A regular feature will be items that I have (or really, really want to have) in my playbag. Name, places to buy, uses, and such will be dressed. Got something you would like to see? Drop me a note.
Ah, the cane. So simple looking – yet looks are deceiving in this case. The cane can produce some of the strongest sensations and juiciest marks of any implement. Besides the crop, the cane is perhaps the most recognizable BDSM implement, and is a form of impact play. It can conjure up images of school era punishment (and if you’re a fan of American Horror Story, and very sexy Jessica Lange in a nun habit and her selection of canes) or Victorian era scenes.
What is a cane? Canes are normally made from a flexible, thin wood like rattan or bamboo. However, these days you can see them in all types of material – fiberglass and such. Many recommend NOT buying bamboo, the reason being that it splinters easily – something to keep in mind.
As with any instrument, practice. For a cane, a pillow is good. Get a nice firm feather pillow – something that indents when struck – and try a variety of strikes. Notice the different way the pillow forms, dents, and moves with the strikes. Practice consistency, and the middle ground between a too hard strike and too soft tap.
OK, you’ve practiced, you have a good cane. You’re ready. Now what?
Start by warming your partner up gently, not every strike has to be hard – short, firm taps, perhaps concentrating on what we call the “sweet spot” (aka the “sit spot”- the area where the thighs meet the buttocks) are some incredible sensations. Remember not to hit in one spot repeatedly, this will quickly break skin, and may produce too-intense situations for the bottom. You can use the tip of the cane for a sharp, stinging sensation, or strike with more of the cane for an almost cutting feeling. As always, use your safe words and physical signals to convey pain level and play time. NEVER, EVER play without a way to stop or slow down the scene. EVER. Once you get the hang of it, vary the strokes, and, if you have it available, use other canes.
For aftercare with canes, keep an eye on any alarming bruising. Use gloves (if you are not fluid bonded with your partner) to check for breaks in the skin and treat, if needed. Offer fluids, a bit of sugar, and cuddles (if wanted). Check in on the next 24-48 hours to make sure your partner is doing well, and solicit feedback for refining your experience. If you’re the bottom, take it slowly. If it’s your first time with a cane, do not take it to the edge. See how and where you bruise, and how you feel the next day. Be vocal to your top!
Alright, to buy canes, I recommend getting this on in person. Run your hand over the wood, feel the weight, grip the handle – all things you can’t do online. I get most of my toys online, but canes I buy from vendors in-person.
Let’s end with some safety tips –
A. Start by having your caning partner lying flat, instead of bent over. When bent over, taut muscles become more sensitive to impact, those same strokes are less intense when lying on the bed.
B. DON’T USE OVER ORGANS, ON THE FACE AREA, ON BONY AREAS (fingers, ankles, top of the feet, etc.) And absolutely NEVER over the tailbone.
C. Do not use a cane that is splintered or breaking. That is trip to the ER waiting to happen. The inverse of this is take care of your cane, which varies by type of material. Talk to the person who fashioned it for advice – if they don’t know, don’t buy a cane from them.
D. Never play without a way to stop or slow down a scene (safe words, hand signals, whatever).
And that is a primer on canes. Enjoy!