Reader dasflute writes:

Mr Spanking Theatrical, my response to your open question of the month was a bit long for that reply box, so I thought I would send it in as a submission instead.

While I’m not sure if this is the spanking experience I would most like to read in your grimoire – how could I choose from among so many temptations? – this is the idea that came to mind first. The page I first flipped to, if you will. I imagine the proper script of a young lady, the youngest daughter of a merchant family in late Victorian or early Edwardian England. Raised in a strict Dissenter household, she would of course know to behave at all times – especially in those areas that ought only to be explored in a marital context. She tried to b a good girl, of course she did – but having older sisters and cousins who gossiped and giggled over their own relations, marital or otherwise, perhaps a slip was inevitable. It was just her bad luck that her fingers strayed just as her mother happened to check in on her…

So the young lady was quietly bundled off to Dr. Samson’s Attending Clinic for Wayward Youth, a facility which prized itself for the discrete attention to the children of well-off families who suffered from the sin of self-abuse. Imprisoned in her small cell, she would be completely alone. Meals eaten in the room slid under the door, not even one of her precious books that she so cherished reading at home. Just…herself.

Once a day, however, things would change. That was when she would be taken from the cell by matron, into Dr. Samson’s office. There, bent over his desk, matron would check her drawers for signs of moisture, and then she would receive twelve of the best with the rattan cane, before the venerable doctor even addressed her, telling her that she was here to learn self control, discipline, morality. She would learn strength, for the heat of her corrections would refine her soul, and smelt the impurities out of it. Better the heat of the cane than the heat of Damnation.

She would try to explain that she was a good girl. That she had only slipped up that one time. That she had learned her lesson. That would inevitably only earn her an extra round with the cane from the good doctor.

Sitting in her cell, the young lady could imagine how the idleness might tempt other girls to sin. But she resisted, the dullness aside. Whenever matron came to fetch her, she would always seem disappointed by the lack of dew from her fig. The young lady of course thought it was a good sign. She had been cured, hadn’t she? They would have to let her out soon, certainly?

That was when the elaborately-sculpted, gleamingly-polished ivory phallus began to be delivered along with her morning porridge.

For several days, she avoided it, trying not to stare at it. Then glancing at it, as if to prove to herself she could resist it. Then, holding it in her hand. By the time she realized she had doomed herself, it was too late. She could resist her wicked urges when it was just herself – but when there was a physical representation of her deepest urges there?

As if she were being observed, as soon as she succumbed to the allure of the phallus, matron immediately came to fetch the girl. Inspecting the ivory cylinder and its tell-tale slickness, matron pulled the young lady by the ear to the doctor’s office, where she was forced to admit to her sin, describe in excruciatingly embarrassing detail what had been going through her mind, and then request an even more severe thrashing.

“There there, my dear,” the doctor said to her gently, as she sobbed following her caning and as matron applied cream to her bottom. “You thought you were cured – but until we can fully tame these sinful passions of yours, I think it would be best if you remained my guest here, don’t you?”

Not only did her new ‘friend’, the phallus, remain in her cell, but the young lady’s temptations were soon added to by the fact that her daily meals now each included what might generously be termed reading materials. Literature of a decidedly base kind. There were writings describing a young lady selling herself at a gentleman’s club. A young lady being taken in hand by the vicar. Ladies in peril from the savage natives of the Sepoy Mutiny or the American West, noblewomen in the French Revolution being used to sate the lusts of Jacobin hordes…and even literature of a Sapphic bent. Being forced to describe her thoughts as she diddled herself with the ivory willy while reading those were the most humiliating for her.

But she still did it. And she was still caned in response, and returned to her cell with the promise that she would not be released until she could resist temptation. And she still returned to her self-abuse.

She wondered, by then, if she diddled because it felt good – or if she diddled so she could reach her true pleasure, the caning at the hands of doctor and matron. She also wondered whether they were truly as invested in curing her as they claimed – or if they might, just possibly, have an ulterior motive in mind for her.

Unfortunately, that is where this particular page in the grimoire would end for me. Perhaps the next page will tell more. Or perhaps it will be the introduction of an entirely separate tale. I leave that up to you, dear reader.

Now, that is the end of my chosen grimoire recollection. But as our venerable American saying goes – but wait, there’s more! Ever since I first read the story, I was interested in where the grimoire might have come from, what forces could have collected the narratives within. I trust someone of your erudition will be familiar with the Jorge Luis Borges story “The Library of Babel”?

It struck me that the grimoire must have originated from, if not that library, one of a similar design – only this one existing solely to collect and catalogue every work of erotica, every bit of rude print or salacious scribblings or tempting thoughts and febrile fantasies that have ever existed, or ever would exist. And perhaps some member of the library staff distributed copies from the collection throughout the out of the way bookstores of the world, ones where only the true bibliophiles would find them – for the sole purpose of finding a reader so tempted as to claim it.

The heroine of your story stumbled upon the grimoire that indexed the spanking section of this vast universal library. And when at last her fantasies from the grimoire so consumed her, she might realize that it was the so-called ‘waking world’ that had become her dream – and to awaken from it would be to find herself in her new employ, as the newest librarian of the universal library’s spankophiliac section. And as such, being the newest recruit, is of course the lowest on the totem pole, and therefore vulnerable to the same type of bookshelf plundering that she fantasized over at the start of your tale.

Just my own idle musings, of course – but one does wonder…