Nuns and the scourge of the convent


caned noviceOne former inmate of a monastery once told how he got out of the daily ritual of the scourging by claiming he enjoyed it. It was the beginning if his disillusionment with cloistered life and unsurprisingly he moved on.

Another story, which may be apocryphal, has a former nun trying to pull the same wheeze on her mother superior only to be told, “well, we will just have to whip you more soundly won’t we.” Perhaps Mother had heard it all before.

Who knows how widespread such practices were or are?

nun tawsing

A realistic picture of a nun using a tawes, probably on someone out of shot, but the framing suggests otheriwse

In her memoirs, a former nun, who later leaves her order on account of being unable to reconcile her lesbianism with her faith, tells how as a novice she had to bring in the coal for her urban convent in North London.

Apparently the scourging on her back was so severe that she could not heft the coal and asked to be excused her daily scourging regime.

The sister in charge of the novices kindly allowed her to scourge herself on the bottom instead, a manoeuvre that not only could she not manage, but which she later suspected she was not supposed to have been able to accomplish.

However in her case a colleague was on hand to assist and a lifelong love of being thrashed by women was inspired within her.

The fellow nun in question invited her to bend over the back of a chair and “took a great deal of trouble to ensure that I didn’t feel I had taken the softer option. Indeed it wasn’t, because afterwards I was really quite sore there.”

Novices were also subjected to corporal punishment for wrongdoing at some establishments; particularly if they were concerned with education.

An American Catholic school girl who was taught by nuns said she was whacked on the back of her thighs in class with a ruler on a regular basis, which wasn’t as bad as the paddle applied in the principal’s office on her bottom.

The paddle, applied to the seat of her skirt, was large and heavy with a lot of holes to reduce air resistance.

After such a visit, she said she could not sit down for the rest of that day and “was in holy terror of having a gym class for week after.”

One of the sympathetic sisters told her she should count herself lucky because when she herself was a novice she had been caned on the bare bottom and was ‘given quite a difficult time of it.’

In France, spanking lesbian nuns is something of an art form, no doubt fuelled by Catholic guilt and the lure of the forbidden. Many mainstream movies have contained the sexual flagellation of nuns.

Even in the UK, it is not unknown. In the TV series Waking the Dead, in the episode Magdalene 26, a young novices is shown getting a quite vigorous consensual scourging for no apparent reason.

As fantasy the subject has been explored on this blog before, you can check it out here if your interest had been piqued.

15 Responses to “Nuns and the scourge of the convent”

  1. Always love your nun posts! They are still an inspiring source for a story I am working on. (And presumably are inspiring also for the person whose daily google for ‘erotic nuns’ leads them to look at pictures of selfsame sunjects on my blog! :D)

    🙂 TMT

  2. Naughty nuns have always had their bare bottoms warmed, by a local priest, bishop, minister, or cardinal, when they have erred. Into the confessional booth they were summoned, told their sins, and ordered to disrobe, to be corporally chastised by the local clergyman. A birchrod, cane, or whip was used on their bare bottoms, and rightyly so.

  3. 6 jimisim

    There was afilm in the fifties called “A Nuns story” which my mother wanted to see and took me. I can remember it featured her scourging herself because I thought it was stupid at that age. I think I embarrassed my Mum by asking her why she did it? Strangely enough I can still remember it, but very little else.

    • She was a nurse sent first to a mental hospital in Brussels where she was attacked by a patient then was sent to the Belgian Congo where she contracted TB, but the doctor was able to cure her because it was caught early. Then, a native murders another nun because the witch doctor told him that he would be rid of the ghost of his dead wife if he killed a white woman. She then was sent back to Belgium during the Second World War where the nuns tended to the injured soldiers. Her brother was in the Army and sent a message to her that their father, who was a surgeon, had been killed by the Nazis while tending to injured soldiers in the field. She then leaves the convent and joins the resistance as a nurse. So, the movie has mental illness, attacks on the nurse, the illness Tuberculosis, murder of a nun, the second world war, injured Nazi soldiers being cared for in a hospital with soldiers roaming the halls and all you can remember is the discipline? Go figure.

      • 8 DJ

        It depends how old one is when one sees the picture and other issues.

        I remember lots of spanking scenes from movies of yesteryear – but I can’t always remember the rest of the plot. Tyrone Power spanking a woman in the foyer of a theatre comes to mind… A soldier threatening to spank his wife so that she can’t sit down for a month ‘or maybe two’ in a war film starring John Wayne… I am sure there was a lot more to that movie!

        Thanks for plot summary 🙂

  4. 9 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    I went to a Catholic school where the nuns were big fans of using the paddle on kids. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine they used similar methods on each other.

    Of course I’m sure it was all in the name of penance but in the mirror of hindsight, one can’t help but imagine that penance might have been alloyed with an undercurrent of forbidden desire.

  5. Nuns are such a source of fantasy, aren’t they? As a little girl, I wanted to be one. It is the air of mystery they exuded, and their piousness, I think.

    My nuns were not so cruel and sadistic as others I have heard of. I was even fond of a few. They must have been in the non-scourging convent.

    • 11 DJ

      Nuns aren’t very British and I don’t think they are such a big deal in UK society.

      Although there is as you a say a mysterious and perhaps sinister dimension to them.

      I was briefly taught by Anglican monks – but they were very smiley. 😀

      At six I had no idea what they were talking about except when they finished talking we all played football – with them in their ‘dresses.’


      • …er…. well I went to two convents growing up in the UK and I’d say – they certainly were a big deal for the Catholic community. Mother Superior commanded huge respect and had real power both inside and outside of the convent – and you are forgetting the constant influx of nuns from abroad – Ireland, Italy, Spain, refugees from the eastern bloc too.

        At the first convent I went to, corporal punishment was still used – two boys got the cane while I was there and general slipperings and swats were issued about the school, though infrequently.

        The second had a darker side and one I only witnessed in the pale traumatised face of a girl in trouble who had been punished who was being marched through the school. I was a day girl at that place and it was only the boarders who were treated to the sadistic side of one particular nun. Such memories are sickening, actually.

        But… the general hilarity of being a Catholic schoolgirl is still with me. So much was taboo – sex, music, smoking, drinking, reading D.H Lawrence… which made our investigations into *all* of those thrillingly dangerous, very extensive and fun.

        My first experience of consensual whipping was with my catholic school friends on saturday mornings when we would work at the local riding school! It was our secret game, in the haybarn and went on all summer.

  6. 13 Christina

    I also attended a Catholic grade school in Philadelphia many moons ago and I remember one Nun, Sister Naala [2nd grade] who could really swing a paddle!! Thankfully I never was hit, I must have been an “angel” :):):)!!!

    I wasnt aware that Nuns scouraged themselves; perhaps it was for Pennance!!

    • 14 DJ

      I have never heard of a 2nd Grade Nun? Or do you mean you were in the 2nd grade. Lol

      To be fair I am not sure that most nuns scourge themselves – I think it was more common in the past and also it probably depends upon which particular order they are in.

  7. Well done again DJ and loved the story and pictures.

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