My thanks again to Miss Brown for inviting me to submit a number of guest blogs. If you’ve read my first you’ll know that I’m a cane aficionado, or as a Domme once commented “a cane junkie”. As you’re here on this site it seems safe to assume that you share an interest in adult corporal punishment. If you’ve visited Miss Brown’s study you’ll have seen her pot of canes, and it’s more likely than not that you’ll have experienced just how skilled she is at applying them to a naughty backside. But how much of what we do in adult CP play is rooted in how the cane was used for over a century in UK schools?
The short answer is a great deal. For a start the detail of what is included in our role play sessions is very important to many players. Yes, it is enacting a fantasy to be bent over for a bare-bottom caning by a beautiful Headmistress far removed from the dowdy and austere Headmistresses of old. However, within the fantasy, words or phrases can be very important. “Bend over” and “touch your toes” amount to virtually the same thing but many players have a favourite that resonates with their real-life experience. There are many words for caning. Some school masters and mistresses referred to ‘strokes’, others to ‘strikes’ or ‘cuts’ – hearing these and other words repeated adds authenticity to the role play. “Six of the best” was a pronouncement to strike fear into the hearts of many a schoolboy or girl. The phrase comes from an era when counting in dozens was the norm. Now, who do I know that maintains the tradition of counting in twelves?
The ritual surrounding the punishment is also important. There are many stories of particular rituals remembered by pupils. In some schools pupils had to collect the cane and punishment book from the school office and take them to the Headteacher’s study. Being ordered to fetch the cane, or waiting while your Domme brings the cane from another room, can be an important element for some players. Some teachers ordered pupils to select which of their canes should be used – an easy action to repeat in adult role play. In reminiscences that I read there were references to a female teacher who was only five feet tall and used to stand on a chair in order to deliver more forceful strokes, and another who used to jump in the air for a similar reason. Eccentricities abounded and it was these, as well as the pain of the cane, that stuck in pupils’ minds.
How the cane was used varied significantly from the early schools of the Victorian era through to the latter part of the twentieth century when legislation made it illegal. Just imagine that Miss Brown has rows of desks in her study with you, me and other adult kinksters seated at them. We’ve time-travelled back to Victorian days. She has a cane in her hand – now that doesn’t take any imagination at all! She is patrolling the room. You speak out of turn. “Hold out your hand” she orders. Swipe! The sting permeates your fingers and you thrust them under your armpit in a vain attempt for some comfort. What’s this? A nasty ink smudge on your exercise book! “Careless boy! Stand up, bend over.” Whoosh! Whoosh! “Now sit down and get on with your work”. Yes, in those days the cane was in every classroom, used by the teacher to deal immediately with even the slightest of misdemeanours.
Even in those early days more serious misbehaviour was dealt with by the Master as the Headteacher was known. Over the decades the administration of corporal punishment gradually became the preserve of Heads and senior staff. Legislation required that all such punishments were recorded in a ledger or punishment book and a visit to the Head’s study became a more formal event. Many pupils recall that the waiting beforehand, the anticipation of what was to come, was almost as bad as the punishment itself. It is these more formal events that dominate adult role play. Have you experienced standing outside the door of Miss Brown’s study, knocking and waiting for the command to “Come in”, and then walking to her desk? The look on her face and the tone of her voice are severe. You listen as she lectures you about your misbehaviour. The tension builds before you hear the inevitable announcement of the punishment to follow, recreating the ‘pit in the stomach’ feeling you remember from your schooldays.
Reasons for your presence in the Headmistress’s study can be many and varied. Lateness, misbehaviour in class, disobedience, pranks, inappropriate language and disrespect feature in punishment books for the whole of the century in which the cane was used in schools. In the 1950s and 60s uniform violations featured prominently. At my own school not wearing a school cap when travelling to and from school was a caning offence. In girls’ schools in the mini-skirt era the length of school skirts was an issue. All of these real-life misdemeanours can be used as the basis for adult role-play.
One difference that emerged over the decades was punishment for failure to learn. This was common in Victorian and Edwardian schools and it was only as the years passed that educational theory came to recognise the futility of attempting to beat knowledge into children. Ha! Have you tried an exam session with Miss Brown? She is happy to test your knowledge of history, maths, science or any other subject, with the sure and certain knowledge that wrong answers will find you across her lap or bending over her desk.
In most schools there were grades of punishment, with lines for minor offences, then detention and ultimately the cane. However, some schools had a totting-up system whereby three detentions in a term or two in one week meant the cane. Failure to attend a detention could also mean a painful visit to the Head and I’ve read examples of pupils opting for this as they preferred a short, sharp punishment to a lengthy boring detention. There are no options at Miss Brown’s Fitzrovia Academy. Her Saturday morning detentions are not an alternative to corporal punishment – and there is no chance of being bored. The application of her cane, strap or other implements will keep you fully occupied.
But what if your behaviour is impeccable and beyond reproach? I found a wonderful story of a girls’ school where, at the end of one summer term, the pupils were asked if any of them had not been caned at all during the school year. Three girls put their hands up, thinking, perhaps naively, that there would be a reward for their good behaviour. They were ordered to the front and were caned because “they had probably got away with something”! At another school where the Headmaster was due to be away for two weeks a habitually naughty boy was caned “for what you’ll probably get up to while I’m away”! Think back also to the rules that operated in the schools you attended. At my grammar school we had a short, cut-through corridor that only Masters were allowed to use. It always seemed to me it was a petty regulation, a rule for the sake of it with no inherent worth. In like manner we can rest assured that when we visit our disciplinarians they will operate rules that we hadn’t even thought of, always finding a reason to punish us – and of course we’d be disappointed if they didn’t! However, it’s good to know that they are following in the noble tradition of past practices.
Finally for this blog, have you seen the superb video Miss Brown made many years ago entitled Caned Every Day? You should, it’s a classic! I was fascinated to discover the story of a boy in the 1950s who attended a Christian school, and as such the cane was not used on Sundays. However, he remembers the time he was caned every day for a week and the Master then relaxed the ‘not on Sunday’ rule and completed the set. So, if you thought the video was pure fantasy, think again. At times truth truly was stranger than fiction.
Be assured. Corporal punishment has long been banned in schools but the cane continues to swish in Miss Brown’s study for the painful pleasure of naughty adult girls and boys. If you need new ideas for role plays looking back at stories of real-life incidents can be a useful source of inspiration.