Impact play: spanking, whipping and flogging for beginners

If the idea of mixing a little pain with your pleasure appeals, it might be time to introduce impact play, which includes spanking, whipping and flogging, into the bedroom. To do this, it’s wise to make sure you have the right tools to make the most of your fantasy.

If you want to increase the sensitivity of your partner’s skin, a spanking paddle or flogger will help set their senses alight. And if you want to accessorize a dominant persona or make their skin sting, try a whip, riding crop or a traditional cane.

All of this, and more, will be explained in this impact play guide along with some fabulous advice that will have you whipping your partner into a frenzy in no time.

What is impact play?

Impact play is a form of BDSM that involves one partner striking the other, either using their hands or a sex toy, for sexual gratification. Spanking, flogging, and whipping are all types of impact play. This means that the best sex toys for BDSM impact play are a spanking paddle, flogger or whip.

Impact play can be enjoyed as part of role play, as a punishment in a BDSM scenario or even during intercourse to increase the endorphin rush.

Spanking

When you’re younger, we often associate spanking as a punishment for when we’ve done something bad. Depending on what you’re into, erotic spanking is a bit different.

What is spanking?

Sexual spanking is when a hand or object is slapped against the skin to provide sensation and bring circulation to the surface for better sensitivity. Spanking doesn’t always have to be painful and can be used to complement pleasurable sensations.

You should always discuss spanking before trying it with your partner. An unexpected spank could be scary, a major turn-off or even bring back memories of a traumatic experience. This could lead to a very different result to the one you were hoping for – never surprise spank!

How to spank

Video: How to Spank Properly

Make sure that your impact play is safe as well as satisfactory with Lovehoney's guide to spanking.

A step-by-step guide to spanking:

  1. Set up a safe word: if this is ever used during play, stop immediately.
  2. Discuss what you're both comfortable with and what you're hoping to achieve from spanking: are you looking to enhance role-play? Experiment with pain? Do you want the odd spank during sex or a full-blown over-the-knee spanking session?
  3. Use your hands first: cup your hand slightly, with your fingers together and spank lightly in an upward motion.
  4. Aim for fleshy parts of the body, such as the bum, backs of the thighs and the 'thutt' (the spot where the thigh meets the butt!). These areas are not only well-cushioned to receive impact, but also send ripples of sensation through sensitive areas like the genitals. They're also usually covered by clothing, so if you and your partner like hard spanks that could leave a mark, you won't have to worry about answering tricky questions in the office the next day!
  5. Never spank above the waist, over the spine or kidneys or over joints such as the backs of the knee, as this is dangerous – a good aim is very important.
  6. Once you’ve become comfortable with spanking, try doing it harder and more frequently, timing each spank to arrive no later than three seconds apart.
  7. Vary the pressure, frequency, and placement of the slaps to create variety, spread sensation, and increase anticipation. For many people who enjoy being spanked, it's the time between each spank, and not knowing when the next will come, which is the most exciting.

How to use a spanking paddle

If you want to take your spanking play even further, invest in a beginner-friendly spanking paddle.

Spanking paddles allow the spanker to give a bit more force and power, due to the paddle’s wide shape. This also means they’re great for beginners as you don’t need to aim as much. The different texture will give you some unique sensations, too.

To use a spanking paddle, aim for the same areas as you would with your hand. Try lighter spanks first and then build depending on the preference of the spankee.

Best spanking paddles

Flogging

Flogging is slightly more advanced than spanking and can deliver some varying sensations.

What is flogging?

A flogger is a whip with many tails that can be used anywhere on the body (as long as it’s not the face) but particularly the back, bottom or thighs. Using a flogger is known as flogging. Depending on the size, weight and number of tails, a flogger can produce a range of sensations, from widespread thuds to multiple stings at once.

How to use a flogger

  1. Start with a flogger made of soft materials, with thick tails and rounded ends.
  2. Gently run the tails over the skin to get your partner accustomed to the feel of a flogger.
  3. Start flogging your partner by swinging the whip in a figure of eight motion, using the flogger at different proximities to your partner to discover the best way to use it.

Floggers are a wonderfully versatile tool to bring into the bedroom, particularly for couples who like the idea of power play, but aren't 'into pain', as they can be used similarly to a feather tickler to stroke and tickle sensitive areas of the body.

They can also provide gentle impact if you choose. For this, hold the flogger with the tails pointing towards the floor, and flick your wrist towards your partner's butt cheeks.

How close you hold the flogger to your partner's skin will alter the sensation, so experiment to find out what they like best.

Remember: never flog anywhere near the face or eyes. And as with all impact play, agree on a safe word before play, and use it if you want play to stop.

Best floggers

Whipping

Erotic whipping is more advanced than spanking and flogging as the whipper can deliver precise sensations to the person receiving.

H3: What is whipping?

Sexual whipping is a BDSM practice that involves one person whipping another for pleasure.

Whips are much slimmer, so they focus the sensations on a much smaller area, rather than spreading it out across your skin to reduce the impact. The result? Stinging sensations that make your skin much more sensitive.

Whips are perfect for couples who want to add more pain to their pleasure.

How to use a sex whip

  1. A whip can induce quite a sting, so warm up with some spanking.
  2. Make sure to practice on an inanimate object to check how precise your movements are.
  3. Start by stroking the whip up your partner’s legs or tickling the tip along their back to get them tingling.
  4. Deliver one light crack and then wait to see how the receiver felt about it.
  5. Because of how precise a whip can be, you might find that most of the time the large, flat part of the whip hits the skin, which can be extremely pleasurable.
  6. If comfortable, you can use the same pressure as before, or deliver a sharper, harder whip to your partner.
  7. Play around with the different rhythms that you can create with a whip.

You can also use these more advanced techniques with a crop or a cane if you prefer.

Best whips and crops

Aftercare

Remember, impact play is the (enjoyable and consensual) activity of one partner hitting another. Outside of the bedroom, this would be completely unacceptable and, although super-arousing and exciting in the moment, it can leave one or both of you feeling uncertain after the fun is over.

Known as 'sub drop', sometimes the submissive partner can feel a wash of sadness when playtime has finished and the endorphins have worn off.

What is aftercare?

BDSM aftercare is the process of reassuring your partner that you care for them. Lots of hugs, loving touches, and an open chat about the experience you've just shared are great ways to do this.

Additionally, some physical aftercare is good, too. Impact play can be quite testing on the skin, so it's always a good idea to soothe the area afterwards with a cooling, nourishing lotion, a cool pack or after-spanking cream. Some after-spanking creams also contain arnica to help reduce bruising.

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