Some Australian politicians are fond of reviving the notion of corporal punishment in our schools and judicial system. If they were honest, they'd use its correct description - non-consensual SadoMasochism. Newspapers and talk-back radio have an orgy, as a part of the population gets itself off by declaring 'I got it, and it didn't do me any harm'.
This story was inspired by listening to some of the calls. It is not intended to convey any of my own opinions on the topic. But I do think that advocates of non-consensual SadoMasochism should be forced to defend their point of view through rational debate. Not one of the many people I've spoken with could adequately handle the question of gender equity. But I will say this; If any State wishes to mutilate its citizens in the name of justice, then it cannot be done in private. If we insist on retribution in the name of the State, then none of us can avoid the duty of witnessing the act. Some of us may enjoy it, you say? Maybe that's the only way to illustrate that consensual behaviour is a natural, but uncommon, part of human sexuality.
Eric Carwardine, PO Box 160, Thornlie, WA 6988, AUSTRALIA
"The Naughty Niece"
by Eric Carwardine
|A poll taken in Singapore after the 1996 caning of Michael Faye revealed that forty percent of the population favoured the introduction of caning as a punishment for women. Source: 'The West Australian' newspaper|
'You will be the first' I grimly informed her, as I re-entered the cell 'Commandant says there were three others sentenced same time as you, but you will definiteley be the first - by several weeks, actually. I managed to get your punishment brought forward.'
'So we can go home soon?' Tonya sounded like a small child being told she was going on a favourite outing.
'Afraid not' I hated disappointing her.
'Any luck with the appeal' asked Tonya's husband John.
'Not with the caning. That's mandatory. They won't budge on that. Seems they want to make a proper example of her. There's been a lot of trouble with women offenders lately. We might have better luck with the prison sentence though. I think we can get that repealed, or at least reduced. I've got another lawyer helping me.'
The cell was large, but windowless. The only aperture in its white-painted walls was a double doorway. A prison official once told me that such a large doorway made it easier to extract a struggling prisoner. I wondered if Tonya would struggle and resist when they came for her. The prisoner's cot was topped with a white sheet, and the bright ceiling lights gave the cell a very clinical appearance. Two chairs were the only other furniture in the cell. John was sitting on one of the chairs, with his forehead resting on his hands. A prison warder in khaki uniform, hands clasped behind his back, stood near the door at all times; they changed the guard at hourly intervals. Tonya was dressed in the prison uniform of white sleeve-less singlet-top and baggy white shorts. She was sitting on the cot with her knees raised to under her chin. It was very obvious that she was not wearing panties under the shorts.
'Tonya, please put your legs down' I whispered to her 'You're showing everything you've got. Look, they take female modesty very seriously in this country. Please don't antagonise them any more. They can make your life a bloody misery, if they want to.'
'Sorry. They took away my undies the other day. I keep forgetting' as she lowered her knees 'Why do you think they did that? Doing something kinky with my panties? I don't really mind, though. Much cooler without them.'
'That's why they took them away' I explained 'By law, they're not supposed to break the skin when they cane you. Now cool skin is usually drier than hot skin. And dry skin is tougher than sweaty skin. So they try to get as much air circulating around your bottom as possible. It's also more hygienic. Satisfied now?'
'I suppose so' said Tonya, whimsically looking at John 'Mind you, I'd like something stiffer than a breeze between my legs right now.' Both John and I laughed. I fancied I saw even the guard crack the glimmer of a smile.
'The other reason is that dry skin makes it easier to draw the aiming marks on your bottom' I added.
'What! Aiming marks! What, you mean they draw lines on my bottom? Oh my Gawd, that is sick! Why, isn't their aim very good? I've read about school-boys having chalk-lines drawn on their trousers by the Master, but I never dreamed they'd do it in here. Do you know if I'll be caned by a man or a woman? I think I'd prefer a man to do it.'
'Neither' I responded 'These days, it's done by a caning machine. Invented last century, but not used until very recently. All in the interests of "Standardised Punishment" ' as I mimed the quotation marks 'But all the attendants are male. The supervising medical officer will be the only woman present. You'll have a lot of men looking at your bottom' I grinned.
'I don't mind' Tonya pouted 'I think mine is a lovely little bottom. John thinks so as well. He's always smacking it!'
'Yeah, well, this will be much more than a few smacks' I warned her 'You'll be sleeping on your tummy for quite a while, and going to the loo standing up.'
'Will it really hurt?' as her eyes widened in trepidation.
'Tonya, this is a punishment, remember? Of course it will hurt!'
'Oh dear, my poor little bottom. Will they gag me, to stop me crying out?'
'No, they won't. But they will offer to blindfold you. I strongly advise you to accept the offer. The inside of the Punishment Room is something you're best-off not seeing.'
'Talking of going to the loo' Tonya resumed 'Can you get them to do something about the food in here? It's bloody awful! I'm constipated as hell. My turds are as hard as John's dick, and I think I've got piles.'
'Oh, those bloody awful things' I sympathised with her 'They're a pain in the arse, aren't they? Sure, I'll see the people in the kitchen, and leave my special breakfast recipe with them. Nothing worse than being constipated after a caning.'
'Will they give me a bit of warning before they cane me?' and the expression on her face told that she was beginning to feel the strain of waiting 'I want to be as brave as possible.'
'The day before your caning is scheduled they will take you to the Assessment Room. They'll give you a thorough medical examination, to make sure you're fit to receive corporal punishment. They will use all sorts of instruments and probes on your bottom, to find out just where the strokes should be placed. And they'll draw indelible lines on your cheeks to show where the strokes should be placed. The caning machine is very accurate - to within one millimetre, I believe.'
'Will any of that hurt?' Tonya inquired.
'No, not a bit. You won't feel a thing. In fact, you may even enjoy it. The marker-pen tickles, they tell me.'
'Oh well, that's something, I suppose' Tonya smiled. Then her smile broadened, as she mouthed the syllables 'I just realised. Ass - ess - ment. Is that where they look at your 'ass'?' I think even the guard managed a smile then.
'Yeah, and mind you don't step backwards into any electric fans. That would be a 'dis - arsed - her' (disaster)' I quipped.
'Will they tie me down?' Tonya was like a small child on its first visit to the zoo. But I welcomed her questions. They helped ward off the fit of depression which often descended on a prisoner awaiting punishment. I hoped she hadn't heard that some prisoners lose control of their bladder in the minutes preceding a caning.
'Well, yes and no' I replied 'You won't be able to move by so much as a fraction of an inch, of course, but that doesn't mean tight ropes and straps. They use a special set of metal bars and padded blocks placed at strategic points around your body. That way, they can keep you on the restraining bench for hours, without impairing your blood circulation.' I thought I sounded like a University lecturer intoning some impressive bit of theory to a bunch of bored under-graduates.
'For hours?' exclaimed Tonya 'I thought you said it would all be over in a few minutes?'
'The actual caning only takes about ten minutes. But they'll keep you restrained for about another six hours. While you're experiencing the worst of the pain'
'So I won't be able to rub my sore bum, then?' And for the first time I saw her composure faulter a little.
'Look, I can order some sedatives or tranquilisers for you right now' I ventured 'There's no shame in that. In fact, the authorities rather encourage it. They don't like seeing a prisoner dragged screaming and struggling to their puishment. Can I get you some now?'
'You can get some, but I don't need any right now. Might be a different matter when they come for me, though. I don't know how brave I'll be then. Glad I've got you and John with me now, though. Must be awful facing a caning on your own'
I was about to make a pun along the lines of 'You don't 'face' a caning, you 'face-away' from it' but thought better of it. Explaining the technicalities of the procedure, however, seemed to me better than sitting in silence, so I continued:
'They clamp your head into a thing like a helmet, with head-phones and microphone. They record everything you say. And they play soothing music into the head-phones. And two nice male guards hold your hands. When the music stops you can expect the first stroke of the cane within the next minute. You won't hear the swish of the cane, of course, and you shouldn't try to anticipate the stroke. Just lay there and try to relax your bottom. They monitor your pulse and your breathing and your temperature and lots of other things, so you're in no danger. They photograph your bottom after each stroke, and the whole thing is video-taped.'
'Sounds wonderful' Tonya sneered 'I can hardly wait. Why do they record everything? They like re-playing it after in the guards mess-room, I suppose?'
'Legal reasons, mostly. Along with the print-out from the machines, it forms the record of your punishment. As your representative, I am entitled to a copy. They also sell the pictures to pay-sites on the Internet. The money helps pay for upkeep on the prison' Her response to that is un-repeatable.
'Hey, can you get some of that anesthetic cream to rub on my bum before the caning?' Tonya beamed 'I've heard it's pretty good. One of you could rub it on' as she looked expectantly at John and I.
'Now that would be bloody stupid' I interjected 'The machine would detect it instantly. They'd double your punishment, and probably cane John and I as well! No thankyou! We're all in a big enough mess as it is. And the anesthetic would wear-off too soon, anyway'
'Only a thought' Tonya smiled.
'Tonya, there is something you can do to help yourself. Particularly if you end-up with a hefty prison term, as well. I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but there is a little chapel in the prison, and you can have a non-denominational chaplain, if you like. I think it would be a good idea to go there on the night before you're caned, and make a full confession, and ask forgiveness. What you say will remain confidential, but the fact that you went there will be reported to the authorities. And I know they look kindly on prisoners who repent. I can't promise you any decrease in your punishment, but your life in prison could well prove a lot easier. Will you do that? I can make the arrangements'
'Thankyou. I think I would like that. I guess I have a lot to confess, don't I? But don't you think it's a rather cynical use of religion?'
'Not at all - if you're really genuine about it. Don't lay it on too thick, though. Just have a quiet chat with him, about what you did, and how you're sorry now, and ask that he pray for the strength you'll need. Keep it simple, but be honest with him. You'll feel a lot better afterwards'
Tonya wriggled and squirmed her way to the edge of the cot, so she could hang her legs over the side and rest her feet on the floor. I noticed for the first time that her wrists were hand-cuffed together behind her back.
'Why are they keeping you hand-cuffed?' I asked 'That's unusual. You been bad, or something?'
'No! I don't think so. But they do, the bastards. Reckon I was playin' with myself too much. Said I was in here for punishment, not pleasure. Told me I was a naughty girl, and that my hands had to be kept locked-up. They only take them off at meal times, and even then they watch me like a hawk. Makes me so horny. You don't think you could give me a good finger-fuck, do you? It'd be easy with me not wearing panties. I know John could have his hand up the leg of my shorts quicker than a rat up a drain-pipe. Would you?' as she looked pleadingly at us both.
'I'd love to oblige, darling' offered John enthusiastically 'But I can't think of a way to get rid of the guard.'
'I can' said Tonya slyly 'Tell you when I'm ready. And another thing. They even make me go to the loo with the hand-cuffs on. A guard comes into the cubicle with me and takes down my pants. Then he stands in the doorway while I sit on the loo. You've got no idea how embarrassing it is. He even wipes me after I've finished! Anyhow, I've found a way to get back at them. I hold in my wind until they take me to the loo. Then I let go with this tremendous fart. Gawd, you should hear it echo around the dunney! Even makes my ears ring. Anyway, it gets rid of the guard for a few minutes. He can't stand the smell. Soon as he's gone, I grab the toilet brush. I've got pretty good at getting the handle up between my legs, now. With a bit of luck, I can get myself off every time. Wonderful! Trouble is, the guard came back early one day, and caught me at it. Now they've even taken the toilet brush-away. I'm so horny, I could scream! Hang-on, I can feel the mother-of-all-farts coming on, right now' and Tonya rocked side-ways onto her left buttock.
'No, no' yelped John, jumping to his feet, and pushing down on his wife's shoulders 'Hold her down, quick. Her friends don't call her 'Bugle-Bum' for nothing! Uh, oh, too late' as a bagpipe-shrill squeal reverberated around the cell 'Don't breathe-in, anybody. It'll kill you in the nose!'
'I'm surprised she's got any friends' I spluttered, as pandemonium broke out in the cell 'with a bugle-call like that. Still, they do say you're not really married until you start comparing farts'
'Sorry about the ozone-layer, folks. Couldn't hold that one in. Eric, can you ask the guard can he get some air-freshener? I don't think John likes second-hand prawns'
But the guard was already on his way out the door. The air-conditioning wasn't the best in that prison.
'Quick!' encouraged Tonya 'Give me a finger-job while he's out. I've been dieing for one for weeks! And I'm not wearing any panties'
'It's a brave man who puts his hand up her shorts' I warned John 'You could end-up having to pick your nose with your left hand'
'Oh, aahhhhh! Don't! Stop! Don't! Stop! Oohhhh, ahhhhhhh. Oh, yes! Mmmmmmmmmmm. Don't stop! Don't stop! Ohh, yesssssssss!!'
Three more days passed. On the third, Tonya was taken to the Assessment Room. She was away for nearly three hours. John and I occupied ourselves by reading the newspapers from back home.
'Look at this' as I showed him the head-line:
'WOMAN TO BE CANED'and beneath it a photo taken from the rear of Tonya, as we left the court-house after lodging her unsuccessful appeal. The photo was quite obviously meant to focus attention on her very shapely back-side. The media was whipping itself into an orgiastic frenzy over the prospect of the first woman to be caned. It was the major topic on every radio talk-back show in the country, as housewives and business-women joined each other in advocating the benefits of corporal punishment. Current-affairs programs delved into the pseudo-science of caning, as studio audiences squirmed uncomfortably in their seats. Most bizarre of all, I thought, was the enterprising television station that commissioned biological tests of the local sewerage effluent, searching for unusual levels of male ejaculate. Every rampant male of ejaculatable age was greatly enjoying the prospect of a woman being caned. They even began one news bulletin with a request that condoms not be flushed down the toilet.
Tonya was very quiet when they returned her to the cell that day. Neither of us spoke, as they brought her in and helped her to lay face-down on the cot. As they snapped restraining cuffs onto her wrists and ankles, we could see that the little tuft of pubic hair, visible between her legs when she bent over, had disappeared. Along with the fine downy hair on her buttocks, it had been shaved-off, in preparation for the caning. Most ominously, her buttocks now displayed a set of twelve bright-green parallel lines drawn across both cheeks of her bottom. Beginning at the 'sulcus' (the crease in the skin where thigh joins buttock) the lines spread upwards, at one-centimetre intervals. Each line marked the site for a potential cane-stroke.
Later that night, Tonya was released briefly from her bondage for her visit to the chaplain. Dressed in her prison uniform of white cotton top and white shorts, we watched as she was led away to the chapel. It was the first time in ages that her wrists were free of hand-cuffs.
She looked wonderfully calm and peaceful as they escorted her back to her cell and removed her top and shorts. The snapping of the locks on her wrist and ankle cuffs sounded overly-loud in the cell, as they settled her down on the cot. It would be a long night for her - for us all.
Tonya was caned at nine O'Clock the following morning. The caning-machine log recorded the first stroke at precisely six minutes and thirty-five seconds after the hour. John and I were with her in the cell at eight O'Clock when the door opened to admit two grim-faced guards. One of them was towing a small wheeled trolley, which he parked by the doorway. They went about their task with the calm efficiency born of much practice.
'We're ready for her' the senior guard announced, as he unfastened the chains which had held her overnight on the cot 'Would you stand with your hands behind your back, please Tonya?' The use of her first name seemed to soothe her.
'I don't think she'll give you any trouble' I said.
Tonya's wrists were hand-cuffed together behind her back. A guard took a black-leather strap from the trolley, passed it around her elbows, and tightened it. Tonya winced as her elbows were drawn together, causing her firm, perky little breasts to bounce upwards and outwards. But she made no complaint. Another strap around her waist pinned her bound arms to her body.
'Legs together, please' instructed the guard, snapping a cuff around each of her ankles. Tonya obliged, but I was a bit concerned when the guard used a very short length of chain to connect the D-rings on the cuffs. So short, in fact, that Tonya could only propel herself forward by sliding one foot slowly past the other. I was about to comment on what, in my opinion, was an excessive restraint when I remembered that some prisoners struggle fiercely on their way to the Punishment Room. I hoped Tonya would go calmly to her punishment; the caning would be painful enough, without the added distress of resisting her captors. So I was amazed to hear her softly whistling an old Gracie Fields melody:
'Wish me luck, as you wish me goodbye, Here I go, cheerio, on my way'
The guards couldn't understand her cheerfulness. They looked mystified as they unbolted the double-doors of the cell. She was unlike any previous prisoner they had escorted to a caning. Perhaps the making of history as the first woman to be caned was the explanation for her behaviour. But they were aware that any delay in proceedings could destroy her composure. Their anxiety was well-founded. The supervising medical officer appeared in the doorway at the same moment as Tonya surrendered her resolve:
'Oh, oh, please don't cane me!' Tonya sobbed 'I don't want to be caned. I won't do it again, honest. Oh, please, please, not the cane on my bottom, please, it hurts too much!' Tonya would have collapsed into a heap on the floor, had it not been for a guard supporting her at each side. They tried to console her, but the medical officer was made of sterner stuff:
'Stand up, young woman! Stand up straight! Head up! And stop that snivelling! We haven't even started on you yet. You've been a very, very bad girl, and we're going to teach you a very painful lesson, aren't we? You thought you could get away with it, didn't you? Well, your luck just ran out, my girl. It's about time you had a good thrashing on that pretty little backside of yours, and we're just the people to do it. You're going to get the cane, and that's all there is about it. Understand?'
'Yes, Miss, but I've never had the cane on my bottom before. Please let me off this time. I won't do it again, I promise. Oh, please'
'Silence!' thundered the medico 'Take her away!'
The medico followed the little group through the doorway and into the corridor. 'Don't forget to ask for a blindfold!' I called after her, but I doubt if she heard me. She was weeping uncontrollably now, and struggling violently with the guards, as she cried-out unashamedly 'Please, please, don't cane me! Oh, please, not the cane, please!' Her ankle chains tinkled with every stubborn step, and the aiming marks on her neat little bottom undulated, like swell on the ocean. John and I looked at each other guiltily. We were both becoming aware of uncomfortable erections.
'We've taken her to the Recovery Room. Would you like to see her?' said the medical officer 'Yes we would. Thankyou' I replied. The medico wasn't such a bad sort, after all. She'd had to act tough like that, to get things under control, she explained. Apparently it had worked. By the time the escort party reached the Punishment Room, Tonya was so exhausted from her struggles that she offered no further resistance as she was positioned on the restraining frame.
The medico was full of praise for Tonya: 'She took her punishment very bravely, the whole twelve strokes. She struggled for the first three, but that's fairly normal. The first three always hurt the most. After that, the pain seems to reach a plateau. Here we are. We've given her a sedative, and she's sleeping now. She's worn out, poor thing'
The medico's tender tones did surprise me a little, but not too much. After all, Tonya had taken her punishment and paid the penalty. I thought she was now entitled to some tender loving care.
Tonya was laying face-down on a clean white sheet in the Recovery Room. Her bottom was the first thing to attract our attention. John and I both inhaled sharply as we imagined what she had endured. The aiming marks had been transformed into swollen reddish-blue weals that were merging together into a wide band of tortured flesh across the lower part of her buttocks. Between her swollen cheeks nestled the shaven mound of her pubic bulge. John and I now had serious erections.
'I think this will cheer her up' smiled the medical officer, handing me a large manila envelope 'If I'm not mistaken, it's her reprieve. Congratulations, you've won your appeal. She won't have to go to jail, after all. But they've put her on a two-year good-behaviour bond, instead. She can go home now, but if she steps out-of-line just once in the next two years she'll be brought back here and put in jail. And she'll be caned again'
Although Tonya's eyes were closed, apparently in sleep, the tell-tale tear-stains on her cheeks told another story. John and I glanced at each other as her shoulders shook, and she quietly sobbed:
'Take me home, please, John, Uncle Eric. I hate it here. I miss the kids. Ohh, my bum hurts something awful. Can we go home?'
Six months later I was pleasantly surprised to recognise the sender on the envelope which arrived on my desk. Carefully slitting the flap, I withdrew the single sheet of paper and read:
'Tonya and I doing fine. Her bum's all healed up now, and back to normal. No permanent marks. I think she may be pregnant, though ('swallowed a football', as she puts it) We reckon it must have happened the week after she was caned. She's looking very healthy. Tonya turned down a million-dollar offer for the film-rights to her story. Said she didn't want people recognising her. Didn't believe me when I told her people would be too busy looking at her bum to worry about her face. Her golf handicap's gone through the roof, though. It's the swish of the golf-club that's done it. Reminds her of the cane. Every time she hears it, she wants me to take her behind some bushes and smack her bottom. Of course, that's the end of her concentration. But I guess she's happy. Thankyou so much for your help. Will you send us your account?'
The account had been prepared and ready to send for months, but somehow I'd never had the courage to post it. Slowly, I crumpled the sheet of paper in my hand, and moved toward the waste-paper basket. I thought Tonya had already been punished enough for not returning her library books on time.