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What is caning?

Ken Melvoin-Berg
Profile Picture of Ken Melvoin-Berg

Ken Melvoin-Berg is a Chicago based freelance writer, author, professional pervert, TV producer, BDSM/sex educator, adult industry consultant, and male sex toy advocate. He is also the Consulting Producer/Sharon Osbourne of Showtime’s “Sex with Sunny Megatron.”

Ken is an “edutainer” armed with knowledge of all things sexual, a humorous lecturing style, and a professional background in medicine/biology. He has been writing and lecturing on these subjects since 1997. Ken is known for his amazing facial hair and tattoos. He also loves his family, Aquaman, his amazing pug, Nathan, and the USA.

 Full Bio
Q:What is caning?
A: Along with spanking, caning is one of the most popular forms of pain play for adults involved in BDSM. Essentially canes are sticks used to hit someone which, under the right conditions, can create arousal. A cane consists of four basic parts: the handle, collar, shaft and ferrule (or the tip that usually stands on the ground). The most important part of the cane is the shaft. This makes up the longest portion of the cane and is the part that will most often strike the target. The ferrule stops the end of the cane from sliding on the ground and is usually found only on canes use for fashion or assistance in walking. Most canes used for kink have a handle, collar and shaft only.

Canes are made from a variety of materials including rattan, nylon, leather, metal, wood, bamboo, and fiberglass. When choosing your cane, something that is light, balanced and doesn’t splinter is best.

When focusing on caning for BDSM purposes, you want to start softly and work your way up slowly. Skin needs to be worked on gradually in order to increase the endorphins that can turn pain into pleasure. The parts of the body that are generally subject to caning include the genitals, breasts, upper back, buttocks, thighs, feet, palms and back. Focusing canes solely (pun intended) on the feet is called Bastinado and is a darkly delicious technique to focus on. If you do Bastinado, make sure that you use a lighter touch than you would with the butt as you could damage bones and muscles more easily. Stay away from striking the back and front of the neck, the head, the sternum/breastplate, the tailbone and the kidneys.

Practice using a cane on pillows before using it on a human. Tie off the center of the pillow to simulate two large buttocks. The strength comes from the swing of your arm, but the final snap of your wrist provides the bulk of force and aim. Use a forward swing like in tennis. This helps keep your elbow and wrist level. Don’t bend your back, and find your distance by moving toward or away from the target by moving your feet. Gripping higher up on the cane will help with accuracy and give greater control. Because this is intense, count out the number of strokes from one to 10. Start light and go harder as the numbers get larger. Massaging the area being caned can also be a good cool down for the person receiving the caning.

Caning is an intense but often pleasurable form of corporeal punishment used in BDSM play, but only when it's done well and with a practiced hand.

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