One swallow doesn’t make a spring #21

Svitlana thought for a moment or two. I’d just told her I was going to punish her for disobedience. She wouldn’t have had any qualm, if I’d simply smacked her thigh. But announcing it in advance, and specifying that it was punishment, that it was for disobedience, that made it hard to take. 

This was not going to be a night she could discuss with Mayne and Barbs, the dyke couple who were looking after her, let alone with Kerry, the angrier dyke who’d told her I was a bad man who spanked women. Kerry had done me a favour, though that was another thing that would never be said. Not to Kerry, anyway.

It's the waiting that makes it hot.

It’s the waiting that makes it hot.

She said, with utmost wariness, “Okay. If I were going to let you punish me for closing my thighs, what would you do?”

I smiled. “No. Ask me how I’m going to punish you.”

“Punish me for what?”

“Ask me, nicely, to punish you for closing your thighs when I told you to open them.”

“You keep shifting the ground!” 

“Yes. So you should ask me, very sweetly, to smack your inner thighs, to punish you for closing your thighs when I told you to open them.” 

We looked at each other. I was grinning like a fox. We held each other’s gaze for a few seconds, and Svitlana burst out laughing. When she recovered she said, “All right. Would you please, pretty please, smack me on my inner thigh – is that right?” 

“Just do as you’re told.” That was a growl.

“On my inner thighs, to punish me for closing my thighs when you told me to open them.”

I kissed her, and we held that for some time, my hand caressing her scalp through a handful of her hair. Eventually she broke away for breath, and I said, “Since you asked so nicely.”


“Left thigh. Bend your knees, and keep your thighs right open, so I can smack you. And don’t move, or I’ll have to give you double. You know that.”

“Yes.” Svitlana obeyed, lifting and spreading her legs to offer me a delicious white, rounded target. I wanted to kiss her cunt, now most prettily framed, and fuck her. But first there was business.

spank handI raised my hand, hovered over the target, three inches below her cunt.

Svitlana drew in her breath. Her stomach muscles tightened. She looked away, and then, drawn by awful curiosity, gazed back into my eyes. I let her wait.  


One smallow interlude: Lesbia’s sparrow #4

Lesbia. Painting by John Reinhard Weguelin.

Lesbia. Painting by John Reinhard Weguelin.

My honeygirl, she holds her sparrow to her breasts

And plays with it, all greedy, it’s her delight

she pets it with her little finger, gives it a tweak,

hoping it’ll give her a sharp bite.

When my glorious desiregirl is moved

to play with a little thing she loves, 

I guess, when hard passion’s done and down,

It can give her relief and lift her frown.

I wish I could play with you like she does,

And ease her mind and all its woes. 


That translation’s mine. But that’s just vanity on my part. There’s no shortage of Catullus translations.

Anyway, there are people who say a sparrow is just a sparrow. But the imagery of the sparrow poems is too sexual for that to seem likely. And when the sparrow dies, Catullus calls on Eros and the Amors, the little gods of love, to weep for it. If it was just a dead pet sparrow, Eros wouldn’t give a hoot about it, or a twang. 

There are people who say it’s Catullus’s cock. I’d thought so when Svitlana took my cock and balls in her hand and cradled them like a pet. That happened in “One swallow doesn’t make a spring #20”, which you can find below. Svitlana’s gesture, playful and loving, though we were more or less strangers, reminded me of Catullus’s sparrow poems.

But I went through the process of translating them, expecting to find a poem in which a woman lovingly handles her man’s cock. I thought there’d be submissives who’d like the imagery, and the sense of being in a cock-cradling tradition over 2,000 years old. But as I went through the poems, I realised I was wrong. 

Lesbia. Victorian painting. She keeps her sparrow in her lap. Peep! Peep!

Lesbia. Victorian painting. She keeps her sparrow in her lap. Peep! Peep!

The sparrow is Lesbia’s cunt. She plays with it when Catullus is worn out and has no more “hard passion”. She puts her little fingers in and it bites, or at least the lips close on her finger. And Catullus would like to play with it too, until he gets his passion back. 

So what does it mean when her cunt “dies”, in the second sparrow poem? First, it’s possible that the death is the proverbial “little death”, and it’s a mock elegy on Lesbia’s orgasm. I can’t actually remember an example, in Latin literature, of the idea of orgasm as a kind of small death, or at least a shut-down of the body, but it’s certainly an old idea. If I can find an example from the right historical period, that would be useful. 

Second, it’s a prefiguring of the death of Catullus’s and Lesbia’s love. Her cunt becomes, in a sense, “dead to him”. 

One piece of support for the idea that Lesbia’s “sparrow” was her cunt is that Catullus uses the Latin word “passer”. This means any small bird, and not necessarily a sparrow. But “passer” also has a slang meaning, though we don’t know how old this slang meaning is. In Italian “passera” means both little bird and “vagina”. Did it mean that in ancient Rome too? 

cunnus_diabli_by_nikongriffin-d569gs9Here I’m just going to guess, and say that some slang terms, like the ones for genitals, don’t change much, or at all, over time. So “passer” probably did make Catullus’s readers think of cunt. And sparrows too, of course.

Anyway, Lesbia’s sparrow was well worth her time, and Catullus’s. 

One swallow interlude: Lesbia’s sparrow #3

I’m going to hold off my theory about Lesbia’s sparrow and what it means, because it might be an idea to give the context for this, and why people care.

Catullus comforting Lesbia on the death of her sparrow." Antonio Zucchi, 1773.

Catullus comforting Lesbia on the death of her sparrow.” Antonio Zucchi, 1773.

About 2070 years ago, somewhere around 60 BCE, the Roman poet Catullus wrote a book of poems. Quite a few of them were about his lover, who he called “Lesbia”, to disguise her real name. The poems addressed to Lesbia start with the poet besotted, but over the sequence of poems, the poems about arguments and doubts become more frequent, and the last poems he writes about her are only curses and insults.

We know much less about Catullus, and Lesbia, than people used to think.

We do know that Lesbia’s real name was “Clodia”. It used to be assumed that Catullus’s Clodia was the same person as the Clodia who is mentioned in one of Cicero’s court speeches. That speech was mainly an attack on her brother, but Cicero took time out to call Clodia a prostitute, degenerate and general slut.

So people used to treat Catullus’ account of his affair fairly sympathetically: “Of course, if an innocent young man takes up with a woman like that, he’s going to have a hard time. Poor bastard.”

But we don’t really know if Catullus’s Clodia is the same woman as the Clodia that Cicero attacked. But we do know that Cicero was a lawyer, out to win his case by smearing the other side. So we don’t really know if anything Cicero said about his Clodia is true.

So we’re turned back to the poems themselves, which is as it should be. What you get from the poems is that Catullus and Lesbia were lovers, who fell out and separated. Catullus took it hard, and by modern standards he didn’t take it very well. In fact he took it ugly.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for him all the way through, though I think most people forgive him because of his passion, his honesty (of a kind, and within limits), his wit and his readiness to put himself down as well as others.

But the fact is, Catullus is exactly the kind of guy who’d have published revenge porn about Lesbia/Clodia on the net if the technology had been around. “Here’s a photo I took when she was sucking my cock, and here’s one of her wanking for me, and here’s one of her in the bath. And here’s her facebook page and her mother’s email.”

But he couldn’t. So instead he wrote and published poems in which she supposedly stands by the road and fucks passing soldiers for money.

This is a modern statue of Catullus. We have no idea what Catullus really looked like, except that he died at about 30, so he was never as old as this statue seems to be.

This is a modern statue of Catullus. We have no idea what Catullus really looked like, except that he died at about 30, so he was never as old as this statue seems to be.

So: Catullus. He’s hard to defend, except that he wasn’t just a young man (he died when he was about 30), he was a young man 2070 years ago, in a civilisation that wasn’t big on the rights of women, or sensitivity, and that tended to admire revenge. So he was a boy of his time, but he burned brightly, he shone.

He hurt Clodia and Clodia maybe hurt him (maybe, even leaving Cicero out of it). But they’ve all been a long time dead, now.   

Bear with me, please. I’ll finish this aside on Catullus in one or two more posts, and then we can get back to the punishing of Svitlana, and what she thought of having her bottom leathered, on a first date.  

One swallow interlude: Lesbia’s sparrow #2

My honeygirl, she holds her sparrow to her breasts

Sparrows doing what comes naturally.

Sparrows doing what comes naturally.

She plays with it, all greedy, it’s her delight

she puts it to her little finger, gives it a tweak,

hoping it’ll give her a sharp bite.

when my glorious desiregirl is moved

to play with a little thing she loves… 


I have no good reason for using this picture. Because cats like sparrows? Nah, you know why I'm posting it.

I have no good reason for using this picture. Because cats like sparrows? 

That makes the sparrow sound like it might be a code for a cock, doesn’t it? Of course, the words I’ve chosen for this translation help that interpretation.

But the poem isn’t finished yet, and it throws the question back up, sparrow-like, into the air. Or somewhere else.

I’ll translate the rest of the poem, and then reveal the answer. My answer, anyway. 



One swallow interlude: Lesbia’s sparrow #1

All the little spirits of love,

Painting of Lesbia and her sparrow by George Joy, a happy Victorian.

Painting of Lesbia and her sparrow by George Joy, a happy Victorian.

and all of you who beauty moves,

Should weep: my girl’s sparrow’s dead.

That sparrow was my girl’s delight.

She loved him more than her sight.

He was as sweet as honey,

He knew her like she knew her own mummy. 

He’d stay in her lap, never left her lap,

Hopping up and down. 

He sang to my girl, alone. 

But he’s gone down the shadow road.

No coming back from his new abode.


cockThat’s the first half of one of Catullus’s two poems about his mistress “Lesbia” and her sparrow. The translation’s by me, and as you can see even from the English, it’s pretty rough. Anyway, there’s a question people have been asking about this poem for the 600 or so years since someone found a surviving copy of Catullus’s poems. Is the sparrow just a sparrow? Or is it Catullus’s cock?

I’ll translate the other Lesbia-sparrow poem, and then I’ll make my guess. 

One swallow doesn’t make a spring #20

holdMy cock, not quite comfortable, rested hard against her left thigh. She reached down and held it, cradling it and cooing, like a girl with a pet bird. Like Lesbia and her sparrow, I thought at the time, wanker that I am. She said, “Oooh, that was so good. That was … You are going to fuck me again, aren’t you?”

“Oh, you’ll probably get fucked again.”

Svitlana nodded. “I should think so.”

“Mmm. But first, you remember? Remember when I told you to get your thighs gynecologically open…”

open“Ohhh.” She remembered. She’d disobeyed me. It had worried her for a second or two, then she’d decided that I’d forgotten.

“And you closed your legs a little, instead. You knew you were disobeying me. You thought I was going to punish you for that.”

“Ohhhh.” She was trying to sound amused. I think she was a little afraid. Not terrified, but nervous. 

“Well, you were right.”

One swallow doesn’t make a spring #19

Svitlana seemed to be spent. But in that strange way that you sometimes know things that you haven’t been told, or shown, I knew that she needed more, and this time she didn’t want to be in control of her body. My fingers, still inside her, pushed up against the upper wall of her cunt. Svitlana grunted, a sleeping ship pushed by a tug. I pressed my thumb against her lips and bore down, finding her clit and hurting her. Svitlana opened her eyes and sighed. With my fingers pushing up against the spongy upper wall, and my thumb pushing down I could squeeze her cunt, and I did so, in a long, slow rhythm. Svitlana stretched, pressed her cunt hard against my hand and stayed with me. The good ship Svitlana was under way. Slowly. 

I said, “Greedy girl.” I meant I was happy with her. She caught my eyes for a second, but said nothing. She closed her eyes to focus on something deep inside her.There was an extra reserve of lust in her, and she was connecting with it. She began to work with more urgency.

A few minutes later she was sweating with effort, every muscle in her body tight and relentlessly moving. My hand hurt, and I was getting cramp, but I stayed with her, pushing her hard.

Svitlana’s third scream was the loudest, and it shrilled the room until it died away in a wail of something like pain or despair, though it was neither of those things. She opened her eyes and looked at me in something like terror. I stroked her from inside one more time, fondly, and let her be still. 

Svitlana subsided, lying back. Smugly half-smiling, she pulled me down onto her breasts and stroked my shoulders and the back of my head. She was supremely happy. So was I, though I was massaging the cramps pout of my right hand. 

nipple biteI kissed her breast and then bit her lightly when she tried to get her nipple further into my mouth. I suckled her, taking some more of her generous breast into my mouth. Svitlana pursed her lips, fearing that I was going to bite her harder. I bit her harder. 

Her breath hissed, indrawn at the hurt, then she relaxed and moaned when I bit harder, grazing the nipple between my teeth. 

I repeated with the other nipple, and Svitlana moved her hips, under me. She was ready to be fucked again. 

But it was time to make her skin sing to her. I wanted her skin to burn like fire. I wanted her red, and I wanted to hear her whimper. With the right kind of pain, an awakening  hurt. I considered whether to use my belt, or just my hand. 

One swallow doesn’t make a spring #18

Svitlana pressed her cunt against my hand, her pelvis weaving as if she was being fucked hard by something invisible. She was trying to get my fingers inside her lips, into that honeyed world just a centimetre away.  I said, “Say please again.”

“Please, please, please, god, please. Please.”

I had a thought. “Say please, sir.” 

Half an hour ago she’d have been angry at that suggestion. But now she had more things to think about. She didn’t hesitate, “Sir, please, please, please sir.”  

“Good.” I slipped two fingers, then three, into that slippery-wet, spongy-soft world. She stopped, still for nearly five seconds, smiling like a saint at the point of martyrdom, in a Renaissance painting. She moaned with relief so intense it seemed to hurt. I don’t think she knew, at that moment, that I weas there, except for my hand. 

Orgasm scream represented as sound wave.

Orgasm scream represented as sound wave.

All of her consciousness was in her body. She wasn’t thinking or calculating or remembering. She was experiencing the sensations from her cunt, maybe also her buttocks pressed against the sheet. She’d closed her eyes, and if I said something she wouldn’t hear it. Her cunt pressed damply, frantically against my hand, pushing against me harder and faster, her eyes shut and her mouth open. She made incoherent groaning and gurgling noises. I let her fuck my hand, pressing back at her. Until she screamed.

Her body arced so that only her feet and shoulders touched the bed. Her cunt tightened on my fingers, and she gulped for air like a red-faced baby. Then she screamed again. She was beautiful. I saw the bones in her face when she came. She fell back, gasping.

One swallow doesn’t make a spring #17

cat womanI relaxed my grip on Svitlana’s cunt, then squeezed again. She repeated the movement more spectacularly. She bent her knees so she could splay her thighs as wide as she could, offering up her cunt and the tight little hole below. She was a big white cat, absolutely not interested in most things, and wanting to be fucked. 

When she opened her eyes again I smiled at her. “Would you like my fingers back, Svitlana? Inside you?”

Her first attempt to speak was just a croak. Then she said, “Please. Yes. Please.”

“Then pay attention, and I might put them back later.”

She said, “ohhhh.” It was a protest. She wasn’t being given what she wanted. It was a small lesson. 

“So it’s like we’re going on a roller coaster. Once you’re on, it takes you for a ride and you don’t get to steer. There’s one difference. You get to have your own personal brake. You can tell me to go slow, or back off, or stop completely. So, if I’m doing something that makes you uncomfortable, maybe it hurts in a non-sexy way or it’s got bad associations for you, but you’re still basically happy and you don’t want to stop, just say ‘yellow’. When you say ‘yellow’, I back off what I’m doing and move on to something else. Got that? ‘Yellow.'”

“Yellow. Mellow.”

“And if the whole thing is horrible and you’re having a bad time and you want it to stop, just say ‘Red’. You say ‘Red,’ I stop. No ifs or maybes. I just stop. It’s fine. You’re allowed to say Yellow, and you’re allowed to say Red. Okay?”

“Red stops you dead.”

“Ummm. Yeah, okay. And it doesn’t matter if you forget the exact words. Just let me know if you’re not having a good time. Okay?”

“I know about safe words. I’ve just never needed one before.” She frowned, remembering something. “Been given one, anyway.”

I let that pass, though I’d ask her about it later. “Good. Now, I told you to listen to me, and you did. So you get a reward.” I relaxed my grip on her labia, and stroked down the sensitive groove where her lips met. There was leakage. Svitlana was very wet.

cunt stroke

One swallow doesn’t make a spring #16

I leaned forward to kiss Svitlana again, using the touching of tongues as an excuse to take my fingers from her mouth. I put my rescued hand high on her left thigh, just before that little indentation at the top of her thighs.

Revision: This is the inter-gracile sub-pudendal fossa.

Revision: Light shining through that gap at the top of the thighs, the inter-gracile sub-pudendal fossa. Which we at this blog are fond of.

This gap, as you know, is the inter-gracile sub-pudendal fossa. 

Resting my hand just below her inter-gracile sub-pudendal fossa meant that my thumb was about four centimetres from her cunt. Svitlana expected good, syrupy stroking to come, and she stretched under me. Luxuriously. She wiggled her bottom on the sheets, finding herself a comfortable position, legs relaxed and open, and put her hand on the back of my neck.

I said, “You happy?” 

“Mm hmm.” It wasn’t so much the sound as the smile. She was the cat about to start on the cream.

“Good. I just have to tell you a couple of things. You have to listen.”

Svitlana pulled a mock-serious face. She wasn’t taking me seriously any more. That didn’t matter; she would

“Ok, you want me to show you what ‘make me’ means. That’s good, because that’s going to be fucking hot. The first thing you need to know is that you don’t choose what happens any more. It’s like a roller coaster ride. You choose to get on it, but once you’re on you don’t get to pick whether you splash into the water or go round the loop. It just happens to you, ready or not. That’s what’s makes it exciting. Yes?”

cunt gripShe nodded, still pulling her frowning clown face. So I moved my hand those few centimetres upwards and took her labia between my thumb and forefinger. I squeezed slowly, watching her eyes as my grip tightened and her sensation changed from pure pleasure to a mix of pleasure and pain.

She gasped suddenly, when the grip was almost as hard as I could make it, and she arched her back and let her head fall back, so that she offered her breasts and throat to the man who hurt her.