‘Are you ready, Worthless Slave?’ Mistress Nastina growled with disgust, tapping one of her finest birching rods off the palm of one of her shapely, though frighteningly strong, hands.
‘Y-Y-yes, Mistress,’ the quivering submissive kneeling before her answered.
‘Then it is time for you to receive PUNISHMENT!’ Nastina hissed, a serpent preparing to strike, the cane arcing down with a blurring, moaning sweep towards the pale, gleaming ass…
More than any other BDSM activity, caning has perhaps the greatest gap between serious enjoyment and literary depictions. Go after someone with a "blurring, moaning, sweep" and you are not going to have a delighted submissive, but rather one really pissed-off bottom screaming their safe word louder than an opera singer with their genitals in a mousetrap. A fun way to enjoy a stiff birch (or plastic, rattan, bamboo, etc.) rod doesn't have to be all that … well, dramatic. Instead a delicate, rhythmic tapping is the way to proceed.
Let's talk first about basic safety, which is what we all should talk about, in regards to any form of BDSM play, and especially where caning is involved. As in spanking, basically, hitting someone with a long, thin rod, sometimes organic (like rattan, bamboo or similar), sometimes not (like acrylic or other plastics) even if the cane is not technically a cane (riding crop, rug beater, switch from the backyard) we suggest knowing where to strike your bottom…and there are as many good places to strike as 'no no' zones.
As you have to have assumed here, the ass–nature's joy-buzzer–is the primo piece of real estate for caning, especially the afore-explored "sweet spot."
True of spanking, though much more with caning, if you hit in that area below the tail bone, up from the backs of the thighs (though you can cane the back of the thighs, and more on this in a bit) with a good rhythmic beat from a strong cane, the bottom gets their genitals nicely 'thrummed' as well, via the sympathetic vibrations through the fatty, muscular portions of their ass. Yes, this was covered in spanking, but all this becomes even more ardently clear when caning.
Unlike other impact toys (floggers, belt or paddles), canes are not the best for use across someone's back, though, yes, sometimes people prefer that they be used there.
But one should be clear and as mentioned before (although we'll make it even clearer by mentioning it again) the number one no-no impact spot, the should-NEVER-be-hit-zone, is the spine. Even a glancing blow in that area, something the Top/Mistress/Master never intended, even off-to-the-side, not head on might still be felt as sharp and forceful, even with "a delicate, rhythmic tapping," and certainly can cause damage.
So, for the most part, please stay away from your bottom's back when caning.
Some folks also play on the thighs, as mentioned. Still, though, we suggest a much less aggressive attack in this spot as there is the potential risk of serious damage: butts, remember, evolved as a cushion – the thighs not at all.
Suffice it to say that unless you happen to be in a Turkish prison, the bottom of the feet or palms of the hands are nowhere you want to go with a rod either.
So we've got the turf staked out–aim for the ass, paying particular attention to stay away from the spine, the base of the spine, and the kidneys (put your hands behind your back: that's where they usually are)–now you need a weapon of choice.
Canes come in two basic breeds: natural and not. The differences can be worlds apart. Organic canes are cheap, readily available, and can often be on the slightly lower end of the sensation scale (though this depends on a lot of factors). Artificial canes are generally a lot more expensive, harder to find, and usually are on the higher end of that "ouch!" meter. Remember, the big difference between the two is cleanliness.
The intensity that one toy brings to a bottom is dependent on a variety of factors. Material, thinness (the thinner, the more of a "sting" to the toy), weight (heavier equals deep bruising, more of a "thuddy" sensation), and spring or acceleration (faster equalling more of a "bite").
Thus, a thin, heavy plastic cane will deliver more of a sharp pain than, say, a thick, light, wooden one.
Choose your weapon with care, as what you pull from the bag can have a very big effect on your bottom's bottom.
Like with floggers, one thing you have to really watch out for here is wrapping, where the tip of the toy falls beyond the curve of the ass and thus accelerates much faster than the rest of the cane, snapping around and–you guessed it–wrapping.
The symptoms of this happening are usually obvious to you, and certainly your bottom: a split second gap between a nice impact on the fatty tissue of the butt and a welt-raising Pop as the end of toy speeds up. The solution is easy, though; just pull back a bit so that the surface of the toy doing the hitting impacts on the old sweet spot and not beyond it.
*Note: More than with any other toy, it's important that about two or three inches of the cane are actually doing the hitting. Sometimes people position themselves so that only the very tip of the rod does the striking, and while this can be hot for them, most people would rather not experience such pinpoint agony. So make sure that the end of the cane, and not the tip, is doing the smacking.*
Let's talk rhythm. With caning (as with flogging), it's important to keep up a regular beat (and a one, two, three, four…): strike your bottom with a staggered, irregular impact and you're going to have someone pissed-off rather than turned-on.
Sure, you can play with different beats or strike harder or lighter during a single session, but first you have to pump up those natural opiates with a good, sensual build-up of consistent smacks–remember our spanking warm-up? After the bottom has been guided upwards by your careful drumming on their tuchus, you can then start to lengthen the time between strokes, making them harder/softer, etc.–but never lose that sense of timing.
So now that you've learned the basics, it's time to talk aftercare.
Canes can be nasty suckers, even when used lightly. Untreated canes have been known to produce little splinters that can easily escape detection at the start of a scene–and can even draw blood, as indicated previously.
If you do indeed produce a little blood during a caning scene, don't freak, just clean the area, put a plaster on it, and toss the cane–or clean it if it's plastic.
Canes can also cause bruises on people or even welts. Neither is dangerous but can be painful. For bruising, Vitamin E cream and then a routine of heat then ice will usually bring the swelling right down.
Something else that comes up with people who like to go natural with their cane is that the Top has the bottom go out and cut their own switches. This can be a lot of fun, but don't forget that natural can also mean dirty or even allergic.
The best advice here is to stick to store-bought and treated: no scene is worth a nasty infection or a bad reaction. You can easy get thee and thou out to thy local BDSM emporium to buy a cane, take classes in technique, buy instructional videos, and read books.
Canning is, more than anything, a good place to start learning, but definitely not the place to stop.