Thursday, 1 October 2009
The following borrowed account describes part of the famous Phoenix edition in which Hans Braun illustrated some delicious items of punishment dress.
In punishment fantasy literature the concept of girls whipping drawers has been developed with much relish. Invariably thin to the point of transparency and tight to the point of bursting, they are also often represented as being equipped with accessories in profusion to increase the culprit's discomforture, to protect her coccyx or cunt, or to make her the more easily fixed in a fanciful posture that gives greater prominence to her buttocks. This account purports to deal with the adoption of special punishment breeches at the reformatory after birching on the bare bottom had been prohibited for girls over sixteen years of age. In earlier paragraphs the substitution of a riding whip for the birch rod had been discussed and the authoress had mocked the principal for her refusal to adopt the bent over position "so much more suited for a beating on the clothed seat". She was a traditionalist however and preserved the more military tradition of a girl enduring her punishment standing 'at the easle' — with the little ones standing on books to raise their bottoms for punishment.
If the intention of the new regulations was to save the girls from the shame of nakedness, that intention was certainly thwarted on this first occasion when two girls together were decided upon as being worthy to be the first to be whipped across these carefully contrived garments. The excitement of the novelty of it attracted the largest possible gathering to watch and a dozen pair of amused eyes formed together a strong lamp to light up the shame of shy girls.
Before, when it had been known there was to be a birching, it varied from time to time as to which, and how many, of the teachers would divert themselves by attending. I myself usually went, for my meagre room was alongside the punishment room and if I was to be disturbed by a girl's squeals I felt I might as well disturb myself the two metres more by seeing the source of those cries! None other came regularly but I noted that an exceptionally pretty little one, due to have her bottom bared would draw a bigger audience as would the promise of an exceptional retribution for a particularly serious offence. Malice towards a particular culprit would bring a mistress to watch a whipping and, so I often noticed, would affection.
But this time they all came! Only old Renata stayed away, too lame to climb the stairs, and, to take her place perhaps, the sergeant who drilled the girls in gymnastics on Tuesdays was, on this Tuesday, allowed into the proceedings on the grounds that there was no longer an indecency in front of a man as the girls to be afflicted were to be dressed as boys!
And yet there was indecency: indecency more than before just because all of us were there (including a man) and because the girls were entered in their frocks and then watched for the longer time as they were first stripped and then, from their nudity, ceremoniously dressed in these obscene breeches.
The eldest of the two culprits was perhaps the prettiest child in the school. It was however the youngest who most drew our silent attention for it was known to be her first flogging and the fright of it took all control from her so that she had to be led and restrained in every part of the proceedings. When naked she could scarce step into the breeches held before her ankles by a kneeling servant and two servants together were needed to fasten the garment upon her. It was an elaborate proceeding.
The drawers themselves were of the thinnest cotton — scarce more than a gauze — and because of the weakness of this cloth there was much stitching, seaming and gussetting at points where a greater strength was required. At the waistband there were tall loops of a stronger stuff through which a very broad leather belt had been passed, being tightened by two buckles so that it drew in the girl's waist and bore upon her hip bones so that it could not move downwards when the rest of the harness was adjusted.
For a harness it was! Made, I was later to learn, by our local saddler (who was deceived to believe it was to form part of a toy pony cart) it had a craftsman's finish absent from the breeches themselves, which, I suspect, were the result of our Principal's own handiwork. Strongly sewn to the centre of the back of the belt was a downward strap of thinner leather and this developed into a thong that hung down like a tail while the belt itself was fastened and during the next stage of the preparation — the tightening of the cloth.
Once the device was secured at the waist the front of the drawers was tightly laced closed between eyelet holes. Or not quite closed — for the drawers had been tailored not to meet at the front. On this first occasion I assumed they were made too small by ill-design but now, having seen many girls of different girth fitted with pairs of different size, I knew that the central parting was deliberate: to allow the certainty of the most extreme tension in the lacing to draw the cotton skin-tight to the buttocks. The effect at the front was obscene. At the back, the soft bottom was flattened, hardened and made solid.
But that was not all! Having laced her to a tightness of bottom that we had never seen before (even on a boy!) the servants revealed our Principal's skill by tightening the flesh still further! Once the lacing was completed, one of the maids passed a hand through the child's thighs and pulled the thong forward, adjusting it carefully to the weeping girl's underside, before pulling it upwards and buckling it to the front of the belt. I was behind the creature at this point when I heard the servant request her charge to draw in her breath. As she complied the stomach wall must have receded allowing the cotton to slacken momentarily and, at that moment, the servant put all her strength into the forcing of the strap in the buckle so that the thong tightened into the girl's rear valley. It drew in the cloth and divided the bottom into separate buttocks as hard as bullets.
The use of the martinet whip on the girl thus prepared was then described — as was the similar preparation and flogging of the second girl.