Corner Time


corner timeAfter stumbling on a debate about how long corner time should be, I wondered if the history of corner time might be a good subject.

The dictionary says it is a noun, and defines it as: A punishment consisting in a period of time the culprit (usually a mischievous child) must stand still in a corner, facing the wall.

Online dictionaries give the same example but one wag had re-gendered it to:

Olivia’s spankings were always followed by corner time, pants still down, so her fresh stripes could serve as deterrent for the other girls.

The main problem I had with online research was that a great many of the links led back to A Voice in the Corner. Almost all the searches crossed with Victorian or history certainly did, although Devlin O’Neil featured a great piece on the psychology of spanking about a year back.

One might assume that corner time has its origins with the Victorian Governess, but there were several Georgian references confirming that the term ‘corner time’ goes back at least a century earlier.

If one takes a wider definition to include any punishment time out, then our search for its origins goes back even further, certainly as far back as the 17th century.

As well as birching, the early settlers in North America were very fond of stocks and pillories as a punishment. However, they didn’t always have the equipment to hand.

At least one pilgrim wife, a ‘convicted scold,’ was tethered by the ankle with a rope on the village green and had to remain there all day. Presumably she could have unties herself, but chose to submit to her ‘time out’ punishment.

Now back to that debate about the length of corner time.corner time

There were several blogs that set out definitively how long to put a girl in the corner, the trouble was, none of them agreed. The truth is, the appropriate length of corner time varies from person to person and relationship to relationship.

For what it is worth the span found varied from less than seven minutes to more than nine hours, with between 30 minutes and an hour being about the average.

It is worth pausing to say that having someone standing without moving for hours on end is a very tough ordeal and can in some circumstances be dangerous.

This is something that most dominants are aware of as in this case.

A woman mentoring a 23-year-old disapproved her going on a date without permission and then ending up in the back of a van with three guys.

The 23-year-old was “very, very soundly spanked on her bare bottom” and then spent a total of eight hours in the corner for the van incident.

This was organised by taking the girl out of the corner every 30 minutes to do a short burst of vigorous exercise and spanking her again if she did not keep a good posture or whined or in any way did not submit.

Incidentally the day after the girl was sent out into the yard to cut a switch and then served a standard corner session (time unspecified) for dating the boy without permission.

Elsewhere reactions vary. On another spanking forum this discussion was had:

SG’s reaction to corner time:

If S told me I’d have to stand in the corner even for an hour I’d probably burst into tears. I have however, learned not to hesitate at all. I may whine a bit when she tells me to go to the corner, but I start moving immediately– I hate the corner, and don’t want her adding extra time.

When I was at my parents’ house over Christmas, I got “mouthy” with her (again, her word, not mine — I’m quite sure my behaviour never deserves that descriptor), when we were talking on the phone before bed, she told me to strip down and stand in the corner. That was most unpleasant. Even though it was the middle of the night, and I was in the room alone, I felt… so miserable, and just a wee bit anxious someone would walk in.

However, 10 minutes later, I was a very contrite and much less mouthy girlfriend.

On the other hand Disciplined Housewife says:

I would actually prefer corner time but it’s not something I get very often. I have to go to bed at 7 pm on days I get punished and there are no exceptions.

I read about someone complaining about being given a half hour of corner time. I only wish I could get that instead of being in bed at 7 pm. Sheesh, some wives have it super easy and they’re still complaining!

So there you have it. If I find any earlier references I’ll report back. Meanwhile feel free to share your experiences.

corner time

3 Responses to “Corner Time”

  1. Poppy, I read that article, but you got your letters mixed up. It said the UK had double to make up for the US. It didn’t spell out the countries names. Sorry, sounds like you will be doing double time. 😉

    DJ, I’ve always heard the rule of thumb for time out is one minute for each year, so if your miscreant is 35 say, then she should be there for 35 minutes.

    I never did corner time, but I think if it is too long it is pointless. My mind would start wandering and my back would start to hurt.

    • 2 DJ

      Poppy that law wasn’t actually passed – something to do with a shortage of corners in the US. They may outsource it to China – but its nothing definite. So as you were.

      Kaki – I have heard that rule by thumb and it is a good one. But I use the rule of hand. In addition to one minute I add 5 mins at 18 and another 5 at 25 – so a 30-year-old would get 40 minutes say.

      However, you make a valid point about backs. I found that a 23-year-old will be sanguine about an hour and a 35-year-old decidedly stiff and fidgety after 15 minutes. Maybe we should reverse the equation neh!

      DJ 😉

  2. 3 PDBB

    Our stepmother made sure her rules were followed and order maintained by making the penalties something you really wouldn’t want repeated. This was accomplished by judicious(?) use of memorable punishments that pretty much guaranteed *second thoughts* before attempting anything like *that* again
    An incident of skipping class in high school by one of my sisters and involving our oldest sister (a master forger, I might add. I think that was her major in college at the time of the crime before mother made the curriculum change) in her “foolproof” scheme that was uncovered (in more ways than one) got the two young women, plotter and co-conspirator a whole weekend facing the living room corner.
    The bruising hairbrush and belt spankings given were enhanced by the “punishment outfits” they were forced to wear after. Old school uniforms (just the abbreviated,outgrown shift dresses and underwear[bra and girdle} with high heels{because they both insisted they were *too* grown up}) was the sight visitors saw of the two very remorseful young ladies; whose only break from standing almost silently with their noses pressed deep in their corners was meals that they ate sitting on hard wood chairs still facing the corner and escorted trips to the bathroom when the need called.
    The embarrassment and full body soreness of that weekend put an end to the threat of “playing hooky” and conspiratorial deceit. But just in case; the high school junior’s as well as the college sophomore’s where-a-bouts were known precisely as they were both in bed every day by 8:00 PM for the next two weeks and an accounting of where they had been for the day had to be accounted for.
    There was little chance of deviation from mother’s extended impositions as the two carried the evidence of mother’s correction physically for an observable fortnight and psychologically until this day, judging by the blushes at family dinners and affairs when *stories are shared*.
    And there is plenty of embarrassment to go around the table, as mother was an equal opportunity punisher.

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