C is for CANES

Caning.  Never a more classic, socially accepted, nor terrifying object exists, I think, in the world of kink…

Canes: Bringing kink to the Euler Bernoulli beam theory. Photo by Dirk Hünniger

Canes: Bringing kink to the Euler Bernoulli beam theory. Photo by Dirk Hünniger

“Do you like it more thuddy or more stingy?” is a question frequently asked while negotiating a scene or rummaging through a toybag, choosing which implements of loving destruction you might most be inspired by in your coming hours of play.  It is the CANES, to my mind, that represent the stingiest of the stingy.  For a long time I was quite afraid of them, and could see no reason to ever subject myself to their bite, being a lover of thuddy type sensations… initially that is.

My experiences:  One day I had a friend gift me three canes that he couldn’t bring in his luggage on the plane back home, and for a long time there they have sat, resting against the wall in my room reminding me that there were sensations I had yet to experience and decide about first hand…  Over time my mind softened to the experience, my curiosity caught fire, and the next time someone pulled an array of canes from their bag of tricks, I was ready…

At a kinky play party I was lucky enough to meet someone I regard as a gear fetishist.

He had brought a LOT of toys to play with, and was interested in experimenting with me to find limits and observe responses (this was early on in my journey of finding out about my particular masochistic tendencies).  That plan in mind, I got cuffed to a cross, and he picked up the first item.  The process went like this:  He would take a toy from his bag and show it to me.  He would tell me all about it, where he had gotten the toy, what it was made of, how people usually responded to it, and he would innumerate on the ways it could be used.   Then he would then ask if I was interested in trying it out, use it on me softly at first, illustrating the different planes and edges of the toy and allowing me to note varying sensations coming from the same implement used in these different ways.  If he liked my response we’d play a bit longer and harder with that particular toy…   It went on like this for quite a while and I think we went through most of his toys in our time together.  This was my first introduction to the “evil stick” – a tiny thin metal stick that hurts like a bitch when it hits you, like white hot fire on your skin…  He had many cane-type toys with him, and it was in fact those very toys I seemed to be enjoying the most.

The canes I have include bamboo and rattan. I have yet to acquire metal, hardwood, "evil sticks", Polyethylene, nylon...

The canes I have include bamboo and rattan. I have yet to acquire metal, hardwood, “evil sticks”, Polyethylene, nylon…

Considerations for caning:  What I like when it comes to pain, are sensations that have different layers embedded in them. Canes are great for this, especially heavy ones.  You can get a thuddy pain sensation from the impact of a heavier cane, and then comes the ensuing sting of the small round surface ringing through your body, ebbing and flowing.  Canes can be used in different ways to create radically different sensations too.  Whether you are using the tip of your stick or the middle of the shaft to hit with, you will find quite a variance of sensation.  Consider your grip: are you using your whole arm to hit with or are you flicking the cane like a switch?  What part of the body you are hitting, are you aiming for the same exact same spot each time, covering a larger area of skin systematically, or are you hitting spots that are more or less sensitive?  How long or effectively have you warmed the body up before hitting with a cane?  A body that’s been warmed can take a lot more stingy sensation than one which has not.  And consider the material of your implement, the rattan cane shown in the photo above is a very soft wood that can bend easily and wrap well during impact, which is something you might either want to work with, or ward against.  Metal, hardwood, “evil sticks”, Polyethylene, or nylon.  During a “Food Play” class I was demo bottoming for at Floating World I ended up being caned with a long taffy…  All of these materials (even taffy) have their own properties to consider when hitting someone with them, as do their various diameters and lengths – there’s a huge difference in sensation between a cane that is 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick.  What is the sensation or experience you want your partner to have, and what is the best toy for that job?

Rhythm Caning:  At the most recent Bound in Boston, I took a workshop in “Rhythm Caning” taught by NHSlutWhisperer.  It was a fun class where I got to make my own rattan cane, and then watch as a woman on a massage table laid on her stomach and was worked over with two canes at once, as if her body was a drum and the drummer was using the center of his long rattan drumsticks to hit with.  The effect was that the rattan would bend around her body, and so she was taking impact on the sides and across the flat of the back in each stroke.  Because most of the length of the stick was coming in contact with her skin, the impact was less intense on one specific spot, and more spread out.  I didn’t have the opportunity to try it out myself, but it seemed more relaxing than super painful…

Other thoughts on the subject:  I find Canes romantic in a particular kinda way.  They illicit images of Ballet teachers, or schoolteachers (I’ve disclosed my teacher fetish, yes?), of corporal punishment, strict older relatives, and cranky unapproachable people who would trip up someone too full of themselves.  It’s a strikingly confident tool, one that I assume is used by people who have an eye for specificity and particulars.  I like things to be clearly outlined, and if you have felt the bite of a switch you know how articulately the sensation will speak.  Canes can poke, prod, or put one quickly in their place, as well as hit.  Canes can be used in pony play too.  Canes catch the eye of my curiosity, and while I *hate* the experience of being hit with them, I love the after effect – and unfolding avalanche of rising and falling, concentrated and melting pieces of pain and warmth.  The skin welted red and clearly showing off each and every strike taken.

More education on the subject:  As always I completely recommend Kink Academy  as a wonderful resource for learning all about canes.  Videos and blog entries on that site address more than just how to hit; you can explore information on how to clean your cane, how to use them without impact, and a plethora of other ideas.  On my shelf at home I have The Toybag Guide to Canes and Caning by Greenery Press, and Greenery has a lot of well written books on hundreds of kinky subjects.  I enjoy both their authors’ writings as well as the general POV they bring to information on the world of kink.  Last, a word of advice:  Try your canes out on yourself before hitting someone else.  Get an idea of the sensation you’re doling out before you bestow it on another person.  Start slowly, don’t be afraid of feedback, have fun, and send me the pictures!

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

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