Although I had been curious about spanking since I had been a small child, and had fantasized about receiving one myself for the past five or six years, I had never actually received one.  Not from any one else, of course.  Plenty of times I had whacked my own butt, testing out a variety of implements that I had acquired. It just wasn't satisfying.  When giving the smacks myself, I had too much control.  I also tended to wimp out.

My therapist, Dr. Franz, had helped me to see understand that I wasn't a weirdo.  She also guided me through some self-analysis in which we concluded that this desire, for me, wasn't about a dark desire to be punished, but that it was just a healthy sexual fantasy.  And since it didn't seem to bother her a bit that this fantasy, back then, was for a woman to spank me, it ceased to bother me.  She didn't exactly encourage me to go seek out a woman to spank me, but helped be to accept the fact that it would be ok if and when it happened.

The encouragement came from some of my friends from the internet chatrooms. No, not the ones wanted to treat me like a ten-year-old in roleplay, strip me naked for a spanking, and then probe my various of my orifices.  I'm talking about the normal ones.  There were several.  One was a guy my father's age, who, as it turned out, lived just five minutes away from me, who never once suggested that the two of us meet, but instead gave cautionary advice and good suggestions about how to to fulfilling my own fantasies - with a woman, one closer to my own age. With the advice and warnings I received, I decided not to take my chances with someone from online - for all the nice, normal people, there are just too many predators.  

So the trick was to find someone I knew in person, who, by one means or another, I could get to spank me.  Although what I most wanted was an experience that would combine spanking and sex, that seemed to be hoping for too much, at least at first, so I needed to be willing to settle for half a loaf.  And, given how embarrassing it might be if I were rebuffed, it couldn't be one of my best friends.  That part was easy, because they were all away at school.

With Dr Franz's encouragement, I had begun to develop new groups of friends, rather than depending on meeting up with my high school friends when they were home on break.  This included some people from the community college, a girl from the diner where I worked, and then some acquaintances from high school who were also still in the area rather than away.

For a potential spanker, I began to focus more and more on just one.  Jan had graduated from my high school a year before me.  I had had a bit of a crush on her from back then.  Although we both played volleyball, we hadn't known each other very well back then - she was varsity the three years I played JV.  Although she was technically away at college, she was coming home most weekends to help out her divorced father who lived alone, and needed some help because of health issues.  She was good friends with a couple people I had started hanging out with, so that we become friendly as well.

It turned out that Jan liked a lot of the same things I did - going to clubs, but also outdoor stuff like hiking, and cycling.  So we started spending quite a bit of time together - often in a group, but sometimes just the two of us.  I imagined that the occasions we did things alone were like dates, that she had the same interest in me as I did in her.  All I had to do was figure out, shy as I was, how to make overt what I believed was their below the surface.  From the online encouragement I'd been receiving, I decided that, somehow, I somehow had to introduce the topic of spanking into a conversation.  I began to devise ways to do just that.

One Saturday in late April we were due to take a hike at the Delaware Water Gap.  The two other people who were supposed to accompany us canceled last minute.  I figured this was the perfect opportunity, with just the two of us, with no interruptions for several hours.  I was rehearsing in my mind what I would say when we stopped for our first break.  As we were about to hit the trail, however, we happened across a woman with two small children. The one who was obviously misbehaving she gave several firm smacks to his bottom.   The perfect opportunity for me, right?  Wrong.  I had so carefully worked out what to say, that the little boy's misfortune served only to confuse me, causing me to botch it.  Sure, I brought up the topic, but when the conversation didn't go as planned, I let the conversation drift elsewhere.  We had fun on the hike, but no further discussion of spanking.

 I didn't give up.  On two subsequent occasions in the coming weeks I tried again.  Both of these went pretty much the same as the first.  I broached the subject, felt awkward, and then changed the topic.

The third time, though, Jan wouldn't let me drop it.  'You've got some kind of interest in spanking, don't you Elise?" she asked, or rather stated, as it wasn't really a question so much as an observation.  Horrified at being "outed," I started to deny it.  She wouldn't take no for an answer, though.  Upon being asked again, I acknowledged that, yes, I did, sort of.  Then it all came pouring out.

We talked for a couple hours.  I didn't tell her everything - not about my crush on her, for example, or the extent of my online activity - but pretty much everything else. Well, not my attraction to women either.   Perhaps it was because she was a psych major, and she viewed me as a case study, but she listened to all I had to say without expressing any hint of judgment or disapproval.  No, she didn't spank me, nor did I ask her to.  It felt so good to have someone - not online, but in flesh and blood - be understanding and accepting, that there was no way I was going to ruin it all.  Her hugging me on the way out the door was the best gift she could give me.

It was a week later when I was over at her place again, or rather her dad's place, that it happened.  We stopped there for a glass of wine after a movie, since, at twenty and nineteen, we were both to young to drink at a bar.  I had just finished my first glass, and was feeling pretty mellow, when she asked me.

"Well, Elise, do you want to try it to see what it's like?"

"It," of course, was a spanking, which I knew full well as soon as she said it.  I stilled, though, pretending at first not to know wheat she meant, and then acted hesitant.  Inside, though, I was telling myself, yes, yes YES. 

"Come on, Elise - yes or no?"

I nodded.  She patted her knee.  From everything I had told her, she knew that's how it needed top be given.  As she sat there in the middle of the sofa, I crawled over her lap, my heart racing.

She started slow, a couple medium slaps to the seat of my shorts.  Gradually she ramped it up, pausing every now and again to make sure I was ok.  She knew I wanted it "hard," and eventually she was giving it to me pretty hard.  She also knew that I wanted my bottom bared, but that never happened.  I didn't care, though - I was getting a spanking.  No, it didn't leave me crying.  When I checked later, my butt wasn't even red.  
Still it was enough for me to know that, yes, it was something I wanted more of.  As much as I enjoyed it, and despite keeping my clothes on, it was a bit embarrassing.  Well, more than a bit.  To be in that position, butt in the air, and having a friend act out your secret fantasy, just left me feeling exposed and vulnerable.  That, too, was a good thing, part of the fantasy, part of what I craved to experience.

I was on a such a high when she finished that I didn't want any more wine.  What I wanted was to talk about it, to tell how it had made me feel, and in that Jan indulged me at length.

When I left for home later that night, I knew that I had passed a crossroads, that there was no turning back.

I had to issue that notice because I didn't want a reader to be disappointed.  In my next post, however, there will be an actual spanking.  Do come back!

As I finished high school, my life just didn't go where I had intended it to go, particularly in regard to college.  And it was all my own fault.  In elementary school and middle school, my friends considered me one of the smart kids, and so did I.  In high school, though, my grades started to slip.  It started with math - as I got got past basic algebra, it just seemed to get harder and harder.  Science followed.  And History never had been my favorite.  So "all As" became "As and Bs" until I got a C- in Algebra II.  At the time I considered it an aberration.   I didn't change my study habits, which I had always thought to be pretty good.  I was just enjoying high school too much - volleyball, the newspaper, my circle of friends, a chorus part in the musical, and of course, my boyfriend.

My initial SAT results should have been a wake-up call. I pretty much bombed the math portion, and didn't do as well as I expected on the verbal.  I didn't worry, because I'd get another shot at the test.  I intended to prepare for the next sitting, and meanwhile work harder at school heading into my senior year, but I didn't keep my priorities in order.  I kept a part-time job I had started over the summer in order to have some money in my pocket.  I made varsity in volleyball.  I devoted more time to the school newspaper, mostly because my boyfriend David was the editor.  After nearly year of dating, David and I had finally had sex at the end of the summer.   I knew he loved me, and wanted to be with him as much as I could, looking for every opportunity we could to "do it."

My perception of myself as a smart kid never changed, and I picked the colleges I wanted to apply to accordingly.  Despite contrary advice from both my guidance counselor at school and my parents, I chose as my "safe" schools a somewhat competitive state school, and then one private school.  Although the latter was  pretty expensive, I was confident that, based on their student aid policies, I would get a scholarship. When my parents asked what would happen if I didn't get into any of them, rather than add a less competitive state school to my list, I gave a flippant answer that I'd just go to community college for a couple years.

It's obvious where this is headed, isn't it?  After the application deadlines, I got back my latest SAT scores - only marginally better in math, and worse on the verbal.  The death knell came with my first semester grades, which were, in a word, horrible.

Unrealistically, I continued to hold out hope.  Then the rejection letters came.  At the very end came my one acceptance, from the private "safe" school, but with the only offered financial "assistance" being student loans for a portion of the cost.  No merit scholarship, on account of my grades, and no student aid.  

My father had found the worst time to find a well-paying full-tie job - that's the way I viewed it at the time- just before the previous calendar year, which was what the perceived financial "need" was based on.  With savings depleted, and debt having piled up during the years my dad was without a permanent job, my parents insisted they were in no position to take out additional loans to fund the cost.  I had only one argument with them about it, which I lost (and no, I did not get spanked.) Rather than make any attempt to gain late admission to a less expensive state school, I resolved stubbornly to follow through with my earlier "threat" to go to community college, as if somehow that would be embarrassing to them.

I withdrew into a shell for the rest of my senior year, spending as much time as I could with David, and then the rest, when not working or at school, on-line in the spanking chatrooms which I had discovered a couple months before. role-playing my fantasies.

At the end of the summer, one by one my friends went away to school.  I was the only one in my whole circle who would be living at home during the coming year.  

The more time I had spent with David, the more I began to see his flaws, how condescending he could be.  Quite frankly, I was kind of glad he'd be at a school a couple hours away, so I'd be free of having to put up constantly with his attitude.  What I'd miss was the sex - but I figured if I visited him once a month, and he came home that often, I could get enough.

We went out to the movies the night before he was due to leave, having sex in the car afterwards.  Only then did he tell me that he thought it was best if we broke up. so that we would both be free to explore the social scene at school.  What a jerk!  As much as I wanted a bit of space myself, to be dumped this away, right after fucking him, no less, made me feel totally used.  And hurt.  And depressed.

Ok, what really got me depressed was for me, the "smart kid," to be stuck home going to community college while all my friends went went away to school.  My self-esteem was at rock bottom.  I withdrew even more, spending even more time online, now being even more willing to indulge other people's ever-weirder fantasies in roleplay - age regression scenarios where I would be spanked and then sexually abused as a young teen, or even a pre-teen, by both men and women.  

I knew that this was not healthy for me, but couldn't stop doing it.  Fortunately, my mom noticed my downward spiral, even without knowing what I was doing during all the time I spent on line, and convinced me to see a psychologist. My good fortune continued when the the psychologist she got me to see proved to be both understanding and helpful in sorting out my issues - lack of self-esteem, depression, lack of motivation for starters, but also, once I opened up, my interests in both spanking and other women.  Those last two she didn't see as "sicknesses to be cured," but rather as preferences to be explored, albeit in a more healthy manner than I'd been doing.

So, in closing, despite the fact that they'll never read this blog, I want to give a virtual shout-out to both my mom and Dr. Franz.
Feeling empowered after seeing the Castle Anthrax scene from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," I now began looking for where else I might find other spanking-related material.  My first stop was the video store.  Not being able to ask, of course, I spent hours perusing the shelves, discovering the titles "The Secretary," and "Live Nude Girls."  As I wasn't eighteen, I couldn't yet check them out or watch them, but just knowing they existed gave me a thrill.

What about the web?   Well, yes, I tried that too.    Complicating matters, though, I still had parental controls in force on my computer.  I honestly don't think that was because my parents didn't trust me - I was the epitome of a "good girl" at that time.  I think it was because my dad had enabled the protections years before to prevent any accidental exposure to questionable material, and then never even thought about turning them off as I got older.  So I would occasionally type "spanking" in the search engine - discovering how extensive the internet material was.  Anything that really looked interesting, though, was blocked.  Fearing that if I asked my dad for an unblocking, he'd figure out why, so I hesitated asking.  

Eventually, though, I realized I just had to get access to what was out on the web.  My plan became this - starting a couple months before I turned eighteen, as casually as I could, I would mention - on several occasions - that I was close to being an adult, and also that the blocking was so clumsy that it often stopped access to material a student might need for a report (having read this in a couple articles).  When it worked, I felt so sly.  I was a little embarrassed that, on my birthday, my dad made a show of removing the parental controls "for his grown-up daughter."  It actually took him a couple hours, because he first had to figure out what his own password was, and then how to work the blocking program.

Did I then wait a discreet interval of time before visiting just a few sites at a time?  Heck no!  Although it was a school night, I stayed up until three in the morning checking out dozens of different sites.  As many sites as I had seen in searches, I had no idea what I would find, especially the pictures.  I was astounded... and hooked.

The pictures did provoke fantasies of me replacing the girls being spanked.  The sheer number of them, though, was almost an overload.  I began to gravitate more to stories, where I could find them, and chatrooms, where I could link up with similar-minded people. With a dial-up connection, I didn't even attempt  videos.  

The chatroom world was eye-opening, to say the least.  I never realized how many weirdos there are out there.  And how many fakers, who tried to pass off the most far-fetched fantasies as reality.  Then there were the role-players.   That seemed a bit odd, but over time I found myself seduced into this on-line play, since it was the only spankings I would get, other than the self-administered ones. I also indulged my other fantasy, of being with another woman, more and more finding that something I found attractive.

My life was more or less tri-sected during this period - I was quite the straight-laced persona to friends and family, an ever more sexually-involved partner with my boyfriend, albeit straight and vanilla, and sapphic, spankophilic role-player online.  I never told anyone in real life about my on-line activities.

Beyond the role-playing, though, I began to find a handful of people in the chatrooms who seemed genuine and, well, normal,  who struggled with the same lack of real-life outlets for spanking desires as I had.  These people became my support group, the people who told me that I wasn't the freak I had thought I was.  And, often from a perspective of being locked into loving but vanilla marriages, encouraged me to be bold, to seek real-life experience, and relationships that would fulfill my spanking desires.    

It wopuld be a long time before I'd actuallly follow that advice, but the seeds we  

Spanking-wise, I spent my high school years feeling all alone in my fantasy, having little or no clue that anyone else shared this interest - just freaky me and my self-spanking. My first real hint that  someone else might share this interest came courtesy of my father.  No, it wasn't anything creepy.  My dad is a huge Monty Python fan, and, with his complete collection of of videos from the television show to watch, I became one as well. I was sixteen, I think, when  He brought their "Holy Grail" home from the video store for a family video night (as I am an only child, that meant my mom, my dad and me).  

It was all just a typical Python romp. When the Castle Anthrax scene reached its conclusion, though, I nearly fell off the couch as the young nuns begged Galahad to "spank me." Even in my innocence, it was clear to me that this was something they craved the same way I did, something sexual (even though I totally missed the "then oral sex" line). Indeed, I could be one of them, locked away in my own castle.  I'm sure my face turned beet red from embarrassment.  Although we were watching with the lights out, I just knew my parents had to be able to decipher my reaction.  That was nonsense, of course, but I felt so exposed, as if I had announced it to the world.  I had such a sense of relief when the evening ended without either of them saying a thing about that scene.  

I still couldn't sleep that night.  In the wee hours of the morning, I slipped back downstairs to watch that segment again, the volume turned down low, five or six times, just to be certain that I had seen and heard what I thought I had.  Now hearing "oral sex," I knew I had made no mistake.  It may sound silly, but that little scene from "Holy Grail" validated my fantasy.  I couldn't be alone in the world if a Monty Python movie poked fun at the idea.

Being a closet spanko wasn't my only secret while I was in high school.  Or rather, it was only part of the secret. My spanko fantasies almost exclusively featured me getting spanked by women - teachers, movie stars, a neighbor, professional tennis players, friends.  And always attractive women.  Although now I know that they were sexual fantasies, that wasn't clear to me initially, because at least at first, they didn't involve sex, just me getting my bottom spanked, usually my bare bottom.

Several years later, my therapist helped me understand that my fantasies were a "safe" way of exploring my interest in other women.  By attaching it to my previous interest in spanking, I could fantasize about particular women without acknowledging, even to myself, that I felt sexually attracted to them.  Meanwhile, I had normal teen-age fantasies about guys, budding bisexual that I was. That separation - fantasizing about sex with guys, but only spanking with women - didn't last.  As time went on, my fantasies about woman came to be about me getting spanked and then having sex, leaving little doubt where my interests lay - about both women and spanking.

Did I ever imagine being spanked by a guy?  Well, yes, I did, but it was more exploratory. As I came to understand my view of spanking as a sexual act, of course I would occasionally imagine a sexy guy doing it to me. It was never like with women, where a sexual fantasy ALWAYS involved me getting spanked. A funny thing - I never fantasized about my boyfriend David spanking me.  Well, yes, I occasionally wondered what it would be like if he did, but it was never a DESIRE, however unspoken, that he would do it. Maybe it was just an acceptance that he would never want to - he paid far more attention to my miniature boobettes than he ever did to my ass.

What I said earlier about fantasizing about spankings from friends wasn't exactly true.  I didn't ever fantasize about girls who were really my friends.  I did, though, fantasize about spankings from other girls at school. As much as I enjoyed congratulatory butt slaps from my volleyball teammates, I honestly can say I never imagined going over their knees.  But, there was a girl, Jan, a year older than me, who for three years was always on varsity while I played JV who became my secret crush. She was tall, good-looking, athletic, super intense, and a star.  As a nobody JV player, I had only occasional interactions with her.  I could sure imagine her taking me to  task for something, hauling me over her knee for a good spanking, and then afterwards... well, you know.  I could, and I did - fantasize about her that is, a lot.

It was better that way, of course, not having either spanking or sexual desires for my friends.  A girl needs her friends to be just that - her friends,  People to hang out with, to talk to.  That can't be complicated by any sexual tension.  What I never talked to them about was my secret, or rather my two secrets.  I never spoke to anyone about them.
In high school, I just wanted to fit in.  How unusual is that, right?  When you're shy, it isn't easy.  I stopped taking piano lessons, because I was too self-conscious to play in front of anyone anyhow.  

I decided to become a jock, despite being almost totally non-athletic. When I was cut from the softball team, a mercy killing really, I stayed on as the statistician.  Before that, I had managed to stick on the junior varsity volleyball team, mostly because they needed bodies. I wasn't much good to start, but by my senior year I actually made varsity.  Although I wasn't a starter, my specialty of being a "setter" got me rotated into the lineup during most games.  The butt slaps from my teammates when I did well were the best part.

And of course I discovered sex.  Well, it was more of a desire for sex, that I handled in solitary fashion.  My fantasies, though, were not just about sex.  As you may have guessed, they were, often as not, about being spanked.  For by now, my interest in spanking was no longer a detached curiosity, but gradually had become a raging desire.  

Slowly but surely, I collected a small arsenal - a hairbrush, a ping pong paddle, a couple different rulers, a wooden spoon.    Instinctively, I recognized anything that would make a good implement, and would sneak it up to my room.  And I tried them out - standing in front of the mirror, lying on the bed, bending over a chair, with my pants off and panties pulled down.  I found out that I was a wimp - even though I wanted to do it harder, I would chicken out, leaving my butt pink, not red.  It was still enough of a rush that fingering myself afterwards brought spectacular results.

My prize was a souvenir paddle I bought down at the Jersey  shore, where my family vacationed almost every summer. Having discovered it in a tacky gift shop, I coveted it all week.  A little over a foot long, and several inches wide, it had an outline of the Jersey shore on one side, with the big tourist-y towns all marked.   On the other side, though, was a girl in a bikini, her back turned so that you could see her butt, with a slogan down one edge reading "For Your Beach Bum."  Several times that week, I found myself re-visiting that store to admire the merchandise. I had to have it.  Finally, the day before we were to head home, I got up the courage to buy it.   It is still one of my favorites.

Of course, I knew all of this was weird, too weird to tell anyone.  Whether anyone else noticed or not, I knew I was a freak.  At volleyball practice, hanging with my friends at lunchtime, going to church on Sunday, I may have seemed normal enough, but inside I knew how perverted I was.

During my junior year I acquired my first boyfriend.  I joined the staff of the school newspaper, working as a proofreader and occasional reporter. David was assistant editor, in line to become editor our senior year.  He quickly took me under his wing, showing me the ropes at the paper.  Within a few weeks, he asked me to the movies, and before long we made it official that we were going steady.  I had never had so much as a single date before that. It was a long time, not until the end of the following summer, before we had sex.  He was as inexperienced as I was.  We were both "good kids," more prone to living up to the expectations of our parents than those of our friends, until, of course, the hormones got to be too much.

I never so much as hinted to David about my desire to be spanked.  I desperately wanted to be normal.  If everyone else thought I was normal, perhaps eventually I could be.  Sharing my dirty little secret would not only be terribly embarrassing, it couldn't possibly help. Knowing that my desires for sex and spanking were intertwined, I hoped that finally in engaging in the first would quench my desire for the second.  No such luck.   Coming home from David's after losing my virginity, I was compelled to have a session with my favorite paddle, not because I felt a need for punishment, but because  I still needed to get off.


It seems surprising to me now, but for all my interest in the concept of spanking in my pre-teen years, there's one thing that I never really thought much about - my butt.  That changed when I was in middle school, specifically in the summer between 7th and 8th grades.  There was this kid my age, Tommy Tisdale (not his real name;  pretty much all the names in this blog will be made up), who was always at the municipal swimming pool where I went almost every day.  I knew him from school, though not very well.  That summer he really made himself a pain in the ass, though, by teasing me about mine  He seemed to follow me around the whole pool complex just so he could tell me how big my butt was.  Then he'd laugh, and try to flick my backside with his towel.  If he managed to connect, he'd say how easy it was, because the target was so huge.

When I studied the evidence, comparing my behind to those of my friends, I found myself acknowledging that he had a point.  My butt wasn't really enormous, but given how scrawny I was, my buttocks were disproportionate.  It wasn't even from growing into a womanly figure, as I wouldn't "develop" until my second year of high school.  I just had a big butt. And boy did Tommy let me know it, that whole summer and the entire following school year.

This all happened at a very inopportune time for me.  I wasn't popular.  I wasn't particularly pretty.  I wore dorky glasses.  My family was poor for a few years, while my father was unemployed and then underemployed, which meant that I couldn't replace those dorky glasses, and had to wear a lot of cheap and second-hand clothes.  I tried to dress to cover up my over-sized bottom, but not knowing what I was doing, I succeeded primarily in making myself look  even worse.  And through it all, I got teased by Tommy about my big butt.  It did wonders for my ego.

I realize now that, more likely than not, his teasing was his juvenile way of getting my attention because be liked me.  That's sure not how it felt at the time, however.

My butt never got any smaller.  Even when I stopped being completely flat-chested, I ended up with so little "up top" that my bottom continued to be something of concern (to me) for years.  It wasn't until I started connecting to people in the spanko community that I realized I had an asset that might be appreciated.  No, my butt never got any smaller, but now I love it.


Where did it all start?  I really don't know.  I was NOT spanked as a child - not by my parents, not at school, not by anyone.  As far back as I can remember, though, I was curious about spanking, fascinated by it.  

I had a book of Mother Goose rhymes, it had been my grandmother's book.  My favorite, of course, was the Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe.  All those children, all those spankings.  The picture on the page showed the Old Woman with a little boy over her lap, with her spanking his round bottom.  A little girl was running toward the shoe, crying, holding her own recently-spanked backside, past a bunch of other misbehaving children, who were soon to have there own turns over the woman's lap.  Even then - how old was I?  five, maybe six? - I knew I couldn't tell anyone that this was my favorite rhyme.  It was my secret pornography, something I had to sneak a peek at, even as I got older - nine, ten - worrying that the page was becoming too well worn.

By then I was using the dictionary - looking up "spank" and every spanking-related word I could think of.  Thrash. Smack. Beat. Paddle. All of them gave me a thrill.  

Although I wasn't spanked, a few other children I knew were. If one of them mentioned her mother's hairbrush, or that there was a danger of getting a butt smacked, I was dying to know more. How? With what? How hard? How often? Of course I was too embarrassed to ask any of these questions. Only my cousin Jerry gave me any details, unsolicited, of how his dad would put him over his knee. How it made it hard to sit down. How he once tried thwarting the punishment by slipping a book in the seat of his pants. Yeah, right - like that would work. All this made made me scared. When I stayed over, if Uncle John got angry at something we were doing.  Would we both get it, Jerry and me?

As curious as I was, it wasn't something I was wishing for, for myself, not back then.  I did occasionally wonder what it would be like.  I'd pile up pillow on my bed, pull down my pajama pants, and then lie over the pillows, imagining I was waiting to get my butt smacked.  It never occurred to me, though, back then, to try spanking my own bottom.

I was drawn to anything and everything spanking-related.  If a book had even so much as a reference to a child getting spanked, I would re-read it over and over again, particularly that section.  Or, a movie.  That was so exciting, seeing some poor unfortunate child get his or her bottom whacked.  When on vacation, I'd wander through gift shops, hoping that they'd have souvenir paddles for sale, and upon finding one on the shelf, having my heart pound as if it would leap out of my chest.  Eventually, as an early teen, I would buy one, down at the Jersey shore, thinking that everybody in the store had to be looking at my purchase,  That, though, was still years in the future.

At the time, back in my innocent pre-teen years, I knew I had a secret.  I just didn't know that it was truly about ME.