Thursday, June 07, 2007

Top Ten: Wooden Paddle Thoughts

A reader recently asked me if I would share some observations about wooden paddles. He and his girlfriend live in a part of the world where such items are not easily purchased. They would like to manufacture one and wondered how the composition and dimensions alter the results.

I'm not an expert in creating wooden paddles. The truth is that I've never made one. However, I am well acquainted with their use and my thoughts are derived from those experiences.

The following list summarizes my thoughts about wooden paddles.
  1. All wooden paddles should be handled with care. Wood is harder than bone and can cause serious injury if used improperly. It is essential that spankers learn about any new implement and their partner's response to it before attempting a serious spanking.

  2. Wooden toys have a well-earned reputation for being harsh, but when used skillfully, they can also be deliciously arousing. It's easy to overgeneralize when judging paddles. Each implement has its own unique characteristics.

  3. Beware of edges. A lot of the skin damage attributed to paddles is due to abrupt edges along the sides of the striking surface. These should be sanded or machined until they are rounded and smooth.

  4. Thicker, heavier paddles hit with more force and tend to deliver more ache. With any hardwood paddle over half an inch in thickness, bruising is a particular concern.

    Conversely, a thinner, lighter paddle provides more sting and less ache. In my experience, sting seems to be more closely related to velocity than force. A lighter paddle is easier to swing and tends to be applied with a quicker stroke.

  5. The length of a paddle also affects its characteristics. A short paddle (say, 12-18 inches) is ideal for OTK spankings. With this type of paddle, the spanker often employs considerable wrist action. This increases the velocity at impact and the spankee's perception of sting.

    A longer, school or fraternity style paddle is generally used by the spanker while standing. The position allows for a full and unencumbered swing. For the spankee, the combination of maximum force and high velocity yields a very painful swat. This type of spanking is not recommended for beginners, spankees who are slender, or anyone unprepared for the intensity of the experience.

  6. The size of the impact surface is another important factor in paddle design. While many spankees are intimidated by the appearance of a wide paddle, these are often less severe than a narrower alternative. The reason is that a wider paddle distributes the same force over a larger area of skin surface.

    The extreme counter-example is a wooden hairbrush. Unlike most paddles, the hairbrush concentrates the full force of the blow over just a few square inches of bottom. The spankee finds they are very sore very quickly. Anyone who has ever been spanked with a solid wooden hairbrush or bath brush knows exactly what I mean.

  7. The wood used to manufacture a paddle is also important. Pine is a light, cheap, flexible wood that is completely useless for paddles. Pine paddles break. I've outlasted several!

    Better choices are hardwoods like maple, oak, or cherry. These are strong heavy woods that stand up well, even with frequent use over many years.

  8. Some people prefer a paddle with holes. They insist that holes make it more aerodynamic, but that seems like a dubious claim. However, if the objective is to intimidate the spankee, the holes may help.

    When used against a bare or lightly covered bottom, a paddle with holes will tend to cause skin damage at the spots where the rim of each hole stretches the skin. As with edges, any holes should be beveled to minimize the likelihood of serious injury.

  9. Surface coatings and coverings can change how a paddle feels. For example, I've found that heavy coat of varnish can increase the burn factor somewhat. Covering a wooden paddle with leather seems to reduce the perceived force of the impact.

  10. I don't believe there are any definitive right or wrong choices in terms of paddles, except in the context of one couple and the spankings they share. Each style serves a purpose. Some experimentation may be required to find the right combination of implement, position, and technique.
These are my observations and your mileage may vary.

I recognize that paddlings aren't everyone's cup of tea. Plenty of spankos live quite happily with no wooden toys at all. But if you too are enamored with the feel, sound, and tradition of wooden paddles, I hope these tips will prove helpful.

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BB said...

I love wooden paddles. You are so right Bonnie, the bathbrush is the worst of them all. I kinda snickered at it at first, but it earned its respect in a few swats. My favorites are the little wooden paddles. They leave a nice sting but not as much ache. The thicker ones leave an ache that lasts quite a while.

mthc said...

David is quite good at making paddles. He made one for me and Tiggr which she posted about on "ASGT".They are long and shiny which does make a difference.
Mine is called the beast and is very effective,I'm one of those that prefers wood.(Smiles)!

Anonymous said...

We agree, heavy school type paddles cetainly bruise, and can cause lasting sitting problems.My D is a good handyman (in all senses!); get a sheet of good quality plywood, cheap stuff or bits of old tea chests are useless, 3/8" to 1/2" thick is ideal, and an electric jig saw, and sander, and then the fun starts; you can make any shape you fancy. Apart from the usual paddle shapes, try :- circular end with a round hole in the middle, to make ring shaped marks; trace round the spankers hand, and get a wooden hand for when his palm gets sore; D shaped, for when he wants to imprint his initials on my cheeks, or most other letters come to that; fork shape, which prints three or four bars of sting at once; the choice is limitless. But, Bonnie is right, thorough sanding is essential, and a couple of coats of varnish, will stop the wood getting grubby with hand prints or bottom prints after freqquent use. D & S>

Anonymous said...

We have but one toy, and have had had it for years; the CB. We have not even removed the ball and string, as the ball fits in the hole in the handle. It travels well, won't bruise, and is perfect for OTK.

Paige Tyler said...

Great advice, Bonnie!

Paige (Tigger)

Paul said...

Bonnie, you certainly know your stuff vis a vis paddles.
We didn't use paddles, I don't think that they had crossed the Atlantic when we started.
Still an interesting post.
Warm hugs,

Southern Angel said...

Hi Bonnie,
I think this is a great post about paddles. We have a lot of paddles, all very different, and I think you have described all the different types very well. :)

Anonymous said...

Great advice! We love the classic domestic ones like paddle-ball-paddles (classic smaller ones that are smaller than the CB), paint stirrers (is that what they're called?), even wooden spoons and my old-fashioned wooden hair brush are great for OTK. Sugarpie

Anonymous said...

I have never read so much information about paddles -- you DO know your stuff, Bonnie.

I realize all paddles are not created equal -- but I will never understand the use of those big, thick, heavy frat paddles. In this woman's opinion, they are sheer brutality, and have great damage potential in the wrong hands. Of course, one could say that about any toy. Oh, screw logic -- I just hate the damn things! :-) -- Erica

Bonnie said...

BB - When Randy and I began this journey together, there really wasn't anywhere one could conveniently purchase leather implements other than belts. So we relied upon wooden toys for years. Along the way, we learned a lot about what works well (and what definitely doesn't!).

I too appreciate the small, light wooden paddles. In the proper hand, they can generate a splendid pink glow that I find to be the perfect aphrodisiac.

MTHC - The great thing about a partner who makes spanking implements is that you can create precisely what you like. I have no doubt that the Beast lives up to its name!

D & S - Thanks for adding that great information. Randy hasn't done much with plywood. Perhaps he should try it!

Anon - The Cracker Barrel paddle is definitely a classic. In some circles, it might even pass as a vanilla object!

Paige - Thanks!

Paul - Believe me, everything I learned on this subject came about the hard way!

But I have no complaints... :D

Angel - Thank you!

Sugarpie - There's just something special about the warm glow one gets from being spanked with one of those small wooden paddles. Those quasi-vanilla implements are also tremendous for role play.

Erica - As I mentioned above, when Randy and I started back in the (gulp) seventies, the only real implement choices we had were pervertables and DIY. As a result, we became very familiar with wooden toys. My observations reflect that background.

As for the big frat paddles, I'll never try to change your mind. For most purposes, I agree there are many better choices.

Shawn said...

Wow Bonnie!!! Excellent paddle research.

I have to say the most intimidating paddle I have ever seen was a plain old paddleball paddle. This was an ancient piece of equipment, but looked more than effective (I never had the benefit of either using it or having it used on me, [I'm a switch so I like to receive as much as give a good spanking] but I did give the top of my thigh a light pop and my thigh said ouch!!!). The paddle was about 1/2 inch thick, made of oak, had an effective application area of probably 9-10 inches around, and had hundreds of small holes drilled in it. I wanted badly to aquire this paddle for future use, but it belonged to a country club where I was attending an end of season ski team banquet, so it was unattainabe.

You know...another area that begs discussion is straps. Those happen to be my personal favorite implement because they are available in so many varieties (razor strops, tawses, belts, whips, etc.), they make a delicious sound on impact (actually, I think the word "spank" came from the sound a strap makes when it strikes bare skin), and they sting like crazy withut causing any real damage.

Although I have only had the luxury of reading your blog for two days now, I must compliment you on both your writing style and your blog's content. They are both top notch!!!

I hope you and yours have a great weekend and by all means, make sure there is time for a little OTK activity:-)

Anonymous said...


My hubby came across this post and had me read it. Later, we had a date with a beautiful walnut paddle he had made years ago. He had not used it on me in a long time because I respond better to leather, but it was oh so nice. He calls it his "cheeky paddle" because it is oval shaped and soundly smacks the bottom of each of my cheeks. He really paddled my bottom to a bright red and the next day, my cheeks were still stingy. He has just called me to tell me I can expect the same again tonight. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you. Our sex life has started to heat up again.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your Paddles post. I am in a DD, D/s relationship with my husband of 5 years. I have to admit I LOVE WOOD PADDLES!!!!
I find the lighter ones fun for play and sex spankings...
Yet when I have been very snippy with my Husband I always deeply desire for him to use the Frat Paddles we have.
When I have to sit on pillows for a couple of days following a sound Paddling with one(I bruise and am black and blue), it makes me think about what I did and it keeps me from making the same mistake for a LONG LONG time!!

I would feel CHEATED in my punishment and would feel like he did not care for me if he just lightly tapped me. I enjoy all spankings but the ones that I know I deserved for mistreating him are the ones I treasure the most. I feel so close to him and so loved and cherished by him.
It is nice to find someone else who loves wood as well. Thanks for a GREAT Post and Blog Carrassa

Georg said...

It burns like fire after half a dozen on my bare buttocks though his strokes are without any force.
So I always beg for a pause before the next 6 strokes hit the target.

Tamara said...


I wonder if you can give me any advice. I am a spankee (quite new!!!) and would like to give my spanker the gift of a light OTK paddle, that is light weight and definitely delivers more sting than thud. The part I'm having a real problem finding is the fact that I want to engrave his name on one side, and mine on the other of the handle. I'm looking for a company that can do this for me? If only one side can be engraved, then that is fine. Do you have any idea where I can order this type of paddle from?

Anonymous said...

i have been having these wants a long time but never acted on it now i am older i want my fantisies now if i could just find someone to spank me

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