From Janus 24
In real life, the beautiful 21-year-old actress who portrayed Antonia du Bois in Janus 20 and our much-acclaimed video The Disciplinarian is herself a keen recipient of CP. Her performance came as second nature to her, for the character of Antonia is an extension of her own personality. We seized this unique opportunity to question a girl whose desire to be caned and disciplined in the context of acting out her fantasies is every bit as fervent as many of our male readers’ commitment to administering such correction…
ANTONIA: I was going through Muswell Hill, on the bus, when a couple of girls got on and sat opposite me. I was just looking out of the window and when I turned round one of them was sitting there staring at me. I thought nothing of it and carried on looking out of the window, then suddenly I heard ‘Aye she’s that girl who did that video isn’t she?’ (laughs). I couldn’t believe it, I knew it would probably happen, you know, because of the fact that I had done the magazine and the video. I mean obviously people are going to see it, that’s what it’s for, but it really took me aback.
JANUS: Did you pretend you hadn’t heard?
ANTONIA: Well, I tried to pretend that I hadn’t heard by looking out of the window, but they continued with their conversation about it and I think they were doing it purposely and in a sufficiently loud enough voice so that they knew there was no way I could pretend I hadn’t heard. So I just sat there totally expressionless listening to them. I don’t think I’m mistaken, they had definitely recognized me from what I’d done on the video.
JANUS: You suddenly find the world is a whole lot smaller than you thought?
ANTONIA: Yeah, right. But they were saying: ‘I don’t think it’s the sort of thing people like’ and ‘I don’t like it personally but my boyfriend’s got it and he quite likes it,’ etc etc and then they said something about the whole of Muswell Hill seeing it.
JANUS: So they were trying to wind you up as well?
ANTONIA: I don’t know, I don’t know if they were doing that purposely, but they were saying something about the whole of Muswell Hill seeing it. Then it dawned on me, if it can get to Muswell Hill, it can get to where I live and what is Daddy going to say? (laughs)
JANUS: Well, if her boyfriend is into it then she’s got her own problems, hasn’t she?
ANTONIA: (laughs) Yes, he might take it out on her.
JANUS: Before we start the interview: the letter you wrote for us, which was called A Heavenly Spankee and appeared in Janus 20 — can we say that it was from you?
ANTONIA: I don’t see why not. It did say name withheld so I’m going to remain anonymous, as I am in this interview. You’re not going to publish my real name and address!
JANUS: Let’s start at the beginning then. I want to know, basically, what sort of background you had. And what about any early scoldings you had before we get to the first time IT happened to you?
ANTONIA: My parents have always been like most parents really. They tend to have specific ideas that if they’ve got kids then the kids have to do what the parents say, blah blah blah, rather than treating you as an individual human being from the word go — which I think is a more realistic way of treating kids. So I was brought up to be obedient and I was always taken to church every Sunday. When I got to the age of about 16 I refused, flatly, to go to church any more because I didn’t believe in God and they got really upset about it. I noticed that as soon as I stopped going, they stopped going, so it was obviously just a way of setting a good example.
JANUS: What sort of school had you been to? What was your first school, just an ordinary Primary school?
ANTONIA: Yes, just an ordinary mixed Primary school. I had a reasonably happy childhood but I think I was always aware that everything I did was under the watchful eyes of my parents, even from an early age.
JANUS: You were under a microscope?
ANTONIA: Yeah. I might not have been terribly conscious of that fact but I think, subconsciously, it did sort of penetrate through and I think that’s the reason why I’m not how my parents would like me to have been.
JANUS: Did you rebel in any way against the strictness. and the rather narrow upbringing that you had?
ANTONIA: I don’t really regard it as being rebellious, but I did, in my mid-teens, start voicing my opinions on matters and I chose my own friends, etc. My parents didn’t like the fact that I was voicing my opinions and they were beginning to feel that I didn’t need them anymore because I was having my own ideas and I didn’t follow everything they said and ‘Yes mummy, no mummy’.
JANUS: You were developing your own individual character really?
ANTONIA: I was making my own mind up about things. Deciding whether I wanted to do something or I didn’t, whether I liked something or not, and they couldn’t really handle that.
JANUS: Strange, isn’t it?
ANTONIA: Well, I think it’s something that most parents experience and I think that’s where a lot of parents go wrong.
JANUS: Just to interrupt the flow of where I was at, are you nervous about this interview?
ANTONIA: Not really, no.
JANUS: I just got the impression at the beginning that you were a little bit.
JANUS: You’re not nervous?
ANTONIA: No. (laughs)
JANUS: Can you remember now, the first time you were ever punished in a CP way?
ANTONIA: I can’t remember which one came first but I’ve got just a vague memory of various events. When I had committed a childish prank, or something like that, like hit my brother, then my mother would, more often than not, go into the house and get the cane.
JANUS: You had a cane in the house?
ANTONIA: It wasn’t a cane, it was a bamboo stick. But she sometimes used a belt.
JANUS: Did you get this on the bare bottom?
ANTONIA: Yes. It was on the bed. She used to say, ‘I’ll tan your backside for you young lady.’
JANUS: Can you remember the first time that it hurt you and the way you felt about it? I mean, did it used to hurt right from the beginning?
ANTONIA: Yes, it did hurt and it was very painful, and because it was the first experience that I’d had I didn’t think of it any other way than that I was being punished for whatever I’d done, and because it hurt I used to cry. But then, as I said in the letter I wrote, because it happened so regularly it didn’t stop me from misbehaving. I mean, kids are going to go against that anyway, aren’t they? So I used to carry on misbehaving and it became more and more regular and then it suddenly occurred to me: Ooh, it’s not so bad after all! I thought of it in a different way. I knew that if I carried on ‘misbehaving’ I was going to be punished regularly, and in my parents eyes I would be misbehaving, so I think perhaps I must have thought to myself: You’re going to get this punishment so you might as well change your attitude to it — instead of hating it, start enjoying it. I don’t know why or how I began to think like that because a lot of kids don’t think that they will start enjoying it, they just treat it as a painful experience.
JANUS: Was it the simple fact that it became a natural, a normal form of punishment, as opposed to being a last resort punishment, that turned it into something which you never really thought about other than ‘I’m going to get whacked across the backside for what I’ve done’ or ‘I’m going to have such and such privilege stopped’?
ANTONIA: I think I did probably realise that this is going to stop one day, she’s not going to carry on beating me forever because I’m going to grow up and she’s going to be a bit frightened, perhaps, that I’m going to retort and slap her back or something. I was aware of that and that might have been a factor in the reason that I did change my attitude towards what was happening. I knew I was going to get physically punished, and then it would stop, so I just had to go through that period and put up with it and make the best of it.
JANUS: A positive attitude. How old were you when you got the last of that kind of punishment from your mother?
ANTONIA: I suppose I was about 13 to 14, around that age.
JANUS: And after that she didn’t punish you any more?
ANTONIA: No, she just used verbal.
JANUS: Did that have any effect? Was corporal punishment more effective than a verbal harassment?
ANTONIA: I think the verbal was more effective because it was more emotional — it was affecting me mentally.
JANUS: It doesn’t clean the slate does it?
JANUS: Whereas a caning does clean the slate and you don’t have a conscience after it.
JANUS: What about school? Did you get physically punished at school?
ANTONIA: I was going to tell you actually that one of my very very first memories, before my mother even, was when I was at primary school. I was about eight years old, very young, and there was a cloakroom outside one of the classrooms and it was during the lunch hour and a couple of times we trotted upstairs and we’d find the little boys, and we used to mess around with each other and tickle each other. There were a couple of times when I did get spanked by two of the little boys that I used to fancy in my class (laughs). That’s my earliest memory of it and perhaps what’s important is that I still remember that clearly, whereas most of what happened at that age I’ve forgotten.
JANUS: Did you enjoy that?
ANTONIA: Yes, I thought it was great!
JANUS: It was the nearest thing you could get to sex at that age?
JANUS: Did you have any sexual feelings about it at that time?
ANTONIA: I don’t think I had such feelings about being spanked as such. I think I did have sexual feelings but they were separate from the spanking.
JANUS: You didn’t link the two things?
ANTONIA: I didn’t link the two things at the time, no, but I can see what the connection is now.
JANUS: What about CP in a conventional sense? Did you get CP at school for the usual misdemeanours?
ANTONIA: No, they totally disagreed with any sort of punishment in the school I attended, so there was a complete lack of it for quite a long time.
JANUS: When did you first get punished by anyone other than your mother?
ANTONIA: It was about three years ago when I met my present boyfriend and we were discussing, because we are very honest and open with each other, we were discussing fantasies one night. I was a bit worried about whether I ought to say or not, because that’s another sort of social conditioning that some people get over and some people don’t. So I thought I might as well tell him, and I told him about my fantasies that revolved around CP and he confessed that it was the same for him, and it’s just gone on ever since.
JANUS: So, in actual fact, the only CP you have experienced has been at the hands of your mother, the playful ones at school, and your present boyfriend? Apart from the work for Janus that is!
ANTONIA: Yes (laughs).
JANUS: What about the feelings of pain and pleasure? How do you separate them and can you?
ANTONIA: For me, pain, if it’s involved in a fantasy, is a different sort of pain because it is coupled with a sexual awareness at the time. So it’s not the sort of pain you experience when you go to the dentist. Immediately after we’ve had this fantasy going, if he hit me it would probably hurt. I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt during the fantasy but it’s a different sort of pain, not pain pain.
JANUS: What you’re saying really is that if it’s allied to a build-up to, maybe, a sexual encounter, then it’s a different kind of pain?
ANTONIA: Yes, it is a different kind of pain, I don’t think of it in the same way.
JANUS: Well, in that case, how do you account for your appearing in Janus magazine and The Disciplinarian? I mean, there’s no build-up to a sexual encounter there.
ANTONIA: I don’t think it has to necessarily lead to a sexual encounter. It depends how much I think about it and how motivated I am towards cultivating a fantasy. If I really throw myself into a fantasy world about CP then there doesn’t have to be a sexual encounter for me to enjoy it.
JANUS: So playing the part of Antonia du Bois for Janus, you get into the character and into the fantasy of the world Antonio du Bois lives in?
JANUS: So you can identify at that time with the character you are playing?
ANTONIA: Yes, very much so. When I was doing the video and the photographic session, every time we stopped doing the photos or the video it was a bit difficult almost to come back to reality because I was so deeply in the fantasy.
JANUS: Yes, that was obvious to me. And your performance came across as being real.
ANTONIA: I wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.
JANUS: You can get a pleasure from that then?
ANTONIA: Yes, I enjoyed it immensely.
JANUS: Yes, I noticed that too! Did you have any anticipatory thoughts about working for Janus after you knew that you were going to work for us? Did you look forward to it, were you curious? What were your feelings?
ANTONIA: I was looking forward to it but I think I was also, not so much apprehensive, as curious as you say, because I was curious to know how other people felt about it and what other people’s thoughts and fantasies were. I knew my own and I knew my boyfriend’s but it’s the sort of thing that people don’t talk about a lot because it’s not the norm. They think you’re a perverted weirdo. So that was the first time I had discussed it or done anything with anybody else and I was curious to see how they reacted and what their thoughts were. It was a rewarding experience because I got, from working with Janus, a lot of feedback from them about their ideas and I think I gave them some ideas and I just had a really good time and I enjoyed it.
JANUS: Were you worried that you would actually get hurt, as opposed to getting pleasure, because you were doing it for the first time with somebody that you hadn’t any sexual feelings for?
ANTONIA: No. I go through phases when I’m not as much into CP as I am at other times. Obviously you go through highs and lows and at that particular time when I was doing work for Janus I was on a very good high, so it was very easy for me to get into fantasies. I wasn’t worried about the fact that I might get hurt and might suddenly switch off and ‘Ouch!’, it would hurt, ‘cos I was so into it at that moment in time that there was no possibility of me coming out of the fantasy and being hurt. I think I do have a fairly high pain threshold, just from the fact that I’ve been used to being hit. I think your pain threshold does increase with experience of punishment so it would have taken a lot to hurt me.
JANUS: Do you perform any kind of technique to combat the pain of the cane hitting the bottom?
ANTONIA: No I don’t, because during the time that I’m being hit I’m not aware of anything else other than the fantasy, because I really do get into it. If I wasn’t so much into the fantasy then I probably wouldn’t be able to do it. I don’t think to myself, ‘Gosh this is going to hurt’, because I don’t think of it like that. It’s a totally different kind of pain and whilst I’m in the throes of that fantasy I just don’t think of pain as such at all.
JANUS: Is there a feeling while you’re being caned that is sexual, or does that come later or doesn’t it come at all?
ANTONIA: Well it’s really difficult to say actually because, at the time, I don’t actually analyse what’s happening and afterwards it’s just a sort of feeling and it’s very difficult to articulate how it feels.
JANUS: You don’t get the thing that writers write about… the ‘warmth spreading from your bottom’?
ANTONIA: No (laughs). I get a sort of burning feeling.
JANUS: Does it burn afterwards as well? Does it get more intense? What happens at the end? Once you’ve finished being caned or spanked, does it get hotter? Does it hurt more or sting more then?
ANTONIA: Well it does tend to last for quite a while. If I’m wearing a pair of tight trousers or lying in bed and turning over, especially if I’m bruised, that’ll hurt but I like it because it reminds me of what I’ve just done. I don’t resent any of the marks or bruises.
JANUS: So the next day you can still feel some physical evidence, as you move about, of what’s happened?
ANTONIA: Yes, more often than not.
JANUS: And it’s not unpleasurable?
ANTONIA: No, not at all.
JANUS: When you have gone into a character and there was no sexual encounter directly involved at the end of it, as with Antonia in The Disciplinarian, you’ve had to get pleasure from the actual physical act of whatever the cane does to you. But with your boyfriend you know it’s not going to end that way. Do you feel differently about being caned or strapped if you know it’s going to lead to sex?
ANTONIA: It’s still a pleasurable pain, just the same. Of course sometimes, more often than not, it ends up in some sort of sexual encounter but there are times when we’ll just spend 10 minutes having a quick whacking with the cane that doesn’t lead to sex, but I don’t feel any different then to when I know there’s going to be a sexual encounter at the end of it.
JANUS: Can you analyse what all this CP has done to you as a person? Has it changed your attitude to life?
ANTONIA: No, I don’t think it’s changed me. I haven’t changed because I’ve been practising and receiving CP, because obviously that is part of my character, it’s been part and parcel of how I’ve grown up and how my thoughts have changed over the years, so it’s just been part of my development — I can’t separate it.
JANUS: There is a consensus of opinion that what CP does do is to allow the conscience to rest. In other words if you do something and you get punished for it, then psychologically you’ve wiped that sin or error completely away from you. Whereas if you had another form of punishment you would still feel guilty. Do you think that being caned has taken away your hang-ups?
ANTONIA: I can’t think of any hang-ups that I have. I like to regard myself as fairly open-minded, I do have an open mind on a lot of things and I think I’m very honest with myself and with other people.
JANUS: From the time your mother stopped punishing you to the first occasion you got punished by your boyfriend was a few years, right?
JANUS: Now in that time you obviously thought about the punishment you’d had and it built up in your mind. How did this work, can you remember?
ANTONIA: I think after she stopped hitting me I knew that was it, it was finished. There must have been some sort of outside influences that triggered me off to start thinking about it again and I wasn’t aware of what they were, or whether it was just totally independent on my part that I began thinking about it again. When I did come to start thinking about what my mother had done to me, and how I’d changed my attitude to being physically punished through the years, I knew I enjoyed it towards the end and I began thinking about how it could be coupled with sexual encounters — you know, the link between the two. I suppose that was the genesis of my coupling it with sexual activities. It took me a while, having thought about it for a long time, to realise that there could be something in it and it could be used advantageously and enjoyably… very enjoyably.
JANUS: What fantasies did you have before you met your boyfriend?
ANTONIA: Well, they were quite violent from the beginning. I used to imagine myself dressed up in some sort of bondage with leather straps and studded belts and things like that, being chased through a wood by some sort of savage mad man on the loose, or a rapist, and being tied up against trees and being beaten with the branches. It didn’t always turn out that my fantasies would end up in actual sexual fantasies. I just got beaten and I tried to imagine what it felt like and the whole image in my head was really pleasurable and it really excited me. I do like to be dominated and it was just the whole thing of being totally vulnerable.
JANUS: Do you need a dominant man in your life, or a dominant person, not necessarily a man?
ANTONIA: No, I don’t think I do because one thing I do value most highly is my freedom of mind and mobility and everything. So I do find that if I am in a situation for any length of time where I’m being dominated by someone then I will go against it because I don’t like it. I do like to be my own person and if I feel I am being dominated I can’t be my natural self, so in the mental sense of being dominated I don’t like being dominated. I like other people to express their opinions, etc., but only on the same level, not one being superior to the other. I only like it as part of acting out a fantasy.
JANUS: You don’t like to be pushed around in fact?
ANTONIA: No, I don’t.
JANUS: Which is what some people think of as domination.
ANTONIA: I think this is a misconception of the word.
JANUS: You mean when it comes to the crunch you want your boyfriend, or whoever is in your life at that particular time, to say ‘Look, we are going to do this now!’
ANTONIA: With regards to CP, yes, I do like him to say, ‘Right, get in there and do this and do that.’ I suppose I like the contrast of being free in mind and not in the body.
JANUS: You like, in fact, to be as free as you can be, but there are also times in your life when you just like to relinquish responsibility for a short period?
ANTONIA: Yes, that’s a good way of putting it actually. I think it’s perhaps something to do with responsibility, you know, putting myself into someone else’s hands and saying, ‘Look you do what you want with me’ (laughs). I think it’s also because I like to experience as many things as possible and be open about them and I think that is one of the reasons why I do like being subjugated and physically beaten because it does provide a contrast to how I am normally, mentally. It’s something that is very beneficial.
JANUS: When you say physically beaten, you obviously wouldn’t like to be punched? This is a different thing?
ANTONIA: Yes this is a different thing. I wouldn’t like to be punched in the solar plexus ‘cos that would really hurt, that is a nasty thing to do. But if he punched me on the hips or on the arms that wouldn’t be so bad. There’s a point where, I suppose, no matter how hard and how much you are into a fantasy, the pain of a punch in the stomach could no longer be connected or associated with sex.
JANUS: It becomes reality then, doesn’t it?
ANTONIA: It becomes reality, you’re winded for about half-an-hour, so I suppose there is a point where it becomes too much. It does have its limits, there’s no doubt about that. But I do like to be punched and sort of thrown and pushed as long as it’s all part of the woven pattern within the structure of the fantasy.
JANUS: Can you give me a description of what it’s like to get the cane? What’s the anticipation like if you are made to wait? Is there anything in this anticipation?
ANTONIA: Oh yes, certainly, anticipation is a very important part of it. I suppose it’s like if you’re at work and the Managing Director has called you up to his office because he’s not very pleased with your work or something, and you go up there and one of their favourite strategies is to carry on with their work on their desk while you’re standing there. They don’t even tell you to sit down. You’re then automatically in an inferior position and I think that’s a reasonable analogy of how it feels to be kept waiting. It helps you to feel vulnerable and inferior and gives you the sense that you are the party that is going to be dominated. So it’s all a silent lead-up. It’s the unphysical part if you like and I think it’s a very important part of being punished. Like my boyfriend will stand there whacking the cane in his hand, looking at me and walking around me and making me stand or lie in a certain position while he’s tantalizing me, and that makes me feel more vulnerable. It gives me time to think about things and to actually throw myself more into the fantasy and it’s a very, very beneficial part of it.
JANUS: What about the first impact of the cane, how does that feel? Can you describe exactly what it feels like?
JANUS: Close your eyes and image that you’re lying on the bed and your boyfriend has just brought the cane down hard — crack! — across your backside. Does it make you jolt, is it a sudden sharp bolt of lightning through your bottom? What is it like?
ANTONIA: (laughs) Given the fact that I’m waiting for it and anticipating it, the first stroke is always a bit of a shock. One of the main things I experience during it is not so much the actual connection between cane and backside or whatever part of the body it is — it’s more like a massive shockwave coming through my system and it makes me really gasp, especially the first one. The first stroke, I suppose, is different to any subsequent thrashings after that. They do tend to change, the feelings that I get from each one. Maybe not each one, but groups of canings do change throughout the fantasy. The first stroke is very important. If it’s very hard, then —
JANUS: It’s a bigger shock?
ANTONIA: Yes (laughs), it’s a bigger shock. But it’s important to me that the first one is very hard because again it’s part of the whole thing of being dominated and this is what you’re going to get: WHACK! It sort of epitomizes the whole dominant situation and that leads into all the others. It sets the tone.
JANUS: Is there any feeling of anti-climax when it’s all over?
ANTONIA: No, there’s no feeling of anti-climax.
JANUS: Which of the instruments that you’ve been punished with do you prefer? Which gives you either the most pleasure or does the most to your system?
ANTONIA: I prefer the cane, for several reasons. Because of the sensation it gives me as opposed to any other instrument, plus the fact that it will leave more permanent marks than the belt or the hand, which tends to just make it red. If I’ve got weals and bruises then I will remember it afterwards, the next day, and it keeps me going.
JANUS: Right. Are there any special fantasies that you would like to live out?
ANTONIA: You mean one of my favourite ones? I do, on the whole, fantasise a lot. I have several really favourite fantasies.
JANUS: Give me one.
ANTONIA: Well, there’s one of mine, it’s quite an elaborate one, it might sound quite simple but it gets more and more elaborate as it goes on. I’m in a situation where I’m in a reformatory school and one of the officers calls me up to his office and says you’ve not been so good here and we don’t like your record, your work, etc.
JANUS: He sounds rather like The Disciplinarian.
ANTONIA: Well it is fairly similar. I think the two are very closely associated. And so he says, ‘Look you’ve got a choice. You can either remain here for the full length of time or I’ve got somebody who would like to see you and if you want to cooperate with him we can reduce your sentence.’ There’s a millionaire — a multi-millionaire —and I go off to see him and discuss what he wants and he offers me a six-months tour around the world on his yacht. But — the big but is, I have to do exactly what he wants. That is, anything connected with CP. He can beat me, have wild parties on his yacht and all his friends can come on and beat me and cane me and humiliate me, or whatever, and I have to do exactly what he wants. There are also other things apart from the cane, like being burned with candle wax and things like that. Then I have to make the decision whether to go with him or not, and what happens is, he gives me a trial period at the school to give me a taste of what’s going to come and that’s the whole fantasy. Then afterwards…
JANUS: You go on the cruise?
ANTONIA: Yes, I go on the cruise (laughs). But he says things like ‘You realise you’ll probably have to spend a couple of months in hospital afterwards, but we’ll pay all your fees.’ Sometimes fantasies do go on a bit over the top, involving things that I couldn’t actually cope with if they became real, but I do like to go over the top with them and I wish I could endure much more than I can. But there are limits as to what you can take. That is one of my main fantasies. I also like fantasies about the medieval times, I like medieval times because I like that style of dress and the whole sort of atmosphere and way of life then.
JANUS: Maybe you’re a reincarnation of Guinevere?
ANTONIA: Maybe I am (laughs). There is this fantasy I have and it’s a simpler one. I’m in feudal times and you’ve got the Lord of the Manor and the peasants and I’m one of the peasant daughters that works on the land owned by the Lord of the Manor. I’m caught stealing chickens out of one of the pens in the next field that I’m not supposed to be in, it’s not part of the land I work on, and one of the Lord’s henchmen finds me and drags me off to the Lord of the Manor and he says, ‘Okay, we can either hang your father for your sins or we can punish you,’ and it goes on from there.
JANUS: And you say, ‘Well, punish me’?
ANTONIA: Yes (laughs).
JANUS: What sort of punishment did they use in those days?
ANTONIA: Ooh it gets quite vicious actually. You know those really long, long whips you get, really loose ones?
ANTONIA: They use those and they tie me up to some sort of stake in the middle of the room and I’m totally helpless and they start ripping my clothes off and they whip me and hit me as the clothes come off. I get totally carried away but I thoroughly enjoy it.JANUS: Antonia du Bois, thank you very much.