The Perfect Paddle

After much consideration, I have arrived back in the same city as my partner (though not yet in the same household, we're not quite ready for that) with the intention of staying through the summer to see how things develop between us, both in Domestic Discipline (DD) and in the rest of our relationship.

As is par for the course with us, getting back into the rhythm of DD is not without its bumps and hiccups -- though this time, I'm happy to say not because of any reluctance of his part or mine. On the contrary, he's embraced the DD lifestyle with a consistency and enthusiasm heretofore unseen in our relationship.

A week or so before I left, I happened to find a paddle at the local thrift store. It was one of those paddles that's clearly not a cheese board or a game paddle, but a bona-fide spanking paddle meant for the infliction of corporal punishment.

The paddle looked to be perfect and my heart gave a bit of a flutter when I picked it up. It's just thin enough to sting, not thud (stinging being my sensation of preference), wide enough and long enough to fully cover the area in need of correction, with a good solid grip suited for a man's hand. It's made out of hardwood, so despite its thinness, it's not likely to break at an inopportune moment.

The first time I was asked to "Go get the paddle," I presented it proudly, imagining how much richer our DD experience was about to become.

And as soon as I felt it on my backside, I knew I was right. We'd found the Perfect Paddle.

By "perfect," I mean that it felt just right. And by "just right, " I mean that it hurt exactly as much as I imagine in my head that a spanking will hurt, and it hurt in exactly the way that I imagine a spanking will hurt. For the first time, my real-life spanking experience matched almost exactly the spankings of my fantasies.

Spurred on by my enthusiasm, my partner has subsequently used said Paddle of Perfection on a regular basis in an effort to get our relationship back on track.

It's failing miserably.

The Perfect Paddle feels "perfect" and "just right" in imagination and application. But it fails in every really important way. It leaves no marks or bruises. The pain stops as soon as the spanking stops. There is no day after (or as before, week after) soreness to remind me of the session. Heck, there's barely even a "minute after" -- two minutes after the spanking (before corner time's even started), it's as though the spanking never happened.

I expect it's different for everyone, but for me at least, the psychological benefits of a spanking come largely in its aftereffects. Every time I see the bruises or sit down and feel the twinge of pain and ache on my backside, I get a little jolt of that miraculous DD-juice -- self-confidence, personal power, a wonderful feeling of being loved and cared about by my partner. I go a week or so -- minimum -- on a spanking like that and still feel empowered, loved and a bit like I'm walking on air. But without those aftereffects, the power of DD, at least for me, is nonexistent.

And yet.... that paddle feels so perfect....

It's an interesting lesson for me on the difference between sexual fantasy and reality. Fantasy is wonderful, but it's rarely the key to personal growth.

The spanking of my fantasies, so long craved and searched for, carries little to no power in real life. And the thicker, "thuddier" paddle that wields such power on my psyche in real life rarely appears in my fantasies.

I expect a lot of things are like that, especially in the DD and D/s world. The perfect DD partner of our fantasies might well be completely ineffective and disappointing in real life and the guy you'd never think knew his way around a paddle might be the most effective disciplinarian we'll ever meet. And of course, I've had any number of D/s scenarios that seemed wildly exciting in my head turn into a big snore when tried out in the real world.

The Case of the Perfect Paddle is a valuable lesson in remembering that DD, when practiced between two living, breathing people, is about reality, not fantasy.

And it's an even better reminder that DD is a living, fluid thing, and that there are dangers in clinging too much to how we imagine it ought to go. In having overly specific or rigid expectations of how DD "ought" to work, we may miss out on experiences and nuances that are richer and more valuable to us than the scenarios in our imaginations.

And so it's with a heavy heart that I will request, humbly, that my partner set aside the Perfect Paddle (except for in future potential play situations, which we haven't yet explored) and once again take up the dreaded thicker paddle that strikes fear in my heart, but creates those lovely bruises, aches and pains that seem to hold the key to my better and higher Self.

But maybe I'll wait until I've had just one more spanking with it... :-)


  1. Vivian, it's good to see you back. I was concerned perhaps things had gotten more crisisy for you.

    While we have literally hundreds of spanking implements of dozens of varieties, paddles are most certianly my all time favorite.

    I find myself wondering, as I read your post and your dissatisfaction with the results of your present paddling's longer term effects on your bottom, if perhaps a different paddle or paddling technique might be useful.

    Recently we have reacquainted ourselves with the joys of lexan paddles recently. Lexan stings more than wood although it burns somewhat less. It is denser than wood yet slightly more flexible. Perhaps you might find it useful. Lexan paddles are thinner than their wooden counterparts because of their greater mass (usually coming in 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch thicknesses, rahter the 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch thicknesses traditional for wood paddles.)
    One of my favorite vendors for paddles is Hanson Paddle( I particularly rely on their lexan paddles.

    Hanson is very good about offering all their paddles with or without holes drilled in them. They drill paddle holes with a beveled hole edge on one side, and a sharp hole edge on the other. The additional contours of the holes will add sensation and marking....especially if you use the side without the beveled holes.

    Additionally, I don't know how many spanks he is applying for you and how frequently. I generally like to apply about 100 good paddle smacks in sets of 25 or 50 as a good paddle blistering. Those applied firmly with plenty of wrist flexion should leave you with a lasting reminder for some time to come.

    We have in the past instituted paddling periods where it was made clear she would be given a good paddling each day and it was her reponsibility to bring the paddle to me and request her paddling each day when she decided it was time. She was then quite thoroughly paddled and required to very politely thank me for her paddling. We once kept this up for two consecutive months.

    Another approach might be the nightly bed time paddling. He institutes a program where he decrees, for example, that you will bring him the paddle at bedtime each day for a week and be soundly spanked and then put to bed. It can be a great way to go to bed each night:) and can help you too to have a fairly continual reminder of your discipline.

    Beyond the physical effects of routine repetitious paddling, the emotional impact of knowing spankings are coming to you daily and will be administered without fail on an increasingly sore bottom, has a significant psychological effect.

    Some of these techniques combined with perhaps a different paddle and the additiion of holes in you paddle(s), I hope gives both of you the results you are seeking.

    My favorite coporal punishment is switching. It is by far the most intenisve form of spanking and is guaranteed to be memorable both mentally and physically each time you sit down for a good while after a switching is administered to you. If you'd like any more input about that I'd be happy to direct you to a link on our Blog that describes an effective approach to discplinary switching.

    Anyway, it is good to see you posting again, and to know you are progressing in your happiness.

    All the best:)


    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

  2. Hi Vivian, this is not an uncommon experience in "the life." A comment about this got eaten by Blogger earlier today, and so turned into a full fledged post over on our blog. If you are interested, you can check it out at

    Raheretic's swan

  3. Thanks for the advice, Tom -- very appreciated!

    I agree that the daily/bedtime approach would be best, especially in the laying the foundation stages of building a DD relationship.

    Unfortunately, the logistics of our present arrangement don't allow for that. We don't share a household, live fairly far apart even in the same city to accomodate our different commute and lifestyle needs (he's a city boy and I'm a country girl) and our schedules rarely match up enough to spend a whole night together!

    Thus, we have to do what many couples do, which is work around schedules and commitments -- not ideal for putting a relationship back together, unfortunately,

    RE: Switches. I agree they are an attention getting implement, but emotionally, they have no emotional resonance for me and therefore also have far less psychological power than a paddle does (though they'll do in a pinch, of course!).

    For me, as I suspect for many, the memories/feelings I have about an implement give it much of its weight. And since I was raised in (in some ways) a relatively middle American culture where it was all about paddles and belts, those are pretty much the only things that push my buttons. (As opposed to my partner, for instance, who was raised with the cane in a British-style home)

    As to the method of application, when he's got the right paddle in his hand, I have no complaints about the lack of aftereffects. :-) The Curious Incident of the Perfect Paddle was largely my error for thinking that the fantasy would be better than the reality!

    Thanks for posting, as always!


  4. Anonymous02:54


    Good to see you again, I was also concerned for you.

    Oh, how often in all walks of life is fantasy not replicated in reality. I guess we have to learn this as we get older, and try to separate the two.
    Our fantasies are exactly that, virtual realities to be enjoyed for what they are and not to be allowed to have any power for good or ill over us.

    Your Perfect Paddle sounds to me like an implement for pleasure and play, and not for punishment. Probably best to keep it so and enjoy it when you can.

    My experience mirrors yours with regard to after effects of spanking. I only get self-administered spankings, and whilst it is happening it's fine, but the warm glow doesn't last, even if there are bruises.
    I'm sure the psychological effects are much more important and useful than the physical ones, so you really need something lasting if it's to be effective.

    I'm glad you've made a decision with regard to the future of your relationship. It's probably a good thing that you're near but no too near each other. Take it slowly if you can.



  5. Anonymous16:08

    Dear Vivian,

    I most appreciate your blog and how honest you are able to be about so many aspects of spanking

    I have no memory of being switched but I do clearly remember seeing switch marks on the legs of a girl and being really distressed by it. She didn't seem to mind and her parents had no problem sending her to the movies with them. A different world now, of course.

    At the time, I was already into spanking somehow but seeing this kid sort of shocked me and, to be honest, disgusted me. So, we do share a kind of dis-interest in switches although I have done enough hiking and had the hiker in front of me bend a branch out of the way with it snapping back on some part of my body that I can totally agree with you that it does get your attention.

    Another aspect of your writing that I find philosophically straightforward and on point is the gap between many aspects of spanking fantasy and spanking realities. I have never been able to get a spanking that lived up to my own mental hype. I have given a couple to casual woman friends long ago and I suspect they were fulfilling.

    Finally, my experience in the scene or lifestyle is basically nil. However, I have had a few experiences attempting to introduce spanking into vanilla relationships. Never worked. However, what the internet reveals is that even when the relationship is built around spanking or DD or M/f or F/m etc. awkwardness prevails.

    I root for you and hope that things go well this summer.

    The one success story that I would cite is Bonnie of MBS-fame. She seems to manage all the complexities: she didn't spank her daughter; she condemns real life spanking of children; she has fun blogging and helping others (see her Spanko Manifesto published just today); and she seems genuinely to enjoy her marriage. God Bless her.

  6. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I agree with you that Bonnie at My Bottom Smarts seems to have found something that works for her and her partner. However, Bonnie's situation is distinctly and fundamentally different from a DD relationship, which is what the Disciplined Feminist is about.

    I think it's important to stress that by her own admission, Bonnie and her partner do not practice Domestic Discipline, but rather use spanking as a form of sexual play. As such, much of what she publishes doesn't apply to couples like my partner and myself, who do not and never never used spanking in the context of erotic/sex play.

    Discipline in our partnership is not about which implement turns my partner or me "on," but rather which implement has the emotional resonance associated with punishment (and the accompanying embarrassment, nervousness and shame that accompany it).

    The crux of the Perfect Paddle dilemma and the message of the post is intended to be that what "turns us on" is often not what works in a DD relationship, which while it may have sexual overtones to it, is first and foremost about using discipline as a tool for conflict resolution and behavior modification.

    Thanks for reading!


  7. Anonymous02:44

    Dear Vivian,

    Thank You for this website, and also other people for their posts. They help me understood some things. Could You, please, adwise me where I can find information about canes and whips.

    Thank You!

  8. Dear Anonymous,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you've found the articles and comments useful!

    As to information about canes and whips, although that's not my area of expertise, as I recall, the "All Things Spanking" blog has a pretty good starter article on their "Techniques" page. Hope that helps!


  9. Anonymous16:48

    Vivian, I've enjoyed reading today! I have been in a HoH relationship for 26 years, and am 52. Part of your problem may be in somewhat having a choice for your experience. I have never had a choice, and have all kinds of implements used. For example, switches might work very well if you were told to go cut them. Also I hate a wooden paddle, but in 26 years have never mentioned it knowing that I would feel it more often.
    Also, about things not being fair when you feel wronged(in amother blog), they most certainly are not. I am not allowed to make the rules in my house. I may feel that my perspective is not being received, but after I have stated my position, hurt feelings, etc., I am left to work it out. There is only one set of rules in our house.
    Maintenance spankings have never occurred in our home either. I don't guess I have needed them. I hate every spanking I get, but like you, I need the resolution of my actions.I sometimes crave one, but have not suggested it. I very much enjoy the after effects of feeling it later, and like you, miss it when I don't feel it later.
    I think for us, there has been no games played. My mouth has never been washed out. My corner time, although not that often, has always been before I am to be spanked. Once my spanking, paddling or whipping is over it is over. I have definitely resisted over the years, but it has never worked out to my benefit. I have on occasion actually talked him out of a spanking, but not often. The more I try to resist, the worse it is.
    We also do not often combine it with sex, although I find it very sexual. In fact at this point in our lives, I have more spankings than sex.
    It was really never over discussed between us. It was a decision he made & I agreed to. We have not ever regretted the decision, and if I ever told him "This is somehow not working for me", he would wear me out & ask if it was working for me now.
    I am a feminine feminist, and I am a CFO of a public corporation in the south. And I take great comfort in having a place where I do not have to boss or make rules.

  10. Anonymous02:09

    The Lexan Paddle works wonderfully because it does provide a challenging long lasting spanking effect yet wont bruise like a wooden paddle. A woman that comes to see me regularly can attest to that. Shes 36 and she gets 36 swift hard swats all in a row and with out a break for her offenses. Sometimes even earning two sets of 36 in a row in account to her transgressions. The result is an improvement in meeting her goals and therapy in keeping her focused!

  11. Kate Taylor17:01

    Oh my God ... i am literally in tears reading this ... WOW ... Again you've managed to voice just what i need and what i've been trying to say. For me, as well, it's the after. But, my husband likes my bottom perfect and unmarked. My telling him that "i look at my welts and bruises like other girls would look at an engagement ring" did little to help him understand... He marked me in the beginning so amazingly. Now i notice that he won't spank me too long or too hard ~ and, like yourself, i haven't gotten a real punishment spanking in almost two months (i must admit, i'm dying ... and i had done something legitimately, honestly bad that should have warranted the real thing above anything i'd done thus far; and i didn't do it to be spanked, it was a genuine F-up and i should have never been allowed to escape unpunished ~ in fact, we had some of the most amazing sex we've had that night instead!) But, i cannot force him into punishing me. It will have to come naturally and i know that it will once he's comfortable. We've only been married 2 months... He's been incredible so far, but i'm trying to give him space and suffering in silence (i'm sure he'd disagree with the last part! :) ... No matter what, though ... we're together for love first ... so even if he never spanked me again i still couldn't picture my life without him... ~xo

  12. Anonymous13:49

    I don't know how to begin this comment and I feel really shy about doing so..I can't believe I'm even attempting this! I just want to say how appreciative I am about the honesty I see here and especially for the author's courage in bringing this to us. I used to feel that I was just weird, the only one who felt a need to be disciplined but the comments here are so validating. I just want to thank all of you who are so honest and forthcoming with your comments, feelings and experiences. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I do have a question/comment though: I have found the love of my life that I know is my kindred spirit/soulmate. We are both in our fifties. We were both in long miserable marriages prior.

    D will often give me playful spankings on the bare which I love. (Giggle, blush) But I sometimes feel I truly need a real spanking as it would release pent up anxiety and help me relax and become a better person for him and everyone in my life. I know he won't do this, at least not now. However, sometimes when he's not too happy with me, he will say in a very serious manner, "You just need a good spanking lil' missie." and I know he means it. But then he will follow it up by saying that he would never/could never do such a thing. I also feel he might be afraid of hurting me too much.

    I am hoping that a man out there, reading this, might be able to tell me from his own personal experience, what signs I might look for that D might truly want to follow through with his threats of seriously spanking me.

    I admire you ladies who can take spankings so often..oh the pain you must be in so often. I don't believe I could handle that but I would want to be spanked occasionally, I know I need it to be a better person. Any comments would be so appreciated.

    Again, thank you!


  13. Anonymous19:47

    It sounds like your guy really wants to paddle you but is scared of scaring you off. I would suggest that you buy a nice paddle and next holiday wrap it up and give it to him. When he opens it, explain to him that you expect him to use it on you when ever he feels that you need it. Be open and honest and I believe that he will come around.

  14. Anonymous16:38

    Do you have children with your husband? Or have you had children in past DD relationships? If so, how is that handled? I cannot imagine having my daughters, who are at a very sexually vulnerable age (13 and 17), know I was consenting to spankings by my husband, should I ever get past my many other mental barriers to DD... But I respect you and am curious how this is handled in a truly loving, consensual relationship. Sorry I'm posting anonymous. I'm a trial lawyer; having my interest in these things become common knowledge could be more than merely embarrassing.