Sisters sans merci

29Nov18

N Affectueuse_fessée_ecclésiastiqueN AHS nun whippedN bavarian enemaN bavarian monkN collecting the rodN Monk-Nun-Spank-GirlN nun whipped movieN Penitence
The prurient interest in flagellation and the cloistered nuns goes back as far as the Sisters of Vespa in pagan Rome. Medieval engravings depict myriad floggings of nuns, by nuns and not always in the context of suppressed erotica. If the images above are anything to go then nothing much has changed.

Flagellation was thought to be good for the soul and the daughters of Eve particularly susceptible to sin and requiring severe chastisement to drive out the devil.

Whilst the Christian brothers favoured the scourge on the back, the good sisters often resorted to the ‘lesser chastisement’ by application to the ‘naked buttocks,’ as the 19th century Abbess de Chartres of Lyon explained.

It was one of her predecessors who cleaned the mother house by sending the old guard away and inviting the local Father to whip the sinning sisters on their bare bottoms for their sins. A task he felt needed to be repeated after many a confession time and again lest the devil return.

Rumour had it that the zealous young Abbess too asked to be also ‘cleansed’ in private sessions in her chambers, the stuff of fantasies surely, but many stranger things occurred among the cloistered of both sexes.

Anecdotally there is much evidence.

N bavarian Monk2In 1676 French woman, Juliette des Court, was unsuccessfully prosecuted for attempting to corrupt a priest. It seems her confessions were so scandalous, or so the priest said, that he was forced to chastise her. Guided by her confessor she was frequently stripped naked on her knees and made to offer her naked hind end to his rod. She was thrashed vigorously ‘until her flesh was razed and she screamed out for forgiveness.’

The repentant girl returned over and over in attempt to save her soul. It wasn’t until another priest discovered the punishments that the priest was accused of being overzealous and he in turned claimed the girl had seduced ‘him with sin.’

The charges don’t seem to be taken too seriously but Juliette herself ended up in a nunnery, eventually rising to be Abbess.

Whether because of her experience, or despite it, in later life she gained a reputation as a flagellant. It seems she had a penchant for guiding young novices in her order. She defended her actions by stressing that she only permitted ‘scourging of the inferior kind,’ that is whipping the bare bottom, as opposed to on the back as was the wont of monks.

In Prussia and elsewhere it became the custom during the 18th century to employ nuns as governesses. It was thought that ‘high discipline’ and strong religious guidance by means of the rod was good for young women. After all who could accuse a nun of being other than kind and forgiving? Some art from the period perhaps suggests otherwise.

N bavarian nun governess

Even in the 20th century some orders employed the scourge and other means. Certainly many have testified to the terror of the penguins and ‘horror stories’ have emerged as far afield as Ireland and the US.

Candace Truman, later known as Sister Mary, had a strict catholic upbringing in New York.

She later recalled her senior class years. “Some days the good sisters would tackle my bare bottom so enthusiastically with a strap that I could scarce sit down for days. Nor was I alone in my misery. Many a time did a class full of my fellow students line up to feel the same. The shower room usually displayed more bruises than not and right where they would do the most good.”

In England as late as the 1970s Barbara found love and discipline were often conjoined. Encourage to scourge herself she was troubled that it was ineffective and consulted an older woman of the order.

Her friend offered to aid her and twice weekly she was laid face down on her bed naked and ‘lashed on the bottom until I cried lustily.’

“Afterwards I always felt so good,” she wrote.

An affair ensued but after Barbara came out as a lesbian she left both the order and the church. “It turns out that a thoroughly good spanking was all I really needed. As a girl I was so drawn to rules and more so to the dreaded consequences of not obeying them.”



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