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End Effector Theory

The end effector -- or paddle -- used goes a great way to changing the feel of a session with the Spank-O-Matic. Unlike the competing spanking machine, the SOM II has plenty of power to swing even quite heavy effectors. I've recently expanded my paddle selection to include some built-to-order favorites, with a couple more on the way. Since many customers may not understand the design tradeoffs and their impact on an end effector's sensation profile, a bit of theory seems like a wonderful way to lead off this page.

First up, some vital terminology. Effectors can generally be described as stingy or thuddy. Sting is used to mean a surface sensation that most people perceive as sharp and biting. A ping pong paddle stings. Thud is deeper, duller, and generally builds after a strike. A wet twisted towel is a very thuddy implement. Sting and thud actually describe our perception based on the depth of the nerves stimulated by a strike.

Stingy and thuddy implements also have very different effects on the area being struck, depending of course on the power at which they're used. Stingy effectors redden the skin more than thuddy ones, and at high power can create surface bruising, cutting, and splitting. Thuddy effectors have less skin-level result, but create much deeper bruising which may not become visible for several hours. They're also more often responsible for that "can't sit for days" feeling, and logically enough also present the most risk of actual physical damage. With ALL paddling, the user MUST take appropriate care regarding the number, location, and impact of strikes taken by the target, and this is especially true of heavier implements and a machine that never tires!

A spanking machine end effector has five primary characteristics: material, weight, width, flexibility, and length. Each characteristic plays a part if determining the impact type and range of the paddle. It is probably most useful to view sting and thud as TWO continuums with each paddle having a value on both, as most effectors will present both thud and sting in some combination. The wet towel is a great example of an exception, as it is 100% thuddy, while a wooden ruler is so light it might qualify as 100% sting. The primary characteristics have the following implications, although they interact with each other:

Material: Every material has a hardness and a density. A harder surface tends to sting more, while softer materials tend to thud. We'll ignore density in favor of weight (the two are directly related).

Weight: An effector becomes heavier because its material is more dense, or because it has a larger profile (thickness and width). Heavier implements are thuddier, while lighter ones do not penetrate and remain surface stingy.

Width: A given amount of energy is delivered by a stroke, and that energy is distributed over a contact patch based largely on the paddle width. A wider paddle provides more contact patch, delivering less energy per square inch for a given stroke power. This makes the wider paddle more stingy than the narrower paddle, since a lower energy level does not penetrate as deeply.

Flexibility: An effector flexing along its length has an unusual effect.. it amplifies the tendency of the far contact area to be struck with more impact than the near contact area. In the case of one stroke across both cheeks, the far cheek will always take a stronger hit, and more so with a more flexible implement. An effector flexing across its width has a different characteristic. This behavior tends to make an effector more thuddy as it transfers more energy more evenly.

Length: Specific to the SOM II, if effectors of different lengths are compared and both are light enough to reach the SOM II's maximum arc speed, the longer paddle will hit at a higher impact speed. That means a harder stroke.

The edges of an effector are vitally important. They generally add some sting to any impact, even on a very thuddy implement. My Lexan paddles, for example, have a small bevel thnat adds good sting without a high propensity to cut as woudl a crisp edge. The oak paddles, on the other hand, feature a relatively broad roundover which minimizes the edge sting. Adding holes to a paddle -- first done on a theory that they eliminate a supposed "cushion" of air -- actually adds edge and the sting additional that goes with edge. Again, crisp vs. bevel vs. roundover changes apply. With high impact, holes can physically stretch the skin and create surface color and bruising on their own. All else the same, a paddle with holes delivers a more potent whack than one without.

The High End and Effectors

Many of the people looking for a spanking machine are concerned about the machine's ability to deliver hard whacks, play at the high end of the range. Almost all of those people have been quite pleasantly surprised with the SOM II's ability. A few have indeed "needed" the SOM II XP to get where they wanted to go. However, it's important to note that the SOM II swings lighter and average weight effectors just as powerully as the XP... perhaps even a little faster and harder since less pressurized air has to make it down the hose. Only heavier effectors let the XP's massive amount of power translate to harder striking.

The transition point is roughly the weight of the Standard Paddle. The heavy oak Fraternity Paddle and polycabonate Whack Stick can be swung more powerfully with the XP. Whether looking for more high end XP options or just for more thuddy implements with a SOM II head unit, you can also stack paddles. When stacking, the effectors need not match. However, you should not generally back a paddle with a more flexible paddle, and be wary when mixing polycarbonate and wood because the rigid wood may be stressed by the flexible polycarbonate. Great stacks include the longest Stated Paddle backed with the Whack Stick, two Standard Paddles, two Oak Rulers, a Standard Paddle backed with a Whack Stick, and even two Whack Sticks.


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Standard Lexan Paddle

Standard Lexan Paddle

The original SOM II paddle, 3/8" thick clear Lexan (polycarbonate) with a narrow handle and wider striking surface. This ultra-durable paddle is a great overall end effector. Balanced between sting and thud.

SOM II Lexan Paddle: $50

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Cane Set

Cane Set

This accessory set, pictured top in the photo at left, includes an oak cane mount and three different canes. Each cane is 30" long, and made of white fiberglass with smooth rounded ends. The available diameters are 1/4", 5/16", and 3/8" for a range of delivered sensations. The pair of mount blocks orient in different ways to firmly hold the three different canes. This is the perfect accessory for anyone who likes caning! Fast-moving and light, canes are stingy implements.

SOM II Cane Set: $50

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Oak Paddle

Oak Ruler

The Oak Ruler paddle, pictured middle at left, is well-crafted and finished with clearcoat. It is a single piece of American Red Oak measuring 30" long, 1-5/8" wide, and 3/4" thick. This is a stout, narrow paddle that delivers a solid whack. Generally thuddy, with edge roundovers that minimize accompanying sting.

SOM II Oak Ruler: $25

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Staged Paddle Set

Staged Paddle Set

This accessory set, pictured bottom in the photo at left, consist of three parts of 1/4" Lexan (polycarbonate) used together to provide several spanking sensations. You will always use the longest piece, which is the striker. However, 1/4" Lexan is too flexible for the power of the SOM II. Back the striker with one or both shorter pieces to adjust the flexibility and create your perfect sensation. Mostly stingy.

SOM II Staged Paddle Set: $50

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Fraternity Paddle

Fraternity Paddle

The solid oak Fraternity Paddle, pictured top at left, delivers a serious smack, especially when powered by the mighty XP. This 3/4" thick paddle is 3-1/2" wide, which gives it a spread out sting on top of the core thud of impact.

SOM II Fraternity Paddle: $50

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Standard Paddle with Holes

Standard Paddle with Holes

Shown middle at left, this is the Standard Paddle with the addition of 25 3/8" holes, lightly bevelled on one side and crisp on the other. The 3/8" polycarbonate material is heavy enough to deliver lots of thud, but the holes add significant sting. Using the crisp side is particularly stingly, with a high incidence of cutting at higher power. This paddle is not for the faint of heart!

SOM II Standard Paddle with Holes: $75

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Whack Stick

Whack Stick

The bottom paddle at left is the Whack Stick, a 1/2" thick narrow effector of polycarbonate. It flexes just a bit, and can deliver a mightly whack. it is heavy on the thud, with a bit of sting especially aroudn the edges.

SOM II Whack Stick: $50
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