Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Spare the rod?

I've come across a couple of interesting discussions this week on the theme of corporal punishment. It's now virtually illegal in the UK apart from a concept termed "reasonable chastisement", introduced in response to public demand, allowing parents to adminster it to their offspring to a mild degree. I certainly got my fair share as a boy in the form of smacks and spankings, not to mention a damn good hiding or two, and including at least one occasion when I was spanked with a gym plimsoll at primary school. While I was still in short trousers, my mother had a nice line in yanking up my trouser leg and giving me a couple of hard whacks across the back of my bare thigh in public if I misbehaved while we were out anywhere. By and large I didn't think anything much of it: it was just a normal part of growing up, and it certainly never did me any harm. It was simple, but effective. I knew where I stood. I knew what I was and wasn't allowed to do, what I could or couldn't get away with, and what the consequences were if I did something I'd been told not to. There was no "discussion" about it, and I was well into my teens, I think, before I successfully challenged the basic rules.

I didn't ever get strapped or caned, although both were still very much in vogue as punishments during my schooldays. I did get a couple of detentions at secondary school. They weren't much more than a waste of time: they had precious little deterrent value apart from spurring me on to take slightly more care in future to avoid being caught. My main concern in fact was preventing my parents from finding out in case I then got punished for getting into trouble at school! Certainly none of us ever dared show the level of open defiance (and the lack of any real fear of consequences) that I found exhibited by pupils at a large comprehensive school when I was on a six-month job secondment there in the late 1990s.

But then I didn't as a boy want to get strapped or caned, either. If I had been, I imagine I'd have accepted it with my customary timidity rather than rebelling angrily against it. But quite apart from anything else, having a reputation for being exceptionally well-behaved meant - a) that I was never suspected of anything, so I could (and occasionally did) get away with all manner of assorted misdeeds, - and b) that I got all sorts of extra privileges and rewards because I supposedly could be trusted. The carrot vs stick psychology certainly worked better than anything else for me.

In the light of all this, I must admit I've become rather fascinated by some of the psychology behind consensual cp. A decreasing number of adults are going to have had any first-hand experience of the real thing as kids, but despite that, the time-honoured "six of the best" is an enduring British tradition which still seems to live on in guys' minds, and apparently in quite a number of cases on their backsides as well! The purely masochistic element I can relate to easily as I have a very submissive side to my nature. The whole "one sir, two sir, three bags full sir" role-play scene on the other hand does very little for me at all. Like most things, it's all a matter of taste and whichever way you slice it, submitting voluntarily to a painful beating has got to be something of an acquired taste. I do think my life would be very bland and dull, however, if I didn't sample the occasional new taste every now and again!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

All in the family

The phone rang last night. It was my sister. I'd been meaning to give her a ring: although we weren't particularly close as kids - it was mostly the normal brother-vs-older-sister thing - over the last few years we have tended to keep in touch with each other more regularly. Our parents both died some years ago, and gradually most of the aunts and uncles have passed away, leaving a shrinking "extended family" which I guess perhaps makes you value what's left more than you used to. We had quite a good long natter, anyway, exchanging reminiscences of when we were both growing up as kids.

Which is odd in a way, because her childhood was quite different to mine. We're not very alike temperamentally to start off with: I take after my mother and inherited a lot of her "call a spade a bloody shovel" approach with a natural tendency to speak my mind and forget any upset ten minutes afterwards. She on the other hand was more like my father with his habit of deep brooding and sulking - you could never really tell what eiher of them was thinking a lot of the time. And whereas I got to move round with my parents wherever my father's postings took us, my sister, being that much older, got packed off to boarding school which she hated. I don't doubt my parents felt they were doing the right thing by us both at the time, and certainly in the initial chaos of post-war Europe, there simply weren't the facilities to cater for servicemens' families abroad anyway.

She remembers a lot more of Hong Kong than I do: she flew out to join us for our final year having finished her O levels, whereas I was then still only nine and while I have assorted mental visualizations which are reinforced quite easily by seeing old photos, my memories of events and of our life out there are really very hazy and I suspect not very accurate. She's embarked on writing an account of it, which I'm very much looking forward to reading if only to see how much more of my time out there will come flooding back to me.

Monday, 29 March 2010

All laced up

It started off originally almost as a "dare", from what I remember. I was assured by a good friend of mine at the time, that I'd look good in a corset, would enjoy wearing one, and therefore ought to try it! Rather dubiously I did give it a try, took to it like a duck to water, and absolutely loved it. Gradually over a period of time, although I never wore one anywhere approaching 24/7, I did get into the habit of lacing up regularly and eventually got myself into a 26" one before letting the habit lapse rather unaccountably a couple of years ago. Looking back on that, I'm not altogether sure why: just one of those things that happens, I suppose. Whatever the reason, the end result was that I started putting on weight again, got up to around 180 pounds - with a waistline to match - before dropping back to 175 which I don't seem to be able to reduce further. It's largely, I'm ashamed to say, the result of pigging on snacks between meals!

There's therefore no way I can fit into a 26" any more, but I'd laced up sporadically on occasions in a 30" PVC one I bought off eBay. I thought yesterday it was about time I made more of a determined effort to get myself back into shape, and having discovered the 30" almost fitted me without much of a gap at the back, I had the incentive I needed. I've been wearing it now for a little over twelve hours.

It's a bit difficult to explain what the big attraction is for a guy in wearing a corset. Being PVC and a womens' one (I can't stand the look of purpose-designed male corsets) gives it a definite kink value, and it's a turn-on for me! I love the sensual tightness - the feeling of being constantly hugged - as well as the visual effect of my body taking on definition and losing a lot of its unsightly flab. Although I've never gone in for tightlacing as such, the restriction over my stomach area does give me a feeling of not wanting to eat, as well as realistically no longer being able to demolish huge quantities of anything while laced up. So it's all good!

We'll see how it goes: the pics incidentally are of me in a 28" PVC one from November 2007 - which should give me something to aim for.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Fluffy puppy

We had Julie the canine beautician round again on Tuesday afternoon to give our Raggs a bit of a going-over! Although she emerged some two hours later very neatly groomed and sweet-smelling, Julie had trimmed a lot off the fur in front of her eyes, which I wasn't altogether too pleased about, because I get the impression it bothers her a bit having her eyes exposed to a lot of the bright daylight: ever since we got her she'd always been long and shaggy with a "curtain" in front hiding her eyes and she seemed to prefer it that way. I daresay she'll soon grow it back again. I then took her out for a walk in the evening and it rained steadily for most of time we were out, which somewhat ruined the effect!

We went to the woods this morning for our customary Sunday morning forage round: over the eighteen months since I left work it's become quite a regular feature of the week, and being a bright dog who doesn't miss a trick, she's developed a nice line in sitting there wittering impatiently if she thin
ks I'm taking longer than I need to in getting ready. It had rained on Wednesday evening too, so it was decidedly muddy underfoot and since I'd rather foolishly put on my old blue Converse boots which I use for just knocking around in, but which aren't really waterproof, I began to regret it. The forecast for the next couple of days is heavy rain so next week I suspect my wellies will be called for!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Not in my day, we didn't

Like most people, I guess, I've become increasingly immune to the news stories detailing the rising tide of yobbishness and youth violence which to seems to plague most British cities. So today's news story describing the stabbing to death of a teenager at London's Victoria Station, while traumatic for those caught up in it, is just depressingly familiar for those of us who aren't. What makes it of slightly more than just passing interest to me is the revelation that the assailants were all in school uniform.

Being caught in school uniform doing anything we shouldn't have been doing was in my day a cast-iron guarantee of being hauled up and punished for it, and while I'm not suggesting that those concerned are going to get off scot free, the point is that for us it would have been a sufficient deterrent to stop it happening in the first place. I remember there was always a certain amount of 'rivalry' between us and the boys from Warwick School, whom we derided as being posh stuck-up little snobs, but it never to the best of my knowledge escalated into open violence - certainly not in a public place, anyway.

Sadly, I fear it's all part and parcel of the decreasing ability of schools to exercise any real control or discipline over their pupils, and I shall be interested to see what degree of responsibility (if any) the school concerned in this case accepts for what happened.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Rising sap

Some nice spring sunshine today, albeit despite a stiff breeze which denotes the last traces of what's seemed like a long cold winter. I dug out the propagator this morning and sowed a packet of tomato seeds. I did the same thing last year, but since I don't have a greenhouse I had to wait for a suitable spell of warm-ish weather to plant them outdoors, and to cut a long story short they didn't have a long enough growing season to produce anything much in the way of fruit before a cold wet autumn killed them all off. But I have had notable success in previous years gowing tomatoes, so it won't hurt to give it another go: they are one of the easier crops to look after once they've got big enough not to get demolished by slugs and snails.

Looking back on it, I've always found gardening very therapeutic: I think it must date from the days when we lived in a village in the country and as a small boy I had my very own strawberry bed in the enormous garden there. I can't remember whether it ever produced any fruit or not, though!

As a teenager, I think I did most of the gardening at home: we lived in a big detached house in Kenilworth, and I remember how neglected it had got when we moved in. The bottom of the back garden was waist-deep in nettles and it took a couple of seasons before it was licked into shape. My parents bought some fruit bushes - gooseberries and blackcurrants, I think - and we grew vegetables, too, having notable success with runner beans, but not with peas which I could never see much point in growing since frozen ones were cheap, plentiful and there wasn't any real difference in taste. It was fun picking the other crops, though, and savouring the taste of real home-grown vegetables!

Thursday, 25 March 2010


I just deleted my Formspring account.

Compared to the agonizing and soul-searching which I went through over my decision to leave BME, and which I wrote about yesterday, this one was a total no-brainer. In the three months during which I'd had it, I only ever got asked two questions, and neither of those was much more than spam - although I did try and give reasonably meaningful answers. In all honesty I think it's a rather pointless idea and I only joined because a few other people did at the same time. Basically it caters for the trivial: I mean if anyone has a serious question to which they want a proper answer, they're going to ask you directly.

One thing which did puzzle me slightly about it was the tendency of some people to complain bitterly about the type of questions they were asked. If you set yourself up as an Aunt Sally, you're going to get pot-shots taken at you and while those which bordered on the openly malicious went beyond a simple mischievous annoyance value, letting people know that their teasing/bullying is getting to you is the worst possible way of simply encouraging it all the more, and always has been.

Anyway, I'm not going to miss it one little bit!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Now... where was I?

Ah, I know... BME!

I remember back in 1999: I'd written a nipple piercing experience, taking care to omit anything that could possibly identify me, or give any sort of clue as to who I was. I submitted it for publication and I remember too the agonies of self-doubt I went through during the ten days while I waited to see if it had been accepted, wondering endlessly if I'd done the right thing. I had. During the eleven years that followed, as I became part of a thriving online community, I changed and developed in a way I'd never thought possible. I shed much of the shyness and timidity which had plagued me since my earliest boyhood, I lost my inhibitions, I grew in self-confidence and I enjoyed a decade of self-discovery. I shall treasure for the rest of my days the memories of all the happy hours I spent online (and occasionally in person) with some of the nicest people I've ever met.

Invevitably, though, nothing stays the same forever. I started to find that, bit by bit, many of the things I'd grown to know and love, and the people I'd become friends with, dwindled steadily until there was - sadly - little left of the enchantment or allure that I'd once felt so keenly. With a heavy heart and a tear or two in my eye, I decided it was time to cut the proverbial umbilical cord and call it a day.

But I've come too far to just retreat back into my shell as if none of it had ever happened. Back in November 2000 I'd started writing an online diary - the first diary of any description I'd ever kept. Steadily over the years, as my confidence grew and I started giving away more of my innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions, I found it almost by accident turning into a proper blog. As I charted my progress through life - unfolding before me all my achievements, triumphs, disappointments and disasters - I enjoyed doing it.

This is its successor.