David Lodge’s Deaf Sentence

This will be the last Spank Statement for a couple of weeks as I’m taking a little break. But there’s no need to feel lost without your favourite spanking blog. Just relax, enjoy some light late summer reading with a decidedly kinky twist and it’ll be September before you know it.


An English linguistics professor is reluctantly coaxed out of retirement to give some tuition to Alex Loom an American postgraduate student. The first time he visits her apartment Alex hides a pair of her panties in his jacket pocket. When he discovers a number of books in the university library defaced with marker pen – one of his personal bug-bears – he soon tracks down the culprit…

‘I’ll go make some tea,’ she said, getting to her feet. ‘Assam, right?’

While she was in the kitchenette I stood up to stretch my legs and wandered over to look at the contents of the bookshelves. As I passed the table which served as her desk my glance fell on a turquoise felt-tip highlighter lying in a small tray with a number of pens and pencils.

I pretended to carry out my intention of examining the books on the bookshelves, but I did not take in the titles inscribed on their spines. I told myself it was just a coincidence, that turquoise highlighters were ubiquitous, and I must not jump to conclusions, but some instinct told me that this was the murder weapon, covered with fingerprints and dripping with blood. Then my eye was caught by a familiar paperback on one of the shelves Analysing Discourse: An Introduction, by Desmond Bates. I took it down and opened it. Alex’s name was written inside the front cover in small, neat handwriting: ‘Alex Loom’. I flipped through the book. On many pages passages of the text had been highlighted in turquoise. Hearing the tinkle of tea things being placed on a tray I hastily replaced the book on the shelf, and returned to my seat.

Though I tried to remain calm, Alex obviously noticed some change in my demeanour when she came back into the room. ‘You’re looking very serious,’ she said, as she poured the tea. ‘Is there something about my chapter you’ve been holding back?’

‘Not about the chapter, no’ I said ‘I was wondering if you know a book called Document Analysis by a chap called Liverwright.’

‘Read it!’ she said triumphantly.

‘Have you got it here?’

‘No, it was a library copy. Much too expensive to buy, and anyway I didn’t get a lot out of it.’

‘The University library?’ I asked.

At this point she picked up the inquisitorial tone of my questions and paused for a second before replying. ‘Yes. Why d’you ask?’

‘Well, I happened to borrow the library’s copy myself the other day and I found that it had been defaced by some previous reader. It was covered in marks made with a turquoise highlighter.’

‘Really?’ She didn’t blush or show any other sign of guilt. Her bright blue eyes met mine without wavering. ‘it was unmarked when I borrowed it.’

‘Then perhaps you marked it,’ I said.

She laughed, but it was a forced laugh. ‘What makes you think that.’

‘I noticed a turquoise highlighter on your table.’

She laughed again. ‘They’re quite common, Mr Holmes,’ she said.

‘And I just had a look at your copy of my book on discourse analysis, which is marked in the same way.’ She dropped her eyes and said nothing. ‘Of course you’re perfectly entitled to mark your own books in any way you like,’ I went on. ‘But doing that to a library book is sheer vandalism.’

‘I forgot it was a library book,’ she said. ‘I was working late, very tired, going from one book to another, some mine, some library copies…’

‘You don’t expect me to believe that,’ I said.

‘It’s true. I didn’t do it maliciously. Anyway, is it such a big deal? It’s not as if I ripped the pages out of the book. It’s still readable.’

‘it’s the principle of the thing,’ I said, getting to my feet.

‘Oh, don’t go!’ she said urgently, getting up too, and looking as if she might at any moment fall to her knees, ‘Don’t go while you’re angry with me.’

‘I’m not angry.’ I said. ‘I’m embarrassed.’

‘Tell me what to do. I’ll do anything you say. I’ll buy a new copy for the library.’

‘That would be a good idea, certainly. But how many other books have you vandalised?’

‘None!’ she said. ‘Trust me.’

”I’m afraid I could never trust someone who would make irremovable marks in a library book,’ I said.

‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, Desmond!’ she said with a pouting smile. trying a change of tack. ‘Just listen to yourself.’ “irremovable marks in a library book…” Lighten up!’

But I was not to be teased out of my anger. ‘And after that foolishness with your underwear the other day… I’ve had enough.’ I said. ‘I’m leaving now, and I won’t be coming back. Or giving you any more advice about your research.’ I picked up my document case and closed it, leaving the copy of her chapter on the coffee table.

As I pulled the front door shut behind me I heard a sound as if she had flung the tea tray and its contents across the room.


25th November. I didn’t imagine Alex would accept the severance of relations between us without an attempt at reconciliation. I thought she might offer to return my umbrella, and make that the pretext for another meeting. Instead I got this email from her this morning:

Dear Desmond,

You’re right to be angry, it was a despicable thing to do, a stupid, lazy, selfish, moronic thing, and I deserve to be punished for it. I want you to punish me. Come to my apartment at the same time on the same day next week. If you can’t make it, email me your free afternoons an I’ll choose one. Come to Wharfeside Court, and at exactly three o’clock ring my bell three times. I won’t answer on the intercom, but I’ll open the entrance door – you’ll hear the buzzer. You’ll find the door of my apartment unlatched: just push and it will open. Close it behind you and release the latch, so it locks. Don’t call out. Say nothing. hang up your coat in the lobby. Go into the living room. The blinds will be down and it will be in semi-darkness. Don’t switch on the main light. There will be a table lamp with a red bulb switched on. You’ll see me bent over the table, with my head on a cushion. I’ll be naked from the waist down. Say nothing. Come up behind me and position yourself to spank my butt. Take off your jacket and roll up your shirtsleeve if you like. Don’t try to fuck me. This is NOT an invitation to fuck me, but to punish me. Use just the flat of your hand, no stick or other implement, but hit me hard as you like, as many times as you like. If I cry out, if I sob in the cushion, don’t stop. Get the anger out of your system. When you’ve had enough, when you feel purged, just leave, silently, as you came. Pull the door of the apartment shut behind you, and leave the building.

The next time we meet we will say nothing about what has passed, or about the library book. The file will have been closed. We can carry on as if nothing had happened. This is good.


I must have read this through half a dozen times and every time I had an erection. I have no intention of keeping the proposed appointment. But I can’t get the Sadean scenario out of my mind. It is so easy to picture myself approaching the apartment building, as if in a film, checking my watch, pressing the bell push for flat 36 three times at precisely three o’clock, hearing the buzz and click as the lock on the entry door is released, ascending to the third floor, stealthily entering the apartment, closing the door behind me, taking off my coat in the almost dark hall, lit only by a dim red glow from the living room. When I enter the room it is exactly as she described: the blinds are down, the room illuminated by a red lamp in one corner, and there she is, bent across the table, her head turned side-ways on a cushion, away from me so that I cannot see her face, the waist down, except for a pair of shiny black high-heeled shoes (a detail my imagination added), her rosy buttocks exposed. I take two hands adjust the angle of her hips and lightly caress the curve of her buttocks, like a dog fancier steadying his trembling thoroughbred for display. I draw back my arm and then swing it forward, bringing my open palm smack into contact with her bottom. The sound and the sensation of my flesh against her flesh explodes in my head. I hear her gasp. I let my hand rest for a second where it landed before withdrawing it and smacking her again, and again, and again, pausing deliberately between each smack, favouring one cheek, then the other, in alternation, each time letting my stinging hand rest a little longer where it landed…

I have never had such a fantasy before. How did this woman intuit that somewhere in my psyche it was lurking, unsuspected, only waiting to be released.

1st. December. Today was the day Alex had appointed for her ‘punishment’. I became increasingly nervous as the hour of three o’clock approached. I was alone in the house, and paced restlessly from room to room, glancing at the clocks in each of them. I had decided that the best response to her bizarre proposal was to ignore it, but now that seemed like a mistake. She had asked me to reply only if I wanted to change the day, so she might easily have interpreted my silence as agreement. I imagined her preparing the flat, closing the blinds in the living room, setting up the red table lamp in the corner, then stripping her lower limbs and bending over the table with her face resting on a cushion, waiting for my ring on the entry phone – no, I revised the scenario, she wouldn’t bend over the table until she had heard my ring and admitted me to the building, but she would be naked from the waist down, ready to take up her position at the table at once. So now she might be pacing anxiously like me, but half-naked, or sitting on the sofa with her bare knees together, like the adolescent nude in the Munch picture, waiting, wondering if I would come. Perhaps she would go to see if I was coming along the towpath. How long would she wait after the hour of three before she realised I wasn’t coming, and got fully dressed again? How foolish would she feel? How angry? What would she do next?

At about four-thirty the phone on my desk rang, I jumped, and picked it up without first putting in my hearing aid. It was Alex, of course.

‘You didn’t come,’ she said.

‘No,’ I said.

‘A pity. It would have been good for both of us’


Later, there’s a nice scene between Desmond and his wife:

Over the chicken casserole I had prepared for us, and another glass of wine, she told me, with giggles, Jakki’s confidential account of her sex life with Lionel. Apparently they have erotic theme nights from time to time, dreamed up by him. For instance an Indian Night with incense burning in the bedroom, a raga on the tape-recorder, and the illustrated Kama Sutra open for reference on the bedside table, or a Japanese Night; sexual congress on a mat with cushions, with little cups of sake to hand for refreshment. Or Italian sex, with Amoretti sweetmeats to nibble, Asti Spumante to drink, and Puccini arias as background music. We amuse ourselves with thinking up additional themes that would test their imagination and/or stamina: Eskimo Night, Roman Orgy Night, D.H. Lawrence Night…

Later in the bedroom, as we came naked from our respective bathrooms and embraced, she said: ‘If you did have a theme night what would it be?’

I said ‘Spanking Night.’

She drew back her head and stared ‘Darling!’ What an idea! Who would spank whom?’

I would like to spank you’ I said, ‘but I suppose we could take turns, if you fancy it.’

She laughed almost hysterically. ‘You want to take me over your knee? Wouldn’t I be a bit heavy?’

I looked round the room. ‘You could clear the top of your dressing table and bend over that.’

She gave me quite a hard slap on the bottom, and I yelped, ‘Ow!’ You see?’ she said. ‘You wouldn’t really like it.’

‘You took me by surprise,’ I said, ‘but the effect is actually quite stimulating. Look.’

Grinning, she gave me another, harder slap. I retaliated. Struggling and laughing, we collapsed on to the bed. Later, not laughing, I did to Fred what Alex had forbidden me to do to her, closing my eyes and imagining myself in that red-lit room. It was the best sex we have had for a long time.

5 thoughts on “David Lodge’s Deaf Sentence”

  1. Whee. I love David Lodge, but hadn’t made it to this one yet. What a pleasure to see one of my favorite authors on a spanking blog.

    🙂 Jessica

  2. Yes, I well remember that scene from one of Lodge’s books. I’ve always been a fan of his and must have read everything he wrote.
    He probably represents a kind of repressed Englishman, pre-internet, who had unrequited fantasies about spanking.

    Maybe he should re-write that chapter 🙂 After all, if people are re-writing Enid Blyton to keep up with modern ‘norms’ then perhaps Lodge can do the same.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s