Monday, 23 September 2013

Good old days?

This gives my age away, but anyway... A long time ago little me arrived in London from the country and discovered all sorts of strange things. 
Certainly, the strangest - and most wonderful - was that I wasn't alone. It seemed that other people were getting a sexual frisson from corporal punishment, giving and/or receiving. Or a bit of both.
I have to say that it made me feel a lot less uncomfortable about some of the thoughts that crossed my mind. I decided that getting all hot and bothered about getting my bottom all hot and bothered made no sense and I vowed to stop giving myself a hard time about it.
How old was I when this revelatory moment happened? Well, I was somewhere between 22 and 23, would you believe. 
But I'm taking you back to a pre-internet age. Today, a young person with even a hint of spanko spirit can Google and discover all there is to know about TTWD, but in 1989 the red-bottomed facts of life were far harder to discover.
What my hometown didn't have were the sort of newspaper shops that sold porn magazines. In London, the top shelf in my ordinary street's newsagent was full of naughty mags and in among them were copies of Janus, Roue, and the like.

I didn't do more than look out of the corner of my eye at that self (which I couldn't have reached even if I'd been brave enough to try). But it was pretty clear from the slightly ambiguous cover images that some of the magazines there were about spanking. 
Janus covers were the ones that really caught my eye. I'm sure that the guy who owned the shop noticed my blushes when I was taking a peep at Janus (or a furtive look at a copy of Blushes) and had me sussed.
Dana Kane touched on the idea of a spanko good old days recently and questioned when that might have been - pre-interent, or post-internet. Personally, I say it's defintiely now. It was only after the internet that the content of that top shelf became available to me because I never had the confidence to buy one of those magazines.
The other London discovery that took me by surprise was that all of the city's phone boxes were full of cards selling sexual services - and it was pretty clear from the pictures that red bottoms were a significant part of the exchange. Ever the social historian, Richard Windsor had the good sense to collect some and save at least a few for posterity.
The phone people would turn up and rip down the cards and almost straight away someone would arrive and new cards would go up to replace them. As a cub reporter I had to use public phones just about every day and found those cards very distracting.


  1. The Internet really did bring about a paradigm shift in the awareness, understanding, and practice of kink. I grew up during another one before that for sex in general. I was raised in a large metropolitan area, and even there, talking about conventional sex was awkward for society. I had no clue that my thing for spanking was not mine alone. It wasn't til my late teens that I discovered erotic spanking literature, and then there were many years of visiting adult bookstores downtown to find Brit mags like Janus and Blushes, and American producers like Nu-West and later Shadow Lane. Being a guy, it was probably easier for me to get around in those areas. I do kind of miss those days when the spanking I knew was either a serious form of punishment or my big exotic secret.

    1. Definitely a paradigm shift. It's hard to imagine now how unknowing people were about kink.

  2. We are just about the same age in that case. I can remember in 1979 when I was 17 noticing quite an early copy of Janus appearing on the top shelf of the local newsagents.It had a very striking image of a cross looking games mistress cane in hand and a 'schoolgirl' bent over with a bare bottom that had this pale peaches and cream complexion that was marked with a series of really bright red angry stripes. It was frankly a sight that made me stop in my tracks and feel short of breath. I found any number of excuses to pass by that newsagents and pop in for this or that, on each occasion casting lingering looks up there to that top shelf. I never plucked up the courage to buy it for some reason ( silly me ) but I can remember it now. Formative years.

    1. As a matter of policy I prefer to remain vague about ages and dates!! I still like to think that from a distance, and in poor light, I can pass for late 30s...
      That top shelf was so tantalising, wasn't it? I had to wait until I moved away from home and was able to get Janus through the post. It cost a day's pay, but was worth every penny.
      I'm not sure about your memory of that cover though. I thought that CP marks were banned by the censor, but I may be wrong.

  3. Great post! I've heard about those cards in the London phone boxes, and the craziness of Times Square in the 1980's. Funny that we seem to feel so much more 'out' now, although out in the real world our stuff's much less visible.

    1. Hello Dana, it's great to 'meet' you. I'm a real fan of your work (and that cute hairdo). The phone box cards were certainly an eye-opener for me, but what intrigues me is how out-there or not TTWD was at the time.
      Presumably most grown ups using those phone boxes were as au fait with the extent of human kinkiness as we are today and it was only a revealtion to green, wet-behind-the-ears me.

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