Martinet-Style Flogger

The “martinet” whip is ubiquitous in French fetish porn. I’ve been told that it’s also traditionally a mainstay of French domestic discipline: supposedly every household used to have one, and many a French person above a certain age could testify to a history of martinet whippings for childhood misbehavior. Which makes it surprising to me that I’ve never seen one for sale on this side of the Atlantic (although of course it’s been a few years since my path took me into a really good fetish shop or BDSM-convention vendor hall).

From what I can gather of the martinet, it’s simply a small whip — like this — with a round wooden handle and a modest bundle of fairly short tails. The tails might be cordage (rope) or leather strips, usually cut fairly narrow. This new flogger is not advertised as a martinet, and I think the reason is that its tails are too generous both in number and in width. The handle is what puts me in mind of the martinet, and that’s why I’m calling this a “martinet-style” flogger:

flogger with a martinet handle

According to the seller:

These luxurious bison leather floggers are available in your choice of red or black, and each comes with a highly polished chatoyance (aka granadillo) wood handle. The character of the wood is lighter than cocobolo, and when properly polished will refract light, creating a gorgeous color-changing effect when turned and examined in the light.

There’s no question that this flogger is gorgeous, but it also fares beautifully as a discipline tool. Bison is a heavy, dense leather that delivers a real wallop, especially when compared to lighter cowhide. For this reason, bison leather floggers tend to contain fewer falls than their deer and cowhide counterparts, but pack a punchier impact than the lighter, more stinging leathers.

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