So I was watching Lars Von Trier’s explicit….hilarious….dark…..utterly outrageous…let’s just go with complicated film Nymphomaniac (part 2 if we’re being nitpicky), and I was inspired by a scene to write a quick note today about one of my favourite lil sex objects: The Cat O’ Nine Tails.

Looking at a Cat O’ Nine Tails, there’s no doubt this thing was invented with one function in mind: punishment. The name comes from the nine thongs of cord that comprise it, made by unravelling a single larger cord. Each of these tails then ends in one or more knots, which are designed to rip the flesh upon striking. The distribution of the cords causes multiple parallel wounds on bare flesh. Pretty gnarly.

Historically, the CONT was used in colonial corporal punishment, first in the British army, and then in subsequent colonial governments. In fact the CONT was still a viable form of punishment for boys over 16 until the year 2000. Punishment was always administered to bare skin, often with the victim stripped below the waist. “Bare bottom” punishment was common in the British Empire, which added humiliation to injury by infantilizing the offender.

I think this aspect is what makes it an interesting toy for me. There’s something empowering about reclaiming something that was designed to hurt and humiliate to give pleasure (even if that pleasure is, in essence, rooted in humiliation and pain.) And aesthetically speaking, there’s something really seductive and intense about the bright red pattern of lines it leaves (or for an even doper effect: switch hands and whip the other way to make a latticework of welts.)

In Nymphomaniac, a sadist teached the heroine to make her own Cat O’ Nine Tails (which will then be used to flog her, deliciously sick) and it seems like a pretty fun craft project. The Knotty Boys have a book that details all kinds of useful knots for making your own toys, or, protip, any flogger can have the same effect if you tie knots in the end. (A note here, be real careful with the amount of force you use with knotted material unless you are prepared to leave marks.) A selection of high quality floggers can be found here!

That’s it for me today. Til next time!