7 October 2013

Tantus Wham Bam Paddle


So it's October and the month of Halloween is upon us! I have a few very fitting items lined up to review in the next couple of weeks, but I thought I'd start off with something that just touches on the Trick or Treat theme, spanking! After all, what combines pleasure and pain better than a swift smack across a fleshy posterior?

I have to say that this is largely new territory for me. It's not that I haven't been interested in S&M up to this point, but rather that I've always considered it an activity for two (or indeed more), and as such I was never in any great rush to go out and buy a suitcase full of equipment. Leave it to Tantus to change all that; as soon as I heard that one of my favourite companies had come out with a new line of silicone paddles I felt absolutely compelled to go out and buy one to try for myself.

Tantus offer a range of five different paddles, all in varying shapes and sizes depending on your preference. Being an utter paddle novice I picked one based entirely on intuition. Coupling practical considerations of how I would use such a thing on myself, with questions of physics in regard to the level of pain I could expect, and of course a little nod towards aesthetics, I settled on the Wham Bam as the paddle for me, and you can get the lowdown after the jump!

The Wham Bam has what strikes me as a rather interesting design for a paddle, though I profess to be no expert on the subject, and while the Pelt has that more traditional table tennis racquet shape, the Wham Bam reminds me a lot of a kitchen spatula or a classroom ruler if you're contemplating corporal punishment Catholic school style.

In terms of size the Wham Bam measures 15" in total, with just under 10" of that being paddle and the remainder handle. The rectangular surface of the paddle is smooth and 2" wide, and it measures 1/4" thick, while the handle clocks in at 1/2". The difference in thickness creates a solid and robust-feeling handle, combined with a long flexible paddle section at the other end, and the design compliments itself well.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the Wham Bam paddle is made from silicone, and while the majority of paddles seem to be made from leather and its imitation counterparts, it makes one wonder why Tantus has chosen to bring a silicone paddle to the market, other than it being their signature material. One of the first things you'll notice about the paddle is that it does feel lovely; it has this soft velvety finish to the surface, and when you grasp it in your hand theres plenty of grip, negating any fear that it may go flying from your clutches mid swing. The other thing you'll notice is that there's a certain floppiness to the silicone; if you hold it upright immediately it bends and leans over to one side, and this will give it some unique properties during use in the way that a more solid paddle would not. Of course silicone is a very safe and hygienic material, but you may be thinking to yourself  "I'm not going to be inserting it, so why should I care?" Well I always like to think that you never can be too safe when it comes to sex, but starting from a very practical standpoint let's just consider mess. You can have lube on your hands, oil and candle wax over your partner, and you can pick up the paddle and get it covered in all manner of substances, and then at the end you can simply toss it in the sink or dishwasher and have it back to new condition. Silicone is durable and low-maintenance, so there's your number one reason. Number two, it can be sterilised. It may not be an insertable toy, but if there's a chance of getting bodily fluids over something it's always nice to have the peace of mind of knowing that it's going to be kept hygienic, especially if you're going to be using it with multiple partners. Silicone can be boiled or bleached in a way which other materials cannot, and afterwards you're good to go. Another benefit of silicone is that it is of course odourless, so have no fear if you're put off by the plasticy-scent of imitation leather products, and real leather isn't an option for you because of animal rights concerns.

The construction of the Wham Bam paddle is top-notch, just like I'd expect from Tantus, so there's not really much to say on the subject. I will point out that there's a mould line, just because I'm so used to mentioning their presence, or lack thereof, but it's completely irrelevant on this type of toy. Aside from that there are no pits, cracks, or defects in the surface which might otherwise affect your enjoyment of the paddle.

So we finally get on to the use, for what is a paddle if it's no good at inflicting pain, and I can safely assure you all that I've been merrily beating myself across the backside with it for several days now. The shape and design of the paddle actually makes it especially well-suited to self-punishment. Because of the length of the paddle you're able to easily reach around and make contact with both buttocks, and the flexibility of the silicone allows you to deliver a sharp smack with only the smallest flick of the wrist. The Wham Bam paddle functions almost as more of a whip than a paddle, meaning you don't need to put a lot of strength into striking someone firmly with it, as it flexes elastically and travels with its own momentum, then recoils after the point of impact. It's one of those things I'd really love to witness in super slow motion. For this reason it's probably quite suited to anyone with mobility problems, as you don't need strength nor big motions to deliver the blow. In terms of how much pain it delivers, well that's up to you, but the long thin design really concentrates the force in one place rather than spreading it out over a wider area, thus increasing the chance of a sting. Think of it similarly to whipping someone with a belt. If you start out quite softly with it then you can get a fairly gentle tap as a result, then just by cranking up the wrist action you can gradually increase the power and the sting until you get some glorious biting thwacks and the accompanying red marks they leave behind. It's almost a little addictive once you get into it; it hurts but you want more, and it's a challenge to see how much you can take from the paddle. A useful trick I found is that you don't actually have to hold the paddle by its handle, and by manipulating it nearer to the tip you can adjust the sensations it delivers, and make the motion a little sharper.

Although paddles are typically thought of as equipment for use on the buttocks, you can do a little more with the Wham Bam. It's not exactly a flogger, but you can flick it over your shoulder to self-flagellate with some success. It's also quite good to use to gently strike the penis, and deliver that stinging sensation to the underside of the head, somewhat dramatically but without risk of injury. Really it can be used wherever your imagination cares to take it.

When you're done with the Wham Bam you can actually hang it up somewhere thanks to a clever little hole in the handle. I appreciate this sort of thing because really where does one store a paddle? It doesn't come with much packaging as such, just a simple and sufficient polythene bag, so I'm thinking in the wardrobe on the hook next to the shoehorn.

So how would I rate the Wham Bam after all of this? Well I must say that my first experience with a paddle was resoundingly successful, and I enjoyed every painful moment thanks to the wonderful design of this toy. Really the only thing that was missing was someone to beat me with it, but I guess that's what the personals column is for in the newspaper. The Wham Bam really is fantastic; it's well made from a great material, and everything in the design from the length, to the shape, to the thickness, all comes together to deliver something which is simple to use and delivers those stinging biting sensations that you want to share with a partner during S&M play, on indeed inflict upon yourself if that's where the mood takes you. Overall it's a real treat and it certainly gets my recommendation; I wouldn't have wanted any other paddle to have been my first.

The Wham Bam paddle is available directly from Tantus and also from UberKinky in the UK.

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