A sawhorse (also spelled saw horse or saw-horse) is a wooden trestle used, in pairs, as a stable support for the sawing (or other carpentry work) of material such as wooden planks, boards, etc. A single sawhorse can also be used as a piece of pervertible spanking furniture for positioning a spankee. The basic design has been adopted by suppliers of BDSM equipment with the addition of leather covered padding and restraints.
A sawhorse consists of two vertical A-frames that are connected with one or more horizontal beams. The top beam is usually widest and is used as a platform. A sawhorse resembles, in a way, a four-legged animal (hence the name horse) and is usually about the height of a table. Sawhorses usually come in pairs of equal height so that longer material can be placed on the top of the two sawhorses.
Sawhorses and spanking
Sawhorses are often stored in a woodshed or carpentry workshop. They can, at least in theory, be used as a makeshift birching horse. A spankee can be laid over the sawhorse sideways (bent over, jackknife position) or lengthways (straddling). Optionally, the spankee can be restrained, by straps or ropes, at the torso, wrists, ankles and/or thighs.
In practice the narrow width of the top beam and its lack of padding is a major disadvantage for straddling usage. A too narrow top beam gives a sawhorse much of the properties of the torture device Spanish horse (see below). Also, the often rough, unfinished surface can easily draw splinters. A thick blanket thrown over the sawhorse could theoretically improve those flaws to some degree. Still, it can not be compared to a well-designed and padded punishment horse.
Caning stand resembling a sawhorse, formerly used on prisoners in Hong Kong under British colonial rule.
Films and photographs
In BDSM/spanking films and photography, sawhorses are commonly used as props with the (usually bound) submissive bent over the top crossbar. Sometimes a standard, commercially made carpentry item is used. There is also a variety of wood and tubular steel "dungeon" sawhorses made by bondage furniture manufacturers. Some of these specialized designs include padded leather or vinyl covered crossbars, "kneelers" (padded boards to kneel on), and restraints such as metal rings and leather straps.
- Fairy Tale: The Magic Purse (Lupus Pictures): in the finale, two girls are severely switched while bound to a traditional X-shaped sawbuck used for cutting firewood (photos, more photos, video).
- Girl Scout Camp (Lupus Pictures, 2001); two x-shaped sawbuck sawhorses are used for the switching of delinquent girl scouts (photos).
- Sweet Revenge, Four Vicious Bitches (both from Mood Pictures), and First Day in Paradise (PainGate) make use of a reinforced A-frame wood sawhorse.
- Sentenced to Bondage (London Enterprises): BeBe LeBadd is spanked while bent over and shackled to a metal bondage sawhorse.
Sawhorses as torture devices
In BDSM, sawhorses are sometimes also used as a torture device. The victim is made to straddle a high sawhorse, as if riding it, so that their feet are off the floor and their full weight presses on their crotch. After a while, it will become very painful.
A similar, but more cruel, device was used for real torture and for military corporal punishment in the 16th to 19th century. It was called a Spanish horse. The beam on which the victim was made to straddle was wedge shaped and sometimes equipped with metal spikes. Weights were attached to the victim's ankles to increase the pain. Such torture could lead to severe injury in the genital and anal area, and sometimes even cause death.