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My Life in Flagellation
John Smith, author
Love, pain, sex, whipping. One man tries to discover the roots of his corporal punishment obsession with five vividly-drawn women. A respectable, middle-aged man lies over a block in a special room in London’s Mayfair. He is naked from the waist down. A high court judge watches from the doorway as twelve hard strokes of a school cane are administered to the man’s bare bottom. The question – “What is wrong with us?” – is the theme of John Smith’s remarkable memoir. Daringly honest, brutally frank, John sets out to discover the roots of his lifelong obsession with corporal punishment. With therapists, dominatrixes, girlfriends, wives, he explores the motives, experiences and results. He takes punishment, he administers it. Only this peculiar ceremony opens up access to the depths of his sexual being. Can he find out the cause? Should he? Will analysing the obsession destroy it? Will he be happier living with it than without? My Life in Flagellation is rewarding reading for men, for women, for practitioners, or for those involved with them – for anyone who has had contact with anyone with this most common sexual aberration (so Freud called it).

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