CORRESPONDENCE FROM MISTRESS ALISON
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A brief introduction is in order; Mistress Alison is a good friend and a very knowledgeable and experienced Mistress, she has also been a frequent contributor to PDQ. She is now available to answer questions from both Mistress and sissies alike, assuming a respectful tone of course. These email conversations may well be included at some future date in PDQ though a request for privacy would be respected. Feel free to write her at mistress-alison@petticoated.com and please don't waste her valuable time asking "where / how can I find a Mistress?"

Dear Mistress Alison

I adore high heeled shoes and love both wearing them and admiring them on the feet of elegantly dressed ladies. My fascination with them began when at the age of around five 5 or 6 I first tried on a pair of my mother's and loved the extra height they gave me and the different way I had to walk in them to keep them on. They made me feel different, special, almost grown up, but also slightly naughty and mischievous and I took to wearing them whenever my mother wasn't there. Even at that tender age I sensed that somehow she would not approve. In my teens I bought my first ever pair and I can remember it as if it was yesterday; it was the week of the moon landings in 1969 which maybe helped to fix it in my memory, they were black patent leather court shoes with 4 inch heels and this style has remained my footwear of choice ever since.

My love of high heels led, perhaps inevitably, to cross dressing; just underwear at first which I wore under my regulation school uniform of white shirt, school tie, grey trousers and dark blue blazer (and even today I still experience the same thrill when wearing a basque, pink knickers and black stockings under my vanilla clothes) and then when I left school I experimented with skirts and blouses and bought a wig. When I was 17 I bought a maid's uniform and within 30 seconds of putting it on I knew that this was what I truly wanted to wear, this was the real me. Ever since I have worn a maid's uniform, wig and of course high heels whenever and wherever I could and can.

In 1974 I met, fell in love with, and two years later married, Jennifer. A truly wonderful Lady who for more than 40 years was not only my wife but my Mistress. How we met and came to realise that we were made for each other is another (long and rather tortuous) story. Throughout our marriage she managed to combine being very strict with loving kindness and a wonderful understanding of the real me beneath the façade I had to present to the outside world. I doted on her and knew my love was reciprocated, we were blissfully happy together and both of us considered ourselves blessed.

Sadly nothing lasts forever and now my love and Mistress has gone and I am on my own. But I still behave as if she were watching over me from heaven and change into my maid's uniform and high heels the moment I get up, or if I've gone out the moment I come through the door, before doing the household cleaning and domestic chores according to the rota which she set in the early days of our marriage. Nothing will bring her back or could ever replace her but I feel that by doing so I am honouring her memory.

But all those years in very high heels have rather taken their toll on my feet and my ankles. I am no longer as young or as supple as I once was and I am now finding that 6 or even 5 inch heels impossible to wear for more than a few minutes at a time. Even my default 4 inch courts are becoming something of a challenge and I find myself spending more time admiring them while resting my feet on a footstool than I do walking in them. Apart from the obvious answer of wearing flats have you any suggestions as to how I can extend the time I spend in my lovely shoes or what else I could do? Is there a surgical "foot lift" which like a facial nip and tuck might restore my ability to walk talk and proud in my stilettoes? I know I'm probably clutching at straws, but heels have been such a significant part of my life, defining who I am, that I'm extremely reluctant to give them up. As a mark of respect and love for Jennifer I hope to keep wearing them to my dying day and to be buried in my 5 inch patent courts with silver bows.

Curtsy
Maid Rosie

Dear Maid Rosie

It is always a pleasure to receive a letter from someone who is, or in your case has been, happy in their servitude as a sissymaid and I offer you my sincere condolences on the loss of your wife and Mistress. I, and I'm confident the wider PDQ readership, would love to read the "long and rather tortuous" story of how you met Jennifer, married her, and came to serve her as a sissymaid.

Alas you are not alone in discovering that the passing years, anno domini, time's wingèd chariot, all hurry on and none of us has the world enough and time to continue to do all those things we love and dream about, but there are few simple measures you can take to ameliorate the worst effects of time's inexorable march.

Before offering any specific advice I must warn you that I am not medically qualified and it would be a good idea to visit a doctor to check if you have any underlying physiological problems. I take a daily supplement of Glucosamine Sulphate & Chondroitin, which claims to increase joint strength and flexibility and I have felt a difference since I started doing so. Turmeric both in the diet and in tablet form is also supposed to promote good joint health and is recommended for those suffering from arthritis though I have no personal experience of using it. My sissymaid, who wears heels all the time, performs the following exercises on a daily basis to help strengthen her ankles and calf muscles.

1. Sit in a chair and cross one leg over the other and then circle the foot clockwise at the ankle for at least one minute, rotate in the other direction for the same period and then swap legs. With time you should be able to increase the speed at which your foot moves.

2. While lying in bed, or sitting in a chair keeping your heels pressed to the floor, lift the front of your feet and point the toes back towards your head as far as you can, you should feel both your calf and thigh muscles pulling. Hold for a slow count of ten. Repeat ten times.

3. Stand on a door step or the bottom step of a flight of stairs with just your toes and balls of the feet on the step and the arch and heels projecting over the edge. Hold on to the door handle or bannister to prevent toppling and go up on tip toes and then down as far as you can below the level of the step. Bounce up and down like this for one minute or a slow count of sixty trying to maintain a steady rhythm, rest one minute and repeat ten times.

If at any time you experience anything other than the kind of dull ache usually associated with exercise stop immediately and consult a doctor.

It may take some time for you to feel the benefit but with patience and persistence your ankle strength and mobility will improve, though it may be that you will have to accept that you can longer wear heels as high as you would like for as long as you would like.

I wish you well for the future.

Yours sincerely
Mistress Alison

Dear Mistress Alison

Thank you for your practical suggestions, I am trying exercise number 2 even as I type this, and I enjoyed the subtlety of your reference to Marvell's Coy Mistress.

You were gracious enough to say that you, and possibly others, would love to read about how I met Mistress Jennifer and came to serve as her sissymaid. I have tried to recount this tale, and it is rather long, to the best of my ability. Some of what happened I remember as if it was yesterday, probably because it was so hideously embarrassing at the time, but some of my recollections may be subject to my memory playing tricks, or wishful or wistful thinking. Some of the earliest conversations with Jennifer are verbatim, but for others I have forgotten most of what exactly was said and so have tried to covey the sense of what was said rather than the actual words. That said all the events described did happen in the order and at the time I have set them.

I hope you will forgive my prolixity.

Curtsy
Maid Rosie

...

When I left school I went to work as an apprentice at an aircraft company in Bristol, where I later worked on Concorde. For most of my fist year I stayed in a hostel with other apprentices but as this gave me no opportunity to dress or wear high heels so as soon as I could afford it I moved out and into private rented accommodation.

My landlady, who from our first meeting told me to call her Audrey, was a generously proportioned peroxide blonde in her forties or possibly a bit more and although I now realise she was overweight and a bit over ripe, to my naïve young eyes she looked a very womanly woman. My experience of women at that time was virtually zero, I'd been to a single sex school and in those days engineering was an exclusively male profession and to me she looked the way I always rather imagined Eve must have looked to Adam. She always wore smart shoes, even while watching television or in the kitchen she wore low heeled shoes rather than slippers, and high heels with seamed stockings whenever she went out. She was always very carefully made up and smoked using a short black cigarette holder which made her seem exotic and incredibly glamorous. At the time I thought she looked a bit like a cross between the actress Diana Dors and princess Margaret (though with the benefit of hindsight I suspect that both those good ladies would have been appalled by the comparison) and while I wouldn't go so far as to say I fancied her it was impossible to be unaware of her sexuality. She was, in short, the sort of woman my parents had always warned me about.

She was very friendly in a motherly sort of way and always called me dear or darling or sweetheart (she actually did this with everyone else so it had no special significance) and unless she was going out or entertaining what she called a gentleman friend, of which there were many, she would usually invite me to join her watching television after dinner. I usually declined on the grounds that I had studying to do, and while it was true that I was attending college one day and two evenings every week and studying for exams, the real reason was that I wanted to escape to my bedroom where I could wear my maids uniform and practise walking in my newly acquired 5 inch heels. When practising my walk I always had to take care to keep to the meagre square of carpet in the middle of the room so as not to give myself away with the noise or to leave tell-tale heel marks on the lino. I was very careful to lock everything away in my suitcase in the bottom of the wardroom before going down to breakfast. This went on for several months until the inevitable happened and I got caught.

It was late and I was upstairs doing my ironing, wearing my uniform and of course my lovely heels when I felt that nature was calling. The sensible thing to have done would have been to remove my wig and shoes and put a dressing gown over my uniform to visit the bathroom. But at first I thought I would be able to finish off the ironing before going and so carried on what I was doing. However, I soon realised that my need was becoming urgent and so I decided to risk it. I opened the door a crack and looked out, there was nobody about and the house was silent. I tiptoed down the hall to the bathroom and did the necessary. I opened the bathroom door a little and listened and waited, again the house seemed as quiet as the grave. I opened the door wide and set off back for my room. I hadn't got half way before the door at the far end of the hallway opened and Audrey emerged, and I was well and truly exposed. The light was behind her so I couldn't see the expression on her face but it illuminated me so there could be no mistake who it was or what I was wearing. In an instant of blind panic I thought about going back to the bathroom and locking myself in but instead put my head down and ran as fast my heels would allow for the sanctuary of my bedroom.

I had hardly got the door closed before there was sharp tap and it opened again, there was no lock, and Audrey came in. She said, "Well you're a dark horse," as she looked me up and down. I couldn't think of anything to say and she went on, "I've been wondering what you get up to up here on your own all this time. Studying indeed, no one does that much studying. They always say it's the quiet ones you have to watch. What is it that you are actually doing?" At least that was a question I could answer and I replied, "Er, ironing. I'm doing my ironing." She smiled and asked, "And do you always do your ironing dressed like this?" I told her that I did if it was at all possible and then she asked, "And do you like it?" I thought she meant dressing as a maid and wearing high heels and so I told her, "Yes, I like it very much." But she must have been referring to the ironing because she said, "Good," told me to wait where I was and went off downstairs. She returned shortly afterwards carrying a washing basket full of clothes which she put down on the floor saying, "Since you like it so much you can do some for me while you're at it. Bring it down with you in the morning. Goodnight dear." And then she left, just like that.

I did her pile of ironing, after hunting through it to see if there was any of her underwear, which there wasn't, and carefully folded it up before going to bed. I spent a restless night trying to work out whether she was annoyed, shocked, or what. Nothing in her voice or attitude had given me any real clue. I seriously thought about doing a moonlight flit so as not to have to face her in the morning; but I was on the second floor and there was no convenient drainpipe to climb down and to go out the front door would have meant walking past her bedroom and down the very creaky stairs, besides she knew where I worked so doing a runner might land me in more trouble than I was already in.

The following morning I delayed going down to breakfast as long as I dared but in the end I knew I would have to face the music. I carefully carried the pile of ironed washing down to the kitchen and asked Audrey where I should put it. She told me to put it in the airing cupboard on the first floor landing so I had to go back up a flight of stairs again and as I did so I wondered if I should skip breakfast and go straight to work. But I decided it was probably best to get it over with and went back to the kitchen. As she put my breakfast in front of me I started to say, "About last night, Audrey." But I never got any further because she butted in, "Don't worry darling, your little secret's safe with me. I was worried because I thought you might be taking drugs. I knew you couldn't possibly be spending all that time studying night after night, you could have read every one of those books on your window sill ten times over by now." Her tone suddenly changed and she demanded, "You're not into drugs, are you because I won't have them in my house." I told her I wasn't and that I didn't smoke and only occasionally drank beer. She told me sternly "That's good because if I catch you with drugs or find any in your room then you'll be out, no warnings, no second chances, you'll be out, O. U. T. out." The she went back to her usual friendly voice and told me, "You be a good boy and we'll get along fine," she paused and then said, "or a good girl if that's what you prefer. Only no drugs. Now eat your breakfast or you'll be late for work."

All that day I found it difficult to concentrate on work and wondered what I should do that evening and if I could get away with declining her invitation to watch telly on the grounds of having college work to complete for Friday. But in the event she took matters out of my hands by telling me immediately after dinner that she wanted what she called a friendly little talk with me. I followed her into the room she always called the parlour and was reminded of the nursery rhyme about the spider and the fly. She sat down on the sofa and gestured for me to sit down next to her, I took a seat right at the other end and was grateful that I didn't have to look directly at her. She began by repeating her anti drug diatribe of that morning and telling me how worried she had been about me. It is probably worth saying that in the 1970s the use of so called soft drugs was rife in colleges and universities around the country and LSD and cannabis were widely regarded by the students as harmless, or at least less harmful than traditional and legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol. The spirit of Woodstock, peace and free love was still in air and toilets everywhere had graffiti like "acid is great" and "Beware! The tobacco in your joint can kill."

I thanked her for her concern and told her she had nothing to worry about on that score while looking fixedly at my shoes and wishing I was anywhere else. She edged closer to me until her leg was touching my knee and I tried to move sideways but there was nowhere to go. She put her left hand on my thigh and for one wonderful but terrifying moment I thought she might be going to do a Mrs Robinson, but all she said was, "Listen darling, I'm very broad minded and if that's what turns you on it's no skin off my nose. I'm glad to have someone who actually enjoys ironing and as I told you at breakfast I'm not going to go blabbing my mouth off." I wasn't sure (and even now I can't decide) if that was a veiled threat along the lines of "You do my ironing and I'll keep my mouth shut," or not. I mumbled something about thank you for being so understanding but she replied, "Well, what I wanted to talk to you about is that I don't understand. I thought you were normal, I've seen the way you look at me – no don't bother to deny it I take it as a compliment – and I can't believe you want to bend over for some hairy arsed stoker. So why do you do it?"

At the time I was quite shocked by her use of such earthy language and didn't know how to respond. Well, why do any of us fall in love with anybody or anything? Even now I don't really know what drives my love of heels and I certainly didn't then and I can't precisely remember how I tried to explain it to her. Apart from the fact it was long and tortuous and highly embarrassing and she kept interrupting with questions. My memory is now filled with how disturbing I found her close proximity, the sickly sweet aroma of her perfume that couldn't quite mask the smell of stale tobacco smoke, and the fact she kept squeezing my leg. The only thing I do remember with stark clarity is her admonition, "Don't let this interfere with your work or your studies, getting the qualifications you need to get on at work will mean a better future, and earning good money is the key that opens the door marked happiness." I said that money can't buy happiness and she replied, "That may well be true, but it's always said by them as has plenty and I'll tell you something even truer, not having enough money will bring you bucket loads of misery as sure as eggs is eggs. So you make sure you work hard and don't be having anything to do with drugs." I thanked for her advice and she said, "You're welcome darling, just don't lie to me again. Never tell lies because your lies will always find you out, tell the truth and shame the devil, never be ashamed of who or what you are darling. Now off you go." I escaped upstairs filled with a mixture of confusion, desire, and embarrassment.

Nothing more was said the next day, but when I returned from work that evening and went up to my room there on the floor was the same washing basket with another pile of washing to be ironed. Again I quickly searched it for underwear and was again disappointed, there never was once any in all the ironing she gave me. I went back downstairs to eat and when I'd finished this time she didn't invite me to join her watching television. As I got up she said in a cheerful voice, "Have fun, darling," or it might have been, "Enjoy yourself," or "Have a nice time," and then laughed. I was still feeling too embarrassed about the whole situation to think of anything to say in reply. But as soon as I got upstairs my embarrassment melted away and I dressed in my uniform and shoes and got stuck into the ironing. In a way I found it relaxing, I didn't have to think about anything else, just concentrate on the job I was doing.

For about the next three weeks or so I would regularly find a load of ironing waiting for me when I got back from work, not every day, but at least two or three times a week. On the days when there wasn't any I would mostly join Audrey downstairs; sometimes we would just watch the telly but on other occasions she would ask me quite personal questions, like did I have a girl friend (when I said no she smiled and said, "I thought not") why didn't I drink and smoke like most boys of my age, why didn't I ever go out in the evening, though I suspect she almost certainly knew the answer to that question. The only exceptions occurred when she was entertaining, which meant a man coming back, she always referred to it as "entertaining a gentleman friend," when I was relegated to my bedroom. I don't remember any of them staying the night, but I wasn't so naïve as not to realise what was going on or not recognise the sound of two pairs of feet coming up the stairs and to feel more than just a bit jealous.

Then there was a change of routine, I got back from work expecting to find the basket of ironing in my bedroom but there was nothing. I went down and ate and afterwards Audrey said, "That washing basket is getting too heavy for me to carry upstairs, it's on the ironing board next door, you can do it down here." If she hadn't said that I would have taken it upstairs so I could do it properly dressed for the job as I now thought of it. She must have seen the disappointment in my face and read my thoughts because she then said, "You can get changed first, darling. I don't mind what you wear to do it as long as you're decent." I hesitated and then went upstairs wondering if I should or more importantly if I dared. Eventually I decided not to change and came downstairs in jeans and a jumper. Audrey gave me no more than a brief glance and said, "Suit yourself, ducks. I thought you liked wearing a dress while you were ironing. I hope you're not just being shy." I did the ironing in what would today be called the utility room but back then was known as a scullery, a small room with a sink off the kitchen. It was bleak and chilly and I was glad I was wearing warm clothes rather than my uniform, but I resolved that the next time I was instructed to do the ironing I would wear my shoes and uniform.

I didn't have to wait long, just another three days, before Audrey told me there was more ironing awaiting my attention. This time I went up straight after dinner and changed in what I should have worn before. As I came into the kitchen Audrey raised an eyebrow and asked, "So what's different tonight?" I told her the truth and answered, "You were right the other night I was feeling a bit shy and I thought the scullery might too chilly if I was wearing just a short uniform, and I was right." She looked genuinely concerned and said, "Oh darling, you should have said, no need to be cold when you're working you can bring the board into the parlour near the fire and talk to me while you're ironing." I thanked her and folded up the board and carried it through and set it up again where it wouldn't block her view of the television. It was a big pile of ironing and I was still busily ironing when she said, "It's getting late. Time for a drop of Rosie Lee I think, will you be an angel and make it to save me getting up."

I had no idea what she meant and asked her to explain and she laughed as she told me it was rhyming slang for a cup of tea, then she added, "Help yourself to one and bring the biscuits." I went off to the kitchen and made the tea and put the pot and two cups on a tray with the biscuit barrel and carried it back into the parlour. I put it down on a side table and she smiled at me and said, "Well aren't I the lucky one having maid service instead of making my own tea. I poured her a cup and gave it to her. As she took it she looked directly at me and said, "Thank you my darling. Tell me can you do other tricks apart from ironing and making tea?" It was only later I realised that she must have known a lot more about men dressing as maids than she let on, but at the time I couldn't see what she was getting at. I asked what sort of tricks and she gave me a look that both excited and frightened me before saying, "Well you like dressing up as a maid and ironing and you can make tea, what about washing up and hoovering and all the other things that maids do?" I told her I'd never tried (although I could do my own laundry and some very basic cooking and washing up I'd never done anything else because back then 99% of males did absolutely no housework whatsoever as it was considered the role of mothers and wives to do it) and when I said that she gave me another look before saying, "Maybe it's time you did. You can start by washing up the tea things for me. When we've finished of course." It seemed such a simple thing to do that I replied, "Certainly I will," and she said, "Good boy." I waited until she'd finished drinking her tea then put everything back on the tray, took it to the kitchen, washed them up and put them away.

That evening rather set a precedent in that whenever there was any ironing to be done Audrey would send me up to change then tell me to set the ironing board up in the parlour, where I would iron away while she watched television until the 10 o'clock news came on. She would then tell me to make her a cup of Rosie Lee and then to wash everything up afterwards. One evening as I handed her the cup she said, "Thank you my Rosie Lee maid," and then laughed. The name Rosie Lee maid stuck and she began to call me that whenever I was dressed, but soon afterwards she swopped the order to maid Rosie Lee, eventually shortening it to maid Rosie, the femme name I've used ever since. Audrey also began to give me more household tasks to do, simple ones at first like washing up after dinner, or peeling vegetables before it, then hoovering and dusting and I began to spend more time in my uniform and heels at the weekends as well as during the evenings. Gradually her manner towards me began to change, she was still very warm and friendly, but the words please and thank you became far less frequent. It was also when I realised that I'd started to think about her sexually and began to feel more resentful when she went out with one of her numerous gentlemen friends and even more so when she entertained them at home and I had to spend lonely evenings in my bedroom.

Another major event occurred approximately around this time when quite by chance (though now I like to imagine it was pre-ordained by fate) I went into the newsagents across the road from my technical college and on a rotating stand inside the door I discovered a magazine called Madame. It advertised itself as being an "illustrated journal dedicated to the appreciation of the dominant female" it was a small format, about A5 I think, cheaply produced with a colour photograph on the front cover and black and white drawings inside most of which looked fairly amateurish and it cost the princely sum of 60 pence. After the briefest flick through I bought a copy and that evening read it through from cover to cover. I was captivated and thrilled by its contents (even though I suspected that most of the stories, and so called true experiences were extremely unlikely to be true) and knew I'd found my métier and I continued to buy it until after several changes of name and format it ceased publication. Although I was very aware of wanting to be like the men it portrayed as being subservient, I was only dimly aware that I probably also wanted Audrey to be more dominant towards me than she was.

It was probably this combination of sexual interest and my emerging desire to be dominated that caused me to do something totally out of character and which had life changing consequences. One evening Audrey was getting ready to go out to bingo and I was polishing the banister rail in the hall. She gave herself a final check in the mirror and retouched her lipstick, then said more to herself than to me, "Mustn't overdo the lippy, I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb." With the benefit of hindsight that was exactly what she did look like, a middle aged woman wearing a very short leopard print skirt, a low cut blouse, faux fur jacket and too much make up, but I said something like, "No, you could never look like that, Audrey. Just super glamorous and your lipstick is perfect, you'll be the belle of the bingo hall." She turned and gave me one of her sly, "I know what you're thinking," smiles and said, "That's very sweet of you to say so." There was brief pause which made me feel slightly embarrassed at what I'd just told her and then she asked me, "Have you ever tried wearing lipstick, Rosie?" I told her no I hadn't and she said, "You should, I think you'd enjoy it," and before I could reply she walked across the hall lipstick in hand.

My knees were trembling as she stopped in front of me and told me to pucker up. I pouted my lips and she wiped the lipstick across them then told me to open my mouth slightly. I opened up and she said, "Not that wide, you're not at the dentist," I closed my mouth a bit and she very slowly and carefully applied more lipstick. It the most erotically arousing experience I'd ever had. Her close proximity, I could feel the warmth of her body and feel her breath on my face, the heady aroma of her perfume and most of all the thought that only seconds before the lipstick had been in contact with her own lips. She put the top back on the lipstick and told me to take a look in the mirror. Instead I blurted out, "God Audrey you are just so gorgeous," and made a grab for her. I had been intending to put my arms round her waist and kiss her, but somehow one of my hands ended up on her bottom (well that's my story and I'm sticking to it) and she jerked her head sideways so my chin went over her shoulder. I don't quite know how I was expecting her to react, but was completely unprepared for what actually happened.

She grabbed the hand that was on her rear and pushed me away and off balance before spinning me around and bringing her right hand down hard on my bottom. She hit me several times across both buttocks as she shouted, "How dare you?" I hung my head in shame and mumbled apologies but she wasn't placated. She said, "Don't ever do that again. You deserve to have your bottom well and truly smacked you randy little bugger." I knew it was true and that's exactly what I did deserve but all I could find to say was, "I am so, so sorry Audrey. I couldn't help myself, you were so close and looked so unbelievably sexy I couldn't help it," I thought I'd got away with it but she said, "Follow me," and stalked off into the parlour. Obediently I walked behind her thinking she was going to tell me to pack my bags and go. But she took off her jacket and sat down in an armchair and I stood in front of her with my cheeks burning with shame. She said in a much calmer voice, "Get across my lap." I looked at her in a mixture of alarm and excitement and squeaked, "Why, what are going to do?" She replied, "I'm going to do what your mother should have done years ago and teach you right from wrong. Now for the last time get across my lap."

I was more excited than frightened as I moved to her side and bent over her legs. She pulled me to the left a bit until she was satisfied with my position. Then she hoisted up my uniform skirt, and began to smack my bottom, this was before I'd discovered the delight of wearing petticoats. After a few blows she stopped and pulled down my knickers saying "We'll have these out of the way" then resumed my punishment. If I thought it was going to a playful little smacking I was very wrong, her hand was broad and hard and her right arm surprisingly strong and after a very short time I was in genuine pain. And yet it was also somehow arousing, I'd been caned twice when I was at school but that was six strokes given by prefects, boys older than myself, this was the first time I'd ever been so close to a woman's private parts and certainly the first time I'd been hit by a woman, I was torn between wanting the pain to stop or for Audrey to keep on smacking me.

After what seemed like an eon she stopped, roughly pulled up knickers and told me to get up. I stood up put my wig straight and started to apologise, but she stopped me short. In a different voice she said, "Let that be a lesson to you not to grab women. I've known for ages that you fancy me and that's understandable in an inexperienced young man and I'm flattered you find me attractive. I've no objection to you wanting to kiss me, but you should ask first and absolutely no grabbing my bum. If I want to you to touch me I'll tell you. Now you may kiss me." I couldn't believe my ears and hesitated before leaning forward and gently kissing her cheek and saying "Thank you, Audrey." As I went to straighten up she grabbed me round the shoulders and pulled me close and then kissed me, on the lips. My head was spinning as I felt her tongue push past my lips and into my mouth and touch mine. My backside was stinging like anything from the punishment, but her tongue was moving around inside my mouth and I felt I was in heaven and that any moment I might explode.

Then she suddenly stopped kissing me and stood up. She took my hand and led me out of the parlour and up the stairs, my heart was beating nineteen to the dozen and I was nervous and excited in equal measure. She opened the door of her bedroom and for an instant I was gripped with an urge to run. She switched on the light and I remember the hideous purple bedspread and row of teddy bears along the pillows. She let go of my hand and turned on the bedside lamp and instructed me to turn off the main light saying it would be more cosy. When I'd done it she came very close and once again I was overwhelmed by her perfume. She said, "Turn round," and when I'd done it she unzipped my uniform and eased it off my shoulders and let it drop. As I stepped out of it and tore off my wig she started to pull down my knickers. When she reached just above my knees I bent down and hooked my thumbs into them pulling them off and then removing my shoes. I was naked apart from my stockings and felt inadequate and vulnerable desperately hoping she wouldn't comment on my skinny physique and hairless chest.

I turned around to face her but she'd turned the other way and was unfastening her blouse. Over her shoulder she said, "Unzip me, darling," and I struggled first to find the zip on her skirt and then to pull it down. Once the zip was undone I pulled it down to the floor and was shocked to discover a possible reason for never finding any knickers in the ironing, she wasn't wearing any! Without being asked I unclipped her rear suspenders, it's much easier than twisting round with your back to a mirror. She thanked me and asked me to help with her bra catch. Again I fumbled with it for several seconds and when it did come apart the weight of her breasts pulled it forward and almost out of my hands. I looked around for somewhere to put it and her skirt and put it on a wickerwork chair with yet another teddy bear sitting on it.

When I looked up she was lying on her back on the bed and I remember feeling a tiny pang of disappointment that she looked a lot less glamorous naked than she did fully clothed, but I was still very excited and was hardly going to stop. She said, "Hurry up, darling I'm getting chilly. Come and show Auntie what your made of." It was the first (and also the last) time she'd ever referred to herself as Auntie. I clambered onto the bed and the nylon bedspread did feel chilly on my knees. I shuffled forward and lay on top of her but she said, "Oof, don't squash me, darling. Be a gentleman and take some weight, use your elbows." I put both elbows on the bed and made a wild, wild stab at her groin, which didn't come anywhere near the target. She sounded irritated as she told me, "Not like that, move up a bit," then I felt her right hand on my very hard penis and her left hand on my bottom. She guided me into position and then pushed my bottom saying, "In you go, nice and slow. Take it easy and be gentle, and remember there's no rush."

It felt very weird but not unpleasant and Audrey said in a much softer voice, "That's the way, back and forward nice and slow," then after a few seconds she added, "I didn't mean that gentle, you can go harder than that, I want to feel something." After that there was no more conversation and when I tried to kiss her again she turned her head sideways and told me, "Not now." I didn't know exactly what to expect, except it was supposed to be wonderful, the best feeling in the world. It didn't last long and to tell the truth it didn't feel particularly special. She stroked my hair and asked me, "Feeling better now," as if I was recovering from a cold, before pushing me sideways off her. I lay next to her on the chilly bedspread for a couple of minutes hoping I might get another bite at the apple and things might improve with practice, but she told me, "That's it my darling, playtime's over, off you go." I got up and she called out, "Don't forget your clothes." I gathered them up and went back to my own room feeling disappointed and confused. It took me a long time to figure out that the probable reason none of her gentlemen friends ever stayed the whole night was that she didn't want them to see her first thing in the cold light of morning, before she'd "put her face on" as she called it.

Back in my room I consoled myself by looking through my stash of magazines and shortly afterwards heard Audrey go downstairs and the front door shut. I tried to work out whether I'd enjoyed being put over her knee more than I had making love to her and decided that I probably had because there wasn't actually any love involved, it was simply a sex act. I did think about confessing that to her and possibly showing her some of my mags, but I had a very strong suspicion she wouldn't approve and consider them to be pornography. She was a strange mix of contradictions, although she smoked quite heavily and definitely liked a tipple (usually neat gin) she was always railing about the evils of drugs. And though she obviously had a very active sex life with several different men she could be very prudish about what she called smut. She was just about alright with the innuendo of Carry On films but anything even slightly more suggestive was a definite taboo. If any TV program had anything remotely sexual in it she would switch channels saying, "We don't want any of that." This was a very common attitude back then. It is difficult to convey just what a grey, austere and joyless place provincial Britain was in the early 1970s. There was the oil crisis and garages ran out of or rationed petrol, the government seemed to be locked in an endless war of attrition with the trade unions, there was a seemingly never ending succession of strikes, resulting in power cuts and the three day week, television closed down at 10:30 at night and the IRA were exploding bombs all over the place. It was the first year I was old enough to vote and had to do it twice because we had two elections only nine months apart. Eating out meant a quick visit to the chip shop or if you were feeling very adventurous maybe an Indian or Chinese. Needless to say Audrey was very much a bacon and egg for breakfast and meat and two veg for dinner person, her idea of exotic food was bright orange spaghetti out of a tin and when she made sandwiches it was a choice of processed cheese slices or luncheon meat in white sliced bread that had the appearance, texture and taste of a bleached bathroom sponge. I suppose most of us knew no better.

At breakfast next morning very little was said and Audrey appeared preoccupied; and when I tried the to raise the subject of my bad behaviour the previous evening she either ignored me or changed the subject telling me to hurry up or I'd be late. At lunchtime I skipped eating and went to a chemist's shop where I bought my first ever lipstick in a shade as close as I could remember to one Audrey had put on me the night before, I told the assistant it was a birthday present for my girlfriend but I was convinced she must have known from my nervous behaviour that it was for me. All afternoon I kept looking at the clock, impatient to get home and put it on. That evening I slipped upstairs as soon as I'd finished eating and changed into my heels and uniform and then experimented applying the lipstick. It was much trickier than it looked, possibly because my hands were trembling with excitement, and it took me some time to achieve anything like the appearance I wanted. Ever since that evening I've worn lipstick (and much more besides) whenever I'm what I call properly dressed as opposed to being in plain clothes. However, nothing has ever quite matched that wonderful first thrill of having Audrey apply it for me.

I went down stairs and found Audrey in the parlour. She looked at me and must have noticed the lipstick but said nothing. I sat down on the sofa next to but not that close to her and opened the conversation. I said, "Audrey, about last night I just want you to know how," I never got to speak the words "sorry I am for what I did," because she interrupted me. She said, "Least said soonest mended, Rosie dear. But you know what will happen if you do anything like it again. Though from where I was sitting you did seem to be rather enjoying it. A lot of men do like that sort of thing." I must have been blushing because she went on, "That lipstick suits you, it matches the colour of your cheeks." I couldn't think of anything more to say so we just watched television until she told me to go and make the tea, but I was now certain she knew all about my secret desire to be dominated.

This was confirmed by subtle changes in her behaviour towards me over the next few weeks. She became much bossier and gave me a lot more housework to do, loading the washing machine, cleaning the bathroom and even pulling out the fridge to clean behind that, worst of all was cleaning the cooker, which looked like it hadn't been done since the day it was installed. The thought I'd been eating food cooked in it rather turned my stomach. Sadly, the one thing never once asked me to do was clean her shoes and I was far too embarrassed to tell her just how much I longed to polish them to a mirror finish for her. But I was actually very happy, I was wearing my high heels, uniform, wig and lipstick nearly all the time I wasn't working and Audrey was being quite strict with me. There were even three or four occasions when she gave me another smacked bottom, I can't now remember what they were for, except the first was forgetting to do something she'd told me to do and none of them was for making a pass at her. They hurt a great deal at the time, once she even made me cry, but I was always exhilarated and thrilled immediately before them and elated after them. I fervently hoped that they would be followed by another visit to her bedroom but they never were, they were simply punishments. On one occasion I dropped what I thought was a gentle hint but she told me, "No, Rosie there's not going to be a next time, and maybe there shouldn't have been a first time, besides now you've popped your cherry it's high time you found a nice girl your own age, you should get out more, go to a disco or something. Aren't there any girls at work you fancy?" The sad truth was that there weren't any young women at work and even if there had been I doubted if they would have been interested in me. Another far more important truth was that I wasn't interested in nice girls my own age, only in finding a woman who would properly dominate me, and of course who would let me wear my high heels and uniform.

As the year drew to a close I made a decision that sealed my future, but as the old saying goes before the dawn comes the darkest hour. The previous Christmas I'd gone home to my parents and spent a miserable week as my male alter ego doing very boring things, singing carols, going to church, watching the Queen's speech on TV and eating and drinking too much. By this time my personality as Rosie had developed to the point where I wanted to keep my slim figure and I was being careful about what I ate. So I used the excuse of a transport strike not to go home but to spend Christmas at Audrey's. Secretly I also hoped that once her mood had been mellowed by seasonal goodwill and gin I might get invited back to her bedroom, and she was happy to have my help with the domestic chores. But it didn't quite work out as either of us had planned.

On the Friday before Christmas I got back from work to find Audrey sitting in the kitchen drinking tea with a girl or young woman of approximately my own age. I smiled nervously and said, "Hello" or "Good evening," or whatever. The girl replied, "Hi. I guess you're the lodger, mum's told me all about you." I was totally and utterly confused, I didn't even know Audrey had any children; she'd never mentioned any, didn't wear a wedding ring, and this girl looked nothing like her, she was tall and rake thin with long dark hair. Worse, just how much did the word "all" mean in the context of "all about you." As if to confirm my worst fears Audrey said, "This is my daughter Elaine, home from university and she's brought sack loads of washing with her so you're going to be busy darling." I mumbled something and fled to the safety of my room to take stock. At first I felt angry that Audrey had broken her promise about my secret being safe with her and not blabbing about it to others. Then I realised that the bargain of me doing the ironing in exchange for her silence was more in my head than in anything she's actually said and my anger turned into a combination of embarrassment and fear. I worried about what exactly she had told her daughter and even more about what Elaine might do with that information. In the end I decided there was nothing to be gained by speculation and went down to dinner.

Conversation was, not to put too fine a point on it, rather one sided. Audrey and her daughter obviously had a lot to do in the way of catching up so I did more listening than speaking. I learned that Elaine was in the final year of her degree at Durham, which made her 18 months to 2 years my senior, had recently had a big bust up with her boyfriend and was planning to spend a year teaching English abroad before deciding on her career, her mother wanted her to go into teaching but Elaine wasn't sure. Occasionally she would ask me a question about what I did and where I was from, but it was pretty obvious she wasn't interested in my replies. I could have said I was a visiting alien from the planet Zog and I doubt she would have noticed. Then as I was about to get up and say I'm sure they had a lot to talk about so would spend the evening studying in my room she asked, "So how come you like ironing so much?" I froze and mumbled something, but Audrey wasn't going to let me get away with that. She said, "That's not all he likes, is it sweetheart? You be sure to change before you come down. Elaine is dying to meet Rosie." I wanted the earth to swallow me up and can't remember what I replied as I left the room as quickly as I could with my cheeks burning.

Back up in my bedroom I thought briefly about what I could do to get out of what I knew to be inevitable and decided the only available course of action was to try and make the best of it. Audrey hadn't given any clue as why her daughter was so keen to meet what by then I considered to be the real me, maybe it was mere curiosity, maybe she had an interest in me for other reasons. There was only one way to find out, so I quickly changed into my uniform and put on my 5 inch heels and carefully applied my lipstick, put on and adjusted my long wig, took a deep breath and went downstairs.

As I entered the kitchen trying to look anywhere but at Elaine I heard first a rasping of chairs on the floor and then a loud whoop of derisive laugher. I stood stock still and looked straight ahead, this was long before I'd learned to curtsy. "He really is a little sissy boy," Elaine cried. "What a pretty boy – I don't think. "Go on, Rosie, gives us a twirl." The expression "give us a twirl" was a well known catch phrase from a hugely (and to me inexplicably) popular television game show of the period where the male host invited his leggy female counterpart to display what she was wearing by twirling around to cries of encouragement from the studio audience. Obediently I turned round a few times and stopped. "Not very good is he," sniffed Elaine dismissively, "I hope he irons better than he looks and twirls." Even though I knew I didn't look anything like as convincingly feminine as I would have liked I found that deeply hurtful. Audrey said, "He's OK and anything's better than having do to it yourself. Go and get your stuff and you'll see." Then to me she said, "Wash this lot up first," and gestured at the table crowded with plates and dishes, "then you can start on the laundry."

I started on the washing up and soon after the girl appeared carrying two bags overflowing with washing and put them down next to me. As she was going back out the door she stopped, turned round and told me, "No, I shouldn't be the one carrying my own bags. You do it, there are three more up in my room. Go and get them and don't touch anything else." When I continued running water into the sink she said in a much louder voice, "Now." I went and got them. They were large black rubbish sacks also stuffed to the limit and a bit whiffy. It looked like she'd saved up an entire term's washing. I lugged them back downstairs and she was still in kitchen and when I walked in and almost shouted, "Don't drag them, carry them you idiot. They cost money." I very nearly said something like if she was that concerned about them then maybe she should look after them a bit better but thought it better not to antagonise her.

All that evening and for most of the next day I was busy laundering her clothes and also cleaning and polishing a pair of well scuffed shoes, this was before trainers became everyday wear. As I worked the polish into the distressed leather I wished it was Audrey's knee boots I was cleaning, but alas that never happened. Several times Elaine came to check on my progress and berate me for something she thought I had got wrong or hadn't done to her satisfaction and generally give me a hard time. I saw much less of Audrey and when I did I asked her why she hadn't mentioned her daughter before and she replied, "Why should I? It's none of your business." With her daughter around she was almost like a different women, this was the first time I experienced the fairly common phenomenon of women in a group being far more unpleasant than any of them are on their own.

That evening Audrey went out, dolled up to the nines so it was probably to meet one of her gentlemen friends rather than to bingo and I was apprehensive about being left in house with Elaine. I could see that unlike her mother she had an unpleasant side to her nature, I don't think she was actually a sadist but she certainly enjoyed insulting and humiliating me. But shortly after her mother left she went out too and I thought I might be able to put my feet up for the rest of evening or even to catch up on my studies which I felt I'd been neglecting. It wasn't to be. About half an hour later I heard the front door open and shut again and then Elaine's voice calling, "Rosie, Rosie, where are you? Come here." I quickly went out into the hall and Elaine had another girl with her, about the same age only shorter and sturdily built with light brown hair. Elaine pointed at me and said to this girl, "There, told you so. A real live sissy transvestite." Then to me she said, "Have you finished all your jobs, Rosie?" I answered that I had and the other girl came closer and looked at me like I was an exhibit in a museum or some strange animal in a zoo. I felt very uncomfortable. Elaine snapped her fingers at me and ordered, "Go and make us a cup of tea," but as I was turning to go she said to her friend, "No, we'll forget the tea and have some of mum's gin." The other girl giggled and said, "A drop of mother's ruin to keep the cold out." I asked, "So no tea then?" Elaine said in aside to her friend, "See it talks as well," and then to me, "Of course not you idiot. Bring us two glasses in the parlour," and pair walked off giggling like schoolgirls.

I brought them the glasses and Elaine told me to wait and then poured two hefty measures. Then she said, "This is my good friend Jen, she wants to ask you some questions and if you don't want your arse smacked you'd better answer them." She added to her friend, "Actually mum reckons he likes that so maybe we'll do it anyway. Right he's all yours." The girl smiled pleasantly and I thought her face rather reminded me of a rabbit then said, "Oh. Hello, er, Rosie. I'm Jennifer, as Ellie just said, and I'm interested in why you like dressing as a woman. When she told me Auntie had, had, well, someone like you living in her house I asked her to let me see. Don't worry about what Ellie said just now, I not going to smack your bottom, or anywhere else." She smiled again and said, "Unless you really want me to that is." She laughed to indicate it was intended as a joke and continued, "I just want to ask a few questions about why it is that you do what you do. Is that OK?" Elaine butted in irritably, "Don't ask him. When he's dressed like that he's a maid, a servant, a nobody, order him and he'll do it." The girl named Jennifer ignored this and repeated her question, "Is that OK with you?" I answered, "I suppose it must be as what Elaine just said is basically true. May I ask why you want to know?"

Elaine made an exasperated sound but Jennifer smiled again and told me, "It's quite simple. I'm currently doing the casualty segment of my nursing training and the other week we had what we thought was an elderly lady brought in unconscious after being knocked down in an RTA (road traffic accident) but when we examined her to assess her injuries it turned out to be a man dressed up as a woman. Afterwards we were having a bit of a laugh about it and sister tore us off a strip. She said people who dress in the clothes of the opposite sex were sick in the head, psyche cases, and it was our duty to care for the sick not laugh at them, but later staff Walsh told us that they turn up fairly regularly, like people with things jammed up their rectum, and laughing about it was one of the perks of the job that keeps us sane, only don't do it front of the patients or let sister catch us doing it. I looked it up in the library (no google back in those days) and most of the books reckoned the reason for doing it was sexual and described it as a perversion or deviancy. But the old boy who came in must have well past the age to be interested in sex. When I asked staff about it again she told me that when it came to men and sex then age or common sense didn't enter the equation and she'd long since stopped being surprised at seeing the unfortunate results of what they get up to for pleasure. So what I want to know is, why do you do it and is it sexual? Is that OK?" At this point Elaine sighed, "Oh for Christ's sake," got up and helped herself to another slug of gin. I just hoped Audrey wasn't going think I'd been the one raiding her bottle.

I would have dearly loved to go somewhere else to talk with Jennifer without Elaine, but Audrey had a strict no visitors in the bedroom policy. Not just because she seemed genuinely interested and rather nice, but at that time nurses had quite a reputation for being, in the parlance of the day, goers. That is ready for sex at the drop of a hat. They were paid a pittance and most of the junior ones lived in spartan nurses' homes attached to the hospital and were widely rumoured to be prepared to pay for a decent meal in a restaurant in kind so to speak. Not that I had the money for such an extravagance, but hopes springs eternal as the saying goes, especially when one is young and the sap is still rising. Anyway, it was academic because Elaine obviously had no intention of going anywhere.

Rather nervously at first I started to tell Jennifer my story, pretty much as I outlined in my first e mail to you and above in this one. There might have been a bit more detail about the early days that I've now long forgotten and obviously I left out everything about my feelings for Audrey and the one time I visited her bedroom. Many years later I did confess everything and Jennifer claimed she'd suspected it, if not actually known, almost from our first meeting. She listened carefully without making any comment but at the end she said, "Well you've told me a great deal about what you do and how you do it, which was all quite interesting, but you haven't actually answered my questions about why you do it." At this Elaine seemed to wake up from her torpor and said in a loud voice that probably had more to do with the gin than anything else, "No he hasn't." Then in an even louder and slurred voice, "I told you what we'd do, what I'd do, if you didn't answer. Bend over and get your arse in the air."

I bent over with my hands dangling around mid shin so as not to over balance in my heels and Elaine walked over and lifted my skirt, then gave me an almighty whack with her hand, then a couple more. I could tell from the erratic nature of the blows that she was if not actually drunk then well under the influence. Jennifer said something about this not being necessary and Elaine snapped something back at her that I didn't quite catch. Then to me snarled, "Stay there," and stomped out of the room. Jennifer got up and told me urgently, "You don't have to do this or anything else she tells you. I don't want this, any of this, I simply wanted information. I think she's squiffy, and if I were you I'd go upstairs and lock yourself in until morning." But I knew it was no use, I knew I couldn't do that and besides there was no lock on the door. So I stayed where I was, bent over.

My back was aching by the time Elaine returned and I could just see that she was carrying a long thin canvas bag that I recognised at once as holding a fishing rod. She undid the tapes and pulled out the sections, I could tell from its hexagonal cross section that it was split cane or built cane meaning it would be both stronger and far more flexible than plain bamboo. Elaine took the top section and grunted something about this being more like it, then there was brief pause followed by a swishing sound and suddenly a pain like I'd never known in my backside. It felt a hundred times worse than the cane I'd received at school and I gave a loud yelp. Elaine snarled, "Shartt tupp," slurring her words and gave me another swipe. I gasped and gripped my legs to prevent myself falling over and then Elaine let loose a volley of strokes that lasted seemingly forever. Eventually I let out a scream or shouted something and fell sideways and then I was aware of Jennifer shouting something and Elaine shouting something back. I wasn't really paying attention to anything except the pain in my bum. Then it all went quiet and I realised I was alone. I stood up and very, very carefully rubbed my rear. I could feel it burning hot through my knickers. I went very carefully and quietly up to my room and put the armchair against the door. Jamming a door with a chair looks so easy in the films but in reality it doesn't work. But at least I would know if anyone tried to get in during the night. Not that I slept as I was in far too much pain.

The following morning when I went down to breakfast the first thing Audrey did was demand to know what had happened to the gin. I told her truthfully (as far it went) that the previous evening Elaine had brought an old friend home and instructed me to take two glasses into the parlour, but I hadn't seen her leave or Elaine go to bed. She gave me a hard suspicious look and asked if I'd had any, to which I answered that I'd never touched spirits in my life, not last night or at any time previously. She made a dismissive noise and muttered something about the two of them must have been really loaded and would be regretting it today. I found the thought of Elaine with a massive hangover rather comforting, at least I wouldn't be the only one still suffering that day. I spent most of the day putting up Christmas decorations with Audrey and trying to avoid sitting down, Elaine remained nowhere to be seen.

Late in the afternoon there was a ring on the doorbell and Audrey went to answer it while I made myself scarce in the kitchen. I heard herd her say, "Hello," in recognition and then a murmur of voices before the parlour door shut. I carefully opened the kitchen door a crack and listened and while I could make out the odd word, I couldn't hear what was actually being said. Some considerable time later the kitchen door opened and Audrey entered and told me, "You have a visitor, darling." She stood back and in walked Jennifer wearing her nurse's uniform, and looking much smarter and quite a bit older than she had the previous night in jeans. I felt very embarrassed and didn't know what to say then Audrey said, "Well, I'll give you two a bit of privacy. I'll only be across the way if you need anything." Then as she went through the door she said archly, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do." Which I thought pretty silly as I imagined there wouldn't be much she wouldn't do herself in the right circumstances. Jennifer replied, "All right, Auntie I'm not staying long," which caused me a pang of regret.

Still feeling embarrassed I said, "Would you like to sit down?" or something equally daft and then, "You look very smart." She sat down with an exaggerated sigh and said rather crossly, "What is it about men and nurses uniforms? Whenever I go past a building site dressed for work I get wolf whistled and "hello darlinged" and "come and give us a bed bath" and all that stuff but then I walk past the next day in ordinary clothes and absolutely nothing. It's not me they're seeing it's my uniform." She made a tutting sound and looked straight at me. I apologised, though I didn't see why I should be apologising for other people's behaviour and said, "I'm sorry. I meant no offence I couldn't think of anything else to say, and it was true in that you do look smart, more of a young woman than a girl I suppose. Sorry." Then because I still couldn't think of any way to break the ice I asked her, "Why do you call Audrey, auntie?" She said, "Why do you call her Audrey?" I countered with, "Because that's what she told me to call her. In fact I only discovered her surname when I picked the post off the doormat one morning." I could hardly tell her the reason I wanted to know was that the one time Audrey had referred to herself as auntie was in her bedroom. She smiled the same rather sweet smile I remembered form the night before and said, "Touché. Shall we start again?" I told her that was fine by me.

She asked with professional directness, "How are you feeling today?" I replied, "In a word, embarrassed." She shook her head and said, "No, I meant physically. How's your backside?" Resisting the urge to be sarcastic I answered "tender" or "sore" pretty much as you'd expect. She looked serious and said, "I've brought you something for it," then poked around in her handbag and brought out a box containing a toothpaste like tube which she put on the table. She said, "If I'd known that was going to happen I would never have asked you those questions. In fact I wouldn't have come in the first place. I'm sorry." I thought that was nice of her but I still felt aggrieved and thanked her rather peevishly before asking, "Why did you come?" she didn't smile as she said. "I told you. I wanted to know why you wanted to dress as a woman and if it was sexual. I had no idea Ellie was going to do that. It was out of character but then she was quite squiffy."

I thought "squiffy" a wholly inadequate term for her state of inebriation and from the little I'd seen of Elaine it seemed entirely in character but instead of saying so I asked, "How come you two are such old pals? If you don't mind me saying so you don't seem to have a great deal in common. And while we're on the subject of booze, you do realise that your auntie thinks it was me that guzzled her gin, don't you." She smiled again and said, "Don't worry I've set auntie straight about that, she knows it wasn't you. Little Miss goody two shoes she called you. And no, I didn't tell her anything else, though don't blame me if she guesses the rest of it. I've known Ellie ever she moved here when I was about three or four, my parents live a few doors down, we were at school together, in the same class, became best friends, she and I played together in each other's houses and I've always called her mother auntie. Though ever since going up to Durham we've grown apart a bit, she's changed quite a lot, now she's heavily into women's lib and civil rights, that sort of thing. Just before she came home her boyfriend dumped her for someone else, she thinks he'd been two timing her for a while before that so she's got a real downer on men at the moment, and you caught the backlash. Sorry about that. Talking of which let me take a look at that rear of yours."

I dodged letting her do that by asking, "What about her father, was auntie as you call her ever married?" She shook her head as she said, "You're very nosey aren't you? Nosey Rosie, we should call you." It was my turn to say "Touché," but I persisted by saying "I'm no more curious than yourself, you want to know all about me." She smiled again and said, "OK. There was a man at the very beginning when they moved in, that would have 1958 or 1959 but I wasn't really old enough to remember anything about him. I think he was in the army or it might have been the navy, he definitely wore some sort of military uniform and then he just sort of disappeared. That's why auntie starting taking in lodgers, to help pay the rent. So far as I know they were never married but I can't be certain, if you really want to know ask her yourself. Now it's your turn, mister. You answer my questions. Why is it you want to wear women's clothes, and is it a sexual thing?"

This was the moment I'd been hoping to avoid, mainly because I didn't understand it myself. I decided that my only sensible option was complete honesty. I said something like. "To be honest I don't really know myself, I started quite young and it felt right, almost like escaping out of myself and into another person. And the longer I've done it the more right it feels as though Rosie is the real me and the other me, the me the world sees, is the impostor. Earlier you said your uniform makes people look at you in a different way and merely by wearing it you become almost another person to them. I bet it makes you feel different too, certainly more professional, more in control, maybe more the person you want to be or would like to be. When I'm dressed as Rosie I not only look different, but I feel different and certainly think differently and act differently and I feel very calm and relaxed and at peace with myself. Does that make any sense? Because if does then maybe you can it explain it better to me than I can to myself." She said nothing so I went on, "Maybe there is a sexual element but not a massive one. There certainly is a sensual element. The clothes, especially the underwear feel soft and sensual against my skin, almost like being caressed by very soft loving hands, much nicer than Y fronts or boxers."

I stopped and there was a long and awkward silence before she asked, "So do you want to become an actual woman?" I was certain on that one and answered, "Absolutely not. I want to be a man who dresses in lovely soft women's clothes." She didn't look terribly convinced and asked, "So why the wig and the lipstick?" I said something about them helping me get deeper into the character of Rosie. She was getting uncomfortably close to the truth when she said, "Rosie the maid, why a maid, why not Rosie the something else?" I said it was relatively easy to get a maid's uniform in big sizes to fit me and having first tried it I decided I liked it. I knew she knew I was holding something back because she went off in another direction, "And if Rosie ever had sex would you want it to be as a man or a woman? That confused me a little and I told her so. She didn't smile and said slowly as if I was a dimwit, "I mean do you want to bat for the other side, are you a woofter, a queer, a nancy?" She sounded almost cross. I got agitated and told her, "No way, not a chance, apart from the clothes I'm normal." She looked at me in a way that said, "Pull the other one," and asked, "And what about what Ellie said about you liking being hit on your bottom, liking pain? Was that true?" I hesitated just long enough for her to realise I was being evasive when I replied, "No. What she did last night was B painful, no one could enjoy that."

She gave a knowing smile and said, "Which brings us neatly back to your bottom. I think it's time I took a look." I pushed my chair back in alarm scraping it noisily across the floor and said, "No, it's fine. Thanks for the cream. I'll put some on tonight. She stood up and said briskly, Nonsense, I'll do it for you. It won't take a minute, besides I want to inspect the damage you might need something else in the way of treatment." A statement I found almost as exciting as I did alarming. She walked towards me and instructed me in what I would come to call her nurse's voice to "Stand up and pull down your pants and bend over the table for me." I backed away saying, "No really it's not necessary, it'll be fine." Her voice changed ever so slightly as she said, "There's no need to be shy, I am a nurse and I've seen dozens, if not hundreds, of bottoms." Then in a voice of sweet reasonableness she said, "So stop being silly and do as you're told." Nine short words but the minute she uttered them I knew I was powerless. Looking back this was the instant I realised I was falling in love with her. Here was a woman who was kind and caring but who would also stand no nonsense, brook no argument or challenge to her authority and even better seemed genuinely interested in me. I argued no more and just did as I was told. It was to set a pattern that would last nearly 45 years.

She peered at my bum and said, "That does look nasty, your skin's broken in several places, fishing rods were never designed to be used as canes. Hold still." There was a brief pause and then I felt the coolness of the cream and then her fingers gently massaging it in, round and round. It was the most wonderfully erotic experience of my life to date. Then she went over a particularly sore patch and I gasped and clenched my buttocks. She said sharply, "Hold still. Don't be such a baby and just be grateful you aren't actually a woman or you'd have to experience the real pain of childbirth, then you would have something to complain about." Very shortly afterwards she gave me a gentle pat and said, "All done. You can pull your pants up now." I bent down very quickly and pulled them up keeping my back to her hoping she wouldn't notice my very real and highly embarrassing erection.

When I turned round she was smiling what I now thought of as a very sweet smile indeed and as I smoothed my clothes down she said, "I must be going, auntie will be wondering what we've been up to all this time." Suddenly I didn't want her to go and so I asked, "Was that useful? Are you any the wiser now." She turned up the power on the smile and said in what I hoped was a meaningful way, "Yes, thank you. I'm much wiser now." As she turned to go I said the first thing that came into my head, "What are you doing over Christmas?" Which very nearly came out as, "Are you doing anything special over Christmas," which would have been just about the most fatuous thing anybody ever said to anyone as a chat up line. She replied, "I'm working earlies Christmas day and boxing day so not much apart from catching up on sleep. What about you?" I said, "Pretty much the same, well not working on Christmas and boxing day obviously just nothing much, probably watching telly." She smiled again and said, "Well have fun. Merry Christmas. Bye." And before I could think of anything else to say she was gone. I heard the sound of voices in the hall and then louder goodbyes and then the door shut.

Audrey came back into the kitchen and said, "That was a very long time for a quick chat." Then she spotted the tube of cream on the table and picked it up and asked me, "What's this then?" I told her it was just something Jennifer had dropped off for me. She squinted to read the label (I didn't know at that time she needed reading glasses but never wore them when there was anyone else around) then handed it to me saying, "I hope you haven't been doing anything you shouldn't." I flushed and said, "Of course not." She said, "Well see that you don't, especially with young Jennifer. She's a good girl, a very nice young lady. And she seems to have taken a liking to you, you lucky lad. Play your cards right and you could be in with a chance there. If I was you I'd swop that outfit for a decent suit and ask her out dancing." I was elated to hear that, but mumbled that I very much doubted it. She shrugged and said, "Suit yourself sweetheart, There's no pleasing some people."

Monday and Christmas eve were normal working days, but on both of them I hoped to see Jennifer at Audrey's but was disappointed. Elaine continued to be bitchily unpleasant to me, criticising everything I did or said and Audrey was busy with Christmas preparations, though on both evenings both them went out leaving me at home and in peace. Christmas came and went and I spent it pretty much as I would have done had I gone back to my parents, except I was spared going to church, and at times I almost wished I had gone back, but had I done that I wouldn't have been able to wear my heels, I'd have been limited to just underwear so I counted myself ahead the game. On Friday I went back to work and found it difficult to think of anything but Jennifer and how I'd almost certainly blown any chance I might have had of seeing her again. Neither did I see her over the weekend and as I went to work on Monday I reasoned that since her parents lived just a few doors away, if she was going to call on Audrey again then Christmas and the following weekend would be the most likely time. But as in so many other things I turned out to be completely wrong.

When I got back from work I was seriously thinking about asking Audrey where exactly Jennifer's parents lived but as I came through the front door she called out to me. I went into the kitchen and there to my great delight was Jennifer, who even wearing makeup looked much younger in jeans and a woolly jumper than she had in her uniform. I said, "Oh, hello. Did you have a nice Christmas?" or something equally trite and she said, "Yes thanks. Very busy at work, there should be a new crime of drunk in charge of an electric carving knife. Yourself?" I said, "Fine thanks." There was an awkward silence until Audrey stood up and said, "I'll leave you two to continue this sparkling conversation together," shot me a significant look which could have meant anything and went out. Jennifer asked me, "How's your rear now?" and I said "Getting better, thanks. I did think I might see you over Christmas." "Why was that?" I tried to give her what I hoped was a winning smile and said, "Well. You know." She replied, "No I don't know, that's why I asked. Have you got indigestion?" I stopped trying to smile and said, "No. Well I thought you might be visiting your aunt since you live so close. I did think of calling to wish you Merry Christmas or give you a card or something but you didn't tell me exactly where you lived so I couldn't." She smiled a knowing smile and said, "I see nosey Rosie is fishing for information again. I don't live there, it's my parents who do." There was another brief lull in the talk and then she said, "Come with me. Since you're so keen I'll show you and then you'll know for the future. I'll just tell auntie we're going for a walk." She managed to make the word "walk" sound rather suggestive.

She told Audrey exactly that and as she turned to join me I could see Audrey making circular motions with her hand as though she was stirring a pudding horizontally behind Jennifer's back. I had absolutely no idea what she was trying to tell me. Her parents' house was 3 or 4 doors down the road and as she unlocked the door Jennifer said, "Don't look so worried, my parents are out so no one's going to grill you." She must have seen my expression change because she quickly added, "But don't get any ideas." I told her I hadn't and wouldn't and she acidly replied, "You'd better not," which was hardly the start I'd hoped for. Inside she lost no time in coming to the point, she'd hardly taken her coat off before she said, "Right, let's have a look at your bum." I said, "What" or "pardon" or something and she repeated slowly, "I want to look at your bottom. See how it's healing. Drop your trousers and pants." I thought about saying something about her not being uniform meaning she was off duty but knew I'd be wasting my time, besides the thought of her feeling my bottom cheeks again rather appealed. I did as I was told and she had a good look and a quick feel before saying, "That's healing up nicely, are you still using the ointment?" I'd stopped the previous Friday but I told her I was still using it. She gave my bottom a gentle slap like one might give a horse and said, "Good, that's fine. Get dressed." I pulled up my knickers and trousers and wondered what next.

She sat down and gestured at another chair at right angles to it and I sat down. Then she said, "You weren't telling me the truth the other evening were you? At least not the whole truth. But that's not what I wanted to ask you. What are doing tomorrow night (New Year's Eve) I know auntie's going to the knees up in the Green Man (the local pub) and Ellie has other plans, but what about you? I answered, "Nothing much, watching the telly probably, or I might just give the whole thing a miss and have an early night, why?" She gave me that sweet smile again and said, "Well since you were lonely this Christmas I wouldn't want you to be lonely on New Years Eve as well, there's a party at the hospital if you want to come." This was a joke, of sorts, the Christmas number one single that year was a called Lonely this Christmas a truly diabolical dirge that it was impossible to avoid on the radio. I looked at her to see if she was making fun of me, but it was impossible to tell. Rather stupidly I asked her, "What sort of party?" She gave an exaggerated sigh and said, "I'll give you three guesses, and it isn't a birthday party." I tried to hide my embarrassment as I said, "OK." She sighed again and asked, "Is that OK you understand, or OK you'll come?" I felt even more embarrassed and said, "It means thank you and yes I'd like to come. Shall I pick you up here?" She told me very firmly, "No. I'm on lates. Meet me just inside the main entrance, that's the one before you get to casualty, at 11 o'clock sharp and bring a bottle. Not Spanish paint stripper from the off licence, something decent. I can't stand cheapskates who bring cheap wine and then spend the evening drinking someone else's beer. And don't spend the evening in the pub and turn up sozzled, and don't be late." I think I loved her even more for the way she gave me very clear precise instructions. I don't know if was my imagination or mere fantasy, but even then I thought I could detect the hint of a threat should I not fully comply with them.

When I didn't move she said, "That's it you can go." I answered, "I thought you said we were going for a walk. I've still got loads of time." She didn't smile as she said, "A walk, where to? The end of the road and back." I tried to conceal my disappointment as I replied, "We could look at the stars, or failing that the street lights." She said, "Down boy! There'll be plenty of time for that tomorrow night. Off home with you." I said, "OK, you're the boss," and stood up. She said, "Say that again." I asked her, "Say what?" And she told me, "What you just said," to which I answered, "I said you're the boss." She then said, "That's right, I'm the boss and don't you forget it." I assured her I wouldn't and then wished I'd come back with something snappy like, "If I do I'm sure you'll remind me," but you always think of these things when it's too late. When I got back Audrey demanded to know, "What are grinning about? You look like the cat who's had the cream and come back for seconds." I told her Jennifer had invited me to a New Year's Eve party and she said, "Told you that you were in with a chance," then her tone of voice changed and she said, "And you see you behave yourself, I told you she's a very nice young lady, you treat her with some respect." I really didn't need to be told but I just answered, "Of course I will."

All next day I was tenterhooks and worrying about what to wear, should I get a haircut, put on aftershave. At lunchtime one of the other trainees who was far more worldly (wouldn't have been difficult) told me "Just be yourself and don't look too keen." Then he gave me some useful advice, "Take a bottle opener and don't let it out of your sight, if people have to come to you then you'll never go short of company and odds on you'll get your end away." Much as I might have wished to get my end away as he so coarsely put it, I was much more interested in impressing Jennifer. But on the way home I went into a supermarket and bought something called a waiter's friend, a combination of corkscrew, can opener and bottle opener, and a bottle of Chianti in straw wrapping and a few tins of beer. I went home feeling fully prepared.

By 10:45 I was hanging around the hospital entrance with my purchases in a carrier bag, looking at my watch and then the clock every 90 seconds and wondering whether I should have had a bath rather than a shower, used a bit more aftershave, worn different clothes and worrying if Jennifer was going to turn up at all or if she'd just been teasing me. By 11:05 I was sweating, I was still in my parka and the hospital reception was overheated, but it was mainly nerves and the fear she wouldn't turn up. Five minutes later and I was panicking and sure everybody was looking at me wondering what I was doing. Then through the swing doors beside the reception desk came Jennifer, who came straight up and said, "Not late am I? Good, let's go then. We don't want to be late," as though I'd been the one keeping her waiting. We went out the main door and down the side the of building, in through another door and down a maze of corridors before emerging into the cold night air again opposite another building. We went in to it and there was another desk where she had to sign me in, then she led me down the hall by the staircase through yet another set of doors (by this time I was worrying about how I would find my way out again) where we stopped. She said, "Give me your coat and the bag and wait here," I gave her my parka and the bag and she went through another door and disappeared. The minutes ticked by and a few people came passed and looked at me but none of them spoke. Once again I began to fear Jennifer was playing games with me, but just when I was starting to panic again she appeared from the opposite direction to one the she'd left, she'd changed into jeans and a Tee shirt and I noticed that she was carrying just the beer I'd brought and then remembered the waiter's friend was in the pocket of my parka, which was God's knows where by now. She grabbed my arm and said, "Come on, Rosie." Then she said, "I can't call you that in front of the others, what is your real name?" I told her my other name, stressing the word other was Paul, and she said, "Paul it is then, this way."

We went back the way we'd come through more doors, down a flight of stairs and then I heard the music. It got louder and louder until finally she stopped in front of a pair of wide double doors and pulled one open and we went in. The noise was deafening and the air thick with smoke that made my eyes smart and I thought how odd that these doctors and nurses all seemed to be doing incredibly unhealthy things; risking their hearing, drinking like it was going out of fashion and smoking like chimneys. Jennifer led the way through the murk to a long table with a buffet on it put the beer down and picked up a couple of paper plates and began loading food onto them. She gave me the plates and opened two of the cans. I looked around for somewhere to sit down but there didn't seem to be any chairs. So we stood by the table and shouted in one another ears while eating with our fingers and drinking beer straight from the tin, hardly the romantic evening I'd envisaged. As soon as we, or rather she, had finished Jennifer dragged me onto the dance floor and we gyrated around to Status Quo's Down, Down, while bumping into and being bumped by other couples. I began to wish I'd never come, this was definitely not my scene but there was no way I could leave even had I wanted to, I didn't know where my parka was or even how to find the way out.

The smoke was making my throat sore so I went back to the table to get another drink only to find the beer I'd brought had vanished and all that was left was half empty bottles that probably contained what Jennifer called Spanish paint stripper, there were no soft drinks. I tried asking a few people where the toilets were in the hope of getting a drink of water but either they couldn't hear me or were too drunk to understand. So I gave up and went to look for Jennifer, who was nowhere to be seen. Then there the music stopped and people started shouting and then someone grabbed my hand and I was in a long line of people all chanting a countdown. Then as the countdown reached zero a deafening cheer went up and everyone started singing Auld Lang Syne while flailing their arms around. Everybody seemed to kissing everybody else and I suddenly realised I was between two other men and felt a stab of panic that it might be deliberate, then relief when I realised they were each busily kissing the girl the other side of them. Then we all let go and the music started again only this time slow numbers, the kind of dance where you can get up close and personal. Through the smoke I saw Jennifer dancing with a tall guy much older than herself and felt illogically hugely jealous and also sad. I decide to leave anyway and get my parka later. As I was pushing my way through the crowd to the exit Jennifer stopped dancing and headed me off, "Where are you going?" She demanded more than asked. I said, "Home, I seem to be well surplus to requirements here, there's nothing to drink, nowhere to sit down, and you seem to having a far better time without me. I need some fresh air." She grabbed my arm and said, "Wait," then led me to behind where the disco was set up and there three chairs. She pushed me into one and said again, "Wait here. Five minutes, don't move."

I waited a lot longer than five minutes while the resentment built up inside me and when she did return I was all prepared to tell her a few things. But she disarmed me with that sweet smile of hers and said, "OK it's all fixed we can go now." I had no idea what she was talking about but she took my hand, her most intimate gesture yet, and led me back to the main entrance. As we got closer to the desk she said quietly, "Do exactly as I tell you and don't argue." She then signed me out and took me just outside the doors. She put her face very close and for one wonderful second I thought she might kiss me but instead she gave me more instruction; "Go to the far end of the building and turn left down a narrow alley, at the end turn left and about a third of the way along you'll come to a set of metal doors marked Keep Clear, wait there. There may be other people there already but don't worry just wait. Now go." Then she did kiss me lightly on the lips and went back to doors and waved at me as I went off feeling very chilly in just my shirt.

I found the doors without any difficulty and there was no one about, but as I waited two other blokes about my age came along and waited with me. After a few minutes there was a metallic sound and the doors opened slightly and a female head looked out and beckoned us in. We slid through the doors and the girl closed them behind us. She looked at me and asked who I was waiting for. I told her Jennifer and she then asked, "Which one?" and of course I didn't know. I was trying to describe her to this girl when I heard Jennifer's voice say, "It's all right Lorraine he's mine." The girl called Lorraine smiled and took the other two off. Jennifer smiled and said, "You found it OK then. Follow me and keep quiet." We went up two flights of stairs and as we ascended the décor got more institutional and utilitarian rather like a school, with unshaded fluorescent lights and large red fire extinguishers mounted in wall recesses. Then we turned a corner and Jennifer produced a key an unlocked a door with a number on it. The room was small and very cramped inside, with two beds, two wardrobes or cupboards, a desk and two chairs. Draped over the end of one bed was my parka and on the desk the bottle of Chianti together with four non matching glasses and some snacks. Jennifer closed and locked the door before saying, "Home sweet home." Then looked at me and said, "Sit down, you make place look untidy." I sat on the bed.

She sat down next to me and asked, "What were you getting so huffy about?" I tried not to sound cross as I replied, "Apart from being dragged into a kippering shed, being deafened, abandoned, not getting to kiss you at midnight and then having to watch you dance with other blokes while I stand around like a spare whatsit at a wedding you mean. Nothing at all, I don't know what I'm complaining about." She said, "Neither do I. We're here now, on our own, with a bottle of wine, some eats and plenty of time." Then her tone changed and she said in a teasing voice, "I do believe you were jealous. Open that bottle." I rummaged in my parka pocket for the corkscrew and told her, "Too bloody right I was jealous, who wouldn't be?" She went, "Oooo, touched a nerve have I. I see you came prepared, you must have been a boy scout." I said, "I thought that was the girl guides. No I wasn't, it was just a bloke at work said bringing a bottle opener was a sure fire way to … " then I stopped before I got any deeper into the hole I was digging for myself. But she finished the sentence for me, "Get me into bed I suppose. Not a chance. It'll take far more than a bottle of wine." On the spur of the moment I said, "Suppose I threw in a bag of crisps?" She laughed and said, "What flavour?" I held up the two bags on the desk and replied, "Ready salted or cheese and onion." She smiled again and said, "Bad luck I fancy smokey bacon," I laughed too and said, "I could go to the shops." I saw she was trying not to giggle as she told me, "They're closed. Shut up and pour that wine." I poured two glasses and carried them over and sat down on the bed. No sooner had I sat down than she demanded, "Where are those crisps you were promising me?" I went and got them and we sipped the wine and munched the crisps while I tried to think of something to say.

After what a few minutes she said, "This isn't that bad." Then she asked, "Were you really jealous?" I knew the smart thing to do was play it cool and deny it, but since I already admitted it there seemed no point so I said, "Yes I was. I thought, hoped, you'd invited me because you wanted to see in the New Year with me, and it didn't happen and I didn't even get a dance a slow one with you, some other bloke did instead. Who was he, someone special? " She didn't smile and answered, "No. He's a houseman, a very junior doctor, and when you say dance with me what you mean is grope me, isn't it?" "Not at all," I said untruthfully, "well maybe just a little if you didn't object." She made a "Huh" noise and said, "You men are all the same, so predictable. But seriously I didn't do it deliberately. Set out to upset you or make you jealous that is, it just happened that way. Still, consider it a just punishment for lying to me the other day. Why did you do it? Why not tell me the whole truth?"

I drank some wine and said flippantly, "I didn't realise I was on oath. Maybe I like being a man of mystery." She said sharply, "Or maid of mystery, perhaps. Look I'm trying to be serious here. Trying to understand you, it would be good if you could at least make some effort." I said, "OK then but what makes you think I was lying?" She looked directly at me and said, "The guilty look on your face when you denied what Ellie said about you enjoying pain, what I've read since about fetishists and transvestites frequently being masochists and your behaviour ever since. Every time I go anywhere near the subject you act all shifty, like a man with something to hide." To avoid answering I asked her, "So you've been reading up all about me then?" "Yes I have, and I'm right, aren't I?" Still trying to avoid answering I said, "I'm flattered," to which she snapped back, "You should be. Now answer the question, why did you not tell me the truth."

I avoided looking at her as I said, "Because I wanted you to think well of me or least no worse than you did already and it's not true that I like pain, because I don't, it hurts. But I thought if you knew the whole truth you'd want nothing more to do with me, think me weird or odd. But most of all I don't really know why I do it or what I want out of it. I'm sorry." She said, "So you think I'm incapable of deciding a person's true character, that I can't deal with the odd, with anything out of the mainstream do you?" I said, "I don't know what I think except whatever I say I can't win." She replied, "Of course you can't win, you're a man. Never argue with a woman because you'll always lose, it's a basic law of nature. Now give me some more of that wine." I looked up and saw she was smiling, not the sweet smile that made my heart turn somersaults, but smiling all the same. I poured her some more wine and she said, "Thank you. And for the record I don't think you're any of those things. I think you're different and interesting and while I do have a professional interest in pain and how different people experience it in different ways and that was my original reason for wanting to meet you, my interest in you is now entirely personal." She said something else but I'd stopped listening as bells and fireworks seemed to be going off in my head.

Then she said, "Now we've got that out of the way, I haven't had a midnight kiss either. I hope you're not going to make a habit of keeping me waiting." I nearly dropped my glass with shock. Then she leaned sideways and kissed me. I turned sideways and put my arms round her and thought I was in heaven. We kissed for a very long time, but every time I tried to put my hands anywhere else, like her thigh, she very firmly pushed them away so I gave up trying and concentrated on kissing her. Then there was scratching sound followed by a sudden crash as the door flew open and a couple lurched in both of them obviously well under the influence. They sat on the bed opposite and started getting very intimate indeed. Jennifer said, "That's Carol by the way and, err, whatever his name is." Carol stopped getting personal for long enough to say, "Simon. His name's Simon," and then went back to kissing him. Jennifer said, "That's right, Simon. You change them so often I forget." Carol mumbled something back which was lost somewhere in Simon's mouth. I silently cursed Carol and envied Simon because it was very obvious that he was going to get a great deal more than I was that night.

Jennifer stood up and picked up the bottle and said, "Thanks for spoiling a great evening Carol," gestured to our coats and opened the door. I picked them up and joined her in the corridor. She took a swig from the bottle and said, "Bloody Carol, she knew it was my night." Then realising this might give me the impression she took men up to her room on a regular basis she added, "I suppose she just assumed that because I've never used it in the past there wasn't going to be a first time." I could have given her a sceptical look or said something like "I believe you," in a voice that said I didn't but instead I said, "It's all right I don't mind, I've still got you." She said with surprising vehemence, "I bloody mind. I had plans." This conjured up all manner of images in my head, but I never did find out what she had been planning.

She let me out through the fire exit and then met me at the corner of the building. It was very cold and I suggested we go and sit in the main part of the hospital, but she said too many people would want to know what we were doing and she would be recognised. So instead we went to an area with some flower beds next to the car park and sat on a bench and finished off the wine while we shivered. I put my arm round her and said, "Well at least we got to look at the stars." We kissed a bit more and I told her there would be no one to overhear if she wanted to ask me anything else or tell me anything. She said, "Like what?" And I said, "Like anything." She said, "I'm still not sure I believe you about this pain thing and I don't want you to lie to me. I'd far rather you told me unpleasant truths than lied to me," which reminded me of Audrey and her shaming the devil. I said, "OK, much as I don't want to leave you the pleasure of freezing my arse off on this bench is beginning to wear decidedly thin. Why don't you go back in the warm and I'll see you tomorrow, or even today." She replied, "I'm on lates again tomorrow and I want to catch up on my sleep so it'll have to be after 11 pm and it's Carol's turn with the room. Same thing Thursday." Disappointed I asked her, "What about Friday? After you finish work?" she considered this and then said, "OK then, if you like." We agreed to meet in Brandon Hill (a city centre park) by Cabot's tower at 6 o'clock on Friday and I walked her back almost to the door and we kissed briefly goodnight and I watched her go inside.

Even though I knew it was pointless I walked to the bus stop and checked the timetable. The first bus wasn't scheduled for hours and I didn't know if they'd even be running on New Years day. It was a long, long trudge back across the city to Audrey's, but at least walking meant I was slightly less cold than I would have been standing at the bus stop and when I got home I found she'd locked the front door and I couldn't get in with my latchkey. It was a little before 5 am and I didn't dare ring the bell and wake her up. I walked round in endless circles trying to keep warm, part of me was freezing, part of me was ecstatic because I'd kissed Jennifer who seemed keen to take things further and I was going to see her again in less than 72 hours, part of me kept wondering what exactly it was that she had plans to do before Carol's arrival spoiled them, but part of me was also worried about having to tell her the whole truth about the way I felt about her because I most definitely felt I wanted her to dominate me.

Audrey didn't unlock until almost 7:30 and immediately demanded to know where I'd been and what I'd been up to. I went into the kitchen and warmed my fingers on the kettle while it boiled and told her everything bar my visit to Jennifer's room. That she'd turned up late, the "party" was a big affair with a very loud disco, very crowded and incredibly smokey, that after seeing in the New Year Jennifer and I had sat on a bench outside looking at the stars drinking wine and talking for so long that I missed the last bus and walked home. She was very suspicious and I wanted to tell her not to judge other people by what she might have done in the circumstances but had enough sense to simply insist that I'd behaved like a perfect gentleman a fact Jennifer would be happy to confirm and that I was seeing her again on Friday after work. To add insult to injury when I went up to my room to change I discovered I'd left my waiter's friend corkscrew behind. I never did get it back.

I was on tenterhooks until Friday evening, counting down the hours but also worrying about how, rather than if, I should tell Jennifer everything. I was desperate not to lose her, but after her lecture about honesty I was also determined neither to lie to her nor try and conceal the truth through silence. It was also not the kind of thing I could ask anyone's advice about. I could hardly ask anyone, "I've just got my first ever real girl girlfriend, I'm potty about her but how do I tell her I want her to be the dominant partner." I began to feel increasingly guilty about my stash of mags in the wardrobe, though it didn't stop me buying the next issue.

As soon as I finished work on Friday I caught the bus into town and killed twenty minutes drinking foul coffee in a nearby café. I was at the rendezvous with more than five minutes to spare, but I needn't have worried as Jennifer didn't arrive for at least another fifteen. She walked up and said, "Hi, let's go and get a coffee." I had been hoping for a kiss or at least a "How are you," or "did you get home all right the other night," and the last thing I wanted was more bad coffee but I just said, "OK, sure," and we ended up in the same café I'd left less than half an hour earlier.

She talked for what seemed like ages about work and the people at work as though I knew them and how Carol was causing difficulties while I listened not understanding a word. Eventually she said, "So where are you going to take me?" I was stumped because I hadn't even considered it, I had thought we were going to have a serious talk then maybe find a dark corner to kiss and cuddle in, but obviously I was wrong. I asked what she wanted to do and eventually she decided on the pictures. We went to a film, I can't remember anything about it except it starred Jack Nicholson and we sat in the circle and Jennifer wouldn't sit the back row but did let me put my arm around her. A couple of times I tried to kiss her and she dug me in the ribs with her elbow. I spent far more time admiring her profile than I did looking at the screen. Afterwards we shared a big bag of chips while waiting at the bus stop. I gave her my handkerchief to wipe the grease off her fingers and she looked at it suspiciously before asking me, "Is it clean?" I said, "Of course," and she spat on it, used it to clean her fingers and handed it back to me. Very romantic.

I went all the way back to the hospital with her hoping to be invited in. Alas it was not to be and at the door she gave me a kiss, of sorts, it was hardly passionate, and just said, "Thanks," and started to walk inside. I cried out quite loudly, "Is that it? Just thanks." She looked surprised and answered, "What do you mean is that it?" I tried not to sound as cross as I felt as I said, "Well thanks for a lovely evening and seeing me home would be a start, and lets meet up tomorrow would be even better. A decent kiss wouldn't go amiss either." She looked at me for several seconds before answering, "And do you think you deserve any of those? You didn't make any preparation or think about what we were going to do, tried to grope me in the cinema and hardly said a word to me on the bus, hardly a hot date. I thought you were keen on me."

I was upset and flabbergasted and said, "I don't understand. You didn't tell me you wanted to go the pictures, if you had I'd have taken you to whatever you wanted to see. Every time I try and get romantic or touch you you react like I'm contagious. Of course I'm keen on you, a lot more than just keen actually, I had hoped we might have a serious talk about us, but all I'm getting is hands off signals. Why don't you just tell me you what you do want rather than have a go at me for doing things you don't want." She looked serious and said, "Fair comment. OK, meet me here tomorrow at 10 a.m. and we'll talk, but be prepared to tell me everything, no holding anything back, nothing at all, and I'll tell you what I want. OK?" I said that was fine by me and she said, "Good, now you may kiss me goodnight." I gave her a long and passionate kiss and held her very tight but eventually she broke away and told me, "That's enough, for now anyway. See you tomorrow. Don't be late." I was getting used to her always telling me not to be late when she was the one who never arrived on time.

I spent a long time that night worrying about how I should tell her everything the following day rather than how much. I decided to take a couple of issues of Madame to show her and then wasted more time trying to select two issues that were not quite as explicit as the others, and in the end gave up and just picked two consecutive issue at random. I figured if they were non consecutive she would assume (correctly) that the issues(s) in between contained something I wanted to hide. I was in position well in advance of Jennifer's 10 o'clock deadline, it was so chilly that I went inside and told the woman behind the desk I was waiting for a friend. The minutes ticked by and she asked me the name of the person I was waiting for so she could check if they were in or not. I had a moment of confusion as I realised I didn't actually know Jennifer's surname and was trying to explain this when a door opened and through it came Jennifer looking much bulkier in a heavy coat and scarf. She greeted me more like a stranger she'd just met and then told me, "Come on we haven't got all day." As soon as we got through the door she said, "I thought I told you to meet me here outside, not in the building." I replied, "You did but it's perishing out here, I went in for a warm." She said very curtly, "Next time do as you're told, or there won't be a next time after that. Now I'll have to explain who you are, and there'll be gossip." I said nothing and tried to hold her gloved hand but she pushed me away.

We caught the bus into town and spent the rest of the morning shopping. To be more accurate Jennifer spent the entire morning going into shop after shop after shop and wandering round in seemingly aimless circles looking at clothes, handbags, cosmetics and other things at random while I traipsed along. We alternated from the bitter cold outside to the stifling heat of the shops. Had we gone into a shoe shop I might have offered to buy her a pair as a belated Christmas present, but while we seemed to go into every other sort of shop imaginable, she didn't even glance in the windows of the shoe shops. Occasionally she would ask my opinion about some item or other which I tried to give with diplomacy and honesty and eventually I asked, "What is it exactly you're looking for? I might be able to help you find it." She answered, "Nothing, I'm just looking. There might be a bargain in the sales." Even though I felt like screaming I just said, "I see," even though I didn't see anything except a morning wasted.

We had an early lunch in a pub and were sitting on a grubby, slippery plastic corner seat when at last Jennifer asked, "So, serious talk time. What is it you want to tell me?" I found myself lost for words and floundering at first as I desperately tried to put how I felt about her and what I hoped she felt about me into coherent sentences. I got the impression she was enjoying watching me struggle, but that may have been wishful thinking. In the end she took pity on me and put her hand on my thigh and said, "Enough. I've heard enough." I stopped staring at the table top and looked at her. She said, "What I think you are trying to tell me or possibly confess to me is that not only do like wearing women's clothes and shoes, and doing laundry, ironing and other housework but being beaten also turns you on and that you are rather hoping I might do something similar to Ellie, though probably not as severely. That you also feel ashamed about it but not enough to want to stop. You also clearly fancy me but are far too embarrassed ever to just tell me how you feel or what you want." She stopped expecting some sort of response. Before she could say anything else I told her, "There's more." I pulled the two mags out of my carrier bag and pushed them sideways along the table in front of her, opened at a page with no pictures. I said, "For some time I've been buying and reading these, but they're just a fantasy." She picked one up and flicked through it quickly, then did the same with the other. She went back to the first and read a couple of items in full while I stared at the table top.

Finally she asked, "Are you hoping I might do things like this to you?" I shook my head without looking up and said, "No. Definitely not, and I don't believe most of it anyway." She said, "Well believe this; there is absolutely no way I would ever do anything like this to anybody, my job is to heal, to ease pain not to cause it. It's not going to happen, No way. Never. Why do you read stuff like this?" It was a good question to which I didn't have a good answer. I said, "It's fantasy. It's like watching horror films, they're exciting, thrilling, but you wouldn't want the things you're watching to be happening in real life. I knew you'd think I'm a perve."

She told me quietly, "I don't think you're a perve, a bit strange possibly but I also think your different and interesting and rather sweet, maybe because there's something of a lost soul about you. I quite like the idea of a man who wants a woman to be in control rather than himself, and I definitely like the idea of a man who wants to do the washing and ironing. I like your beautiful manners, you fancy me enough to try it on every so often, which is flattering, but you stop when I tell you to. I like the fact you don't try to make me do the things you want to do, I like the way you don't talk endlessly about football, page 3 girls, and cars, or stare at other women. I like the way you don't complain, well not much anyway; this morning you even came round the shops with me and though I could tell you hated every minute you didn't say a word. Most boys would have gone off in a sulk to watch football, but you stuck with it. There is a lot about you that I like. If there wasn't I wouldn't be sitting in this grotty pub talking to you."

I wished she'd said men rather than boys which implied she thought me immature, or maybe she thought all men my age were immature, but otherwise I was feeling on top of the world. I said, "Thank you for the character reference. I thought I was going to end up feeling sick as a parrot but instead I'm over the moon." These were two expressions used by just about every footballer of the period in post match television interviews and I had intended it as a joke but it fell flat and she didn't smile. Instead she said, "Leave the comedy to Morecambe and Wise. Come on. Time to get back to the battery and change, I'm on at two." I was flummoxed and said, "What battery?" She laughed and said, "The nurses' home, it's known locally as the battery because it's packed with ever readies." At that time the firm of Ever Ready was the biggest manufacturer of batteries in the country, it was to torch batteries what Kellog's was to cornflakes. I asked her, "And are you ever likely to be ready?" She replied, "Down boy! Don't spoil it now, I could easily change my mind about you." I said, "I was only asking," and she replied, "Well don't." I said, "OK," and we left.

I escorted her back to the hospital and at the door she gave me a kiss and said, "You did all right today, you got off to a bad start but you made up for it later on, especially by being honest." I said, "I didn't know it was test, when can I see you again?" She replied, "You don't know much do you. Same time tomorrow if you like. Be here at ten." I asked her, "What's there to do at 10 o'clock on a Sunday?" She moved quite close and said quietly, "I'm sure we'll think of something to do," then her voice changed and she said, "But if you don't want to, then fine, forget it." The way she said it told me she meant turn up or forget about ever seeing her again. So I told her, "No. Of course I'll be here. See you tomorrow at ten." She gave me a quick kiss and said, "Good boy, you know it makes sense. Don't be late." Once again I wished she hadn't used the term boy. The phrase "you know it makes sense" was used in road safety campaigns in the 70s to encourage people to wear seat belts in the days before it became compulsory and, rather like sick as a parrot, it became a popular catch phrase of the era. From that day on it was something she would often tack on the end of an instruction, especially if I looked as if I might be going to quibble.

Sunday morning found me waiting outside the nurse's home in the cold, and even though this time I'd worn gloves and paced up and down like a sentry I was still chilled. Eventually Jennifer emerged carrying a large bag and said, "Brrr it's nippy this morning. I'm not sure this was a good idea of yours." I stood there wondering what to say, whether to remind her this was her idea not mine or just to accept the responsibility when she laughed and said, "Only kidding. Come on slowcoach you can't stand around here all day playing statues, we've got a bus to catch." I took her bag and we walked to the bus stop and then, to my amazement got on a bus going back the way I'd just come. I asked her where we were going and as cool as you like she replied, "My parents." I asked, "Why didn't we meet there then, or at Audrey's?" She smiled sweetly and told me, "Because I wanted you to meet me at work. Besides this way you have the pleasure of my company for longer." There was no answer to that, so I shut up.

We went to her parents via Audrey's and thankfully Elaine was either out or more likely hadn't yet got out of bed. Audrey greeted Jennifer warmly and said, "I see you two are getting on like a house on fire. Tea?" She replied, "No thanks auntie, we can't stop I only really called in to say hello and drop this off for Paul, I mean Rosie, we're just off to see mum." She turned to me and said, "That's a little present for you." I unzipped the bag and it was full of washing, or rather dirty clothes that needed washing. I started pulling them out and Audrey said, "Rosie'll have those done by Tuesday, unless you're in a hurry," like I wasn't there. Jennifer replied, "Thanks auntie," then to me, "Leave that for now, you can look at it later. Come on or we'll be late." She turned back to Audrey and said, "He's very slow. Bye auntie." And that was that. We left.

On the way to her parent's house Jennifer explained she wanted me to wash and iron everything in the bag and she would collect it during the week. She warned me to take special care with her uniform which had to be pressed to perfection. I was introduced to her parents, Joyce a school secretary and Stan a railway electrician, as "Paul, who's staying with auntie Audrey," and we had tea. Jennifer went upstairs with her mother and I made stilted conversation with Stan which was definitely a trial. When she returned Jennifer declined the invitation to stay to lunch saying she had to get back to work and we left shortly after. On the bus back to the hospital I pointed out that if would have been easier just to drop the washing off and I could have been doing it rather than shuttling around all over the place. She simply said, "But I want to do it this way," and I figured it was probably some other sort of test so I said no more. As we said a brief but affectionate goodbye I asked when I would next see her and she said, "I'm on earlys next week so not Monday, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday evening." I watched her go inside before going back to catch my fourth bus of the day.

Back at Audrey's and having missed lunch I felt like warming myself with my feet up and relaxing, but I had that big pile of Jennifer's washing to do so I quickly got changed and stuck in. As I was sorting it into loads Audrey came in and said, "I see she's got you on a string. Well you could do a lot worse, sweetheart. Mind you, she could do a lot better than you. She could bag herself a doctor and end up a lady of leisure." I thought that was unlikely since she'd told me a joke about doctors that went, "What's the difference between God and a doctor? God doesn't think he's a doctor." But I didn't share that with Audrey, I just got on with Jennifer's washing.

I didn't see Jennifer again until Thursday evening when I arrived home from work and found her sitting in the kitchen in her uniform. We said hello and she kissed my cheek more like a sister than a girlfriend. I told her I'd had the washing ready since Tuesday night and she told me she'd been busy, which rather irked me because I'd been busy too and desperately missing her. She examined my efforts with her washing and checked her uniform with particular thoroughness before saying, "They'll do." Nothing else, no thank you, or you've done a good job, just they'll do. She stayed to eat an evening meal with us and afterwards she asked to use Audrey's bathroom and went upstairs to change into her clean uniform. When she came back down she handed me the old one and told me to have it ready by Sunday at the latest. She also gave me another bag of other washing to do as well then handed me the other bag of freshly laundered clothes and told me to get my skates on. I escorted her back to the hospital but this time she let me in via the fire exit so I could carry the bag up to her room. We sat on her bed and kissed and cuddled for quite a long time, but I didn't want to miss the last bus so I had to leave earlier than I would have liked. As she let me out she told me, "I think I'm going to enjoy our little arrangement." I said, "I hope it's a rather more than just an arrangement," and she replied, "Be a good boy and who knows what might happen." Once again I wished she hadn't used the word boy and went home wondering if this was the real thing or if I was being taken for a Charlie.

That pretty much set the pattern for the next couple of months. My life revolved around work, and doing her laundry, and when I wasn't working, studying, or travelling I was in my heels, uniform and wig washing, ironing or doing other housework for Audrey. When Elaine went back to university my workload became a bit less hectic, but as well as doing Jennifer's washing I was doing almost all of Audrey's housework as well, squeezing in my studies as and when I could. I usually saw Jennifer 3 or 4 times a week though sometimes for no more than half an hour when she dropped off or collected her laundry. Most days I felt completely drained by bedtime, but I remember it as a time when I was far happier than I'd ever been before. Once or twice Audrey punished me for careless mistakes, I was probably daydreaming (fantasising) about Jennifer or maybe just plain tired, putting me over her lap and using her hand. But on one occasion she used a slipper which really hurt and I remember lying there wishing it was Jennifer doing it to me. On Valenties's day I sent Jennifer a card and was hurt when she didn't give me one in return saying it was all nonsense.

Things changed in mid March when I spent the money I'd being saving for a new pair of shoes and another uniform on an old motorbike. I was 6th or 7th hand and was a couple of years older than I was. If I still had it today it would be worth serious money as a vintage classic, but back then it was just clapped out. Like all British machines of that era it leaked oil like an old sock and with Jennifer on the pillion it struggled with the steeper hills, and applying the brakes resulted in loud rubbing sounds, a smell of burning and an alarmingly small diminution of speed, but it brought freedom. Freedom from the tyranny of bus timetables, freedom to see Jennifer more or less whenever we weren't working, and the freedom to take her to a far wider range of places. One weekend we went across the Severn bridge and into Wales for the day and once to Burnham where we lay on the beach and swam in the mud coloured sea. I had hoped Jennifer might wear a bikini but she had a one piece cozzie like they wear at the Olympics. If she was working the early shift, I would go straight from work to the hospital and skip dinner to spend the evening with her before returning to Audrey's, often with a bag of washing slung over my shoulder.

This was a very good time for me, I was wearing my heels while working as a maid virtually every evening and seeing Jennifer several times a week. I shaved off all my body hair and began to experiment with using make up other than just lipstick and bought my first bra. At first I filled it with screwed up tissues and then pairs of knickers, I did also try balloons partially filled with water but that wasn't very successful and I was always worried one of them might burst. I didn't get proper breast forms until the early 80s well after we were married. It was also around this time that I began cleaning Jennifer's shoes on a regular basis. Either when I picked her up or dropped her off we would go up to her room and I would sit on her bed happily buffing her shoes to a shine while she either chatted to me or read one of her nursing text books. I was often tempted to sniff them or even kiss them, but since Jennifer seemed to have a third eye in the back of her head I never dared to do it.

Jennifer became noticeably more bossy, though she called it authoritative, and mercurial, but I loved her even more for it as I was falling even deeper under her spell and becoming more submissive. I used to fantasise about her whipping me more often than I did about having sex with her. The only small cloud was when Elaine briefly returned at Easter and my workload increased dramatically and I struggled to cope. This resulted in her twice beating me with the fishing rod, but I still had plenty of the ointment Jennifer had given me at Christmas and soon she was gone again.

Then it was summer and I was finished with college and studying for a couple of months so had more time to be with Jennifer. It was a gloriously warm fine summer, though not the absolute scorcher we had the following year, and we would often spend evenings in the park talking and holding hands and of course we did a lot of kissing. Behaving like any other courting couple in fact and I began to look into the possibility of renting a flat so we could move into together. But in mid July something massively significant occurred. We were in Jennifer's room at the hospital, I'd finished doing her shoes and we were sitting on her bed listening to the radio and talking and kissing when I put my hand on her knee. For once she didn't push it off so after a few seconds I began to slide it slowly upwards until it was just on the hem of her uniform. She continued to kiss me enthusiastically and I slid my hand under her skirt and all the way up till I could feel her knickers. She still didn't react so I leaned heavily sideways and began to push her back on the bed, we kissed madly and she stroked the back of my neck with her hand as we wriggled together. I hooked my forefinger into the waistband of her knickers. It was like flicking a switch, suddenly she rolled sideways and simultaneously pushed me away tipping me off the bed and onto the floor. She leapt up like a tigress and shouted, "What the hell do you think you're doing?" In an instant my lust was replaced with remorse and shame and I mumbled apologies about thinking it was what she wanted and not being able to resist temptation, but she was not to be fobbed off with excuses. She said, "Get up," in a quieter but very determined voice, then said, "I should have known. You men all the same, only after one thing." I thought this comment unfair but just continued to try and apologise. She went to her wardrobe and got out a rectangular leather backed clothes brush and told me, "Sorry. I'll make you sorry. Bend over and touch your toes," and thwacked the brush into the palm of her other hand.

My heart skipped a beat and I did as she instructed, I was wearing boring street shoes so balance wasn't a problem. I heard her thwack the brush a couple of times and then she said, "No not like that, undo your trousers and pull down your pants. We'll do this properly." I distinctly remember I was wearing very pale blue knickers with white broderie anglaise trim and soon they were round my ankles. Jennifer turned up the radio very loud, I assumed to drown out any noise, Johnny Nash was singing "Tears on my pillow" which somehow seemed appropriate, my knees were trembling but I also had an erection. I couldn't decide whether I was more frightened or excited. From the very first stroke I knew Jennifer meant business and this was going to properly hurt, as I wrote previously she was not a skinny slip of a girl but a well built young woman, and as I was discovering she had a powerful right arm. I struggled to keep still and not to cry out in pain but for the last few strokes I was gasping and Ahhing and making other strange noises. She stopped at twenty, possibly because the radio was no longer masking the noises I was making, and sat on the bed. I straightened up and saw her face was flushed and she was breathing very fast.

I sat down beside her and wished I'd remained standing, my bottom was stinging and burning but my heart was singing. I whispered, "Thank you. I know I deserved that. I'm very sorry." She looked at me and said, "So you should be. You deserved ten times what I gave you. Oh, stop crying you big baby." I hadn't realised I was, but they weren't tears of pain they were tears of joy. I knew then that there would never be, could never be, anyone else for me but her. I put my arm round her shoulder, she made a half hearted attempt to shrug it off but I held tight as I told her, "I love you so much Jennifer, so much it hurts far more than what you just did, I don't ever want to lose you, it hurts just to be parted from you. I need you to keep me on the straight and narrow and you don't how much I wanted you to do that." I started to say something else when she interrupted me by saying, "So you are a masochist. I knew it." I tried to deny it by saying what I wanted was to be corrected because I felt guilty for what I'd done rather than because I enjoyed it. She pointed at my still very erect penis and said, "Unlike you that doesn't lie, now pull your trousers up." Just then somebody next door banged on the wall and she got up and turned the radio right down.

I pulled up my knickers and trousers, fastened my belt and collected up my other bits and pieces and went to the door. She asked me very abruptly, "What are doing?" I replied I was leaving and this time she demanded, "Why? What do you think you're doing?" I said, "I'm going. There's no point in prolonging the agony. I shouldn't have done what I did. I'm sorry. Bye." She almost shouted, "Get back here, now. I'll tell you when you can go. You do not walk out on me mister." In a state of confusion I went back and sat down (carefully this time) next to her and said, "But after what you just said I thought we were finished, over, finito." She prodded me quite hard in the chest with her finger and said, "Your trouble is you don't think, you assume. I'll tell you if and when it's over, in future leave the thinking to me and do as you're told and everything will be just tickety-boo. Got it?" I told I'd got it and I asked if I could kiss her again. She said imperiously, "You may, but keep your hands to yourself," then adding after a slight pause, "unless I tell you different." We kissed for a long time and I felt very, very happy, despite my burning bottom.

The rest of that summer passed by all too quickly but I was in heaven. Jennifer became even more assertive and I more compliant. I could tell she was enjoying being in control and I certainly relished being under her thumb. One or two people made jokes about us but I couldn't have cared less. Even Audrey made comments about "how bad I'd got it" for her, to which I always relied, "Yes I think she's wonderful." Several times I told her something like how much I wanted to be a good maid Rosie for her but she either didn't rise to the bait or simply said, "I know you do." She spanked me twice more that year (physical punishments were never a regular occurrence throughout our years together) once with a wooden hair brush at Audrey's where she gave me many more strokes and I did end up crying real tears of pain, and once again with the clothes brush at the hospital. After each punishment I thanked her for correcting me, thanked for being so wonderful and told her how much I loved her.

Very early on New year's day 1976, almost one year to the hour when we first kissed I asked her to marry me and she said yes. I don't remember my exact words because it took quite a bit of Dutch courage to get up my nerve. In the spring I took her to meet my parents who gave us the deposit on a two bedroom flat as a combined engagement and wedding present, back then it was much easier for young people to get on the property ladder, and I still remember the sense of awe and responsibility as I signed the legal documents making me a man of property, or building society slave depending on your viewpoint. Shortly afterwards I moved out of Audrey's, I was sorry to be leaving as she had been very good to me, but I suspect she was even sorrier to be losing her maid. Jennifer refused to move in with me until after we were married and instead of spending our spare time going to the cinema or holding hands in the park, we spent it decorating and in my case putting up kitchen cupboards and partially rewiring it. When it was finished I bought myself a pair of bright red 5 inch heels as treat, Jennifer always called them my soliciting boots as only a tart would wear them, but I loved posing in them for her.

We were married in October that year in a quiet ceremony, Jennifer's fellow nurse Carol was her bridesmaid and my elder brother, who I hadn't seen for almost two years was my best man. I later heard they'd enjoyed a short "fling" but as Jennifer said all Carol's entanglements were very short. Audrey came, but thankfully not Elaine, as did a couple of my friends from work. What nobody, not even Jennifer, knew was that I'd painted my toenails bright red and under my three piece suit I was wearing pink French knickers and white stockings with lacy suspenders. I had a horrible and quite irrational fear that when it came to the part about declaring just cause or impediment someone would shout something out and expose me as a crossdresser, but of course no one did. I put the ring on her finger and we signed the register and that was that, we were man and wife. After a week honeymooning in Minorca, which then seemed an incredibly exotic destination since it was the first time either of us had been abroad, we settled down to life in the flat. To everyone else we were just normal newlyweds, man and wife, but behind closed doors we were Mistress and maid. Jennifer took charge from day one and composed a list of rules which I had to follow and over time she modified (ie added to) it in order to suit our changing circumstances. She also gave me a rota of domestic duties which she insisted I completed every day before she allowed me to come to bed.

Although Jennifer was very much the dominant partner who loved having total control, and was very bossy, always demanding (and getting) my instant compliance at all times, corporal punishment was never a regular feature of our marriage. On the rare occasions she felt I needed or deserved it then Jennifer would "give Rosie a rosy bottom," as she called it, usually using her hand or some domestic implement like a hairbrush or bedroom slipper, and on one occasion a belt. Once I half-jokingly suggested I buy her a cane to save her hand, but she just told me not to be silly. Later on I did make her a wooden spanking paddle out of beautifully French polished mahogany with holes in the blade to reduce air resistance, but she never used it. She was never cruel or sadistic, but then I was always a very docile and obedient sissy who never dreamt of challenging her superiority or her right to have complete charge over me and always tried my hardest to please her, because I loved her from the bottom of my heart. One of the reasons I loved her so much was that she never once laughed at me, mocked me, or ever said or did anything to humiliate me. She just accepted me as Rosie and realised that my desire to wear high heels and a maid's uniform and be submissive to her were essential parts of the real me. In private she always used my femme name, and on my Christmas and birthday cards she always wrote "To my Darling Rosie." That made her very special indeed.

We were in a loving FLR long before the term had been coined and it might be best summed up by one of Jennifer's favourite jokes, "When I say jump the only question I expect to hear is how high." Although the precise nature of it altered over the 42 years we were together the one thing that never changed was my happy obedience to her absolute authority, but that's another story and I have already gone on far too long.

Curtsy
Maid Rosie

Dear Maid Rosie

Thank you for sharing this beautiful and inspiring story with us. Writing it was obviously a labour of love and if you can find the time I, for one, would love to hear more about your life of sissymaid service to Mistress Jennifer.

I get the distinct impression (particularly from your penultimate paragraph) that you felt that you might have received more in the way of physical chastisement. It is my strongly held belief that all sissymaids, no matter how diligent, obedient and respectful they may be, benefit from the occasional sound thrashing, but what a Mistress does with her maid is entirely her own affair. In your case, I think Mistress Jennifer knew you better than you knew yourself. She'd seen how you'd reacted to being hit with a fishing rod, and the effect it had had on your bottom. I can assure you there is a world of difference between six strokes from a school cane being wielded by teenage prefect and a proper caning from a "well built women with a powerful right arm." Likewise, the wooden spanking paddle you describe is much more painful than you might imagine, I know because I have one and have seen the effect is has on sissymaid kitty. Many submissive men fantasise about being whipped or caned, but in most cases that's all it is, a fantasy. Tell yourself it is just one more thing to be grateful to Mistress Jennifer for, leaving your fantasy where it belonged, in your mind, as you continue to celebrate the 42 years you had with a wonderful lady.

Yours sincerely
Mistress Alison


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