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Bastinado

Definition: Bastinado derives from the word ‘baston’, which in English becomes ‘baton’, a stick for striking the bottom of someone’s feet, originally used as corporal punishment for thousands of years worldwide. Now adopted as gay kink play, Bastinado is a nasty and hot addition to your BDSM locker. As with many things BDSM, Bastinado has its roots in the real world. And there’s no denying that it’s a particularly cruel form of torture when used with malice. 

Modern gay BDSM aficionados became aware of bastinado in 1978 when Alan Parker’s Oscar-winning Midnight Express was released. “[Billy, the American prisoner,] is later rousted out of his cell by the trustee and taken to a large guard named Hamidou (Paul L. Smith), the chief of guards, who takes him to another filthy room, the basement, trusses Billy’s ankles in the air and hits the soles of his feet repeatedly with his club for stealing the blanket. Billy’s feet swell immensely and he is left in horrific pain.” – IMDB.

Bastinado, also known as foot whipping, is a method of corporal punishment which consists of hitting the soles of a person’s bare feet. Unlike most types of flogging, this punishment was meant to cause more pain than actual injury to the victim. It works because there are a high number of nerve endings in the base of your foot… as anyone who has stepped on a Lego block or electric plug will testify. As the skin under the soles of the feet can naturally endure high levels of strain, injuries demanding medical attention (such as lacerations or bruises) are rarely inflicted. 

Here is the horny ‘science bit’ which explains why bastinado is so fucking hot in gay BDSM play. As the nerve endings on the soles of the feet do not adapt to recurring sensations or impacts, the pain reception does not alleviate through continuous beatings. On the contrary, the perception of pain is further intensified over the course of additional impacts through the activation of nociceptors. Over a sequence of impacts applied with nearly constant force, the perception of pain is progressively intensified until a maximum level of activation is reached. For that reason, a light impact can cause an acute pain sensation after a certain number of preceding strokes.

With other forms of BDSM such as bull whips, tit torture, ball clamps, and fisting, the body gets used to them. Bastinado is the only form of punishment where the same level of pain has an increasingly larger effect on the sub or prisoner. That means less work for the top/prison guard which is a nice bonus for any Master.

During bastinado, the uncovered soles of the feet are placed in an exposed position. The beating is typically performed with an object such as a cane (hopefully rattan – the Ferrari of the foot-whipping world), strap, belt, knotted cord, switch, electric cord, or say a wooden spoon. The strokes are usually aimed at the arches of the feet and repeated a certain number of times. (Please adopt a traffic light safety-word system with your sub unless you are a real bastard.)

It is agony, hugely degrading as the foot is normally a covered, private, and protected part of the body. Bastinado is usually performed in public to increase the humiliation level as the guy screams… and he will scream! It plays right into the mindset of gay BDSM as the victim is restrained and his feet cannot move (unlike the wriggling that can go on with an ass beating, back beating, or even gut punching). 

To a dominant top, it is one of the ultimate forms of control and punishment. And his dick will be rock hard throughout, as our editor can testify – he does it to all new staff. 

For the victim, it is as degrading and belittling as you can get. And you will feel for a long time afterwards. But the sub also knows that no damage is being done and there are no marks. That makes it useful when training straight or married guys. 

Bastinado can be spiced up with hot wax or cigarette burns to the soles of the feet. Wetting the feet causes increased stinging. Pegs between the toes is another option if you are a really horned-up BDSM master as that skin is fucking sensitive. A little can go a long way when beating on feet, so make sure you have a safe word or other method of feedback in place. Otherwise your play can turn into real torture. 

Any form of methodical corporal punishment typically causes a high level of distress through the inflicted pain and the experience of being defenceless and unable to evade the situation. The loss of composure during the punishment, together with the experience of weakness and vulnerability, often permanently damages a person’s self-esteem. Beating the undersides of a person’s feet conveys an especially steep imbalance in power between the executing party (prison staff or master) and the receiving individual (typically a prison inmate or sub). As a result, the experience of bastinado leads to drastic physical and mental suffering for the receiving individual and is therefore regarded as a highly effective method of corporal punishment. That’s why it is still unofficially employed on prisoners today, and probably always will be.

If you are not dominating your sub’s feet, then get too it now fella. We predict the response you will get will blow your mind. And he won’t complain about that 14-inch dildo being stuffed up his unlubed chuff ever again. If he does, it’s bastinado time! •

Written by Paul Stag

Paul is an international porn star and a long time editor for Alphatribe magazine.

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