Friday, 30 September 2011

“And just WHAT is going on in here?!”

“That’s quite enough wallowing in nostalgia (for a day or two, at least) for a bygone age of schooling…” Oh, who am I kidding? Here’s another lovely piece of old-fashioned school imagery for you to enjoy.

And what naughty schoolgirls it depicts! Fooling around in class like that – one can only imagine the punishment such behaviour will earn them.

So let’s go ahead and imagine...

Such a commotion as that in Room 4B would undoubtedly attract the attention of the Headmistress. And sure enough that formidable lady soon enters. A petrified hush immediately falls across the previously chaotic classroom.

The girls are of course severely reprimanded for their unspeakable behaviour, and informed in no uncertain terms that they will be made sorry for it. To that end they are instructed to bend over their desks, skirts raised, and each and every girl is given six of the best. Poor Libby Turner, who took no part in the pandemonium, is given two extra for protesting that she doesn’t deserve the cane.

The teacher, Miss Allenby, also receives a stinging rebuke for failing so egregiously to maintain order in her class. And, to her dismay, she is herself treated to a dose of the cane as a badly-needed reminder of her duties. Just like the girls in her class, she is made to raise her skirt and bend over her desk. "Th-thank you, Headmistress," she sniffs after each searing stroke. Once suitably disciplined she pulls her tight pencil skirt back down over her plump, welted bottom and timorously obeys the Headmistress's command to stand in the corner.

The girls spend the remainder of the lesson writing lines under the stern gaze of the Headmistress. When dismissed, they file out in silence. They will, however, return to Room 4B that evening for more of the same, for each girl is given a detention and a thousand lines.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The star-sown sky spread cloudless

Okay. That’s quite enough wallowing in nostalgia (for a day or two, at least) for a bygone age of schooling I wasn’t actually alive during – time to write about something else.

How about Gothic literature, and its commonalities with spanking fiction? Sound interesting? Of course it does! Then gather round and I’ll begin.

When someone mentions ‘Gothic literature’, what do you think of? Vampires, werewolves and ghosts? Twilight? Fair enough if so, for the supernatural has always been an element within the Gothic (going right back to The Castle of Otranto), but it is not the case that it is all that the genre is about. Interpretations offered by various literary theorists on what the Gothic novel might represent include: a critique of the social position of women; a subversive commentary on the constructed nature of society itself; an exploration of the concept of identity, the relationship between literature and reality, and the border between the conscious and unconscious mind… there are probably as many possible readings as there are Gothic texts.

But, as fascinating as these things may be, I’m going to focus on those elements that resonate most strongly with our favourite little genre and its tales of smacked bottoms and sexual domination.

First and foremost, both genres are – like the ‘romance’ genre that overlaps with each – primarily forms of escapism that foreground the sensational (i.e. emotion, feeling, the sensations) rather than externalities such as scientific facts or historical events. In the Gothic, this generally takes the form of terror; in BDSM fiction it might be sexual desire and satisfaction, the effects of punishment (such as the physical pain and the humiliation and/or pleasure of a spanking), or the psychological and emotional aspects of subservience.

Both genres (typically) have a female protagonist. In the Gothic, this female protagonist is taken from her normative, everyday starting point and dropped into a strange and potentially threatening situation (in early Gothic texts, this would involve the heroine physically travelling to a strange foreign land, or a mysterious old castle, but it could just as effectively be a journey of the mind). She is young, innocent and vulnerable, and is subjected to all manner of beastly, frightening things (cue the supernatural) during her spell within the nightmarish Gothic world. She eventually returns to her home, changed for her experiences.

Any of that sound familiar? It should! Just as in the Gothic, in BDSM fiction the central character undergoes a process of transformation, whether that be a full-blown rite of passage from innocence to sexual experience, a straightforward change in attitude as the result of a punishment, a journey into or through a sub/dom relationship, or any other form of development or change induced by his/her experiences.

Here's an extract from Ann Radcliffe's The Italian that exemplifies some of the things I've described: "Some strange mystery seemed to lurk in the narrative she had just heard, which she wished, yet dreaded to develope; and when, at length, Ellena appeared with the miniature, she took it in trembling eagerness, and having gazed upon it for an instant, her complexion faded and she fainted."

And here's a remarkably similar snippet from The Story of O: "Whatever courage, or whatever surge of overwhelming desire she may have had, she felt herself suddenly grow so weak as she was about to reply that she slipped to the floor, her dress in full bloom around her, and in the silence Sir Stephen's hollow voice remarked that fear was becoming to her too."

One more key commonality is that, within both the Gothic space and the BDSM space, the rules of the ‘outside world’ are changed in some way or simply don’t apply. Crucially, this means that, for the heroine (and through her, the reader), reality becomes subjective: she can’t trust her senses. She can’t rely on her knowledge of the outside world. She must instead negotiate an altered reality; one constructed and controlled by a person or force that has nefarious or libidinous designs on her. If that means that she has to adjust to being forced into the role of a maid/plaything/sex toy who is thrashed for the slightest infringement of her captor’s rules, then that’s too bad!

Combine this twisted reality with a focus on the sensational and you have two genres that are a) basically free from the constraints of everyday life and propriety (in short, anything goes!) and b) geared towards evoking a suitably sensational, vicarious response in the reader.

I love them both, but then I love to imagine being a helpless little waif at the mercy of a lustful, dominating He or She (and being chased round a castle in a gorgeous frock like the one Hazel Court wears above)...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Jolly hockey sticks

Just a picture post today. But isn’t this a wonderful picture? It perfectly captures the era I would love to have gone to school in.

Maybe if I make a wish before closing my eyes in bed tonight...

Monday, 26 September 2011

Seven sevens are forty-nine...

I love school. To be more specific, I love the kinky fantasy of attending a school where the atmosphere is repressive, learning is via old-fashioned teaching methods, discipline is unremittingly severe and badly-behaved young ladies (and/or young men) can expect the dunce’s cap and very sore bottoms. Me and three million others, I know, but hey. The whole thing is just really sexy to me.

I love the idea of dressing (compulsorily) in a dull, breast-flattening pinafore, sitting at a heavy wooden desk* in a drab, draughty classroom, gazing up at the chalky blackboard (flanked by canes) at the front of the room, knowing at all times that the strict teacher (with mortar board) conducting the lesson will not hesitate to give any girl foolish enough to misbehave exactly what she deserves**...

...and the only sounds during each and every long, cheerless class are the teacher’s voice, the scratching of chalk on the board and pen nibs on exercise books, the grating of chair legs on the wooden floor, and the slow, monotonous ticking of the old clock on the wall...

YUM! :-)

But I have a confession to make. I’m actually too young to have attended (senior) school when it was anything like that. Corporal punishment wasn’t a possibility, so I never received it. No pinafores either. Yet despite never having ‘lived’ it, the thought of attending such a school – for real, as a pupil, day after day, year after year – is one of my heart’s fondest desires, and funnily enough it was even when I was at school. I'm so envious of those people who got to experience ‘old-school’ schooling for real!

So if any readers happen to have an age-reducing machine and/or a time machine, do write in.

*We did have these at my primary school: ancient desks with inkwells and heavy wooden lids. I would dearly love to have one of them at home now.

**Not that that necessarily has to be a spanking, though the ever-present possibility of one (or any other strict, humiliating punishment) is an important part of the old-fashioned school's overall appeal. More important, to me, is the thought of being irrevocably situated within an immersive, all-pervading social reality in which all of the above is just normal and taken quite for granted: a day-to-day suffused with the “repressive atmosphere” I mentioned in opening. I would have LOVED to have had a school life like that, rather than the bland one I did. Don’t know I’m born, do I? ;-)

Friday, 23 September 2011

Spanking little Harriet

I was introduced to a new toy yesterday. Wordle is a clever website that creates word clouds (as in the image above) from any text you feed it. The more often a word occurs in the text, the larger it appears in the cloud. The above is a word cloud of one of my new stories. Isn't it pretty?

As well as being visually pleasing (to my eye, at least), word clouds also make for an interesting form of instant textual representation, reminiscent of concrete poetry: it's almost as if they turn prose into such via a transformative distillation. And while they won't reveal the plot of a story, they certainly provide a hint as to its themes and concerns. I wonder if the Harriet mentioned above is naughty and receives a spanking? It certainly looks like it. And quite possibly in uniform, too...

By way of comparison (but not literary comparison!) here's a word cloud of Jane Eyre:
Ooh, lots of 'now' there. And 'must', too. So peremptory! *swoon*

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Further reading

I've added a new blog to my list (over there, on the right, just below the schoolgirl being spanked) called SEXUELLE: it's the blog of erotic author Elizabeth Forster and I recommend it highly. Elizabeth sounds like a very naughty girl, and I'm sure she would appreciate advice from readers on just how she should be punished.

Just like me, in fact! x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

It's too late for sorry, my girl!

Well, that’s that. I’ve tweaked all I can tweak. I’m all tweaked out. And I’ve sent my stories to the publisher, too.

If I may, I will share some more musings while we wait for them to do their thing and Kindleify my scribblings.

Devoted Hasler-watchers may be interested to hear that one of my new stories marks a slight departure in that it is written in the first person, rather than my usual third-person, and that the first person in question is a married man (who takes his naughty wife in hand, naturellement). It was really interesting to place myself in his shoes – as per my last post on characterisation – and to try to imagine and represent his thoughts and feelings as he dominated his partner; particularly as he had never spanked her before. I imagine that the process (even allowing for the gender-hopping!) is not entirely dissimilar to the mental and emotional shift required of a BDSM ‘switch’ when he or she changes role.

The naughty wife in question is a teacher by profession, by the way, so she can also be said to undergo a switch in authority, albeit in the other direction… :-) I personally love this dynamic; the ‘taken down a peg or two’ discipline scenario. I think a lot of its kinky sting comes from the distance between the spankee’s starting point and the point to which they are brought, with the inevitable humiliation that they feel at being so diminished. “You can’t do this to me! Ooh! Oww!”


Monday, 5 September 2011

Present, Sir

Apologies for the radio silence: I've been working like a well-spanked schoolgirl on my new stories. I'm nearly finished, so I thought I'd come up for air and share a few thoughts.

It's really interesting and fun writing a number of pieces with a common theme, both from a writerly point of view and, given the theme in question, as an enthusiast of kink. It's allowed me to thoroughly immerse myself in the (kinky) school milieu, and all the lovely connotations and mental images that come with it (hockey sticks, chalky blackboards, pigtails, pleated skirts, white socks and knickers... I'm sure you have your own favourites!)

Within that thematic space the most enjoyable thing has been getting into the minds of my characters. My writing is largely character-driven – i.e. the inner lives of the characters are generally the core of the piece – and so I have to step into the characters' shoes as part of the process, in order to make for resonance in motivation and reaction. It's great fun, and similar to real-life roleplay: the thrill of putting oneself in the place of a schoolgirl, caught misbehaving and fearfully anticipating her punishment... it's almost like going back to school myself!

As I mentioned above, the stories are nearly ready for submission. All that remains is to edit and tweak and to try to make them as good as they can be. They share the theme of 'back to school' but they're quite individual, and I hope that as a collection they have something for everyone.

Needless to say, punished bottoms feature prominently in them all.

P.S. Isn't the photo above this post lovely? I scanned it from an old spanking magazine and cropped it to focus closely on the girl's feet under the desk. The black and white graininess and scuffed, heavy wooden chair really help evoke a repressive, old-fashioned school environment. Lovely legs and socks, too. The only thing wrong with it is the footwear the 'schoolgirl' is wearing. Strappy heels? Tut tut!