Flogger Physics, Or Why Fifty Shades Products Suck

I’ve been gripped by insomnia these past few nights. Snacks, gentle yoga, and masturbating are all activities that usually put me out, but not this time. I was driven to take up more challenging reading material in an effort to bring on the Zs. This plan backfired too. Physics for Future is Presidents is so good I actually had to put it down for fear of getting even more wired up. Richard Muller’s executive summary for the executive branch is so engagingly written. If they passed this book out in schools, perhaps a lot more of them would understand how much science affects our everyday lives.

Muller’s book is teaching me a lot of new things. It’s also reminding me of concepts that get lost in the heat of the moment — things like balance points and the relationship between force and pressure. They all came to mind quite (heh) forcefully just now as I was shaking my head at all the Fifty Shades crap being cranked out by the Sex-Toy/Industrial complex.

fifty-shades-paddleCase in point: the Twitchy Palm spanking paddle.

I’ll leave aside for now the poor aesthetic choices of of that big logo or the odd fabric label sticking out of the side. Instead I’ll point out how the silvery grey finish and unassuming size of this instrument might make it appear less  threatening to kinkster newbies. A short toy is good for getting close to your sub as in over-the-knee spanking.  The modest length also means there’ll be less “whippiness” in the toy. You have more control over how fast the tip of this instrument is going when it lands.

Yet when I picked up this toy at The Pleasure Chest I was disappointed by the feel of it without knowing why. Physics for Future Presidents reminded me that the balance point in any flogger needs to be close to where you’re gripping it. If the center of mass is too far away, you’re going to wear out your wrist with fewer strokes. You’re also going to instinctively compensate for the imbalance by hitting with just the outer edge of the toy. This is less than ideal for a couple of reasons. One is that the force of your impact is going to be spread out over a much smaller area, perhaps hurting your sub more than you intended. Also the stroke will be a glancing blow. The bulk of the energy will be delivered into the top few layers of the skin, causing more of a stingy sensation. Many beginning subs, especially the ones who are not masochists, prefer a nice, sensual thud where the force of the impact is spread over a large area and the energy is absorbed by the fat and muscle tissue that lie beneath the skin.

4419-b-50-shades-floggerIf I was going to redesign this toy, I’d first of all make the impact area wider and perhaps a little longer as well. I’d also give the business end a more weight by using different materials, maybe roll the center of the toy in plastic in a direction perpendicular to the handle and then sheathing (I love that word) the whole thing in leather. Then the Palm would feel more solid, to both the top and bottom. Of course, this would mean a smaller profit margin for the yahoos who are selling these things at a ridiculous price of twenty-five bucks a pop. Ouch, that really stings.

The Please Sir flogger ($30) has the same problem. How is anyone expected to deliver a satisfying thud with this little feather-duster, let alone a solid thwack. I’m not saying that everybody needs to be hardcore. There are plenty of couples who want to explore impact play gently or slowly or both. What bothers me is that the manufacturers are giving beginners something so poorly designed that they’re unlikely to experience the sensations that Fifty Shades fans are looking for. Shouldn’t the motivation for making these toys be at least partly about elevating people by bringing their fantasies to life.

Oh, wait, it’s about profit. Nevermind.

Featured image by ABC News. Inline images from Babeland.

8 responses to “Flogger Physics, Or Why Fifty Shades Products Suck

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