The Headmaster Speaks
By Alex

A commitment to the education of our youth has long been one of the proudest principles of our nation. No one can doubt that, while, extending this commitment to our female youth has been a comparatively recent development, its importance has proved to be no less than the longer standing attention paid to our male youth. It is for this recent that this humble tract will concern itself only with a particular aspect of the education of females.

As with all education, it is, first of all, doubtless universally agreed that it is most desirably achieved through the example and benevolent guidance of wiser seniors but that, second, it has also been ineluctably shown by experience that such wisdom is not invariably accepted by young women. It would be sad indeed were we to reject such youth when simply through its own lack of wisdom it seems to reject us, for wayward youth properly chastened can often mature into worthy adulthood. Under this unfortunate but nevertheless common condition of waywardness, there can be no questioning of the fact that firm discipline must immediately be applied. Those responsible for this discipline are, in most cases, those in charge of the educational institution that the wayward female in question happens to be attending. This disciplinary task, however, is not usually the one for which these masters and mistresses have been trained. It is for this reason that I am composing this guide, drawing upon my lengthy experience in both the philosophical consideration and the skilled practice of such discipline.

I will address the treatment of girls and young ladies between the ages of 14 and 19, the ages with which my own experience has been most extensive. While 19 might seem rather too adult in the case of young men, experience has taught me that the fairer sex, while not as rough and unruly as the male, may yet benefit from a mature hand for slightly longer. The discipline upon which I shall expound will be limited to that of the cane administered across the bare bottom. It has, again, been my experience that for the ages with which I am concerned the most effective discipline is the one that is most direct and least in doubt - in short, the most painful. It is often the custom, I am aware, for a variety of implements to be used in the chastisement of younger girls, from hair brushes to paddles, straps and even the martinet. The cane, however, I believe is by far the nobler instrument. It is certainly appropriate that a young lady of 14 entering upon the final phase of her education, should know that, if and when she is chastised by a master or mistress, then it will assuredly be with the cane. At the conclusion of the educational process, in the unfortunate case of young women who have resisted all correction, if they realize that their behavior uncorrected will surely lead to the reformatory where an even more painful cane awaits the errant subject, then a particularly severe beating with a school cane may be sufficient to reform them in this last resort. It is possible that the birch might be claimed as an instrument as equally perfectly suited to the chastisement of young women, but it has unfortunately almost entirely dropped out of use, except on the Isle of Man, so I will not discuss it.

As a headmaster of some standing, with a long career in education, I have enjoyed many conversations about these matters with my fellow principals. I am therefore aware that I may be addressing readers with a variety of disposition and experience. I trust that even other experts in the practice of discipline may yet find something worthwhile in my humble offering, but I address more particularly those who have little or no experience and are therefore in serious need of guidance. There are some masters, I have realized with dismay, who have been so mesmerized by the increasing soft-headedness of our era that they are unable to understand the essential role of corporal punishment. To them I have nothing to say. I address only those who do understand its necessity, both men and women. I am acquainted with several headmistresses whose enlightened and skilled practice of such punishment is an example to us all. However, and for obvious reasons, there is an aspect of the corporal punishment of young women that confronts the male agent of discipline differently from the female and it is an aspect that I consider to be of great importance. In these prefatory remarks, therefore, let me address those who may adhere to an intermediate category of correctional philosophy. This acknowledges that the infliction of pain on the posterior may be essential to our educational success but it has been so misled by the confusions of modern life as to believe that such chastisement can be separated from the view of authority.

There is, for example, the master who still believes that it is proper to cane a young woman, but only with her knickers - or even her skirt - still in place. I must emphasize my entire conviction that this is a serious misapprehension. To begin with, the administration of the cane has as its single and immediate purpose the causing of pain in the posterior. Only by achieving this can it also achieve its ultimate purpose, the correction of the miscreant's conduct. The modification of the pain to an appropriate level, either higher or a lower, should be made through skill in the administration and not through a frustration of the cane's inherent affection for the unprotected skin. But it is not merely a matter of physical discomfort. If it were, then any other infliction of pain without permanent damage would achieve the same result. It is also and essentially a matter of humiliation in the presence of her superiors. It is necessary that the young woman being so punished accept beyond question that her own misconduct has inevitably subjected her to the eye of authority as well as to that authority's administration of a painful punishment. The latter, of course, lies in the nature of the cane. The former, however, requires that the miscreant find herself subjected not just to the eye of authority but also to its gaze. When you punish, therefore, you must also observe without hindrance. It is part of your duty and should it also happen to give you pleasure, then that is simply a private and incidental benefit of the sort that may reward you in the discharge of any duty.

There are also some schoolmasters who cane across the bare posterior but who require that a female assistant manage the removal of garments. This is less misguided and in certain circumstances may even be helpful. Certainly, having a school nurse present at a caning is appropriate (I myself require this regularly-but it is of course essential that this observer approve of the practice of caning in general). However, subscribing to this practice should not obscure a much more profound matter, which is that the master, or mistress, who administers the cane must do so with full respect for both the immediate target and the entire person of whom that target is but a part. To this end, only through contemplation and subsequent recognition of the inherent qualities of the posterior itself, achievable only when that part of the anatomy is entirely revealed, can the proper attitude on the part of the person wielding the cane be established.

With these principles simply established at the outset, let us proceed in more depth. The fundamental difference between, on the one hand, the benevolent enlightenment of youth by superior knowledge and estimable example and, on the other, the disciplining of wayward youth, may help us appreciate how attitudes arising in the former may be inappropriate when applied to the latter. I emphasize here that masters or mistresses responsible for the chastisement of one of their charges must discharge this responsibility with humility, rather than with the pride that usually accompanies superior and exemplary accomplishment. The act of chastisement consists, most essentially and quite simply, in the effective impact of a cane across a posterior. The master administering this event should be the humble agent bringing cane and posterior together, obviously with due expertise in the wielding the cane and, perhaps less obviously, with due respect to the anatomy being punished. Naturally, accompanying this humble action there are many considerations, and these, indeed, are the point of my appropriately humble guide. But to let the cane do its appointed work upon the annointed posterior is the first principle. My words below, therefore, will first address matters of the posterior, then the cane, then the disposition of the owner of the posterior, then the use of the cane, then some observations concerning the results, and finally some concluding reflections upon the matter as a whole.


Before entering more deeply into this, the sine qua non of our disciplinary aim, and since any modest value I may claim for these remarks arises entirely from the experiences that have led me to this point, I make so bold as to begin with a now distant experience through which my own principles were formed. I think my forthrightness in this endeavor will be demonstrated by the fact that this experience was not entirely to my credit, at least not in its opening. It led, however, to what I also claim with more pride to a profounder understanding of those democratic principles that I now firmly believe are not only a glory of our nation in general, but are also to be upheld even in the punishment room in particular.

When I was in a grammar school (the age, of course, when I learnt so clearly at the business end of the cane the value of a caning to the subject of the punishment), I had been complemented on my ability in drawing and hence briefly entertained an ambition to become an artist. In this situation, I was encouraged to learn to draw from Greek and Roman statues in the City Museum - it was, of course, out of the question that I would have been permitted to learn from a live artist's model. In studying this noble statuary, I became deeply impressed with the respect that the ancients had paid to the human buttocks. Indeed, having been brought up with great propriety, the sight of other aspects of female anatomy to which the ancient masters had also - very surprisingly to me - paid close attention, caused me considerable discomfort. My art master, who must, I think, have been inclined to depravity, disapproved of the vagueness in drawing with which I disguised my discomfort with female frontal anatomy, and soon discouraged me from proceeding in his profession. Before being thus rejected, however, I had taken every opportunity to study every available piece of statuary that revealed the naked buttocks, for there I was now convinced lay one of the noblest aspects of the human form, whether male or female. In my researches, I discovered that the Ancient Greeks had indeed preceded us in this ideal, as in so many others. I discovered a statue called the Callipygian Venus, whose name signified directly the ideal of perfection in the buttocks that the Greeks ennobled in art. Searching for the meaning of her name, indeed, led me to extensive searches of dictionaries, a labor that eventually brought about my conversion to more literary scholarship (I will return to her below).

After the discouragement of my art masters, however, I forgot these interests. Much later, after being appointed a master at a school for girls, I was instructed in the normal course of events to cane a young woman infamous for her bad behavior. At the time, as a responsible master, I was quite insensitive to the particularity of feminine beauty and wiles, both of which she represented very well. But she was, I was thereby obliged to acknowledge to myself, rather comely in appearance and unashamed in her manner. I thus recollected my youthful interest in the Callipygian Venus. As a result, I became most unduly anxious to behold other examples of such Callipygian perfection - always necessarily under the cane. This led - I am ashamed yet prepared to acknowledge -- to my temporary dismay when I realized that I was designating young ladies for punishment on the basis of their form as much as their misconduct.

Subsequently, I am much happier to relate, I was able to redeem myself, when I both realized and demonstrated by my own actions that punishment should truly be democratic. All who deserve it should receive it in equal measure. As I pursued this enlightened path, thus earning the approval of my superiors and peers, I came to a complementary but more personal understanding. All bottoms - as I generally prefer to call them when they are presented for discipline - should be treated democratically. The posterior is what it is, first of all, by virtue of its position in relation to the rest of human anatomy, in proportion to the whole body of which it is literally the seat. Thus have I punished every posterior that has come my way since, with equal attention to detail and respect for the whole corporal form that it serves. This does not mean, of course, that some posteriors are not more perfect in form than others and I will therefore presume such exemplary form to be the specific subject of my remarks.

With this understanding of the principles that should govern our practice, it might seem that I could now address more directly what is, of course, the fundament of our subject. Extended and careful cogitation, however, has convinced me the subject is more complex. To start, I must appeal to the reader's mature and serious understanding. A certain frankness is appropriate in writing that is addressed to adults in serious matters and is especially necessary in the present case. I will attempt both particularity and propriety.

I shall first consider the phenomenon under discussion as the female posterior in general, rather than in particular as the bottom presented to a cane (to make a distinction in terms that I will justify below). In this latter case, of course, it is customarily seen as the most prominent aspect of a young lady who has been required to bend over. But in our initial discussion this feature must be understood as it is obvious to all, even in the upright posture. This prominence that lies behind the hips and is such a marked aspect of the female form might seem at first thought to be simply an anatomical feature. On closer examination, however, we will come to realize that it also lies metaphorically at the core of various values in our society. It is for this reason that I must approach it more broadly than simply as the target of disciplinary action.

I believe it to be a common experience that the male person functions as a male in society with little attention being paid to any particularity of his shape (other than strictly private matters that we do not need to go into here). The identity and activity of the female, however, seems to be inextricably associated with public aspects of the distinctive female form. This is a matter that we, as educators, cannot safely ignore. Speaking with appropriate frankness, therefore, we may say that her form, apart from a generally more tender and curvaceous appearance, has three essential aspects. The first of these is that conspicuous lack of what, in private, distinguishes the male. I have read that a certain Mr. Sigmund Freud has been trying to make out this lack as a matter of more public significance but, be that as it may, we should put this aside for the moment, as invisible in the public domain (except for some recent and rather disreputable trends in women's garments). The second aspect is that of her bosom. In schools, we can hardly ignore this, since often enough girls arrive with no sign of one, but leave with it prominently apparent. However, so indubitable is the function of the bosom as essential to the nourishment of human offspring, that we have no difficulty in accepting its well-covered presence as appropriate to the public image of the fair sex. The third aspect is the posterior, which I believe to be a much more difficult and more ambiguous problem. Its prominence in the female form has often been emphasized by women's fashions, even as sometimes they might more properly wish to conceal it. The original purpose of such prominence, however, is not clear. A rather excessive development of the gluteus maximus, together with some additional adipose deposit, or so I am informed by my science teachers, it seems unnecessary for the simple purposes of facilitating locomotion and providing a seat, judging by the less prominent but perfectly adequate anatomy of the male. I have also been told, by a staff member acquainted with the notions of anthropology, that the female prominence is thought to have evolved as an attraction to the male. While there seems to be some retrospective justification for this view, as suggested by the Callipygian tale (to which I will turn below), and as perhaps confirmed by the noble traditions of our art, this nevertheless strikes me as not entirely adequate. Surely Divine design must have had some loftier purpose? Pondering on this, I have come to believe that it is linked to another characteristic of the female that seems to have been equally innate and enduring. This is her characteristic waywardness (signaled, again, in the Callipygian tale). We must assume that this trait of feminine personality must have been included deliberately, if mysteriously, as part of our Divinity's great design for creation. If this be so, then perhaps the prominent posterior was also included as the point at which correction would obviously and repeatedly need to be applied. For it I as fact, recognized by many, that even a severe beating applied to this portion of the female anatomy will be painful yet will not cause lasting damage. From this combination of circumstances, the tendency to dismay and the susceptibility to correction, arises much of the enduring charm of our young women. In this, I believe, the disciplinary activities of our great educational enterprise are justly fulfilling the ideals that were set out for us by Our Maker. Although the actual caning of a female posterior is nowadays customarily an action that takes place in the privacy of a master's study, its significance would hardly be the same if it were not for the prominence of this posterior in the public sphere. Indeed, the fact that in the Victorian age, which some would consider to have been more enlightened in some respects than our own, encouraged the practice of caning before the entire school assembly, might be taken as confirmation of this significance.

We may thus make distinction between the three social spheres of this anatomical presence. As it visible to, and as acknowledged by, society, we may call it the posterior. As celebrated by artists and as studied by the medical profession, it is known as the buttocks. As it is seen as the focus of disciplinary activities, we must call it the bottom. In paying it such close attention, we ourselves may come to realize that we are thus acting on behalf of several fundamental values in our society.

Since the sphere of art has been touched upon more than once, we should perhaps acknowledge it more specifically. Does it perhaps suggest some unexpected correlation between ourselves and the artists of our tradition, that we are both privileged to address ourselves rather frankly to this aspect of femininity in its unclothed state, a state that is otherwise deemed so private? I think we may do so, if we reserve for ourselves a moral high ground in such a comparison. The Greek tale behind the sculpture to which I have referred, none other than that of the Callipygian Venus, may be our guide. It tells how two maidens in Ancient Greece were arguing over which of them was blessed with the more perfect posterior. To settle their argument, they accosted an innocent young man whom they met on the road, turned their posteriors to him and lifted their dresses, thus exposing a choice between two claims to the most perfection bottom. The events became the origin of the efforts of countless artists to reproduce a perfection of buttocks. But it should also appear to us as a moral tale, for how guilty were those two maidens to expose themselves so shamelessly and thus endanger the innocence of the young man? In this, they were certainly worthy of a chastisement across the bottoms of which they were so proud - and one may hope that they received it, although history does not relate. I believe that the wisdom of this tale lies in telling us that an appreciation of the attractiveness of that which discipline requires should be exposed to us, is therefore appropriate to our duty. One might go even further to say that the results of a properly administered beating may themselves then be seen as an artistic effect imprinted on what is presented to us as a canvas for the cane, when this implement is rightly understood as an instrument of art.

So fundamental are the truths confronting us when presented with a female bottom bared for punishment, that we might even wax philosophical and ask what it is indeed that we are privileged to observe. My answer is, that we see the miscreant face of the young woman. By erring in her conduct and thus being summoned to the place of punishment, she has for these moments deprived herself of her right to the face that she would normally present to us and with the beauty of which she could so easily beguile us. In this situation she is instead obliged to offer us another face, the face that knows the language of the cane, her bottom. It has a beauty of its own, possessing all the symmetry of her public face. It cannot see but it is itself seen. Instead of the eyes, nose and mouth in the sun of her normal countenance, it has the smooth globes of a cleft moon. Instead of a voice that arises in her mind and speaks to our ears, its silence entreats the affection of the cane, and it offers our eyes and mind an entrance into the depths of her womanhood. Since it is indeed the thoughtless waywardness of womanhood that has infected her conduct and caused her to be thus bent over, what could be more appropriate than to address this face in the language for which it was designed, the cane, and to do so knowing that its effects will touch her nerves in such close proximity to her inmost waywardness?

We now approach a point where delicate matters must be broached, since addressing the realities of the female bottom in the flesh becomes necessary to our disquisition, just as they confront the master who, holding the cane in his hand, is about to administer punishment. I must again urge my readers to acknowledge that adults (especially educators) must address adult matters in a frank manner and hope that they will recognize the benefit that lengthy experience and deep thought may bring to them.

My subject thus becomes, at this point, the female bottom as it is about to be bent over and bared to our eyes. I will approach it, appropriately, as it appears in a young woman who is still standing. In this position we perceive it as but one aspect, even a particularly perfect aspect, of her female form in its entirety. But the two aspects presented by the Callipygian tale are correspondingly to be seen in the two prospects that confront the master and his cane, even as the errant young lady is still upright. The one aspect is delineated by the swelling prominence of the bottom as viewed from the side, the position from which the cane will be administered. The other is circumscribed by the symmetrical spheres of her cheeks as viewed from behind, the position from which the effects of the caning may be contemplated, and even admired. These two aspects, like the twinned globes of the bottom itself, must in the end be united in thought even if distinguished in deed. If we proceed thoughtfully rather than thoughtlessly, we will discover repeatedly that our mental duty is always to bring together what might so easily be left apart. When, in continuing, the young lady is required to bend over, the prospects will of course change in significant ways (and we shall address these later), but a master of the cane will always view the bottom bent over as an aspect of the bottom upright, just as he will be able to see in the upright bottom the possibility of that proffered aspect.

The bottom as viewed from the side offers one of the most perfect adaptions of the complex parabola that nature has designed, as it arises first gently from the waist, swells more rapidly to fullness at its crown, and finally turns sharply back in to meet the tops of the thigh. When bared as the most prominent aspect of a miscreant who has been required to disrobe completely, then it acquires a further charm as balancing the matching prominence of her bosom. Its position in her body tells clearly of its central importance and it is at a height that is obviously appropriate to the administration of the cane. Its very form seems designed to tell us at once where the center of our target will lie and also that it possesses the firmness, resilience and depth to absorb safely the impact of the cane.

The view of the bottom from the position in which the cane is wielded is not, of course, entirely deprived of a broader perspective. But one must move to a position directly behind the miscreant to appreciate the fullness of its perfection. This perfection also arises in her waist, as the descending curves of her body expand into an entirely symmetrical fullness of the hips and as this expansion swells into fullness at the crown of her bottom. It is to be observed that the more perfect of these symmetries is achieved when the widest part of her hips is exactly at the same level as the crown of her bottom. I have never considered it either necessary or appropriate to consider the bottom in terms of the measurements that are so vulgarly bandied about in public admiration of the female figure, preferring to rely on the aesthetic judgment conveyed by study of art. My impression, however, is that a proportion between waist and hips of about two-to-three is particularly satisfying. But it is also to be observed that there is variation within such perfection. Those who are familiar with the designing of female garments refer, I believe, to the apple and the pear. Indeed, I have often noted that a bottom that springs more sharply from the waist often swells and diminishes more symmetrically and somewhat higher, is associated with longer legs and is clearly somewhat apple-shaped. Correspondingly, a bottom that swells more gradually also tends to expand more fully and then to curve back more sharply into the thigh. Such a bottom is clearly more pear-shaped. They both have their particular perfection, although the apple-bottom tends to be more firm and the pear bottom more full. Such differences will, of course, be sensible to the cane itself.

What our description so far has omitted is the form that becomes the bottom's most salient feature as soon as it bared, rather than simply as it shapes the garments that normally hide it. This feature, of course, is the cleaving of the buttocks that is at once so characteristic of its form and so charming to the eye. A fine bottom will always be deeply cleft. It is to this feature that my attention has often been drawn and I will do my best to do justice to my many opportunities for such observations. My extensive contemplation has, indeed, led me to the belief that in this cleavage arises what one might even venture to call the philosophical nature of the bottom. Allow me to explain: as the female bottom swells from below the waist and finally parts into the legs, it embodies the primal division of one into two or, in the opposite direction, unity arising out of division. The form of many animals, of course, might be claimed to do the same. In the human female form, however, there is not only that quality of perfection that has been so celebrated in our arts, there is also a withdrawal into its invisible depths of those physiological functions and their anatomical forms, that are so crudely displayed in the animal world. In the human female, we discern a modest discretion in outward form by virtue of which these functions become mysteriously ennobled within. This, surely, is emblematic of the very existence of humanity. We may further observe this quality in the fineness of detail with which our Creator, the greatest of artists, has delineated this very center of the bottom's being. It is therefore to be frankly admired how, at the lower curves of the bottom cheeks, a remarkable transformation occurs. Many of the more mature female bottoms I have observed show a further elegant symmetry in the symmetrical creases that mark the junction of bottom cheek with thighs. They are often visible only when the young woman is upright and this is one of the many reasons that you should carefully observe the bared bottom in this position. They mark the lower edge of the bottom with particular clarity and observation of them at this stage will help you understand the form of her bottom when she has bent over. These creases are also aesthetically pleasing, for when they are present then the line of the cleft, dark between the pressing cheeks, seeks to join their convergence in the most pleasing center of these symmetrical surfaces and lines. At this conjunction, however, the clear lines of cleft and creases suddenly dissolve into a delicate uncertainty, before the line of the cleft divides and the creases at the base of the cheeks recover themselves. In doing so, they plunge deep in consort between the thighs (My early practice in drawing the classical nude trained me well in observing and appreciating these subtleties of form). There, in these vanishing folds, lie the secret and the mystery, both in particular of the young woman, who is about to bend over before us, and also in general of the human race, for whose benefit our disciplinary duty is about to be discharged.

I trust the reader will forgive me for having dilated at such length on these matters. Their outward manifestation will inevitably confront you, in the dispensation of corporal punishment. I urge you, thus, to confront them frankly and take them into your just purview and consideration, as indeed a gentleman of education should. Only in doing so will you come to understand in its fullness what the caning of the female signifies. Having expressed this to the best of my humble ability, I will now proceed to other subjects that necessarily follow.


We must at this point, therefore, consider that implement, with the administration of which we are charged. As with everything else in these matters, care and respect are essential.

I strongly advise you to put yourself in the hands of one of the distinguished firms of long standing that supply the needs of disciplinary duty. They will assuredly recommend that you purchase only canes made with the utmost care from the very best rattan. There are other materials, such as bamboo, but they are liable to faults and imperfections that may render them liable to mishaps such as splitting. If, while in use, a cane should break, this is not only likely to cut the skin of the bottom being punished (an occurrence that may necessitate your ending this particular session), but it will inevitably mar the sense of authority and inevitability upon which a successful chastisement depends. A good rattan cane has the ideal flexibility, the right weight, the perfect smoothness and the assured durability, all of which are essential to a successful beating.

You will find that reputable suppliers offer a variety of canes, and also advice on their suitability. My own recommendations are, briefly, as follows. Equip yourself with the traditional crook handles. I have noticed, from the reactions of the many young women who have had to visit my study for punishment, that the sight of the traditional crook-handled cane immediately causes apprehension. Such apprehension is to be encouraged, for it will add to the punishment's effectiveness. From the point of view of the user, a wrapped handle may be a trifle easier to grasp, but it significantly lessens the sensitivity inherent in the implement. A skilled caner will feel the impact of the cane across the bottom as it resonates through the cane itself, and will thus have a significantly increased sense of the effect with which that particular stroke has impressed its target. This is much better felt with the crook-handled type. The most effective length of cane, in terms of the excellence of the welt it can raise, is 3'. However, its handling requires some skill, for the extreme flexibility resulting from its length can make its movements quite hard to control with the exactitude necessary, and can even result in its striking the user if it is too vigorously raised above the shoulder on the back stroke. If you are not fully practiced in the art, then content yourself with 2 ' cane to begin with, for it can produce many of the desired results. The extra 6 inches in a 3' cane will result in greater flexion, which in turn generates a faster speed at the tip. If you eventually graduate to a 3' length on the basis of confidence in your skill, you will find it capable of more subtle modulations of effect upon the bottom cheeks, a lengthened welt embracing both cheeks with less physical effort, and also a more intimidating sound. These effects are useful but not essential.

You should have at least three different weights of cane, as effected by their diameters. The smallest should be ", the middle weight 5/16", and the thickest 3/8". If you believe that you may have to administer a punishment approaching a reformatory beating in severity, perhaps for a young woman whose conduct is at the point of leading her to such an institution, you may need a " cane (however, you should not use this thickness of cane unless you are well practiced). I recommend that you have two canes of each type, in case of accident. If you have each thickness in both lengths, you will then have a collection of 25, including a 3' cane of " thickness. My own collection is slightly larger than this and I have had ample opportunity to use them all. The only disadvantage of this number is that you must maintain them. You should hang the canes from pegs, one cane to each peg, as this will help keep them straight. You should clean your canes after each use and periodically, once a month if possible, lightly oil them with refined linseed oil. It may be helpful also to flex them when you oil them. You should, however, avoid doing so to vigorously. A good cane is so flexible that it may bend itself too sharply if its movement is not terminated by meeting with an appropriate obstacle. If there is no bottom, you may use a pillow. If the chore of oiling your canes seems excessive, you might consider putting it in the hands of some trusted pupil. One can be surprised by how such a task may please. I myself have sometimes given it to a young woman whom I have myself caned and who, I felt might be to be further reformed by the duty. As I recall, I had cause to cane her again only twice and, on these occasions, felt certain that her intimate knowledge of the implement significantly added to the impression it made upon her. (The remainder of Dr. Stanton's text will be presented in the next installment)


When a stroke of the cane is delivered fair and square across the center of a bared and proffered bottom, both recipient and deliverer will be in no doubt that an authoritative act of discipline has been administered. If the stroke should go astray, however, either too high or low, or extending too far around the further hip, the recipient will not only suffer pain that was not intended, but she will also fear that the person who delivered that stroke is either unskilled or unprincipled. In this case, if that latter person is aware of this reaction they will be humiliated. If they are unaware, then they are uneducated in these matters. In either case, their position of authority will have been compromised. It should be absolutely clear that this situation must be avoided if at all possible.

You would be surprised and perhaps shocked, however, to know how frequently this unfortunate situation has occurred. It is a matter of the lack of both mental and physical preparation. Sometimes a misstroke results because the sight, especially the first sight, of a bared female bottom may be somewhat distracting. Sometimes it is because adequate coordination between eye and hand has not been developed. Sometimes it is because there is insufficient knowledge of the physics of the cane. To alleviate the first problem has been the purpose of most of my remarks so far, and I will continue to address it. The second problem may be resolved to a significant degree by prior skill in appropriate sports, such as golf and cricket. Golf has the additional benefit of helping develop the strength of arm and wrist. If you have not pursued any such activities it will certainly do no harm to commence one forthwith. The third problem can only be ameliorated through specific practice. It is therefore necessary that, before you hear the first knock on your door that indicates a miscreant has arrived for her beating, you are comfortably familiar with and at least reasonably skilled in, the use of your cane. For this reason I shall discuss some elementary matters of technique at this point, in hypothetical terms of practice, before proceeding later to the matter of actual execution.

Skill resulting from extensive practice is a prerequisite for you first successful caning. To acquire this, equip yourself with the following items: a "cane 3' and a 5/16" cane 2 'in length (any respectable school should have these available), a heavy upright chair with horizontal cross members in the back, a well and firmly stuffed cushion, approximately 7x14" (if necessary slightly more rather than less) and preferably covered in dark velvet, another cushion of approximately the same size (but its covering does not matter), approximately 8' of thick cord (such as that used for curtain pulls), and approximately 7" of 'ribbon, lighter in color than the cushion. You will also require the assistance of someone who can sew. As a final detail, you may wrap a piece of medical plaster around each cane, 4" from the business end.

The cushion, of course, is to substitute for a bottom and so its firmness should be judged accordingly. The dark velvet, unfortunately, will not match the attractive hues of a live bottom, but it will show the mark of a cane better than other materials (again, I fear, not nearly so attractively as a live bottom). You must have your seamstress sew the ribbon across the face of one of the longer sides (the side covered in velvet if this is on one side only), one inch nearer one long side than the other. This will represent the ideal stroke of the cane, across the crown of the bottom. Your seamstress should then cut the cord in three sections and sew two of then symmetrically along the edges of each smaller side of the cushion, so that approximately a foot length of cord extends from each corner. The third section should be attached parallel to the first two but midway between them (have her bind the ends secure for neatness'sake). This middle cord will not only help to attach the cushion to the chair but will also represent the bottom's cleft (the ideal bottom has a cleft that measures approximately the same length as the width of each of its cheeks and the importance of this feature will be apparent in due course).

The cushion will be tied tightly to the upper cross members of the chair back. It will probably be easier if you place the second pillow in front of the chair back and fasten the cords around it. If you have no such pillows prepared but are in urgent need of practice, then you can coil a bed pillow around the top of the chair back and secure it with two belts. It is important that you estimate accurately the height of your eventual target. Perhaps the best way to do this is to ask either your maidservant or your spouse to bend over the back of the chair (you cannot, in this age of course, ask your maid to disrobe for this exercise but a wife who understands the importance of your duties in this respect might agree to do so, which will make your estimation more accurate). The height to be estimated is that of the crown of the bottom to be caned. If you have no assistance from females in your household, you make take 2 ' as an average. The cushion should be tightly tied horizontally, so that the ribbon representing the perfect stroke lies at this height.

Start by familiarizing yourself with the feel of the cane. Beginning with the ", grasp the end firmly just before the crook, extending your arm loosely, and wave the cane to and fro. You must do this gently at first, always remembering that waving a rattan too vigorously can damage it. Observe its flexion both backwards and forwards, gradually increasing the energy to a modest degree. Then, keeping your arm more or less still, wave the cane to and fro using your wrist alone. You will probably be surprised at how rapidly and how far the cane flexes. The appropriate effect of a cane stroke is achieved through the speed developing through the cane's flexion and not through the transfer of excessive force. The technique is much more that of golf rather than of cricket (and is even closer, it may be useful for some to note, to that of using a fly fishing rod). The speed that matters is that of the last foot or so of the cane's business end and this is increased by producing the maximum flexion of the cane on the back stroke and then by stopping the forward movement abruptly as it meets its target. The momentum acquired at that point by the flexing cane will cause it to curl around the curves of the bottom with maximum effectiveness. These movements of the cane are so rapid that, to begin with, they will be invisible to you and so you must achieve them by thought and by feel. As your use of the cane becomes second nature, however, your eyes will remark them with increasing detail.

You are now ready to begin practice, but even practice should not be undertaken casually. You must bear in mind that, when the young lady who has just entered your study obeys your order to bend over and her bottom is bared (either by you or by her on your command), your equanimity maybe seriously disturbed (as I remember well in my own case). Obviously enough, a pillow will not have this effect. You should, however, use your imagination to practice also the mental discipline of quieting your emotions and concentrating on the target purely as a target, for this will be essential during the moments devoted specifically to delivering the stroke.

Stand to one side of the pillow (to right or left according to which hand you use - do not try to change your natural inclination, but I will continue my description as for a right-handed person), turning slightly towards it, extending your arm loosely (not stretching it), and lay the cane across the horizontal ribbon on the pillow. It is most important that you pay strict attention to a first principle from the very beginning. The welt that your cane will leave when it strikes its first live bottom should extend equally across both bottom cheeks. This extent of this welt, however, will be very different from the contact that the cane has with the bottom as it lies across it in preparation for the stroke about to be delivered. The difference arises from the cane's flexibility and it is particularly important to control this in relation to the further bottom cheek. If the tip of the cane strikes this cheek only just beyond the cleft, then it may well dig so deeply into the bottom that it breaks the skin. In general, such damage will mean that the punishment will have to be interrupted and continued only when the cut has healed. To avoid this situation, the obvious remedy is to stand a bit closer so that the cane extends further. An opposite effect, however, is almost as bad. If the cane lands across the bottom with too much of its tip extending beyond the further cheek, then the momentum of the tip will cause it to keep curling around until it cuts into the side of the miscreant's hip. If it does so then it is likely to cause excessively severe damage, since the hipbone lies close to the skin. This result should be strictly against your rules. The tip of the cane, as you lay it across your target in measuring your aim, should therefore extend approximately 2-3" (depending on the particular shape of this bottom) beyond the point of its final contact with the further cheek. This will ensure that, when the cane lands across the bottom on the actual stroke, the tip will continue onwards far enough to meet the cheek and inflict what is still an appropriately painful ending to the welt, but not so far as to damage the hip. The cushion, if appropriately tied, will present two bulges that are somewhat equivalent to the curves of two bottom cheeks, but to assist your preparation you may practice this important rule by positioning the cane with the piece of plaster (which I have suggested you apply to the cane) lying over the vertical ribbon that represents the bottom cleft.

The first stroke that you practice will be the wrist stroke. Although this is the least severe, it is much the easiest to execute accurately and, if executed with skill, can be sufficiently painful. Laying the cane across the horizontal ribbon, begin flexing the wrist backwards and forwards, slowly increasing the abruptness of the movements of your wrist and making sure that the cane always lands along the ribbon. You will soon discover the principles of this stroke and may then continue trying to achieve a sharper and sharper impact of the cane. Cock your wrist back as sharply and as far as you can and then immediately snap it forward. Using the wrist alone will ensure that the forward movement stops at the appropriate point. The sound of the cane hitting the pillow will tell you how effective this can be on a bottom, especially one that is still young and as yet unacquainted with the cane. It is an excellent technique to use for administering the first six (of a minor best) to such a miscreant. If it should still be the only technique with which you are comfortable at a time when a more serious punishment is required, it is readily adaptable. You may substantially increase its effect, first of all, by making sure that every stroke lands exactly on the same spot (relatively easy with this technique), by administering them in rapid succession (also relatively easy), and by administering more than one group of six strokes, pausing to allow the effect to sink in between each group. Although these remarks belong more properly in a later section, I include them here so that beginning practitioners of the cane may not be dismayed by the fear that their repertoire is necessarily inadequate.

We continue here, however, with the 5/16" cane and with what I call a half-stroke. Exercise this cane also by waving it gently to and fro, at first with the arm and then with the wrist. You will doubtless feel its slight extra weight and its correspondingly slightly slower movement. This necessitates a modification in your movements, with slightly greater effort and slightly more pause at the end of its backwards traverse. You will also note, however, that its ultimate flexibility is almost as great as that of the ' cane and it is, again, this flexibility that must serve your purpose. A half-stroke requires that the arm be raised only halfway on the backward movement. You can begin this stroke quite gently, allowing your wrist to bend forward as you start and having your elbow lead the movement. At the conclusion of the backward sweep, however, your wrist must again snap sharply backwards resulting in maximum flexion to the cane. Your timing is now crucial, since the following rapid downward movement of your arm must commence just as the cane is reaching its maximum backwards flexion. You may practice this before taking up your position, allowing yourself to watch the cane's motion but making sure that your forward movement ends gradually so as not to stress the cane unnecessarily. When you feel familiar with this part of the stroke, prepare for the full practice.

Although you will be aiming for the ribbon, you cannot expect to achieve great accuracy at first and it will be important for you to observe what accuracy you do in fact achieve. The impact of the cane will leave a visible line in the velvet cover of the cushion but, if you wish for greater clarity then you may dust the pillow with a white powder, such as talc, or even flour. You may wish for a larger pillow for your target. However, I encourage you to use the size suggested, which is approximately that of an average bottom. Should you miss it, the cane will either fly onwards in midair, or strike the chair. In either case, the surprise should be sufficient to persuade you to improve your aim immediately. The reason for this recommendation requires, again, that we look somewhat ahead in our remarks. The second rule that you should resolutely adopt is that the cane must only land across the bottom. As noted earlier, the female bottom seems to have been designed with the specific intention that it should not only present a perfect target for the cane, but should also be well able to sustain a caning with lasting effect on the mind of the miscreant but only a temporary effect on the bottom itself. A stroke that lands above the bottom runs a grave risk of damaging the backbone, and one below the bottom lands on the thighs, where the welts may later be visible at inappropriate moments. For the purpose of caning, therefore, you should consider the bottom to begin a trifle below where the cleft appears and to end where the cheeks meet the thighs. This is the reason that my recommendations are very strict in regard to your practice from the very beginning.

You are now ready to take up your position as before, beside the chair and pillow, remembering all that you have learnt so far. Stand straight but relaxed, moving your shoulders around if this helps to achieve a sense of ease, take a few moderately deep breaths and then breathe easily. Lay the cane along the ribbon and fix your gaze on the ribbon under your cane (not on the cane itself, of which you should be as oblivious as possible). When you feel both relaxed and concentrated, deliver the stroke. It should be nearly horizontal, only slightly upward on the backstroke and then slightly downward on its way to the bottom. When it comes to an actual caning, if the young woman is positioned properly then the crown of her bottom will be facing as much backwards as upwards. Keeping the sweep of the cane nearly horizontal is an effective way to ensure that it will strike the lower, more fleshy portion of the cheeks. But we get ahead of ourselves! Returning to your beginner's practice, note that the movement of your arm should, again, end with a final vigorous forward snap of your wrist as the cane meets its the target. The first time you do this, you may well feel awkward and your aim is unlikely to be good. You should continue practicing, attempting to achieve a state where you do not consciously decide to start the stroke but, rather, one where your mind and body realize that they are perfectly composed and take the action almost unconsciously. In developing your technique (even if you later modify it according to personal preferences) there are two main approaches to the moment in which the stroke commences, and you should follow that which you find easier. Either you may become quite still, resting the cane motionless along the line of its impending impact, and then deliver the stroke with a decisive suddenness. Or else you may, having measured your aim carefully, raise and lower the cane three times, only a few inches, either gently or perhaps just sharply enough to sound a slight "tap." Again, make absolutely certain to keep your eyes fixed on the target, not on the cane, and after the third tap deliver the stroke immediately and with no indecision whatsoever. Your conscious attention should remain fixed absolutely on that horizontal line across your target until the stroke is completely finished and the cane has quieted the vigorous flexions which will follow its impact.

There are four measures of success. The first is the accuracy that is measured by whether the cane lands at the right height on the cushion (or bottom), as close to the ribbon as possible. The second is whether the stroke lands horizontally, for in an actual caning it is much easier to control the effect of successive strokes if they are all parallel (the appearance of a pattern of parallel welts is also, at least to my eye, much more pleasing). The third measure is whether the cane lands equally across both cheeks. At the risk of repeating myself, I must again emphasize this point. If you discover, even from observing your cushion, that you have extended the cane too far around the further cheek, there are several ways to remedy this. You may simply stand a little further way, in which case the result will be a better centered but probably also a shorter welt. If, however, you move slightly to your left while turning very slightly to your right and your stroke is hard enough, then the impact of the cane will start nearer, around the side of the closer cheek, and then the remaining length of cane will continue onwards, curling around and into the further cheek, but its tip will not end so far around the further hip. A more difficult way to achieve the same result is to land the cane with a slightly less extended arm and the wrist still bent slightly back. Controlling these exact dimensions of the welt resulting from the stroke is among the more subtle skills that you may acquire. They are hard to estimate, of course, until you are caning a live bottom. This also applies to the fourth measure, which is the severity and effectiveness with which the cane meets its target. Your indications of this while practicing will be those of sound and feel. In an actual caning, of course, the reaction of the young woman and the appearance of the welt developing across her bottom will inform you much more effectively. You can, nevertheless, in your practice achieve considerable skill in all these respects.

As you repeat this exercise, your aim will certainly improve and you will increasingly be able to tell when your movements have been well coordinated, by the sound and feel of the cane's rapid descent and impact. When you have achieved sufficient accuracy in striking the ribbon, you may move on to a skill that often become desirable once you have actually embarked on your first live caning. This is to deliver successive strokes in a regular, descending patter. It is customary to start a caning higher up the bottom and conclude as close as possible to the crease between cheek and thigh. In your practice, start as near to the top of the pillow as you dare and then progress downwards, attempting at first to achieve a distance of about 1"between the strokes, again approaching as close to the bottom of the cushion as you dare. The penalty of missing the pillow will train you well in that confidence of aim that will be essential when you are facing a live bottom, when the penalty of landing your cane outside its proper region would certainly diminish your control and authority. When you have achieved some accuracy at strokes 1"apart, you may proceed to attempt a distance of ".

Do not expect success to come too soon and, when it does come, return to practice again and again until you no longer have any doubt that you can rely on your accuracy. However, despite the fact these suggestions are concerned with matters of technique in substitute circumstances, I feel obliged to repeat my urging that you do not forget your eventual aim, which will be to apply these skills to a living bottom. This is not only a matter of practicing in your imagination the equanimity that you will have to bring to this event, it is also a matter of reminding yourself that the cane will not be landing on a cushion, but on the bottom of a young woman who is very much alive, with all that this means for what happens when the cane meets the flesh of a bottom connected by manifold nerves to a female body and to a brain at the other end. If you do not constantly remind yourself of these more human conditions to come then, even with a well-practiced technique, you may well suffer some untoward surprises.

Returning after that reminder to the matter of technique, the next stroke you should practice is the full-stroke with the 5/16th" cane. The principal differences here, of course, are that you will raise the cane well behind your shoulder and the resulting stroke will be considerably harder. If you have already familiarized yourself with the cane's flexibility, then you will be able to manage this longer motion with little trouble. I do recommend, however, that you first experiment with raising the cane this far while watching it over your shoulder, thus demonstrating to yourself of how far the cane can bend if swept farther back with greater vigor. You may also turn your body smooothly to the right as you sweep the cane backwards, turning back to your left as you bring it down. The forward stroke should, indeed, be vigorous and the increased energy of the stroke should be readily sensed in the sounds it makes in travelling through the air and in landing on its target. You should not, however, attempt to deliver the stroke with all the strength at you command. It is probably never appropriate to deliver a stroke of such force across the bottom of a young woman, and the techniques already described can already deliver an impact that will be sufficiently painful and will result in bruises that may last for two to three weeks. In addition, there may well be an occasion when you wish to administer a caning that is even more severe than your normal maximum. This will not be difficult if you have followed my recommendations for control in your delivery, since sweeping your arm a bit higher and faster even than the normal full-stroke, and turning your body more fully, will easily produce this result. In general, however, I refer to six strokes with the wrist simply as "six," with the half-stroke as "six good strokes," and with the full-stroke as "six of the best," leaving anything harder than that for exceptional punishments. .

These different "six strokes," moreover, will vary further in effect according to which cane you use. At this point in your practice, you should therefore return to the " cane and practice both the half and the full-strokes. When you are comfortable with these strokes, you may acquire a 3/8th" cane and proceed to practice with both these strokes. After this, you may practice the extra-hard stroke with all three canes. Should your skills develop satisfactorily, then you may use canes that are 3'in length. If you have learned control of the flexion in a 2 " cane, then extending this control for a further 6" should follow naturally. Eventually, depending on your responsibilities, you may need to practice with the " cane, which should be 3' in length.. The heavier canes must be used vigorously, for if used too gently then they do not bend enough to acquire the necessary momentum. With that condition, however, it is obvious that they will inflict greater damage. There is one qualification to this rule, however, and that is the " cane. This cane, having the smallest diameter, can bite more deeply into the flesh of the bottom and, if used with great force, will leave very prominent welts and can even break the skin. It is therefore in some ways the cane with the widest range of results, varying from the lightest "six" for the youngest miscreant to a severe punishment for the most incorrigible offender. Its full range of use requires long and careful practice.

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