The Experiment

***
Inspired by Don Croyle’s “Research Proposal” available at LSF
***

“Kim! Thank goodness you’re back, I was just about to come looking for you. Didn’t you get my text?” a worried Jess asked as her roommate casually flopped down on her bed.

“Oh, that, I’ve already taken care of it.” Kim replied nonchalantly, tossing a notebook across the room to land on the haphazard pile threatening to fall of her desk.

“What do you mean? I’ve been here since six. As interesting as quantum mechanics might be, I doubt I would have failed to notice a spanking happening across the room,” Jess replied, eyeing her room mate suspiciously and wondering what sort of joke she might be playing. There was no way Kin could have escaped the spanking, Jess knew; the university had some strange customs, but it was nothing if not methodical in enforcing its rather outdated views.

“Oh don’t be silly, I wasn’t spanked, at least not my Ms. Hopkins. I’m taking part on that study the Cryole groop is running, and I can use the compensation to get out of one dorm punishment a week if I choose. Seems a good deal in this case, Ms. Hopkins looked fit to spit this morning. Who has energy to get that upset about a few little ants? They weren’t hurting anything, and it’s not like I was going to finish that pizza anyway. Natural compost, that’s what I’d call it. Being green and all.” Kim said, stripping off her socks and tossing them into a similarly haphazard laundry pile threatening to engulf whatever clean clothing might still be in the wardrobe the two girls shared.

“The Croyle study? You mean that mouthsoaping thing? You actually signed up for that?” Jess asked, astounded. She had seen the recruitment posters hung around campus, and, like the rest of her fellow students desperate for money, looked into the requirements to see if she was qualified to participate. Qualified she was, but also horrified when she read into the procedure. She had slammed her laptop shut in indignation; who would voluntarily bare their bottom and allow some pimply science nerd to squirt soap in their mouth? No, this one wasn’t for her, no matter how much they were offering. She’d much rather stick with the more typical studies, analysing ink blots and the like. There were plenty of those to go around.

“Ah, it’s not so bad, and it pays well,” Kim explained. “Granted, I won’t be getting paid for today’s session given that I’m using it to get out of a punishment. Still, well worth it if you ask me. Besides, I’ve been paired with Don, and he’s simply dreamy. I don’t really mind spending time with him- hospital gown or no, if you get my drift,” she added with a wink.

“Whatever, I still think you’re insane,” Jess huffed as she turned back to her laptop. She continued on with her homework for a few minutes, but couldn’t seem to get back in the same productive mindset she’d been in before Kim’s return. Sparing a quick glance across the room to assure herself that Kim wasn’t about to come hobbling over to her side of the room any time soon, she opened a new window and brought up the description of the Croyle study from her bookmarks folder.

***

Jess watched as her hand scrawled her signature on the bottom of the consent form, wondering just what had possessed her to actually come here. Blushing, she pushed the form back across the table to the white-coated man seated across from her.

“Excellent,” he smiled at her as he slid the forms back into the folder that now bore her name.

She glanced at the lettering on the tab again. “May I ask a question. . . ?” she paused, struggling to remember his name.

“Of course,” the man replied, “and the name’s Jim, at least it is here. Once we’re in the testing suite you will refer to me as ‘Sir.’ We’ve found that a strict adherence to protocol helps ensure the test subjects are in the proper frame of mind for the duration of the trial.”

Jess shivered a bit at the way he emphasised “trial.” Of course if was to be a trial, and in more ways than one. Shaking herself rid of that ominous thought, she took a moment to remember what she had intended to ask. “Why do you have the subject’s name written on the folder? Don’t you researchy people usually use numbers? Something about anonymity and all that?”

“Don’t worry,” he assured her. “Your data is quite secure, and all results will be anonymised prior to publication. However, we’ve found that the use of given names is more appropriate, given the atmosphere we seek to establish for this study. Mouthsoaping, and all that goes with it, does tend to be a rather personal experience, and it wouldn’t be quite the same if I had to refer to you by some randomly generated subject number.”

“If you say so,” Jess blushed as her mind treated her to several fanciful images of just what might occur over the course of this study. She had signed herself up for no less than thirty sessions with Jim, and had a feeling that he would get to know her quite well before all was said and done. Despite coming voluntarily, knowing that although she was to be treated to a simulated punishment that she had done nothing wrong, she couldn’t help but feel embarrassed about what was to happen. She hoped the money was worth it. “When do we begin?” she asked, hoping to move things along.

“Right this way,” Jim replied, leading her down a narrow corridor. He stopped and opened a narrow door off to the right, revealing a space that might have been a broom cupboard in a previous life. “You may disrobe here. You will find gowns in the top cabinet, and may leave your belongings and clothing in the lower cabinet. When you have finished, knock on the door directly across the corridor to let me know that you are ready.”

With that, Jim stepped back to let her inside, closing the door softly behind her. It was a tight space, but Jess found that the focus required to prevent the banging of elbows and knees as she prepared herself helped prevent other thoughts from creeping in. She undressed as quickly as she could, with only a cursory glance in the small mirror to check that the hospital gown was tied properly before she emerged into the corridor. Pausing in the doorway, she looked left and right, wondering how much traffic this area of the building saw this time of day. Praying that some large lecture wasn’t about to let out, she scampered across the hall and knocked on the door.

No response.

She knocked louder, wondering is she somehow might have the wrong room. She was about to try the next door down when Jim opened the door, a stern look on his face.

“Anxious, aren’t you?” he asked. Jess tried to reply, but couldn’t quite find her voice. Jim stepped aside and let her into the room.

The testing room was larger than the changing room, but only just. The furnishings were similarly spars: an armless chair placed in the centre of the space, a small sink, and a folding table with the supplies for the experiment- an ominous assortment that Jess did her best not to examine. Even after only a quick glance, the array of neatly numbered plastic bottles lingered in her thoughts. How many would she need to evaluate? How many times would she need to go through this? Before her panic could set in, Jim began to firmly issue instructions.

“Come over, let’s get started,” Jim said as he seated himself in the chair. His manner was brusque, but confident. In her anxiety, Jess allowed herself to be guided across his lap without struggle, grasping onto the assurance his leadership provided to keep herself from worrying. She gave a slight shiver as the gown parted to reveal her panty-clad behind.

Jess fidgeted a bit as Jim adjusted her position. She was no stranger to this posture, given the university’s old-fashioned values and her need to push limits, though the position usually accompanied feelings of guilt, fear, or indignation. Now she felt none of those, only awkwardness.

Before the feeling could truly set in, she was distracted by the first swat landing squarely on her behind. She squirmed under the sting, though she had suffered far worse on numerous occasions. The second swat built upon the sting of the first, though it brought more warmth than pain. Jess squirmed harder, the odd sensation filling her with unease.

“That’s enough,” Jess declared after the third swat. “I’m ready for the soap now.”

“That’s enough, Sir, you mean,” Jim scolded as he laid on a rather harder swat, “and I don’t agree. You will receive twelve swats, the same as the other participants. This is a simulated punishment, and it would hardly be fair to be lenient at this stage.” Despite his insistence that she receive the same treatment as the other participants, she could have sworn the subsequent swats were much harder than those which had come before. Try as she might, she could not keep herself from kicking a bit with each spank.

As Jim spanked on, Jess regretted her outburst. Had she annoyed him that much? Was he going to take it out on her? What must he think of her, trying to beg off so soon?

“Up,” Jim instructed after the final swat, abruptly terminating her train of thought. Blushing, she rose from his lap, being careful not to look at him directly, as though she could hide her emotions in a downward gaze. “Sit,” he added once he, too, had risen.

Jess lowered herself carefully onto the chair, and was relieved to find that her bottom wasn’t quite sore enough to make sitting painful. If anything, it was just oddly warm and itchy, she thought, trying hard not to rock back and forth as she watched Jim make a few notes on his pad before turning to the table. Knowing what he would be doing there, Jess averted her eyes again, wondering what had possessed her to think that coming here was a good idea.

“Open,” Jim’s voice came again. Obeying with her mouth but not her eyes, Jess braced herself for the introduction of the soap. It was something she had not experienced in years, and not a memory she wished to revisit. “Relax,” she heard Jim’s voice call soothingly. She opened her eyes to see him only a few inches away, gazing at her with a look of concern. “Just a few moments, stay still,” he assured her as he reached for her mouth.

Squeezing her eyes shut against the intimate intrusion, she tried not to sputter as he rubbed the cloth around her mouth, thoroughly coating it with a thick layer of suds. She felt tears prickle at the corners of her eyes and start to fall as the noxious taste overwhelmed her senses.

As soon as Jim backed away she involuntarily reached for the water pitcher, but he caught her arm. “Not yet,” he said softly, helping her up and back over his lap again as he sat down. So engrossed with the unpleasant flavour of the soap, she hardly noticed as Jim lowered her panties.

Jess’s sputtering turned to a shriek as she felt him begin the next phase of the simulated punishment; hard and fast swats with something much harsher than his hand. The spanking was over in less than a minute, though to Jess it felt far longer.

She jumped up as soon as Jim released her, her hands flying to sooth her smarting behind as he lead her over to the sink. Handing her a glass of water, he allowed her to rinse before firmly steering her by the shoulders to an empty corner. “Fifteen minutes,” he told her gently.

The first few minutes were agony, her bottom fully occupying her attention. When the pain began to subside, other unpleasant sensations rose to take its place. The rinsing hadn’t helped the soapy taste much; the water had dulled the flavour, but had also managed to spread it to new crevices. And then there was that other sensation- the not-quite-physical feeling of being watched, and the intensely upsetting feeling of knowing that she had disappointed him. She had carried on like a child she realised, and she, a student of this particular university, should know how to handle herself under punishment, simulated or otherwise. In a shame that had been conspicuously absent thus far in the “punishment,” she began to softly cry.

“Your time is up,” Jim said gently. There is a questionnaire on the table. Once you’ve finished with that, you may leave.

Jess turned to the table, careful to keep her back to him. Focusing on the notepad, she tried to block out the sensations from her bottom and mouth by focusing on the questions. Conscious of Jim watching her from across the room, she quickly scribbled answers to each of the questions, not wanting to focus too much or too long on the horrid taste. As she reached the end of the brief questionnaire, she was at first relieved that the experience was nearly over. However, realising that the end of the responses meant facing Jim yet again, she felt herself blush and decided to re-read her answers, adding as much as she could to defer that particular moment of embarrassment.

When there were no further details she could add, she finally turned to hand him the pad, carefully avoiding his eyes.

“We’re finished for today,” Jim assured her. “See Trish in the outer office for your compensation and to schedule your next appointment.”

Jess darted for the door, and was half way down the corridor before she remembered that she was attired only in the scant gown. Blushing even more deeply, she returned to change. As she slipped back into her clothing, she vowed that she would never return. Nothing could be worth this much pain, this much humiliation. She examined her reddened bottom in the mirror before pulling up her jeans, prodding the throbbing flesh with a finger. The lingering warmth had lost most of it’s potency, though each poke sent shivers up her spine. After a few moments, she came to her senses and finished dressing, hoping that the delay wasn’t noticeable. She didn’t want any of the researchers to think that she was crying- or worse- enjoying the experience. She wasn’t some sort of freak, she was just here for the money. And it certainly wasn’t enough money to get her to come back.

She hoped that Jim wouldn’t be disappointed.

He bottom continued to twinge as she walked tenderly back to the office, the trial playing over and over in her mind.

“First time dear?” she heard a kind voice ask. Looking around, she saw a slight, dark-haired woman peek out from behind a computer screen.

“Yes,” Jess replied, seeing no point in denying it.

“Ah, you must be Jessica then. Glad to see you survived,” the woman winked at her. “I’m Trish, by the way. In charge of administration and psychological cleanup duties for those who tend to carry on a bit after the trial. You’d be surprised how some people have reacted, it’s nice to see someone taking it in stride.”

“Yes, she performed quite admirably. Minimal fuss, detailed descriptions, legible handwriting even under duress.” Jess jumped as Jim’s voice sounded from behind her. He tossed his lab coat on an empty chair before picking up his shoulder bag and moving for the office door. “She as an absolute pleasure to work with, and I look forward to our next session,” he said with a wink as he left.

Jess blinked, taken aback by the compliment, feeling something akin to pride rising within her.

“So, shall I schedule your next appointment?” Trish asked.

Jess turned to the woman and slowly nodded. “Yes. . .do you have any openings tomorrow?”

Continued

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