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Q&A: Recovering from severe scenes

Posted at 21:00 on 10 Aug 2012 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: FAQ, judicial, kink, Pain4Fem, pandoras mailbox

I received a great question by email recently, and thought you might find my answer interesting. I am sharing this with the enquirer's blessing.

I am a switch, and my sub side would love to experience a harsh judicial scene that includes a prison strap and cane. I have never gone this deep into the realm before, and I don't know what to expect. My conflict starts with my job. I dispatch trains, and as a result, I have to sit for 8 hours at a time, not solidly, I do take short breaks when I can get them. The problem is I really can not be distracted when doing my job. If I go to my dominant to carry out this fantasy, will I be able to watch out for the safety of the people I dispatch? Is this something maybe I should keep as a fantasy, and not do it for real?

Just for information, I was thinking of a "sentence" of maybe 25 strokes of the prison strap, and 25 strokes of the cane for a starting point. Maybe starting with the prison strap, so she could get me howling, then "ladder" my butt with welts using the cane.

And one more thing. When I am in a session, I have a difficult time being vocal. I am pretty quiet, holding it in. Any advice on how to open up a little, to let it out?

My answer:

Thanks for your email, and very interesting question! I would say that the answer depends in part on your body and level of fitness, and also on your level of spanking experience. People who have been playing regularly for some years have bottoms that tend to heal up much more quickly.

The initial 25 with the strap, while by no means a warm-up in the usual sense, will to some extent prepare your bottom for the cane, so there should be less broken skin than if you were starting with the cane from cold. However the accumulated impact will almost certainly result in deep bruising, especially if you are using a relatively thick or dense cane.

The last time I played at a judicial level was my shoot for Pain4Fem in January 2009, during which I received 35 hard strokes of the cane (on top of some residual soreness from the previous days' clips shoot). I was heavily bruised all over both buttocks with a little blood, although the welts stopped bleeding very quickly. The marks took 3-4 weeks to disappear entirely. For someone without much prior spanking experience I imagine that it might take somewhat longer. (Amy Hunter, who took a harder caning on the same shoot, was both a more experienced spankee and considerably less marked.)

I flew home on my bruised bottom that evening, and got home at 4am. This was an exhausting experience. To my folly, I had agreed to work an office shift from 10am the next day. The pain of sitting was not so much acute, but a low-level, irritating ache. Mostly I felt very fatigued and fragile, and in need of aftercare and a good nights' sleep.

There are several things you can do to diminish the severity of bruising. Take arnica pills before and after the scene, and apply arnica cream frequently to the bruises to help them heal. Immediately after the scene, lie on your tummy holding an ice pack to your bottom for as long as you can bear to. When I filmed a severe 50 stroke caning with Ludwig and Kaelah last year, the spankee held an ice pack to her bottom for 20-30 minutes after the scene as we chatted and drank tea, and although her bruises initially seemed as severe as mine had been, they healed up very quickly (I'm not sure exactly how long, but within a couple of weeks I think).

Kaelah's bruised bottom after a severe caning scene I was lucky enough to capture on film (out later this year)

It also helps to make sure you are well slept, well nourished and take good care of yourself after the scene as well.

To be on the safe side, it might be worth taking a day's leave after the scene, or else do it on the first day of a weekend; if you have a day of rest snuggled up with your dominant and get a couple of good nights' sleep you should be recovered by the following day. But if you follow the above precautions, you may well be ready to go back to work sooner than that.

Regarding letting go in a scene, I wouldn't pressure yourself to react in a way you that doesn't come naturally. But sometimes roleplay can be very effective in accessing a different part of yourself than normally comes to the fore during a punishment. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to engage in some play with your dominant before the judicial scene which will open up your vulnerable side - perhaps some humiliation play, or nurturing age play, or just something very intimate which will connect you and put you in a safe emotional space.


Leave a comment if you have any advice for the questioner to add to the above!

All this talk of severe spanking play lately has made me hungry for another judicial level scene - on film, for my own website this time. And I've made friends this week with someone who has a venue that might be suitable. I'm starting to plot. I want to be tied down for the birch or cane in a historical scenario, if at all possible. But while we're there, I'd love to shoot an Isle of Man style scene in which a young male delinquent is strapped to a table to receive a sentence with the birch or tawse (delivered by a male officer, I think; perhaps witnessed by a female one).

I'm not sure it's the sort of thing any of the male bottoms at Dreams of Spanking would like to do, though, so if you're a good looking young man who is interested in playing at that level, go ahead and email me your picture.


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This is a fascinating topic and I guess will be of interest to many players in the scene who would like to play a little harder but who have to be cautious about being marked when back in the 'vanilla' world. I find that keeping the skin well moisturised for a week or so before a session helps (try Palmers Cocoa butter). Pandora's advice on using a pack of ice immediately after a session also really helps reduce the appearence of marks and bruises. Interestingly I have never found Arnica cream to be particularly effective for reducing the effect of bruising, though I haven't tried Arnica pills before.

Most of my marks were gone after two weeks. The only thing that remained longer after my two severe scenes was a slight discolouration of the skin that took several months to fade completely.

[...] If you want to reduce marking and speed healing, keeping the bottom supple and moisturised is the most important thing. I use Vitamin E cream in general, and aloe vera gel on severe welts while they’re fresh, but shea butter and cocoa butter are rated highly too. Arnica doesn’t have any provable effect, whether as tablets or cream; I’ve heard a lot of anecdotal reports of its efficacy and used to think it helped me, but I don’t bother with it any more. Here’s a more detailed post on caring for your bottom after a severe scene. [...]

Although my heavy bottoming days are behind me - no, not that way, silly - I used to play at this level often, to the point that it was very difficult to mark me. However, in the process of getting there, I was often heavily bruised - a certain scene involving a thousand (!) strokes from an oak paddle comes to mind. At that time, I was partnered with Jay Wiseman ("SM 101"), a retired ambulance crewman, who did some research into recovering from such scenes. I've found his suggestions to be very useful. (More details in the book itself, if you want to learn more. I also touch on some of this material in my book "The Compleat Spanker.")

The day after a scene like that, it is usual to feel a bit out of it - tired, logy, foggy. (I would strongly recommend to the OP that she schedule her judicial scene for a Friday night - or the equivalent in her work schedule - so that she has a couple of days to recover.) Jay dubbed this "post-whipping flu," and believes it to be caused by toxins being dumped into the system when red blood cells are damaged. This can be a life-threatening problem after a major trauma, but nothing we do in scene goes to anything like that level, of course. After an intense spanking it manifests as, well, feeling like you have a mild case of the flu. You can help recover from it by drinking *lots* of water and taking supplementary vitamins; if you have a detox routine, consider implementing it.

I can't second the motion about the ice pack strongly enough. The usual sports-medicine protocol is to have the ice pack on for twenty minutes, then off for twenty minutes, alternating until you're too bored to do it anymore ;) It makes a *huge* difference in the rate of healing.

I once gave the heaviest spanking I've ever given anyone (and the heaviest I ever will give anyone - I wasn't happy with the level of damage he sustained) to an inexperienced male spankee who was middle-aged and slender. I saw a phenomenon I've never seen since - in the days after the spanking, the bruising actually *fell* down the back of his legs - so what had started on his butt actually descended to the lower part of the backs of his thighs. It was when I saw it that I told him: from then on, we were going to be doing a lot less thud and a lot more sting ;)

Which brings me to an important point - heavy straps and canes are all well and good; I love them to death - but if you really want a spanking to *hurt*, sting does at least as good a job. Thin canes, switches, birches, plastic toys, the rubber sole of a kung fu shoe - they might leave welts, but few will leave bruises. Remember, canes were initially put into use in British schools as an act of *clemency*, rather than using birches on students.

Just a few ideas that might help the OP implement her fantasy. (I wish I were there to help her implement it myself!)

Janet Hardy/"Lady Green"

Thanks so much for stopping by Janet, I'm a fan!

Really good input, thank you. The tidbit about toxins entering the bloodstream is fascinating - I didn't know that, and it does make sense. Sub drop perhaps has a physiological component as well as the serotonin dip and emotional factors. The advice to hydrate is well noted!

I'm currently planning my next judicial scene for a shoot in September - a double caning administered by Leia Ann Woods and Thomas Cameron. I take your point about maximising pain, but for me a judicial wouldn't be the same without satisfying amounts of damage. Marks fetishist ;)

Actually the OP was definitely male. Interesting you should assume female! I don't know if he ever went through with his planned scene, but I've just been inspired to write back and ask.

I have been worrying about this for weeks. My bf and I get together about once a month and it gets very rough (which I like) but the pain afterwards from the whips and canes and straps last longer than I want (or wish). The frozen peas I've tried but I need something to put on the areas that bleed to avoid scabs as he says they are unsightly. Pain-killer advice needed too please.

Deep breathing relaxation techniques as I come down. Ibuprofen for swelling before and for 3 days after. Antiseptic creams having endured it is a first-use implement used on me.

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