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In earlier times, governesses were viewed as teachers and disciplinarians. Today, the strict and punitive character of governesses are now a sexual fetish. Governesses were usually young, unmarried women in their early 20s or 30s who were employed as an authority figure over young children and young adults. Victorian-age governesses are often heavily connected to the Anglo-Saxon obsession and lust over flagellation. Bad behavior was often corrected by a good spanking with young pupils learning how to bare their bottoms and assume the position for punishment.
Today, the governess is a figure of fantasy in BDSM and erotica. The seemingly repressed and demure nature of the governess was commonly viewed in earlier literature as a form of sexual attractiveness. The youthfulness and supposed innocence of the governess was both attractive to the pupil and the employer. To the young student, the mature governess represented an older, mature sexual fantasy under which the governess had full control. To the employer, a submissive/dominant relationship existed between the two. The employer was often one of means and power whereas the governess often lacked finances and made a small living meaning that the employer often would be dominant over the governess. Modern erotica now explicitly describes the sexual seduction or relationships between governesses and young women and men.