Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Hysteria Treatment

© Guyspencer 2010
 The Hysteria Treatment

Author’s note: “Female Hysteria” was once a commonly diagnosed condition among ladies. Accepted treatment was a massage-induced “paroxysm” (orgasm) applied by a physician or midwife.



I was lucky to grow up to maidenhood in a moderately wealthy neighborhood in a huge, wonderful old Victorian home. Actually, it was more than just a home; it was also my father’s place of business. There was even an elegantly-lettered sign on the front of the house. It read: “Dr. DA Albertson MD”. Smaller letters explained: “Practice Limited to the Treatment of Female Hysteria”.

Obviously, the room was originally intended to be a parlor. After all, it was the nicest room in the house. The walls were of rich wood, which contrasted perfectly with the rich red carpet. As a modern touch, the fireplace was converted with a coal stove. The room had elegant furniture that I was never allowed to sit on. From the fireplace mantle hung tools of my father’s particular profession, including what I recognized as a school cane. In one corner was the only medical-looking equipment in the room, a treatment table and basin. Over the treatment table, my father’s diplomas resided in ornate frames. A sign outside the door read: “Treatment Room”. I was never allowed in the treatment room. I had to satisfy myself with fleeting peeks as others went in or out.

Father was a qualified physician, a good one by all accounts. I didn’t learn this until my adulthood, but early in my father’s career the local ladies discovered that he had a rare talent for the difficult art of vulvular massage, the accepted treatment for female hysteria. Further, he pioneered a second method of inducing healing paroxysms in his patients; by robust stimulation of the buttock area. For more difficult cases, he became adept in administering both treatment modalities simultaneously.

Word got around. The local female aristocracy literally stood in line for his treatments. Most demanded his special “dual” treatment, even though his “buttock stimulation” treatments could leave a lady’s nether regions red, tender and tingling for several days. In the process, he discovered that treating female hysteria was the perfect specialty for a handsome young male doctor. Since none of his patients were in the slightest danger of dying from the malady, and since there was no cure, his patients continually returned for “treatment”. Some even had standing weekly appointments. Judging from the expensive schools my parents sent me to, and the fortune they left behind, treating “female hysteria” paid well. But of course, I wasn’t allowed to know any of this as a child.

Father’s home-office routine went like this. A lady would knock on the door. Mother, wearing a white medical outfit and with her hair in a severe bun, would answer the door. If father were busy with another patient, she might seat the lady in the receiving room and offer a cup of tea. When the treatment room became available, father would disappear while mother escorted the lady into the room. She would shut the door and remain with the lady for several minutes. Finally she would tiptoe out, leaving the patient alone. Presently father would emerge from his private office and let himself into the treatment room. I would hear the door close and the key turn from inside.

Early on, I noticed things about my father’s patients. First, even though they were being treated for “hysteria”, none seemed to be even a little hysterical when they arrived for treatment. However, inside the treatment room they often made a variety of loud noises that may have been hysteria, but sounded to me more like variations on pain and ecstasy. Finally, they all seemed to leave calm and happy. Most had flushed faces, many had smiles, though some walked stiffly.

My bedroom was on the second floor, directly over the treatment room. Over the years, I learned that I could hear some of what happened down there by pressing my ear to the floor. Mostly the sounds meant nothing to me, but like any child of my time, I knew the sounds of spanking and caning when I heard them! In my younger years, my governess caught me several times with my ear to the floor. I was warned once. She spanked my pudgy little bottom the next two times. The fourth time, she grabbed me by the ear and marched me downstairs to my parents. Mother made me wait in the receiving room until the patient left, then told my father. He marched me into the kitchen, bent me over a chair, lifted my skirts, yanked down my bloomers, and spanked my bare bottom with a wooden spoon that he snatched from the hand of our astounded cook. That temporarily cured my curiosity about the treatment room! It would be several years before my father spanked me again…

Assuming the effects of my spanking would only be temporary; my parents decided to send me to boarding school. Naturally, they picked one that was far away. After that, they only had to control my curiosity on holidays and over the summer break.

For a few years I contented myself with whatever glimpses I could sneak when the treatment room door was open. Surely, whatever happened in that room was no secret to the local women? If they had let me stay in school here in the city, I probably would have learned something from rumors and gossip, but the far-away boarding school kept me isolated. As a result, my curiosity remained unresolved about the happenings in that room. I had to know!

I was 13 years old and on summer break when I finally decided to risk everything. The windows to the treatment room were fitted with heavy wooden blinds, but father kept the slats open to admit sunlight because it was just too hot to burn the gaslights. My parents watched me closely, but one day I managed to sneak outside when they thought I was reading in my room. The bushes kept me mostly hidden. To be safe I chose a window that was in shadow.

I crouched behind the bushes as one of our regular patients knocked at our front door. Today was the day! Soon there would be something to see.

I plastered my face to the window and peeked between the slats. Mother and the lady entered the room & closed the door. Mother helped the lady remove her starched skirts and other outer garments. After carefully hanging up the garments, mother left the lady to deal with her own undergarments. Alone, the lady removed her bodice, chemise, garter, stockings, and finally her bloomers. Naked, she shivered as if in anticipation, then covered herself with a sheet that mother had provided. She pulled the bell rope.

Father entered the room. They exchanged a few words, but I could hear nothing. Then he led her to the end of the treatment table. She automatically bent over, resting her torso on the table, her feet wide apart on the floor. Father flipped up the sheet so that the lady’s bare bottom shockingly jutted out at him, yet her head was covered. Perhaps she pretended that if she couldn’t see the doctor, the doctor couldn’t see her?

Father lubricated his left hand and put it… Oh my word! He was touching the lady in that same place where we girls aren’t allowed to touch ourselves! His hand started working. For several minutes nothing seemed to happen, and then the lady’s bottom gradually started bouncing and moving almost like she was dancing. That’s when father started spanking the lady with his other hand! The light was dim in the room, but my young eyes could see her bum change color. Even through the closed window, I could hear the lady’s groans and sobs. Her movement became almost frantic. Finally, father picked up a light cane I hadn’t noticed before. He gave the lady several medium swats with the cane while she continued to grind herself into father’s left hand. I could see red stripes appear on the lady’s increasingly kinetic bottom. Finally the lady squealed and her bottom started pumping like a steam engine as she shrieked loud exultations. Moment’s later, she nearly collapsed but father expertly reached under her arms and helped her to a couch, her sheet falling unnoticed to the floor.

I had watched the entire performance uncomprehending. Oh sure, I knew what spankings and canings were all about. I was no angel at school, so they happened to me. But in these prudish times, all sexual knowledge was carefully hidden, particularly from young girls. I had never heard the word “climax” and wouldn’t until years after my marriage.

The lady was plainly crying, and suddenly I felt guilty to be peeking. All I had wanted was to discover what was happening in my own house, but now I felt like an evil interloper.

Acting with a practiced combination of tenderness and professional detachment, father gave the lady a hanky then favored her with a comforting squeeze as she shook with sobs. Father finally picked up the sheet and gently draped the lady, restoring her modesty. Quieting, she blew her nose.

It was at that very moment that my father inexplicitly turned his head and looked straight at me. His eyes widened in surprise, and then I saw lightning and thunder on his face as he recognized me and guessed what I was doing. I will never forget that fluttery feeling deep in the pit of my stomach as I realized that I was suddenly in big trouble.

I could have run, but that would have made things worse. Rather, I guiltily slinked to the door of the house. My father came huffing out the door and instantly spotted me. “I can’t believe you!” he hissed, “You’ve just terribly violated that nice lady’s privacy. It’s a good thing she didn’t notice.” With that, he took me by the arm and dragged me into the house. He deposited me firmly in a chair and told me to “keep quiet and not move a muscle”. I scrunched my bottom unhappily and felt the same pressure deep in my bowels as if I were waiting outside the head’s office at school.

Just a few moments later, mother and the lady emerged from the treatment room. My parents solicitously arranged the lady’s next appointment and saw her out the front door. I watched with trepidation as father told mother of my spying. It was mother who sealed my fate:”Since she’s so interested in the treatment room, I think we should take her in there and let you deal with her.” “Yes” father agreed looking at me as if he were measuring me for a cane, “She needs a good lesson. Get her ready, then put her over the arm of the couch.”

I barely remember what the room looked like, but I was in there, the same place that lady had been only minutes ago! This time, it was I whom mother was helping undress. When my dress, skirts and slip were off, she demanded my bloomers. Blushing furiously, I complied. Now I was shamefully bare from the waist down. None too gently, mother bent me over the padded arm of the couch. Just then, father walked in. Father stalked to the fireplace mantle and snatched his school cane. He told mother to remain in the room. Somehow that made things worse, she would witness my disgrace. He swished the cane around a few times, probably for effect. Then he applied it where it would do me the most good. Needless to say, my next few minutes in that room were horribly unpleasant and distinctly memorable. My father was basically a gentle man, but this time, he didn’t hold back. I’ll never forget the feeling of those raised marks on my bottom.

Damn it, they never did give me a proper tour of that room.

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© Guyspencer 2010


Copyright Guyspencer 2010

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