Terror of the Cane! (Or: How to make a caning sexy)

I’ve been meaning to write about the cane, and how it can be used in ways that make it just the right amount of scary. It should be a bit scary, and there should be a sense of milestone and achievement about taking the cane, but it shouldn’t be so scary that it gets in the way of it being sexy.  

No really, you can always trust a man with a cane in his hand...

No really, you can always trust a man with a cane in his hand… (From Restrained Elegance )

The truth is that the cane’s reputation is somewhat more fearsome than the reality. I know it’s all very well for a dom to say that, since I’m never going to be at the receiving end of a caning. But doms learn by paying attention. 

What I’ve learned about making the cane not too scary is that you talk about it first.

A dom about to introduce someone to the cane should mention that it doesn’t have to be as scary as it’s made out to be. The dom should say – and they’d better be clear on this in their own minds – that they’re going to take care. There are rewards for the submissive, like the hotness of the “you’re going to get the cane” scenario, the sharp clear sensation of a cane-stroke, and the beauty of the cane stripes afterwards. 

How getting consent works depends on your relationship. With Arethusa and I, there wasn’t any prior discussion because it wasn’t that kind of relationship. I was her master and (conditions applied) consents had already been given. It was a punishment caning and not for pleasure. Well, not hers, anyway. I’d warned her that I’d cane her if she missed another assignment deadline, and she did. So there was nothing to discuss.

Instead I told her how disappointed I was, produced the cane, flexed it in an alarming manner and told her to get her clothes off and bend over the table. She could have used her safe word or said it was a hard limit, or she could obey. She chose to obey. Neither of us had any doubt that she would.

In other relationships I’ve talked about it first, and introduced the cane in a sexual context rather than a punishment one. Of course  a punishment scenario is a sex scenario too, just a couple of layers of rhetoric deeper down. Anyway, the wise dom goes at the submissive’s speed, and doesn’t just get driven by their own desires. Or not completely.

Anyway, once they’ve got informed consent, the dom should usually start with a slow warm-up before introducing the cane. The idea is to focus on things that the dom knows the submissive enjoys. Usually, that means using hand-on-skin at first, and some of the more familiar instruments that the submissive partner already likes.

At some stage the dom switches to the cane, but it should be with continuity, not with a sudden “and now we’re going to get serious!” change of pace and mood.

caned-russianThe idea is to keep the intensity of the cane low, at first. I like to give four or five light strokes, like a drummer using brushes on his drums, and then one stroke a bit harder. Repeat, and repeat, for a long time. Without going harder. Usually, the submissive getting the cane will find that quite pleasant, in a floaty way.

Stay there for a while, with lots of stroking in general and cunt-stroking (or cock-stroking, if that’s your submissive’s equipment) in particular, and the submissive and the cane will settle down together. After a while – the dom should be watching his or her submissive very closely – it may be time to increase the intensity and make the strokes a bit harder.

The dom’s job is to watch the submissive and back off any time it looks or feels like it’s hurting too much for it to be sexy, and take it back to the level the submissive was enjoying before. Towards the end the intensity should increase, and the strokes should get harder. But the aim is to get pink stripes, not red, or raised (much) or bruising.

The dom shouldn’t be too ambitious the first time, but the next time, taking and applying all the things that worked best the first time, it can probably be taken all the way up to leaving marks that outlast the caning by a few hours and have it be sexy, at least for submissives who like impact play at all. 

By the way a hard caning leaves marks that last over a week. That’s not a good idea for a first time, though you will know your own relationship. Usually, with a first, pleasure-focussed caning, a few hours is fine.  

caneThe stripe in the First Strike picture is unusual, because it was Arethusa’s first, and it’s a punishment stroke. There was no warm-up and it was a firm to medium hard stroke. The marks of that caning lasted about four days.

It’s not the stroke you’d deliver first if you were wanting to demonstrate that the cane is good, sexy fun. What I wanted to demonstrate was, “You want to graduate? From now on do your assignments on time, or you’ll do them standing up!”

But even then, as I said, she finished up liking the fact that she was a girl who got the cane, though not exactly loving each instant of impact. 

The point is, based on reactions and comments from submissives, there’s ways of making a caning pleasurable, and the cane probably is worth exploring some time, Especially for submissives who like impact play but are freaked out by the cane’s reputation.

I'm nerd enough to have three canes. The bamboo, the lighter rattan (whose effect can be seen above) and the heavier dragon cane, also rattan. But the point with a cane is not the implement but how it is used.)

I’m nerd enough to have three canes. The bamboo, the lighter rattan (whose effect can be seen above) and the heavier dragon cane, also rattan. But the point with a cane is not the implement but how it is used.)

Those submissive should make sure they explore it with someone they really trust and who knows that they find the idea scary.

The dom has to get the set (the emotional and physical expectations), the setting (the place where it happens and the submissive’s position while being caned) and the emotional flow just right.

The dom has to take care of the submissive before, during and afterwards.

There’s much more to be said, but on the day lust and love should do most of what’s needed. 


This post began as a reply to sub-bee (so hat-tip to her), when she commented on the First Strike post.  

18 thoughts on “Terror of the Cane! (Or: How to make a caning sexy)

  1. I recognise those top two canes (the rattan ones) but I don’t think I saw the third.

    I was somewhat intimidated by the cane because of what I’d heard here and there (on this blog and others, on FetLife, etc.). But since the cane was never part of school discipline where I’m from, I only learned to fear it recently and sort of intellectually, rather than early and viscerally.

    Although I don’t recall details, I can confirm that when you used the cane on me I didn’t find it overly challenging, despite my being a big softie. The feeling was comparable to the other implements you used. Of course, that was my first time and I could tell that you were using it (and the other implements) lightly, and yes, I know that next time will be harder. But I trust your skills and your ability to read me.

    • You’re a tiny softie, he said, a stickler for accuracy. Then I’ll bring the lighter rattan in my suitcase. Or maybe I should trust the local terrain, and pick up something there.

      Speaking of nerdery, I don’t think I mentioned that the two rattan canes have names. The lighter one is “Sting”. The heavier one is “Striper”. Bamboo canes are a dime a dozen, and I don’t bother to name them.

      And I very, very seriously thank you for your trust.

      • No, you didn’t mention that they had names. After the musician and band, respectively, right? Oh wait, I’m thinking of Stryper. Never mind.

        You’re very welcome. Thank you for being trustworthy.

        Trusting you isn’t hard. What is challenging for me is to act on that trust by choosing to remain vulnerable to you. But perhaps I’m splitting hairs by making that distinction.

        • No, I get the distinction. And I can appreciate that bending over waiting for me to apply the cane is a fraught situation, and not without its scary side. (He said, happily.)

          Sting is named after Frodo and Bilbo’s sword. The first girl to feel Sting asked me if the cane had a name. That seemed a sexy idea, so I produced that on the spur of the moment. Well, I intended it to sting.

          When I bought the dragon cane, only a few years ago, I called it Striper to emphasise that it was a more serious implement than Sting. It can leave stripes that last a few days without my having to use it very hard.

          Nothing to do with Stryper the big-hair Christian metal band, alas. Photos of them make me laugh, so I like them a bit for that. But I’ve never heard a note of their music. Jesus Kerranggggg!

  2. Mm, how beautiful. I want a cane, I think. I don’t have one. I was hit with one in a dungeon when I was cotopped and I quite liked it.
    Any you suggest for a wimp like me, who loves marks but truly can’t take a lot of stinging impact?

  3. Hmm. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I’d suggest a heavy rattan cane. You get more thud with it, and you don’t have to strike very hard to get marks. But a thickish length of bamboo will do.

    That said, it really is about the way your top du jour handles the cane, rather than the cane itself. It also matters how easily you mark, but you can’t do much about that. (Except that if you start to like getting hard canings all the time, you’ll find that you stop getting marks. So take it easy and mix and match.)

    By the way, you can’t really find out anything about what a particular cane, or being caned with it, is like by whacking your own bottom. It’s sort of possible, but not satisfactory. And if you test a cane on your calf, say, it’ll hurt more than it would across your ass, because your calf isn’t so well padded. I guess you know this.

    Really you need someone you trust, who knows what they’re doing. Standing up for you. Behind you, taking aim.

    For your next trick, you’ll need a volunteer.

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