The Joy of OTK
Ms. Harriet Marwood
In Part 1 of this article, I presented a generalized example of a good, old-fashioned spanking. Now it’s times to dig a little deeper and look at the various implements and techniques for using them effectively and safely. Playing with implements ultimately boils down to personal preferences. Preferences of the person topping, to be sure, but bottoms have preferences as well. I am not a believer in a totalitarian approach to spanking play. It’s always a two-way street. In my opinion, unless you know your partner well already, you should always have a chit chat with him or her and find out as much as you can about his/her experiences and preferences. For you tops, if you just up and conduct your scene only according your whim, simply because you feel you—and not your bottom—have total say and you’ll do as you like, you run the risk of doing something that shocks or jars your partner out of the moment. Many bottoms won’t even tell you that they find what you’ve done disturbing. They just won’t ever play with you again. And maybe this is a relationship that could have provided a lot of spanking good fun for everyone, but you’ll never know. Everyone in this kind of situation should treat each other with dignity and respect. Communication is the most important step in doing that. Having said that, let’s explore implements.
Spankers and spankees these days are very lucky. When I first started playing things were a lot different. First of all, it was a much deeper, darker secret. Obviously, spanking is still something that we, at least in the good old USA, are not especially free to tout among our vanilla friends and colleagues, yet. It still bears a stigma. But it was much more so 15 or 20 years ago! The other fortunate thing is that our choices of how and where to play, also what to play with, has greatly increased. There are lots more social groups springing up. And because of the internet we have access to so many more venues to purchase our toys. It’s the old supply and demand model. Way more demand creates way more product on the market. You have so many choices of implements to play with now you could entertain yourself for years, experimenting with them all. What determines which way you’ll go?
In her book The Adult Spanking & Discipline Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Corporal Punishment (which you can conveniently find here in the cane-iac.com store) Gemma Forbes lists the many variations and approaches to spanking games. If you want a more detailed account of this, or any other Spanking related subject, that is probably one of the best resources you’ll find. People who have participated in it for years often have a preference for how they approach things, even to the point of needing to use a certain specific vocabulary when confronting their naughty brat (or in being confronted by their Spanker). I won’t go into such detail here. You can read Ms Forbes book, if you’d like to delve into this in more detail. I mention it because, while there are a lot of people for whom spanking is very loose and casual and they don’t much care how they do it as long as things end up in a bared bottom being whacked, just as many people care very much about the particulars. This is why it’s important to have that chit-chat when you’re getting to know each other. It also follows that people can be very persnickety about the implements they use… or want used on them.
I have a huge variety of implements. My preferences tend to change according to my mood. Sometimes I like leather. Sometimes wood. I’m always very partial to the cane, but a lot of people are scared of it. Or they just can’t tolerate its sting. Or they worry about the marks. Cane welts can occur if caning is done improperly, but also if someone is a heavy player. If that’s the case, some welts are inevitable. You will have to make those calls for yourself. Some folks give me a very picky list of implements I can and can’t use on them. Others don’t care as long as I get the job done, meaning that it’s the degree of intensity they care about and not how you get them there.
There are two ways to start out. The most common is to give someone a good warm-up. I think OTK is the best way to do this. It connects you to your partner right away, and you also can’t strike them too hard in the OTK position. You can’t really wind up and take a full-armed swing. The best reason to give a warm-up is that it can prevent bruises. (Some people love and want marks, so you may not have to worry about this.) It also readies the cheeks so that there is less likelihood you’ll break the skin later on and cause bleeding. Some people like to be embarrassed and scolded. A warm-up gives you a prime opportunity for this, too.
The reason not to do a warm-up is if you’re planning to play out a realistic, heavy corporal, punishment scene. If you’re doing some sort of judicial sentencing scenario, you would probably set it up that your unfortunate perpetrator has committed a crime and without much fuss or explanation, they will be bent over something – or made to stand with their hands against a wall, or whatever – and will be given X number of strokes “cold”. Being spanking cold is a whole different experience than a domestic spanking with a good warm-up. It is jarringly harsh, real punishment… and much less intimate and personal. Some folks want and need this. The choice of implements will be very different here than with a domestic spanking. In judicial style punishments, the weapons of choice are almost always paddles and/or canes. The guilty party may or may not be told the number of strokes he will receive.
Let’s talk more about implements. For the OTK lover, the wooden hairbrush is a staple. It’s stingy and very nostalgic. Back in the day, Mommy or Grandma or Auntie would often threaten to pull her hairbrush out of her purse and tan little Johnny’s hide if didn’t shape up. I know people who were brought up that way, and they love to recreate it. The hairbrush usually stings a lot, so I often save it for the very end of scene. After someone’s been fully disciplined this way or that, and they clearly have had their fill, I let them think it’s over, and then I’ll announce that they can get dressed… after they come over my knee for their last spanks. Gratefully imagining I’ll be using my hand, they lie over my lap and I give them a dozen or two swats with hairbrush. It doesn’t take much, but it usually leaves people feeling that have really had a thorough punishment. (I hate the idea of anyone leaving my little spanking room thinking they could have—and would have—taken more than they got!) The hairbrush is small, but on a bare bottom it hurts like sonofabitch. So always keep your eyes open and get a feel for how your bottom is taking what you’re dishing out, so you know how much to push them at any point. You can definitely use the hairbrush early in the spanking. But a hard swing can leave bruises early on, so be aware. You can still get a strong reaction from snapping it briskly instead of whalloping them hard in the beginnings of a spanking.
Now, you bottoms know that each implement has a very different feel. Some of you prefer stingy things rather than ones with more of a thud. Some of you prefer the sting of leather to the smack of wooden or synthetic paddles. And many of you have strong feelings one way or the other about the cane. Still others are happy for any opportunity to get a spanking and love just about everything you use on them!
Nothing stings like a cane. It feels sharp, and hot, and searing. Cane lovers are a breed unto themselves. If you meet one, you’d better know your craft! The main thing to know about caning is that you have to learn to aim well. You want to aim (and actually hit) that middle fleshy portion of the bare cheeks. Caning hurts enough. Your caning fan doesn’t want you make them see stars by wrapping the tip of the cane around that tender area of the outer thigh (right, you cane-o’s?) So if you’re experimenting, rather than being an experienced caner, start out slowly. Don’t use a full swing until you get really accurate with your aim. You’ll deliver a good sting even with shorter strokes. At first you might want to pick the thin whippy canes. With those, you can get your point across simply by using a flick of the wrist instead of cocking your arm up way high above your head and swiping down, hard and fast. The shorter, thinner canes have a biting sting. You should get good with those before you move on to thicker or longer canes, which are harder to aim. That’s my advice. What will help you learn your way the fastest is to talk to your partner after the scene and get feedback on what it felt like. If your bottom is the type who doesn’t need everything in the scene to be super-real, maybe you can stop and talk about it as you go along until you get your bearings.
Then we have the paddles. Paddles come in a zillion shapes, sizes, thicknesses, lengths and materials. Each one has its unique kind of smack. Some people prefer certain ones over others. Your basic pain slut, on the other hand, is usually just happy to feel the whallop. Since paddles are made from hard materials they can result in what is called habituation. In other words, the sensation starts to feel the same after awhile and the bottoming partner kind of has the feeling that it all seems to blur together. They can’t tell much difference after awhile between one paddle and another. This is less likely if you vary the paddles from wide ones to skinny, or thick ones to thin. You only have to worry about this if you’re playing with a partner who insists they only want you to use wooden implements. Some people simply feel that leather reminds them of S&M and they just want wood. Hey, whatever floats your boat! That’s why I have a lot of toys. But if you’re playing with someone who is fine with both wood and leather, you can switch off from your paddles to your straps. The straps will have a sharper sting. The paddles have more of smack, and the thick ones, a thud. So mixing up these sensations keeps a partner feeling their smacks, instead of going into a big numb pain blur.
As far as how to use these implements, it’s not brain surgery. With straps, your main concern is aiming and swinging them carefully. They are soft and they bend so you can easily lose control. And it’s not just your bottom you have to worry about. I’ve hit myself in the eye many times when in the height of a heavy strapping punishment! So always start out slow and build up to a heavier, harder and wider swing. Practice makes perfect and once you’ve gotten your sea legs you can really go to town.
Paddles are easier control. They’re stiff and they don’t wobble around as you swing. So the main thing to attend to is learning not leave marks (if your partner happens to be concerned about such things) and landing your strokes properly. No matter what you’re playing with, you always have to be careful to never hit higher than the top of the fleshy part of the butt cheeks. Stay well away from the spine. You also want keep from landing any strokes on or near the lower back. You can do damage to the kidneys that way. So play safe.
To further illustrate the different choices in implements, I’ll say a few more words about formal punishment scenes. True judicial canings are given cold with a long, thick heavy rattan cane. If you’re doing domestic role play, you probably won’t want to do it that way. (Or you may. It’s your game.) The strokes are full-bodied swings to the center of the cheeks, hard. Even though this often only includes but a dozen strokes, it can take some time because the bottom needs a few minutes in between to catch his breath when these heavy canes are used. This kind of caning is intense. Normally, judicial caning scenes are formal and there is hardly any speaking at all. There really doesn’t need to be. The shocking pain of the implement conveys the message.
Paddles can be used for judicial punishment but they are more likely to be used in institutional scenes, such as a role play taking place in a boarding school. Like judicial, there is usually very little verbal interplay. It’s not about scolding. It’s about having been caught doing wrong prior to arrival—breaking the rules--and at this moment you will be getting (or giving) the comeuppance. The student is confronted with his crimes and told he will now be receiving the consequences. Then he either must stand or be bent over a chair or a desk, with his pants pulled down, and take his licking. The strokes are full on and hard on both cheeks, either with a dense, long, slender school paddle, a wide fraternity-type paddle, or if a more juvenile scenario, the yard stick. Steady, evenly paced strokes, until the prescribed number have been delivered. Since this also is done on a cold behind, the punishment itself does the talking for you.
Again, I’ll mention that for more detailed information on punishment types and techniques, you can refer to The Adult Spanking & Discipline Handbook by Governess Forbes. I can’t address things in as much detail for you in a blog article as someone else can in a book.
No domestic spanking would be complete without a few strokes of the belt, would it? This can be a tricky proposition, however. Belts are long. You’d better have very good aim if you’re going to bend someone over and swing one at them full out. (I’ve hit myself in the eye doing this, too!) It’s also a nice old-fashioned thing to do to double them over and swing that way, but it won’t have the same sting. Doubling over the belt is good for when you’re spanking OTK where the full length of a belt would be impossible to aim. Another danger of belting someone is that, as we discussed with the cane, you can wrap the tip around the sensitive skin on the outside of the hip. That is no one’s good time! Any naughty brat can tell you that belts sting. But if you aim for that fleshy middle zone, it has a tasty bite to it and is unlikely to leave bruises.
With straps, belts and paddles you can also alternate butt cheeks, stroking one side and then the other, either for a different sensation, or to re-set your bottom’s pain thermostat that can result from similar sensations being delivered over a long period of time. If you want to up the ante on your brat, a good way to make them regret their sass is to lay on several strokes on the same cheek in the same spot. Four or five full, hard swats with the paddle or hairbrush on one side and then the other in the very same spot each time (lather, rinse, repeat – a few sets!) is wicked. I’ve seen people do a whole spanking this way. It even made me cringe! And it will almost always leave bruises.
These are some of the basic essentials when considering implements and perfecting techniques in common spanking play. Most players tend to opt for the more domestic kind of scene which builds gradually and often has a lot of word play and drama. The judicial or institutional role play is, by nature, more formal and often more painful. But this is your experience, so you can make it whatever you want it to be.
Whatever you enjoy most, just make sure—if you’re a top—that you know what you’re doing with the toys you play with. A real live person with flesh and nerve endings is trusting himself/herself into your care. He/she likes it to hurt but… he/she doesn’t deserve to be harmed. And you bottoms, make sure you let your tops clearly know what you think can handle. I never use safe words because at this point my instincts are so accurate at gauging my partner’s reactions I seem to gauge things just right. For years now no one has ever used their safe word on rare occasions when they’ve insisted on one. With experience you will develop these same instincts. If you’re not very experienced, it may be useful for you to use a safe word until you get to know one another better. But as always, play safe. (And come visit me sometime!)
Harriet Marwood, Spankologist
Ms. Marwood is a worldly, intelligent, no-nonsense lady who addresses the behavioral problems of naughty boys of all (consenting) ages. She takes her inspiration from a renowned, stern English governess of longstanding literary fame and believes in the expert application of all manner of traditional domestic corporal discipline as needed and/or deserved.
Visit her site @ www.msmarwood.com
All of us at CANE-IAC thank Ms Marwood for her contribution to our store and for helping to spread the word on safe play and good old fashion "Bottoms Up" spankings.