My first major crush on a boy? That would have to be my cousin Nick. Remember, I went to a girls' boarding school and when I was home my parents didn't let me go out much.
They did, however, send me to my Uncle Alex's house for a summer. Nick's mother was dead and he was the only son; so I think he was happy to have me there as a diversion. Nick and his father didn't apparently get along very well, just the two of them. And it was far out in the country, so Nick (who also went to boarding school) did not have a lot of friends around. This was excellent luck for me, of course, since otherwise a boy that age would never would have spent time with a younger girl and god knows what I would have done to amuse myself.
As it was, I went out with Nick almost every day to do nature studies and draw or paint. He was extremely skilled at drawing plants and animals, and I found I liked it too. In the first few weeks I think there was a little bit of brushing together, touching hands: you know, when he leaned over me to show me how to shade a leaf .
Meanwhile, I was fantasizing nightly about Nick. Usually I imagined one of our accidental contacts turning into a kiss. Nick was so masculine and so nearly adult looking. That's why it shocked me, one night, when my uncle announced at the end of dinner that Nick "needed his arse warmed" for some minor offense.
He sent Nick to his room and himself went out to the garden where (with me watching him through the window) he cut a number of swtiches, each 2 or more feet long.
I hid in the library, choosing a book at random: a volume of DeQuincey I seem to recall, or something equally inappropriate.
Heavy footsteps returned from Nick's room in the wing to Uncle Alex's study in the main part of the house. It was still early-- there were hours left of the summer evening-- and I kept sitting there thinking Nick would come to find me. It was our default meeting place; in the late evenings we often read or played backgammon there. At last, bored and tired, I decided to look for Nick. I would knock on his door and offer a few sympathetic words.
But his door was half open; from out in the hall I could see Nick lying face down on the bed. The coverlet was bunched up around his body, but I could see that his trousers were pulled down to his knees. He turned his head and, seeing me, made a quick silent hand gesture for me to step inside. "Shut the door for heaven's sake!" he said. As he raised himself and turned urgently toward me I saw his chest and stomach and... possibly seeing the look on my face, he turned over again just in time.
His room was a sparse version of the typical schoolboy mess. The shades were drawn. On the floor lay Uncle Alex's switches, one or two of them broken. I sat on the edge of Nick's bed. His muscular bottom appeared, in the dim light, to be covered with a fine tracery of lines: almost brushstrokes, as if someone had been practicing calligraphy. These were not the strong red tramlines which, from accounts of school canings, I had expected. I felt the punishment was more embarrassing because it did not appear very drastic or heroic. it was almost as though my handsome, mature cousin had been across his father's knee for a childish smacking. Feeling tender as well as embarrassed, I asked, "Ah... does it hurt much? Should I get some cold cream? There's some in my room..."
"For god's sake no," he interrupted. "Don't go out. If you're caught going into or out of my room, we'll both get it." Nick spoke very intensely, and I thought that my uncle's switch was, perhaps, to be feared after all. Indeed, when at Nick's suggestion I moistened a flannel in the sink and laid it over his bottom, the flesh felt unexpectedly hot, even a bit swollen, and the sharp breath Nick drew convinced me that he was in real pain.
"Rub a little," he said, wincing; and I rubbed with my hand through the damp cloth.
"Does he often do this, your father?" I asked.
"I suppose every few weeks or once a month when I'm home," Nick said. "But sometimes he will do it every couple of days for a while. He gets in a mood. Only at those times he doesn't spank nearly as hard."
"Spank": I was surprised by that plump, intimate word. Other boys I knew talked about being "beaten" or perhaps "flogged."
"Don't stop rubbing," Nick said, "please. And get rid of that flannel, it's rough."
For years afterward that would be one of my most reliable masturbatory images, to focus on when ready to induce orgasm: my cousin's slender but solid bottom, naked, flexing and relaxing under my touch while its owner offered it with such a combination of candid trust and demandingness.
"That's very good," he said. "It's difficult to rub one's own bum, so I usually just lie here and let it sting. I think I can just about pull my trousers up now; why don't you turn your back? No, better: you go ahead of me and I'll follow in a few minutes."
It took him a little longer than that; and while I waited, curled up in an armchair, I mused over things he had said, returning again and again to the warning "If you are caught here..." which seemed immeasurably romantic: it was the first time he had suggested there might be something suspect-- that is sexual-- in our being alone together.
When Nick appeared he gave me just one slyish look as he sat down in another armchair, settling his buttocks with very little show of extra care. We read, but I kept looking over at him, not so much at his face as at his lovely masculine form; and I imagined what it would be like to throw myself into his lap, or wrap my arms around his neck.
For the next few days I was nearly weak with bliss. I would wake up in the morning and remember our moment of physical intimacy and complicity, and think "Yes, that really happened." Nick and I were just as friendly as ever; but I enjoyed being with him even more.
One Sunday afternoon, when Uncle Alex had gone out on an errand, the house was unusually quiet. Only a few people were working downstairs and in back. Alex and I returned from swimming and we both headed up the stairs to change clothes. We came to my Alex's room first; and as he opened the door he suddenly took hold of my wrist and drew me in after him.
I felt very safe with Nick the whole time. The swimming costume under my dress helped a lot: I felt covered with layers of material which would be hard to undo. We kissed awkwardly, and then Nick led me to the bed and laid me straight down across it and immediately lay down very heavily on top of me. Through all my clothes, and his shorts and swimming trunks, I could feel only the outlines of his hips and groin against me but it was still explosively exciting. My legs were trapped so that I could neither open or shut them; they remained a couple of inches apart the entire time. The only action was kissing: deep, wet and extremely comprehensive. I even felt the place where he had had two back teeth knocked out while playing soccer.
Naturally once this started we kept at it. Nick would say, "Let's kiss each other" and we would start with him on top, like the first time; then he would roll over pulling me with him. We would laugh when I tried to lie heavily on him, because I was so much smaller. I lay very rigid, though, careful not to push my hips or my little breasts against him. It was an absurd form of modesty, really; but it made the kissing extremely intense.
Naturally, in time we were caught and punished; but before that I made a discovery. We were filling in some botanical drawings with watercolors; and I began looking through Nick's sketchbooks. I did this in full view of him, and he made no attempt to stop me. I turned a page, past a remarkable drawing of two hedgehogs (which animals we had seem for only a few minutes), and there was a human figure. I had never known Nick to draw a human. This was a girl: perhaps me, to judge by the hairstyle and the general size and shape; but the face was not visible. She was bent over, resting on some piece of furniture, with her bottom uncovered, ready for spanking. A vague figure stood off to one side, holding, just visibly, a switch.
I thought: so that's the position his father whips him in. I had wondered about this detail over and over: when Nick got the switch did he lie across the bed, where I had found him? Stand and touch his toes? Or did my uncle grab him and bend him over? I favored the idea of Nick bent over something, I liked to think of his genitals (which I still had not seen but of whose size and shape I had a pretty good idea now) pressed against something while his rear end was exposed for beating.
I was not angry or shocked to imagine that Nick might think of the same thing happening to my bottom. Occasionally when we were doing our deep kissing he would run a hand over my bottom, even pat it; but he never pinched or smacked. Sometimes, at moments of great sexual tension, I wished he would. Finding the picture was just another pleasant irritant, among the things which were making me all prickly that summer. If I'd had the nerve I might have gone rummaging through Nick's things hoping to find more such pictures.
I shut the book without comment and without being sure whether he knew I had seen. Nothing changed in terms of our kissing and very limited touching. That's why it was not a huge matter when we were seen (we never learned by whom) kissing in the abandoned orchard. We were fully clothed; our hands weren't in any too intimate places; and I didn't have my legs wrapped around him or anything. Still, I was lying on top of him.
Uncle Alex said nothing so explicit as "arse-warming." He just asked me whether I would like to share my cousin's punishment or have him notify my parents. Of course I chose whatever Nick was going to get and was glad to choose it, even when Nick whispered: "It's not just going to be one of those little switches. He's going to birch us. Have you ever even been spanked before?"
We were walking up the stairs together-- not to our rooms, as I would have thought, but to Uncle Alex's. All the more reason not to change my mind but to accept eargerly my share in everything. I was nearly intoxicated at the idea that I might soon witness Nick's bottom being stripped and flogged. If I were unlucky I might be whipped first and then sent from the room; but I doubted that would happen. We might be scolded together and then taken to be whipped separately, but I doubted that too. After all, Nick knew his father, and he seemed giddy with anticipation too.
I was telling him about my childhood spankings as we entered the bedroom. "Come on, we might as well," he said, pulling me towards him for a kiss. I doubted his apparent reasoning (that even if we were caught now the punishment would be the same) but in my current state of mind I would not have cared if my uncle whipped the skin off my bottom entirely.
That was the closest we ever came to making love: those long minutes before we heard Uncle Alex's tread on the stairs. Anticipation of the beating, so far from making me tense, had melted my limbs and I was in a swoon of desire. I lay back on the bed and Nick leaned over me: feet on the floor, torso covering my body: almost the exact position he would be in a little later for the birch, I thought, and I was right.
"Bare and bend over!" Uncle Alex said as soon as he entered the room-- we had fortunately sprung apart in time-- and Nick took the command as applying to him. He walked over to the bed, opening his trousers, and bent over as he had just bent over me. It was a very obedient gesture but it was saved from abject submissiveness by the extreme grace of his body and posture.
Nick's father, with the first of the two birch rods he had prepared, began scourging the lovely male bottom with a force that shocked me. And this was no wispy little bundle of twigs he was using: each of the eight or nine switches was almost as thick as the individual rods he used at other times. Nick later apologized for not giving me advice on how to take the birching (we were to busy kissing) but I could tell by watching what his method was. He did not hold still or brace himself, but rather got into the rhythm of the beating. His bottom bounced up and down; the buttocks even moved together and apart slightly. I thought that if he was on top of me, penetrating me and making love, he might look a little like that from behind.
Nick must have taken nearly two dozen strokes before his father said: "All right, stand up." I averted my eyes politely as Nick turned around but could not avoid seeing his penis spring out and rebound. My first good look at male genitals: that alone made it worth everything.
My uncle picked up the second birch rod. Interestingly it was just as large as the one he used on Nick, despite the difference between our ages and sizes. He wielded it just as unmercifully, too, and I can't say it didn't bother me. Nick told me later that he was so excited his beating hardly hurt; but I couldn't restrain myself from yelping loudly after each stroke.
"What's he like?" my friend Claire whispered to me during the ceremony, while Nicholas ("please stop calling me Nick") and Helene were kneeling in front of the priest. "Oh, he's lovely, I said unguardedly.
"That's right," said Claire, "you used to spend summers with them, didn't you?"
"Several." The first, I remembered, was not even quite the best, although after the birching we kissed only very rarely, when we could be sure of not getting caught: not for fear of another birching so much as out of concern that I might be sent home. When we had a chance, however, we would make the most of it.
Not that we ever extended our sexual repertoire much further: it just seemed to deepen. After our birching (the only one we had together, although we were each switched several times) we began spanking each other, maybe once during each of our deep kissing sessions. I got spanked more often but I enjoyed smacking Nick over (for instance) tight white linen trousers.
Claire looked at me more closely as I tried, not with complete success, to suppress a laugh. I was thinking of the impending wedding night. In my day people must have done that often, while they sat watching weddings. Now, one assumes, the night after the ceremony is scarcely ever the first time. Back then it quite often was, even for the groom. I think it was the first for Nicholas, unless he and Helene sneaked a few times-- which wouldn't really be Nicholas, I thought. Probably they had just done some of those other things Nicholas was so good at: I hoped so. I really did wish them well. Yet I could not get rid of a lurid image which had occurred to me as Claire spoke: Helene lying back across a bed, her pale thighs spread; her husband Nicholas between them, bent over the bed, his buttocks and thighs moving as I myself had seen them, flayed with a birch rod.