cw: lots of impact play; photos include at least one realistic human skull, an animal skull, and one cartoony spider item
That shitty sex toy store trip from my Icicles No. 8 review yielded quite a number of toys that I haven’t seen anywhere else. My favorite from that particular haul was this impact toy. Aesthetically I love it, and in use…well, like all the rest, it took me a while to write a review for it. But for this one, it’s not because I didn’t try it out for a while. I used it probably within the first week. The first use was just so overwhelming that I actually couldn’t write about it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Ouch! Skulls & Bones Crop features…wait for it…a skull. I know, you are shocked. Obviously, this is why we picked it up; beneath the geeky t-shirts and frilly dresses beats a very gothy heart, and my partner’s tastes are similar. (As is their dress sense, with less frill.) The skull detail is about three inches long, and made out of bonded leather. It looks padded, but it most definitely is not. The illusion comes from the fact that the stick reaches nearly to the top of the, uh, cranium, which makes it look rounded. The remainder of the stick is covered in criss-crossed bonded leather, and there’s a nice thick handle with a little strap, which isn’t super great for hanging the toy up (it’s anchored partway down rather than at the end) but nice for tucking around a top’s fingers for a secure hold. The stick itself is pretty firm and unyielding.
The first time we used it, we also happened to try several other things at the same time. I had my first experience with waxplay, and Damien and I also decided to try out bastinado just to see if it was something we enjoyed. I may still try to write this experience up sometime, but suffice to say: both things were painful and wonderful and left me drowning in subspace. Every time I tried to write about it I just turned into a babbling fool. Fantastic, but not super useful for reviewing.
I did have enough presence of mind to notice that, with the Skull & Bones crop, I couldn’t really feel the “skull” part. It felt like I was being hit with the stick, and only the stick. I’m not opposed to caning (and that’s traditional for bastinado so hey) but it was somehow unexpected. I’d thought it would be a little more like the light flick of a crop, or even the diffused, spread-out sensation of a small paddle.
A while later we had a good, thorough test of the Skull & Bones, without my brain going completely fuzzy and useless. (A little fuzzy and useless, but not completely fuzzy and useless.) Some repeated testing has confirmed that for the most part, the sensation comes from the stick, as I’d thought. Lighter smacks mean I can feel the whole head of the crop more, with diffused sensations, though the central stick is still prominent. But any hard hits are all stick, and extremely intense. I will say, though, in neither form does it feel like a regular riding crop.
With a traditional crop, the sensation comes from the flap of folded leather at the end. This creates a snapping sort of sensation, fairly surface-y. While many toys are sold as crops that are more like the Skull & Bones, I find them fairly different sensations. Damien even helped me compare by alternating the Skull & Bones with our traditional riding crop. (They also used both to play a sweet drum solo on my thighs, but that’s not relevant.)
I described the pain from the traditional crop as being “higher pitched.” It’s a lighter sting, a little more surface-y, without being the rubber band sting that I experience most with things like silicone spatulas or extremely whippy dowels. The sound, Damien noticed, was also literally higher pitched, which was interesting—it sounded like a light snap, which fits the sensation pretty well.
The pain from the Skull & Bones is more solid, somehow. It isn’t remotely a thudding sensation, but something about it—whether because the stick is more unyielding than the leather riding crop’s, or because of how the skull slightly diffuses the sensations, or some combination—feels more like a slap than a sting. It’s also very direct and intense. I don’t know the exact count, but a few blows in with the Skull & Bones and I was actively whimpering, the pain having built up much more quickly than it would with the traditional crop, or with a paddle. The sound is much more of a solid slap, and actually really satisfying.
It definitely made Damien do their evil dom grin.
That said, with practice, this toy is beautifully flexible in its usage. Repeated blows on the same spot quickly became delightfully overwhelming, and in our early testing sessions I had to call for a break pretty quickly, but Damien found they can help me take more if they either move the blows around, or alternate with lighter taps and gentler hits. Also, while most of my toys I prefer on my butt and thighs, this one is just light enough, especially when wielded carefully, that they can easily hit my arms, my upper back, my legs, my breasts. The pain can be quickly intense, or it can gradually build up. The session can be a few blows and we’re done, or last…a while. Don’t ask me how long. I’m maintaining enough brain power during these sessions to write a review, I can’t do that and keep track of time.
I wound up liking this toy so much that we’ve had sessions lasted much longer than intended. We went into aftercare mode, and then both of us decided we weren’t quite done and I tossed my cozy blanket off for more—and that’s something that’s never happened before. I anticipate asking for this toy a lot in the future, and I’m pretty sure Damien will oblige.
Also, this is the toy that made me learn that with enough pleasurable pain, I just start giggling. Please note that I am no stranger to impact. I’ve been getting spanked for years, and loving every second of it. But the Skull & Bones sets me a-giggling. Maybe the toy just hurts more, or maybe it’s encouraging Damien’s delightfully sadistic side to assert itself. I wouldn’t know, I’m too busy giggling and yelping on the floor, and then asking for more.
The Bottom Line
For an impact toy that I’ve only seen in questionable shops and online, the Ouch! Skull & Bones Crop is a pretty good toy! It’s affordable (under twenty at the time of this writing) and attractive if that’s your kind of aesthetic, and capable of delivering! If you’re interested in cane-like sensations or a versatile impact toy without too steep a learning curve, or if you just want to channel Skeletor in your kink sessions, this can’t hurt. Well, okay, it can. But you’ll probably like it.
Buy from Amazon for $17.44
Update 11-27-19: The head of the crop came off while we were playing with it today! We’re pretty sure we can glue it back on. This was after many months of EXTREMELY VIGOROUS use, and I still consider this a good budget toy.
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