A mighty good thwack

There were three of us standing in the livingroom. Elle was bent over the end of the couch, Josh was standing behind he, and I was off to the side. I'd just passed Josh a flogger - one with soft, heavy tails that experience had taught me Elle really enjoyed. Josh adjusted the flogger's handle in his grip, getting a sense of its weight. Lifted his arm, paused. Raised the flogger again, took aim, and paused again. He looked focused, but concerned.

"I don't want to hurt her," he commented.

It looked a little like this

 

It's a scene I have watched play out a handful of times. I'll meet a couple or individual who is relatively new to kink and experimenting with spanking. They'll say they've tried some slaps on the ass in the bedroom during sex and express an interest in trying more; in experimenting with some spanking toys. I'll go over to their place, open up the toy bag that is full of floggers, canes, straps, and other implements of ass destruction. The happy couple will select a toy or two to try out, watch me demo it, and then realize a potential problem: they don't know how to swing this toy or, more specifically, how hard to swing the new toy.

 

It is one thing to watch another person swing a cane, flogger, or strap in a spanking scene. You can get a sense of the angle and how the toy moves through the air just by watching someone else do it. You can get a sense of the pacing and the sound the toy will make. But when the toy is in your own hand it's hard to gauge how hard to swing it. What is too much and might hurt your partner? How much is too little and might not even allow the toy to reach its target?

 

In these situations, where we will be exploring impact play with newcomers to the activity, I will bring along some beginner friendly toys. Paddles with a fuzzy, fur-like coating on one side; light floggers with soft falls; soft-n-light straps that do not risk damaging the skin or harming the volunteer who is getting spanked. The lighter toys can be swung fairly hard without doing any harm and some of them make a loud noise, making them fairly safe in a beginner's hands while also making a pleasing thwack sound.

 

It has a feather-light touch

 

One of the downsides to many beginner toys is that they are _only_ good as beginner toys. They're super soft or fluffy or tiny and they cannot "ramp up" as the people doing the scene grow more experienced and more comfortable. A light mini-flogger or fuzzy-sided paddle are good for a first scene with a new spanker as it allows a person to get a feel for the toy and a sense of how they can swing it. But what happens after that first scene where both people start feeling comfortable and want to play a little more intensely?

 

One toy I have been enjoying recently is the Saffron Loop Paddle. This leather strap is lightweight and wide, which diffuses the impact it delivers. This means when it is swung with a light to medium intensity it delivers a fairly light smack to the recipient's bottom. The folded over loop claps together on impact which results in a loud _crack_. In other words, this toy's bark is worse than its bite. People will jump at the sound of it, but using the toy doesn't really pose any risk to the person on the receiving end of its sting.

Who's been naughty?

 

At least the loop paddle isn't at all intense at first. When swung with a gentle or medium hand, it delivers a relatively light crack across the ass while the noise is quite intense. What I really like about this toy though is that it can ramp up. When someone is feeling more comfortable wielding it, and really takes a firm swing, the end of the strap (where the ends of the loop come together) delivers a significant impact. In short, the loop paddle can be used as a more intense, intermediate-level toy, but the person swinging it needs to intentionally put some effort behind the strike.

 

Show me "Ow!"

 

In short, this toy makes it difficult for beginners to hurt each other, while making it possible for people who want to step up the intensity of their scene a bit a chance to do so while still using the same, now-familiar toy.

 

One thing I like about this loop paddle, and some of Saffron's other impact toys, is that they all look nice and polished. Some beginner toys are made to look less threatening or colourful to make newcomers feel more comfortable. These novice-friendly toys can look a bit cartoony and, while my vanity may be showing, they're likely to get a bit of a laugh if they're pulled out in a crowd of fellow kinksters.

 

It's hard to be intimidating with a toy smaller than your hand

 

The Saffron line of paddles, and especially their loop strap, look like regular, mid-range impact play toys while offering a lighter intensity. These toys have the appearance of meaning business while not being too intense. The ping-pong style paddle especially has a nice padded covering, allowing it to deliver a loud smack without harming the person on the receiving end. It's a toy I can feel comfortable handing over to someone new to spanking and, because it doesn't look like a beginner toy, they can feel confident swinging it in front of people without wondering if they look silly. Plus the thunderous crack of the toy striking a bottom draws attention and makes the paddle sound more severe than it is, which can be a fun part of the scene.

 

I have had the chance to try out the loop paddle on four volunteers so far and each of them has reported feeling comfortable with it. They like the soft, cool feel of the toy on their skin. The initial few warm-up strikes with the strap feel good. and light It's a gentle toy for starting out and the wide strap means the target's bottom gets pink over a wide area quickly. Then, if we feel like being more intense, I can swing harder to provide a stronger impact that feels harder and more stingy. Still, even when I'm swinging for the fences, this toy doesn't deliver too strong a punch and the person receiving the spanking can rest assured that they're not in danger of being harmed. The loop paddle is one that I take to group events and parties now because it's one I can hand out to just about anyone and feel comfortable that, regardless of their experience level, they will have a good time with it.

 

The loop strap is a little too long for doing scenes where the receiver is over the spanker's lap. I've found it works better when the spanker is standing behind their partner. However, the ping-pong paddle has a shorter handle and is well suited to over the lap scenes. This makes the pair a great addition to the toy bag, especially when playing with less experienced people, but also for any scene with a gradual warm-up period.

Bringing spanking partners closer together