This section is primarily intended for those headmasters who need to develop a systematic program of punishment. The more junior master may, however, find herein some useful things to bear in mind.
It is most important that your practices be consistent for your authority will become all the greater accordingly. The uses and occasions for caning are likely to be much more multifarious than you expect, hence keeping records is essential. I have found five types of document to be invaluable. The first is a list of all possible offences. The second is a list of all possible canings. The third is a record of all canings as they are administered. The fourth is a card file for all your students, one card for each, on which you will note any caning received. The fifth is a private record of your thoughts on these occasions. Let me enlarge upon this.
You administration of the school requires that every possible offence be identified and a list of these will be invaluable for determining punishments. This is not the place to identify these offenses, but they will obviously range from the mildest (for example, in my own school, academic misdeeds such as failing to use a dictionary or poor writing in submitted homework). The most serious are also obvious, verging as they do on offenses for which a student may b expelled. Examples are unauthorized departure from school grounds and being found in a compromising situation with a male person. Make a list of all of these and number them, from one (the mildest) upwards.
The next list to be compiled should specify all the factors that affect administration of a caning. This is much more complicated, since it must take into account everything that determines the seriousness of each punishment. These include the number of strokes, the cane used, the severity of the strokes, the position in which the miscreant is placed, and the degree of disrobing required. There are, for example, gradations of even a simple "six," and several more for serious canings, such as "twelve of the best." I will give three sets of representative examples and you can compile your own list accordingly. Your attention to this task will serve you well.
(a) Six strokes. ¼" cane. Wrist-stroke.. Bend-over and touch toes. Skirt up and knickers down.
(b) Same. Same. Half-stroke. Same. Same.
(c) Same. Same. Same. Same. Skirt and knickers removed.
Twelve strokes. ¼" cane. Half-stroke. Bend-over, legs apart, grasping ankles. Skirt and knickers removed.
Same. 1/4" cane. Full strokes. Same. Same
Same, 5/16" cane. Half-strokes. Same. Same.
Same. Same. Full-strokes. Same. Same.
(a) Eighteen strokes. 5/16" cane. Half strokes. Bent over table. Skirt and knickers removed.
(b) Same. Same. Same. Same. All clothing removed.
(c) Same. Same. Full strokes. Same. Same
(d) Same. 3/8" cane. Half-strokes. Same. Same.
Same. 3/8" cane. Full-strokes. Same. Same.
This series of canings should also be numbered. Use a large, spiral-bound, notebook, and list all the offences in order on the left-hand page, and the corresponding punishment (determined by their established order) on the right. You do not necessarily need to advance the punishment with each numbering of the offense (or vice versa). That decision is your own, but I recommend that you leave ten lines after each entry for an offense, so that you may make changes and additions. This will be a lengthy document, but you can refer to it easily and determine a punishment easily. If many changes have been made, then copying out a new version can be a suitable punishment in itself, perhaps as an alternative for a minor caning. If you choose this course (as I have done), then you must proof read it carefully. Unwise students can think it amusing to introduce foolish errors. My answer, on the two occasions that this occurred, was to cane the student at the level at which they had introduced the error. The one was a simple "six," which was what she would originally have received. The other girl, who was more stupid than I had realized, introduced her error at the level of thirty. As a result, she received thirty strokes of the 5/16" cane, bending over the table with all of her garments removed, and I gathered that her bottom became a famous sight among her fellow students. I have not had to put up with such foolishness since then.
The third record should register all canings you administer, as in a diary. Thanks to the offense/punishment account, you can do this very simply if you choose, such as "offense #10, caning #12" (although I usually note number of strokes and cane used). But when, as I find frequently, some modification to the caning has become necessary during the punishment (almost always an increase in severity, although if a stroke of the cane breaks the skin, the postponement this requires would also qualify), then an account of this modification should be made.
You must also maintain a card file with a card for each student. Enter every punishment on these cards as it is administered. When a student reports to your study with an offense that merits a caning, you can immediately check to see whether she has been caned before and, if so, with what severity. My own principle is always that when a student has been caned previously then subsequent punishments are increased accordingly. How much they should be increased is a matter for your judgment. If they have formerly received only a lesser "six," then the next punishment I administer will always be greater. But if, for example, they have previously committed an offense sufficiently major to receive thirty strokes (the girl I mention above is an example), then a later punishment for a lesser offense would not be thirty strokes. It would, however, be greater than that they would have received had they previously not been caned at all. A scheduled caning with the ¼"cane, for example, might instead be administered with the 5/16" cane, or the punishment might be administered with all clothing removed instead of just skirt and knickers. As with the previous records, the authoritative decisions that these notes facilitate will help to ensure that the punishment is accepted without argument.
The final record takes the place of any observations and remarks that occur to you later, as you recollect the caning (often more than one) you have just administered. You should keep this record entirely confidential so that you may commit to it without reservation any thoughts that come to mind. I have found this practice invaluable when reviewing the effectiveness of punishments administered and when considering solutions to any problems that may have arisen. The method of restraint, which I have occasionally found to be necessary (and which I shall describe below), for example, was the result of such notes I had kept. Needless to say, these notes have also been invaluable in writing this guide.
POSITIONING THE MISCREANT FOR A CANING.
The words "bend over" are deeply impressed in the mind of every schoolgirl who has been so ordered and, indeed, they are probably embedded in the mind of even those girls who have not. The potency of this phrase tells us that the situation inevitably following on the order is not simply a matter of physical pain, but also embodies equally the factors of posture and exposure. It is doubtless impossible for schoolgirls to contemplate the experience of being caned without a vision of "bending over " as its unavoidable preliminary. If this is so - and I am quite sure that it is - it is also inevitable that the humiliation of offering to inspection their bared bottom and even their private parts will lie at the very center of both the expectation and the actual event. For this reason, great attention must be paid to the positioning of miscreants when they are to be beaten. I am aware that many solutions to this matter have been tried by many experts in the practice of punishment with the cane and with other implements. My own approach to this very important aspect of my subject has generally been to seek simplicity rather than complication.
I will begin, however, by briefly discussing a position that does not require the miscreant to bend over, namely the upright position. I do this because I am aware that some of my colleagues use it and, as with most aspects of caning, I have myself experimented with it. Its merit is its simplicity. It merely requires that the young woman undress completely and then stand, with her hands resting on her head. The master or mistress then canes her bottom, in some ways as he or she would do were it positioned in any other way. The position is certainly embarrassing for the young lady, since she is obliged to stand naked in the place of punishment. It can clearly be painful, as I have observed from the reactions of young women I have caned in this position. It can become additionally embarrassing since the pain resulting from the strokes usually causes them to thrust their bottoms to and fro in a rather immodest manner. It might therefore seem to be an excellent choice. However, I have come to think otherwise. First, young women being caned in this position tend to twist their hips rather abruptly as they sense the cane about to descend. This can severely disrupt the smooth execution of the stroke and I prefer more stable postures. Second, and as I have explained at some length, I firmly believe that the mortification of being caned must require not only nakedness, but also both the conscious offering of the bottom in a posture that is justified by the need to make it an appropriate target for the cane and the cane alone and, also, that such a position acquires usefully greater significance when it results in the additional exposure of the anatomical features peculiar to the female. As the French say (and they are certainly very percipient in these matters, even if they prefer the martinet to the cane), "une femme a honte de ses fesses," "a woman is ashamed of her buttocks (or bottom cheeks)," and she is therefore mortified by having to offer them to the eyes of a man while her own face is necessarily averted. One may note that the French term for the punishment itself might be translated as "bottom-cheeking," a term more usefully focused on the anatomy than is our own terms "caning," which merely identifies the instrument, and even "spanking," which one must assume is onomatopoeic. The anatomical prominence is certainly an aspect of those more profound truths that I addressed earlier, and we should note them again here. All of this requires, therefore, that the miscreant must bend over.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the traditional position of bending over and touching the toes has become traditional precisely because it fulfils so well these requirements. Indeed, there are few sights that so expressly invite an enthusiastic application of the cane as does that of a young woman in this position, with her bottom bared and presented prominently at the summit of her person. Attractive though this sight is, the position is particularly appropriate for the first experience of the administrator of a caning as well as the recipient. As a target, it is so prominent as to exercise almost a magnetic attraction to the cane, although you must be especially careful not to allow you aim to go to high and thereby strike above the bottom itself.
The bottom has to be bared, of course, before the caning can be administered. As I remarked at the beginning of this guide, I believe that, in this position specifically, it is most appropriate for you to perform this action yourself. You should have planned for the caning event, of course, by carefully choosing a spot in your study that permits you to wield the cane fully, even if you do not intend to do so on this particular occasion. Let us thus return to this preparatory stage for a moment. Among the many disconcerting events that can happen in a caning is the unintended striking by the cane of any object other than the bottom for, as with most accidents, it will tend to lessen your authority. You should also choose the place for the miscreant's feet with two other factors in mind. Her bottom should ideally face both the light, for you will need to see the results of your caning as clearly as possible, and also your desk. It is my own habit to keep the miscreant in position after her caning, while I return to my desk to complete the records. It will be helpful if you can observe the results of your execution while you are recording the event. It may be necessary for you to rearrange the lights in your room to achieve both of these conditions.
You should begin all punishments by ordering the miscreant to "bend over," firmly and authoritatively, since this command is what one might call the "open sesame" of all canings. You can then follow this by more specific instructions, such as "and touch your toes," or "across the table," as required. Supposing you now have a young lady in the former position, your next requirement is that her bottom be bared. To perform this action yourself, as I recommend, stand directly behind her but no closer than your reach requires. Acting decisively but not hastily, take the hem of her skirt and raise it as high as it will go, then reach forward and neatly fold it forwards and back above the waist. Again, with firmness but not hastiness, grasp the waistband of her knickers on both sides and draw them down as smoothly as possible to a level just above her knees. Do not let your fingers contact her skin any more than is absolutely necessary. Propriety is always important and knowing what is proper to caning specifically is essential. Depending on the tightness of the elastic and the shape of her bottom, you may have to pull more or less vigorously. Arrange the knickers neatly. Performing this task will also give you to an appropriate opportunity to examine her bottom and assess any qualities that may affect your administration of the cane.
With a young woman in this position, your view of aspects of her anatomy associated with her bottom will be limited and this should be considered a further advantage to the inexperienced. The fact that her personal intimacies are not as clearly revealed as the bottom itself will mean that you will be less distracted and therefore better able to concentrate on more technical aspects.
I do not say, however, that you should ignore the matter of exposure completely, since it must always be a factor in the punishment. Indeed, even in this position I have observed a distinct variation in the manner in which females are assembled, if we may use such an expression. In some, the thighs are almost touching where the legs join the body. In some there is a considerable gap between them, and in some there is a situation between these two extremes. The significance of this for a caning is that, when the miscreant is bent over and touching her toes, the degree to which the intimacies between her thighs are revealed varies accordingly. In this, also, I urge you to accept and admire what nature presents to you. In one case, there may seem to be nothing that is not opened at least partially to view. In the other, all that is visible may be the convergence of closely pressed cheeks and thighs. In between, there is a modest exposure that is particularly fetching, for there appears a little hollow between the very tops of the thighs and, within this pocket, may be glimpsed a small but significant portion of the concealed recesses. In all these case, each view has its own merits and you should accept this graciously as you proceed with the caning, be it your first or not.
The fact that, in the bend-over and touch-your-toes position, the miscreant's inevitable nervousness is much increased by her ability to see you preparing to deliver the stroke is yet another advantage, and is one reason that I do not follow the practice of some colleagues who require that she look in the opposite direction. I believe that the apprehension increases the effect of the stroke, and that the shock of the cane's impact is quite sufficiently surprising in itself.
I will address a few further matters concerning the actual delivery of the stroke below. In this section I will consider different positions, of which the "bend-over, feet-apart, and grasp your ankles" provides the next example. The advantage of this position is its greater stability, since the arms joining to the legs form a usefully rigid triangle. It is necessary in this position, however, that the miscreant remove her knickers before assuming this position. In this case, she should do this herself (whether she holds on to them, leaves them on the floor, or places them on a chair, is the kind of detail that can add considerably to the effect of a caning and which you should decide for yourself). Your observation of the qualities of her bottom will therefore be slightly delayed. When she is standing in the appointed spot, you will instruct her to place her feet apart. Approximately two feet apart is adequate and you may need to tap the cane to and fro between her ankles in persuading her to assume this stance. At this point comes the command to "bend over," followed by an instruction to grasp her ankles firmly. When she has done so, you may proceed to raise her skirt, as for the previous position.
There will, of course, be no knickers to lower and you will be able to observe her bottom as you raise the skirt. Remember, as in most aspects of punishment, that ceremonial deliberateness is appropriate and you should not feel hastened in your observation. You will notice that this position results in full exposure of the young lady's private parts, however this part of her body may be "assembled," as I have termed it. Indeed, the view that results has often caused me to wonder at the fact that the female form, which is so blessed by curves and prominences in general, should have such a conspicuous lack in this particular part, which seems distinguished mainly by its convexities and indications of concealed recesses. Be that as it may, if you embark on a program of regular caning you will have many opportunities to observe and ponder these aspects of the female anatomy in some detail. After satisfactory observation on the particular occasion, you may move to her side to adopt your stance for administering the cane with the miscreant in this position.
We now consider the last main category of position, where the young lady bends over a table. This is the position that I normally use for all canings beyond those where the miscreant is required to bend over and grasp her ankles, which is also, in general, all canings of 18 strokes or more. I also invariably require, at the least, that the young woman remove both skirt and knickers before assuming this position, and rather frequently require that they undress altogether, except for their socks. As canings in this position are lengthier affairs, the effect on the young woman's psyche of being completely undressed is usefully greater. The position is also excellent for more serious punishment in that the miscreant is required to grasp the further edge of the table and, with this support, is often able to hold herself comparatively still, even as her bottom is being severely caned. The important rules, therefore, are to require a correct positioning to start with, and then to impose further penalty strokes if they abandon these requirements unreasonably.
As with all these matters, thoughtful planning is needed. The table should be simple and stout, of a normal height, so that the young woman's legs will be as straight as possible, and it should be appropriate in size. I have found one approximately 2' by 4' to be so, with the miscreant positioned at a shorter side. You may use the table as it is, or you may fasten a round bolster to the edge over which the miscreant will bend. This provides a modest degree of comfort in the area which is not inappropriate since, after all, the punishment is intended to cause pain in the bottom cheeks only. And its appearance is also helpful, as it is so obviously intended for its purpose. I have found that a miscreant will eye it with great apprehension, especially so if you have left a cane lying on the table. To fasten such a bolster, you need to have cords attached to each end and then two hooks screwed into each corner of the table at the end over which she bend. One may note that caning benches of the Victorian era were often constructed with a considerably raised and smoothly rounded hump at this edge, where it would lie under the miscreant's hips. I will note a further value of this below.
With this table prepared and placed so that the miscreant's bottom will be in the previously identified spot that best meets the needs described above, you are ready to proceed. First order her to undress according to criteria you have established. I recommend that you require her to place her clothes on a chair in the far corner of the room and then return to the table. As she does so, you may admire her unclothed state without reservation. When she has positioned herself at the table, you should generally have her place her feet apart and the distance between the table legs will provide a ready measure. I say generally, since this is perhaps a suitable point in my remarks to state another consideration. Whilst I have, for the most part, emphasized the establishment of clear principles and rules to ensure a successful practice of caning, I also admit that with increasing experience comes an ability for spontaneous modification. I allow this for myself quite frequently and this moment provides an example. There are occasions when, observing the form of a particular bottom, I conclude that it would present a more gratifying target with the miscreant's legs kept together and proceed accordingly. This example also serves to emphasize the value of unhurried observation, both before and during a caning.
The young woman who is to caned in this position, after first disrobing, is instructed to stand facing the edge of the table over which she will have to bend and to place her feet, apart or otherwise, so that her toes are aligned with the edge. You can then order her to "bend over" and to reach forward and grasp the opposite edge. If the she is too short and cannot reach the opposite edge, then she may grasp the sides.
This position, in order to be more fully exploited, requires some further actions. Instruct the miscreant to press her waist to the table, while keeping her legs straight. You can also convey this instruction by telling her to arch her back. If you have not previously observed a young woman positioning herself in this manner, you may well be surprised by the difference it makes. Pressing her waist down will tilt her hips upwards and this has a remarkable effect on her bottom. It will immediately become much rounder and will, indeed, even appear to be larger. In becoming so, it also offers a much better target for your cane and, consequently, presents a larger expanse of surface in which the cane will be able to imprint itself. Even if you are puzzled by the fact that a bottom can be so usefully and attractively enlarged by a simple movement of the miscreant's hips, you will doubtless also note with interest that she will have thereby much more fully exposed her private parts. This movement, indeed and more than almost any other position, serves to part even the deepest of bottom clefts. The additional mortification of the young woman is obviously a most valuable result and I have to believe that the Victorians were most sensible of this fact in the design of their caning benches. The parting of the cleft will certainly reveal not only what lies between the young lady's thighs but also what usually hides within the cleft of the bottom itself. I must again beg my readers' mature understanding, since there is no completely discrete way to refer to such matters. They are, however, of unavoidable importance to the master (and also the mistress in this case) administering the cane. The exposure of, how shall I refer to it, as the rectal aperture perhaps, is not of only importance to the psyche of the young woman, who must now realize the fundamental nature of the authorized humiliation to which her behavior has led. The view of this anatomical feature is also useful in the imminent administration of the cane. Its location within the form of the bottom as a whole generally coincides with the maximum fullness of the bottom's cheeks, and if you take a level approximately 1" above it then this marks a useful upper limit for the most severe strokes that you deliver. These remarks might perhaps be more appropriate to the section that follows, but since they follow inevitably from a discussion of the position itself I note them here.
You will find the bottom in this position to be a most satisfactory target. Since it will be less fully stretched and therefore more relaxed than when the miscreant is touching her toes, its fullness is well able to absorb both harder strokes and a greater number of them. Indeed, I use this position for even the severest of punishments, which in my own school consists of 36 strokes with the ½' cane (and which, I must emphasize, has been infrequent). It is, in fact, rather surprising that young women can sometimes absorb this punishment without more protest. It appears that they enter a state where the repeated impact of the cane is accepted as inevitable as it is painful. Be that as it may, the relevance of the matter here is that there are exceptions, and occasions when the miscreant responds with such wild protests that they must be restrained.
I have designed a simple system of restraint that has proved very satisfactory. It requires approximately 6' of 6" width thickly woven tape, a large buckle to fit (it should be of the kind used to secure luggage, with a sliding clasp that allows quick fastening and quick release), 6'of soft and thick woven cord, 4 large hooks that can be screwed into wood, and the services of a seamstress and a carpenter. First go to your seamstress and have the buckle sewn on the one end of the ribbon, and the weave at other end sewn secure. Have the cord cut into four sections and one end of each turned back and sewn into a 1" loop. Then go to your carpenter and have two hooks screwed into the two table legs at the end over which the miscreant will bend, on the inner, facing side of each leg, 3" from the floor. Have the other two hooks screwed into the legs at the other end, on the outer side and 1" from the top. The most complicated task is to have the carpenter construct two drawers for the table, each 1 ½' feet wide and 2"deep, and sliding below the table top with 1 ½' between the nearer edge of the drawer and the end of the table over which the miscreant will bend. The back of each drawer must have a slot cut out in its center. ½" wide and 8" long. When your table has been carpentered, simply feed the free end of the 6" tape out through the slot in one drawer and into the slot in the opposite drawer (you may require someone to crawl under the table and help to perform this task, with the drawers half open). The tape should be passed through until half of its length is in each drawer. When you close the drawers, a loop will hang between then but this can be ignored. The four cords can live in the drawers. If you are attempting to cane a young woman who is actively resisting or jumping around, you should be patient in explaining that her protests are simply resulting in an increased punishment, reassuring her that, although the punishment will be painful, it will less painful if she behaves, and that she must calm down and rest herself on the table, so that the business can be properly concluded sooner rather than later. When she has done so, which she assuredly will eventually, further explain that you will secure her in position in order to make it easier for her to endure the punishment that has become necessary. You can then quietly but quickly open the drawers, pulling out each end of the tape, laying them across the waist of the now calmed young woman and then smoothly and without fuss passing one end through the buckle and pulling it tight so that her waist is pressed firmly to the table. Then proceed to her wrists, folding a cord around each in turn, passing the end first through the loop and then through the appropriate hook. Pull the cord tight enough to extend her arms fully but not excessively and then fasten the cord to the hook. A round clove and a half hitch will be adequate and the modest taughtness of the cord will keep it secure around the wrist. Then proceed to the other end of the table and fasten her ankles in a similar manner. While you are performing this last task you will, of course, have your troubles justly rewarded by the view between her thighs and you should not ignore the opportunity. When the trouble-maker is finally secured, you may then return to the main business of caning her. Do not hurry the task and do not forget to administer an appropriate number of penalty strokes. If this would exceed the highest number permissible at one caning, she will have to return for the remainder after her bottom has had sufficient time to mend itself (I will say more on this below).
These positions should serve all your needs. I will, however, say a few more words about another position because I know that it is popular with some authorities whom I hold in great respect. This alternative is the common wooden chair. It can, indeed, serve all occasions, ranging from the position where the young lady simply bends forward and places her hands on the seat, to where she bends over the back and reaches down to grasp the lowest braces joining the chair legs, to the position requiring two chairs. In this latter situation, two chairs of the same design are placed back to back. The young woman is instructed to kneel on one seat, facing the back (a padded seat is a justifiable comfort for this position) and then to bend over the backs of both chairs until she can rest her elbows on the other seat. There is no doubt that this last arrangement is an excellent one, for it raises the bottom to a summit of her person, presenting it as the indubitably sole center of attention and as a perfectly positioned target for your cane. The extent to which it also offers a view of the private parts is very variable, as they are readily seen with some young women but hardly at all with others. Nevertheless, it is obviously felt to be very mortifying and, at the same time, is a stable position that most young women can maintain rather well, even in a severe caning and even though they may need partially to rise at particularly painful moments. I have, of course, experimented with the chair extensively myself and acknowledge that it has much to recommend it. My own preferences, however, are for the positions explained above, for the reasons given. They seem to me to combine the best conditions of a well-placed target, a bottom that is appropriately prominent and taught or firm and resilient, and degrees of embarrassment that can be duly adjusted.
There is no doubt that a gratifying sight is offered by a bottom that is vividly marked by eighteen exactly parallel, crimsoning welts, evenly distributed, from just below where the cleft commences to the crease marking the bottom's junction with the thighs, especially where each welt is well raised in the long, characteristically indented ridge that so perfectly reproduces the impression of the cane's impact with the bottom. It would, indeed, be very useful if we could register this impression as an exact sign of the effect that the caning has also impressed on the mind of the young woman who has just presented her bottom for this punishment.
My experience, however, has convinced me that we cannot do so. The marks produced by the same cane wielded in an identical manner vary very greatly, not only as a result of the postures of the bottoms being caned but also, I have been forced to realize, as a result of differences between the bottoms themselves. It is obvious that a fuller and more fleshy bottom will mark differently from one that is more firmly developed, let alone one that is thinner and bonier. To some extent, the difference between a fleshier and a firmer bottom can be reduced by requiring the young woman with the former to bend over farther. Even with this adjustment, however, the resulting welts often differ in ways that are obvious to careful observation but which have remained mysterious to my constant consideration. There is, to be sure, a great amount of charm in observing these variations, which one might justly compare to listening to the similarly charming variations in voice that are associated with that other face, the one at the other end of the young woman, temporarily bowed in disgrace. There are cane marks that start pink and rapidly become red, those that briefly lurk invisible and then emerge with a deep red glow, those that instantly appear white and then blossom into colorful hues of red and blue, those that begin modestly as blue beneath the skin and then rise into prominent and purple welts, those that slowly swell into red weals, and those, perhaps the most gratifying in appearance, that grow into well-raised, thin, parallel tracks with a perfect imprint of the cane indented between them. With these latter marks, the raised rims are usually dark and the indentation pale, but such are the whims of the bottom that sometimes the raised edges are pale and the imprint dark. There are also marks that skip lightly over the delightfully white cleft that remains unblemished between the cheeks, and marks that seem to have dipped by some mysterious force more deeply into this pale and intimate vale. There are marks that arise gently on the left cheek and fade away on the further cheek equally gently, and there are marks that emerge more suddenly and then, after crossing the vale, end quite abruptly in a dark and sudden swelling at their farther end. Anyone with much experience in caning will be able to add their own observations to this colorful list.
As I have suggested, it is easier to appreciate this variety in the marks left by our cane if we consider the bottom as the miscreant face of the young woman. Each such miscreant bottom-face, of course, charms by its own formation and its own speech is evoked by the cane. There is its immediate response, that sudden and rather mysterious lifting of the bottom that often greets the impact of the cane. There are its more thoughtful expressions as the cheeks clench and then, quite often, open more widely (I have frequently wondered, on observing this last movement of the cheeks, what it might signify. Might it be a sign from the bottom's inner soul, telling us that the next stroke may be, indeed, welcomed?). Then come those more gently lifting and twisting motions of the bottom that seem more thoughtfully considered and may be attributed as much to the recipient's conscious reactions as to the bottom's own reflexes. At this other end of the person, as the nerves of the bottom send their signals of the event to the brain and the brain communicates with the miscreant's voice and her other limbs, we may hear sounds of dismay and protest, and observe variously vigorous actions, from clutching hands to the twisting hips, from stamping feet to waving arms and more wildly undisciplined dancing (I will discuss disciplinary rules for dealing with such reactions below). Meanwhile, the bottom, after its immediate responses, seems to be pondering the damage that the cane has inflicted and begins to display upon its surface these opinions, in the form of the manifold variety of cane marks that we have noted. One must admire the intelligence and the diligence of the bottom's brain, if we may so call it, for once it has begun to mark its opinion of a particular stroke, it continues to modify that mark minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and even week by week. Not only is it diligent in this respect, it is equally attentive to any strokes that follow, signaling its view of them all simultaneously but distinctly. Not only this, but it will also note its reaction when a later stroke crosses an earlier one, usually signaling this by a prominent purple swelling. In addition to paying close attention to all these strokes one by one, it will also frequently issue a collective judgment, spreading a red glow over the cheeks beyond the marking of the individual strokes. The reader will understand that I have a high regard in various respects for this portion of a young woman's anatomy.
All this display, however, will still not leave us fully informed concerning the success of our ultimate purpose, which is, of course, the reformation of the miscreant's conduct. A bottom that seems but modestly marked may yet have sent a very stern message to the conscience of its owner, while the most beautifully marked bottom may have left its owner otherwise but slightly moved. Nor can we depend upon the sounds, words and actions that issue from the other end of the person we are caning. I have heard the loudest of protests and even seen naked young women dancing shamelessly around my study after delivering what I have known well to be but a mild caning. Likewise, I have administered very severe canings that have been received only with gasps and modest movements of the bottom. The lesson that we should learn is clear. You must know your technique so well and be so sensible to the sound and feel of the cane as it impacts the bottom that you can tell yourself how severe the stroke has been. The language of the bottom is but a gratifying accompaniment to this knowledge.
THE ADMINISTRATION OF A CANING
The considerable detail in which we have discussed the administration of the cane so far will prove, I hope, sufficient to ensure that when it comes to the actual event you will manage it smoothly and effectively. There remain, however, some additional points to be made.
The considerable detail in which we have discussed the administration of the cane so far will prove, I hope, sufficient to ensure that when it comes to the actual event you will manage it smoothly and effectively. As you proceed with a caning, however, additional problems may arise and we will discuss some of them here. The matter of penalties must first be decided. It hardly needs to be pointed out that to be caned is a very painful experience and that young women will sometimes protest, both before the caning begins and while it is progress. Such protesting may be accepted but only to a very limited degree, otherwise it will disrupt the punishment. It is therefore necessary to establish rules that will govern the penalties imposed to prevent it, and to make these clear to the young woman about to be caned (and to the school community in general).
First, she must remain in the position that she has been instructed to assume. A modest amount of movement is inevitable and acceptable but her hands should remain in the position specified. Restricting the movements of her hands will restrict the movements of her body in general. My first general rule is that, if she move them she will receive an extra stroke. My second general rule is that if she allows her hands to cover her bottom she will receive at least two extra strokes. A young woman will, of course, often react to a stroke of the cane with movements of protest, sudden or less so, as we have discussed, and you must be reasonable in permitting them. Stating the rule to her, however, enables you to exercise discretion and assign an additional stroke as you see fit.
The second rule I regard as absolute, but there are often complications that require further explanation. If she begin to move her hands towards her bottom but is dissuaded before they get there, then I usually allow one single exception. This usually means that I use the cane to stop the movement and accompany this with a very severe warning. If she tries to do it a second time, however, or if she persists in covering her bottom with her hands, then I always administer at least two penalty strokes for each time she does so.
When, after a young woman's caning has begun, her hands fly to her bottom immediately after a stroke, to quench the fire that the cane has just ignited, you need not be hasty in your own response. I generally wait until she has calmed down somewhat and then inform her in a matter of fact tone that she has incurred the penalty. Should she continue to keep her hands on her bottom, in an effort to avert the next stroke, I tap her hands lightly with the cane (you must on no account strike the hands hard) and tell her that she will continue to incur extra strokes so long as she leaves them there. I then count slowly, starting at two. On occasions I have counted as high as six before wisdom has prevailed. After telling her that she has incurred a penalty, you may simply increase the number of strokes, although I find it more effective to wait until the allotted number has been administered and then announce that the designated number of penalty strokes will follow. I usually make them harder. If, of course, she again disobeys the rules while receiving a penalty stroke, then she receives more. I consider it essential that offenders realize this will happen. You must also tell her very clearly that she must remain in position after the caning is finished until you instruct her to stand up.
If, even after you have delivered the last stroke, she moves her hands to her bottom before you have told her that she may stand up and rub her bottom, then you should return to your duty and administer two more. Even with a modest punishment of six lesser strokes pre-assigned, a girl who has not been caned before may yet be so nervous as to offend against these rules. You must not allow exceptions and, I assure you, experience has taught me that patience almost always prevails. If, nevertheless, it should prove necessary to secure a first-time offender (or any other), then do so after a warning. In such an event, however, I invariably impose a further penalty of eight strokes, informing her that this will be the case when I warn her that she will be secured if does not behave immediately.
Let us now suppose that a previously inoffensive student has offended against school regulations. My own habit is to interview the student when her offence is reported, to inform her at that time of what her punishment will be, and to have her report to my study for punishment at an allotted hour. My system of book-keeping allows me to do this without hesitation. Let us further suppose, therefore, that you have ordered her to report to your study for her first caning, which you already know will consist of a modest 6 wrist-stokes. Make sure that you have at least half an hour available for the caning at the time stated. This will probably be much in excess of what you need and the business may easily be concluded in five minutes or less. You must, however, on your first attempt leave much more time available in case you finish up with a very recalcitrant offender. In this latter case, you will need to deal with her in the manner just described.
The appointed hour has come and you are in your study prepared. If it is your practice to have a female member of your staff attending, she will also be there and you will have informed her of the punishment you are expecting to administer. You have already decided whether your method of instilling appropriate apprehension is to have canes already on display, lying on table perhaps, or rather to wait until the miscreant is present and then open the cupboard in which your canes are hanging and have her watch with increasing discomfort while you appear to choose the instrument (you should, of course, already have decided this but you should always take three canes, one thinner and one thicker than the one you expect to use). There will be a knock on the door, but you must realize that many young women in this situation are so nervous that their knocking is barely audible. You may need to leave the door ajar.
You will have to command "Come in!" in a rather loud voice and you will have to indicate where the miscreant should stand after entering (you may choose to be at your desk, or standing). At this point I ask simply if she knows why she is there. She may answer that she is there to be caned but, even if her reply is inaudible as it often is, I proceed without delay to order her to prepare herself appropriately and to assume the required position. While she is doing so, I observe her bottom to assess whether the assigned punishment needs to be modified. If, for example, her bottom is rather generous then I might decide to use a thicker cane. In the presently supposed case, however, there will be no such complications. Simply take up your position and raise your initially selected cane and place it across the waiting bottom cheeks
The first caning you administer will certainly be more interesting than your practice. Both the young lady and her bottom will be a great deal more responsive than the pillow, and the sights and sounds that immediately follow the impact of the cane will be far more rewarding. The advantage of beginning with 6-wrist-strokes is that the caning is likely to be much easier. The disadvantage is that, should such a caning be disrupted, then its determined process will be disrupted. Before you begin, therefore, you should inform the miscreant in an extremely severe tone that any such disruption will result in starting the punishment over again. This will normally be sufficient to persuade even a first-time visitor to remain comparatively still. If she does not, then allow her one severe warning with one additional stroke, and then administer the full penalty (as explained above) if she offends a second time. If she still refuses to cooperate, then you will have to secure her and, if you do so, you should change the punishment to vigorous half-strokes at the very least.
Let us hope, however, that your first administration of this caning proceeds smoothly. As your last good flick of the wrist drives the cane home then your confidence will undoubtedly establish itself firmly in the moment that follows. The next thing you should do, however, is nothing. Or, rather, you should observe carefully the results of your delivery, for accurate knowledge of the effects of each caning you have administered will serve you very well in the future. After this observation, you should enter the event in you records and only then tell the young woman that she may rise, and dress or rearrange her clothing. Your last action should be to have her face you while you tell her, in a kindly enough tone, that her punishment is now ended and that you hope she has learned her lesson well. Rare will be the occasion that you do not see her rubbing her bottom frantically as she leaves the room.
If your first experience administering the cane is in a punishment requiring harder strokes, namely half-strokes or more, then you may have more problems. The miscreant may react more vigorously because the strokes, of course, will be harder and more painful. If she does so, however, it may be more easily dealt with because each stroke is necessarily followed by an interval, however, brief, as you prepare for the next one. This gives you a chance to reassert your authority. As with the preceding case, you should impress the young lady before you even begin, in the strongest possible terms, that any lack of cooperation will extend her punishment and you should be prepared to follow through with this, however much time and patience it takes.
Let us hope, however, that the miscreant is sufficiently impressed by your authority that she readies herself as you have ordered and that she accepts her caning without disruptive protest. The effect of your first stroke of the cane across a living bottom rather than across a pillow, will, of course, be even more marked than in our first case. Even before you know clearly what the young woman's reaction will be, you will probably realize that the sound of the cane through the air is the same whatever its target may be, but the sound and feel as it lands on a live bottom is unique. If your practice has been sufficient to give you confidence, you will probably know at that moment whether you will find the experience gratifying or otherwise. It is my hope, naturally enough, that, with the assistance of my advice, you will find it so and that you will find yourself looking forward to serving our educational mission in this essential duty. If you do not, then I would suggest that you try another three or four canings before deciding whether to pass this duty to someone more inclined to fulfill it.
If you choose to continue with these duties, you will soon enough start to know how effective is the stroke you have just delivered, even before the reactions of the young woman and the developing marks on her bottom inform you further. However, an experienced word or two upon this subject may not be out of place.
Experience has taught me to hear to the differences between what I refer to as the "thwick," thwack," "thwat" and "thwad" strokes. The sound of a cane's impact across the bottom cheeks will of course vary with the cane and the bottom, but I have found that the subtleties, with which one's technique is employed and which still determine so much of the effect, are such that often one is not fully aware of them until the cane has actually landed. At that moment, the sound of the cane's impact can be very instructive. The critical difference is between a sound that is close to a "thwack" and one that is more of a "thwat."
My experience suggests that this difference is related to the extent to which the cane buries itself in the cheeks of the bottom. The "thwack" (or in milder instances more of a "thwick") indicates that the cane has remained close to their surface. A "thwat" indicates a stroke that has embedded itself more deeply in the cheeks. The action of the cane is so rapid that it is extremely difficult to observe the moment of its impact, but the more practiced the delivery of the stroke and the less attention one is obliged to pay to it, the more freedom the eye has to observe. As an administrator of extensive experience, I have increasingly noticed that the bottom cheeks appear to be significantly flattened and distorted by a hard stroke and I suspect that the cane thereby makes an increasing impression beneath the surface of its cheeks. It is this depth of the cane's impression, I have come to believe, that results in a different sound. Observation of the miscreant's reactions has also shown me that the more embedded impact is more painful. It will produce a bruise arising more deeply below the skin, one that swells more prominently and eventually becomes more the "black and blue" of legend.
To the differences between stinging "thwick strokes," and the "thwack" and "thwat" strokes, both of which may be seen to produce an increasingly severe sensation of burning, I add what I call the "thwad" stroke. This last sound is that produced by a thicker cane when vigorously administered. The reactions of bottoms I have caned in this manner suggest that, while the "thwad" may not indicate a stroke that seems to burn, it produces a pain that develops more slowly and is certainly followed by more severe bruising. Sensitivity to these differences will enable you to conduct your canings more thoughtfully and to vary your strokes within one caning where it seems appropriate.
My own sensitivity to the sounds of caning is such that I was once seized by levity and challenged a fellow headmaster to a competition. My suggestion was that we should each accumulate a representative collection of canings that needed to be administered, each with different conditions, and then administer them one after the other, all on the same occasion. As he did so, I would be listening around a corner and making notes, and he likewise while I discharged my duty. I was willing to wager that, on the basis of sound alone, I would be better able than he to identify correctly the size of cane and the type of stroke employed, the position of the young woman, the approximate dimensions of her bottom, and the appearance of the welts one minute after the caning had concluded. The idea, unfortunately, proved impractical.
There is one exception to the rule that a "thwat," as indicating a stroke that has penetrated more deeply, is therefore more painful. Bottom cheeks that are less yielding will result in more damage to the skin, the appearance of which has often appeared to me as much like a burn than a bruise. The sound is closer to a "thwack" but harsher and does not have the satisfying depth of a cane striking softer bottom cheeks. I do not consider this a desirable result in caning and this is the main reason that I do not recommend positions that stretch a young woman's bottom too taughtly. The same condition may be produced, however, when a young woman who is very nervous clenches her bottom as the cane descends. If she does this, you will readily be able to tell the difference both by feel and sound. I recommend that you discourage it.
In all circumstances, of course, you should continue to observe the state of the bottom with especial care, either on your own or in company with your assistant. You need not be reluctant to examine the bottom closely, but you must not touch it. If you have a female assistant, of course, she may choose to do so.
Let us resume our hypothetical narrative at this point, however, and suppose that your first stroke has safely landed across its target and that the event is proceeding as planned. You will, of course, wait to observe the reactions of the offender and determine whether you can continue. Let us further suppose that her sounds and movements, which will naturally enough also be far more interesting than the inanimate response of a pillow, are not disruptive, but are only such as you may comfortably register as the opening item in the knowledge of how a young woman responds to the cane, a knowledge that you will now begin to accumulate. You must also enter in your experience first observations concerning how the cheeks of a bottom themselves register this experience at the other end of the cane, in the terms that I discussed in my previous section. Do not proceed hurriedly to the second stroke but observe the bottom before you carefully and closely. You must not be reluctant to do so and you should resume your position for the second stroke only when you are satisfied that you have a preliminary assessment of how this particular bottom will stand up to this particular caning. This rule obtains for almost every stroke, of course, but is more important after the first.
There is one situation where it does not obtain and that is when you are administering several strokes in rapid succession. I do not generally do this, preferring that the young lady have time to think about the next stroke that she will receive, and that I myself have the leisure to contemplate each delivery carefully.
This matter does, however, raise the important question of how long the interval between strokes should be. The essential factor here derives from the effect that a stroke has upon the nerves of the bottom. My own observation of the immediate reactions of both bottom cheeks and person has convinced me that there is an initial and instantaneous shock as the cane lands across the bottom, but that another kind of very intense pain immediately follows and that this pain may take from two to six seconds to reach its maximum (it has been described to me as a fiery burning sensation). This is in turn followed by yet a third kind of discomfort, a throbbing ache that is less intense than the burning but is still severe. This impression has also been confirmed by informants whom I have sometimes been able to consult.
The intervals between strokes may be correlated to these reactions. If the caning proceeds at a deliberately considered pace, then your intervals may last from ten seconds to a minute and you may well choose to vary them. If you wish to increase the level of conscious pain to the maximum, then one stroke should follow another at the moment that the burning sensation reaches its maximum. This varies from bottom to bottom, but you can usually estimate it by carefully observing the bottom cheeks and listening to the young lady's gasps. The tightest clenching of the cheeks and the most desperate intake of breath will signal this moment. I have found that six such strokes in succession is the maximum that she will be able to take before her protests become too violent. If you deliver two strokes in very rapid succession, then the first initial shock will be doubled by the second. In this case, it is unlikely that the young woman will be able to stand more than two such strokes. I usually reserve the six stroke sequence for the eight-stroke penalty imposed when the miscreant must be secured, delivering them across the crown of the bottom, and concluding with two final extra-hard strokes delivered more slowly low across the bottom. The rapid double sequence I often use when it has become apparent that the initially assigned punishment is too light and I can increase it by provoking a desperate clutching of the bottom by errant hands. I prefer to achieve a modification of the original decree in this way, rather than by seeming to change my mind arbitrarily about a decision that I have already issued.
If a caning reaches the maximum of 36 strokes but penalty strokes are still required, this necessitates a second caning, which is automatically a minimum of 12 strokes. I require the offender to return after 3 weeks for an inspection of her bottom. If it has sufficiently recovered from her first caning, then I administer the second. If my assistant decides that her bottom still needs more time to recover, then she is instructed to return again after another week. The young women in such cases are sometimes so nervous that it is helpful to secure them even before beginning. On principle, however, I ask them if they wish to be secured and explain that this will necessitate a further 2 strokes. I have been surprised at how often this arrangement is accepted. The fear of earning an even higher number of penalty strokes is evidently stronger.
A word of reassurance on a related matter may be in order here. In discussing the cane with others who take this matter seriously, several masters have told me that, when they found themselves for the first time contemplating the private parts of a young woman who had just bent over to receive her caning, they had been overwhelmed with fear that the cane might strike and injure this obviously tender anatomy. Subsequent experience, of course, always proved such fear to be groundless. It may be helpful, however, to reassure the beginner that this will be the case.
The fear is perhaps not surprising in the inexperienced and is to be lauded, as a sign both of careful concern for one's charges and also of an appropriate awareness that the object of a caning is the bottom and only the bottom. The fear must, however, be distinguished from that very proper domain of observation, which I have repeatedly emphasized as essential to the productive feeling of mortification on the part of the offender. The beginner may feel firmly assured that all the tenderest details of female anatomy rest safely in the bottom's cleft and between the thighs. One might, indeed, even speculate that the cleft was part of a divine design to protect these parts, lying so closely to that swelling flesh provided by the same divinity as that part of the anatomy most perfectly suited to corporal punishment.
I have often marveled at the elegance of this divine solution when contemplating the results of a caning. Few sights seem so attractive and so expressive of the quality of a caning as the pale and unblemished valley of this cleft, rimmed by the crimson corrugations of the imprinted welts as they disappear from one cheek only to reappear on the other. When my assistant and I examine the state of a bottom to decide whether to continue a severe caning, I have noticed that she often feels along these corrugated edges of the cleft as she estimates how much damage the cheeks have suffered. I must confess that, as the person whose cane has just imprinted itself in this bottom, I have sometimes wished to employ my fingers in the same way. The propriety of a schoolmaster, of course, precludes any such contact.
One may speculate that in the application of the birch this sanctuary within the cleft and between the thighs may not have been so safe. The evidence of written accounts, of some renderings by artists, and of thinking about both the construction of the implement of chastisement and the formation of the female bottom, leads one to suspect that an immodest and doubtless very painful contact between the birch twigs and the female private parts was often a part of this punishment. I do not myself believe that the Victorian era was less enlightened than our own. Perhaps, in that era, the degree of expertise in the administration of corporal punishment to young ladies was much higher than it is today, and there was a better understanding of the extent to which these tenderest parts of female anatomy could safely and usefully be subjected to such punishment. My own belief is that the loss of such understanding has led also to the abandonment of the birch. Whether or not this is the case (and my efforts here are meant to reverse this trend at least in regard to the cane), and having received no training in the use of the birch, I have occasionally wondered whether I should reintroduce it to my own school. I must confess, however, that I have an innate preference for the precision of the cane as an instrument of punishment. I leave the birch, therefore, as a matter of speculation alone.
My final comments in this section concern multiple beatings. By this I do not mean the occasions when several miscreants are lined up outside your door, each having committed a different transgression and each nervously waiting her turn to enter your study to be caned. There are, of course, niceties to be decided even in these common circumstances, such as the order in which you cane them, whether they are allowed to leave one by one or must wait until the last one has been caned and whether you leave the door ajar so that they all may hear more clearly the sound of each one being caned, but I leave these decisions to your personal choice.
The more particular topic concerns those occasions when a group of girls have committed an offense together and you feel that their caning should therefore be a collective event. I believe that this is sometimes effective and there are several options. If undressing is required, then I usually have them all do this before I start, but then there is the question of whether they should all watch each other's caning, or merely listen to it, or perhaps be subjected to some combination. The latter is my usual choice and in this case, after they have finished any undressing required, I have them all line up towards the back of the room, from where they will be able to see the event. After each girl in turn has been ordered to the position of punishment and received her caning, she is then ordered to the front of the room, where she stands facing the wall with striped bottom exposed. I choose this position so that, as the next girl is bent over for her own caning, she can see the results on the bottoms of all who have preceded her. There is no doubt that they are impressed by this particular arrangement, but others are possible.
A situation that requires more careful planning, however, occurs if you decide that their complicity deserves an even more coordinated punishment. The easiest way to explain this will be to describe two occasions where I solved the problems with what I like to think was some ingenuity.
The first occasion was a rather surprising one, when six second-year girls had collaborated in performing a dastardly trick on a master. I decided that they each should receive six of the best with the ¼' cane, and all at the same time. Since my study was too small, I arranged the event in the school gym. The event was obviously going to be an unusual one, so I had to post staff outside the gym to keep excited students at bay. The six girls themselves were already extremely nervous even as they arrived. On the floor of the gym, I ordered them to remove their knickers and to stand side by side in a row, facing alternate directions. I had calculated that they needed to be six feet apart to allow myself adequate room to wield a 3' cane. After they had been instructed to bend over, I then had each of them move back about 1 ½' so that three heads were aligned with three bottoms. Lastly I went along each row and carefully lifted and folded back their skirts above their waists.
Preparations thus complete, I began with the girl at one end and administered one full stroke, and then moved on to the next and so on, until they had each received one stroke. Then I commenced with the second round of strokes, and so on. I had thought about instructing them to turn their heads, stroke by stroke, towards the girl who was to receive the next one. However, as I suspected, their natural curiosity and fear made them do so anyway. None of them had been caned this hard before and there was a great deal of screeching and crying. There were several who misbehaved and received penalty strokes. As I recall, one girl managed to behave and received only her allotted six. One girl's punishment reached twelve strokes and the others were in between. I found the experiment very successful and the two lines of neatly marked bottoms were certainly a gratifying sight.
The second occasion was equally surprising, for a group of seven fourth year-girls, young women I should call them, all went off school grounds in a highly illicit jaunt and the offense was altogether more serious than the above. They had all been caned before, some of them more than once, and my record books suggested that 24 strokes with the 3' 5/16" cane was appropriate for all of them. Separately considered, the appropriate punishments would have varied slightly, but I decided to make them all the same. With the above experience in mind, I also scheduled this event in the gym. It was more complicated, however, since this degree of punishment necessitated that each miscreant bend over a table. I located seven tables, each 2'x4', and arranged them like the spokes in a wheel. To provide enough space for using the cane, I had to move them slightly back from the center. The seven young women were instructed to disrobe completely (except for their socks of course) and each was bent over one table, so that their heads were at the hub of the wheel and their bottoms pointed outwards, radiating from the center.
When I finally commenced the caning, with a resounding stroke across the first bottom (I had arranged them in alphabetical order), an individual shriek and a collective gasp left no doubt that a major event was taking place. I progressed slowly around the circle, stroke by stroke, twenty-four circuits to begin with (168 strokes in all) but by then, not surprisingly, a number of penalty strokes had accrued. In the end, two young women received only 24 strokes, two more received 28, one received 30, one received 34, and the last not only received 36 but had to return 3 weeks later for a further 12. When she did so, marks were still visible across her bottom and my assistant delayed her additional 12 strokes for another week. In fact it was 14, for she elected to be secured according to the rules described above. The main event was the only time that I wished I had had a cane with a padded handle. The messages that the resilience of the cane transmitted to my hand were, of course, very instructive but that hand was beginning to tire by the last stroke. I recall feeling tempted, when the collective caning was complete, to line them all up in the touch-toes position so that I could more easily assess the entire result. I let them stay where they were for five minutes, however, while I slowly walked around several times. It was an excellent opportunity to assess how different bottoms showed considerable variation in how they were marked by a range of severity in caning. I gathered later, from an informant, that this became a famous event in the school and that several viewing parties were organized so that fellow students could admire the full parade of very well marked bottoms.
The punishment of caning is a punishment. It must be distinguished absolutely from the mere cruelty and its gratification that has from time to time disgraced our civilization. But it is also not a mere matter of inflicting pain on the posteriors of errant females as a deterrent to poor behavior. If this were the case, the industrial age would long since have invented a machine for this purpose, one with replaceable canes, perhaps, that could tirelessly dispatch any number of strokes with a varying severity according to requirements dialed in.
But this has not been the case and the reason, we must realize, is that caning is both a science and an art, requiring knowledge, skill, discretion, judgment, finesse, experience and other qualities in a humane practice that will achieve the intellectual and moral improvement of our female youth. It is only when that youth, err as it may, recognizes these qualities as present in their correction, as effectively in control of the cane that is, at the particular moment, imprinting its message so painfully in their bottom, that the lesson will be learned.
I say a humane practice because this is indeed fundamental. Yet again, although the purpose of the action of caning, most narrowly understood, is the very painful event that results in the bottom itself, its administration in a more general sense requires a profoundly human understanding.
This understanding may be shown in a quite explicit sense. Your manner should always be firm, of course, but it need not be harsh unless you are dealing with an offender who is so obstreperous that she will respond only to such a tone. Otherwise, you should be understanding and even kind. A young woman who is consumed by anxiety, especially one whose bottom has already been caned into a painful condition, may become much more cooperative if you offer her kindly advice, such as keeping her bottom still, or not clenching its cheeks, or even breathing deeply, so that the punishment may be concluded with just that degree of discomfort originally intended. I have had young women thanking me most sincerely at the conclusion of their caning, even as they were massaging their bottoms quite desperately, with tears still streaming down their faces. They have received the cane as dictated by reasonable discipline, rather than by unreasonable malice.
It is such occasions that led me to understand the humanity of this practice in a wider sense. You should always think of a caning as an event complete in itself. I am familiar with masters who simply line up their students outside their door and then dispatch their canings in rapid succession, giving no thought to anything beyond the mere wielding of the instrument. They are little better than a machine and this is not effective. You must begin by considering the offender as a person before she is reduced to a bared bottom. Even as you are caning that bottom you should be considering it as a part of her person, and a very important part. When the caning has ended, you should restore consideration of that bottom to the young woman who earlier came in your door. My comments on the qualities of a female bottom in itself, and my recommendations that you observe unflinchingly all those intimacies that her caning offers to your to your sight are, indeed, an aspect of this humane respect.
There is, however, a more subtle point. A caning should be seen as a cooperative event between the master and the offender, even though that cooperation has as its purpose a painful experience for one of the parties. I was often surprised at the apparent readiness of most young women to submit to this experience before I acquired a deeper understanding of this. Even with a young woman who has to be secured, there can hardly be an effective caning without a degree of cooperation. This cooperation, I am convinced, stems from two matters. The first lies in the fact that she must expose her private anatomy to your gaze. As she does this, she is placing these intimacies in your care and must therefore trust you to treat them respectfully and, so to speak, return them to her when you have finished. The second matter lies in the peculiar connection that is created at the moment of the cane's impact, from your own self, through the cane, by way of her bottom and finally to her own self. Her response to the cane maintains this communication in the opposite direction. Every time you deliver another stroke, you become vividly and intimately connected to the young woman again.
This connection that is created by the action of caning establishes what I believe we may think of as a special bond. To realize this bond at the time is, in my view, essential to the satisfactory conclusion of a caning and you will certainly find that it subsequently survives, in a most distinctive way, between yourself and any young woman you have caned. It is thus, as the humble servant of the cane, the distinguished implement of this relationship, that I have found myself deeply, widely and gratifyingly related to almost all the girls who have passed through what I may modestly claim to be my excellent school.