Bastinado: Foot Caning

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As we noted in last week’s installment on fisting, we are kink weekly – thus we cover all aspects of debauchery. One kinky play – and one that has a very shallow learning curve while being incredibly effective – is the “bastinado.”

Bastinado was originally a Spanish word for the act of caning, in the literal sense of beating with a stick or similar implement. It is specifically used as a form of torture or corporal punishment, which consists of beating the soles of the offender’s bare feet with a hard object — like a cane, rod, a club, a piece of wood or a whip. The terror of the punishment lies not only in the severity of the blows, but also in its long continuation.

This torture — the literal Spanish torture as opposed to our BDSM play torture — is unusually effective due to the clustering of nerve endings in the feet and the structure of the foot, with its numerous small bones and tendons. Afterwards, the feet were often tied together or to a wooden plank and the victim would be made to walk around on his or her damaged feet, sometimes carrying weights. The wounds inflicted are particularly painful and take a long time to heal, a brutal result of a long bastinado session. Some point out that the prominent display of the offender’s damaged feet contains an element of punitive humiliation as well. But enough of the history lesson!

In our current version of the bastinado, we are using it for sensation play, training or consensual punishment – not to beat out a confession from a suspect. (Although that might be a creative role-play scenario!) Although bastinado is not difficult to master, it is not without some dangers. Make sure you agree on a safe word and a safe signal. Most importantly, the Top must know that you do not have to hit hard for maximum effect. A light tapping is usually the best way to go. That is painful enough. You can get more sadistic over time as you know your play partner.

I know that some people will simply tie the submissive down, remove his/her shoes and socks, restrain his/her feet and then start whipping his/her helpless soles. But if you want your bottom to be able to walk and not wind up in the E.R., why not go slowly at first? You do not have to go hard to “torture” your submissive. And for those of you who enjoy tickle torture, you can make use of all your skills tickling your bottom’s soles instead of a classic bastinado scene.

A word to the Tops: as opposed to flogging the butt, where you can use color and marking as a guide, the feet don’t give many cues as to when “enough is enough.” It might seem obvious, but besides being attentive to the bottom’s safe words, always err on the side of caution. As I stated last week, and this is becoming my mantra, “When it comes to the possibility of injury, being Captain Obvious is far better than being Major Fuckup!”

By BaadMaster
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.

Comments

  1. as a submissive all i can say is ouch ouch ouch

  2. As a diabetic, I’m going to say “HARD LIMIT”. Damage to the feet of anyone with diabetes can lead to gangrene and amputation.

    • Master Sage says:

      I agree, for diabetics, the danger also lies with the spread of staph (MRSA) infections by breaking the skin, of course as Beth K. stated, leads to severe compromise and thus amputation. This should not only be listed as a hard limit but an absolute hard limit for diabetics but for anyone on blood thinners (Coumadin) as well.

  3. As a Top I can say thank you for the insight. I read up on bastinado sporadically from time to time. It’s one of those things that’s too heavy for my liking but I’d love to give it a go with the right bottom or two.

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