sunflower wrote:isn't there a potential for injury with this? caning is a little scary. is it possible to hurt your sub without meaning to if you don't get the result you expect from her? but, I could be wrong. if there is trust and the top knows what he is doing I guess this wouldn't be so bad. thanks for making this a little clearer for me.
Injury is definitely something we want to avoid! Canes (and wooden paddles) are potent implements and do have the potential to injure in unskilled hands, but a skilled Top can always avoid injuring the Sub
. Remember two points: (1) the Tolerance Limit
is a mental state, not a physical one; (2) the Sub's reactions are important, but the Top must pay attention to the physical effects of the implement as well
What (1) means is that we do have a safety factor because there is still some distance between the Tolerance Limit and the point of actual injury. If we go just a little above it the Sub should still be perfectly safe even though the experience may not be pleasant for her. Examples of this would be some sorority paddlings and even some school paddlings. Think of the Tolerance Limit as a clear warning that we should not go further. When this limit is recklessly ignored with the Top just sailing past it as if it didn't exist, as has occasionally been done in schools and sororities, than injury can take place.
(2) is of more practical value when it comes to safety - the Sub can't be injured without some physical signs having been apparent long before. This is the most important reason why the cane and the wood paddle should always be applied to the bare bottom (the other being its psychological effect). With the paddle, light bruising should become apparent before anything more serious can occur (Tops must watch carefully because some women don't show light bruises right away). With the cane, the following effects will be seen, depending on intensity:
Light - red stripe appears, but no weals
Medium - light weals appear
Medium hard - weals more distinct
Too Hard - bruises appear just above and below the stripe. Interestingly, the stripe itself does not bruise. If the Top sees this happen, he should back off the intensity even for a strict punishment caning. Going beyond this level of intensity could cause actual skin breakage.
I had no problem avoiding being too hard with the cane even in my early days with it, although of course I had years of experience with the paddle by then. From the Sub's standpoint, she should make sure that her Top is both experienced and careful, or if she is "breaking in" a new Top (e.g. a young couple just beginning to experiment with spanking), insist he go very lightly with wood paddle and cane until the two of them have acquired some experience together, including plenty of feedback from the Sub (post-session if she doesn't want to risk breaking the mood of the session, although the Sub should never suffer in silence during the session - if you think something is wrong, tell your Top immediately).
Even "Medium" cane strokes as described above are quite painful, and are adequate even for a punishment session. One thing that will help emphasize safety: most of the danger comes from heavy
paddles and canes - lighter ones are much less likely to do any damage. This means that if your Top is still somewhat new to this, make sure he knows that you cannot take full-force swats with a 1/2" thick wooden paddle or powerful strokes with a rattan cane thicker than 3/8". Starting out with a 3/8" thick wooden paddle or a 5/16" thick rattan cane would be a good idea, as would giving light strokes at first and only gradually increasing the intensity.
With lexan paddles, do not go thicker than 1/4" and again start lightly - eventually, most subs can take this paddle applied medium to medium-hard. With canes made of lexan, nylon, or delrin, again do not go beyond 1/4" thickness, and apply these very lightly. They have a decided tendency to wrap and bruise, so rattan is preferred even though it's less economical (it will break eventually), and in a professional "dungeon" cannot be so easily sterilized.