Bon Apetit

It’s the week before Thanksgiving, and I’m back in the doctor’s office. This time it’s for pneumonia, and I have to see Melissa’s male colleague since she insists that it’s unprofessional for her to treat me since we’re, uh, sort of… dating. Our relationship is hard to pin down. She’s a separated adult woman with a young son. She’s a doctor and employee of the University where I study. I’m still a closeted lesbian, a student, and I’m technically still her patient for the eating disorder. We sometimes act like any other couple, but she is undoubtedly in charge and isn’t afraid to spank me like I’m a child. It’s all so hard to wrap my head around. What a freaking mess.

Dr. Hamm is a nice, quiet man. He asks if I’ve been taking the medication that he prescribed, and he checks my throat and the sound of my lungs. When he gives me the all-clear, I thank him and dash from his office to text Melissa.

Me: Luckily for you, it looks like I’ve survived pneumonia.
Melissa: I’m so relieved. But really, good thing you didn’t die. I sort of signed us up for a double date tomorrow. Only if you want to. It’s with a friend of mine and her partner. 
Me: You’ve never taken me on a proper date. I’ve only been to your house, the grocery store, and once to get dessert in Boston and you didn’t lay a hand on me the entire time to avoid being seen with me…
Melissa: We can talk about that tomorrow, too. I know this hasn’t been easy. 
Me: K. 

I think about asking her where we’re eating. Control freaks don’t like surprises, and I don’t love eating at restaurants. I’m better than I was two months ago, but I’m certainly not recovered and eating unfamiliar food, in front of people no less, doesn’t sound like my idea of the perfect date. And what if people know the four of us are lesbians?!

When Melissa picks me up the next day, I share my concerns with her in the car. She reaches over and places a hand on my knee as she drives, rubbing gently. “You don’t have to eat anything that you don’t want to, and you don’t have to show affection in public if you’re not ready. I’m on your team here. I wanted you to meet Amy and Juliet because they’re really similar to us. I thought it would be helpful for you- for both of us- to get some advice from them. Amy is on the medical staff at a different university and Juliet is on the women’s softball team. Juliet is a junior now, so only a year older than you. They’re dating and Amy is Juliet’s top. Do you know what that means?” I look over at Melissa and shake my head tentatively.

“Does it mean she spanks her like you spank me?” I ask.

“Smart girl,” Melissa smiles. “Indeed, she does spank Juliet sometimes, but that’s not all there is to it. Juliet lives with Amy now. They are very much in love, but Amy is in charge of guiding Juliet and setting boundaries for her. She disciplines her when expectations aren’t met, though discipline isn’t always spanking.”

“Do they have a contract like we do?” I ask.

“I’m not sure, but I doubt it,” says Melissa, “Most couples who do domestic discipline- that’s what many people call all of this- don’t bother to put the rules in writing. Most rules are common sense. I thought it was a good idea for us since you’re so new, and I didn’t want you to be confused and feel that a punishment was unfair.” My heart swelled with affection. Melissa was really sweet to me, and I was oddly ecstatic to know that other people enjoy being spanked and dominated by a romantic partner. The spanking might not be fun, but the feeling of protection and accountability is.

When we get to the restaurant, we find Amy and Juliet at a booth in the back. I feel instantly better that the space is so private. Amy is athletic and tall, with her curly hair pulled back into a smart bun. Juliet is tan with dark, shiny hair, and the most genuine smile I’ve ever seen. I love her already. We all hug each other like old friends, and then settle in to order.

“I’ve been looking forward to this ALL WEEK!” Juliet squeaks, “I’m SO excited to meet you, Shae. We’re going to be BEST friends.”

“Excellent. Looking forward to it,” I giggle gleefully, not put off by her enthusiasm at all. Melissa and Amy raise their eyebrows in amusement and pass out menus.

“Well,” Amy jokes, “I know that Juliet is amazing, but I didn’t expect you to comb through the athletic department for a girlfriend, Mel.”

“Ha! I didn’t have to look for this one,” she says, glancing at me for effect, “she barged into my office like a tornado and has been as chaotic as one ever since.” We all share a laugh as the waitress comes over and inquires about appetizers. I pull on Melissa’s elbow.

“Only salad,” I whisper urgently, “And not with salami or anything like that. And dressing on the side. And tell them not to bring the bread. No fried food either.” Melissa places her hand supportively on my back and negotiates a salad/vegetable/cheese order with the rest of the table. I can’t turn down cheese. Melissa and Amy order wine, while Juliet and I are stuck with water. While they’re managing the order, me and Juliet chat privately.

“I need to know everything about you!” announces Juliet.

“Well, wow. That’s a lot. I grew up in L.A. with busy, asshole parents. I’ve danced since I was 12 months old and my mom took me to a baby hip hop class. I’m dancing and studying now, I’m in a sorority, and I’ve never been a lesbian until this semester so it’s all kind of new. And the whole spanking thing.”

“Yeah,” Juliet says sympathetically, “I knew I was gay before college, and I sort of knew that I liked spanking. High school softball will teach you that about yourself, yaknow? I was briefly involved with the bdsm community in San Fran when I was only 18 years old. I guess I’ve always known that I’m submissive, but I didn’t feel great about a lot of that kinky stuff. Then I met Amy and wow, she was so nurturing and beautiful and fun and she just happens to keep me in line.”

“A fellow Californian and athlete, and a fellow spanking enthusiast,” I smile, “We are bffs.” Juliet high five’s me, and glances over to see if our girlfriends are still talking. They seem to be deep in conversation, so Juliet reaches over and gently slides Amy’s glass of wine closer to herself.

“I always drink her stuff,” Juliet says, “The drinking age is so pointless. I drink all the time on campus.” I agree,  but after my last showing with alcohol, I’m not sure I want to push this point with Melissa. When the older women realize what transpired, they seem to suddenly remember that we’re here. With a patient smile, Amy slides the glass of wine to the other side of her, away from Juliet.

“You can drink in public when you’re 21,” she whispers in a kind but firm voice, “You know the rule.” Blushing, Juliet puts on an angelic presence and kisses Amy on the cheek. Amy rolls her eyes and laughs. “This is what you have to look forward to,” she warns Melissa sarcastically.

We chat and munch on the appetizers until the waitress returns to take orders. Everyone orders a pasta dish. I feel my heart rate pick up. Pasta? No way. There’s no seafood on the menu. No plain chicken breast. What kind of Italian restaurant is this?! “Uh, can I have a bowl of the minestrone soup?” I mumble. Everyone goes quiet and looks at me.

“That’s it?” asks the waitress.

“Yeah.” I reply curtly.

“You should try to have some protein–” Amy begins.

“Don’t start with me,” I interrupt harshly, my eyes narrowed into indignant slits. This woman doesn’t know me, and she certainly isn’t going to tell me how to eat. Sensing tension, the waitress slips away. I look down at my lap to avoid what is probably a very irritated Melissa.

“You need to apologize, NOW,” Melissa growls into my ear, making my heart start to race faster.

“But she doesn’t know me and you know I’m sensitive about eating,” I whine, leaning toward Melissa for protection in spite of my fear that I’m in deep trouble. Amy opens her mouth to apologize, but Melissa holds a hand up, silently insisting that Amy stand her ground.

“I know, baby,” she says, softening just a little. “But Amy knows that we’re working on good eating habits, and I fully appreciate her support. Amy is very kind and caring, and you will show her the same respect that you show me. Is that understood?” There’s a brat war going on inside of me. I want to keep insisting that I don’t owe Amy anything, but she’s so warm and kind, and I want to be friends with Juliet. Swallowing my pride, I look up at Amy.

“I’m sorry I snapped at you,” I say softly, “I know I need to eat better. I get stressed at restaurants and I took it out on you. It won’t happen again.” Satisfied with the apology, Amy reaches across the table and squeezes my hand.

“You’re such a sweet girl,” she praises, “Apology accepted. I know how hard you’re working to get better. How about I give you half of the grilled chicken that comes on my pasta? That’ll be a good compromise, yes?”

“Yes, ma’am, thank you,” I reply sweetly, snuggling my head into Melissa’s shoulder. Now it’s Melissa’s turn to roll her eyes.

“She’s never this demure,” Melissa groans, “She’s showing off for you.” I make eye contact with Juliet and we both burst into giggles. The rest of the dinner is delicious and harmonious. We talk about our relationships, how to handle things when the dynamic gets tough, what to tell other people, and everything in between. I finish my meal and even agree to eat a few bites of ice cream for dessert. When it’s time to go, Juliet and I exchange phone numbers.

“I know you’re outside of Boston, but we can do sleepovers, right?”

“Totally,” I agree with a grin. We hug, and then I turn to say goodbye to Amy.

“Thank you for being so patient with me,” I gush, wrapping my arms around her and burying my head her chest.

“It was so nice to meet you,” she says, patting my head and smiling. “Be a good girl for Melissa. Or don’t. It’s a little entertaining watching her struggle.” She winks at Melissa, who shakes her head and leads me back to our car by my hand.

“You’re not going to spank me, right?” I ask urgently once we’re both sitting in the Audi.

“No. You’re fine. Relax,” she says firmly, “I’m not going to punish you over every little mistake. I love you. You’re stubborn, but I want to support you, not beat you to a pulp at every chance I get. Do you understand?”

“I love you, too,” I blurt back immediately, blushing. Melissa pauses, realizing that it’s the first time that we’ve exchanged the L word.

“I know this won’t always be easy,” she affirms, “but if Am and Jul can do it, so can we.”

“I completely agree,” I sigh, my stress melting into a feeling of contentment and excitement for the future.

 

Warning: Romance ;)

Laying in bed on a Sunday, I pick up my phone and type a text to Melissa. Ever since the Halloween incident, we’ve been texting nearly every day. Sometimes about dance, mostly about meals, and sometimes I try to throw in some personal talk, though she’s not usually that responsive to it.

ME: How would you feel about going grocery shopping with me? Like a field trip? 🙂
MELISSA: You don’t have food at your sorority house?
ME: Ugh. Hardly. We have a small pantry with granola bars, popcorn, mixed nuts. I think I’d have better luck with snacks if I had some of my own.
MELISSA: Ok. That sounds fair. I usually shop on Sundays. You can come with me.
ME: Are we friends? Or like… no?
MELISSA: Excuse me?
ME: Well I don’t know. I mean, you’re more than my physician, wouldn’t you say? I need to know what to call you. Are you my friend? My mentor?
MELISSA: Is this a really important conversation to be having right now? Let’s go with mentor, ok?
ME: Fine.
MELISSA: Great. See you Sunday. 
ME: k. 

I put down my phone and rub my temples. I’m irritated- mostly with myself- over how obsessed I am with this lady. I went quickly from hating her guts to clinging to her like she was my lifeboat in the confusing world of college athletics and eating disorders. And now, I’m worried that I might have an actual crush on her. Well, it’s Friday and I have until Sunday to worry about it. I decide to skip the bars (last week was rough enough) and take myself to the studio for extra practice. I already danced for three hours today, and ran on the indoor track at the campus gym, but the studio is open all day for open rehearsal on Fridays and I need to build up better muscle memory for my new part. We only have about 6 weeks to get our performance stage ready; I tell myself that it’s not about the exercise, it’s about perfecting my part.

I eat an orange for good measure and take the bus back to the studio. It’s an uncharacteristically warm and sunny day for early November, and the studio is full of light. A few girls are practicing already, so I warm up at the barre quickly and start running my part from start to finish over and over. I know that I’m tired, but I don’t like “marking” my parts. Only going full out will ensure that I blow everyone away next week during class. On my sixth or seventh run through, my ankle twists in a weird way and I collapse to the grown with a sharp gasp. After realizing that it was just a nasty roll, I lay back onto the ground in exhaustion, barely conscious of the bodies continuing to dance around me.

“What the fuck, man?” says Caroline, who I hadn’t even noticed until I heard her voice by my side.

“Hey to you, too!” I smile, sitting up to greet her.

“You’re going to kill yourself if you keep rehearsing. What are you even doing here? We had class ALLLL morning.”

“Jeesh, I’m just running through my part for memory’s sake a couple times,” I snap defensively, “I didn’t realize I needed your permission.”

“Ok,” she said, her face contorting in hurt, “You just look tired and took a nasty fall, so I wanted to check in. Like friends do. Y’know.” Her pained expression nearly breaks my heart. Dear, sensitive Caroline.

“You know, you’re right,” I said, “My part is fine. I’m stressed about other things and I’m taking it out on you and my legs,” I say, putting my hand gently on her arm, “I’m sorry.” She brightens immediately.

“Want to grab some ice cream and talk about it?” she asks, “I was just coming by the studio because I left my favorite bracelet. I’m totally free.”

“Make it froyo and I’m in,” I wink cheerfully, letting her help me up and throwing on an oversized sweater. I change my shoes and we head to a nearby frozen yogurt shop, settling into a private corner so that I don’t have to worry about eavesdroppers.

“Caro,” I say carefully, “I have to tell you something and it’s super private, ok? It’s about someone I… you know… like.” Caroline’s eyes go wide but she contains her excitement.

“Ok, what’s up?”

“I like… well… I’m feeling conflicted, but I think I like someone who is not a man. Which makes her a woman. Which makes me maybe gay and ohmygoshCarolinepleasedon’ttellanyoneanddon’thatemeandthinkI’mweird.” She stares at me blankly for a few minutes before wrinkling her brow and shaking her head.

“Shae. We’ve been best friends for like two years. Half the theater department is gay. You should know that I’m far from a homophobe, and I love you no matter what. I’m sorry that this is stressing you out so much. Mostly, I’m glad that you’ve found someone who gives you butterflies. I want to know all about this lucky lady!” I smile in relief and laugh.

“It’s not a thing yet,” I say carefully. “She’s older and she has a son but I think she’s single but she probably isn’t gay, so basically I’m just setting myself up for humiliation and heartbreak. But, at least I know my preference for, you know, ladies, and maybe I can try a dating app or join an LGBT group on campus.”

“Well, I still say that you let her know,” Caroline presses gently, “You’re a great catch, and the worst she can say is no.” I nod appreciatively. My friends are so great and I can’t believe I was so weird about telling them. I jump across the table and give Caroline a big hug. I doubt I’ll say anything to Melissa, but having a friend know the news lifted a considerable weight from my shoulders.

***

It’s Sunday and I’m bouncing off the walls in excitement.

ME: I’m seeing her today…..
CAROLINE: Her her?! Omg. Can’t wait for news. 
ME: Oh, I’m not telling her shit. I’m just sharing my excitement 😉
CAROLINE: You do you, baby. I’m cheering for you! 
ME:

I’m excited to see Melissa, so excited that my heart is pumping double time when I hop into her Audi. She greets me warmly, and then immediately starts rattling off a list of suggested groceries. My mood quickly plummets as I force myself to face the reality of the situation. She’s a doctor. She’s a mom. She is successful and she thinks I’m a baby brat who needs help in life. She’ll never feel for me the way I do for her. I cross my arms and stare out the window, trying to prevent myself from crying. I just have to be an adult about it.

“Uh, are you listening to me?” Melissa asks in annoyance from the drivers seat.

“That’s a rhetorical question, I presume. If I were listening, I would have responded.” I’m greeted by steely silence. When we pull up to a red light, Melissa reaches over and grabs my chin, moving my head so that I’m looking into her fiery eyes.

“That attitude is unacceptable. I’m doing you a favor. You’re going to be respectful.” I simply glare back at her.

“Didn’t realize taking me along to the grocery store was such a fucking chore.”

“EXCUSE ME?!” Melissa gasps incredulously. “What on earth has gotten into you?”

“Nothing,” I sigh dramatically, “I’m just overworked from all of the dance this week. I’m sorry. Go on, I’m listening.” Melissa’s eyes narrow ominously, but she chooses to go on with asking questions about groceries and my schedule. I answer her in a flat, disinterested voice, but I avoid any more snotty comments. When we get to the grocery store, I walk alongside her cart like a child. I bet everyone thinks I’m her daughter or something. I scowl at the thought and my mood sinks back into the dark zone.

“Do you have a mini fridge?” Melissa asks casually from the fresh fruit section.

“No.”

“Do you like dried fruit?”

“Not really.” She sighs, obviously picking up on the fact that I’m still grouchy. We manage to proceed through the store with a tense back-and-forth. When we circle back to the front with a cart full of groceries for both of us, I stop by the wine display.

“I don’t think that’s a necessary snack,” Melissa says in exasperation.

“I don’t think your opinion is a necessary contribution,” I spit back immediately. Having had enough of my backtalk, Melissa swiftly storms over to me, eyes full of warning, and grabs my wrist firmly.

“This is the last warning that you will get today, little girl. You drop your attitude right now, or I will not hesitate to discipline and humiliate you in front of this entire store.”

“You wouldn’t do that,” I spit back in challenge, “You’re a doctor.” Her mouth twitches almost imperceptibly, and then she spins me around and lands five extremely hard swats to the back of my jeans. It doesn’t hurt too much through the fabric, but my face immediately turns red with embarrassment. I look around frantically. It looks like only one person noticed, and she doesn’t linger to find out what’s going on. We do live in New England, after all, and the people here have a certain coldness about them. She could probably beat me to a pulp without someone looking up from the pasta sauce selection. Melissa’s grip around my wrist is harder now, causing me to twist away from her in pain. She lets go and moves her hand swiftly to the back of my neck. Being held in that spot has some sort of strange calming effect on me. I feel like a kitten being easily manipulated by its mother. My sense of calm ends quickly when Melissa subtly digs her expert fingers into the pressure points on either side of my neck. I gasp and feel my legs starting to collapse from the painful sensation.

Melissa leans close to my hear, her fingers still pressing in painfully. “You will drop your attitude right now. And you will never challenge me again. I have no problems with disciplining you in public, and trust me, the only person embarrassed will be you. You’re right that I’m a doctor. I know your body better than you do, and I can make you physically miserable without anyone else in this store knowing that you’re in pain. I’ve warned you once that my discipline can be creative, and you won’t get another warning.” With that, she releases my neck, and I stand there looking at her and panting in a combination of disbelief and terror. I feel suddenly guilt-ridden about how nasty I’ve been. She had been so kind and attentive lately, and here I was bratting up a storm all afternoon. My eyes fill with tears, and I tentatively step toward her with my arms open. She allows me to embrace her and I bury my head into her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Dr. Doom,” I squeak in my cutest voice possible, “I’m having a bad weekend and I took it out on you with my attitude. I appreciate you bringing me to the store and all that. It won’t happen again.” Melissa takes a deep breath and rubs my back lightly as I sniffle.

“Ok, calm down,” she whispers gently, “Let’s check out- without the alcohol- and I’ll make you dinner tonight. We can chat about it. Next time, just tell me what’s wrong like an adult so that we don’t have to go through this, yeah?” I nod emphatically and follow her demurely to the checkout counter.

When we get to her house, we’ve both calmed down considerably. We cook home made Thai food together, which is actually way more fun than I would have anticipated. I miss being in the kitchen, and Melissa is pretty darn good. I can hear her son moving around upstairs, so I’m a little more shy than usual. I also don’t want to get snotty with her again, so silence is considerably better.

“I’m going to call Aaron down for dinner,” she says, looking at me intently, “Please behave and be a good example for him, or the wooden spoon will make its way from the noodles to your bottom later.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I say quickly, “I’m honored that you’d let me meet your son. Family is important. Best behavior.” With a warm smile, Melissa calls her son downstairs, and the three of us sit down for a very odd family meal. Aaron is 9. He’s too old to be a cute little kid, but he’s not quite old enough to be bratty and insolent. It’s a good age. The three of us chat about soccer and Thanksgiving and college football. When we wrap up, he asks to be excused so that he can return to his video game upstairs. Melissa agrees, and he scampers off. I briefly wonder whether I could ever date someone with a kid. Sure, one dinner was pleasant enough, but that could get really complicated really quickly.

“Now,” Melissa says, folding her hands in her lap and turning to face me, “Let’s hear what’s been eating you all day.” Her voice is firm but kind. I know that she meant to tell me that I need to fess up, not merely ask me.

“Ma’am,” I said slowly, “The thing is, I can’t actually tell you my specific problem, but I can say that dance has been challenging what with the performance coming up and all, and I have some personal stress that I’m not at liberty to discuss…” Melissa holds a hand up to stop my rambling.

“You made it my business when you nearly made me beat your butt in a grocery store,” she says firmly, “So I’d like to know what it is. You have become my business.”

“I’m embarrassed,” I whine, “And you won’t like me anymore.” I’m desperate to avoid the topic. Maybe I can make something up to appease her? A fight with my distant parents? Wanting a different part in the performance? Melissa beckons me over and lets me sit on her lap. When she starts rubbing my back, I feel my defenses go down.

“Whatever it is,” she says slowly, continuing to gently caress me, “We’ll deal with it.” Feeling he breath on me and feeling her touch suddenly makes me feel more than comforted. Dammit. I’m actually aroused. Sighing in frustration, I push away from her and look her dead in the eyes. Summing all my courage, I clear my throat dramatically and take a breath.

“I have a crush on you.” I say in a low, serious voice. Melissa’s jaw drops just a little and she laughs. She actually LAUGHS.

“I’m sorry, a, a crush?” she clarifies, “Like, a romantic crush?” Humiliated, I don’t try to stop the tears from coming.

“I should go,” I say brusquely, standing up to leave. With no hesitation, she grabs my skinny wrist and pulls me back onto her lap.

“You know,” she says, suddenly serious, “I mean, I am a little surprised, but I think maybe what you feel for me is… I understand that you haven’t had a disciplinary figure in your life before. It can be… intense.” She pauses for a moment, and I hold my breath. “I know that it can feel intimate, and it’s possible that you’re just confused by all of the emotions. You have a lot going on right now.”

“I’m not confused,” I insist, “But I know that it’s not a thing. You see me as some little kid, and you’re a University employee, so yeah, I know it’s not a thing. And you’re probably straight.” Melissa looks sympathetic, which is way better than looking totally creeped out.

“Do you always get aroused when I discipline you?” she asks bluntly. I’m surprised by how forward the question is.

“Well.. no,” I stutter, “It hurts, really. But sometimes, after, I just feel, like, romantically attracted to you. I don’t know. You’re beautiful and you make me feel safe and you make me feel… submissive. Which is arousing.” My face is bright red and I could die from humiliation any moment.

“Discipline can be arousing,” Melissa agrees, “Though I’ve spanked many bottoms, platonically, and usually women don’t fall in love, or lust, with me.” I feel a little jealous at the thought of her having spanked other people, other women. Perhaps even had sexual relations with them. I hide my jealousy and wait for her to speak again. Running her hands through my hair, Melissa plants a kiss on the side of my head. “I don’t feel like you’re a daughter,” she says, and relief washes over me. “I have considered that you are infinitely adorable, but our mentoring relationship has been somewhat professional given that, as you said, you’re a student and I’m an employee. I’m also a divorced 39 year old woman with a 9 year old son. It’s not simple.”

“Do you have feelings for me?” I ask boldly. Melissa sighs and continues to caress me.

“I don’t want you to get hurt,” she says, plainly avoiding the question. I nod. I need her. I need her guidance and discipline, and if our relationship fails, I’d be lost. Maybe having her as a big sister figure is better than not having her at all. But now that I’ve put my feelings out there, can we just pretend it never happened?

“It might be too late,” I suggest, “I already have feelings, and we’re kind of having the conversation.” I smirk mischievously.

“How about this,” she says carefully. “Why don’t you stay the night, we can… think about our feelings… and in the morning we can pretend this all never happened, or decide how to proceed otherwise. Most of me thinks this is a mistake, but you’re an adult, and I trust that you can make these types of choices for yourself.”

“I can,” I insist, “I’m consenting. You’re not coercing me.” I don’t know what I’m consenting to, per se, but I know that I want her.

Glancing upstairs at her son’s closed door, Melissa swings me around so that both of my legs are straddling her. Dominantly, she pulls me in for a kiss, and my entire world goes dark. It’s marvelous. It’s both soft and hard, insistent and unsure. I lean harder into her, my breath becoming more urgent as we continue to kiss. Suddenly, she stands me up and turns me around with a smack to my bottom.

“Meet me in my room,” she says, “And keep your voice down… or else.” Eyes wide, I practically sprint up the stairs. My heart is pounding. When she enters the room after a few minutes, she shuts the door and sits down on the bed.

“I’m a virgin,” I blurt out suddenly, realizing that I never expected things to get this far and didn’t think it through. She laughs.

“You’ll still be a virgin tomorrow,” she says warmly. “But you’ll have also had the most amazing orgasm… or two… of your life.”

With that, Melissa pushes me back down onto the bed, and I let her physical strength overpower me. This is way better than the spanking that I deserve I think in satisfaction as she runs her hands possessively along my body.

What. A. Night… Again 😉

 

 

Down The Hatch Finale

I wake up dying for a glass of water. My head is pounding and I can barely pry my eyes open. Fortuitously, there is a glass of water that Melissa left near the bed. I gulp it down and listen carefully to see where she is in the house. Prying my tired body out of bed, I shyly tiptoe down the stairs. Melissa is hunched in front of her iPad at the kitchen counter.

“Well good morning,” she says with a smile when she notices my presence, “I was going to let you sleep until 9, but apparently you’re an over achiever even when hungover.” I giggle and blush because it feels like a compliment.

“I’m sorry about last ni-”

“Let’s not keep doing the apology thing. You’re soon going to find out exactly how I feel about your behavior last night, and you’ll be sorry for a couple of days.” She narrows her eyes forebodingly, and I know that I’m up for one heck of a spanking. “Now,” she says more cheerfully, “Let’s have breakfast and talk about the contract first. What do you like in the mornings? Eggs? I can make waffles… Cereal?”

“I usually do plain oatmeal,” I mumble, “Sometimes with almond butter. Scrambled egg whites with pepper, too.” Melissa bites her lip and considers my suggestion.

“Well. You’re not trying to lose weight, so egg whites aren’t necessarily appropriate. Let’s try two whole eggs, and a bowl of oatmeal, and we can do some fruit, too.” I nod. I feel safe with Melissa. I want to be cooperative.

“Thank you, ma’am,” I say simply. She smirks as she walks around me to the stove, lifting the Yale hoodie up and smacking my bare bottom as she walks by. I give a small yelp and grab my bottom cheeks.

“HA! That was a pat compared to what you’re getting later. Sit while you still can and have some coffee.” As I sip coffee and she cooks, she hands me her iPad where a copy of our rules have been reproduced. The email got buried in my inbox because of how busy I had been. I skim through it. It’s pretty understandable. Three meals per day, and preferably at least two snacks. I have to attend all of my classes and appointments, and if I am sick or injured, she has to know ASAP. No putting myself in danger in other ways (oops, that ship sailed last night), and no being disrespectful or lying. She confirms that I understand everything, and I confirm that it all makes sense.

I have a hard time getting my breakfast down because I’m nervous about the spanking and not used to people watching me eat. Melissa sits next to me making small talk to distract me and gently rubbing my back and hair. When I finish eating, I ask if I can brush my teeth.

“Go ahead,” she says, “And then put your nose in that corner over there,” she says, gesturing to the far side of the living room. Ugh. The corner? Like a child? I don’t show my distaste. I’m in enough trouble, so I scamper off to get washed up, and then shuffle into the dreaded corner.

“This is embarrassing,” I observe as I settle into my spot in the corner.

“Mhmm,” is her absent response from the living room, “You should focus on why we’re in this position. Corner time can help you calm down and focus, and it gives me time to plan exactly what I’m going to do if I haven’t decided yet. It helps you come to terms with who is in charge. Sure, it’s a bit infantilizing, but a little embarrassment is healthy.”

I don’t respond. I try to stay still. I feel small and uncomfortable, but it does make me feel protected to know that Melissa is watching me from a distance. After what feels like an eternity, she calls me over. I stand quietly in front of her knees.

“I think you know why you’re being punished. For one, you didn’t bother to read our rules, but I’m glad we got up to speed on those today. You had way too much to drink last night, to the point where you were sick and lost. You drank underage, you almost froze to death, and I’m certain that you didn’t eat enough dinner to justify nearly a quarter of what you drank.” I nod miserably. “Were you at a bar?” she asks coldly.

“I used a fake ID.” Her expression is one of pure irritation.

“Thank you for being honest. I’ll be taking that from you today. That is obviously illegal, and I don’t need to tell you how much trouble it could get you in.” I nod again. My words seem to be evading me, as I’m just a mess of guilt and nerves. Melissa grabs my wrist and pulls me over her knees. “You’re getting a hard spanking, and then you’re going to get a taste of both a hairbrush and a belt,” she says simply. “Then, I’ll sit you down at the table and you can write ‘I will not drink past my limits’ 100 times… by hand. If I’m satisfied at that point, we’ll be done. If not, you’ll find out how creative, and relentless, my discipline can be. Do you understand?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I gasp as she lands the first hard swat on my behind. Dang… Melissa means business today. Every smack is super painful. She peppers both cheeks with several swats, and she starts to get my inner thighs, too. It doesn’t take long for a painful heat to build all over my rear end. I feel secure with her hand around my waist and her strong thighs beneath me, but this lady’s hand is made of steel!

SMACK, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK. I try my best to stay in place and breathe deep. She keeps going and I imagine my bottom turning bright pink, and then a vibrant red. I hiss in pain as she gives a few more swats to each inner thigh. When I think I can’t take it any more, she pauses. “I’m going to give you 30 with the hairbrush,” she says coldly. The hand spanking is for drinking so much that you put yourself in danger, “The hairbrush is for using a fake ID and jeopardizing your dance and academic careers.” I tense my body as she picks up the brush. “Relax, please,” she says, taking a moment to rub my burning cheeks. I try my best to let go and relax over her knee again. She hikes my bottom up farther into the air and brings the brush down for the first time.

“OWEEEEE, AH, AGHHH, OH MY GOD,” I howl in pain as the brush makes contact with my already tender skin. “Please, oh my, that hurts, Melissa please don’t do it so hard.”

“That was just three,” she says unsympathetically. She continues to bring the brush down with purpose, resulting in a mean CRACK across my bottom. I howl and squirm, but there’s nowhere to go. I start crying. It stings and my bottom feels like it has to be bruised and swollen everywhere. She keeps going, helpfully letting me know when we’re halfway done. “We wouldn’t be here if you would have made better choices last night. It’s ok to have fun with your friends. I remember being in college. It’s NOT okay to take shot after shot when you know you’re already drunk. It’s not okay to wander alone outside, freezing cold and wasted. The fake ID is absolutely never going to happen again. This spanking is better than a criminal penalty, or worse, being unconscious or dead or having someone hurt you while you’re vulnerable.” Her words hurt because she’s absolutely right. The last 15 smacks cause more crying and quivering, but I’m able to relax my body and submit fully to the spanking. When she finishes, she puts the brush down and rubs my lower back, praising how well I did. “I hope we don’t have to repeat this,” she says softly, “I know that you can make better choices and still have fun.” With that, she pulls me up and brushes the tears off of my face. “We still have six with the belt, baby. I hope it will drive home the importance of self care, and standing up to your friends when they’re out of control. I won’t swing it too hard,” she says kindly, seeing the pain and horror on my face.

Melissa gently walks me over to a kitchen chair and bends me over. I stare at the belt with wide, fearful eyes. “You’re perfectly safe,” she says soothingly, rubbing my back while I calm down. She pulls her arm back and lands the belt against my upper thighs with an anti-climactic swish and a small crack. I know she’s making an effort not to hit me hard. It still stings, so I hiss a little bit and let out a cry, but my feet stay firmly planted. “Why don’t you count down from five for me?” she suggests. I oblige.

“FIVE!” I cry urgently when the belt hits the center of my behind. “FOUR. THREE.” She gets two new spots, leaving my entire ass stinging like it was lit on fire. “TWO!” I say, letting out a deep breath. “ONE!” She drops the belt and pulls me into her arms. She hugs me tightly and kisses the top of my head.

“Good job, baby,” she praises, “Let’s have some snuggles before you write your lines.” She leads me to the couch, holding my hand firmly. She sits down and pulls me onto her lap. I wince when my bottom makes contact with her yoga pants, but I’m content to be held while I cry softly and apologize.

“Thank you again for picking me up,” I sniffle, “And going through all of this trouble.”

“Shh, you might be a trouble maker, but taking care of you is no trouble at all,” says Melissa as she continues to rub my back. When I’ve calmed down, she helps me sit up again. “Do you want to talk about what you said last night… about being worried that you might be gay?”

I blush deeply. “Oh, that…” I stutter nervously, “Yeah, I guess I just feel like I don’t like men. I mean, I keep trying because I always thought I did, but I saw this cute girl from my running group last night and I guess maybe I think I could be bisexual or a lesbian.”

Melissa’s face is full of compassion and understanding. She doesn’t say much, but she rubs my legs and asks why I seem so upset about it. We talk it over gently, with her reassuring and supporting me as we work through my thoughts and fears and hopes. When we’re both satisfied, she gently guides me to the dining room table to write my lines. I ask for a pillow, but my request is denied with a sympathetic kiss to the side of my head. Melissa does assorted chores while I write my lines, hand and bottom both burning. I know I’ve found someone that will hold me accountable… painfully… but I can’t be resentful when she also takes care of me and supports me so well.

I quickly text my friends and room mate to let them know I’m ok. It’s 10:30 and they just woke up, and I already have a fried behind! The injustice… As I finish up my lines, I look up at Melissa. She is really pretty. Stop it, I chastise myself, she’s a doctor and a mom and way older than you and probably isn’t attracted to you. Shaking the thought out of my head, I politely turn in my sheet of lines and give her one last hug.

“I can grab a cab so that you’re not inconvenienced,” I offer.

“I have to pick my son up from his sleepover at 11 anyway,” she says, “And please. Stop acting like an inconvenience or you’ll get another spanking.”

“Yes, ma’am! My butt is killing me. In that case, thanks for the ride!”

What. A. Day.

Down The Hatch Part II

When Melissa arrives to pick me up, she looks far more concerned than angry. I let out a huge sigh of relief, and timidly peel myself off of the cold concrete and try to make my way to the passenger’s side of her Audi without making eye contact. The second her wheels stop, however, she is out of the car and standing inches from my face. She already has her hands on me, making sure I’m ok and trying to assess just how drunk I am.

“Are you ok?” she asks urgently, noticing that I’m wobbly but still upright and not vomiting.

“Yessss, I’m so sorry I just so much vodka and shots and it got bad and I got nauseated but then I wanted pizza and lost so I called you because no cab money,” I blurted. The words were tumbling out of my numb lips in an incoherent blur. Melissa’s stare had become stone cold and I was starting to get anxious.

“Get into the car,” she demanded, “you have to be freezing.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I reply solemnly, slithering into the car and slouching down to make myself small. I want to explain myself, but my brain is moving faster than my mouth, so I don’t want to risk slurring my speech again and making her more angry. Melissa’s mouth is set in a firm, straight line and her narrowed eyes are looking straight ahead at the road. Shit, she’s really mad. “I’m sorry about this,” I try again, “If you take me home I’ll have water and a bagel and never take shots again in my entire life.” Melissa just sighed in annoyance.

“You’re not going home. You’re coming to my house so that I can keep an eye on you. You’re absolutely trashed. That’s concerning for many reasons, one of which is the fact that you’re underage. Your skin has been exposed to the cold air for God knows how long, and your legs are bright red. You need some water, and you need to get warm, and with any luck I won’t have to spend the entire night preventing you from choking on your own vomit.” Her voice is steely but I can tell from her concerned expression that she was worried about me. It’s endearing. And suddenly the crushing weight of making her worry makes me feel absolutely terrible. I lean my head against the window and squeeze my eyes shut so that I don’t cry. I mumble how sorry I am quietly until we pull up into her driveway. “Just hush for a minute, please,” she says softly as she helps unbuckle me and steer me to the front door. “Everything will be ok,” she whispers, placing her hand on my back as she unlocks the door.

Once we get into the warm house, my frigid body relaxes a bit. She goes to grab me a glass of water, and I feel like my drunk brain is experiencing deja vu. It’s just like the last time I was here, but darker outside and I’m way more intoxicated. I take off my converse and stand awkwardly by the door until she summons me into the kitchen. She has a peanut butter sandwich on a plate next to a glass of cold water. “Eat, drink,” she commands. I sit down and oblige. I mostly eat in silence, but at one point I can’t resist attempting another apology.

“I’m so sorry about this,” I say, “I really didn’t mean to bother you so late and inconvenience you and I know you’re probably really mad about a lot of things, not the least of which is the contract that I haven’t read, so I probably broke 98493389 rules. I’ve just been working so hard with the psychologist and trying to eat three solid meals and dance has been super rough with auditions for the December performance and on top of all of that I’m starting to worry that maybe I’m gay.” All of this comes rushing out, and gets nothing but a sigh and an eyebrow raise from Melissa.

“It’s late and you are drunk, she says carefully. We can chat in the morning, ok? I care very much about your thoughts, but I also care about getting you some rest. I’m going to lay you down in the guest bedroom,” she explains. “I think maybe you should take a shower first to warm up. I’m going to stand by the door just in case.” I nod submissively. It’s a little awkward to have her hovering around while I shower, but I know I gave up my right to make demands when I drunk dialed her on Halloween night.

“I didn’t ruin your Halloween, did I?” I whine pathetically as she starts the shower and assembles a couple of towels.

“My son is too old for Halloween,” she says with a small smile, “but it looks like you had enough fun for everyone.” Her tone is mostly dry, but I can tell she’s gone from livid to mildly annoyed and somewhat amused. This is progress, I think to myself. Melissa stands in the doorway as I undress. I glance at her shyly, as if to ask if she plans to shut the door and give me privacy, but she mouths an impatient “let’s go” so I strip the spandex off and hop into the shower as quickly as I can. Once behind the curtain, I take a deep breath and let the hot water soothe my previously icy skin. It feels amazing, but I’m also starting to get a little sleepy, so I wash the scent of the bar off of me as quickly as possible and turn the faucet off. I can sense Melissa standing in the door frame.

“You don’t have to be shy,” she teases, “I’ve seen your bottom plenty of times, and it’s not like your costume was covering much anyway.” Throwing a bratty glare her way as I step out of the shower naked, I whip the towel around my shoulders and wait patiently for my next instructions. She gestures to the sink where there’s already a spare toothbrush laid out for me. I nod in embarrassment and brush my teeth while she continues to observe me. I hope that my whole lesbian comment didn’t creep her out. Luckily, she seems unfazed by pretty much everything.

I’ve never seen Melissa in casual clothes before. Even last time I was at her house she was still in a suit. She looks really pretty and snuggly with her hair un-done and her oversized Yale sweater on. I wonder briefly if she went to school there, but it’s best not to change the topic when she’s in “you’re in trouble” mode. When I finish brushing my teeth, Melissa walks me back to the guest room.

“Oh… pajamas. Ok. Here.” She takes off her large Yale sweater and hands it to me. She’s wearing a black tank top under it. I smile and throw it on over my naked body. It almost covers my lower half entirely. I look at her expectantly, but she just smiles. “When you wake up,” she says, “you’re not going to need pants on, so I figured we’d make your discipline easier tomorrow.”

“But your son…” I say uncomfortably.

“Is at a friend’s house for a sleepover.”

“Your husband?” I ask quizzically.

“I never said I had a husband. You’re fine. You need to stop arguing and go to bed, unless you want to get half of your spanking tonight.”

I start to shake my head, but then I shrug. “I don’t know,” I slur, “I just feel soo guilty but I’m also tired.  I shouldn’t have had so much to drink. And I gave you my life story and you probably think I’m so annoying.”

“I think you’re drunk and need sleep,” she insists again. She rubs my head and then leans over and kisses my temple. “You are SO difficult sometimes,” she smiles, “get some sleep. I’ll check on you in a little bit.”

I think about protesting, but the alcohol and emotions are wearing me out. Melissa is still sitting next to me on the bed. I tentatively reach a hand out and place it in hers. She jerks in surprise a little bit, but then gently rubs my hand with her thumb as I drift off to sleep, nice and warm, but with my bottom cheeks tingling in anticipation of tomorrow’s punishment.

HEHE… TO BE CONTINUED ONE MORE TIME!

[Open to suggestions about what Melissa should do to Shae tomorrow]

Why I Like TTWD

I thought my spanking fetish started at 21, when I accidentally stumbled across a spanking scene in some m/f erotica that I was reading. I was never into porn, but I loved a juicy romantic love story; I liked the thrill of turning the page (or scrolling down the screen), wondering what was next and crafting my own image. Either way, I was completely entranced by the spanking scene. It was so odd. Was it erotic? Was it punishment? It seemed like a mix of both in the story, and my mind was blown. It was sexually alluring, but it was also something else.

The reason that I couldn’t stop thinking about spanking wasn’t just that it could sometimes be arousing. I was actually more drawn to the punishment and domination aspects. I had always been a little neurotic. Driven, hard on myself, constantly in control. The idea of giving up control to someone else- letting them take care of me, and discipline me, made my head spin with excitement. After months of reading spanking-focused stories, I started to realize that I almost exclusively preferred tales that involved two women, whether they were sexually involved or platonic.

LIGHTBULB. I’m no psychologist, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that my spanking fetish didn’t come out of no where. I had always been drawn to strong female figures in my life (coaches, mentors, etc.). I had always found some weird sort of joy in being punished, even if it was annoying or felt unjust to my young mind. There was something about someone else exerting authority that my brain seemed to code as “enjoyable.” I wanted someone else to be in control. I didn’t want a sadist, though. I wanted someone who could punish and protect. Someone who could make me feel safe, but also give me a healthy dose of fear. Smart, intimidating women with a kind and playful side. That would be my Mrs. Right.

After a brief encounter with a woman involved in bdsm, I realized that I was probably bisexual. This nearly shocked my insulated Catholic heart, but I took right to getting involved with the LGBT community and found a home there. Although bdsm wasn’t for me, I stayed involved on the outskirts of the community, mostly looking for other spankos or women into power exchange with “light” bdsm. I had some spankings. They HURT. Gosh, they hurt more than I thought they would… truly. But they made me feel out of control. I loved the feeling of light, healthy embarrassment when I was told to stand in the corner or pull my panties down. It was humbling. I like the feeling of someone’s arm around my waist, or a leg over my leg, physically subduing and overpowering me. I like being restrained while I wiggle and cry, being lectured, and spanked until the sting in my ass and the guilt in my heart evaporate into a feeling of calmness and acceptance. I like sinking over someone’s lap at the end of a session, fully submissive and ready for them to snuggle and comfort me. And I like the other things that come with it. Witty banter, those sexy threatening stares when I misbehave, whispered warnings, a light pat on the behind, and subtle acts of domination in public that remind me that I belong to her. I like being reminded that though we are equals, I have chosen to submit to her and she will hold me to that agreement.

So, here we are. Even though I hadn’t ever really considered myself particularly creative, nor a good writer, I decided starting to put words on the page. I’m writing because it makes me feel normal, and I want other people- whether they’re struggling with coming to terms with their sexuality, desires, or kinks- to feel normal, too.

My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.

Down the Hatch

It’s a Friday night, and I’m currently being felt up by a banana. Ok, it’s some fratty college bro dressed as a banana for Halloween, so I guess that was misleading 😉 Regardless, banana bro had found me on the dance floor, already drunk on the warm vodka and Pepsi that my friends and I had pregamed with briefly on our rainy walk to another frat party. He grabbed my ass sans permission, and when I turned around to yell at him, my voice was concealed by the pounding music. Probably taking my angry expression as some weird sort of consent, he tried again at grabbing my ass. Disgusted and frustrated, I shoved him away and went to find my friends. Staying together at a frat party is always a challenge, but on Halloween night things are especially packed.

Eventually, I spot a couple of my skinny dance friends vying for more liquor at the makeshift bar in the back of the room, and I quickly make a beeline for them. When they see me, Leah squeals and says, “MORE SHOTS, BABY!” Caroline nods her approval enthusiastically, and I’m handed a small paper cup filled with pineapple juice and more warm vodka. Damn college students and their inability to buy (and chill) liquor appropriately. I’m already feeling the effects of our irresponsible pre-gaming, but I also know that I won’t have any fun with these sleazy college men unless I keep the alcohol coming. I pound another two shots with my girlfriends at the bar, and then we stumble away red-cheeked and giggling to see what trouble we can get into.

The three of us are a “sexy oreo.” I know. It’s dumb. But all I had to do to be a “sexy oreo cookie” was don a tight black spandex skirt and an equally tight black spandex crop top. It was cheap, easy, and group costumes always give you an excuse to ditch the sweaty, gross boy you’re dancing with in favor of gabbing another photo with your companions. “You guysssss,” I drawl, a little drunk for sure, “I think we should just go to a bar. It’s hot and crowded and I don’t know any of these weird guys.”

Carolyn frowns. “My fake ID isn’t that good,” she whines, “So if we don’t all get in you have to promise to leave the bar with me.” We all pinky promise, and we head out into the cool October night. Walking to the bar in the cold helps me sober up at least a tiny bit. When we arrive, we wait our turns in line, shivering and giggling, and then boldly fork over IDs that used to belong to older dancers. They aren’t fake, they just don’t belong to us. Borrowing a fakie from an older dancer is sort of a right of passage. The bouncer is overwhelmed by the Halloween crowds and ushers us in without really comparing us to the pictures of similar looking- but decidedly different- girls on our ID cards. Whooping in glee, we hightail it to the bar and order more drinks. And more drinks. We dance and we chat and we keep ordering. Eventually, Leah wanders off and starts making out with someone seemingly dressed as a dead professor. Charming. Caroline sees some friends from a religious group she’s in, and is suddenly dancing on a table with a couple of them. My friends are still in sight, so I ditch my half-full drink and run off to the bathroom to pee.

The moment that I sit down in a stall, away from the blaring music and loud voices, I realize just how drunk I am. The room is starting to spin a little, and my tongue and lips are completely numb. I try to text Caroline, but my hand-eye coordination has plummeted. Shit. I stand up and make my way over to the sink to wash my hands. I give myself a few minutes to catch my breath and vow to return to the bar for some water. Nearly to the bar, I’m intercepted by a cute girl named Teresa that I know from a running club that I briefly joined during the compulsive exercise phase of my freshman year. “HI!!!!” I say in a voice that’s probably a bit over-excited, and I pull her into an embrace.

“Heyyy, so good to see you, too,” she smiles, “are you a ninja or something?” she asks while assessing my black-on-black spandex and converse situation.

“No, I’m an oreo, well… part of an oreo… it’s whatever.”

“That’s AMAZING,” she says with a big laugh, “c’mon, let me buy you a drink real fast.” I start to say no, but I haven’t seen her in a while and I’m in a good mood. What’s one more shot. She insists on rum, which I grudgingly accept. We take it straight with no chaser and then high-five while giggling. I haven’t giggled this much in ages. It’s both freeing and a little concerning, especially as I feel my legs get more wobbly by the minute. Teresa gives me another hug and disappears to find her running club friends. She vows to text me soon. I nod politely, but am starting to really not feel well. I’m getting dizzier and dizzier and I’m starting to panic.

I look around for my friends, but the Halloween crowds are unreal. I decide to grab some fresh air outside. I stumble out the door and sit down on the cool concrete, leaning against the wall of the bar. I suddenly realize that I’m starving. I had a normal-sized piece of chicken for dinner, and several pieces of broccoli. I guess the meal was barely 300 calories, but protein is supposed to help absorb alcohol. That’s what they say, anyway. I’m certain that there is a greasy by-the-slice pizza place not far from here. Determined, I stand up and walk towards what I think the right intersection is. The problem is, it’s dark, I haven’t ever actually gone to this pizza place, and my legs are not doing a great job getting me down the sidewalk. There are plenty of crowds of partygoers in costume around, so I feel safe, but I’ve never been this drunk and I’m starting to doubt whether I can make it without passing out. My eyes feel heavy even though I wasn’t tired a few minutes ago, and like usual, I’m stuck outside in the cold air with no jacket and no tights. “FUCK,” I exclaim to no one in particular.

I have my phone, ID, fake ID, a few hair ties, and $5. That won’t cut it for a cab ride. I think about returning to the bar, but Caroline and Leah aren’t answering my texts and calls anyway. With my stomach in knots- either from nausea or nervousness- I get out my phone to call Melissa. She said she was always here for me, and I *really* need a lift. I can’t call anyone else in my sorority, because I could get kicked out for an offense like using a fake ID if they found out where I was. None of my other friends have cars. I press the call button by her name, hands shaking, and hope that she’s still awake.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Asking For Help

I left my mandatory meeting with the university dietitian buzzing with anxiety. I wasn’t sure what happened. I walked in confident, but when the kind dietitian started asking questions, the words that tumbled out of my mouth were complete lies. One question after the other was met with a mistruth or prevarication. It’s like a completely different person was speaking on my behalf. When it was over, she told me that it sounded like I was doing great, and she signed the paperwork that I would need to get back to dance. If I got the psychologist to sign off, too, Dr. Doom could end my probation period and I could go back to participating free of conditions. This should have been good news, but it wasn’t sitting right under the circumstances.

As I scuttled out of her office, I shoved her note into the pocket of my purple raincoat and yanked the hood over my head so that no one would see me. When I arrived at home, soaking wet from the rain and mad with myself for the “everything is fine” performance, I collapsed onto my bed and took a deep breath. I still had to see the psychologist, but otherwise no one else knew about what I was going through besides my dance instructor and Dr. Doom. The Doc did offer to talk to me if I ever needed anything, but maybe she just said that to be polite. I slowly wiped the raindrops off of my phone screen and debated whether or not I should reach out to her. My room mate and I had recently been arguing, and my parents would never be any help. I wasn’t quite ready to tell my friends or my classmates yet, so with a shaky breath and a steadily-thumping heart, I dialed Dr. Doom.

I felt a combination of relief and disappointment when it went to voicemail. “Hi… it’s me… Shae. From, you know, I was in your office last week. About the eating di- anyway, you probably remember. I just wanted to let you know that I saw the dietitian, and the thing is, I’m uncomfortable accepting her permission for me to return to dance, because I don’t feel like I managed to be completely truthful and open with her. I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. It was really hard. I don’t want anyone to judge me and I’m just so new to talking about this with people. So, ok. Just wanted to let you know, and maybe you can help me schedule a follow-up appointment so that I can actually get some help.” 

When I hung up the phone, I replayed what I had said in my head over and over. Did I sound stupid? Pathetic? Would she be mad at me for lying? Maybe she wouldn’t call back at all. My time to worry was cut short when I realized that I had killed all of my downtime and was running really late to Italian. I didn’t have time to grab a snack, but I figured it was okay since I had eaten breakfast before seeing the dietitian (I didn’t want my stomach rumbling in front of the nutrition expert). After Italian, I took the bus straight to the performing arts center for dance, where I was occupied for 4 hours with classes. Thankfully, my instructor wasn’t treating me any differently in light of the eating disorder news. I left tired and sweaty, like always. While I was swapping my pointe shoes for rain boots, I glanced at my cell phone and noticed a missed call. My heart stopped. It was the doctor. My classmates were chatting but I wasn’t paying attention. I waived and said bye to no one in particular, and then rushed outside into the damp fall air to call her back. Please don’t let us be playing phone tag, I thought. I wasn’t even sure why I wanted to talk to her so desperately, but when I heard her steely voice greet me, my whole body seemed to tense and relax simultaneously. She had an effect on me that no one else in my life did.

“Hi Shae.”

“H-hi, Dr. Doom.”

“You can call me Melissa,” she said, with only the slightest hint of warmth in her voice.

“Oh. Okay, Ma’am. I mean, Melissa.” I heard her stifle a laugh. “Well anyway, thanks for calling back. I didn’t know who else to talk to.”

“It’s not a problem,” she said evenly, “I’m responsible for letting your instructor know when your probationary period is over, so it’s important that I’m fully aware of what’s going on with your appointments. I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to make good use of your time with Nancy today. Obviously, you’ll have to go back in order to have an accurate assessment done, and I will see to it that the next assessment isn’t a waste of everyone’s time.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll go back whenever it’s convenient for everyone. I didn’t mean to mess things up,” I whispered.

“I understand that you’re having a hard time,” she said slowly, “And as I said, the psychologist and dietitian are best equipped to help with the bulk of your issues. I would, however, like to help with what I can. I won’t be in the office much this week, but why don’t we have a quick chat tonight if you’re free?”

“Oh,” I said with surprise, “I guess I’m free, I just have to, you know, like shower and eat.”

“I’ll swing by your place to grab you at 7,” she said authoritatively, “Text me your address.”

“Ok, yeah, I’ll be ready.” With a glance at the time on my phone screen, I realized that I would have to rush. I ran to the bus stop, and when it deposited me just outside of my sorority house, I sprinted through the door and up to my room so that I could shower and change before Melissa’s arrival. I was ready to go around 6:50. That gave me ten minutes to eat dinner. I realized that the only thing I’d eaten since breakfast was an apple. Dammit. I scarfed down a modest bowl of pasta and a handful of carrots. At about 7:02, a text let me know that Melissa was outside waiting.

Melissa drove a beautiful white Audi SUV. I gaped at the nice, new interior as she stared over my shoulder at my sorority house. “It’s charming,” she said simply. I blushed.

“I know. I’m a walking stereotype. Dancer and sorority girl. But my sisters are super great and honestly, I’m cool. Like, I’m not spoiled or mean or whatever else you’re thinking.”

“No,” she smiled, “just skinny and bratty.” Without another word, she picked up speed and we glided down the street. “My son has soccer practice, so I figured we could just chat at my house,” she explained.

“Ok,” I nodded. We proceeded to sit in silence for the remainder of the drive. She seemed focused on driving and I was focused on how nervous yet excited I was to spend time with her, especially at her house. It only took about 10 minutes for us to pull up to a beautiful two-story house in a wooded neighborhood that I was wholly unfamiliar with as a campus-dwelling dancer. Still without speaking, she ushered me inside and offered me a glass of water or tea while I removed my shoes.

“Am I in trouble?” I asked, “because then wine might be better.” I said it with a smirk to denote I was joking, but it got me nothing more than a glare. “Ok, jeesh, just trying to lighten the mood. Water is great.”

“Why don’t you join me in the living room,” she said firmly as she handed me a glass. I followed her obediently. When she sat down on her couch, I decided to take a seat on another couch across the room from her. Distance is always a good idea when one’s behind might be on the line.

“Shae. I think that you know that you have a problem. And that you need help. You might need more help than I can give you individually, but what I can offer you is consistent medical advice and accountability. The latter might be more valuable to you. I think you need someone to help you stay on track. I wouldn’t normally offer to take on a bratty dancer, but I happen to think highly of you and I’d like to see you be successful.” She paused for effect and I nodded my understanding. “Great,” she said, folding her hands neatly on her lap, “So I think you understand how I ordinarily handle discipline. I plan to spank you for your stint at the dietitian’s office today, and I plan to spank you every time you fall short of my expectations, which- by the way- are high. But I think you also have high expectations of yourself, and we can be a good team. But to clarify, I’m the captain of the team. I want to spank you not only to punish you, but to show you that you aren’t always in control; you can’t be, and you don’t have to be. Whenever you’re with me, you can count on me. I mean that in many ways. You can count on me to tan your hide when you’re bratty or deceptive, but you can also count on me when you need someone to help.” She slowed down when she saw tears falling from my eyes.

“Thank you,” I said simply, “I’m not mad or sad. Just overwhelmed. And maybe a little anxious about the whole spanking thing,” I added with a small laugh. She smiled again.

“It’s ok,” she said. “Why don’t we start with the punishment and get it out of the way, and then we’ll talk about some ground rules and expectations.” I nodded my acquiescence, but I didn’t move from the couch. “Come sit over here,” she instructed. I shuffled across the room and sat down gingerly next to her. “Now,” she said, “I’m spanking you for lying to the dietitian today. I know you might have a hard time being open with people, but it was really unfair to her and to yourself. In the future, lying to anyone will earn you a trip over my knee, no questions asked. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” I sniffled, eyes wide.

“Great. Is there anything else you want to tell me before we begin?”

“I guess not,” I said carefully, “But, I mean, I’m just feeling a little guilty because you’re letting me continue to dance while I work on my recovery, but I know I haven’t made enough effort to fuel my body properly. I only ate two small meals and a small apple today, and I danced for four hours.” I looked down at my hands in shame. Melissa put her hand under my chin and forced me to look at her.

“I understand,” she said, “I’m glad that you know it’s unacceptable. I don’t expect you to get rid of all of your bad habits overnight, but I do expect from now on that you can follow a simple, healthy meal schedule if you want to keep dancing. We can talk about that more after your spanking.” With my admission out in the open, I felt my shoulders relax, and my breathing returned to normal. I was still nervous, but the confession had taken a weight off of me in a way that I didn’t expect. I’m a very private person, but talking to Melissa made me feel better. I was interrupted from my thoughts when Melissa pulled me swiftly over her knee. Apparently the chat was over.

This time, Melissa started spanking me over my leggings. They were too thin to protect me much, but it prevented the heat from building as quickly as it had last time. The pain was more of a dull ache than a sharp sting. Her rhythm was almost relaxing. Before I could even think that it “wasn’t too bad,” she ordered me to stand up. She unceremoniously peeled my leggings down to my kneecaps. Luckily, I didn’t have much time to revel in the embarrassment of the situation, since she quickly pulled me back over her knee and resumed her assault on my upturned bottom. The bare-bottom smacks brought on a searing pain each time they landed. Damn, Melissa was strong.

“I know you know why you’re being punished,” she said, “So we’re going to skip any further lecturing. All I will say is that I don’t give many warnings. The next time you have to resume this position for lying, you are going to be feeling my hairbrush.” With that, Melissa fell silent and I could only hear the sound of her hand striking me over and over. The echo of her smacks filled the room, and the sting in my bottom grew and grew. After what felt like an eternity, she stopped to elevate her knee and raise my bottom further into the air. I was hit with a new wave of humiliation, and she began spanking even faster and harder. I wailed and kicked my legs. I begged her to stop and dug my hands into the carpet and tried to get away from her. She barely reacted to my tantrum- she simply adjusted my bottom again and wrapped her left arm even more tightly around my waist. Her physical strength was overpowering. I ceased my resistance and cried while she continued to smack my already burning bottom. Finally, she slowed down her smacks. The last few were softer, and somehow almost pleasant. I breathed softly and relaxed. She eventually transitioned to rubbing my bottom, and then my back. When I wasn’t crying anymore, she helped me sit up. I didn’t know what to do with myself, but she pulled me into her embrace and gently rubbed my hair, so I closed my eyes and whispered one final apology.

“It’s all fine,” she said, “You did a good job for your first proper spanking. It will certainly be worse in the future if you don’t behave,” she warned. I nodded emphatically and continued to snuggle my head into her collar bone. She was surprisingly warm and comfy for someone with such a cold and commanding personality.

After a few minutes, she encouraged me to drink the rest of my water, and she began to lay out the ground rules. I was tired and having a hard time focusing, so she agreed to send the rules via email instead, and she kindly ushered me to the car and drove me back home. Sitting through the car ride was, erm, not fun to say the least, but I went to bed that night feeling relieved and protected. Just before I drifted off, I sent the doc a quick text message: “Thanks for everything, Dr. Melissa, I really appreciate it :)”

“Sleep :)” was her characteristically short response. Well, I thought, at least I got a smiley face. She might make me behave, but eventually I’ll get her to be more cheerful!