I grew up in a family of four in Spain. There were my two parents, my twin brother, Felipe, and me. Felipe and I were born in the mid-1970s, so our childhoods stretched until the nineties, when corporal punishment was less frowned upon than it is nowadays. We were certainly not spared.

Until we were ten, we were spanked across the knee of one of our parents, on our bare bottoms. Without knowing how often it happened to others, it’s hard to say if this was a common event, but I’d say we both averaged about six spankings a year. No implement, no pants. Just traditional spankings.

But, the first time we got in trouble aged ten, things changed. As it happened, Felipe and I both graduated on the same occasion. We were quite close, being twins, and we hung out a lot, often with other friends. On this occasion, though, it was just the two of us.

Basically, we went to an amusement arcade, which we were too young to be in anyway, and we saw one of those machines where the coins are pushed to the edge. You drop in more coins and hope the coins fall off so you can claim them. I saw a man nonchalantly sidle up to the machine, bang it, and hey presto, coins!

“Let’s try that,” I said to Felipe.

I’m sure you can see where this is going. We banged the machine, some coins fell down, and the manager caught us. Ten minutes later, Felipe and I were sitting sullenly in the manager’s office as our parents were called. Our lame attempt to run had been stopped by a security guard.

We were picked up by our father, who drove us home in silence. Felipe and I exchanged uncomfortable glances throughout, wondering what our punishments would be.

We were sent to our rooms while our parents conferred. At last, we were summoned downstairs to hear our fate.

“You’re both too old for spanking now,” said my dad. “But you must be punished for what you’ve done. I think you both accept that?”

Felipe and I nodded miserably.

“So, you have a choice. You can be grounded for three months. Or you can be slippered by me. That’s the painful option, but the quicker one. You have ten minutes to decide.”

Felipe and I withdrew to confer, but there really was no question of what we’d decide. Three months against a short, sharp sting.

“Slippering,” we both said firmly.

“Very well. Both of you go upstairs to our bedroom and fetch the two slippers in the green box in the closet. Bring them down here.”

I don’t know how many thousand times I’d climbed those stairs, but it had never seemed like such a long journey. We both found ways to fidget in our rooms to delay the inevitable, until dad barked, “Now!” from downstairs.

Each with a thick black leather slipper in hand, we crept downstairs.

Dad then gave us an almighty lecture about morals and earning your money and respecting businesses. At last, the dread moment came.

“Both of you, drop your pants and bend over the kitchen table.”

Slowly, and with immense reluctance, Felipe lowered his trousers. I averted my eyes to spare him the shame of his sister seeing his privates. We weren’t strangers to each other’s bodies. I mean, we went swimming and things like that, but it was still excruciatingly embarrassing.  I was wearing a skirt, so I slipped my panties down and bent over after him, so he wouldn’t see much.

A minute later, I was resting my head on the kitchen table, my backside prone but, for now, still covered by my skirt. My brother, red-faced at how exposed he was, was in the same position ten inches away. At ten, we were, alas, the perfect height for that table and it pushed our stomachs up so that our bottoms were tight and ready.

“Right, you are going to be taught a lesson,” said my dad.

He picked up a slipper and swung it with all his might. Crack! It struck Felipe’s bottom and he lurched forward, grimacing.

I remember the cool breeze that played across my bum as my dad lifted my skirt up, baring my buttocks.

Crack! He certainly wasn’t going easier on me as the daughter of the family.

Crack! Felipe had closed his eyes.

Crack! The slipper smashed into my bottom again, and the second stroke really stung.

Crack! Felipe gasped at that one.

Crack!  It had just stung up until now, but the third stroke hurt me.

Crack! Felipe was chewing his lip, trying not to cry out. He opened his eyes after the fourth stroke and looked at me, and I’m sure some sympathy passed between us.

Crack! The slipper struck the lower part of my bottom, thus extending the area that stung. Thanks, dad!

In all, there were twelve terrible swats each. By the tenth, there were tears in both our eyes.

“Right, Mireia. Stand up. You can pull up your pants now.”

I did so gratefully. At first, I feared Felipe would be getting more strokes, but it was just to preserve a modicum of modesty. He was allowed to rise when I was dressed.

“Now both of you get to your rooms. No supper tonight and the matter will be closed tomorrow. I’m sure I hardly need say that any similar incidents will result in further treatment.”

I lay on my bed on my front for ages until the sting went away. I looked at my bum in the mirror and it was a fiery red. Later, there was some bruising, but not severe. It was, in fact, a well-judged punishment; painful but not excessive. Objectively, dad did a good job. Every inch of both of our bottoms had been soundly spanked.

It was not to be my, or Felipe’s, last experience of corporal punishment. Perhaps I shall share some later incidents another day.