A girl being caned must surely, after a few strokes, recognise a pattern in the disciplinarian’s approach to beating her. The subtle shift in his position, as he steadies himself to apply the next stroke; the sense that he’s lifting his arm high. The measuring of the cane across its intended target; a gentle tap, tap, tap marking the spot. It’s as if we tops wish to remove any element of surprise, to forewarn the girl and allow her to prepare mentally and brace herself for the impact.

On the one hand, that – from a top’s perspective – is a good thing, anticipation being part of the punishment. But what if the caning was administered more out of the blue – the bound girl blindfolded so she couldn’t see, deprived of her hearing (ear plugs, noise-cancelling headphones? – not terribly elegant or sexy, but effective!). The strokes could be inflicted at more random intervals, so no discernible pattern emerged, and the first she’d know of each was when the rattan cut home. Mmmm, I’m interested to experiment; I’m half thinking that a soft silk gag might, whilst not adding to the element of uncertainty, also add a certain something to the proceedings.