When I first started to get into BDSM, in my teens, I never imagined myself as sexually dominant in any way. The loss of control, while having clear instructions to follow, and pain as pleasure were the primary draws. Of course, all of this was filtered through a sex negative culture, in material that tried very hard to be inaccessible to me. Apparently, people under the age of 18 in the US do not have sexual urges, and therefore have no use for things like medically accurate sex ed, and my eyes totally aren’t rolling right now. Today, I know different, and while health reasons keep me home from dungeons, clubs, and fetish balls, I am a switch: one who receives erotic satisfaction from submitting and dominating. Sometimes, both at once can be accomplished, but that’s another blog post.
One of the things I managed to grasp early on were the concepts of various tools of the trade. Thanks to progressive cable channels like MTV and HBO, which aired things like the “Sex in the 90’s” and “Real Sex” series, respectively, I knew the difference between floggers and paddles and the like. Like many, I assumed all implements alike, but as I began to meet people who owned these items, I learned the bite of a flogger was distinct from the sting of a paddle, and that whips and canes are for experts only. Crops always intrigued me, as they’re one of the most misunderstood BDSM implements.
Take the Tan Your Hide Crop, by Sportsheets, for example, which Peepshow Toys kindly sent (and patiently waited) for our review at no charge. This is not a professional crop. I’ll get that out of the way, now. This, like many Sportsheets items, is priced for and marketed to the average couple looking to spice things up in the bedroom. The copy on the back of the package is a brief few paragraphs of romance novel trash erotica implying the intent of the enclosed crop is to dole out spankings, while chasing each other naked around the house. If you thought you were going to get any sting from a spanking from this, you’d be mistaken. I’m sorry to say, if you play the game described, you’ll be playing a very long time – it involves leaving marks. This crop doesn’t leave marks.
That’s not a bad thing, though, as I cringe when I see people engaging in BDSM without a clue. The potential for real injury is high when using certain implements. This crop is for amateurs, and as long as amateurs are running around spanking each other, the potential for injury is minimal. It’s 60% polyurethane, 30% ABS plastic, 5% polyurethane foam, and 5% polyester, so I’m pretty sure that’s vegan (I’m not, so correct me if I’m wrong on this). The weaving on the grip and rod is soft to the touch, like leather that’s been well-conditioned. It’s really a lovely feeling. The keeper (business end), though, is rougher, with the texture of cardboard. It wilts like a flower petal when it hits the skin, which isn’t going to inflict any sting, but also isn’t going to direct your sub’s chin anywhere. What it will do, though, is make a noise. It’s folded over in such a way, and stiff enough and thin enough to deliver a nice, loud crack!
Crops aren’t for spanking butts, primarily anyway. Yes, I know – lots of Doms use them this way, and I do on occasion, too, but it’s not their primary function. You’re very likely to hit more with the rod than the keeper on an area as large as the buttocks. If that’s the case, why not use a cane? If you’re going for a long-range, trained sharp sting, why not use a whip or flogger? If you’re going for impact, use a paddle. Long crops, like this one, have too much air resistance and too little control to be used for impact play.
Long crops are best used for protocol training. That is, they direct the sub’s body where you want it, and allow you to keep your distance, depriving them of your touch. In the hands of the right experts, short crops are ideal for orgasmic genital spanking. I can’t tell you the ecstasy that is a well-placed clit spanking with a crop in the right trained hands. Sportsheets does make a stiff, short, 10″ crop in their Sex & Mischief line, which might be better suited for impact play.
I can’t get over how the handle feels, though, and the guard is a nice touch. However, there’s a loop coming out of the guard instead of attached to the end of the grip. It’s awkward in use. You either have to wrap the loop around the grip or let it rest against your hand. It also doesn’t hang right, because the nail or peg hit the grip and then the whole crop sits at an angle against the wall. I plan to cut it off.
If you’re looking for a light BDSM crop for play, I do recommend this one. While not pro dungeon quality, I can tell you that since we’ve had it, it hasn’t fallen apart and it resists dust and cat hair pretty well. It won’t offer a lot of pain but it will offer a nice loud crack, stimulating your partner’s sense of sound if they have it. It’s easy to hold, easy to use, and very easy on the eyes. So, for people who enjoy running around the house smacking each other, this is a fun addition to your toy box.
If you were looking for something more professional, especially for protocol training, I was thrilled to see Peepshow carries my trusty Spartacus leather 21″ riding crop. I highly recommend it for teaching your sub how to sit, stay, and obey.
You can get your new crop from the surprisingly fantastic selection at Peepshow Toys for a very affordable price, especially when you use code mary for 10% off your entire order!