Despite my long interest in all things spanking I have not had much exposure to the traditional English cane. I do remember a movie in which a cabin boy, the captain’s son I believe is wrongly caned for carving his initials in a table. The movie is called Damn the Defiant. The clip is available on YouTube. You can find it here
I had recently come across the phrase “Kiss the Gunner’s Daughter” from this clip and following the trail read that this meant to bend over or be tied to cannon for beating. The least severe punishment of that time was a bare bottom caning. Caning was thought to be so minor that it was often unremarked. From there thing escalated rather quickly, a midshipman could be sentenced to up to 48 lashes with a multi tailed cat which the junior office had to make himself. An account can be found here
A short excerpt “A boy sentenced to be flogged was often required to make his own cat, binding the whipcord lengths to the handle. It was applied across the naked buttocks with a pause of 10 or 15 seconds between lashes to ensure that the boy fully experienced the pain, and also because the tails could become entwined and required separating. The flogging of a boy with 48 lashes (the maximum) would probably take 12 minutes.”
Anyway I have never used a cane or been caned myself. I have experimented with rods of various materials, wooden dowels, plastic, wire and metal. I assume that the principal is rather similar. When you swing a flexible rod it bends and releases the energy when it strikes the target. I don’t think that you have to swing a cane really hard to impart lots of stinging especially if the cane is flexible. If I am wrong here I would like more information especially if I get the chance to try it out for myself.
I am very curious about caning since the use of the cane is so unusual here. I do think that the effect of a caning can be very mild to extremely intense depending on how the rod is applied.