Getting Used To It…

Did the deterrent value of corporal punishment wear off after you had been caned a couple of times? I was a nice boy who was never whacked and couldn’t really imagine what it was like. I wonder if I’d been given a couple of strokes early on, I would have said “Well, that hurt, but I survived, I shan’t worry so much about getting into trouble from now on.” Or would it have been more like “OMG! That was a hundred times worse than I thought! I’m never going to forget my homework again!”

Also: in the bad old days when the cane was quite common, did your bottom or your hand get physically used to it? I once met a lad who went to school in Scotland where the belt on the hand (just one stroke at a time) was almost a daily part of life, so he said. He definitely had a patch of hard skin on his left hand, which he said was from being belted so often. Was it possible to get callouses on your bum? And if so, did they provide a kind of natural “padding” which made your next canings hurt less?

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Leather butt is a condition whereby the skin covering the buttocks having been exposed to regular spankings strengthens and toughens as the body better adapts to the activities it must endure. I’ve seen this mentioned on various sites devoted to BDSM play between consulting adults and we can only hope that no school ever punished scholars often enough for the condition to develop.

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The perception and effects of corporal punishment presumably break down into the psychological and the physical.  The physical elements would seem to start with being subjected to the immediate preliminaries such as assuming the punitive posture but are mainly dictated by the actual pain of impacts and any residual pain afterward.

The psychological elements are much more complex I would think.  They will start to accrue as soon as it is clear that being subjected to CP is a likely outcome and intensify as it becomes a certainty.  They will encompass the entire pre-punishment process from accusation through investigation, the pronouncement of guilt, reprimands, and sentencing and will continue to accrue through any wait to be dealt with.

On the day they will not be confined to the punishment and its immediate preliminaries but will include the wait to be called in, any further reprimands and such things as any disrobing imposed and doubts about whether one will be able to cope with the pain,  as well as the actual assuming the position, getting whacked and residual post-whacking effects.

It seems to me that as regards the physical effects, in theory at least for an identical punishment they would be identical time after time.  If they are mitigated on second and subsequent repetitions then some development of physical protective tolerance must be involved, whether it is Leather Butt or some other mechanism.

However, I’d think it unlikely that the psychological effects of an identical punishment can possibly be the same on a second or subsequent occasion unless memory is lost.  They surely must lessen each time.  When you’ve had it once and survived (and you must have survived to be getting it a second or subsequent time the genie is out of the bottle.  You know what is going to happen and you know you can cope.  It is never again going to be as bad as it was the first time, even if the physical effects are the same.

I myself was a good little lad at school.  My first and only real experience of SCP was a smacked leg at a very young age and that had such a profound psychological effect on me that I essentially avoided any meaningful  SCP for the rest of my school career.  I cannot, therefore, support my above contention by reference to SCP.

However, there are parallels that may serve just as well.  Take winter mountaineering and a member of your party displaying the preliminary symptoms of hypothermia in an exposed and dangerous situation.   Victims can become very confused and distressed.  Often before you can get some additional warm clothing on to them you have to fight them to stop them from taking off what they are already wearing.  While they need to stay quiet and sheltered for a time to initiate recovery they are sometimes inclined to set off at a rapid pace in the wrong direction onto dangerous ground.  And finally, they usually need some assistance from one or more other members of the party on any tricky bits of the descent.

The first time it happened to me it was a verging on panic stations affair.  I knew what needed doing, but getting it done and organizing the rest of the party to do it seemed a near impossibility.   The second time was far, far easier and the third time posed no problems whatsoever.   The action needed and the interruption to normal progress was virtually identical each time.  They just got easier to deal with because I knew I could deal with them.

And so it would have been I suspect if, like some of my secondary schoolmates, I’d got myself caned by the prefects on more than one occasion.  The first, and as it transpired the only time that might have happened was fairly early on in my career there.   As already noted, at primary school getting my leg smacked in front of the class had been a traumatic experience.   The sight of the cane on the table of the prefects’ court was not dissimilar!

Had it been deployed I am absolutely certain that having to touch my toes to be whacked 3 times across the tightly stretched seat of my short trousers in front of an audience of grinning and unsympathetic prefects would have been far worse than that smacked leg.  Smacked legs seem bad when you’re little but I’m sure canes are far more painful.  However, if I’d survived the first occasion (no bodies were found when the prefects’ tower room was converted to other uses, so I suspect most people did survive  I’m certain subsequent visits for the cane would have got easier and easier to cope with, just like the hypothermia.

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I have heard credible stories of schools where CP was very regular and routine: for example, where you could get the slipper for poor marks on a test or bad homework; or where the PE teacher slippered the last person to finish getting changed, or the last person out of the swimming pool, or even the last person back from cross-country. If I had been at a school like that, I could easily have been slippered 3 or 4 times a week — once in French, which I was hopeless at, and two or three times in PE, where I always seemed to last at everything. I am sure that would have had some effect on my bottom by the end of the term…

I am sure that would have been awful. I don’t ever fantasize about being at a school like that. Honest.

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I did encounter a modicum of SCP but I was so traumatized at primary school by being bent over in front of a mixed class by a female teacher and having the leg of my short trousers hauled aloft to reveal a quite inordinate amount of thigh which she then proceeded to spank very hard that I have never mentioned the incident to a soul since and certainly could never be induced to recount it here, honest!

At secondary school, I was an academically inclined lad, though like you I was hopeless at French.  However, none of the French masters used SCP and any way to fantasize about being whacked by Doctor T, Sandy P or Oswald L would be gross indeed and I don’t do it.  Likewise, the gym masters, who most certainly did whack extensively for two out of the three reasons you mention (we didn’t have swimming then, although the school has since acquired a vast swimming pool.).  The gym masters and I had a very proper and professional mutual respect.  I knew it was their job to get me struggling to climb ropes and wrestling with wall bars in the gym or going on cross-country runs and they knew I wasn’t going to.

No, my bête noire at secondary school was the prefects, who did most of the caning that went on in the school.  My knees certainly knocked with apprehension when early in my career there I found myself up before the Prefects’ Court and saw the wicked-looking cane which lay on the court table as a symbol of their authority.

I can unreservedly assure you that I definitely do not fantasize about having to bend over and present my bottom for three hard whacks of the cane from a mini-skirted female prefect with a prefect’s badge and edge trimming colors on her blazer denoting a place on the school’s top badminton team, a sport known to promote the wrist action conducive to really effective and painful caning.  Absolutely no such fantasies, double plus honest, cross my heart and …… etc., etc.

Of course, in my day the female prefect would have been in a not quite so mini gymslip at a very traditional school like mine.  But sadly we didn’t have female prefects.  It was an all-boy school, and apart from the dining hall staff, the only women on the premises were Matron and the Headmaster’s secretary.  The school has recently gone co-ed, but they don’t have prefects anymore.  Far too authoritarian for modern tastes.  Instead, everyone in the sixth form gets to help with nurturing and protecting younger pupils instead of a selected few getting to whack ’em with canes.

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“Likewise the gym masters, who most certainly did whack extensively for two out of the three reasons you mention (we didn’t have swimming then, although the school has since acquired a vast swimming pool.)”

So some of your PE teachers whacked for being last to get changed, or last in cross-country runs? Naturally, I am not at all interested in how that worked. But I can imagine that some people might like to know — did they have to stay in the gym after the lesson, or go into his office or were they just give a whack as they went into the gym, or finished the race? Was it just one stroke? or three? Did all ages get it, or just the younger years? Did you ever get a report on what it felt like or observer the after-effects? Did this system mean that the overweight, nerdy boys felt the slipper more often than the fit sporty ones?

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No, you are mistaken I fear.  She is indubitably a prefect, actually the school’s head girl, and hence probably the head prefect as well.   The redhead girl badge can be seen on her blouse in some of the photographs, of which here is the full sequence leading up to the cane being wielded.

We see her first here on her way to the prefects’ common room with a fellow prefect.  They both have canes, ready to deal with some of the transgressing younger pupils who are due to report for punishment, having been sentenced to the cane during Wednesday morning’s sitting of the prefects’ court, .

On arrival at the prefects’ common room there is time for a brief chat to establish who will deal with who.  Normally several more prefects would be in attendance to witness the punishments and add to the discomfiture of those being caned, but various urgent duties around the school have required the attention of all the male prefects and most of the female prefects, leaving only these two to carry out the sentences of the court.

They agree that the head girl will deal with the first arrival, a blatant case of running in a quadrangle where only walking is allowed, and who has been sentenced to the maximum three beats.

There is an apprehensive tap on the door.  The head girl stands up, shouldering her cane while her companions looks very stern, cane prominently displayed.  The head girl delays a little to maximize the apprehension and unease of the waiting offender and then in her most doom-laden voice issues a stern ‘Enter!’.

A disconsolate and very apprehensive looking third former enters, looking as though he wishes he could sink through the floor.  Eyeing him with her most severe and unsympathetic gaze the head girl brings her cane to the ready and says:

“Very well Another_Lurker, you know what you’re here for and why.  Stand there, [points with the cane] back to the window.  Bend over and touch your toes, and don’t try to stand up until I tell you that you can.”  Initially, the head girl is not satisfied with Another_Lurker’s posture.  He has to straighten his knees, he has to place his fingers more firmly on the toes of his shoes.   Only when the seat of his short trousers is as tightly stretched as possible does she tap the cane against his upturned bottom.    Then a sudden swish, a crack, and an agonized yelp from Another_Lurker who has never been caned before and doesn’t find the experience at all pleasant ………….

And there we have it.  Just as it might have been if we’d been lucky enough so unfortunate as to have female prefects.  Sadly happily we didn’t.

And if you still have any doubts about the bona fides of the young ladies with the canes, just look at the file name of the third picture.  Clear as you like, “head girl and deputy”.  It’s on the web so it must be true!

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It was very much an ad hoc, spur-of-the-moment type arrangement.  If the mood so took a PT Master the last out of the changing room might get a whack with a slipper as he entered the gym area properly.  No bending over or anything formal, just whacks in passing.  Likewise, anyone deemed to have been unduly slow on a cross country run, or in running a couple of circuits of the school’s vast sports field.

I would be pretty sure that it was a ‘toughen ’em up’ practice with new boys in their first year and not a regular measure with all ages.  I started in one of the third forms at age 12 with a motley crew who, like me, had had to do an extra year in the top form of their junior schools to take the 11 plus exam because of birthdays and 11 plus regulations, plus a few boys from external prep schools.  The first form didn’t exist, being effectively the school’s own prep school and the second form was the usual 11-year-old entry.  I doubt if the practice extended beyond the second and third forms.

I did have a go at the gym a few times initially.  Mercifully I never got whacked for being last to change, though I might have been because I usually was.  I hated gym with a deep and abiding hatred and sought an excuse not to do it at all.  This involved complex plots on the health front and I spent much of the first year sitting in the changing room during gym when the master couldn’t confidently dismiss my latest ploy but wasn’t going to just let me do something else instead.  Similar with cross country runs, but luckily they only happened when the ground was too frozen for rugby, which I was happy to play albeit very badly.

So although I escaped whacks, my vantage point in the changing rooms meant I saw a few of them.  I don’t recall anyone being unduly distressed by it.  By the 4th form, an understanding had been reached.  The gym masters didn’t want to spend their time dealing with my resistance and I really didn’t want to put them to that trouble so I went to the library instead.  As I say though I doubt the casual whacks extended into the 4th form.

I really don’t know how I got away with it  Desperation feeds invention possibly.  I did have some health problems, but as I could play rugby after a fashion I could probably have done gym and runs.  I just wasn’t going to!   You ask:

“Did this system mean that the overweight, nerdy boys felt the slipper more often than the fit sporty ones?”

Well, this one didn’t, but for others, there was probably a slightly greater risk.  But even the overweight and nerdy could satisfy the PT masters that they were trying their best, which was all said masters were really after I think.

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What a relief that it was just a light whack as you walked into the gym. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to go to a school where nearly every PE lesson began or ended with me dropping my shorts and touching my toes in the middle of the gym for three stingy whacks of the slipper. And I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to show my behind-off in the showers after the lesson. Definitely not interested in anything like that.