Review: Leather Paddle

leather-paddleNew Year’s Eve has inspired me to revive this review of the Spartacus Leather Paddle, which somehow slipped through the review cracks this past year. I think I got this in the late summer last year, and I’ve had very few opportunities to try it out, which is why I’ve been waiting to finish the review.

The paddle itself is lovely – 16″ long, thin enough that it bends easily but still solid enough to make a very satisfying smack.

I don’t really like the handle … it’s a little uncomfortable to grip, since it’s so flat. The edges dig into my palms a bit. Someone suggested I wrap it with something (tape? fabric?) but I haven’t done that yet. I may do, especially now that this paddle and I are getting along quite well, and I’d like to spend some more quality time with it.

I recently took my wooden paddle to a birthday party, and I’d nearly forgotten how completely hard and stiff the paddle is – I can’t hit as hard as I’d like because it doesn’t absorb the blow at all, unlike the slightly-bendy leather which bounces a bit more, so I can hit harder. And, yeah, I like that.

Spartacus Leathers, in case you haven’t heard of it, has a store in Portland, Oregon in addition to their online store. Aside from being a retailer of various products, they create their own leather products … and oh they are beautiful. This paddle is sturdy and luscious, and I very much look forward to using it more.

(Surfing around on the site I’ve just found that you get your very own Mistress Bear with orders over $100. That is really tempting, they have way more than $100 of gear that I am coveting.)

The paddle also comes as a black and blue frat paddle (but I think they’re the same other than color). And did you see everything on clearance?

busy practicalities

As I’m sure you can see by the countdown clock in the sidebar, Miss DD is landing in New York City in 1 day, 9 hours, 22 minutes.

I’m, uh, getting nervous. Spent last night readying the apartment, washed the sheets, boiled the cocks (again), organized my closet, did laundry, swept the floors. In fact, the apartment is just about ready. Tonight, I have a long list of errands to run, ranging from 1. get my nose stud properly coiled so it stops falling out of my nose to 14. pick up snacks and breakfasty options at the grocery store.

After work, I’m meeting a friend of mine who I will now call “my stylist” for some outfit help.

Because, see, my boy wardrobe is getting kind of boring. I pretty much wear the same outfit when I’m getting dressed up for a date or for a reading of my work: black slacks, black or red button-down, tie. I guess this varies a little. I have a few sweaters that I occasionally wear on top. I like the peep of a tie through a v-neck.

But I need to spice it up a bit. That’s where my stylist comes in.

So we started talking about my “wardrobe,” and I started wondering about a “basic men’s wardrobe guide” or some such book on men’s style, because that’s what I do, right, when I have a question or a dilemma or a problem I go find a book. Well, perhaps first I google it, then I find a book.

I’m in the gathering-data phase of this wardrobe project, but I will certainly let you know what I uncover.

… this is all to say that Miss DD and I are plannng to go dancing on Sunday night, and I don’t have a thing to wear. I will dust off (and polish) the solid black wingtips, but I’d like to wear something fun, peppy. Suspenders? I can’t seem to find my fedora.

… and this is also all to say that I am avoiding the topic of writing about my nerves, and DD’s visit, because though I am 90% excited and thrilled and in awe and beside myself, I am still 10% terrified. I’m already braced for that inevitable heartache that will happen when I have to take her back to the airport, send her back to Seattle. The reality of loss looming behind all our joyous interactions is such a weight to carry between us. Will we weather it? What are we going to do? How will I fall for someone, date someone, explore someone, from such a distance? It can’t possibly be adequate. It can’t possibly be enough. How do I make it enough? How do we approach this, how can we possibly frame this so that it will work, function, like two real hearts intertwining?

She sent me a photo yesterday of a new paddle with “BOY” cut into it, ready to mark. I got out my ropes and flogger and practiced my ties and aim. Felt good to twirl my wrists. I tightened my bedframe.

And now my head is swimming with the practical questions. What do I wear to pick her up from the airport? Do I pack? Must make a car reservation. Must get the apartment prepared. Do I have eggs? What kind of coffee does she like? (She is from Seattle, after all.) See and then I’m back to the distractions of the practicalities, and I feel a little better.