Forced to Feel

Jojasa throws a great party.

She arranges some hotel space and invites several of her friends. About 40 of them. Our friends have known each other online for years, so it's much like a family reunion. I attended to perform BDSM research.

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones
But Whips and Chains Excite Me

Our common interest is in consensual adult spanking, or some related form of BDSM. There is a fairly equal mixture of givers and receivers. The party suite tends to be a rather busy and noisy place.

This brings us to my own particular place in the scheme of things... the Cane. Can you picture rattan (wicker) furniture? It's the same material. I use lengths of rattan ranging from a quarter inch thick to a full inch thick, ranging in length from eighteen to thirty-six inches. I also have bamboo canes, a thin graphite one, and a nasty fiberglass thing. I use the plain stick, unfinished, no handle. Mine is a low-budget operation.

The nice thing about a cane, is that it HURTS. Well, not everyone construes that as a feature... but I liken the cane to a violin. In the hands of an expert, a tremendous range of expression becomes available. It can be scary or soothing... more than once have I put Jojasa to sleep during a caning scene.

Before I get on to the good stuff, let me mention the safety issue. Never let a cane touch the hand of an idiot. The cane can be a dangerous implement, leaving marks which last for a couple of months. Yes, months. If you happen to be curious about the cane (yeah, right), never ever let anyone touch you with it, until you have carefully observed him or her playing with someone else. After you have observed, you must satisfy yourself on two points.

First, can he or she handle the cane accurately and safely in your situation. Your person need not necessarily be an expert, so long as they stay within their capabilities. Are they accurate? Do they clearly know where and where not to strike? What do they do to ensure there is no possibility of a missed stroke? Remember that mistakes with a cane are not acceptable. Ask around, and you'll know why.

Second, can he or she handle the scene you have in mind. That is, can they handle you? Will they know if something is going wrong, even if you don't tell them? Do they know how to bring you through the experience in the manner you would wish? This second question is certainly as critical as the first.

At Jojasa's parties, I get a great kick out of answering those two questions. I have fun whacking people in safe, sane, consensual fashion. People watch and watch and watch, to see how I handle things... they're scared but fascinated. (And that, my friends, is a key appeal of the BDSM world.) What we're doing is developing a trust.

On Saturday evening, many of us head down to the Leather Rose, a dungeon with wonderful management and friendly people. I had a caning appointment arranged with LadieJJ, one of our partygoers. She'd already had a great weekend; as it turned out, my mission was to do a nearly-full-horsepower caning scene with her, but work around her already-existing marks and bruises. I checked the territory, and found she wasn't kidding! Still, I was able to take her further than she'd been before, and did navigate safely.

Now... finally... we come to our scene report. By Sunday, LadyHeart was ready. Unlike everyone else whom I had caned, she wasn't already sore. A Domme herself, she was on the receiving end once and only once, the entire weekend. We had played on previous occasions, and both knew that once would be sufficient. (After a full-horsepower caning of this nature, you're done for the weekend.)

So. Here we are in the party suite, surrounded by people. Some people prefer to play publicly. They can take a bit more, because they don't want to disappoint the audience. Others enjoy being the exhibitionist. LadyHeart had already said she didn't care whether the scene was public or private. I enjoy scaring audiences, so we did the scene right in the party suite, in a room full of perhaps a dozen people.

However, she didn't think she could stand or kneel bent over for any length of time. She was too nervous or something. So, what to do? Lay her on the couch? That wouldn't work, because I couldn't walk to both sides of her.

We kicked three people off the couch and unfolded it into a hidabed. She lay down prone, gathering a pillow to hang on to. LadieJJ, whom I had caned the night before at The Leather Rose, lay down with her for comfort and support. LadyHeart was now quite literally the center of attention, in the geographic center of the room. This also solved the problem of "not enough room to swing a cat." Horizontal swings require five feet of space to either side of her, four feet in front of her, and possibly ten feet behind her. By swinging down vertically, we've solved the space problem. The ceiling gets in the way, but at least it doesn't complain when it gets hit on the backswing.

The room is mostly quiet and watching, but not totally. Conversations and other bottomsmackings continue. I find the noise somewhat distracting, but not too much to handle. My primary concern is that the sharp noises will distract LadyHeart from her own scene, knocking her out of her headspace. I select my first cane.

LadyHeart is fully clothed. This makes things more difficult in that I can't directly observe the state of her skin. I can't tell the degree of bruising which might be taking place. We discussed and understood this ahead of time. The fact that she'd not played at all (on the receiving end, that is) makes a big difference in this situation - I don't have to worry about prior marking or soreness.

As the one controlling the scene, I'm presented with a number of problems. I've already mentioned the noise and the clothing. The audience itself can be a problem... might I go past what an observer can handle? Not in this case; by this point all present had a very good idea of what was to take place. LadyHeart's headspace and emotions had to be played by ear. The fact that LadieJJ was next to her would be an additional emotional safety factor.

The remaining problem was my expertise. I'm most comfortable working with a person standing or kneeling, bent over. That is, the cane strokes are horizontal rather than vertical. This was to be a full-horsepower scene, but my best technique wasn't available. For a lighter scene this wouldn't matter in the least... but could I achieve full horsepower in this manner?

Well, okay, there was a matter of pride at stake. You see, there was someone watching me who thought he was pretty good with a cane. He had watched me with LadieJJ the night before, and realized there was more to learn. I took an hour or more with him that afternoon, just prior to this scene, teaching him my technique. It was soooo cool to see the light bulb pop! And now, he wasn't going to see me at my best. Or was he?

I chose my first cane. Thirty-six inches of oh-so-flexible rattan, a half inch thick. There is no way to describe the effect it produces. It is a refined pain. It builds for the next couple of seconds into overwhelming intensity. Those who understand, hate it... and love it.

I conduct such a session at a slow pace, so that each stroke or series of strokes can be individually experienced. Strangely enough, the target is her head rather than her tail. The cane is simply a tool, a tool to get her to where she wants to be.

For such a woman as LadyHeart, there is only one way to survive the scene. That is to submit to the pain, to let it envelop and pass through her. My role is merely that of the facilitator. That is, I enable her to get to where she cannot otherwise go. Do the strokes hurt? Most certainly. But they are not perceived as pain. They become no more than intense stimulation... and the intensity can become erotic indeed.

The physical intensity forces the emotional intensity... she must submit to the pain, else it cannot be survived. The combined intensity can only be experienced to be understood. She is forced to feel; the cane cannot be ignored.

I was lucky enough to find the right balance, this time. She told me afterwards that twice she almost called a stop. But she didn't. And - suddenly - I pushed her over the edge. The dam broke, and she allowed herself to feel. There was much that she had bottled up inside. She let go, broke into tears for the first time, and flushed it all away. We talked a bit, while she lay there crying. At this point she was not happy to be in a room full of people, but who could have known. She assured me that she was surprised... and that the result was very good indeed. It was what she needed.

BDSM, then, is often about intensity. There is a degree of physical and emotional intensity which probably cannot otherwise be experienced. Very rarely have I encountered someone afraid that it will hurt too much. The fear is much the opposite... the fear is that yet again, it will not be enough.

The Stroke

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