3/12 inches wide, fifteen inches long, attached to a 12” wooden handle, the thickness and consistency of a boot sole so that it somewhat thicker, and hurt a lot more, than the razor strop. It would have some holes awled in which really tore up your flesh. All these years later, I still have the fading scars.