Paddling is a very popular kink, and for good reason. Many kinksters enjoy some degree of physical pain in their play, which paddles deliver with surprising variety. Plus, paddles lend themselves to disciplinary roleplay scenarios. And even for less-kinky adventures, light paddling on the buttocks can help stimulate genital bloodflow, making it excellent foreplay.
But before you purchase that paddle you’ve had your eye on, read our quick primer. Like any kinky activity, paddling requires some 101 info on how to choose a toy and use it safely.
Know what you like. Paddling comes in different varieties. The pain can be stingy and “whippy,” or dull and “thuddy.” Some people even prefer nearly-painless paddling, finding that the psychological element of discipline and/or control is what turns them on the most.
If you already know what you’re into, you can head straight to the purchasing stage. If you’re just fantasizing, test out different types of pain using your hand, starting very gently and working your way up.
If your partner is practicing with you, have them practice on a pillow and establish a safeword beforehand.
Find the right paddle. The shape, size and material of a paddle affects how it feels and how you use it. Looks can be deceiving, so remember the general rule that the denser the material, the harder the impact. Depending on the type of pain you prefer, choose rigid paddles for “thuddy” pain and flexible paddles for “whippy” pain.
When you first purchase your new paddle, always test it out on yourself first! Start with gentle, barely-there impact, then slowly build the intensity to find what you enjoy. Then, teach your partner using the same method.
Safety is key! Safe paddle play reduces the risk of injury to the person being paddled (and accidentally hurting their partner is no picnic for the paddler, either). Here are some general do’s and don’ts to follow:
DO: Know your own limits before playing with a partner, and always negotiate safewords and limits beforehand (i.e., no visible marks). Make sure your paddle is free of splinters and sharp edges before you use it.
DON’T: Hit your partner with the edge of the paddles, share paddles with multiple partners, or hit the following areas: joints, face, neck, spine, back, tailbone or kidneys.
Once you and your partner get comfortable with paddling, you can start incorporating paddling into role-play scenarios and combining paddles with other kinky gear like gags, blindfolds and rope. Sound exciting? Browse our selection of kinky gear for more erotic ideas.