Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Flogging As A Challenge
Richie thought he had pushed me too far in his comment to the “Severe But Safe” post yesterday. Not so. We are a small enough community already without me blocking users. This is the only place on the internet that I have found that lets like-minded people talk rationally about flogging without spiraling down into BDSM. I want every opinion about flogging expressed. People get very excited about this subject, and I understand why. As point-in-fact, by expressing his concerns, Richie gave me a great opportunity to explain my position in deeper detail. I appreciate his—and everyone’s—involvement here.
Richie also posed a question: “how about you telling us why or how you decided on taking up the whip across your bare back as a challenge.” Answer: I have always been fascinated by flogging. Even from my youngest memories, I remember watching the Mutiny on the Bounty flogging (the old one with Brando) and being affected by it. I wanted to watch more! There have been some truly outstanding flogging scenes in movies, such as “Starship Troopers” and the flogging scene in 1994’s “The Bounty”, where Liam Neeson shows what was probably the most accurate dramatic reaction to a realistically brutal flogging in the Eighteenth Century Royal Navy. But most flogging scenes fall very short. I know what I want to see, but I haven’t yet seen it, so I am trying to create it with my videos.
Flogging as a punishment means putting someone under the lash who is unwilling to endure it. But we punish people by incarceration all the time—and I would say that no one wants to endure that, either. It is easy for someone to say, “bring back flogging” (those that say that probably want it more for the entertainment value than the retributive nature of the punishment—but that’s OK since voyeurism is a very deep part of the American psyche). But to say that, it is important to understand what the “offender” will actually endure. I cannot yet say that I am a proponent of bringing back flogging, but with each passing personal experience with the whip, I am beginning to believe that it could go a long way to easing overcrowding (especially for petty offenses, like minor parole violations) and would be a serious deterrent if some young gang member were humiliated by being unable to take it and devolves into screaming and begging for mercy—other gang members will think twice about facing that sort of humiliation themselves. And by ensuring no scarring, he would be deprived of the “cred” that would come from permanent stripes on his back.
I have wanted to understand not only the physical pain associated with a punishment flogging, but also the psychological aspect of it: The fear and desperation of awaiting that next stroke—after the overwhelmingly painful one you just felt—and not being sure you can endure it. And knowing the only way for it to end is for the last stroke to be applied to your bare skin.
In having done this, I have come to understand that flogging doesn’t just have to be used as a punishment: For those that are willing, it can be viewed as a test of courage (or manhood, if you like). The problem I had, until recently, was finding someone who could—and would—lay it on hard, but at the same time ensures that no damage would be done. When I finally did, this gave me the best of both worlds: A painful test which is worthy of being called a "flogging" and the knowledge that it would be done safely. Once that combination had been found, I wanted to give the world something that I had always wanted myself: to watch a brave man expose his back to the lash!
Now that I have some experience with several different instruments on my back, my personal challenge is to see how much I dare to take with the different kinds of whips—it’s a personal test that I hope is enjoyable for others to watch.