Night of the Cane - 2011
Saturday, 21st November 2011
At The Romford Factory
The 13th annual Night of the Cane event was held last Saturday at The Factory in Romford, Essex. About 150 enthusiasts attended, with some 30 participating in the famed Caning Competition that forms the main highlight of the night's play.
The venue is spacious: past the friendly entrance, with books for sale and fliers for fetish events, is a corridor giving on to several rooms hosting workshops, a boxing ring and a schoolroom. The corridor opens out into a much larger, open, dimly-lit play space, with benches, webs and frames. Beyond that, a small canteen serves hot food and soft drinks; alcohol we supplied ourselves.
The competition itself took place downstairs in the huge hall, a section of which had this year been marked out and decorated, to create a more intimate setting.
Players started to gather from 7 pm, and by 8 the atmosphere was warm with intent. Cane cases abounded as Doms and Dommes unpacked their implements, in some cases getting straight to the necessary business of warming up their subs prior to the Competition. TVs and TGs, sporting wild and alluring outfits, mingled with gowned and mortar-boarded Sirs shepherding gym-slipped schoolgirls. Black and red leather were popular choices of attire, naturally, but the range of diverse costumes also included an RAF Flight Sergeant and a couple of bankers. Sonorous and efficient amidst the throng, President of The Firm, Ishmael Skyes, in formal evening wear, gave notice of workshops and beamed approvingly.
Regrettably, your correspondent could taste only a selection of the erudite workshops on offer. The first of these was an excellent lesson on the art of caning, in which Professor Birch offered sound advice on this time-honoured craft.
He started by emphasising the importance of not using excessive force on a newcomer to the cane, this being very likely to deter the sub completely and thus selfishly deprive eager Tops everywhere of a potential playmate for years to come. He went on to expound learnedly on the differences between the kooboo and the dragon, the latter being heavier and having the advantage of allowing a more accurate aim. He warned us, too, to beware unscrupulous retailers colouring kooboo canes brown and passing them off as the more expensive dragons.
With the generous aid of Miss J, who offered her perfectly-formed bottom for the purpose, the Professor then demonstrated a classic, if understandably mild, six of the best, using his trusty 15-year-old dragon cane. An aesthetically satisfying 'five-bar gate' effect was achieved, whilst our Tutor explained in greater detail aspects such as positioning and aim, the latter being especially crucial for health and safety.
It was no surprise to learn that the Professor is the published author of over 90 works of erotic literature in which canes feature with delightful regularity.
Nurse Zak and her class on 'Sex Education' was my next port-of-call. We motley collection of naughties sat at school desks whilst Teacher sought to elicit the level of our existing knowledge about the provenance of babies. This turned out, of course, to be derisory, the boys and girls being more intent on incurring her wrath (and her hairbrush) than contributing to a studied exploration of the functions of the genitalia. In short, much fun and many spanks were had by all under the watchful and witty gaze of the inimitable Nurse.
As the hour of the Caning Competition drew near, eager subs sought last-minute dommes with whom to join the fun and the company gathered in the main hall. The panels around were adorned with paintings of bestial figures in provocative poses, while a projector beamed images of past events and Mistresses and slaves both real and imagined. The stage itself glittered under the coloured lights, the leather-topped horse placed centrally before a curtain of dangling black thongs tinged with silver and gold. On either side stood friezes of bulbous golden shapes evocative of that part of the anatomy about to be so repeatedly inspected. At the front corners of the stage, electric braziers burned, suggesting hellish heat. Growling music evoked the pain to come.
Having explained the rules, the MC introduced this year's select panel of judges: Professor Birch himself, Mistress Sapphire and, with special homage paid to the upcoming Jubilee of the Muir Academy, the long-respected (or else!) Miss Prim (described as 'old-school, incorruptible and with a strong right arm'). On hand, too, was The Countess, immune to any bribery (despite scandalous attempts), to collate the Judges' assessments.
Being somewhat nervous at his own impending participation, your correspondent must confess to losing count of the exact number of brave couples to step up, swish and be swished, but he thinks it was about 15, with parity between males and females as Tops and Bottoms. Two couples featured twice, switching places in noble acknowledgement of gender equality (though it was the women who managed the meatiest swipes).
A range of entertaining scenarios were enacted, all punitive in intent, from classics such as non-regulation knickers, to a schoolgirl's posting of wittily insulting references to her Teacher on Facebook. Coincidentally (but aptly given the times), there were two scenarios featuring a banker being punished for condemning the nation to penury: Nurse Zak provided an entertaining commentary to each of her (admittedly very gentle) strokes, while Sir Guy Masterly humiliated his banker-sub expertly before delivering a more suitably fearsome caning.
The 90-odd strokes (6 each being the limit) ranged from the very mild to the impressively well-dealt, with some righteous red stripes resulting, and each couple being greeted with appreciative applause.
Whilst the judges deliberated, and the Countess counted, the President took the stage to deliver his annual speech. His topic was bullying, his target the tabloids, specifically Murdoch's The Sun and its lurid headline emphasising a murderer's predilection for porn as if this alone had led the man to kill. Waving the offending paper in the air, he enjoined us all to rise up and speak out in defence of our lifestyle, before tossing the rag away in furious disgust.
For the historical record (and there is evidence that Caning Competitions date back much further than 1999 - indeed, to as far back at the 1870's), the judges awarded second place to Master Madras and WinterKitten, whilst this year's winners were the excellent Mistress Marisa and Tom.