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  1. #1
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    The venerable birch

    Having enjoyed some birching lately it occurs that what people mean by ‘the birch’ or ‘a birching’ probably varies quite a lot and goes further than discussing the difference between spray and Manx designs or whether the chosen twigs come from the birch tree itself, or some other, such as hazel. So, the purpose of this thread is to share some ideas about preparing and using birches that we have developed, while inviting other people’s thoughts about this very traditional instrument. It’s definitely not about having found ‘the right way’ of doing this but rather a case of “this is what works for us, now how about you?”

    As a starting point really we have not played with any other instrument that is so 100% sting and 0% thud than a light spray birch and we love it for that.

    We use twigs from the birch tree itself and do not collect them from parks or ornamental gardens. We have not explored other species for no special reason apart from finding a very good source of quality young birch trees with their branches within reach, growing wild on an extensive patch of common land. We have had no questions so far from passing dog walkers and mountain bikers but we did get a (possibly knowing) smile once.

    We gather the twigs and soak them in very hot water. We keep the leaves on, finding it easier to strip them off once the twigs have been soaked and the twigs don't break that way. You can add something to kill the germs and rinse off thoroughly afterwards. Hygiene is an important consideration and it’s not nice to think of what all those bugs were up to crawling around on the twigs. We are careful to avoid collecting twigs that are covered in lichen because we suspect it might risk causing skin rashes.

    We favour spray birches and probably ours are lighter than many people use but they really sting. We select twigs of a similar length and bind a bundle of them together very tightly. We stumbled upon using decorator’s masking tape and find it ideal for binding them. It can be wrapped around very firmly and stays in place well. We store the birches upright with the handle ends soaking in water to ensure they absorb water and remain supple and use them within no more than three or four days.

    We make up two sizes. A small birch for OTK is typically about 18 inches/45 centimetres long and only weighs around 1.5 ounces/42 grams (yes, that light). We also make a bigger birch, normally around 28 inches/71 centimetres long weighing around 3 ounces/85 grams and the receiving position is to be laid face downwards along a coffee table with a cushion under the hips to raise up the bum. That seems a pretty good approximation of a birching bench.

    One delight that we have discovered is to swish the birch very rapidly but not too hard and use a one-minute sand timer to measure out one ‘round.’ I was surprised to find that anything up to ten or twelve dozen strokes can be applied in a minute, so that’s about two a second. We find it really exhilarating and while the individual strokes are not that hard the cumulative surface sting is nothing short of breathtaking. There is always the possible threat of turning the sand timer over for a second round but really we have hardly ever done that.

    I am delighted to say that no blood spots have ever been shed and no bruises caused by this method and that is how we want to keep it. This leaves a birched bottom completely criss-crossed in little red marks and feeling like it’s on fire and that’s perfect for us.

    So come on good people, those were our ideas and very possibly ours alone. I know from your posts that quite a few of you love the birch so how do you go about making and using them?
    Last edited by Callipygian; 17-05-2017 at 13:10.

    OTK is the warmest embrace Bottoms make the world go 'round.' All because the lady loves OTK

  2. #2
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    God. Having read that I was so turned on I nearly passed out. Blimey you two must have fun.

    Sadly my tree has now gone but I still live near some woods.

    I think birching is wonderful mainly for the historical and mindset attitudes of it. Victorian and so it it helps if you want to submit in an historical roleplay. That's my thing in a way. Going off into another world and submitting.

    As you say though I think one of the great things about the birch is that there are so many types and different uses for it.

    My last birching was with new apple tree growth. Done cold and hard. Err let's say it hurt rather a lot but I loved it. I love giving and taking more of a lighter whippier spray birch too. Hard and fast. It starts to make you scream just as it finishes.


    People have mailed me on here before asking about how to make one as if ists some great art. I was like that too but was luckily enough to get an introduction to Miss Smackingtosh who was the matronat the Muir who showed me how to make one and the used it on me ( err well I did ask her). It's not remotely difficult. You can over worry about this sort of thing.

    I recall oddly that we made three. One very small one which she decided described as maternal birch and she would use with me OTK. I thought lol that won't hurt but I was on fire like I have never been before. Screaming like a baby. She laughed her head off bless her.

    Still wonderful post. Can't wait to hear other people's views.

    There are some wonderful books I think on the birch too. Must get into my attic and find their names!

  3. #3
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    Here are a couple of examples of the two sizes. I hope you get the idea.

    Birch (6) - Copy.jpg

    OTK is the warmest embrace Bottoms make the world go 'round.' All because the lady loves OTK

  4. #4
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    They look hot and sexy

    i suppose it depends s but on size of the bottom that needs to be dealt with.

    I actually wuite like the birch because you get lots of high and low cuts. And it wraps around and leaves your hip marked.

    I played once with someone who put gaffer tape on my bare right hip before the birch so it could be used really hard but to be honest the whole point is that terrible searching sting that goes everywhere.

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