The Philosophy and Practice of Caning
By Alex

In charge of the new regime at St. Swithin's, Dr. Stanton's fascination in the chastisement of the female bottom finally began to find unobstructed fulfillment. Within a year of his appointment, both his interest and his opportunities were reviving apace. He was, however, nothing if not thorough, especially after some difficulties earlier in his career, and he planned carefully. Reviewing his staff with a shrewd judgment of character, he made some changes in that would be seen to benefit the school yet would also serve his private interests. The gym mistress and the school matron, he knew, were both crucial, having once found out to his cost that bruised bottoms came to their notice very quickly. The gym mistress here seemed to be no problem and indeed was known to be a particularly staunch believer in the affinity between rod and student. He was less sure of the matron and soon managed to replace her with a choice that was a remarkable tribute to his managerial skill. His discovered a rather young woman, around 30, who had, besides her distinguished nurse's training, the additional qualities of a very amiable manner and the body of a Hollywood sex goddess. As Dr. Stanton conducted her on a school tour, indeed, every time he found himself in a position to glance at her from behind, he could not help but try to imagine her in the situation of one of his older students who had just committed a punishable offense. He was, however, far too clever to hire her on the grounds of either her training or her figure alone. For her interview, he took care to guide her through his study, where he had left a cane hanging in full view, and he remarked quite casually that he might expect her to be present when it was used, in order to monitor the appropriateness of the punishment and the condition of the miscreant. Not only did she seem quite unperturbed by this warning, but even remarked that she found such chastisement entirely appropriate and would be happy to facilitate it. Dr. Stanton knew he had found the perfect matron.

He also got rid of one senior master whom he suspected of being far too soft on the issue of corporal punishment and he made sure that all his appointees were firm believers in it. He took care to remark to them all that administering such chastisement was an unfortunate responsibility that he took entirely upon himself. He came to feel very secure in his staff. Previous experience had convinced him that, when either a master or a mistress raised concerns about this exercise of sole disciplinary authority, it was usually out of jealousy. Granting them the "duty" of administering a caning for one single exceptional instance was then sufficient to quiet any complaint. He could use this tactic should the need arise.

It was, of course, not long after his appointment that the first serious disciplinary infraction occurred and Dr. Stanton did not demur in accepting his responsibility. He took considerable pleasure in his first unveiling of one of the several hundred female bottoms that surrounded him daily, and he caned it severely. The results, he later heard without surprise, were enthusiastically examined by many very curious fellow students and it was realized by all that the new regime was committed to serious chastisement. Dr Stanton proceeded cautiously, however, appearing to accept his responsibility as it was thrust upon him, but declaring forcefully that a more severe policy might be needed if standards did not improve. Since it was up to him to declare what these standards were, he felt comfortable with this prospect. In planning more deliberately to develop his activities over a period of two to three years, as the school enrollment grew and his policies were gradually introduced, he considered carefully how frequently he could administer corporal punishment, while having it still seem reasonable, at least to all those who favored its use. The number of girls at the school would level at about 500, with 100 entering each year. On the assumption that every student should be caned at least once during their career at St. Swithin's and that they each stayed for five years, he calculated that, for each year's class, this would average out at 20 canings a year, or approximately 7 a term, or about 1 every 2 weeks. This had to be multiplied by 5, since there were always 5 class years present at one time, and thus the total number of canings would be about 2 to 3 a week. He though this would seem reasonable to the school, yet be quite generous to himself. The staff should not object. From past experience he knew that the attitude of students towards corporal punishment was an interesting mixture of blasť acceptance and intense interest. That 2 or 3 of their number should visit the headmaster's study every week would be readily accepted by everyone else, even if dreaded by the designated victims. One the other hand, the girls were always intensely interested in the event and would cluster excitedly around the school notice board to see who was to be painfully humiliated that week. He had also been told by an informant that they were always equally excited by the prospect of examining the results when the unfortunate victims were later obliged to undress in the shower room. They would certainly accept the new regime.

Yes, he thought, his calculations were acceptable. In order to be even more careful, however, he reinstituted a former practice. This was to designate the schools' head girl as responsible for punishing minor disciplinary infractions. The appropriate instrument for such "school prefect beatings," as they were called, was the tawse. The appropriate punishment was fixed at between 20 and 50 strokes, at the prefect's discretion. This would reduce the parade of girls coming through his study to a slightly more modest frequency, which he could control by specifying the level of offense that would send the miscreant to a painful caning rather than the less painful strapping. With his usual care, he chose his head girls appropriately. He made certain that they always had an impeccable academic record, that they were good at sports and hence could wield a strong right arm, and that their view of society favored strict discipline. He was amused to find how readily his choices always took to their responsibility. In order to supervise the practice, however, he himself would administer the first strapping of each term. This event, as was normally the case, occurred in the school prefects' common room. Instead of the assembled prefects watching the head prefect administer the punishment, however, on this occasion the head prefect together with her subordinates watched the headmaster do so. The victim, as was also usual, was required to lower her knickers and raise her skirt before bending over and placing her head under the edge of a large table. The headmaster's practice of caning bare bottoms in his own study was so well established that few of the prefects ever thought the exposure of female anatomy to male eyes at this event was peculiar. He would lay into the proffered bottom with considerable vigor and the student who was identified as the first tawsee of the terms was not envied. For his part, even though his own preference was entirely for the cane, Dr. Stanton always had to admit to himself that the appearance of a bottom bouncing under the tawse was a very charming one. Nevertheless, he otherwise left its administration to his prefects and the system worked well. It also helped further inculcate the philosophy of chastisement in the school.

The system began to work almost too well indeed, especially since head prefects seemed to be generally very happy to deal directly with the steady stream of miscreants sent to suffer under their tawse. Dr. Stanton found himself caning an average of about two girls a week, which was almost enough to keep him satisfied - but not quite. He then had what was - to him at least - a brilliant idea. Rather than divert errant girls from the prefects' common room, he assembled his staff for an announcement on the matter of academic standards. While these had risen most impressively and while this was certainly due to the excellence and hard work of his staff, the competition from other schools was so stiff that further improvement was necessary. Since his staff was so hard working, it would be inappropriate to divert more of their time to punitive activities such as detention and extra homework. Dr. Stanton declared that he would, indeed, relieve them of such duties entirely so that they could devote all their energy to teaching. Academy failings were henceforth a matter with which he would deal himself. The teachers were simply to assess the failing on a scale of 1 to 3, 3 being the most severe, and the student would be dealt with accordingly. He did not even have to explain that this meant a caning. By now this was simply accepted.

The result more than doubled the visits of students to his study. So much so that he declared that Wednesday evening was the time when disciplinary infractions would be punished, while Thursday evening was the time to correct academic failings. On both these days in almost every week there was a small cluster of very nervous girls waiting outside his study door, whispering good luck to the one who was to enter, listening with further whispered commentary to the sequence of thwacks and sometimes audible yelps that could be heard through the door and, with yet more urgent whispering, urging the emerging victim to lift up her skirt and display the damage.

Beyond greatly increasing the activity of Dr. Stanton's right arm, this scheme actually presented him with a number of problems that he took much pleasure in solving. First; should an academic failing be punished as severely as a disciplinary one? The answer was no. An academic failing graded 3, the most severe, would be punished by 6 strokes, a grade of 2 by 4 strokes, and a grade of 1 by 2 strokes. A result of this was that disciplinary failings were upgraded, so that the minimum number of strokes became 6 rather than 4, and the maximum was raised from 30 to 36. All, punishments, of course, were administered across the bare bottom, although the extent to which a miscreant had to undress was determined by the severity of her offense. But how satisfactory could a punishment of merely 2 strokes actually be? Dr. Stanton found himself changing his own answer to this question. Whereas before he would have thought that it could barely justify opening the cupboard to bring out a cane, now he thought of it as a delightful challenge. How to make 2 strokes truly count - that would show his skill! The crude answer would have been simply to administer them with such force that even this limited punishment would have sent the girl bawling from the room - but this would, indeed, have been far too crude. The method he developed was to use the thinnest and whippiest cane - always the fastest way to a bottom's sensitivity - and give the first stroke just hard enough to thoroughly surprise the idle scholar. Then, after a significant pause, he would administer a second and considerably harder stroke exactly on top of the first. This invariably made her jump up with a yell of protest. At his point he would inform her that, were her offense any more serious, she would only be at the beginning of her punishment, and then, after a few moments admiring his handiwork, dispatch her tearfully from his sight. Small but perfectly administered canings now gave him considerable satisfaction. Four strokes allowed for even more masterful control of results. Six strokes and he was embarked on a fully satisfying enterprise. The students, who realized that this policy considerably increased the number of caned bottoms to be seen in the shower room, watched out for the results. Dr. Stanton's ingenious answer to the minimal two strokes was immediately recognized since it produced a very characteristic result. There was only a single welt across the center of the bottom But it was usually prominently raised and even blue, since the second stroke further bruised the first. The girls promptly named it the "black mark."

For Dr. Stanton himself, another, even more interesting result, was the realization that academic failings were sometimes linked to disciplinary infractions. When this first occurred to him, he rubbed his hands together in what was, for him, an unusually vigorous expression of glee. It gave him a partial solution to a long-lasting frustration. He had always desired to exam the results of a caning after more time than was permissible during the actual caning had elapsed. After all, the marks were the product of his own skill and effort. How long did they last? But however deeply curious he might have been about the appearance of a student's bottom after he had caned her - perhaps after a day, a week, or even longer - he could never think of a respectable reason to examine it later and, being a cautious man, he never tried. Now, however, the opportunity was perfect! A student with both disciplinary and academic failings could be asked to present herself for a first caning on a Wednesday, and then for at least 6 of the best the next day!

The first time he had the chance to act on this arrangement, the student's academic failing having received the highest grade, he administered six of the best with the medium cane and perhaps a bit on the severe side, he had to admit to himself. He was then so full of anticipation that he could hardly sleep that night. He was, indeed, reminded of that occasion long ago, when he had known he was going to cane his first female bottom the next day. He had spent half the night deciding what his exact words to the unfortunate girl would be, trying to decide where and how he could stand so as to catch a glimpse of female intimacies without seeming improper, and practicing his swing of the cane. The actual event had not disappointed, even though he had realized how much remained to be perfected. By now, of course, his technique had long since been perfected and he was simply consumed by prurient curiosity. When, the next day, the moment came to order the girl to drop her knickers and raise her skirt, he had been quite fascinated to observe how each welt had remained clear and firm across her bottom. He observed that the area around them no longer glowed pink, but tramlines were perhaps even more obvious as the color scheme turned from crimson and purple to black and blue. If the matron had not been there in her usual role of observer, he might have remained staring for longer than was decently acceptable. As it was, he took pride in the success with which he had laid each stroke of the first six exactly parallel, leaving spaces between them for a second set. These second six strokes he proceeded to administer, using the thinner cane, and with unerring accuracy, so that the blue and the crimson welts alternated with artistic regularity. He delivered them with slightly less severity than the first six, although the final stroke across the crease between her cheeks and thighs was, for sure, a rousing one. It was obvious from the poor girl's gasps and the protesting jerks of her bottom that she was still tender from the previous day's punishment. Subsequently, he managed a number of variations on this satisfying experience, including one, very cleverly managed he thought, when the welts from the first punishment were severe enough for the matron to require that he wait a week before administering the second. He thus got to observe the effects of his caning after a variety of intervals. Confirming the success of his planning, of course, was the fact that academic standards did indeed rise in parallel with his satisfaction. There was, the documents in Dr. Stanton's estate revealed, another even more surprising and gratifying outcome of these events, but that is another story. We will turn here, rather, to an equally surprising item in the estate, which was another document that Dr. Stanton himself had begun to compose for what he called the "posterity of the posterior."

(Editors' note: the document contained in the following section of our account is a draft that Dr. Stanton wrote in the hope that it might be published, although he clearly felt that history was passing him by. We have culled it from the files in his estate. It was in a somewhat messy state, with many corrections and alterations, so we have taken the liberty of tidying it up. His writing becomes distinctly convoluted and even turgid when he comes to what he called the "philosophy" of the bottom and caning (what we nowadays would call the "psychology"). Considering the peculiarity of this subject, however, one might call this "par for the course" (using a metaphor of which he would have approved, since he was also a keen golfer - hence perhaps the accuracy and efficiency with which he apparently wielded the cane). We have thus left the contents essentially as we found them, even though he would certainly have had to excise some passages had he in fact tried to publish it. It is apparent, from some internal references, that it was more or less completed before the events with which our account will subsequently conclude. These later events are drawn from other documents in his files. There is some evidence that he tried to rewrite his draft to incorporate the effects of these events into his view of corporal punishment. Any such changes, however, would have to be inferred more indirectly, and we shall not do so here. But the notes that he made in connection with the later events were extensive and so the account that we are constructing and which will follow our presentation of his own statement of philosophy and practice, will shed some light on these matters. We preface his statement with a brief summary of how it seems to have come to be written.)

As both his reputation and his position at St. Swithin's became ever more firmly established, Dr. Stanton sometimes entertained fantasies of living in an earlier age, perhaps Victorian, or at least Edwardian - times when his policies and his skills might have been quite widely admired, times when his reputation in the practice of corporal punishment for girls might have been more publicly praised. He began to indulge this fantasy by starting to write a small volume on this, his favorite subject, sure that he could have readily found a publisher in a nobler age

He called it, simply, The Philosophy and Practice of Caning Young Women. He had originally called himself, as author, The Callipygian Caning Master, but had then crossed out the somewhat obscure adjective - for reasons that became apparent in his text. He began, in his customarily pedantic style, with an Introduction.

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