Young men need order and discipline. They know they do. Indeed, they crave it.
That might sound unlikely if the only young men you know are the ones who get bladdered at weekends and spew their guts up on the pavements of our town and city centres. Or, the louts who hang around bus stops smoking weed and abusing innocent passers-by.
There are many – too many – young men like that around. But, they can’t help themselves. They have never been taught how to behave, to have self-respect and how to make something of themselves. I blame society – that’s you and me. It’s our fault for not guiding the young and disciplining, and let’s face it, punishing them when they needed it.
I hadn’t thought much about this until quite recently. Like you perhaps I thought it was all the fault of the young men themselves. Then, I discovered the Society for the Betterment of Offenders (SOBOFF). They soon put me straight and taught me that as a responsible citizen, I could make a difference in a young man’s life. If only, I would commit myself to the cause.
That’s where Timothy came in. He had just turned twenty when SOBOFF put me on to him. I was to learn that his was a typical tale. He attended some bog-standard comprehensive school where the teachers were probably on as many drugs as the kids. I don’t suppose any of them noticed that by the age of fourteen he had stopped attending classes. He would hang around the city centre in the amusement arcades or at the street market where he would steal anything his sticky fingers could grab.
By the time he was eighteen he had a list of ASBOs as long as your arm. An ASBO? It’s a legal slap on the wrist. Apparently, it costs too much to take people to court, so they give them this official ‘telling-off’. I now know that Timothy needed more than a slap on the wrist. A raging red-raw backside was what he needed. He didn’t know that then, but he does now. And SOBOFF can take credit for that.
To start with we work in groups of three or four men. Until, he learns the values of submission a young man will resist any kind of punishment. At first, there is no point in ordering him to take down his trousers, and possibly his underpants too, and bend over the back of a sofa while you lay into his bared buttocks with a cane. He simply won’t comply. He hasn’t yet discovered how much he needs to be punished and just what benefits a stingy backside, coupled with a proper disciplined lifestyle, could afford him.
I first came across Timothy through Mr Dyer, a regional organiser for SOBOFF. He was rounding up a posse to give the twenty-year-old his first taste of punishment. Timothy had been found stealing from a garden shed in The Avenue, a rather upscale street in our town. He was high on weed and looking to steal something to pay for his habit. He picked the wrong shed – or the right one, depending on your viewpoint. The householder was a friend of Mr Dyer. They immediately recognised a soul in need of saving.
I wasn’t present at the initial meeting, but I have attended many similar ones since. In it, Timothy, now sober, was required to explain his actions. Why did he smoke weed? How did he live? What were his ambitions for the future? His answers ran something like this: Because I like it. He lived in a squat. He had no ambitions. He was ripe for SOBOFF.
SOBOFF’s mission statement (as it were) is about discipline. Self-discipline. But, before a young man could reach that exalted state, he had first to understand the connection between discipline and punishment. Timothy was about to have his first lesson.
We met in the home of Mr Walker. Timothy had been lodging there for a week or so. Things were not going well. Despite, the young man’s assurances that he would give up drugs and find himself a job, nothing had transpired.
“He needs a little encouragement,” Mr Dyer announced. “And we are just the ones to give it to him.”
Timothy tried to struggle, but it was pointless. Mr Dyer made a little speech about how Timothy was being give chances that many desperate young men like himself would die for. Timothy did not know how lucky he was. He was doubly-lucky because SOBOFF would not abandon him.
“You might not believe me now,” he said sternly, “But, one day you will thank us for this.”
I was surprised that Timothy was silent. We are so used to young men “mouthing off” in the streets and being rude and aggressive. I later learnt that was how louts behaved in groups. If you got them on their own in certain circumstances they could be very contrite.
This was such a circumstance. Timothy was outnumbered four to one.
Mr Dyer carried a large Marks & Spencer plastic carrier bag. It seemed almost empty, but Mr Dyer withdrew a strange-looking leather strap. It was about eighteen inches in length and three wide. There was a handle and the other end was cut into two tails. I had never seen anything like it before.
“They used these in schools in Scotland, in the good old days” Mr Dyer informed us as he practiced slashing it through the air. I could see it was a specially-made instrument. It could have no other use than for punishment. Unlike, say, a belt that could keep your trousers from falling down or a slipper that kept the feet warm.
Timothy blanched. I could see he contemplated flight. We were not so stupid. His exit from the dining room was blocked by two of us and Mr Dyer and myself were on hand to take part in a pursuit, should the boy manage to force his way through.
“We can do this the hard or the easy way,” Mr Dyer had made similar speeches many times before. He said Timothy could prepare himself for the thrashing to come and take it with modicum of dignity. I could see Timothy did not understand the word “modicum”, but we let that pass.
If he chose the other way, we would strip off all his clothes and manhandle him naked face-down across the dining room table. Either way, Timothy’s bared buttocks were to be tawsed. Of that, the lad was left in no doubt.
I got to know Timothy very well over the coming months and years. He was a good boy who had lost his way. We – all of us – had deserted him and countless like him. That day with Mr Dyer was the start of his rebirth.
He didn’t submissively offer up his bared bum to the crack of the leather, but neither did he make much resistance. He wore a bright-green tee-shirt and those polyester leisure pants that have elasticated waists. It took nothing for us to take an arm each and force him over the dining room table. He struggled, but to me it seemed half-hearted. Token resistance. With the twenty-year-old prostrate and held firmly, it was no problem for me to grip the waist of his trousers and tug them down to his knees. His boxer shorts came part the way with them, snagging at the lower part of his buttocks.
I expected him to be hollering and yelling, but he remained calm. No neighbours would be disturbed that morning. Unheeded, I pulled the boxer shorts down until the buttocks, including the underside, were completely bare.
I stood back, my part in the proceedings were over. I had a terrific view of Timothy’s bare buttocks, his legs were parted just enough that I saw his ball sack dangling. His bottom was not bald, but the fine fair hairs covering it made it seem so. There was darker hair growing from the crack between the cheeks.
Timothy had a well-proportioned body, there was no spare fat on him anywhere. Perhaps, that was the consequence of drug-taking. We did not follow through on our threat to strip him naked. There was no practical reason to do that. His buttocks were perfectly presented and his thin tee-shirt had ridden half way up his back. I was surprised, and pleased, that he had no tattoos on his body. So many young people today cover themselves with garish images. I have a view that a person’s intelligence is inversely proportional to the amount of flesh covered with tattoos.
Timothy wiggled his bare bum in anticipation of the hurt to come. He had never been spanked before; more’s the pity since if he had been we would not have needed to thrash him that day.
Mr Dyer stood behind Timothy’s behind (so to speak) and raised the worn leather taws over his shoulder so that the two tails tapped against the small of his own back. Then, with an almighty swipe he brought it crashing down across Timothy’s left cheek. A deep pink line immediately formed in a north-to-south direction. The boy’s legs kicked out; he tried to break free but the grip of my two colleagues kept him firmly in place. I saw his head rise and shake, just as a horse does when it neighs.
While this was happening, Mr Dyer took up his position once more and delivered a penetrating swipe to the right cheek. Timothy now had parallel lines on his buttocks. From where I stood, they rather looked like railway tracks. He did the neighing thing again and gasped for air. His tousled, fairish hair was already soaked with sweat.
Even from my vantage point at the rear I could see the boy’s face was ghastly pale, yet the back of his neck was as scarlet as his hind quarters.
Mr Dyer was an expert. He brought the strap crashing down across the buttocks with such skill that each successive stroke landed a little to the side of the previous one. In that way, Timothy’s bottom soon glowed red-hot. Not a single square inch of flesh was left unscorched.
I am not sure how I expected a young man in such a situation to react. I suppose I anticipated tears at least, and probably screams and pleas for mercy. We got none of that from Timothy. When we released him, his eyes were awash, but no real tears flowed. He was deathly pale and by the way he was bent double, with his hands on his knees, I could tell he was desperately trying to suck in air. He was in terrible pain, but determined not to show it.
Two weeks after that first belting, Timothy moved in with me. I became his guardian and guiding hand. Although, “hand” had very little to do with the punishments I administered to him. Under my tutelage, he got a job filling shelves at a supermarket and he is studying part-time for a City & Guilds in plumbing. He is on the road for a successful life.
It is not all plain sailing. There are relapses. I am sure he is off the drugs now, but sometimes he skips college or misses a shift at work. We have a punishment ritual now. I send him to his room where he is required to strip down to his underwear. He waits submissively, head bowed and hands behind his back.
When I am ready, I take my heavy wooden clothes brush from the drawer in my sideboard. I make him detail his faults. He always finishes his little speech with the words, “I have let myself down and I deserve to be punished. Please spank me.”
I always reply, “Of course.”
Then, I sit on his bed. When I am comfortable, I nod at my knees. This is his cue. He puts his thumbs in the waistband of his underpants and sends them to a puddle at his feet. He steps out of them and now totally naked he places himself across my knee. His legs dangle at one end and his stomach and chest rest on the mattress. In this way, his smooth bared bottom rests at a perfect angle against my thigh.
I raise the heavy brush and whack it down with force into his backside. Twenty-four times. Never more. Never less.
Other stories you might like
More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second