Story from Februs 38.
The Feminist Across My Knees
A Short Story by Tim Armstrong
Victoria looked like some modern Joan of Arc, with her long Levis and her long hair. At least that was what her new boyfriend thought, as he watched her making speeches at feminist demos. Still in her early twenties, she was arrestingly beautiful.
Soon afterwards, Jim noticed she always wore her shortest skirts when photographers were around. Although she would have hotly denied it, she was already using her stunning figure to promote what was promising to be an equally stunning political career.
When first elected, at 27, she was easily the youngest woman on the council. A year later, she was made vice-chair of its Crime, Disorder and Punishment committee. Soon, any cause she espoused was sure of getting local media attention. The papers always used a provocative picture of her, while radio and television knew she was bright enough for a good sound-bite.
Shortly after marrying Jim, she became chairperson and co-founder of Women Hit Out at Porn, or WHOP!, for short. 'I thought you disapproved of censorship,' he said.
'This isn't censorship,' she replied, as though explaining to a child. 'We're objecting to women's bodies being exploited, not trying to stop freedom of speech.' Then she harangued him for an hour. Fortunately, she never discovered his pile of erotic magazines, hidden in a cupboard.
A year later, Victoria published an enlarged version of this harangue in a widely-reviewed, though less widely-read, book called Is Your Husband Really Necessary? She appeared on chat shows to put the feminist viewpoint; and eventually she was elected MP for Birchington East.
Some pundits talked of her as Government material. Others talked of her as Rear of the Year material. Many talked of her as both. Jim saw less and less of her and her rear.
'And anyway,' he told his sister-in-law, Chrissie. 'What man would want to go to bed with a woman who'd written a book about the irrelevance of men?'
'You don't have to pretend with me,' said Chrissie. 'I know you're still madly in love with her.' Chrissie, who was staying with the couple for a week (not that Vicky was there, of course), was curiously different from her sister: seven years older and about 20 years more mature in outlook, she was a lot quieter, more thoughtful, and had a background in teaching and social services. 'Perhaps there are two or three things you don't know about our Vix,' she mused.
She curled up on the sofa, saying: 'Once upon a time – it seems like a million years ago now, but in fact, it was less than a decade – two sisters shared a house, or rather the elder allowed the younger to stay there free, so she could complete her MA.
It all went well for a while, but soon the student became difficult, rude and downright slovenly. She refused to do her share of the washing-up and started using her sister as a sort of drudge. It couldn't carry on.
Then, during a long heart-to-heart, this student confessed that her reason for misbehaving was her deep need for punishment. Not just any punishment. She wanted to be taken over her sister's knee and spanked long and hard, like a naughty girl. She admitted she'd fantasised about it over and over again.'
'What! Vicky! But it can't...!'
'So her sister remembered their earlier years, and recalled how the Little Brat had, in a fit of temper, torn up her books and thrown the pages down the loo; she recalled how the Little Brat had thrown a penknife at her, narrowly missing her eye; she recalled how the Little Brat had stolen her make-up, her clothes and, eventually, her boyfriends.'
'But... you don't mean you...'
'This is just a story; I'm not saying any of it happened, of course,' said Chrissie, enigmatically. 'This sister, the older one, you know, now had her chance for revenge. It was a rare kind of revenge, for it was entirely without guilt. Wasn't she, after all, merely doing her sister a favour by complying so thoroughly with her request?
So she ordered this grown-up brat to her bedroom, where she told her to bend over the end of the bed, and then she belaboured her naked bum with the back of a hairbrush, impacting deeply into her soft, rounded bottom, until it was like two ripe tomatoes. And eventually her brat-sister cried real tears and danced round the room, holding her bottom, saying she was sorry and promising to be good for ever and ever.
And, after that, her behaviour was much improved. Occasionally, she did still forget to do her share of the household chores, but by that time her sister had acquired a cane – we won't go into how – and a good, hard six, or nine, and especially 12, soon had Bratlet bawling and yelling and sorry and well-behaved. Now, isn't that an interesting story?'
Jim was staring at her, open-mouthed. 'But I couldn't do that. I've... never even raised my voice to Vicky,' he said.
'Never?' said Chrissie looking straight into his eyes.
'Not recently. These days she wouldn't put up with it.'
'How do you know, if you've not tried it?' she said. 'Remember, Jim, she can choose her politics, but she can't choose her sexuality. And what can she do about it, if there is an apparent conflict between them?'
Jim would have continued this discussion the following day, but by then, Chrissie had gone home, leaving him a parcel containing a hairbrush and a traditional crook-handled cane. He tried the cane out. It was certainly swishy. He whacked a cushion with it. It made quite a noise. But could he possibly use it on Vicky's behind? This was thinking the unthinkable.
Vicky usually returned home on Friday nights, after spending the week at her London flat. At about eight, Jim heard her slamming the door and cursing at something or other. She busied herself around the house, talking to the cats, making coffee and berating herself for things she'd forgotten to do. He walked downstairs and stood at the kitchen door.
'You mustn't disturb me tonight,' she said. 'I've a lot of work on. That temp is useless, costing me a fortune and I'm convinced the little bitch votes the other way. I've constituency correspondence to catch up with, I've a speech to write and I've phone calls to make, so please leave me alone. All right?'
Jim took a deep breath. This was the moment 'Double or quit' he murmured, and said, in a firm, even tone: 'Victoria, I've had enough. You will go to the bedroom and wait for me there.'
At first, she paid no attention and seemed pre-occupied. Then, she did a double take and looked at him, puzzled; next she looked away, as though she thought she must have misheard. 'What have I done with my car keys?' she muttered. 'I had them in my hand a minute ago!'
'Did you hear me, Victoria? I said, "Go to the bedroom and wait for me there".'
Her whole demeanour changed. Suddenly, she was no longer the powerful politico, but a chastened girl. She stood stock-still and open-mouthed in the middle of the room, her lower lip trembling.
Jim still wasn't sure of his ground. This is it, he thought. There's going to be a row. She's going to start one of her harangues. Or she'll never speak to me again. I've lost her.
He showed none of this in his face, and another glance at her told him everything would be all right. Her expression went through several more changes: first blank, then a slight smile, then a look of wonder, as though she still couldn't quite believe it. The great backbench orator opened her mouth, but couldn't find the words. Chrissie had been right; at last, thought Jim, I've got Vicky where she lives. Affecting irritability, he said, 'Do as you're told for once!'
Again a series of emotions flowed on her face in a few seconds, but all she said was, 'What a masterful man you are suddenly!' Red-faced, she scuttled up stairs like a ticked-off teenager.
The mask of anger fell from Jim's face. Good old Chrissie!
Without her, they'd have gone on in this kind of half-life.
With his broadest grin for years, he took the cane and hairbrush from a cupboard and was about to follow her. But he stopped himself. He didn't want to ruin things, especially when success – success for them both – was within reach. So he waited a few moments, to give her collywobbles, before putting on his grimmest face and loudly marching upstairs.
He paused at the bedroom door, looking at the handle; years later, long after the couple had moved, he would still remember the feel of that handle, as he turned it and walked briskly in.
He put the cane and hairbrush onto the bed in a matter-of-fact kind of way, as though these were the sort of things he always brought into the bedroom. Amazed, she stared at them.
At last, she said, 'What on earth have you got there? You can't be serious! You're not... planning to use those on my bottom!'
'Point of order, Madam Speaker. My honourable friend, the MP for Birchington East, knows that is exactly what I intend to do and I request her to withdraw that remark,' he said. 'You know why you've forgotten me. You're used to me.'
Flustered, she said. 'Look, Jim, I'm sorry. I know I've been forgetful. But it's a difficult job, this. It demands a lot of time away from home. Lots of MPs have problems like this.'
'And lots of MPs have broken marriages,' said Jim.
She put her hands on his chest and looked into his eyes, licking her lips and saying, 'I'll make it up to you, really I will.' Abruptly she turned away, apparently thinking she'd won her point, 'But right now, I've a lot to do.'
He sat on her dressing-table chair. 'Over my knees,' he said, shortly, indicating with his thumb. 'You can do your constituency correspondence standing up tonight.'
She turned round, startled by his determination, and tried again to get her sentence postponed. 'Jim! This is silly. I can't possibly let you... spank me. I'm a grown woman, with responsibilities and a seat in the Commons.'
'It's your seat I'm interested in. And you've responsibilities to me, too. So fulfil them. I refer my Honourable friend to the answer I gave a few moments ago: bend over Victoria!' Again, that thumb pointed. Her mouth was wide open and her face a study of astonishment as she approached him and slowly put herself over his knees. 'Not too hard!' she warned.
'That's up to me,' he replied, as he lifted up her sensible skirt to reveal her black lace panties. 'So this is the seat of power! These are a little unsuitable for an MP, aren't they?'
'Maybe not,' she giggled, briefly regaining the initiative. 'They're making one member stand.'
'It's the gorgeous backside in them that's having that effect,' he said, reaching for them and peeling them down to her knees.
The sight of her bare bottom, so humbly placed over his knees, took his breath away. And to think that bottom had been sitting in the Commons only a few hours earlier! This was the woman, he reminded himself, who had basted the men in television debates, who had lines of people queuing up for surgeries each week and who was on first name terms with the PM. And here she was, docile and draped across his knees, her hindquarters bared and uppermost; on one side her legs stretched out and on the other her face was covered by hair and buried in the carpet.
He had never seen Vicky over his lap before and was conscious of what a sexy and submissive position she was in. He had not realised how close her thighs would be to his manhood and how she would rub her body against it, in a uniquely alluring way. How he adored her and how adorable she looked in that position!
He paused so long that she said. 'Get on with it, then. Don't I deserve it?' Jim remembered her sister's story, raised his hand over his head and brought it down firmly in the middle of her buttocks. Smack!
She reacted instantly. 'Ooo-ow!' she shouted, lifting up her head and twisting round, in surprise at the sudden pain in her nether regions. 'You're hurling me!' Surely it hadn't hurt that much? Maybe it had. He didn't know it would be so easy.
'I've hardly begun,' he said and set up a rhythm. She wriggled her Very Important Backside, but didn't try to get up. It was true his left hand was placed firmly in the small of her back, but an assertive woman like Vicky wouldn't have been stopped by that. No, Jim told himself, she's over my knees because that's where she wants to be.
The spanking took about five minutes. Afterwards, Vicky just got off his knees and silently rubbed her rear. Jim picked up the cane and hairbrush. She whispered, 'I'd forgotten about them.'
'It's time for some hard choices – which do you want?' said Jim, holding out one in each hand.
She picked up the hairbrush, weighed it in her hand and grimaced. Then she fingered the cane and bit her lip. 'I'd prefer a third way,' she said.
'That's not an option,' said Jim. She picked up the hairbrush and tentatively offered it to him. He took it and commanded, 'Kneel down. Hands on the floor, back arched, backside high in the air. Twenty whacks and no moving from the spot.'
'Oh! I wonder if I'll be able to take all this!' she said, as she knelt on the floor in front of him.
'You don't have any choice,' he said, though he was aware of the delicious ambivalence of what was going on. Of course, she could have walked away; but she'd clearly committed herself to taking whatever he dished out.
He felt very strange, lifting the hairbrush above her naked bottom like that. How high should he lift it? How hard should he bring it down?
The effect was dramatic. She leapt up, roaring loudly and trying to move away. But her knickers, by this time round her ankles, tripped her up and she fell. Why was she making such a fuss? Jim wondered. She'd taken the same hairbrush from her sister. But suddenly, he was all concern. 'Have you hurt yourself?' he asked.
'No, you fool, it's my bum that hurts. Have you any idea what a solid piece of wood feels like on a bare bottom? Ouch, that's all I can say: ouch. I made the wrong choice after all. I'll take the cane instead.'
'A U-turn already?' smirked Jim. 'Shouldn't you be true to your principles?'
'Sometimes you have to be pragmatic. You've heard of the art of the possible, haven't you? Well, I can't possibly take another whack like that,' she said, still squeezing her bottom. 'Surely, the cane can't be worse?'
'I don't know about that.' He swished it around and she shuddered. 'The advantage is: you'll only have to take six with this beauty.'
'That sounds a better deal,' she sighed, picking herself up off the floor.
'Over the end of the bed then, Victoria,' said Jim. As she carefully pushed out her behind, Jim was reminded of that old cliche about MPs who'd acquired a taste for the cane at public school. He'd never thought the MP concerned would be anything other than male and middle-aged.
This time he'd make sure she could withstand the blow. But when he brought the cane down, it just seemed to bounce off her behind. 'Hmmm. In fairness, we'd better not count that one,' she said, dryly. 'Try to improve on that next time, eh?'
What a cheek, he thought. Does she believe she's in charge, even when taking the cane on her bare bottom? But all he said was: 'This is the first time I've used a cane.'
'You don't need to tell me,' she sniffed, and wriggled her rump provocatively.
This comment stiffened his resolve. Right, Madam, he thought, you'll feel it this time. 'Ten strokes,' he said.
He heard her gasp: 'But you said before...'
'I told you one thing in opposition and another in power,' he said, lifting the cane high above his shoulders. 'It's my turn to be pragmatic.' And he brought down the cane with a loud swish-crack across the centre of her bottom.
He was expecting her to complain again, but this time she must have prepared herself. Her head rose and her feet drummed the floor; then she uttered some garbled words; then she held herself still for a moment, with her mouth wide open; finally she resumed her humiliating position, sticking her bottom out as lewdly as possible. Jim reminded himself that at heart she must be a tough old boot – or rather, a tough young boot – to get so far in politics.
'One,' she said, as though obeying orders, although he hadn't told her to count. Must remember next time, he thought.
As the cane bit home again, Vicky squealed. She could not keep her feet still. Her buttocks quivered in outrage at what was happening to them. Oh yes, that was a good one. This time there was a long pause before she squeaked, 'Two!'.
He placed the cane gently on her bottom and she shuddered, licking her top lip. He made her gasp by swishing the cane around, and then, when he hoped she wasn't expecting it, he gave her a resounding whack across her lower seat. As he raised his arm again, she said, quietly, 'Please, I must have a break.'
Jim decided it was time she was harangued, especially now she was in this vulnerable position and in no state to answer back. While he spoke, she was quiet, answering only with bottom-wriggles. He ended with, 'Do you understand?' Rut all she said was: 'I'm ready now. That was three.' He had to admire her pluck. Was he caning the behind of a future Prime Minister?
On the next stroke she pulled in her haunches, lifting her leg so sharply that her panties flew across the room. 'Oh! No more, please!' she cried out and then said, in a calmer tone, 'No, I mustn't be a coward. Four. Four, four, four!'
Jim decided it would be cruel to take too long. Whop! whop! whop! whop! whop! He did not know which part of her bottom he was hitting and whether he was beating new parts or the same ones. There was no time for finesse; he just put as much muscle into it as he could.
One wail turned into another, until she was yelling as loudly as she could. And gradually she raised her body in protest at this painful onslaught on her bum. Then she remembered and resumed her submissive pose, gasping in relief and relaxing her body onto the bed.
Her backside was swaying and she was involuntarily clenching and unclenching the muscles. Then she gratefully stood up, while still manically rubbing her rump. She turned to face Jim and threw herself into his arms.
'That was only nine,' he said. 'There's one more stroke left.'
She pulled away in horror. 'It felt like ten!' she said. 'I've reached my limit – really I have!'
'You were supposed to be counting, remember'?' he said. 'You're lucky I don't start again from the beginning. But I promised you ten strokes and ten strokes you will receive. I always keep my promises when it suits me to do so. Bend over again.'
I've gone too far this time, he thought. She'll never buy this. She'll say, 'You've had your fun. I've got work to do.' But instead she walked stiffly over to the chair and slowly lowered herself over it.
As he raised the cane, the phone rang. It was the local paper, wanting to speak to the MP. He passed the phone to her. She didn't move from her position, as her confident and familiar voice boomed out from across the bed.
Jim hardly listened as he kept the cane raised menacingly above her bared backside. This last stroke had to be memorable, he thought. He'd be letting her down if it wasn't. Besides, she deserved it for all the platitudes and cliches she was using.
Did she really think that journalist would be impressed by all that gobbledegook? She seemed to be stretching the conversation out, perhaps to keep that last stroke from her sore behind for as long as possible. Jim's arm was beginning to ache, but he was determined to keep the cane in position.
At last she put the phone down and as she did so, he let her have it. As he hoped, he caught her off-guard: she leapt into the air, with a succession of little ohs, getting ever more frantic, until she doubled up and curled onto the bed, rubbing her red posterior.
He sat next to her, put his arms round her and gave a deep sigh. Nothing could be heard in the room for a minute but loud sobs from Vicky.
She wiped her eyes with his sleeve and said, 'I've made your shirt all wet with my tears. Wow! What an experience! It was awful and awesome and exciting at the same time. That last one – ow! You bastard, I wasn't expecting it then. You might have waited – my mind was on something else. Oh, I feel like my bum's been roasted alive. The cane was so much sexier than the hairbrush: that was just a hard thump.'
She pulled away, to find a handkerchief and blow her nose, and her backside lifted from the eiderdown.
She said, 'I don't know whether I should tell you this, Jim, but – what the hell! After going through all that with you! You see, I've always wanted it, always needed it, but I never, ever thought that you... it's a real bonding thing, this, isn't it? I feel closer to you than ever before.' And, still keeping her red-raw rump away from the bed, she put her arms round him.
'I'd be mad to risk losing you,' said Jim. That was why, he told her bluntly, he was going to give up his lecturing job to work as her secretary. Vicky hardly reacted, but clung on tightly to him, so he went on, 'I don't want you to be alone among all those randy MPs. In return, I'll give you the best-run office at Westminster.'
'And the sorest butt at Westminster. I didn't realise I was conducting a job interview! The secretary spanking the boss there's role reversal,' she giggled, knowingly – perhaps, thought Jim, a little too knowingly. He wanted to know what she meant.
Vicky pulled away. 'Oh! Nothing!' she said. 'I had to research that porn thing, remember? And I noticed stories about spanked secretaries... that's all.' She snuggled up to him again. 'I'll be your boss at work, your sub in bed and your partner at home,' she promised.
Then a thought worried her, 'You don't think me a hypocrite, do you? I mean, how can I go on making speeches about the place of women in society, when I've got your cane-marks across my bum?'
Jim assured her she could believe in women's rights and still enjoy a good spanking. She seemed uneasy. 'I'll give up the antiporn group, anyway,' she said. 'Why should I stop others having their fun, when I'm getting my kicks – or rather, my spanks?'
She tickled his ear with her tongue and whispered, 'If you can do that sort of thing to me, regularly and often, you'll get my vote, regularly and often. Oh! It was such a relief not to have to take decisions for a few moments, to be utterly in your control! Nothing like that has ever happened to me before!' The look on Jim's face made her add, 'You're the first person who's ever spanked me!'
He didn't know what to think. He wouldn't have been so confident if Vicky had said that earlier. Had Chrissie made it all up? Or was Vicky lying? Jim had no more time for this interesting train of thought, because Vicky kissed him passionately and pulled him onto the bed.