IT’S ALL RELATIVE – your caning, my caning

By | 31st May 2017

I had a conversation recently with someone who had been caned for the first time. Six strokes. It had obviously had quite an effect and marked an important development in her exploration of kink. She described the anticipation; the pause between the sound of the impact and the sharp pain it produced; the fight to hold position for the next stroke.

She also talked of her feelings afterwards: her pride at having accepted the strokes; her sense that each touch from her partner seemed amplified; the floaty calm. I recognized these sensations and emotions and reassured her that their intensity was completely normal.

The only discordant note in our conversation was her insistence that her “little” experience was inconsequential beside the canings that I write about. She seemed to feel embarrassed to even be talking to me about so insignificant an experience as her six strokes.

I tried to explain that ‘significance’ is a personal scale and if she was still thinking about the experience days later, then it was clearly significant. Those six strokes were quite likely to have been just as shocking and hard to take as my recent twenty four strokes from Elita, and very probably more so.

I was not always immune to these concerns myself; I have seen videos of men taking horrific beatings, their backside looking like a piece of tenderised steak, blood running down their thighs. I used to worry I was a wimp next to these guys and would ask Mistresses how my CP session compared with those of other clients, needing to validate my experience by putting it on a scale. I’ve outgrown that tendency and now measure the severity of a session only by how it made me feel.

I think the same way when I play as a Dom. Last time I saw Katie, an experienced and very masochistic submissive, I was impressed by her ability to handle an end of session caning, some twenty strokes delivered firmly with a strong cane. She cried out with each stroke but looked into my eyes, almost challenging me to give her the next.

But I was no less impressed by Miss S, a completely inexperienced submissive, who bravely stayed down through a hand spanking, gasping at the shock of each firm smack on her bottom, clearly way out of her comfort zone. Even more impressively, she was still there after six strokes with a leather strap.

Objectively, Katie’s punishment was much harder than that of Miss S, but this is a nonsense observation. Pain can’t be measured objectively, it is an entirely subjective experience. For a practising masochist, pain is a familiar adversary for which defence mechanisms have been developed. Such a person has a mental space they can occupy, where the pain seems less frightening and where it might even be relished. An experienced Dom should be much more impressed by the novice in obvious distress, bravely taking the next stroke, than by the experienced player urging “bring it on!” after every blow.

Miss S had no defences, no mental place of refuge, no internal language to help her process and understand what was happening. And yet she was still there at the end, just as my friend was there at the end of her first six strokes with the cane. Their experiences were new and frightening and required reserves of fortitude and resilience. I’m tremendously impressed by both of them for that reason.

Their experiences are no less valid than Katie’s or mine or those of the guy with the blood running down his legs and they have every right to be proud.


spanking marks 1


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5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL RELATIVE – your caning, my caning

  1. Molly

    All the yes to this and for me my ‘endurance’ levels change all the time depending on mood, health, tiredness etc and even now sometimes when I struggle with it I will find myself saying sorry because it is so easy to believe that there is a level which one must reach to be doing it ‘right’


  2. Jaime

    Absolutely agree. Like most doms, I’m sure, I’m just as proud of a girl taking her first hand spanking, and feeling it and being brave, as I am with a girl who takes an objectively hard riding cropping, say.

    It’s all in the heart the submissive brings to it. Someone’s pain threshold at the moment the session starts, is neither their fault nor their “goodness”. It’s just whatever it happens to be.

    It’s the courage and faith the submissive brings to it that counts.

    Well said, in both senses of those words!

  3. Marie Rebelle

    This: “Pain can’t be measured objectively, it is an entirely subjective experience.”

    For quite some time I have compared myself to others, worried that I cannot take as much as they can, only to gradually learn that yes, there are things I cannot handle as well as others but there are other things I handle a lot better. Then I moved on to realize that there is no competition in this. It’s not about who can take the most or who handles it better, it’s about the experience and what you get from it.

    Thanks for writing this!

    Rebel xox

  4. Modesty Ablaze

    Perfectly perceptive words as always . . . (and perfectly descriptive photographs as well !!!)
    But yes you are right “it is all relative”.
    Xxx – K

  5. HappyComeLucky

    So much this. These experiences should never be compared in terms of the force and number of the strikes, in my opinion. It is about the intensity of the experience for the participants. I crave the pain but I also have a need to chase that edge – the fear that I can’t take it and the initial shock while I search for that place inside my soul. Once there, I always want one more than I have had. Each surge of pain is beauty but getting there isn’t guaranteed even when I know the way. Troubles and tensions of life can make the way more treacherous and sometimes hide that masochistic home in my soul from me. Those times are not less, the times that a brief spanking was enough are not less, the times that I take more than I thought I could are not more. I am a masochist because of the feelings, both emotional and physical. I am not a masochist because of numbers or thwack ratings.

    I play with fear if not being able to take it because that internal struggle of the first few times were so intoxicating. The times when I sink into position, desperate to feel each impact are an equally wonderful but different experience.

    I hope that makes sense and your friend enjoyed and continues to enjoy the experiences and sees the beauty of each individual element and how they fit the whole.


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