I don't recall her exact words, but she had been saying something similar for weeks, ever since I described the "broom handle" I had ordered - the broom handle pretending to be a cane. And when she saw it in person, it was immediately obvious to her, that there was absolutely no way.
Of course she held it, touched it, twirled it far more expertly than I ever could. But to be hit with it? Not a chance.
Upon The Master's recommendation, I had ordered a collection of unfinished canes from Hanson Paddle Company. They are lightly sanded, no handle or anything, a dollar or two apiece. Just the bare stick - perfect for my purposes.
Unfortunately the thinnest they offer in their longest length, 36 inches, is 5/8ths inch diameter. Which seems awfully thick to me. So I ordered a variety of 20-inch sticks, and 30-inch sticks, plus the one 36-inch "broom handle". That gave me a range of seven new sticks to try.
My instinct had
been correct... 20 and 30 inches are not the right lengths for
me. If she is laying across my lap while I am sitting on a couch,
20 inches is too long. The back of the couch prevents my elbow
from pushing back far enough behind me, to put the cane on target.
If it were ten inches long, rather than 20, that would work about
right. If I were sitting on a bed, or a backless stool or
Later that evening, we did a little caning scene. The club was pretty empty because of the snow - fine by me. We practically had the place to ourselves. So I got to try out my whole range of canes, see how they felt. And found 30 inches indeed too short.
The short canes (20 and 30 inches) are great for light and moderate play. Being stroked with a 30-inch length of rattan is not something she can ignore. The trouble is that she can take so much more.
A thin (half-inch diameter or less) 36-inch cane *is* difficult to control. Perhaps that's why Hanson only offers 36 inch in the thicker size. The Hanson folks, by the way, are very helpful, and they are willing to special-order the desired sizes for me at little or no additional cost. Anyway, perhaps the reasoning is that broom handles and baseball bats can't wobble when you swing them, but thin rattan canes certainly can.
The irony is that *I* can control a 36-inch cane better than I can a 30-inch one. The reason is that she can take such devastating strokes. A proper caning, for her, pushes the limits of what a 30-inch cane can deliver. Which also means the cane is at the limit of my current handling ability, and thus I am playing at the edge of what I can control. With a 36-inch cane I do not need to approach the limit of my physical ability... and thus my motion remains far better controlled.
In other words, the longer cane works better for me because its length gives it a higher horsepower rating, so to speak, and there's no need to red-line the engine.
And now back to our story.
As I was trying out the set of canes, I was discovering these things, but also trying to create a good scene for her. She is so awesome with the cane, that nothing but the best will do for her... I am so very proud of her.
And sitting on the bench with the other canes, was that thing which really did look like a broom handle. I picked it up, showed it to her. I did not promise to be gentle, but I did promise to not start out using it two-handed. She understood the joke: I've never used a cane two-handed, but this thing seemed more in the nature of a baseball bat. I was offering to play stickball with her butt.
She truly thought the "broom stick" cane was a joke. It still had not occurred to her that I might actually be thinking of really using it on her. But, she had already given me the hint... she had quietly pointed out a bit earlier, that once she was warmed up, pretty much anything was possible. And here she was, in position, well-warmed by those six other canes... actually, eight canes rather than six... The Master had just presented me that evening, with two he had made for me himself. Thus this scene was really a matter of trying the nine canes for the first time.
She allowed me to try that broom handle, once. Then she said maybe one more, specifying a point a little bit lower. Then she explained it was all thud, no sting at all, and maybe kinda nice.
Let me hasten to note that we are *not* talking about a real broom handle, but a thick piece of rattan - it *is* a cane. But so much of our play is in the head, and the fact that it *looks* like a broom handle, terrified her. Because, of course, a *real* broom handle would be quite dangerous if used in that fashion.
There was absolutely no way she was going to get hit with that broom handle. And then she said, "More please." And this is how she is... she trusts me an incredible amount.
She has such deep potential... as we explore further and further, she'll think about it, and announce, "More please." And then I'll think about it, and realize that it is *me* who is so privileged to continue exploring. I am pleased.