The First Time

 

Mid way through our session, Miss Kendal takes me to the punishment bench. It has been in the corner of the room the whole time, but she has never looked at it, never mentioned it. Now she instructs me to stand, naked and vulnerable, in front of it. We contemplate it together in silence. I know what is coming. This is exactly what I have asked her for. I am shaking.

 

She tells me to kneel and lie forward. There are five points of restraint and she takes her time carefully applying each of them, describing what she is doing. She is calm, completely in control, and I feel no panic. But as each strap is fastened and my freedom is further restricted, my sense of anticipation, resignation, fear mount to almost unbearable levels. I surreptitiously test the strength of the straps and my range of movement – a pointless activity which she will have noticed. Miss Kendal notices everything.

 

As she fastens the final strap across my waist, holding my torso, I imagine looking down on the scene and I think of the indignity of this position. I lie face down, quite unable to move, my bottom presented at the perfect height and angle to be caned. In truth, though, any dignity I might have felt was stripped away earlier in the session when Miss Kendal instructed me to remove my clothing item by item and then made me stand in front of her while she appraised me, coldly and at length, in silence. With granite expression, she reminded me what I had asked for. As I shrank in embarrassment, she required me to look at her and confirm it. Then she described in clinical terms exactly what she was going to do to me. Finally, she put me across her knee and slowly, carefully, and very thoroughly spanked me with her hand as I tried not to squirm. After this treatment, I am already humiliated beyond any sense of shame.

 

There is another long, long silence. Miss Kendal is somewhere behind me. I am unable to see her. I don’t dare to try to look round. Time passes. I think back to the awkward email I wrote to her many weeks ago when I committed to print thoughts that I had never before put into words. Reading and rereading her website then writing the email, getting every word right, had taken perhaps a month. Summoning up the courage to press “send” had taken another week. And then followed the long, long wait that has led, at last, to this moment. Over the weeks, there have been so many opportunities to withdraw, to step back, all of which I was temped to take. As recently as an hour ago I could have driven straight past her house and away. But I did not, and now, finally, it is too late. I have lost all choice and all control. This is exactly what I asked for, but I am in turmoil. I want what is to come, yet I dread it. I am excited, yet I am terrified.  I am on the point of a needle.

 

The rattle of a cane being withdrawn from the basket by the door brings me back to the present. How long has is been? A few seconds. That is how the waiting is – every second feels like an hour. A test swish has me flinching – I thought it was for me. This draws a chuckle from Miss Kendal. Then I feel the cold cane gently stroking and tapping my bottom, and I know I am just moments away…

 

When it starts, it still takes me by surprise. As the cane comes down, there is a moment of pure, overwhelming pain that leaves me gasping and writhing, but the searing agony fades after a few moments to a fiery burning and I manage to regain some semblance of self control. I try to breathe slowly and deeply as Miss Kendal has shown me, and after the first two strokes, I gain a little confidence. Yes, I can bear this.

 

How stupid.

 

Miss Kendal is observing, and her third is very, very much harder. I gasp again and this time I cry out. My back arches. I pull ineffectually against the restraints before collapsing onto the bench to sob briefly. Now, I want to be anywhere, anywhere, but here. And I realise this is the moment that I have fantasised about for so long: of suffering pain more intense than I thought I could bear and being totally unable to stop it; of begging for release; and of being ignored as the punishment runs its course, until Miss Kendal alone deems it to be complete.

 

Then something extraordinary happens.

 

I do not plead for it to stop as I thought I would. Instead, I hear a voice whispering the words, “Thank you, Miss.” The voice is mine. I say it again, this time louder. I play with the words, as I begin to realise that I have never offered thanks for anything more sincerely in my life. At that moment, a door swings open within my soul revealing a part of me that I had simply not known was there. It is as if I have lived in the same house all my life, until one day someone takes me round a corner and shows me a series of rooms that I had somehow never noticed. In confusion and exhilaration, I realise that I am, literally, not quite the person that all my life I have thought I am.

 

I feel a soft hand on my shoulder and the back of my neck.  It is a gesture of tenderness that summons me out of the world of pain that I am in. I open my eyes and find Miss Kendal’s head close to mine. She looks at me and she smiles. I think I manage a half smile back. It is a moment of intense, raw intimacy as I realise that she understands – that she understood all along – what I am only now dimly beginning to appreciate.  But after a little while, quite deliberately, she allows the smile to fade, the ice to return to her eyes, the steel and flint to her expression. My exhilaration drains away and my despair mounts again as she resumes her stance behind me.

 

I resolve to thank her for each and every stroke that is to follow, my gratitude sincere and genuine. But as the punishment continues and the pain intensifies, my breath shortens to sobs and I don’t manage it. Now, I really do need it to stop, and it doesn’t. There is to be no mercy. And when she is finished with the cane, the punishment starts afresh with a leather strap, just as I had asked. Why did I ask for that?

 

I have learned already that the closer together the strokes come, the greater the pain. As the session reaches its climax, Miss Kendal warns me not to move as the last three strokes of the strap will come in quick succession. This takes me to a new crescendo of agony and I think I cry out again. Then it is finished. I am overwhelmed with a sense of relief that it is over, but this is followed immediately by regret and a deep yearning for more. I am hopelessly, utterly confused, my emotions turned on their head. I know only one thing for certain: that I am deeply, overwhelmingly grateful to the extraordinary lady who has taken me on this journey of exploration to places within me that I did not know existed.

 

That was a month ago, and the door that opened that day is already closing again.

 

I will see Miss Kendal again when I can. I will ask her, humbly, to be much more severe with me next time, because I know, deep down, that my first experience was a mild one. I also know that I will instantly regret this request, yet I must make it to experience once again that addictive mix of fear and anticipation, of terror and exhilaration, of pain and pleasure.

 

So. Are you ready to contact Miss Kendal? If you are, let me give you some advice. Read her website carefully and follow her instructions to the letter. Be very polite in all your dealings with her.  Treat her with very great courtesy.

 

Do not do this out of fear. There is indeed much to be afraid of. She will terrorise you. She will strip you of your dignity. She will deprive you of your freedom and, when you are defenceless, she will subject you, ruthlessly and with relish, to as much pain as she thinks you can handle – and this will be more than, by then, you want. But fear is not the reason.

 

Do it rather out of respect. Because she will do all this with kindness. She will show you a tenderness,  a compassion, an insight and an understanding of your needs, and ultimately a respect for you that surpasses anything that you can offer her in return.

 

Thank you, Miss.