Tantus Mark O2 Review

mark 2

The thing about the Tantus Mark O2 that makes it unlike every other dildo in my collection is that I didn’t buy it so that I could fuck myself with it. I got it so that it could be my dick, because I sorta want one of those. I’ve had a wonderful strap-on harness for a long time, which I used first for pegging and then for wlw adventures, but I never had a realistic, penis-y dildo to put it in. The dildos I own that do resemble human penises are invariably in bright, wholly unrealistic colors, and in addition, they often resemble penises only vaguely. Because of that lack and because of penis envy feelings, I’ve been really wanting something like the Mark for a long time.

I picked this specific dildo over other realistic market options for a few reasons: first, I just like the feel of Tantus O2 toys over some of their competitors. The silicone is matte and soft to the touch, and it never feels tacky or sticky like VixSkin can. (Sorry friends, I am super picky about texture!) Secondly, when shopping for something to use as my dick, I needed something that looked realistic. Not just “there is definitely a penis in the world that looks like that” but “a person of my size, skin tone, cultural penchant for circumcision, etc. would have a penis that looks like that.” Mark is of average length and medium width (I’m 5’4″) and comes in a very pale cream color, all of which suits what I imagine my bio dick would look like if I had one.

mark 1

Mark is actually my first O2 toy (as opposed to Tantus’ firm-but-flexible or super soft formulas). Not only that, it’s actually my first dual density toy ever! Wow, I am late to the dual density party, but y’all? I get it now. Dual density toys have a core of firm silicone with a layer of softer silicone on the outside. While I personally still prefer super soft silicone, especially for bigger toys, dual density really is ideal for strap-on play. Being a bit firmer than super soft prevents it from drooping in a harness and makes it easier to “steer,” if you’ll forgive the metaphor. Being a bit softer than firm makes it more gentle for the bottom, and harder for the top to accidentally hurt them.

Internally, I thought the Mark was fine. It’s not big, very curved, or bulbed, which are all things that make penetrative toys interesting and enjoyable for me. For me, the draw for this toy was never internal stimulation, it was all the way it looks. On it’s own, it’s fairly middle-of-the-road: I can get some nice penetration, especially if I thrust it rather quickly like I’m actually being fucked, but I feel like there are probably less expensive dildos that can also accomplish that very simple task.

Where this dildo shines is as an excellent strap-on toy. It’s just a little bit long, which helps with staying in, especially since the harness covers some of the length. It’s just a little bit curved, which helps with angles, especially from behind or in re strap-on blowjobs. Because of its medium size, it’s suitable for lots of bottoms. If what you’re looking for is an everyday strap-on that just works, Mark might be just the ticket.

I’m not gonna lie; the biggest reason I love this toy so much is purely psychological. It just looks like my dick. It feels like my dick. Having a dildo that looks and feels like my dick is so incredibly affirming in a way that’s probably not applicable to a ton of people. If you’re searching for that right now, I really hope you find it, whether in the Mark or in something that looks completely different.

You’d like the Mark O2 if you want a realistic, medium-sized strap-on dildo. (Or if you happen to be looking for your own dick and also happen to share my very specific requirements!) You can pick one up at Tantus or SheVibe!

I got the Mark O2 as a Christmas present from my wonderful girlfriend!

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I Trust You, Daddy

I trust you daddy

My Daddy dom and I have been exploring our dynamic lately. We’ve been together for almost a year, and there’s a sense of wanting to try new things, as well as of wanting to see where we want to take this. Part of this is trying more intense D/s things that we weren’t ready for before, like consensual non-consent scenes, having a list of rules, and choking me out. Recently, my Daddy said something about choking me that surprised me: he told me that he trusts me enough to do it. I had to stop and think about that idea for a minute, cause I’d never really heard it put quite that way before. I feel like the common discourse in the kink world is all about the bottom trusting the top. And sure, you have to trust someone at least a bit to let them restrain you or hurt you, or anything like that. But it does go both ways.

This probably shouldn’t have struck me as much as it did, because I have been on both sides of this coin. It’s a heady rush of power and adrenaline to be allowed to choke or hit someone, to know that they trust you not to actually damage them. But it also requires that you trust your sub: that you know they’ll speak up or safeword when they need to, that they really want this and are actually enjoying it, that they won’t hate you or judge you because you like hurting them. Nobody goes into kink with nothing to lose.

Kink isn’t only a giant elaborate trust exercise, but for me, that’s certainly part of it. It’s like a game of faith, of stretching the boundaries in how far you can depend on someone. How hard can we push this? How far can we take it? Do you trust me to catch you? How much power can we exchange between us? Can we bend this without breaking it?

Can I trust you with what I really want? There’s an intensity and an intimacy in breaking the ordinary rules for behavior. There’s a defiance to asking for something that would usually be understood as bad, unpleasant, painful, or humiliating. There’s such vulnerability there, both in admitting you want to be the victim of something “bad” and in admitting you want to be the perpetrator.

There’s a reason that I, as well as many other kinksters, don’t feel comfortable getting into anything D/s with someone we haven’t established a rapport or connection with. Even admitting the things I want feels like being naked, to say nothing of the practical trust needed to actually work our way through a scene together. But when you do find that trust, that connection, that mutual willingness to push the limits of acceptable behavior into the deepest darkest secrets of what you actually want? It’s a kind of terrifyingly beautiful magic. It’s a sort of miracle to be able to say (and to be able to show through kink) that I trust my Daddy, with my whole heart.

On Penis Envy

mark 4a

I have a love-hate relationship with the term “penis envy.”

It was invented by Freud, and he used it to describe a phenomenon in which a vulva-owning person sees that some individuals have penises, feels inferior in comparison, and therefore becomes envious and wishes to have a penis.

These claims are disgustingly sexist and objectively untrue. They are partially on the concept that having a vulva is akin to having no sex organs whatsoever. In fact, “nothing” was a slang term for vulvas/vaginas for a while (see Shakespeare.) It is also based on the viewpoint that penises are superior to vulvas, and similarly, that men are superior to women. Otherwise, women wouldn’t “envy” penis-havers their “superior” genitals.

Freud believed women and girls experience penis envy subconsciously, so they aren’t aware of it, but it does influences their behavior. This is an extremely annoying “gotcha.” If a woman says “um, no, I don’t want a penis,” Freud comes back with “yes you do, subconsciously, you just don’t know it!” which seems to be just another way to discount women’s experiences and knowledge of their own desires.

A common feminist critique of penis envy is that if having a certain body part allows someone to be treated as a person instead of an object, it makes sense that individuals with other body parts might go “gee, I wish I had that thing that allowed my personhood to be recognized.” In this framework, the feelings have nothing to do with body parts and everything to do with oppression. I think this is a smart and reasonable interpretation which does not explain my personal feelings at all.

The phrase “penis envy” was created by a misogynist who meant hateful, derogatory things by it. Those aren’t connotations that I want anywhere near me. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a phrase that more accurately describes my feelings.

I feel a thing that I call penis envy, for lack of a better, more specific term. When I talk about penis envy, I mean that I would rather like to have a penis. That’s kinda it, really. I really like penises and I kinda wish I had one. I’ve wondered what it would be like to have different bits. I’ve pondered how dick of my own would be: the size, shape, feel, smell. I got the dildo in the above pic because I wanted a realistic strapon that looked like me. It’s pretty close to what I think my cock might look like.

Before you ask, no, I’m not really sure what this means about my gender. (I’m still working on that one.) What I do know is that my feelings have nothing to do with the misogynistic lack of self-esteem Freud described. They also don’t really have to do with internalized misogyny or a desperate wish to have my personhood recognized, although I think that feminist interpretation has merit in other areas. They really just have to do with me wanting a penis.

If you have a better word for the feelings I have, feel free to let me know! Til then, I am in search of a phrase that’s as short and clear as “penis envy,” without all the complicated sexist baggage, and I guess I’ll continue to use the phrase I have.

 

Fanfiction Roundup: Polyamory

infinity heart

You know what’s nice? Seeing yourself reflected back at you from the media you consume. Happy, healthy depictions of stigmatized persons and lifestyles. Characters that share the parts of me that I can’t share with the world at large. You know where I don’t get that shit? Mainstream media.

This is a big part of what fanfiction is for. It’s the place where I can find characters who are queer and kinky and polyamorous, like me, which are written by authors like me. A big part of fanfiction is a desperate attempt to relate to well-written, interesting mainstream media that completely leaves out people like us. I always advocate for more and better representation, but I also want to be able to enjoy the good content that’s already out there. So here’s a roundup of some of my favorite representations of polyamory in fanfiction.

  1. Welcome Home by Udunie (Teen Wolf): Here’s a classic one shot threesome smut fic, but with extra kink for flavor. Stiles comes home from college and has reunion sex with his two domly boyfriends, Peter and Alan. There is no plot to be found here, just a pre-established kinky triad, chastity, blowjobs and boyfriends excited to be together again.
  2. Six Shots To Go by CourierNinetyTwo (RWBY): This one goes much deeper into character development, which is my favorite. Velvet, Coco, Yatsuhashi, and Fox all end up dating each other, and we get a chapter (and sex scene) for all six couple pairings. I love this one because I think it shows what polyamory is all about: getting to explore different sides of yourself and different dynamics, and supporting your friends and lovers in pursuing what makes them happy.
  3. Masks by Not_You (Watchmen): This Watchmen high school musical theatre AU is just as bizarre and wonderful as it sounds. They’re doing Phantom of the Opera, Walter is the Phantom, Dan is Raoul, and Laurie is Christine. Besides appealing to my musical theatre nerd heart, it’s about teenagers figuring out that they’re allowed to be attracted to multiple genders, and that it’s possible to love multiple humans at the same time. It’s really heartwarming and sweet to watch this verse in which people like me figure everything out and everything goes well and there’s love and happiness all around. Queers want fluffy wish fulfillment sometimes too.
  4.  Odd One Out by thingswithwings (Leverage): I really like this exploration of an OT3 getting together, because it’s messy. Parker and Hardison are dating, and they also want to date Eliot, but Eliot is reluctant and scared of feelings. They try the casual sex thing, and make things awkward- taking one step forward and two steps back, as it were. My favorite part of this is Parker’s conversation with Eliot where she talks about the difference between what we think romance is and what it can be in reality, and the difference between wanting a fantasy of romance and wanting a specific person. Poly is hard and complicated and I love a fic that looks at that honestly.
  5. She Who Must Be Obeyed by Not_You (The Avengers): This is one of my favorite fics of all time. It’s of the “everyone is poly because Avengers” variety. Natasha is a femdom with a whole harem of subs, that starts out with Tony, Pepper, Nick, Thor, and Clint and expands to include Steve, Bucky, and Loki, so there’s a combination of established relationship dynamics and getting together storylines. There’s a lot of femdom porn, as well as various dynamics between other members of the polycule. Also, great character development: Bucky confronts his gay feelings, Steve discovers his dom feelings, and Loki handles out his jealousy feelings, among other things. I love the idea of this big happy poly family all living together in a big house and making it work.

Do y’all have any favorite polyamory fanfics? Let me know in comments!

 

Three Things I Learned From a Year of Non-Monogamy

year of nonmonogamy

About a year ago, my boyfriend at the time and I broke up, ending a pretty serious monogamous relationship. In the year since it happened, I feel like I’ve changed and grown a lot. One of the biggest changes for me was moving to a non-mongamous lifestyle. Non-monogamy has been tremendously fulfilling for me, and in retrospect, I’m very glad I made the switch. Here are three things I learned about myself and how I do polyamory in the past year:

I should only sleep with people I like.

The thing about not really experiencing attraction is that it can be easy to say “hey, why not?” Because we have nothing in common, that’s why not! I don’t tend to enjoy sex with people I’m not that into, so I don’t do that any more. This means that I have fewer partners than I did before, but I have way more fun with the partners I do have. Rejecting monogamy doesn’t mean rejecting selectivity- just because I’m allowed to do something doesn’t mean I have to do it. I’m gonna have way more fun with a fellow kinky nerd who loves high fantasy and musical theatre than I am with some rando I just met with whom I have nothing to talk about.

Time management is crucial.

I do a lot of things: I’m in college, I have a part time job, I run this blog, I’m in a student organization, I have to shower occasionally. I’m also currently dating three people. That’s a lot of commitments to juggle. It can be really tricky for me to make sure that I’m managing my romantic relationships, my platonic relationships, and my self care without letting important things like my education fall by the wayside. For me, what works is making commitments and sticking to them, whether that’s going on dates that I’ve agreed to or honoring the time I’ve set aside for studying. It’s important not to let my academic life steal all my time from my love life, or vice versa.

Romantic time commitments are no morally different from any other time commitment.

One way that I like to frame polyamory is that I respect my partners’ commitments and responsibilities. If they’re working, spending time with their best friend, doing a hobby that they love, repairing their car, whatever it is, I understand that they have a life apart from me. I honor their time doing other things. I don’t think of it as time stolen away from me somehow, because I don’t feel entitled to their entire life. Once I rejected that poisonous lesson propagated by certain schools of thought about monogamy, it was easy for me to incorporate my partners’ partners (my metamours) into that framework. I can also honor my partners’ commitments to their other lovers, and plan around them the way I would plan around their work schedule or their D&D night.

Here’s hoping that the next year brings even more polyamorous happiness and growth for me!

 

 

 

Pink B.O.B. Bliss Rechargeable Wand Review

bliss wand 1

Hello lovelies! This week I’m reviewing the Pink B.O.B. Bliss Rechargeable Wand, a wand vibrator that was sent to me by the lovely folks at Too Timid. My love for wand vibrators is well known- I love the broad stimulation and sheer power- so I was super excited to try out the Bliss Rechargeable Wand.

First off, I’m afraid I have to address the name: “B.O.B.” stands for “battery operated boyfriend,” which I find to be a painfully inaccurate term for vibrators. Sex toys are not replacements for partners. That’s not how this works. I can’t see how this name does anything other than contribute to stigmatizing myths about sex toys. Also, not everyone who uses your products wants a boyfriend. I am fully opposed to this term.

Now that that’s out of the way, I can move on to the actual vibrator in question, which I actually quite like.

The Bliss Wand is significantly smaller than the Magic Wand Rechargeable, and extremely lightweight in comparison, which makes it much easier to maneuver and carry around in my purse. Although the head is also proportionately smaller, in use I didn’t really register a size difference because it’s still plenty broad enough for me. The copy on the website really hypes up the curved handle but it made no difference for me: in use I really couldn’t tell it was there because I tend to hold my wands further down.

The Bliss Wand did not come with an instruction manual, which I find quite odd. Partially because of the lack of instruction manual, I have absolutely no idea how long it takes to charge. I can’t tell when it’s done charging because the light which turns on when you plug it in just glows red forever. The Bliss Wand retails from the Pink B.O.B. website for about $50 cheaper than MWR, which is awesome. As a Broke College Kid, I totally appreciate the difference $50 can make in terms of someone’s ability to buy a good sex toy.

The buttons are in the opposite order of the MWR, which took some getting used to, but I fully admit that’s purely a personal problem. Also as a matter of preference: this wand has lots of patterns, but I don’t like patterns, so I don’t use them. The patterns button is separate from the intensities button, making the patterns easy to avoid, which I really appreciate.

There are 8 intensities that go from high to low and back again for some strange reason. I prefer the very lowest setting because it’s the most rumbly, so I always have to click all the way through the settings to find it.

bliss wand 2

Personally, I definitely need the lowest, rumbliest setting, and I prefer to use it through blankets or clothing. This thing is intensely powerful, and is reminiscent of the Original Magic Wand on its highest settings- which is not my jam, but is unquestionably some people’s.

Because it’s not as rumbly, I was able to keep it on my clit the whole time I was having an orgasm. This is actually really nice. With the MWR I almost always have to pull it away as soon as I come because it’s so intense- it’s really overstimulating during my hypersensitive period right after orgasm. With the Bliss Wand, it can kind of work me through the aftershocks, which is lovely.

On the lowest settings, it’s not nearly buzzy enough to put me off- my clit does sometimes feel a little bit rubbed raw from repeated or prolonged use, but it didn’t give me any numbness or itching that cheap battery-operated vibes always do.

The Bliss Wand is rather loud- it’s a bit more noisy than my MWR. The sound is almost completely muffled when pressure is applied, like when it’s on my bits. This seems odd to me, but I am clearly not an expert in vibrator engineering, and I appreciate the muffling effect.

Overall, I think the Bliss Wand is worth its price tag. You would probably like the Bliss Wand if you like broad stimulation, enjoy powerful mid-line rumbly/buzzy vibrations, need something lightweight, or are looking for a rechargeable wand for a bargain. You can pick one up here!

I was sent the Pink B.O.B. Bliss Rechargeable Wand in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Thanks, Too Timid!

 

How Do I Be Friends With Men?

how do i be friends with men.png

I feel like I don’t know how to be friends with men. This must be a personal failing of mine, because I firmly believe men and women can be friends. They can be friends, and remain platonic, and nobody needs to be secretly harboring crush feelings or pants feelings, or be strictly gay. So why can’t I seem to be platonic friends with the men in my life?

How do you interact with men without assessing the romantic potential of the relationship? I do this thing where when I like someone, I ask myself “Is this a friend like or a sexy like?” I don’t think that’s too weird, especially since I don’t generally experience burning attractions. I have to think about it for a bit. But I admit that I only sometimes do this with women, and I feel like I always, always do it with men. I don’t know how to interact with men without feeling like I’m constantly reading the tea leaves.

My friendships with men, historically, tend to turn into more than that. I never learned how to be friends with men. I learned how to flirt with them. I learned how to make myself marketable to them. I learned how to avoid them, how to attract them. How to give them a soft “no” so they won’t kill you. How to please them. How to take care of them. How to make myself into something they want. How to date them. How to kiss them. How to fuck them. How to love them. But never how to be friends with them.

When I was a kid, I sometimes did that thing where I decided to have crushes on boys. (Lots of young afab queers do that.) I just picked a boy and went “I’m supposed to have crushes on boys, therefore I have a crush on that one.” I learned how to perform heterosexuality the way my culture wanted it performed. That did not involve befriending men.

I’ve gotten a lot better in recent years. I think part of it has to do with seeing men as people, and with being seen as a person by them. Our culture sets men and women up as diametrically opposed opposites, and rationally, I know that’s absolute baloney. But those sorts of lessons can be hard to let go of. It’s hard to stop seeing men as some terrifying or glorious other. I think the key here, as in so many things, is understanding other people as truly and fully human. It can be so hard, though, when the world has been divided up into categories and certain behaviors and values have been assigned to those categories.

I still have a lot of personal learning to do. There’s a lot of messages for me to unlearn, and new  lessons for me to replace them with. I wish my culture had taught me the right lessons in the first place. But I do believe that I can learn them, and I hope my culture can too.

 

Are You a Cat-Person or a Dog-Person?

collar and leash

“If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?”

I am in a job interview, sweating slightly in my skirt suit. I want to present myself in the best light, but my answer comes easily.

“I’d probably be a domestic cat,” I reply. “I’m pretty independent. I’m also an introvert, so like a cat, sometimes I want to be around people and sometimes I do my own thing.”

The interviewers nod and scribble on a clipboard. If not the most unique or inspiring response, I at least managed to come up with an acceptable answer.

It did seem to fit: I’m a bit of a homebody, I like naps, I like my own space. I would definitely be a domestic animal, not a wild one, cause I’m just not that adventurous. Indoor cats get taken care of, they get to do their own thing, and they get luxuries like temperature controlled housing that I’m quite fond of.

I like being petted and cuddled. I can totally see myself doing that cat thing where they plop on someone’s lap, having decided that they want attention. Then later, they abruptly leave to play with yarn or roll around in a patch of sun, because they’ve had quite enough attention, thank you very much.

I happen to be a lady type person, and cats get coded as feminine and dogs as masculine, even though that’s silly and rather arbitrary. I’m also a cat person; I’d rather own a cat than a dog. I tend to get along with cats better because we understand each other. If anything, I’m probably a cat.

~~~~~~~~~~

“I think you’re more of a dog,” my boyfriend tells me.

I blink. Nobody’s ever said that to me before, considering my aforementioned general homebody-ness, love for cat naps, and preference for cats as pets.

“What makes you say that?” I ask him.

“Well, you love being petted. You’re obedient. You like being led around on a leash. You love being called a good girl. You’re always excited to see your Master. Heck, you even wag your tail.”

I mull this over in my mind for a long time. All of those are true things. I tend to think of it as “happy butt wiggles,” but admittedly, I do sort of wag my tail when I’m excited. The honorific “Master” has never resonated with me cause I’m just not that into Master/slave, but somehow it’s okay when it’s in a pup context.

I’d never thought of myself as a dog or a puppy. I haven’t done much pet play in my life, being much more drawn to a little girl persona when I’m subby. When I did do pet play in the past, I wasn’t really drawn to a specific animal persona. He does tend to bring out those pup-type traits in me, though. I mentally poke at the idea, wondering how I feel about it.

~~~~~~~~~~

I guess that’s how I find myself in this position, crawling around on the floor in a collar, with him leading me around by a leash.

“Good girl,” he tells me, and I melt and let out a little whine. I lick his hand and wag my tail, and he chuckles softly, patting me on the head. “What a good girl pup you are.”

I smile, content to sit at his feet and be petted. I’m so happy to get tugged around, and praised for obeying orders, and, best of all, loved on. I nuzzle my head into his lap, thinking that perhaps I’m more of a dog person than I thought I was.

Help! There’s Something Immoral In My Smut!

immoral smut

Buckle in, folks, cause today we’re going to talk about ethics in written smut!

I get off on a lot of things that would be unquestionably horrible if they were to happen in real life, but which turn me on in an imaginary fantasy context. I was inspired to write this post because there’s a long standing exhausting debate in many fandoms that basically boils down to this question:

Is it okay for your fanfiction smut to contain things that are morally unacceptable?

One line of this argument that I often hear has to do with Young People on the Internet. This is especially relevant to fandoms of content that is ostensibly intended for children, but is also consumed and enjoyed by adults. It’s also a topic that comes up in fandoms where the characters are canonically minors.

First question: Is it acceptable for kids on the internet to see this content?

If it’s on the internet, kids are gonna find it. So one side of the argument goes like this: Young people learn a lot of their lessons about sexuality from the media they consume. This media includes fanfiction. Media that presents things like abusive behavior or violence as romantic or sexy (I’m looking at you, Twilight franchise) can be incredibly damaging to young people who receive and internalize those messages. Therefore, fanfiction authors have a responsibility to not write that kind of content, especially where kids can easily read it and get the wrong ideas.

Kids definitely get idea about sex from the media they consume; lord knows I did. There’s also no question that these messages can get them to believe harmful things. I am far from the first person to point out that messages like “he’s mean to you because he likes you” or “true love won’t take no for an answer” can have terrifying and very real consequences.

On the other hand, kids have been exposed to cultural messages regarding sexuality long before they find fanfiction. Additionally, fanfiction archives like Archive of Our Own have elaborate tagging systems which allow readers to avoid or to find explicit content, depending on their preferences. So at least in the realm of fanfiction, there isn’t a lot of thrusting these types of smut on people who aren’t down for it.

Furthermore, let’s not pretend that teens never have sexualities or an interest in sex. Reading fanfiction can be a way for young people to explore their sexuality on their own in a way that feels safe, and I am loathe to bar them from that. Some of those kids are going to grow up into kinksters like me, and I would rather educate them about how to play with kink safely than try to hide it from them entirely.

Second question: Is it acceptable to police the sexual fantasies of others?

Another side of the argument goes like this: It’s a fantasy, of course I don’t condone this behavior in real life. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to.  Stop dictating to people  what they can and cannot get off on (especially women on the internet, who make up the majority of fanfiction writers).

When it comes to the question of policing other’s fantasy lives, I lean strongly towards “no.” It is very important to remember that when we take our own fucked up private fantasies, write them down, and put them on the internet, they do have the potential to harm the people who read them. However, I don’t think the answer is to not have these fantasies, or to not share them. I think the answer is closer to content warnings and specific corners of the internet for these types of content. We want to let people know what they’re getting into and give them the ability to opt out.

This is much less of a cut-and-dry issue than I want it to be, and this post can’t possibly cover all the existing discourse around it. I hope that this has nevertheless been a nuanced discussion of a complicated topic. In the end, I believe in the importance of sexual freedom and that we should exercise that freedom in ways that cause the least amount of harm possible.

Baby’s First Paddle

paddle 1

One of the things on my wishlist for 2017 was my very first paddle. While no stranger to impact play of various kinds, I had never owned a real honest-to-god paddle of my own. Way back in February, I took the leap and bought one.

I was lucky enough to get some excellent advice from esteemed kinkster and blogger extraordinaire Kate Sloane. She suggested that I look on Etsy for a small-ish wooden or Lexan paddle as my first impact toy. Her reasoning was that something small and firm would be easier for me to control as a new impact top, and I would be less likely to accidentally injure someone. Kate also mentioned that thicker and heavier paddles would create a more thuddy sensation, where thinner, lighter ones would sting more.

The paddle I got is from RN Woodcraft on Etsy. It’s 12″ long and 3/4″ thick, and designed to look like a rounded wooden hairbrush. (If a paddle that’s only a foot long seems small to you, please remember that I am 5’4″.) It’s made of purpleheart wood, and I confess that I picked it over the other hairbrush style paddles in the shop because of its lovely reddish color.

While I like getting hit with it, it’s not my favorite type of impact to receive. When swung forcefully enough, the flat side of the wood can feel vaguely reminiscent of doing belly flops into a swimming pool. I think that’s because the paddle has a fairly wide surface area, but still manages to sting a good deal. I don’t have a very high pain tolerance and prefer thuddy to stingy impact, so I find it difficult to take hard hits from this paddle. It does provide a more intense beating than someone’s hand, though, which is sometimes something I’m craving.

Where this paddle shines for me is as a top. I’m really glad I listened to Kate’s advice on this one, because learning how to use it went so smoothly. I love the way it fits perfectly in my grasp; the handle is thin enough for my admittedly small hand to hold it comfortably. It’s easy for me to use because it feels like a natural extension of my hand. It makes sense, I’ve always preferred weapons I know I can control and wield with accuracy. With practice, I’ve gotten better at aiming my hits and gauging their intensity, but it’s been a pretty intuitive learning process.

Since getting my first paddle, I’ve discovered that I really like giving over the knee spankings with a paddle: I can hold my partner close to me and pet them and kiss them while still giving a much more intense beating than I can with my bare hand. This strongly appeals to my Mama Domme tendencies. I hope to acquire more paddles and a variety of other short-range impact implements that I can use this way.

Getting my first paddle felt like a rite of passage. My paddle is a kink tool with a practical use, but it’s also symbolic. It says “I am enough of a kinkster to invest in nice impact toys.” I look forward to slowly building a sizeable collection of lovely hitty things!