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An A-frame is a item of BDSM furniture designed to tie a person to. It consists of a large triangluar frame about 7 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. The space inside the triangle is usually filled with a lattice work of rope or horizontal steel bars. A-frames are either secured to a wall or mounted on a sturdy base; as with other types of furniture, it is vital that the base be stable enough to prevent toppling even if the captive struggles violently.

In function, an A-frame falls between a whipping post and a St Andrews cross. The captive is usually bound with their hands together, above their head to the apex of the frame. The legs are spread apart and secured to the bottom two corners. For more secure bondage, the captive's limbs and torso can be tied to the rope lattice or bars in the centre of the frame.

Depending on how the captive is bound, the A-frame puts less stress on the person's body than a St Andrews cross, allowing for longer periods of bondage. The person can be bound either facing the frame (for a flogging) or with their back to the frame (for torture or tease and denial). The feeling of being bound to an A-frame is not as intense as being bound to a cross (for both captor and captive), but the fact that the bound person can be left for longer allows forms of play that would be difficult to do on a cross.


It consists of two strong wooden bars, 2 to 3 meters long, erected in an "A" shape at a slight angle that hold the spankee in a leaned standing position. A padded "cross bar" is provided as a support for the delinquent's pelvis. The "A" construction is supported by a third bar, like an artist's easel. Depending on the construction, the delinquent's legs and/or arms will be more or less spread (see spread legs and spreadeagle), and restrained by ropes or straps.

Flogging triangles

When an A-Frame was used for floggings, e.g. with a cat o' nine tails and typically on the delinquent's back, was also known as a flogging triangle.

Same or similar A-Frames were also used for birchings. Birchings were applied either to the bare back or the bare buttocks. In the latter case, the position would either be the same, or the delinquent would be made to bend over the padded "cross bar"; his wrists were then secured to the base of the A-Frame’s third leg, at the rear.

Caning frames

When used for caning, the A-Frame is known as a caning frame, caning rack or caning triangle. Caning frames are still used for judicial corporal punishment in countries like Malaysia or Singapore. According to the law, the canings are always given on the offender's buttocks, never on his back, and only to boys and men, never to females. The offender's buttocks are bared, but his kidney and genital area is protected from accidental hits by a torso shield, a kind of padded but bottomless shorts. The judicial canings given on these racks are very severe (up to 24 strokes with a heavy and long rattan cane given by an experienced corrections officer with full force) and often break the skin of the delinquent.

There is an original construction drawing of an official Singapore prison caning frame that made its way to the Internet. If you make a visit to Malaysia, you can also see an original caning rack exhibited in former Pudu Prison (located in Kuala Lumpur) which is now turned into a museum. Pudu Prison also shows visitors a video of how a judicial caning takes place in Malaysia.

Another variant, used in Singapore, is called caning trestle (see also trestle). This type became known to a wider audience in the West in 1994 when an American teenager, Michael Fay, was arrested, convicted and caned in Singapore for vandalism.


Also see the page [ BDSM equipment ]
  • Based on an article titled "A-frame" at Wipipedia and is used in accordance with GFDL