What makes a punishment a punishment?
I delurked with a story and a very few details about myself, given the name Mija by Bea, who, at the time, was a regular poster. Usenet was very mysterious to me, as Ron McIngle discovered to his pain as he tried to explain to me where I was and how I got there. I didn’t have web access — I’d found alt.sex.spanking via crosspostings from a Los Angeles personals newsgroup. The spam was very heavy — probably at least 95% of the group’s content at the time. But the community, in the midst of planning the creation of this group, shone through. That it existed at all seemed more amazing then I could bear.
At the time I was 29, in the middle of the first year of my MA program and floundering in an unhappy marriage that had taken my 20s and left me feeling far older than I was. My (now) ex husband saw my interest in spanking as "outside any idea" he could have about me. I’d buried my desires deep, only to have them reappear, triggered by writings of feminist Dorothy Allison.
One of the things I noticed about working for yourself is that you never have enough time. For anything. Even for most of your work. Everything needs to be extensively planned, squeezed into the calendar, finished in too little time, crossed off the to-do list.
This seems to include punishment. Unless it’s planned ahead, or cramped into a tiny pocked of the day when neither Abel nor I happen to be running mental circles around our tasks – it’s not going to happen. Luckily, we’ve got pretty good at finding time for things like that – eventually, after much putting-off – but it has also come to mean that I’m losing any ability to worry about a punishment much beforehand – or else I’d spend days and weeks waiting for a snatched moment, fretting.
A few weeks ago Abel woke me up before going off to catch a train, and informed me I was in for it: I had let the credit on the gas meter run out again. (We are old enemies, that gas meter and I.) I sighed, and agreed, and fell back asleep until my alarm clock went, and then there was work, and more work, and over the next few days we remembered a punishment was supposed to happen, but we failed to find that small shred of time and aloneness that would make it possible.