Milgram 2016


The Dilemma

“In the 1960s, Yale University’s Psychology Dept. conducted a famous experiment designed to test how volunteers would respond to being required to administer electric shocks to another subject in increasing voltages,” Professor Jergens stated in a voice that never fluctuated.

Alexis, one of his star students listened intently. The issue of how far people will go in order to obey direction was fascinating to her. “The question is still valid,” she replied.

“True. It is still a worthwhile area of study, but too many people are at least vaguely aware that such a study took place and know the test subjects were just acting. I’m afraid a repeat of the experiment as designed would be tainted by that. Even people who aren’t aware of all the details might be aware of some of them, and in determining whether or not the subject heard of Milgram, the questions asked would also taint the study. No, the question might be valid but the conditions would have to be updated.”

“I see your point. So you think the volunteers would not believe the test subject was being genuinely harmed?”

“No, especially not in this day and age. With the lawsuits and liabilities very few would take the test seriously.” The fatigued professor removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose with a wince.

“What if there was a way that the test recipient could be genuinely hurt in a controlled but real way? And so that the reality of it is obvious to the observer?” Alexis offered.

“That could work,” Professor Jergens conceded, then continued, “but we must consider the safety of the volunteer. What did you have in mind?”

“Suppose instead of some electrical shock, the test subject was spanked?”

The professor laughed dismissively. “Ms. Hernandez, I think you’ve been reading too many popular novels.”

“Well…..I have,” Alexis admitted with a pout. Then turning more determined she added, ”but I’m serious. Think about it. Your test subject is still a confederate aware of the consequences, and the impact on a willing victim will not be as traumatic as seeing those same consequences might be to the volunteers.”

The professor stroked his chin in thought. “I see your point. Go on.”

“Well, instead of a shock machine, we order one of those robotic spanking machines. That way no one has to do the actual hitting and the confederate will know exactly what sort of ordeal they’d be in for. Think about it. Those machines only exist because people buy them willingly and use them willingly as well. We rig a remote to some buttons and when the situation calls for it, the volunteers will know it is their job to press the button to deliver a smack. And when they do press it, we can have monitors showing the machine in action. They will see the test being struck each time they press the button as directed. There’d be no thought of fakery. The machine would deliver a real swat. And the volunteer would see the swat land, and see the test subject react. In addition they would see the test subject’s bottom color up. No faking that.”

“And you think you could get a volunteer to act as the test subject?”

Alexis smiled. “I think I know someone who would do nicely.”

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Dennis

“So let me get this straight, you need a volunteer for a psychology experiment who would be willing to get spanked in a spanking machine?”

“In a word? Yes,” Alexis replied abruptly.

“And you thought of me?”

Alexis smiled at the question and raised an eyebrow. “Does that surprise you?”

Now it was Dennis who laughed. “No, not really. I’d probably be hurt if you asked someone else.”

“That’s what I figured.”

“Does your mom know about this?”

Alexis snickered. “Uh…..yeah. Naturally when I mentioned you, she not only insisted that I ask, but she also said to let her know if you refused.”

“Like I’d refuse,” Dennis huffed with a look of insult.

“Or like she’d let you?” Alexis teased back at the feigned offence, making her quarry wince wryly.

Changing the subject, Dennis then asked, “and the school is sanctioning this?” 

“Yep. It’s all legit. A bit of kink to further knowledge.”

“Well, who am I to stand in the way of knowledge?” Dennis asked with a shrug of his outstretched arms.

“I agree.” Alexis snickered good-naturedly. Then in a serious tone she continued. “But you should know going in this is the real deal on your end. The conditions of the experiment that we will be telling the other volunteers will be totally false. To them, this is going to be an experiment on the impact of punishment on learning and you are the subject. But the reality is we will be looking at how people respond to being told to hurt another human being. We want to see if the desire to comply with someone who seems to be acting in the name of science or whatever mitigates the basic human reaction of sympathy, empathy, or even just plain flat-out cruelty. To do that we need a ‘victim’ of sorts…..but a willing one and one who is in on the deception.”

“I think I see what you’re trying to do. It does sound interesting.”

Alexis smiled and then frowned. “Look I’m really glad you are willing to do this, but you do need to be fully aware that while the so-called experiment is phony, that the spanking part is going to be all too real.”

“Delivered by machine?”

“Yes, mostly for consistency, believability, and even partly for your own safety. With a machine we can be sure that nothing happens beyond the level you agree to, but within that level, we cannot promise you an easy time. But it all depends on the other volunteers. If they refuse to continue, you get off lightly, but if they stick with the directions, the spanking could go on for quite a while. Though, in all honesty, I know it wouldn’t be anything you couldn’t handle.”

“I think that’s either a compliment or a warning.” Dennis grimaced wryly with raised eyebrow.

“Both. After all, I only said it wouldn’t be anything you couldn’t handle. I didn’t say you’d be sitting comfortably afterwards.”

“Funny girl,” Dennis remarked. “OK, if you really want me, I’m in. What’s next?”

“Well once I give your name to the university, they will send you the basic paperwork you will need to fill out. You’ll also need a doctor’s release stating your heart and such are capable of sustained exertion………….and of course, your own release agreeing to the spanking. Annnnnd……….” Alexis drawled out playfully. “Although Mom is backing me up on this, I kind of would like to know you’re agreeing because you really want to do this………for me.”

Dennis smiled. “You little gremlin…………what wouldn’t I do for you? But if it’s really so important to you that I agree solely ’for you’……….then you should just tell me to do it because you want it……period. You know that.”

“Oh, I definitely want it.”

“Then who am I to refuse?”

Alexis cocked her head to one side nodding in approval. “True enough. I do appreciate your obedience ya know? I’m not just saying that. And it’s even more satisfying knowing in a case like this one, your obedience is really going to cost you.”

“You’re worth it.”

The pair cemented their agreement with a hug. “You’re the best,” Alexis called over her shoulder as she left Dennis to his thoughts.

“Yes I am,” Dennis agreed proudly, then as Alexis departed mumbled to himself, “now just what in the hell am I getting myself into this time?”

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The “list”

After dealing with Dennis, Alexis had more work to do. Ironically finding her ‘test subject’ was a no-brainer. Dennis was the easy part. But now she needed between 7 to 10 volunteers willing to push the button on command. In order to work a few extra elements into the experiment, Alexis had suggested dividing the volunteers between people who knew Dennis well and those who did not. She felt this division could be factored into the response. On one hand, it would be interesting to see whether having a relationship with the victim would cause the volunteers to be more resistant to hurting him. Or would knowing him mean possibly also knowing about his leanings? And then, perhaps the volunteer might be more inclined to continue. It was an interesting addition to the experiment.

But this parameter meant enlisting participants from within her own circle. That might be tough. At least they need not be split 50/50. The percentage of those knowing the recipient and those not knowing him need not be even. But who should she ask?

After coming up with a list of candidates, Alexis proceeded in recruiting her participants. Each conversation had its own flavor. Some were long, others were very short, and still others incorporated a healthy bit of persuasion. She had split the candidates across a range of ages, genders, proclivities, and levels of adventurousness. A couple of her initial choices had turned the offer down and forced her to consider new possibilities. Now, a week later, Alexis looked down at a paper with scratched out names, new ones penciled in, and little notes about the people themselves and their reactions to the offer.

The first name on the list was Jade, her best friend, 19, female, and straight. Alexis knew she would agree but jotted down Jade’s main concern: Since Jade knew Dennis pretty well she insisted that Dennis not know she was one of the participants. Alexis thought the unspoken implication amusing: ‘even though I know you, I don’t have a problem helping you get paddled…..as long as you don’t know I’m doing it.’ Alexis smirked to herself at the irony.

Marta’s name was next. Marta was her neighbor and a good friend of Dennis though a bit older at 62. She was also straight, married, and took no convincing to agree almost immediately. If there was anyone who would be pushing that button with a smile, it would be Marta. Alexis had placed a series of three checkmarks after Marta’s name to indicate the apparent level of her willingness.

Sandra, her old friend from the neighborhood agreed with even less fuss than Jade. Also female and 19, but bi-sexual in her leanings, her reaction was typically hyper and giggly……………..and affirmative. Her only question was whether or not Alexis thought Dennis was really OK with the consequences. When assured that he was, Sandra smiled a bit knowingly and said, “if Dennis is OK with this, than so am I. It’ll be fun.” Next to her name Alexis had drawn in a smiley face with horns.

Approaching Samantha, Sandra’s mother was a little awkward. Alexis felt she would feel left out if not asked, but also thought she wasn’t really adventurous enough to agree. Surprisingly, Alexis found that using the names of the people Samantha knew who had already signed-up influenced the reluctant woman more than she had expected. Once she knew Marta was on board, and her own daughter, she agreed. But in the margin next to her name Alexis wrote: ‘most likely to abandon experiment’.

Having exhausted the neighborhood, the next few names were those of friends from her school: Keone, Edmundo, and Rich. Being aware of the sanctioned experiment and only briefly acquainted with Dennis, each had little issue in consenting to participate. Rich, an aggressive 20 year-old Gay male, agreed almost out of boredom. Alexis had written “this is nothing compared to other stuff he’s done” next to his name.

Edmundo, also Gay but slightly younger and much more timid, agreed after a long meandering conversation wherein he seemed to be convincing himself more than relying on Alexis to do so.

Keone, a straight, urban, African-American girl, signed on for the adventure of doing something a bit kinky in a sanctioned environment with people she knew. For her it would be like getting onto a crazy ride at Six Flags; a bit wild but ultimately safe.

The remaining three slots had been initially slated for her family. Alexis knew her mother, Sofia, was a willing candidate even before asking, since she was Dennis’ fiancé and had practically insisted that he be used as the test subject. She had done far worse by her own hand than merely push a button in a control booth and already found the whole thing very entertaining. And as expected, she agreed even before Alexis could explain her role fully. Unfortunately her professor stated that she was far too close to the subject to make her a good candidate. Even her presence as someone the other candidates knew would be an undue influence on their behavior. With frustrated regret Alexis had to cross her own mother off of her list. It was even more difficult telling her she had been turned down.

Her brothers however, whom she had thought she could count on, both refused to participate. Neither seemed inclined to take time away from their own interests. Alexis afterwards noted that they, as the only two straight males asked, were the only ones to decline. So their names each had lines through them. Considering her professor’s view on her mother, Alexis rationalized that even if they had agreed, they would probably have been turned down as well. Penciled in above their crossed-out names were Angela and Jane.

Angela had been a longtime friend and even mentor of Alexis’ when she was a girl. Recently time and school had placed a bit more distance between them, but they were still close. Angela, a brash African-American Lesbian in her late 40's, prided herself on her adventurousness. To her this offer was practically a dare. And since she had a bit of a personal interest in things flavored other than vanilla, she eagerly agreed. She also knew and liked Dennis and thought it would be a lot of fun to participate in the experiment and have that experience to tease him with afterwards. And it was Angela who suggested Jane as Alexis’ final candidate.

Jane was a straight, single woman recently redefining herself in some extreme and non-traditional ways after the ugly break-up of a long but repressive relationship. Now she was free to explore everything she had been curious about as a ‘wild-child’ of 51. Angela felt she was a solid candidate, but although she loved the idea and wanted to participate, the date of the experiment overlapped a planned vacation in Cancun. So a line was drawn through her name as well.

Alexis now stared at what was left of her recruitment effort: Jade, Marta, Sandra, Samantha, Keone, Rich, Edmundo, and Angela. Eight names. At least it was an even number. That was a good omen.


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Marta

As Marta settled into her booth, she reflected on the ride up to the school. Since both Samantha and Sandra lived just across the street, they had decided to all drive in together. Naturally a good portion of the conversation centered on the current and uniquely strange situation. When Alexis had approached her with the offer to participate in the bizarre experiment, Marta needed no coaxing to agree. In fact, the only thing that delayed her acceptance was the amount of time it took her to stop laughing. She knew Dennis well enough to know that he fully understood and accepted what he was getting into. And from her perspective how could participating in such a legitimate and sanctioned experiment be anything other than a great experience……especially given the circumstances? And when Sofia found out Marta was involved, she could not have been more encouraging. What other assurance did she need?

So she was a little surprised at hearing Samantha hem and haw and nervously alternate between questioning and rationalizing her decision to participate. What could be so agonizing about this decision? Even Sofia had prodded her to just “lighten up and have some fun!”

Marta recalled her friend’s uneasy reply to even her own assurance that “everyone agreed to all of this. All you have to do is push a button when told to.”

Samantha merely shrugged and answered in an evasive drone of, “yeah, but well, you know.”

Marta just smiled at the uneasiness of Samantha’s reply, but inwardly she could not help but think her friend too repressed and shy for her own good. She then recalled Sandra’s response when she had turned to her and asked, “what about you?”

The girl also shrugged in a gesture mirroring her mother’s, but answered, “I’m OK with it.” It was a typically unrevealing response of a kid trying to shield the full range of their thoughts from their parent. Marta sensed that Sandra seemed more than just “OK” with it all, but rather than put the girl in an awkward spot, let the conversation drop.

Now Marta was alone with her own thoughts. She surveyed the booth and easily spotted the button that would soon come into play so prominently. She smiled at the plastic circle thinking devilish thoughts of what such an innocent-looking device was capable of. The monitor in front of her suddenly blinked on and the image of the main room came into focus. Dennis was already in place attired only in a thong-like Speedo of some sort. It covered his front entirely so as not to offer undue offence to anyone, while leaving all but the most private part of his bottom bare. Alexis could be seen strapping him securely into the restraining bench that aligned his unprotected rear with the slapper paddle of a simple-looking machine behind him. The camera caught his face directly and an angled mirror placed near the machine reflected his bottom. Each participant could easily see the dual result of each push of their buttons, both in Dennis’ reaction and the impact on his posterior. Marta found this brilliant in its simplicity.

Seeing this ‘thing’ that they had all been talking about for the prior week come to life on screen was exhilarating. She thought again about Samantha’s seeming reluctance and could not help grinning that she herself felt none.

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Angela

Professor Jergens stepped up to the camera and in a nasal monotone outlined the parameters of the experiment. Ostensibly the experiment was to determine if the threat of public, physical punishment was an effective motivator for learning. Since children in classrooms used to be punished not only for bad behavior but poor academic performance, this study was going to see if there was any educational merit to the practice. Of course the information being told to the volunteer was all false. The real experiment was to witness whether people would continue to assist in punishing someone on command and merely for the sake of an experiment. Of course the volunteers could not be informed of this and instead, the Professor outlined a fake, but believable rationale for the punishment. 

Alexis would sit near the test subject and ask various questions from difficult subject matter he had been given beforehand to study. The subject knew that he would eventually be tested on the material and punished for incorrect answers with a series of spanks delivered by a machine that was being activated by the observers in the booths. If an incorrect response warranted punishment, a verbal instruction to ‘push the button’ would be given by Alexis with the expectation that every one of the volunteers comply. Only if every volunteer pushes their button upon instruction, would the machine activate and deliver the proscribed penalty for the incorrect answer. If anyone fails to push their button the punishment will not proceed until a resolution between that volunteer and the staff is reached. 

Angela rolled her eyes at the lengthy introduction to the experiment. While some might be interested in these details, she herself was not. Thinking of her own motivations for agreeing to be a volunteer in Alexis’ experiment, all she could do was mutter to herself, “yadda, yadda, yadda. Yeah, yeah Mr. Professor, sir, I get it. Now let’s get to the spankin’!”

Almost as if her words were overheard, the Professor drew his speech to a close after explaining that the subject was fully aware of what might happen today and therefore…for the sake of the integrity of the experiment………………. all volunteers were encouraged to please comply with the instructions they are given, even if it seemed like the subject was distressed.

Angela smirked at the word. ‘Distressed’?, she thought. ‘Don’t you mean ‘ass-whupped’?’. Despite her fondness for Dennis she evilly hoped he had not spent a lot of time studying, totally unaware that there had been no material whatsoever to study.

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Keone

Keone seemed to understand the point of the experiment as explained by the Professor, thinking it was a valid though tricky thing to study. However, by using a willing adult as the test subject, many of the objectionable aspects of the practice could be minimized……if not totally eliminated. Sure there was still the pain, but according to Alexis, Dennis was willing enough to accept that aspect.

Thinking of the humorous teasing and innuendo she herself had heard bantered about in Alexis’ household, Keone deduced that Dennis was no stranger to physical discipline. Alexis’ mother Sofia apparently ‘ruled with an iron hand’ at home……or at least with a sturdy paddle. Keone found this a bit funny, odd, and a little titillating all at the same time. And now? Here she was, a college kid and friend of the person running the experiment……and someone acquainted with the test subject as well and in front of her was a button that when pressed by her, would trigger a very interesting consequence. She would be spanking a grown man. How cool was that? And he wasn’t just any man. He was an older, white, educated man whom she also happened to know and had several conversations with. And now, she would be involved in this same guy being spanked on his near-naked white ass. Life was funny. However, while the idea of a bit of consensual spanking seemed like an edgy but still fun consequence, she wondered just how extensive the punishment might become as the experiment progressed.

It was not long before she could see Alexis shake her head at Dennis and then turn to the monitor to say, “please press your buttons now.” Keone did as instructed and apparently so did everyone else because almost immediately the machine sprung to life and the slapper struck Dennis’ bare rear, not once, but five times in steady though unhurried succession. Almost instantly Keone could see patches of pink appear on the recently struck bottom. “Wow,” she thought to herself. “This just got very real.”

From her vantage point, it seemed like Dennis was doing pretty well with the questions initially. After the first request to press the button, several minutes elapsed before Alexis again turned to the camera. Obediently Keone pressed her button and watched another five swats further color Dennis’s rear. “This wasn’t SO bad” she rationalized. However, as the experiment continued, Alexis’ requests became more frequent. It seemed as though the questions must have been getting more difficult. Soon Dennis was getting spanked on nearly every other ‘question’. This went on for a while. Having the monitor show both face and rear was a constant reminder that the little bit of pressure exerted by her extended finger was having some very profound results for Dennis.

After uneasily pressing her button and wincing as Dennis cringed through yet another series of smacks, Keone sighed in relief as the Professor once again came into view. However, she swallowed in shock when the Professor announced in his dispassionate monotone that Phase 1 of the experiment was complete but that after a brief break they would proceed with Phase 2. Now the subject would be tested on the questions he initially got wrong to see if the punishment received prompted better retention of the material. Keone wasn’t sure about continuing. The first phase of the experiment seemed intense enough. Continuing the ordeal just seemed cruel. However, she had agreed to do this as a favor to Alexis and did not want to appear like a wimp. She was also utterly unaware that during the break one volunteer, Samantha, insisted on being excused and had left to wait out the experiment in the library, reducing the ranks of the volunteers to seven.

When the second part of the experiment began, Keone was reluctant. Apparently the threat of punishment or even the receiving of punishment did not affect learning because it looked like Dennis had already gotten the second question wrong. Alexis made her request and Keone watched uneasily as the paddle went into motion again. She was counting the strokes and was alarmed when the machine did not stop after five strikes but went on until ten were administered. Obviously the penalty for getting the same questions wrong had doubled.

Some time and thirty swats later, Dennis’ bottom looked quite red and sore. When asked to again press her button, Keone froze. The machine did not deliver its punishment as directed and Keone could see Alexis scan a console for the reason. She then announced, “we will be taking a brief pause in the experiment. Please stand by.”
Within minutes Keone heard a rap at her booth door. In stepped Alexis with a sympathetic smile. “What’s up, Kee?”

“I don’t think I can continue. This is a lot more intense than I thought it would be.”

“I can see that, but don’t you see that is why we engineered the experiment this way? We knew we would be dealing with some extremes here…..even Dennis was aware of that.”

“I suppose, but……” the girl responded letting her thoughts remain unspoken.

“Hey, think of it this way,” Alexis explained patiently. “The person who is experiencing the most extreme consequences of the experiment is still there……quite willingly. He’s making a choice and sticking with this to the end. Don’t you think if he’s willing to be where he is, you could much more easily do your part?”

The ploy made the compassionate student feel a little guilty. “I guess you’re right.”

Alexis smiled. “Hey, let me let you in on a little secret. I happen to know for a fact that what you’re seeing now is nothing compared to what happens to Dennis if he really pisses off my mom.”

Keone laughed. “Really?”

“Uh huh.”

Keone felt a little ashamed of her squeamishness and explained, “you know it’s just that I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve only ever saw stuff like this in movies, and there it seems so different. Here it’s way more………….real. I didn’t realize how powerful that is.”
With a reassuring hug Alexis comforted her friend. “It’s OK. It makes perfect sense. But are you OK now?”

“I think so,” Keone confirmed.

“Good, because,” Alexis added with a devilish smirk, “I happen to think that Dennis is not going to fare too well with the next round of questions.”

Keone snickered in mutual complicit mischief. “Oh no. Poor Dennis.”

“Hmmm, ‘poor Dennis’ only if you push your button.”

“You can count on me, Ally. You go ask those questions and let’s spank some butt!”

As Alexis returned to her seat, Keone sighed a little in relief. What her friend told her made sense. It wasn’t like Dennis was screaming to be released. If he was OK with being spanked this hard then who was she to deny him the experience? The thought of his willingness made her smile a bit now. She wondered at what point Dennis’ willingness would falter and was suddenly eager to help him reach that point. She smiled at herself and her earlier reluctance. Now she understood the appeal of being the one pushing the button. It didn’t suck to have that kind of power. As she watched the monitor, she could not help but look forward to the next wrong answer. Happily she did not need to wait long at all. Just as Alexis had predicted, it seemed Dennis was now getting one question wrong after another, and Keone’s finger was ready each time.

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Jade

After the second phase of the experiment concluded, the Professor appeared on the monitor and explained that the final phase of the experiment was about to begin. This portion would be handled differently than the first and be based on personal input from the volunteers. “I would like you all to imagine yourselves as the parent or mentor of the subject who we will refer to as ‘the student’. The student here knew that his overall performance today would be graded just like any test or exam. Part of his incentive to study the material thoroughly was the knowledge that the grade he received would be revealed to all of you as a sort of collective authority figure. Before relating the student’s score to you, I would like you all to look at the monitor where I will be posting the results of the brief questionnaires you all filled out prior to coming here today. As you may recall we asked each of you your opinions on the importance of study, the importance of good grades, the need for imposed consequences when a person did not have the self-discipline to act responsibly, and whether punishments should increase in severity as the performance declines? As you can see, the percentage of you who felt very strongly that study and grades were very important was almost unanimous. A slightly smaller majority believed in the need for imposed consequences. To be honest, on this question we noticed a direct correlation between those of you who are parents and those who are students, though a fair amount of you students still seemed to think discipline was important. However, when it came to the last question, all of you answered that the punishment for a very bad grade should be much worse than that for a poor one. It seems you are all in agreement on that.

“Before starting the experiment, we questioned the student extensively on what his goals were and the level of consequence he was willing to suffer should he fail to achieve them. Like you all, the student agreed the consequences should worsen with each descending grade. Working with Alexis, the two decided well in advance what punishment would correspond to each grade below a B. Together they decided the punishment amounts would double with each drop in grade. Therefore, while a C would mean a spanking of just 50 strokes, a D would mean 100. An F however, would be punished more severely with 200 strokes.

“Which brings us to our final phase. Before revealing the student’s grade I would like to ask each of you to confirm your position on the keypad before you. If you still agree that the student’s final punishment should be matched to his grade, please press ‘yes’. If not, please press ‘no’.”

Jade looked at her keypad and knew what she had to do. It might mean a substantial punishment for Dennis, but then again he knew what the possible consequences for his actions were. She could not be sure, but given the number of wrong answers, Jade deduced that Dennis had probably earned an F. But that was not her fault. He should have studied harder. She directed her finger towards the ‘yes’ button and pressed it.

“OK it seems we have the votes coming in pretty quickly here.
Alright, and there seems to be no great change of opinion either. All the votes indicate the student needs to suffer consequences aligned with the degree of performance.

“Now for this last punishment, each of you will need to hold down the button when told and release it only when told. The machine will be calibrated to count out the strokes which you will see on-screen.” Jade watched intently as the Professor turned to Alexis. “Alexis, do you have the student’s final grade?” Jade caught herself now actually hoping for an F. She even uttered a whispered but audible “yes!” and nodded in victorious satisfaction when that was exactly the grade Alexis announced.

Soon the pair was seen recalibrating the machine before Alexis seemed to say something to Dennis that she could not make out. And then with a glance towards the camera, she asked that each volunteer now press and hold down their buttons. Jade’s finger had already been poised over the disc and she now jammed it down firmly. The machine started right in and continued at an even pace laying swat upon swat on Dennis’ already tender rear.

After the first 50, Dennis appeared a bit more desperate than he had been at any time earlier. This final punishment was definitely having a punitive effect and there was still a long way to go. After about 100 spanks had been administered, Dennis looked as if he just collapsed in a surrender, barely reacting to each stroke. A weird thought suddenly popped into Jade’s head. She found herself wishing she could trade places with Dennis and receive the rest of the punishment herself. The thought surprised her. Why would she want such a thing? It made no sense. But despite her rational thinking, she could not shake the desire. This was something she would have to really think about. In the meantime, unable to act on her inclination, she merely pushed her finger down harder as if doing so would intensify the punishment being given.

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Alexis the Domme

As Alexis walked up the corridor where Dennis was still strapped in, she encountered her professor.

“Ms. Hernandez, your experiment was extremely enlightening. However, there is one more element that the faculty agreed upon that needs to be completed before concluding the experiment.”

Alexis merely looked up quizzically at this unexpected information. 
The professor continued. “Besides recording the reactions of the volunteers in the booths, we have also been monitoring the test subject as well. Despite knowing the penalty he would be subjected to, we were interested in his reaction to finding out who his tormentors were. So after you release Mr. Kranski we will be conducting an exit interview with him. However, we feel that since you selected the subject, it would be interesting to see his reaction to you having him punished further.”

“Me? But, I……” Alexis began but the professor cut her off.

“No, Ms. Hernandez, I’m afraid this is a necessary part of the test. Your grade will actually be determined by the level of your cooperation in this last part.”

“My grade?” Alexis asked.

“Yes. You have fulfilled the requirements of setting up and conducting the experiment, but the letter grade awarded will be determined by your willingness to punish your own test subject yourself…..using the machine, of course. We don’t expect you to actually spank Mr. Kranski by hand. ”

“But the subject has already received more punishment than even I thought would be given out today. I think he is already at his limit.”

“I agree, Ms. Hernandez, but he has consented to all this. We have the signed paperwork.”

“I don’t believe you,” Alexis snipped. “This is just like the old Milgram experiment. You are trying to convince me of a consequence that isn’t real.”

“I can understand why you might think that, and perhaps you might be right, but are you willing to risk your grade on your hunch? As I said, this additional requirement is not arbitrary. There is a reason for it. The way we see it, Mr. Kranski has willingly put himself in this situation as a sort of favor to you. We are very interested in recording his reaction to having you add more punishment after what he would see as the conclusion of the experiment. And frankly, we are very interested in observing how much of a motivator a grade can be in a student’s behavior as well. So while you may think this is a set-up, I can tell you very honestly that the other professors and I did not decide on tying in a grade lightly. There were several who felt it was a bit unethical, but after much discussion it was decided, though not unanimously, that we would incorporate this element into today’s experiment. Naturally, for it to be effective, we also decided you would not be told…until the proper time.”

“I see,” Alexis nodded at the explanation. “OK, I understand. You should know that since I know the subject quite well, while I feel your requirement is a bit cruel, I am quite willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure I get the grade I deserve.”

“Well, that is for you to demonstrate, Ms. Hernandez. One thing though, you may tell the subject whatever you wish…..or tell him nothing at all, but you may not inform him that this is for your grade. We feel that since he volunteered to help you in the first place, he would see himself as a sort of willing or heroic martyr for your benefit and happily let the punishment continue if it got you an A.”

Alexis laughed at the caveat to the surprise of her professor, who looked at her reaction quizzically. “Professor, for someone trained in Psychology, I don’t think you understand me or my subject very well at all.”

With that Alexis continued on to the main room where her subject was still strapped down waiting for her.

“Hey, how are you doing?” she asked as she entered and closed the door.

“I’m definitely feeling a bit tender back there, but I made it through alright. Are we done?”

“Actually, no. What would you say if I told you that I find your current predicament very amusing?”

“You mean how willing your other volunteers were to keep pushing that button?”

“No. Well, yes, that was amusing too, but what I meant was your predicament now.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, here you are all strapped into a spanking machine, no way to get out unless I untie you, and over in the office is a nice signed release paper stating your consent to whatever happens today. And here in my pocket is the remote for the machine. I don’t even need to leave to go into a booth. I have the main control right here. All I need to do is press it, like so,” Alexis observed as she pushed the button to demonstrate. “And …..” she continued and paused for the smack, smiling as it landed with a crack, “another bit of fuel for the fire.”

“Ouch! Hey, that’s not fair.”

“No it’s not, but what if I told you I have my own personal reasons for wanting to give you a very nasty spanking via this machine? Tell me now, honestly. What would you say?” Alexis asked with a confident smile looking directly into the observation camera.

“You know what I’d say. Of course I’d agree to whatever you decide.”

“Such a good boy,” Alexis teased playfully.

“Besides, like this I don’t have much of a choice, do I?”

“No, like that you don’t. And that’s why I don’t want you strapped in for my punishment. I want you to take it because I said so,” Alexis explained as she then went around unfastening each restraint until all of Dennis‘ limbs were free. “Now, are you going to be a good little boy and stay put until I tell you we’re done?”

Dennis sighed, gulped, and nodded. “Yes, Ma’am. Of course I will.”

“And I think to show me how much you appreciate all this attention you’re getting, how about a nice respectful kiss,” she suggested as she sat and stuck out her sandaled foot, “for each swat?”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Dennis sighed with obvious gratitude.

“Ah, such a good boy. Now here we go,” Alexis announced before spanking her way to an A+.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Rich & Edmundo

“So, are you going back to the Student Center?” Rich asked as he and Edmundo exited the Psychology Building.

“No,” Edmundo replied a bit shyly. “I was thinking about just going back to my room. To be honest, participating in this experiment put me in a sort of mood.”

Rich eyed his friend and read the unstated emotion. “You got turned on by all this didn’t you? Rich grinned.

In turn, Edmundo bowed his head and blushed, admitting, “a bit.”

“Oh you naughty little boy!” Rich moved in on his shy friend and whispered in an aggressive taunt, “maybe you need to be spanked too?”

“I didn’t say that,” the cornered boy countered.

“You didn’t have to. But I’ll tell you what. Instead of your room, come to mine. My roommate is home for the weekend and even the dorm wing itself is pretty empty.”

“Why?”

“So I can punish you for your dirty little thoughts. Shame on you for getting all horny during Alexis’ experiment! I have a few toys in my drawer that I think will teach you a lesson.” 

Being naturally shy, Edmundo thought to deflect the kinky offer, but felt compelled to cooperate instead. “If you think that’s best.”

Rich smirked as he walked his friend back to his room, all the time thinking of the cruel and terrible things he would soon be subjecting him to, unaware that Edmundo was imagining the very same things.

--------------------------------

Samantha & Sandra

Samantha checked her watch for what seemed like the thousandth time wondering when the crazy experiment would finally conclude. She just wanted to return home to some semblance of normality after the upsetting session in the booth. She needed to just find Sandra and Marta and they could be on their way, unless, of course, they were offered a ride back by Alexis. Three coffees from the campus shop did nothing to calm her but instead piqued her impatience. As she tossed out the last container, she noticed several of the other volunteers making their way to the parking lot. Relieved that she could finally go home, she waited for Sandra, but after the main group had dispersed, she noticed that neither Marta nor Sandra had emerged from the lab. With a roll of her eyes she made her way back into the building to find her daughter.

The halls were lit but empty, yet she could hear voices joking about in one of the test booths. She knocked and opened the door in one impatient motion, startling the occupants. Inside she saw Marta, Alexis, & Jade. “Hey, guys,” she began. “Have you seen Sandra?”
The looks she received in return seemed hesitant and worried, but before anyone could manage a response, Samantha’s eyes darted to the monitors in the booth. What she saw answered her question but seemed to make no sense. There onscreen was her daughter, now fastened into the same apparatus that Dennis had been, though even more bare, with the unmistakable splashes of color in her wide bottom that indicated she had been there long enough to endure several swats form the paddle.

“What’s going on? Why is my daughter in that machine? What are you all doing?”

Alexis spoke to calm the concerned mother. “I know this might sound strange, but after the experiment was over, Sandra came to me and asked if she could take a turn in the machine. She seemed very eager to try it, so once the professor was gone, I let her.”

“And you all are pushing that button to paddle her? I can’t believe it! Especially you, Marta.”

The confronted woman shrugged and responded in a very even tone, “Sandra needed someone to operate the machine and asked us if we would. I asked her if she was really sure it’s what she wanted and she practically pleaded with me to be one of the ones in here. I figured since I knew her for so long, it was probably a good idea if I was. And I assure you, Samantha, no one in here has done anything to your daughter that she didn’t want.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“Watch,” Marta stated and pushed the button for the intercom.
"Sandra dear, have you had enough?”

On the monitor all could see the girl’s head turn as she answered, “no, please guys, just a few more, OK? I’m fine.”

Samantha blinked at the response. She said nothing for a few seconds as she seemed to wrestle with the whole situation. Then she turned to Marta and said, “OK, if that’s what she wants then fine. It’s her choice. She’s an adult now. But I was wondering if maybe one of you could take me back home? All this has been too much for me today. I need to go.”

“I can take you back with me,” Jade assured. “We don’t need three people just to push a button.”

“Fine. Thanks. And Marta, please tell her that when she gets home to come see me right away.”

"OK," Marta nodded. "So you're OK with this then?"

Samantha nodded. “She seems to want it, so let her have it.”

Samantha exited the booth and closed the door behind her. As she stepped away, she could hear the muffled voices inside followed by the distinctive sound of the machine striking. She hoped her daughter was enjoying herself as she left the lab for the parking lot.

On the ride home with Marta, Sandra seemed concerned and a bit embarrassed to learn her mother had walked in on the session. Upon hearing she was to see her as soon as she got back she worried about being endlessly lectured over her choices and desires thinking, yet again, that what she truly felt inside would always be a shock or disappointment to her family.

Marta told her not to worry too much and instead tried to lighten the mood by teasing her a bit about her experience. Sandra shyly laughed and thanked Marta for the ride as she stepped out of the car and crossed the street to her house.

Once inside she did not need to look hard for her mother since she was waiting for her.

“So, did you enjoy your little adventure?” she asked.

Sandra blushed and shrugged. “It was OK.”

“Uh huh.”

Then Sandra looked at her mother imploringly. “Please don’t make a big deal out of this, Mom. I already feel like whatever I do I’m always going to seem like a weirdo to you.”

Samantha’s face softened. “Honey, don’t say that. Yes, it’s true that some things are difficult for a parent to understand, but you know I always support you. In fact, I have decided that this new interest of yours won’t have to go unfulfilled.”

“What do you mean?”

Samantha smiled and explained, “I know I have always been sort of indulgent with you even though I’ve also been a bit over-protective as well. I certainly never punished you harshly. But in light of today, I think that may change. You see, Hon, I think I could very easily change my methods to suit you better.”

“You mean you are going to spank me from now on? But I’m over 18!”

“True. I won’t force this on you, but I am serious about it. Still, I’ll leave it up to you.”

“Up to me?”

“Yes, what I’m thinking is that if you are willing, since you are still living under our roof and rules, that going forward, if you deserve it….either with some bad behavior, or too much attitude, instead of yelling or grounding or worse yet…letting it go, you and I will take a little trip to your room and deal with things directly.”

“And if I refuse?”

“Then we don’t. But somehow I get the feeling that you aren’t going to refuse.”

Sandra gulped at the observation since it hit home. She had already been wrestling with the conflicting feelings of just logically saying ‘no’ to the whole embarrassing thing, and the gnawing inclination to toss logic out the window and accept her mother’s offer. And now her mother was anticipating that same outcome. She blushed at being so transparent.

After a few quiet minutes, Samantha asked directly, “so, what will it be?”

Sandra nodded with a lump in her throat. “I accept.”

“Good,” Samantha concluded. “Now I think you and I need to solidify this agreement with a trip upstairs.”

“But, Mom, I’ve already been paddled by the machine at the school.”

“Yes, but that was your wish. This is to show that even though you agree to this, the decision to punish remains mine alone. I think you understand that part is pretty important for the arrangement? What’s the point in being punished only when you want and how you want?”

Sandra nodded reluctantly. “I guess you’re right.”

“The let’s get going, dear.”

The pair ascended the stairway and entered Sandra’s room. Within a few minutes, the girl found herself up-ended over her mother’s lap, a cool breeze reminding her of her bare and vulnerable state.

“Oh, I will be placing an order online for an appropriate tool of my own for these times, but today I just borrowed this from Alexis’ mother. It should work just fine, she said.”

Over the next several minutes, mother and daughter bonded in a bizarre ritual of need and accountability. Despite her earlier feelings of awkwardness when presented with a button in a booth designed to punish her neighbor, she now felt no awkwardness at all. Spanking her daughter, especially with her consent, seemed like the most natural thing in the world. She could definitely get used to this. That thought prompted a smug grin just as the wooden brush slammed into her daughter’s clenching buttock with a ‘pak!’ and an ‘ouch’.

-----------------------------------------------------------

The Ride Home

Alexis was going over her notes as Dennis emerged from the restroom which served as a place for him to dress.

“Hey there” she greeted with a smile. “How is my lab rat?”

“Sore,” he replied bluntly.

“I would imagine. Ready to go?”

“Sure. You have all your stuff?” he asked.

Alexis assured him she did and the pair walked to his car. “So how did the debriefing go?”

“Interesting,” Dennis replied. “They told me who the other volunteers were. Most weren’t a surprise. The only surprises were that neither your mom nor your friend, Jade were mentioned. I’d have thought for sure those two would have been high on your list.”

“Well Mom was, but they turned her away. Too close to the subject,” she explained imitating her professor’s voice.

Dennis nodded. “I guess that makes sense.” Then with a curious look, he added, “but what about Jade?”

“What? You sound like you’re disappointed she wasn’t here,” Alexis deceptively countered.

The remark prompted Dennis to consider that possibility. But with a few moments of reflection he shook his head and smiled. “No. Not really. I think we see each other too often under other circumstances. Maybe it’s better that she of all people didn’t get to see me like that.”

“But then what about everyone else?”

Dennis thought again. “Shit. You’re right. Most of the people I see most often have been here watching me get paddled.”

“Correction: they weren’t just watching. They were pushing the buttons to make it happen,” Alexis reminded. Dennis blushed for the first time all day. Under the circumstances, Alexis found the reaction cute. “Don’t worry,” she added. “I doubt they’ll be teasing you……………………….too much.”

Then changing the subject, Dennis suggested stopping for sushi. But Alexis shook her head. “Can’t. Mom expects us to come right home. She’s putting together a little neighborhood get-together in honor of the experiment.” Dennis rolled his eyes. “Oh and she already told me she’s having you serve drinks in those revealing chaps pants she loves so much. You know. The ones with the open seat?”

“Hasn’t my butt gotten enough attention?”

“Apparently not. But you love attention! So just enjoy it. Besides the open air will let those hot little cheeks cool off a bit.”

Dennis said nothing for a while then as they got closer to home a thought popped into his head and he smirked mischievously. “So tell me. Was your professor impressed by your little display of dominance?”

“What do you mean?” Alexis asked defensively.

“Your little ‘post-game show'. That was for his benefit wasn’t it? Proving a point?”

“You knew?”

“I wasn’t sure at first. I thought maybe they were testing you as well. But when you untied me I knew there was more to it. I knew then that regardless of what prompted the additional spanking, you were showing off.”

“I don’t have to show off. Everyone already knows how awesome I am,” Alexis teased aloofly.

“Uh huh. OK, but really, what did he say about your little dominatrix routine? I mean really, Hon, as much as I enjoyed smoochin’ your tootsies, that was a little over-the-top, don’t you think?” Dennis asked with a wink.

Alexis laughed. “He said we were a sick sort of extended family.”

“Hell!” Dennis dismissed as he pushed the accelerator hard. “Like we need some PhD. or fancy experiment to tell us that!”

-----------------THE END