It was about two years ago. I received an email enquiry, a totally standard email enquiry. It was from a retired man in his sixties, (he'd been on the spanking scene for years), who wanted a switch spanking role-play session. After a few emails back and forth to pin down a date, I realised that his email address had his initials before his surname, and that they were the same initials and surname as my family GP who had retired a few years previous. He was signing the emails with his first name, which, lo and behold, was the first name of my beloved doctor.
It suddenly dawned on me that it could just be the very man, and I would have to talk to him on the phone to confirm one way or the other (I could hear his distinctive voice so clearly in my head, I knew that if I spoke with him, I would know). What I didn't know, was what I would do if it was him.
For context; this man saw my mother through both of her pregnancies and was the GP of a hypochondriac child (moi!). He saw me fake appendicitis (and have it removed), countless ankle sprains and wart removals, depression and eating disorder as a teenager, an abortion at 19. He played golf with my father, and my mother knew him well enough that if something was terribly wrong in the night, she could call him, on his home number, and he would come to check on us girls. We adored him. I liked him so much, it might have been a big factor in why I was so often ‘ill'.
The second he answered the phone, I knew it was him.
I asked him what he did before he retired, he said he was a doctor… it was the reason, he said, he had to be careful and didn't go to parties, he was the pillar of his community. A well respected man.
I made a decision, there and then, on the spot, to be transparent. To tell him of the tricky situation I was in. The main goal I had at this point, was to not freak him out too much, To assure him that I would not reveal this information to our community. And to make sure he wasn't shamed or embarrassed. I told him I was a patient of his and that because of both our professional ethics, we couldn't play together, but that I would recommend him some wonderful people.
He was taciturn, and I wasn't sure how he felt about this. All I recall him saying was ” I knew this would happen one day”. He was also apologetic.
I decided to write him an email. reassuring him and going over the things we had spoken about. He responded beautifully. He told me that since our phone-call, he had googled me and looked more closely at my pictures, and sure enough, he knew exactly who I was. He remembered me and my family fondly, and he asked if I would like to meet for coffee. Which we did.
It was a perfect afternoon, chatting about the scene, and about our ‘real' lives. He caught me up on how his kids were, and other people we knew mutually from our lives in a small town. He was keen to know how my folks and siblings were. He told me wonderful stories of his earliest days on the scene, with a woman I know well (she's probably the longest standing spankee). We laughed about my faked appendicitis (deserved a good spanking!), and we discussed why the power dynamic would be both extremely sexy, and extremely unethical to play with. He looked well and I was delighted to have spent time with him. We agreed to get lunch next time.
The only person I revealed this to, was my dear old mum. She adored that man, and she is so positive about my job and the spanking scene, that I knew she would respect the confidentiality and be someone I could off load to. She heard me perfectly. She was so happy to hear he had been enjoying his retirement and spending his money well.
Two weeks later I got a text from my mum that just said “call me”. Always a bit ominous. I called her and she told me that she had some sad news that might upset me. The local paper had printed an obituary to our doctor. He had died suddenly of a heart attack.
I really grieved for that man. I was incredibly grateful that we had been in touch and met up, and discovered our shared interest. I felt I had a duty to let the girls who he played with on he scene know. So often, when a client dies, his long-standing sex workers aren't in the family address book to inform of their passing. Most of us sex workers can think of a client who used to call regularly, but one day stopped, and you are left wondering if they had a change of heart, or their partner found out, if they had financial difficulties, or if they died.
I emailed the girl he had spoken about very fondly, whom he had shared over a decade of spanking with, and informed her. It felt like such a rare privilege to be able to inform the scene that someone we loved, had died.
I think of him all the fucking time. And I kind of wish we'd had a chance to spank each other.