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.
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.
The 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.
The 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.)
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.