Encouraged by the popularity of my little ‘A Beginners Guide to – Being Caned – Part One‘ series, and because I made reference to the historical (Victorian) use of The Birch Rod as the preferred choice of implement for corporal punishment, I thought that some of you might feel sufficiently intrigued to sample this stingy little toy.
Before I go too far down the dismissive road, let me assure you that a Birch is not an item to be taken lightly. A great deal depends on the weight, length and constituent thickness of the individual ‘twigs’, before an accurate estimation of severity can be made. Victorian courts in the UK listed A Birching as a potential punishment for adults brought before them, and for both men and women. And this was no ‘token embarrassment’ punishment! Offenders would be stripped to the waist, tied face down to a sturdy wooden bench and flogged across their naked backs until, and beyond, the blood ran. Severe sentences could be measured, not in the number of strokes to be applied, but in the number of birches worn out on the culprit. The small island, off the western English coast, famous for annual holidays and TT motorbike racing, The Isle of Man, notoriously maintained The Birch as an official judical punishment for young offenders right up until its use was finally outlawed in 1976. Drunkenness and hooliganism were the typical crimes for which a birching might be considered suitable punishment. This form of discipline was considered most suitable for youths visiting from the mainland for a drunken weekend away, as the sentence could be carried out within a day or two of the crime, thus allowing the miscreant to return home more or less on schedule, if a little wiser.
However, the potential for ‘a taste of the birch’ among CP devotees lies in the type more commonly used in the schools and upper class homes of Victorian England (the lower classes made do with Father’s razor strop, or a stick). Forgive me if you know of the birch being used in other European countries, or even in the States, as I do not claim to be a world authority on this subject (or any other for that matter!), merely someone who has tested and enjoyed using it as a ‘change toy’.
If you are still reading by this point, this would indicate to me that the idea has at least perked your interest, so let’s answer the first burning question:
How can I buy one? You can’t (feel free to correct me if you happen to know different!).
Can I make one? And how hard is it? Yes! Quite easily. There are two main choices. You could go stomping off into the woods (or down to your local park) armed with your Penguin Book of Trees and a sharp knife. Beware tree-huggers and the local Park Attendant! Or, since the last decade saw us decorating our living rooms with bunches of dried shrubbery, you could take yourself off to your local trendy ‘home furnishings’ store where a suitable bunch of sticks can be had in exchange for a bag of beans or two.
Which twigs are best? Well, classic Victorian erotica nearly always makes reference to ‘a fresh-cut birch rod‘. Which, to me at least, indicates that one had one’s groundsman sally forth (probably with a smirk on his face because he would know what, and to whom, his crop was to be applied), in order to gather a suitable bundle, from a suitable tree (usually, although not necessarily a Birch, more on that in a minute). It is akin to being sent to cut a switch, but more so. The advantage of ‘fresh’ is that they will be green and consequently nicely pliant and whippy. However, the important point is that the sticks need to be the same length (18″ to 24″, erm, 40cm to 60cm -ish?). The stems need to be relatively straight, although mother nature is not especially compliant in this regard. Any leaves, or out-thrust buds, need to be stripped off, leaving nice clean stems that will be less inclined to break the skin.