Palmprint Publications specializes in, appropriately enough, stories of corporal punishment. Sixteen of the Best is an anthology of sixteen prize-winning stories from their adult discipline competitions 2003 through 2006. As Sarah Veitch points out in her afterward, these stories won because the punishment was the focus of the story. No little smack on the bottom qualifies.
There’s something undeniably alluring about the ritual of punishment. The miscreant, the punisher, and the reader all focused on what is about to happen as the erotic tension builds. The young lady is pulled over a lap. Her sins are calmly recounted and the inevitability of her punishment is discussed while she is in this vulnerable position that only heightens her humiliation. Her skirt goes up and her knickers go down, exposing the bottom. Maybe she squirms and begs. Maybe she tries to maintain her dignity. Composure and dignity are the first things to go when the hand, paddle, or crop is applied firmly to the backside.
Not all of the stories in Sixteen of the Best are about women being punished. Nor are they all set in Headmaster’s office. Two are set in the Lucky Seven Saloon somewhere in the wild American west, one in a women’s jail, one in a police station, and many are domestic discipline.
I remember reading Tulsa Brown’s incredible “Goddess” when it was first posted to the Erotica Readers and Writer’s Association’s story time workshop. Then, as now, there was nothing to critique about this femme domme story. I hadn’t thought about it in years, but within a few sentences, it all came back, and I was overjoyed at the chance to read it again. This tale of a homicide detective reaching out to his pro-domme for help finding a killer still mesmerizes.
“Rubios – The Colour of Rubies” by Mark Ramsden was written with such sharp humor that I may have to search out his other work. His editor allowed him too many incomplete sentences, but how irresistible is this?
“She came into my life when I was looking for someone to kill my ex-husband. Too much information? Well, it was only a passing phase. I’d rather have him alive these days. That way he’ll suffer much longer.”
The narrator quickly decides that Svetlana isn’t Russian Mafia as she claims to be and that she should be punished for the lie. Svetlana’s backside is inured to harsh punishment however, and it just about defeats the narrator.
Anyone who belongs to the Kinky Teacher’s Club should know better than to steal from them. But the pressing need for a small loan to tide her over to her next paycheck proves to be too much temptation in Jean Roberta’s “How Not to Manage Debt.” Here we have the familiar idea of teachers meting out punishment, but not in a school setting, and on the bottom of one of their own. For someone who grew up in a time when teachers could still drag us into the coat room and take out their frustrations on us with a cricket bat, the idea of a teacher tasting a bit of the whip is a satisfying bit of fantasy revenge.
Several of the stories featured miscreants who obviously did not learn a lesson. In Kit’s “Disobedience a la Carte,” a woman carefully calculates each bit of willful disobedience against the punishment she craves.
“I calculate every stroke of my disobedience. It’s a little like counting calories, though more dangerous, more of a gamble and far more fun: place, time, means and method are all up to him, and hand action isn’t counted so I never know entirely what I’ll get.”
Similarly, in James Baron’s “Beloved Birch,” he deliberately commits an act of vandalism in front of a policeman to earn the birching he desires. The anticipation and planning is as much a part of his sexual fantasy as the punishment, and the only lesson he seems to have learned at the end was that it was worth it to have his fantasy fulfilled.
If you’re a fan of corporal punishment, this anthology is the perfect book for you. Every story centers on a bared bottom and the abuse it receives. The rituals are lingered over with lavish attention. No matter how much pleading and crying goes on, the punishment is carried out to its inevitable end.