This is rather a follow up query. I was considering the excellent answers I got on this post: http://community.livejournal.com/little_details/1677544.html
And the consensus was that my ideas for non-invasive tortures were anything but. Which made me do research another
suggested Medieval-appropriate method of torment: Foot beating (Bastinado and Falaka).
I know that while Falaka is very damaging and violent and created great pain instantly, Bastinado is more about the duration of the torment which was said to drive people into 'hysterics' - like Chinese Water torture. I also found out through google there was (and is) an erotic component. But after a solid 2 days googling many combinations of "foot" Torture" "bastinado" "duration" and "hysterics", I was not able to find a few things about bastinado (The un-erotic torture variety)that I would need for a convincing scene.
1) How long in between each hit?
2) How long (or how many hits) did the relatively moderate blows upon the soles of the feet become: (a) actively uncomfortable (b) really uncomfortable (c) outright painful
(d) almost unbearable- causing one to writhe and scream (e) inducing hysteria or shock. (and what does 'hysteria mean in this context anyway?)
Or did the momentum to hysteria begin all at once when it became clear to the victim that the torment could go on for hours? I read that 100 hits was standard, but if I want my character to think he is getting off light (hey- a small rod, that doesn't hurt so bad) then end up wanting to die by the end I wonder when that line would be likely to be crossed.
I even checked on some BDSM sites, but none quite explained why the mental toll of this punishment, if done for pain rather than pleasure, would be so steep. And as for how it feels, I guess one just has to be there. Uh...(blushes) anyone out there ever been there