Paddle Discipline The Science

I’m not an expert in human physiology. Probably someone from a university sports science department would be able to give a much more detailed explanation of the physiological processes involved during corporal punishment. But I am a mathematician, and I know something about the mechanics of moving bodies, so I’ll describe what happens with a very simple model: a rigid object (the paddle) impacting upon an elastic body (the bottom) supported by another rigid object (the pelvic bone). I won’t consider shape, like the curvature of the bottom, at all; the elastic body will simply behave like a compression spring. I am very happy to be corrected if I have made any unwarranted assumptions.

It’s important to remember that the paddle has a direct effect on the bottom <em>only</em> through its speed, both at the moment of impact, and subsequently. The weight of the paddle has only an indirect effect, because a heavier paddle has more kinetic energy and doesn’t slow down as fast when it encounters the resistance of the bottom.

It’s also important to remember that kinetic energy isn’t the only thing keeping the paddle moving; there’s also the force from the arm.

One is that the paddlers always seem to stand forward of where someone caning in the position would do so. This will be to do with the weight of the paddle and the need if each stroke is to count to the maximum you need to follow through beyond the stroke,and with the weight of the paddle you can’t do that efficiently from behind.

The second is why for example, the lady who paddled me , unlike most other staff in the school never used her desk as an aid for boys to bend over…In the case of paddling this could , as you demonstrate lead to a nasty injury…she presumably applied this to the cane without thinking.

Of course the American answer to this is allow a desk but ensure the student is supported on both lower arms, where the dynamics rather than stretched and grabbing the desk ( the arms allow the body to ‘rock’ (elbow joints)on impact) but even this sometimes leads to haematoma as there is nowhere for excess force to go other than into compression…….and capillary fragility won’t withstand the trauma….Also the instructions are to rest on elbows but stand well back , especially males for obvious reasons.

Much simpler and safer, let alone producing a result without that risk of trauma is to adopt either the traditional ‘grab ankles’ position , provided the legs are a couple of feet apart for stability ( now considered undignified – (but then the whole process could hardly be seen as meeting that criteria) ; or ; better ; use the brace position against the wall with the back at 90 degrees to the palms of the hands, and the rear pushed well out . Also these positions allow you to , as she did aim low and come from below with a slightly upwards motion which directs the force of the paddle into the fleshy part …. . but not directly at the bone and protects the tail bone further…….Moreover the hand in the back stops any unexpected movement upwards whioch would expose the tail bone.

Little risk of excess blunt trauma and the hands can’t fly back because if they did the student would fall……..and if you think you’ve seen that position recently, but don’t know where, try the basic stress positions at GITMO.. Of course in school you only hold it for a couple of minutes at most………..

Human flesh is essentially incompressible and can only be displaced. All the tissues are filled with incompressible water. There can be both bulk displacement of flesh and displacement of liquid in the capillaries.

The best analysis might involve calculating how quickly the kinetic energy is dissipated (= power) when it collides. A light paddle will shed energy more quickly than a heavy although it will have less energy to start.

In fact, to be completely incompressible would be inconsistent with Newton’s Third Law, that action and reaction are equal and opposite. (It’s also inconsistent with Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, but that’s much more esoteric and not directly relevant, so I won’t pursue that line.)

To explain, I’ll tell you a story. There’s a mattress on the ground, and you’re standing on it. You’re exerting a force on the mattress, equal to your weight: that’s the action.

Newton’s Third Law says that the mattress must also be exerting a force on you, equal in magnitude to your weight, but in the opposite direction. That’s the reaction.

Clever mattress! How does it know to be pushing upwards with a force <em>exactly</em> equal to your weight? If it were a little more, you would go flying in the air! And if it were a little less, it couldn’t support you.

The answer, of course, is that the springs in the mattress below your feet are compressed. The amount of the compression is just right, so that the compressed springs are exerting the correct upward force on your feet.

So far, so good. But now what happens if you’re standing on a concrete slab? Newton’s Third Law still holds, and your weight hasn’t vanished. So the concrete slab must be exerting a force upward on your feet. And the origin of this force is compression in the concrete slab below your feet. Not much compression, admittedly; but there must be some, otherwise there would be no force.

So everything can be compressed, even if just a little. Imagine a brick on the ground, and suppose you hit it sideways. It starts sliding. To a first approximation, it just slides as a whole. But look more carefully. The instant you hit the brick, the face you’ve hit starts to move. But the far end doesn’t! In fact the impacted end of the brick is compressed slightly, and this compression wave moves down to the far end. This is a small effect, but it’s there. Actually the compression wave moves at the speed of sound (in bricks, not in air). After all, what is sound but a compression wave?

Now most liquids are almost incompressible: that’s why hydraulic systems, such as car brakes, work. But they’re not completely incompressible, because nothing is. Further evidence for this is the existence of sonar: if (say) water <em>were</em> completely incompressible, sound waves couldn’t travel in it.

OK, let’s get a bit closer to the subject of this thread. Flesh consists of a collection of cells, and I guess that each cell consists of a glob of liquid-like stuff encased in a membrane. The volume of the cell can be reduced a little by compression, but such a change would not affect the whole cell instantaneously; there would be a compression wave as described for the brick, and this would gradually dissipate within the cell, the energy turning into heat.

More important, though, is the change in shape of the cells when flesh receives an impact. The volume of each cell might change a little, but there will also be a flattening effect: the cells will squidge out. This will, of course, affect the relative positions of the cells. And, as before, this change will not be instantaneous: it will ripple away from the point of impact.

This is fine if the object causing the impact is moving slowly. But if it is moving quickly, and if it doesn’t slow down much after impact (either because it has lots of kinetic energy, or because there’s an external force keeping it moving) then it will be moving faster than the compression wave. So the compression will build up. I guess it’s a bit like a sonic boom in the atmosphere when a supersonic aircraft flies overhead.

Eventually, if the circumstances are right, the flesh will be distorted so much that any further distortion will cause damage.

Apart from some mild “fun” spanking episodes I never witnessed proper cp as I was the one on the receiving end so all I can recall is that one jolted forward if hit with force. I never touched my toes it was either over the knee or bent over the back of a chair.

But a couple of questions for our experts if I may:

Is there any difference between a leather paddle and a wooden paddle? If so any theories why?

I have heard of really wicked descriptions of the cane but in my experience it can be regulated sufficiently such that although painful it does not leave any damage other than a reddening of the target area. Is this down to wrist action or the fact that the cane is a very light implement?

A leather paddle probably weighs less, so has less kinetic energy and therefore slows down more quickly. Also, it is flexible, and this has two effects.

1) It will follow the curve of the bottom rather more. Without working it out properly, I guess it will do so along the line from the handle to the tip. (It won’t have the same 2-dimensional curvature as the bottom, because you can’t get that with something flat without stretching it a lot.) So, for example, the far tip will slow down less than the tip of a wooden paddle while it’s still moving through the air.

2) As a wooden paddle is (almost!) rigid, the arm movement will stop it slowing down as much as a simple kinetic energy calculation would suggest. The flexibility of a leather paddle will mean that this effect is much less pronounced. In other words, the follow through has less of an effect.


A cane is longer than a paddle, and so is moving faster when it hits. It is springy, so there is some potential energy stored in it, and this stops it slowing down so quickly. This springiness also reduces the effect of the follow-through compared to a wooden paddle, though not as much as a leather paddle (or a belt, for that matter).

But a lot of the effect of a cane comes from stretching the surface later of the flesh. I believe that, a few seconds after a cane stroke, there is a thin red mark, from the compression underneath the cane, with two white marks either side, where the flesh has been stretched. (I use the word “compressed” to mean “compressed in the direction of travel of the cane”. Yes, the amount of overall compression will be small, with the flesh displaced — my preferred word is “squidged”! For those who want the posh maths: assuming the strain tensor is symmetric, it will have three real eigenvalues, one of which will be less than one, representing a compression in the direction of the corresponding eigenvector.)

My principal observation is that the flesh in the buttocks consists mainly of muscle tissue, the most famous muscle being the <em>gluteus maximus</em>, and that this is constructed from cells. So let’s think about what happens to a cell.

I want to model a cell as a squidgy glob of material, almost incompressible, held in place by a cell membrane. Of course the cell has a nucleus as well, but I’m going to ignore it. One might wish to examine in detail what happens to a cell under a sudden impact, but I guess that the ultimate result will be that the cell is squashed! That is, it is much thinner (in the direction of the impact) and broader (in the plane at right-angles to the direction of impact). So the volume of the cell will be much the same, but the membrane will be stretched considerably. This stretching of the membrane will absorb energy (as potential energy within the cell membrane).

Now think about a collection of cells, some of which are in line with the impact. The latter will all be squashed, as described above. That means that the most of the cells beneath the impact will be displaced, and this displacement will continue to the surface of the buttocks, so that the overall volume is essentially unchanged. This displacement might also absorb some energy (as potential energy given by structural distortion).

All the above is true for a static compression of the buttocks, created for instance by holding a paddle against them (or, indeed, by sitting down). For a dynamic compression, caused by an impact, there’s another factor. The displaced cells cannot move instantaneously. They must move over time, and the velocity of these moving cells also absorbs energy (as kinetic energy).

The point now is that, when cells close to the paddle are squashed, the associated displacement can resolve itself to the surface of the buttocks through a fairly short distance, no more than half the width of the paddle. But when cells deeper down are squashed, more cells have to be moved before the displacement is resolved. That will need more energy. In other words:

It is harder to squash a deep cell suddenly, than to squash a near-surface cell suddenly.

If this model is a reasonable approximation, it will support my contention that the compression (in the line of impact) is greater for flesh closer to the paddle, than it is for flesh deeper down.

The issue of the behaviour of cells is an interesting one,.Before embarking in social sciences, I did spend a miserable year directly after school attending a London Medical school working towards the then 2nd MB, and your posting/musings awakened memories of basic histology somewhere in the recesses of my mind.

Cells are important,in two ways, both the fat cells , and also the arterio/venous system which controls the distribution of blood to the tissues. One of the more obvious and quite striking consequences of paddling ( no pun intended), frequently seen in ‘Court’ cases is haemorrhage and resulting haematoma , ( circumscribed collection of blood , sometimes seen as a form of neoplasm (swelling)) or the leakage of blood and serous fluid into tissue spaces, caused by the rupture of the capillary arteries and also the simultaneous/associated rupture of the cell membranes , occasioned by blunt force trauma.

This gives rise, of course the typical dark blue/purple/ deep red swollen bruising which can actually ‘spread’ well beyond the actual site of the trauma itself , and causes many of the ‘horror’ pictures shown by the anti- camp. I believe if my memory serves me well, that you can also see micro haemorrhagic sits ‘ pin prick spots’ or petechiae

The avoidance of this reaction is one of the most important reasons for the ‘good practice’ guideline restricting the swing and thus the force/ depth of compression , and especially deep trauma to the tissues. This type of bruising can remain for up to a couple of weeks, and was of course seen in a more restricted form in the really ‘hard’ canings that used to be delivered in yesteryear, where the stripes were livid and long lasting ( well over a week), and might in extremis lead to breaking of the skin , through the stretching dermal layers which has been discussed elsewhere. .

This is , of course , why those with blood clotting disorders should never be caned or paddled, although different individuals can have differing susceptibilities to capillary rupture , even caused by things as simple as diet or the use of certain painkillers, which can account for the occasional haematoma seen after perfectly moderate punishment. Rare but not unknown. It is the same issue that causes one person to say have a procedure without bruising, whilst others can look like they have been in car crash.

Imagine a paddle, 1cm thick, 8cm wide, and 30cm long. The volume of the paddle is 240 cc. The paddle is made of wood, which has a density of slightly less than 1 gm/cc (wood floats on water); let’s say that the paddle weighs 200gm.

Now imagine a paddle stroke at 10 m/sec (36 km/hr); not terribly fast, but certainly sufficient to cause quite a sting. The kinetic energy at the moment of impact will be 10 joules.

Next, imagine another paddle weighing 70kg (unrealistic, but bear with me). If moving at 0.53 m/sec, this will have the same kinetic energy as the 200gm paddle: also 10 joules.

But a person could weigh 70kg. If he fell from rest under gravity for 0.05 seconds, he would be travelling at 0.53 m/sec; and he would have fallen 3cm during this.

You might like to check that calculation. If it is correct, it indicates that sitting down heavily — which might cause a dull ache, but will certainly not give rise to a sharp sting — involves dissipating the same amount of kinetic energy as the paddling I’ve described. The sting is, I think, caused by the compression of the flesh being concentrated in the small region next to the paddle, when the paddle is moving at high speed. (See my description above of how flesh might be distorted).

That tells me that looking at the kinetic energy is essentially useless for figuring out how much a paddle blow will hurt.

My current opinion is that it’s the velocity of the paddle during its contact with the target which is the only important ingredient. You can then calculate the surface deformation by integration (the constant of integration comes from the initial condition that the deformation is zero at the instant of impact). The internal deformation then comes from the assumptions about the internal structure of the target. Of course the kinetic energy can give an indication of how the velocity changes; but if you don’t actually know the velocity to start with (and not just the kinetic energy) then you won’t be able to get the answer.

We move towards understanding how pain is applied , or created, but to what extent does that correspond to ‘how much will it hurt’?

Firstly is pain either determined by ,or in some way proportionate upon an objective outcome of a singular process of energy transfer directly into motor responses?. Now it is certainly true that in order to compare the delivery of pain careful analysis of the mechanics, or slightly more widely the physics of the situation. Ultimately, one could resort to computer modelling and the rest to try to produce a near definitive solution….. But remember that is only one component of the act of paddling. The administration of pain is one thing ,the perception of pain is another. Even if you were to administer an identical ‘load’ of pain to a given surface on a number of experimental subjects. The EFFECTS of that administration would not be in any manner identical or predictable. Even if given at the same time ( say , for example, something which can be minutely controlled , say a small electric shock) there would be no way in which to ensure they EXPERIENCED the same degree of discomfort….

Medical discussion of pain does allow for elements of a scientific treatment, but also depends crucially upon both emotional and sensory variables, as well as ultimately introducing a completely subjective variable in accepting that pain is what an individual states it to be , whenever he states to be so. , So even if you can measure pain accurately , you cannot represent that as the perception of pain. In the latter case there is no direct equivalence between subjects. When we see three boys all experiencing a near identical caning, and their emotional states afterwards range form breaking to ‘stiff upper lip’ , even this tells us little , for the notion of tolerance of pain is not a purely scalar physiological phenomena, equivalent from one subject to the next

Pain isn’t exhausted simply by the translation of mechanical actions , it depends on , initially being transmitted into specialist receptors in the body ,( nociceptors), part of the nervous system. The intense stimulation of these receptors triggers withdrawal, autonomic responses, and pain. Effectively they are transducers turning stimuli into electrical energy. Different receptors ( there is a detailed typology) are triggered by different stimuli, and they are only triggered once a threshold is reached. Similarly, pain transmission is limited to the operation of these receptors at full strength, a bandwidth, if you prefer, which , presumably explains why , for example, say a cane stroke has a maximum initial sting, which once achieved cannot be enhanced regardless of effort.

Then there is the issue of socio/psychological state and the nature of the physical and emotional environment. . In the case of school punishment this is, I would suggest crucial. It is difficult to determine universally, or to measure differences., but that research done after the Korean war I referred to in an earlier post would support the idea that the more comfortable and familiar the environment within which pain takes place, the more likely one is to discount the pain and trauma . So , for example if you had two boys both punished equivalently , with say, a given number of paddle licks, by the same staff ,member, the impact could vary significantly according to the psychological state of the recipient, their expectations of the situation ,and even their response to the staff member administering punishment- is this someone they would normally trust and respect, if so the punishment is far more likely to have a salutary effect than if it is their bête noire.

Equally the response may itself dependent upon the body language and communication style between them . , which can depend on so many variables……..Just to take one , simple example, it would be counterproductive from the point of view of the intended outcome if the student about to be paddled is goaded and enraged by the staff member to the extent where they project personal hostility between the actors. Then the ‘victim’ is unlikely to reflect during the punishment on how they got to this stage, simply to focus their anger and rage back onto personality involved.

Again there is the environmental conditioning in the school or institution, and the norms and values which are extant in this situation and their ‘fit ‘ with those which characterise institutional stasis.

These latter points are working from the social science end of social psychology, which is the only element I feel fitted to discuss, other more scientific elements . I will leave to those educated in that approach. My end, as a social scientist is just the qualitative parameters.

There are also questions of hormonal balance, and of neuro-muscular transmission , involving biochemistry , neurology, and micro biology which go much too far outside the scope of this posting.,( and my comfort zone!) but have a concrete effect on pain transmission and/or its perception.

It is a complex field of interactions, but then we should marvel that the human psyche is infinitely complex and adaptable! Then again there are the questions of we expect to achieve by the paddling or caning, and does it achieve what we think? Here we need to think flexibly for it may not be a question of ‘the proof of the pudding lies in the eating’, but a question of’ which pudding are we eating and is it the one we thought we were eating?’, but that would be to digress too far from the current question,

has anyone noticed the resurgence of the old idea that redheads are more sensitive to pain, now apparently backed by sufficient research for it to be taken seriously with regard to dental treatment in the US. Typing redheads pain dentists into Google News will get you more hits than you can shake a stick at!

I was very sad to hear this. I had a redheaded classmate at Junior School who got into more than her fair share of trouble and doubtless felt the resulting correction more keenly than other children which was obviously unfair!

The girlfriend I spoke of who got paddled with me, and never learned – Miss F’s daughter- well her most striking characteristic, a huge mane of bright red hair… kidding!! Her Mom used to jest she had to have some attractive features…so perhaps with your posting there’s the start of an empirical theory …… then again as I am a rabid anti-empiricist, perhaps not!

Thank you for your enquiry. There are three differences between a hand spanking and a paddling, each of which might add to the effect you mention.

1. The combination arm+paddle is longer than just an arm, so the paddle is moving faster than the hand. The higher initial speed affects the initial distortion of the flesh, regardless of the energy.

2. A paddle is harder than a hand. This is important for impacts: drop a teacup on a wooden floor (where it will bounce), and then on a concrete floor (where it will shatter). Be sure to do the experiment that way round.

3. Someone giving a spanking might well limit the force used, in order to avoid hurting his/her hand. This doesn’t apply when a paddle is used.

What role size and shape play in the paddle as it relates to fabric (anywhere between gossamer to denim). Can you come up with an experiment? Do a cushion and baby powder and its relative dispersal upon impact with various instruments have any value in the likely bruising and pain caused. The flattening effect on impact is why I ask. New Mexico they had two paddles (akin to golf) according to the student handbook compilations from Corpun but without published dimensions. I wrote about this in another thread but mabe it belongs here?

I noticed the comment about whether redheads are more sensitive to pain. One comment on that is it perhaps because redheads blush more easily than the rest of the population hence it appears that they are feeling the heat more? I have no practical experience on this I hasten to add.

Anyway, on the tolerance of pain, the one thing I did notice at school was that it was surprising who at school could take their punishments and who could not. Age 10 I had a friend who was on the timid side and who had never felt the wrath of the headmaster’s slipper who one day found himself on the receiving end and despite receiving a “good one” (audible outside the study) kept his composure other than a few silent tears which was a much better record than many who tended to vocalise their feelings on the slipper in a very audible manner!

The 1/4 inch dimension in your paddle doesn’t sound plausible. A piece of wood that thin would break. When I was in school the paddles were always 1 inch thick.

Her paddle sounds like a “faux” paddle to me.

Faux Paddle. A clarification is in order TWP said 1/4 ro 1/2. The thinners I’ve heard were 3/8 unless it was for paint!!! A thin paddle would be like a baseball bat and often crack. I have found online a rather sturdy ping pong paddle which might be of avail depending on fabric.

It does not allow what Australia does (i.e. punishment for poor grades) and I’m in agreement with that and I part company with Dr Dominum on that issue. Much of this is a rehash of Southern Handbook thread but the data is new. The column is broken down by the numbers of each gender and the paddlings follow the regulations. Basically 25% of the girls and 50% if the boys are on the receiving between about 10 to 17 years old are established in the Office of Civil Rights Data. Much fewer are paddled in elementary school but that isnt always the case. I have found a custom msde sturdy ping pong paddle online that might do the trick when denim isn’t worn but a thinner fabric

Corporal punishment shall be administered for discipline reasons only. Corporal punishment shall not be administered because a student does not turn in an assignment or makes a failing grade. Corporal punishment may never be used unless the student was informed beforehand that specific misbehavior could occasion its use; and subject to this exception, it should never be used as a first line of punishment.
Paddling shall be the only form of corporal punishment. No student shall receive more than a maximum of five  licks of the paddle and only to the fleshy part of the buttocks.

A teacher or principal must punish corporally in the presence of a second school official (teacher or administrator) who must be informed beforehand, in the students presence of the reason(s)
for the punishment. Paddle specifications: Elementary school 14 long from end to end, 2 wide and ¼ thick oak or ash wood used – middle and high schools,15 x 2 x 3/8.
Spanking must not be inflicted with such force, or in such manner as to be considered cruel and excessive.

Therefore, reasonable and proper application of corporal punishment should be based on such factors as ability of the student to bear it, age, size, sex and observed physical strength, and gravity of the offense.

Paddles shall not be on public display in the classrooms or halls.
Parents may request that their children not be spanked by completing the form in this handbook and delivering it to the building principal.

Enrollment Corporal Punishment Enrollment Corporal Punishment.

Here is the story from the fount of all knowledge and oracle of truth, the UK Daily Telegraph. US researchers have carried out a careful study, and the results have been accepted by, and published in, that august publication the Journal of the American Dental Association. Redheads go to the dentist less because they are more frightened of the pain. This is apparently because they possess variants of the MC1R gene which are associated with red hair and pain susceptibility.

There is a huge amount about this on the web, but so far my best efforts have failed to find any specific study on the sort of pain involved in school corporal punishment, which is of course usually felt in areas remote from the teeth. My acquaintance does include a red headed lady some years younger than me, who, I think, attended our esteemed contributor Declan’s former school in its early days and so may possibly have encountered school CP. I am considering asking her if she did, and if she thinks it hurt her more than her classmates. So far however my courage has failed me. Redheads may or may not feel more pain but there is absolutely no doubt that they have very fiery tempers!

I was interested to see you may know someone from my former school. However don’t hold out too many hopes that she was slippered or caned as this was very rare.

I do remember one red haired girl from school who once got quite a hard smack on her bottom from a boy and rubbed the affected area very fiercely, though it didn’t look as though it could have hurt anything like as much as she made out. A combination of the tight thin skirts most girls wore and the fact she was a red head could be the reason for the show of pain. I doubt whether she was ever slippered but it would have been great to see her reaction to that!

KK: Paddling is not exactly a science nor is caning for that matter. The CP policy is a precaution however unhelpful on the surface it may be. In New Mexico they specifically mention the paddler should be trained in its administration. Dr Dominum would be a professor of caning and soon will become emeritus. The cane had nursery, junior and senior calibrations (size and diameter) and the same should apply to paddles. The instrument is easy to standardize but the force is a matter of training.

I never knew Dr Higginson, but as you say he was regarded as progressive, and wrote learned texts on modern educational methods. Known simply as The Doctor he was highly regarded by some teachers but not by others, or parents of some pupils who did not feel he was strict enough. I cannot be sure about this but I think the governors replaced him because of his over progressive ideas and the lack of discipline. I knew of some parents who said they would never have sent their children to the school had he still been the head.

There were certainly teachers who started in 1959 who used the slipper quite frequently, so I doubt whether CP was forbidden in The Doctor’s time even if he didn’t use the cane himself.I don’t know who the Headmistress was in the early years , but it would not have been the one who I knew who was quite young.

It is odd that pupils from as far as Eastwood were sent to the school, or even the other feeder school, Bramcote, where some of the teachers also came from ( including my old French teacher who I still see). Eastwood does have a reputation as a bit of a chav area, I suppose they were Teddy Boys then!

When a paddle hits a layer of denim instead, the cloth has to compress before the flesh below feels the impact. This compression absorbs a little of the energy, and so the resulting distortion of the flesh is reduced a little. But the “orthogonal expansion” is significantly reduced, because denim doesn’t expand very much. So the compression of the flesh must therefore be reduced, and this means that the paddle is forced to slow down faster. I guess this means that wearing jeans reduces the surface pain a little, but might increase the deep pain a little. I’ve no idea which effect is more significant.

I’ve said before that a cane differs from a paddle because it stretches the surface of the skin. This is again because things take time: the flesh slightly away from the impact line is pulled inwards by the flesh which has been compressed. There’s a similar effect around the edges of a paddle, but it is nowhere near as important because the speed of a paddle at impact is much less than the speed of a cane: there’s more time for the surrounding flesh to be pulled in.

“A wooden paddle applied full force to the bottom leaves very distinct and consistent marks. Most models end up with bulls-eye? marks on the bottom of the cheeks. The way in which the skin is compressed under a wooden paddle stroke generally leaves this mark. Besides the obvious bruising, there are often a couple of other characteristics that we see from hard paddle strokes. It is common to see the seams from the girls back pockets imprinted on her bottom. This usually shows as a line across the bruises that are not quite as purple. We also see what is referred to as a racing stripe”?. These are parallel lines that extend below the area of impact. It is not uncommon for a racing stripe to appear in an area that has not even felt a swat. Most commonly, this stripe runs a little way down the thigh. Because the paddle is applied across both cheeks, and not cheek to cheek, the right cheek tends to always be in the worst shape. Even if you try to adjust to apply the paddle equally to both cheeks, the right cheek will always get more. It is just a matter of physics and the end of the paddle will always be traveling at a higher velocity than closer to the handle. This is just a fact of life with paddling that the right cheek will end up a little more sore.