By Lesley (and Penelope)

PDM IN THE 21st CENTURY - 2003/4


There having been no issues since May 2002 most of us devotees had probably given up hope of a resumption of our favourite online journal. What a pleasant surprise then when in early 2003, from the ashes of "Petticoat Discipline Monthly" emerged "Petticoat Discipline Quarterly"! The first issue, dated "Winter 2003" was a delight to Susan MacDonald's friends and followers and came with an explanation that Susan had found the pressures of maintaining a monthly schedule just too much and the more leisurely publishing interval of three months was more viable. The "Quarterly" heading became the title for all subsequent issues of the magazine up until the present day, even though, as we shall see, the publishing timetable was to undergo several more changes.

The first of the quarterly issues certainly did not disappoint. A number of very good letters included an update from Gillian D of her petticoating of husband Doreen which was once again well worth reading. Of all the contributors at this time Gillian's lifestyle was the one that most resembled my own with Penelope. Talking of which, it became obvious that Susan had been storing up letters and articles submitted during her long absence as she included a piece by me entitled "A Penelope Archive" that I had sent many months earlier. This included a collection of early pictures of Penelope as my petticoating of him developed and brings back several fond memories.

Spring 2003 followed shortly and the content was certainly growing in both quantity and quality. Pictures and artwork were becoming more prevalent, a trend that I was very pleased to see as I had done my best to promote the idea with many pictures of Penelope. This issue contained a set from "Jennifer" that were very good, with frills well up to Penelope standard, though unfortunately there was no accompanying explanatory letter. This issue also included a piece that I had submitted much earlier - "My thoughts on the fine art of Petticoating". This referred to several classic letters on the subject and re-looking at them now I still hanker after some of those literary gems from the past.

Summer continued the progress with several very good letters and pictures. My own contribution showed off Penelope's latest uniform and asked for suggestions about appropriate ways to dress Penelope when out in public. Following maid Angela's ideas about doing this I had started to experiment with this idea by insisting he wore discreet blouses, jewellery and shoes when otherwise dressed as a man. To think how far we've come since then!! I also contributed a favourite classic letter entitled "From Bossy Boots to Nancy Pansy", which once again dealt with the topic of an arrogant boss very much tamed in petticoats by female staff. Obviously very effective and something that I'm sure went on quite a bit in female-dominant workplace situations. It would certainly be very difficult for any man to maintain authority once he'd been displayed to his female staff in frills and petticoats. This was a theme to which I would return, as we shall see.

The Autumn issue was, for me, quite disappointing, as the majority of letters and articles were on the subject of mother/son petticoating which always makes me a little uneasy, I far prefer to hear about adult husbands and boyfriends reluctantly petticoated.

That is actually quite a discussion point. The term "Petticoat Discipline" can mean different things to different people and Susan appears to have decided to use to appeal to a wide range of potential readers. Petticoating of young boys by parents has always seemed to me dangerously close to child abuse and, as I have said, is not an area with which I am comfortable. Petticoating of young males by similar-aged girls is however a different, and very much to be encouraged, subject. "Babification" or "Infantilism" is another area of little interest to me - I much prefer my petticoated male to be, in all respects other than dress, a fully functioning adult male who has been brought under control by a member of the "weaker" sex! So my enjoyment of petticoat discipline literature is actually quite selective, as, I suspect, is most people's.

And so a bumper Christmas Special completed the year. A treasure trove of letters, articles and pictures of very high quality. Inspired by the "workplace petticoating" letters referred to earlier I decided, with Susan's encouragement, to attempt a piece of fiction on that subject and "One of the Girls" was the result, kindly published by Susan in this super issue.

So, was back. The quarterly format was established and working well and the quality of the content seemed to be constantly improving . What could possibly go wrong?


Nothing, it seemed. The eagerly-awaited Spring issue certainly did not disappoint. Twenty very high quality letters, including a contribution from me displaying Penelope's latest lovely pink gingham maid's outfit, another favourite of mine. Also a new, and very talented artist, Chrissy, appeared with some lovely drawings of domestic petticoating by a very dominant looking wife.

And then... ?????????

Nothing appeared until the Christmas Special issue!

Little was said in the issue about the reason for an absence of about 8 months with the non-appearance of any Summer or Autumn quarterly issues. There was a brief mention in the General Correspondance section of personal and family health problems but clearly, following the long absence in 2002, all was not well in "The Typing Pool"!

The Christmas Special was, as ever, of a very high standard. An interesting letter appeared from Pamela A entitled "A rival to Penelope" which described the outfits in which she dressed her husband, "Fifi" which, she claimed, eclipsed my own very elaborate outfits. Photos were described (3 in all) but strangely Susan's footnote to the letter stated that Pamela did not wish them to be published but that they would appear in a future issue. Very bizarre. Disappointingly nothing more was ever heard from Pamela nor of the photographs.

My own contribution showed penelope's first attempts at dressmaking, his efforts tutored by "his" dressmaker, my good friend Ros. More excellent drawings from Chrissy appeared depicting his wife's strict petticoating regime and another very interesting piece titled "Under Petticoat Rule" showed several pages of hand written notes and a couple of sketches from a youth petticoated at some indeterminate point in the distant past. These "treasures" had apparently been discovered during a house clearance in Chelsea and were certainly a quirky addition to the normal PDQ content.

So 2004 came to a close - what would 2005 hold in store? As a reader and follower of Susan MacDonald's masterpiece one was never quite sure what to expect next!

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