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My Magazine > Editors Archive > Advice > Shock Treatment
Shock Treatment   by Greta Christina

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Reviewer Greta Christina has worked in and around the sex industry for over a decade writing about it, editing books about it, and living it. She edited Paying For It, a collection of articles by all kinds of sex workers: dommes, escorts, peep show girls, T-girls. Her novella called Bending is out in Susie Bright's book Three Kinds of Asking For It (published by Simon & Schuster and can be found at In response to overwhelming member requests for reviews of sex toys, sexy films, and other sex whatnots, Ms. Christina brings her girl-about-sex wisdom twice monthly to You can check out Ms. Christina on her web site, [extern url='' target='_blank' text=''].


Electric Paddle, $18.00
Available at Extreme Restraints [extern url='' target='_blank' text='Extreme Restraints']

Yes, it looks doofy as hell. It looks like a racquet from a cheap backyard badminton set. You just have to get over that. And it doesn't come packaged like a cool nasty sex toy. It comes packaged like a hand-held bug zapper, which is exactly what it is. I like the Electric Paddle a lot -- it felt intensely good (okay, it felt bad in an intensely good way), and it has a lot to recommend it, including some features that are highly unusual as well as delightful. But you do have to be willing to get over the doofiness factor.

Basically, this is an electrical playtoy for people who are chicken about electrical play. And as someone who's chicken about electrical play myself, I heartily approve. (That may come as a surprise to some of you, since I worked for years for a company that sold electrical toys and even produced and wrote a how-to video about them; but I've always been kind of a chickenshit about playing with them myself.)

A quick intro. The Electric Paddle is a smallish, lightweight, racquet-shaped device with a battery pack in the handle and a button on the handle's side. You hold the button down and the paddle gets charged up; when you let go of the button, the charge disappears. And when you touch someone with the paddle while it's charged up, it zaps their skin with a small but very noticeable electric shock. I don't know a huge amount about electricity, but based on what I do know, the Electric Paddle generates what seems to be a static electricity charge. When you touch someone with the charged paddle, it only shocks them once, even if you keep it turned on with the paddle pressed against their skin. And the sensation isn't one of current or of muscle contraction -- it feels a lot like the shock you get when you walk with bare feet on a thick carpet and then touch a metal doorknob. Only rather more so.

I should tell you right off the bat -- "paddle" is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, the size and shape of the toy are very paddle-like. But the feel as it lands on your skin couldn't be more different from a paddle. This is not a "thud" toy at all. This is a serious "sting" toy. It discharges onto your skin with a sharp, sudden, cruel bite, focused on a very small area. The pain is erotic, even sensual in a way, but it's not hypnotic or massage-y like a spanking or a flogging can be. This toy wakes you the hell up. The first time I got zapped with it, it scared me half out of my skin. I almost thought it was too much. But by the third or fourth time, I was squealing when the shock hit and begging for more. It doesn't feel quite like any other play toy I've used, but if I had to compare it to something, I'd say it's like being hit with a riding crop or a single-tail whip. But it gives you that sensation without any actual impact at all.

And this is the Number One distinctive and special thing about the Electric Paddle: the fact that it creates pain without impact. This has a huge host of advantages. You can use it for longer than an impact toy -- a paddle or a riding crop, say -- without creating welts or bruising. For that matter, you can use it for longer than an impact toy without creating carpal tunnel syndrome in the top's hand and wrist. (My lovely testing assistant was very much in favor of this, as her hand often gives out before my butt does.) It's good for masochistic masturbators as well; you can use it on yourself quite easily, which is tricky to do with most impact toys. There's also a surprise factor that adds to the Electric Paddle's intensity; there's no telltale "whoosh" sound of a whip or a crop slicing through the air, so the pain comes completely out of the blue, amping up both the scariness and the "wake the hell up" quality. And you can use it on parts of your body that aren't safe to strike -- say, just for example, the soles of the feet -- without worrying about breaking delicate bones. Sadistic foot fetishists should definitely consider adding this to their repertoire.

Plus the sparks look cool in the dark.

Now for the downsides. (I suppose someday I'll write a review that's completely positive with absolutely no downsides, but if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath. They don't call me a critic for nothing.) The big downside is that you can't control the intensity of the shock. If the intensity is too much, you can't dial it down, and if it's not quite mean enough for you, you can't crank it up. The shock level does vary somewhat within a small range, but that variety seems to come more or less at random. Also, the round racquet shape makes it difficult to use on hard-to-reach parts of the body. If it were shaped more like a wand or a rod, it'd be more handy as a sex toy. But then you couldn't swat flies with it, which is after all what the damn thing is made for.

What's more, you really cannot use the Electric Paddle as a paddle. Well, you could, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's far too flimsy. If you hit someone with it hard enough to actually have an impact, it seems like it wouldn't hold up for long. (That's not really a criticism, but you should be aware of it.) And there is the doofiness factor to consider. If you're trying to maintain an intimidating image as a top, you may not want to be pulling yellow plastic tennis-racket things out of your toybag.

Now we come to the obligatory Electrical Play Safety Lecture. The Electric Paddle is fairly lightweight as electrical toys go; the shock it emits is quite noticeable and even intense, but it's definitely in the "touching a metal doorknob" family rather than the "sticking a fork in a socket" family. The toy does apparently generate static electricity on the surface of the skin rather than running current through the body, and current which is what you need to be careful about with electrical play. (If you know something about electrical toys, this one works less like a TENS unit type device, and more like a Violet Wand.) The packaging says it's not a toy and tells you not to touch it when it's on; but it also says repeatedly that it's not harmful to humans at all. I think they're warning you against touching it, not because it's dangerous, but because it hurts. And as a pervert, you already know it hurts. That's what you're going for.

But Extreme Restraints, the sex toy company I got it from, says on their Electric Paddle description to "please use all precautions for electrical play," and I'm going to echo that. In particular, don't use this or any electrical sex toy if you have a pacemaker or any other electrically-controlled medical implants. You don't want to fuck around with that shit.

Now back to the fun stuff. I haven't even mentioned one of the very best things about the Electric Paddle -- and that's the price. Extreme Restraints is currently selling the Electric Paddle for a whopping $18.00, plus shipping. That's pretty damn cheap for a good SM toy -- especially an SM toy that's as unusual and intense as this one -- and it's unbelievably cheap for an electrical toy. So you can try out its unique form of sadistic pleasures at very little risk. If you like it, that's great. You might even find yourself moving on to a Violet Wand someday. And if you don't like it... no great harm done. You can always use it to zap the bugs in your backyard.

Feel free to write feedback to Greta on the site: sextoyreviewer.
You can also visit Greta's blog: [extern url='' target='_blank' text='']
or visit her web site:[extern url='' target='_blank' text='']