The stocks are a device used for public humiliation, corporal punishment, and occasionally torture. The stocks are similar to the pillory, as both consist of large, hinged, wooden boards. The difference is that in the stocks, the boards are placed around the ankles or the wrists, or both ankles and wrists, whereas in the pillory they are placed around the neck and wrists and fixed to a pole. However, the terms can be confused and many people refer to the pillory as the stocks.
In the "leg version" of the stocks, an offender's ankles would be placed and locked through two holes in the center of the board. Either before or after this, the offender had his shoes and socks (if he wore any) removed, exposing his bare feet. Prominently exhibiting the offender's bare feet was considered a form of humiliation. Typically, a person confined to the stocks was subjected to a variety of abuses.
In the stereotypical "wrists and ankles" stocks, the wrists are held above the ankles, forcing the person confined to assume a bent over or sitting position. Not uncommonly, such a person would be seated so that his or her legs were roughly horizontal.
Stocks in BDSMEdit
Stocks are sometimes available in well-equipped BDSM dungeon settings, although less commonly than pillories. In such cases it is not unusual to make a bottom sit in the stocks after a spanking or caning. In some cultures, the fact that the subject's hands/feet are restrained makes it tempting to tickle the exposed soles of the feet.
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