CW: DDLG/CGL, D/s, impact play
As I’ve written before, adhering to an aesthetic is not a requirement to participate in or identify with a kink. DDLG—that is, Daddy Dom/Little Girl, or CGL for Caregiver/Little, a model of Dominant/Submissive power exchange dynamics—is certainly associated with certain aesthetics: a lot of pink, lace, plushies, hearts. These are never a requirement. I don’t care if you look like Dave Bautista and dress exclusively in industrial goth gear; if you find a connection with the “little” part of the equation, you’re welcome to it without changing a damn thing about yourself.
That said, sometimes, at least for me, it can be fun to explore the aesthetic. Whether that means browsing forums, making a “little stuff” Pinterest board, participating in CGL Tumblr, or whatever other resource you might find useful, sometimes it is fun to look at the pink-lace-plushie-heart-covered side of the world. Sometimes if I’m having trouble accessing the soft, vulnerable, “little” part of myself, I’ll browse around to look at the most stereotypical little content I can possibly find.
And that brings me to DDLG Playground.
I first came across them on Tumblr, but I’ve also seen them on Pinterest and elsewhere in the CGL side of the Internet. DDLG Playground is an online store that specializes in curating items that match the CGL aesthetic. Their products, ranging from clothes to pins to light BDSM equipment, are often decked out in frills, teddy bears, and other cutesy details, although there are also some gothy offerings and other non-traditional little gear. (They’re a little gendered but not too aggressively so, but enough that it is worth a mention if it might cause you dysphoria.) I may not fit some of the little stereotypes, but goddamn am I a sucker for lacy dresses and ducky socks, so this is a site I’ve spent a lot of time browsing for inspiration.
However, until recently, I never bothered buying anything from them. While I like a lot of their clothes, and they do feature plus sizes, the size charts are inconsistent and many of the “plus sizes” are definitely not going to fit me. (When it’s listed as plus size but only goes up to a 32-inch waist, that conversation is over.) As a fat girl, I’m anxious about spending money on something I might not be able to wear. And while their plushie selection is amazing, I am definitely not hurting for stuffed animals. Unfortunately.
But while I was browsing for inspiration a few months ago, I realized there was one product I was lacking in. I’m a kinkster, in a full-time D/s relationship, and my littleness features heavily in how I perceive and demonstrate my submission. Why, then, did I not have any kink toys that looked the part?
So, to the kink toys I went! My spouse and I deliberated long and hard (heh) over what to get, of course—did we want a pink ball gag? A glass wand? But let’s be honest, I’m pretty predictable. I picked out two paddles, and two paddles I got.
And then…the wait.
Here’s the thing about DDLG Playground. They don’t keep a stockroom full of stuff. Instead, they take the orders, and things are shipped directly from the manufacturer. These are often located somewhere in Asia. Combined with the pandemic delaying shipments, this means the wait was…interesting. They shipped pretty quickly and I got the shipping information very promptly, which was great! However, at least if you’re in the US, eventually your items get on a boat across the Pacific Ocean. At that point, there is no way to keep track of it. It’s on a (motherfucking) boat.
I got one paddle within about two weeks. The other took long enough that I started to think it was lost in transit…until it showed up! Suddenly! When I’d been on the verge of asking for my money back!
So that was nice.
The two paddles are both extremely cute, and definitely add a shade of littleness to my wall-mounted kink toy collection. But as we’ve discussed, aesthetic isn’t everything. So here are two miniature product reviews!
Littlespace Paddle & Card Holder
This toy was the first to arrive, and it is so fucking cute, you guys. Shaped like a lollipop, it has a chubby, cartoony face in profile, wearing a unicorn horn, with “Unicorn” written in bubble letters. The back has a slot for a card, so theoretically you could hang this off your bag and use it to scan your public transit card with no contact. I, however, live in the sticks, where the closest thing to public transit is asking a guy for a ride on his tractor, so that’s not so useful for me.
I was really excited when I got it. I love spankings! I love cute things! Surely the combination would be amazing!
Damien spanked me in the laundry room through my panties, and I couldn’t feel a thing.
“Huh,” I said. There was some noise, but almost no sensation. We thought maybe it was because the quarters were too cramped for their arm to get any real momentum going.
So we tried in the bedroom, where they could get a better swing going, and on my bare skin.
Y’all, I’m pretty sure I’ve had more physical sensation while reading spanking erotica alone in my desk chair. The stick appears to be made of cardboard, and the vinyl-ish surface just…doesn’t do anything. Damien tried to hit me hard and it didn’t hurt me, though it might have screwed up their arm for a bit. Whoops.
Now, that is not to say there’s no reason to purchase this. For someone who is curious about spanking but scared to try it, or someone who likes the experience and sound of a spanking but has a low pain tolerance, this would be a fantastic toy! Not everyone who wants a spanking is actually much of a masochist. Betty Butch also pointed out in a recent video that cam performers might benefit from a spanking toy that doesn’t hurt, and I imagine this would be great for a cam performer specializing in a certain cutesy aesthetic.
Anyway, it looks nice in my collection. Sure, for $25 I’d like more, but hey: that’s why I tried it and you didn’t.
Buy for $24.99
Pink Heart Paddle
The pink heart paddle took the longest to arrive, but once it arrived, all was forgiven. Yes, it does look a bit “generic paddle”-y. There are tons of paddles out there with hearts and cut-outs. But this one just did it for me: the perfect light pink, the single heart, the studs, the point at the end. Once it arrived I found that it isn’t bonded leather or vinyl as they often are, but one solid piece of…I honestly don’t know what it’s made out of. The site just says “vegan leather” which often means PVC, so we’ll go with that. It’s about a half an inch thick, and the studs and stitching are purely for aesthetic rather than holding anything together, but it’s cute and well-made, without any wonky stitches or rough edges.
And in use…uh…
Listen, this might be a pretty generic design for a paddle, but there’s a reason. It fucking works. The heart-shaped hole in the middle cuts down on wind resistance, so it comes down hard and fast. It’s a loud, wonderful smack, and it leaves a beautiful surface sting without feeling too much like a rubber band or a whip. The pink color is both cute and an excellent bit of foreshadowing because my ass turns that color in like four blows.
Its small size and sturdy handle also makes this toy pretty versatile. Damien can spank me while they’re standing and I’m laying down, which is our most common spanking position, but it’s also really good for over-the-knee spankings due to its small size and easy precision.
So this toy might’ve taken a few months, but boy was it worth it. Now that we have it, we use this one a lot for pleasure and maintenance spankings.
Buy for $24.99
The Bottom Line
Buying from DDLG Playground was an interesting experience. Their customer service seems pretty good, their site design is easy, and their selection is pretty vast. I’m still uneasy about buying clothes from them, though.
Whatever else, the toys I did buy were very budget-friendly, and of decent quality. One worked for me, and one didn’t. The shipping was an adventure, but it wasn’t expensive and everything did get here eventually.
So if you’re really craving something that looks aesthetically little, and you don’t have a ton of money, and you have time to wait, DDLG Playground is a pretty fun little shop!
DDLG Playground does not have an affiliate program, so I will be earning no money from any links, nor is this review sponsored. All products were purchased with my own money.