The tawse’s tale #3

Story continued from “The Tawse’s tale #2”.

French ticklers. Sold in Scots sexshops.

The sexshop keeper, who was not a goth, whose skin was the colour of the bloody tissue on raw chicken bones, who was shaped like a teardrop, with legs and a stripy caftan, gestured at his cash register and then the thing on the counter. The thing on the counter, which was not a tawse, lay on its back with the palm-shaped little tags at the split end splayed like the legs of a pissing puppy, one that hadn’t yet learned about standing up and cocking a leg. Like that puppy, the thing was wet and looked like it wanted its tummy tickled. As a bdsm instrument, it lacked presence. It lacked gravitas. It lacked resonance. It had never heard of sinister glamour.  

“So will ye be takin the tawse, noo?”

“Well, it’s not really a tawse, is it?”

“Ah…” And he was right. For all practical purposes that was an unanswerable question. 

“It’s a sort of party novelty. Like a squirty flower.”

He sighed. He’d tried, and all he got was ingratitude.

   English vice. Disapproved of in Scots sex shops.  

“Well, do you know anyone else in Edinburgh, who might actually have a tawse? I mean a real tawse: leather, split, fairly hefty.”

“Oh naw, we don’t get much call for that. It’s the English who go in for that sort of thing.”

“What?” I was wasting my time, but this sudden retreat into nationalist self-righteousness was surreal. I can’t resist surreal. “You. You’re Scots. You guys invented the tawse. It’s yours. That’s why I’m here trying to buy one. In Scotland.”

“Well, aye, but… We didn’t make a, a sex thing of it.” He was standing beside a life-size plastic woman in a nun’s costume, whose wide, red mouth was one of her Three Penetrable Holes.

“It’s okay to hit children with a tawse, so long as they’re not adults, they’re not consenting and they’re shit-scared? But it’s not okay to …” I shut up. Another customer had come in, and the miniskirted plastic nun was shaking her head gently. Customer had left the door open. “Okay,” I said. “Okay. I’ll pass on the tawse. But thanks.”

Scotch egg.

“Would ye be wantin anything else?” 

Asking for anything I wanted here would be surreal. I’d had enough surreal now. The other customer was staring glumly at the magazines. He couldn’t ask for what he wanted until I’d gone. “Right now I just want the far side of the wall.” 


“Hadrian’s Wall.”

Freeeedom! The south side of Hadrian’s Wall, where Goths can run a fetish shop in peace and profit.


3 thoughts on “The tawse’s tale #3

  1. but seriously? That tickler thing looks like an amoeba gone wrong or an alien penis…
    and do they still have corporal punishment in Scotland? Come to that, where is it still allowed in schools and how does that translate into a fetish later or lead to bdsm?


  2. It is indeed a good wall. It’s a bit high for bending over at that point, but there are chunks of wall further along at a convenient height. A submissive, properly presented over those bits of the wall, where it’s less than a metre high, wouldn’t have to worry about anything except getting perved at by Scots sheep. And the occasional rambler.

    Scotland didn’t get around to abolishing corporal punishment in schools until 2000, which is amazingly late. My sex shop friend had no right at all to be snooty about the English, who’d abolished it in the 1980s.

    I’m strongly against adults hitting children for all kinds of reasons, though disgust at big people hurting scared little people is an emotional driver. But I don’t think the connection with bdsm is all that clear-cut.

    School corporal punishment provided a cover for bdsm – that is, a significant number of the teachers who were known for being ready to reach for the cane probably were sexually enjoying it, even if they didn’t acknowledge that even to themselves, and a significant number of people who are involved in bdsm probably first became aware of those desires through school bdsm, and school scenarios. But I think the desires would be there anyway. Luckily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *