mudcub (mudcub) wrote,

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I joined a fraternity in college. But I joined it for all the wrong reasons. I had no desire to be a member. Instead, “fraternity row” was right next to the engineering building, and I wanted cheap housing. I only paid $50 a month for a room. And that was at a time of my life when some months I was worried about finding the $50 to pay the rent. Looking back, I was a bad fraternity member. I kept to myself, played my music too loud, and grabbed the biggest and best room myself that had a private deck. I was not a team player, and a terrible “brother” to the fraternity. Part of me feels bad about that, but not really.

Greek letters

By 1990, the glory days of hazing were over. There were enough deaths from forced drinking that the university claimed a “zero tolerance” policy towards initiation rituals. They still went on, of course, but they were far more tame than in the seventies and eighties. Still, the hazing was one reason I wanted to join a fraternity. In college, I didn’t know I was gay, and I definitely didn’t know I was kinky, but there was something about the idea of an initiation that terrified me and excited me at the same time. I thought about it all the time while I was a pledge.

By the time I joined the fraternity, “Hell Week” had turned into “Hell Night”, and then just “Hell Few Hours On A Friday”. As a pledge, I had to work around the house for free for a month or so. One of the jobs was to clean and rearrange the library, a task that nobody had done for years. We were fraternity members, so why would anyone need to use the library? {grin} But I loved looking through all the dusty memorabilia and documents. I donated a huge collection of technical and science books that I personally scavenged or begged from various departments at the university, and the national chapter gave me an award for my work on the library.

One of the things I found in a cardboard box was a bunch of photo albums. Inside them were scary pictures of the hazing of years past.  To this day, I wish I would have stolen the books. Instead, I just looked at them over and over. They had black-and-white photographs of young men in white brief underwear (or sometimes naked). A bunch of the photos were of each member sitting on a high stool that was placed on a table. A bright light was shining in their face. It looked like an interrogation, and all of the victims looked unhappy or ill or both. There were all sweaty, and I could see everything in their tight white underwear.

Other pictures had the fraternity members wrestling naked, or while covered in some sort of slop. There were photos of the boys dressed in drag doing a strip tease. One series of photos had someone tarred and feathered, while another had the boys tied up singly or in pairs. Most of the photos were blurry like they were taken by a blind drunk man, but you could still make out body parts. I wondered how they had gotten the pictures processed in the seventies, before the age of digital cameras, when you actually had to take film to a place where people looked at your photos.

So, I was pretty terrified when it was my turn to be initiated. We had to do a bunch of stupid things beforehand, like carve a pledge paddle out of wood, and get a bunch of professors to sign it. Mine is signed by Otto H. Schmitt, the man who invented the Schmitt Trigger in electrical engineering. He also invented the differential amplifier and “biomemetics”. I was honored to meet him, but the look on his face when I asked him to sign my spanking tool was humiliating. He knew what it was going to be used for!

I was worried that my new paddle would get a lot of use the work the week before the initiation, since the fraternity brothers made up infractions and demerits that we would be punished for on Friday. We had to wear suits and ties to class that week. Every night the pledges met and memorized things together, or cleaned, or fixed stuff around the house as slave labor. Friday night finally came, and we had to cook a big Italian meal for the members before the initiation started. The pledges weren’t allowed to eat any of the food, but with my nervous stomach, I don’t think I could have kept anything down if I could have.

It turned out that the initiation was rather tame. You see, the chapter had opened up membership to women in the eighties, so no more pledges running around in underwear. There were still stupid songs to learn, and tons of memorization. But there was no physical violence. My spanking paddle was never used, though I had to bend over and prepare to get hit with it several times. But they would miss on purpose, so eventually I got the joke.

For hours, the ten other pledges and I were kept blindfolded. As you can imagine, the brothers had started drinking heavily at the Italian dinner, and kept going through the initiation. So, nobody knew where anything was, and we were dragged from room to room in the fraternity for hours. I remember being put in a hallway alone for about an hour. When nobody came to get me, I started singing at the top of my lungs. Later, I found out that I terrified the members, and nobody wanted to be the one to go in and get me.

The worst part of the initiation was drinking the “Blood of the Brothers” (or something like that). It was basically tomato juice with a whole bunch of nasty stuff added. Now, I *hate* tomato juice, so I felt like I had to throw up for most of the evening. The raw eggs, Tabasco, and cigarette butts probably didn’t help. God know what else was in there. I didn’t want to know.

I can’t remember the other stupid things we had to do. There was a scavenger hunt at midnight, where we had to run around campus accomplishing various tasks. They drove us to the middle of nowhere and made us get out of the car with no clothes on. It turned out that our clothes were in a paper bag nearby, but we didn’t have any money or anything. The guy who was in charge of the event forgot to give us the rest of the supplies we needed to complete any of our tasks (like money), so we just wandered drunk around campus at 3 am in the morning until we found our way back home.

Then there was a big ceremony accompanied by robes, spooky lighting, and long speeches that had to be read from a script. After the ordeal, I was full member, and then there was more drinking.

So, skip forward to the next year. I was a full member now, and as I said, but not really joining in the reindeer games. But for some reason, I wanted to be on the initiation committee, and since there was low motivation with the rest of the members, I got to do whatever I wanted. I didn’t know why I didn’t see it at the time, but the hazing really resonated with me. I remember setting up the initiation rooms for days, peddling my bicycle back and forth across campus, piled with stereo gear and musical instruments that I borrowed from various friends.

Music was huge in my version of the initiation. I had speakers in every room. As the pledges came in, I played the first track of Barry Adamson’s “Moss Side Story”: an excellent eighties CD. It sounds kind of like a horror movie, with footsteps moving from speaker to speaker, the wind howling, and a woman panting and breathing as an organ plays in the background. But unlike a gimmicky Halloween CD, the song sounded like something was wrong. It was partly like music, and partly like the CD was skipping or that the stereo was melting. I played the track on infinite replay at ear-splitting volume. It made the fraternity members really nervous, and gave the whole evening a weird start.

There were many rooms I didn’t have to help with. There was one stupid thing where the pledge had to eat a goldfish. Of course, at the last minute, with the pledge’s eyes closed, the goldfish is swapped with a gummy bear or something. But one of the fraternity members was drunk and stupid and actually ate the fish, which pissed everyone off greatly since they didn’t have a prop for the rest of the night. In another room there was the Blood of the Brothers, and several other rooms full of stuff I forget. Going through the whole set-up took several hours, like a big haunted house.

But my room was the best. My assistant led each pledge into the room and removed their blindfold. I was wearing a Mad Scientist white lab coat, and there were Jacob’s Ladders and oscilloscopes displaying Lissajous figures and red lasers shooting beams through dry ice. Totally cool in a geeky way. The victim was led to a wooden chair and strapped in like an electric chair. Then, the blindfold was put back on, along with a set up soundproof headphones.

Their headphones were hooked up to my personal sound system and mixing board. It was my job in that room to quiz the pledges to see if they had correctly memorized the fraternity’s history, along with other things like the Greek alphabet and the school song. I used a vocoder with a microphone so that when I asked the pledge questions, my voice came out an octave lower sounding like Voice of God. With the chair bondage, the eerie atmosphere and the terrifying voice, some of the pledges just lost it. There were three different types of victims: some were amused, some were terrified, and some really really got off on the harsh treatment. Today, I’d call those boys masochists, but back then I didn't know any better.

For example, I would ask when the fraternity was founded (1923, I still remember that). If the pledge gave the wrong answer or said they didn’t know, I would say with the Voice of God, “Oh no, now I must PUNISH you!” Some of the pledges were scared shitless, ready for a punch in the face or worse. Instead, I added, “Now you must listen to… DISCO!” and I switched over the audio to a Village People track or something. Some of the pledges laughed with relief at this point, while other just turned green. I think others might have gotten erections.

I punished wrong answers with country music, too. Or Disney tunes or something. I forget. But after ten minutes or so of nonsense, the pledge was untied and released to join the rest of their class for the remainder of the initiation. At this point, I should have realized that part of me is a Top. I loved tying up the college boys, even if they *were* wearing all their clothes. I loved the fact that with the sensory deprivation, my voice was the only thing they heard. For a little while, I was in essence their entire world. There was something delicious about a helpless victim straining to hear Your voice, waiting for the next question or command, trying to concentrate with all their will in order to please You and avoid punishment. What made it more fun was the fact that we all had no idea we were doing BDSM, but that's what it was.

The fraternity house is still on campus, and I am always welcome to stop by. I visit in order to check out my old $50 room and meet the cute young members. They look younger every year, don’t they? Except that now when I go back, I think about what it would be like to tie up those cute little jocks and torture them. They’ve gotta still have the bondage chair I built up in the attic somewhere, don’t they? Now where did I put my headphones…


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