The “English” cane isn’t designed for the naked bottom

Caning is the quinessentially English contribution to the spanking / corporal punishment arts. I confess I have not gone deeply into the history of this implement, but I know it came into English society and culture from the colonies – Malaysia most likely – where the smooth rattan (Malay: “rotan”) cane grows wild and plentifully. By the end of the 19th century caning had replaced birching across English society, famously in public (i.e. private) schools and other insitutions, and across the colonies too in similar environments, as the standard form of corporal punishment.

The institutional nature of caning is important. Key is guidelines and conventions of practice were that the caned person was to be fully clothed. One must step back to understand the English themselves to fully appreciate this: clothes-stay-on interaction of this type is in no small part bound up in English cultural “reserve” and embarassment about nakedness and eroticism. Caning with clothes on keeps the whole process more comfortably “at arms length”. It allows reserve to be maintained and, specifically, facilitates denial of any suggestion that it is an erotic act, which of course it is (to a greater of lesser extent depending on the proclivities of the participants).

So the cane found its place as an instrument in English society in the latter part of the 19C, the height of Victorian puratinism, as the instrument that resolves a specific conundrum — how to effect a punishment of a fully clothed bottom. Fully clothed, the cane makes perfect sense. It provides the ability to punish well enough through two or three layers. It is fit for purpose.

If the cane is all about penetrating clothing it follows that the amount of bend, and whip, and the weight-to-surface-area of a cane will easily break bare skin. (I’m not an overly large man. I’m reasonably strong, but not excessively so, but I know if I put my body and shoulder into a strike I break the skin. I can safely assume this is true of everyone.)

As caning has left the school and judicial sphere, but remains very much alive in kink, a bit of this memory does no harm, I feel. And can lead to better practice.

It’s fine of course to cane the bare bottom in a forearm-wrist-flick-flick kind of way. Visually this is highly attractive, and safe enough. This is very much the erotic side of things and there’s nothing on earth that gets as much yummy wiggling and squealing and utter contrition per tiny ounce of force as a cane. It’s intoxicating. Great.

As long as that’s where it stays. Problem comes in confusing this with real discipline and punishment mode…

When the situation calls for a proper caning, I deeply prefer she has full bottom-covering on — low cut knickers (that’s panties for you lot across the pond), plus stockings, plus a skirt or slacks which pull tight when she bends over. Prepared this way she can be properly caned, thrashed if necessary, to the mental and emotional and physical catharsis that real discipline provides. It will leave stripes to be sure, but will also inherently respect her physical wellbeing and the sanctity of her skin. And it will be using the instrument in the manner it was designed for.

6 Responses to The “English” cane isn’t designed for the naked bottom

  1. Doonstar says:

    I can see the logic of your hypothesis, but it’s flawed.

    I’m with you on the stockings (plus high heels), but heaven help my spankee (j) if she presents for punishment wearing slacks…

    However, If I can’t see my beloved’s bottom, either naked or through the flimsiest of lingerie, then I can’t measure the results of the caning.

    Familiarity and practice mean I know J bruises easily and has a low pain threshold. My task as the (consensual) dominant party in the encounter is to:
    Leave J with marks to be proud of, but not too sore
    Take her just a fraction further than she’d willingly go
    Arouse her without injury and no more than momentary distress

    Yes, of course a caning is usually a prelude to sex and baring her bottom and adopting the position I choose reinforces J’s ritual submission ( and turns her on…)

    No way would I wish to hurt her beyond mutually agreed parameter, nor do I.
    If it’s purely a roleplaying fun session I measure the strokes accordingly, if J’s paying a penance the strokes wil be that much harder, the resulting wheals livid for a few minutes and the pain fleeting but real.
    That’s the basis of our unspoken M/F CP contract and to retain her trust it’s my responsibiltiy to watch what I’m doing.
    Plus pulling her knickers down to squeals of protest is so much fun…

  2. sixofthebest says:

    I believe the cane is the perfect implement of punishment to be used on a naughty ladies bare bottom. Six, twelve or even twenty-five strokes does wonders, if applied most vigoriously to that beautiful part of her anatomy. Be it at home, school, work, judicial, or sexually lovingly. The more the better, say I.

  3. TakingCharge says:

    I’m with you all the way, Alex – and I particularly appreciate your phrase about protecting “her physical wellbeing and the sanctity of her skin.” It’s our responsibility to protect our women, not to injure her. And it’s perfectly possible to punish a woman to moaning, sobbing contrition without violating that sanctity.

  4. Rebecca says:

    This is a really interesting post – I haven’t heard that viewpoint before but can see it’s validity. Interesting to muse upon 🙂

  5. Greg says:

    I can’t say i agree 100% Alex!

    I would agree with Doonstar, except the skirt (NO pants (that’s slacks for you guys on The island (next to France – ha ha)) would be raised (by me) and she would be caned over her panties, at least initially.

    I would also want to see the results of my caning on her bottom!

  6. haggerty says:

    I’m afraid I don’t agree with this. The extent to which the bottom is marked or even the skin broken by a caning varies hugely from one person to another -as does the time taken for the effects to disappear. The intervention of trousers, underpants etc. does NOT prevent this, though it does have a slightly ameliorating effect. Ask anyone who was caned hard over trousers at school! A similar caning would cause some people’s skin to break, and others not. Some people not blessed with a tough bottom would even bleed a little. Trousers did not prevent this.

    Turning from the brutality of school canings (at least in my time) to the responsible and consensual caning of a woman’s bottom, I think it is essential that it is bare. Otherwise you can’t see, monitor or adjust the effect you are having and judge whether and when agreed and sensible limits have been reached.

    Even if you know your partner well and have caned her many times, it is still advisable to cane on the bare as the propensity for marking and skin damage can vary with the menstrual cycle, diet, and a host of other variables.

    It is true that school canings in England were usually given either on the hands of, if on the bottom, over at least one layer of clothing (you hoped it was not just PE shorts!). However, we should not take this as a guide but be much more responsible and caring in administering punishment.

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