Fondly and Firmly. That is a location. Not the name of a street, nor that of a village, nor even of a boat, although there may well be one so named. It is the name of a website. How I found this out, I do not know. All I know is that I was innocent and I stumbled upon it.
Fondly and Firmly: The gentlemanly art of spanking the woman you love. As a 25 year old, I had thought the site was a spoof. After all, it was extremely funny, and the idea that someone might create a website for such proclivities seemed bizarre. No, to me, spanking is something to laughed at. Inappropriate and therefore funny.
This was back in 2000. Back then, the internet was a smaller place. You were considered brave if you bought a book from an online retailer named after a large Brazilian rainforest, and everyone had emails like email@example.com. It was foreign, it was a place of primary colours and primitive contours, it felt modern.
Now, we all live there, our passports are our email addresses, tied to profiles with our faces attached. That information is linked to our phones, name and face showing on a call: phones so sophisticated they seem more like magic carpets, flying over a world of glorious palaces and oases. The great web of humanity; everyone is present and trapped, stuck to it like flies and oblivious to what we’ve left behind, so attracted are we to the false honeypot of a life less real.
Fondly and firmly, that is what they say domestic discipline is all about. Maybe, as I daily try to follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice to do something that scares me, I could step out of my comfort zone by trying that. Except that I know I would more than likely just laugh. I would laugh, but unlike the internet, it would be real. That’s the thing about spanking.