Paddles

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  • Orgasm Rating
  • Address 250 W. 26th St. (7th & 8th Aves.) New York, NY
  • Website http://www.paddlesnyc.com
  • A long tunnel—purple-lit walls covered with cryptic graffiti—leads down an intimidating flight of stairs into Paddles. There are two floors, numerous rooms (some semi-private), and enough types of apparatus to satisfy anyone’s deviant desires. The well-maintained equipment is covered in top-quality black leather. Playthings include a suspended cage, bondage tables, spanking horses, and tons of wall and ceiling restraints.

    Much of Paddles’s success is owed to its conscientious owner, Michael—master spanker and top—who goes out of his way to keep his patrons happy. For example, he has introduced designated non-smoking areas for customers who like their asses red, but want to keep their lungs pink. Master Michael runs a clean establishment, quite devoid of the sleaze factor that often makes other S&M clubs so unpleasant. Unwanted advances and public masturbation are discouraged, and a word from the owner is usually enough to squash problems before they escalate.

    You can dress as elaborately or skimpily as you wish, and a coat check is available should you want to shed your duds entirely. You’ll see all types here, from newbies bundled up in winter sweaters to scantily clad dommes decked out in sexy vinyl to nearly naked subs in black leather G-strings. While the crowd appears to be primarily straight, we saw plenty of bi, lesbian, and transexual frolickers. By the way, gawkers need not attend. Be aware, though: If you’re looking for wall-to-wall models, this isn’t the scene for you. On the night we visited, the aesthetic for females ran heavily toward long, stringy hair and tank tops, and for the guys, Dockers and white Reeboks. There wasn’t a hot bod in the crowd, and—at 29—this writer was the youngest person there by a visible margin.

    Regular patrons are fiercely loyal and communal, but definitely not cliquey. First-timers shouldn’t be afraid to chat them up. They tend to be quite gregarious and will not only tell you whether they’re a top, bottom, or switch, but will likely tell you about their favorite TV show, where they went to college, and how they keep razor rash at bay.

    Oh, and after you wear out your flogging arm on that sexy, panting masochist, stop by the Whips & Licks Café for a two-dollar coke, cookies, and nachos. Paddles doesn’t serve alcohol so if you must drink, take your swigs before showing up.

    FYI, every Friday the first 50 women receive free paddles, and on the first Saturday of the month the club hosts an over-the-knee spanking party, which gets underway at 7pm; ladies wearing a schoolgirl uniform get in free. Check the club’s website for a schedule of upcoming special events.

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