Getting Started with Spanking
Why is spanking hot?
Erotic spanking is a popular sexy activity because it’s playful, sensation-based, and there is a wide range of ways you can do it. Some people are into it for the physical high, others for the emotional high, and some people enjoy both! Spanking encourages the release of our feel-good chemicals in the body like endorphins and dopamine. Whether you’re spanking butts or breasts or thighs (and even genitals!), spanking creates sensations and aesthetics that can be arousing for both the giver and the receiver.
Spanking is a form of impact play. Impact play is a phrase used to describe erotic activities between someone who desires to be hit and someone who is doing the hitting with their hands or flagellation tools like paddles or floggers. You might enjoy spanking because of:
- Erotic punishment or reward
- Receiving/giving physical pain
- Receiving/giving emotional pain (e.g. humiliation)
- Feeling surrender or letting go/being in power/taking control
Have a conversation with your partner about why you’re into spanking. Ask questions like:
- What do you find sexy about spanking?
- How do you want to feel during spanking?
- Can you describe your spanking fantasy to me?
- Is there a roleplay you fantasize about for us?
- Do you think marks are hot or not?
If your partner has a tough time describing what they’d like to experience, sometimes offering examples can help them say yes or no, or ask them what they don’t want to experience and discuss from there.
Safety and Communication
There are three big safety tools to get you started with spanking: anatomy of spanking, communication, and spanking techniques.
Anatomy of Spanking
Whether your spanking involves a hand or a flogger, it’s important to understand where on the body you can hit/be hit safely. We may want to ‘hurt’ someone, but we definitely don’t want to injure them. In general, spanking works best on meaty areas of the body; like bum cheeks, breasts, and thighs. Areas to avoid include; spine, above the bum cheeks (lower back and any area with major organs like the kidneys that are not protected by the ribs). If you’re spanking below the bum cheeks and on the backs of thighs, note that these areas are going to be more sensitive than others so you will have to be mindful of intensity and bruising.
It’s important to have good communication before spanking, during spanking, and after spanking. Your sexual health doesn’t just include discussions about sexually transmitted infections, it also includes ensuring you have everything you need to feel both physically and emotionally safe. During spanking it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of the moment, so it’s important that both the giver and receiver have an easy way to communicate things like ‘more’ or ‘less’ or ‘I’ve had enough’.
When playing with kinky activities, some people use safe words when they want to be in a scene where “no” does not mean no. Both partners agree that anyone can use the designated safe word to bring an immediate stop to whatever is going on. Safe words usually aren’t words that would naturally come up in your scene, like ‘ow’ or ‘that hurts’ or ‘stop’. A safe word is completely unrelated to language you might use in the bedroom.
When doing impact play, you may need to communicate more than just stop. Having a ‘safe system’ is a great way to check-in with your partner to see if intensity needs to be increased or decreased. Using a traffic light system like red (stop), yellow (approaching my limit), and green (keep going!) can help communicate intensity without using a lot of language. You can also try a number system like 1-5 with one being lowest intensity and 5 being highest intensity.
Both the giver and the receiver should know what safe techniques are. One of the most important techniques is the concept of warming. Warming means to bring arousal and blood flow to the spanking area by starting off with lighter impact and slowly increasing to more intense spanking. Warming is most effective if the spanking is kept to the same spot, hitting it over and over to literally ‘warm up’ the area. This allows the body to start increasing blood flow to the area and sending out all the feel good chemicals.
Here are some other things to keep in mind for good technique:
- Know your tools—have you tried your tools on your own body to understand their impact? If you’re shopping for new spanking tools, do you know if you’re buying a silicone, leather, or wood paddle? Can you safely control the aim of your tool?
- Distribution—after warm up, distribute your spanks over the fleshy areas instead of concentrating all of your impact on one area. For example, alternate butt cheeks or use rhythms or changes in speed to distribute spanks.
- Positions—what are the best positions for comfort of the receiver and giver?
You already have a spanking tool on your body! You can use your bare hand for spanking. Use an open hand with spread fingers (more stingy) or cupped hand/fingers together (more thuddy).
Different materials and designs of spanking sex toys will give you different sensations. Some popular impact play sex toys are:
- Paddles made of silicone, leather, vinyl, or wood
- Riding crops (good for smaller areas like nipples or genitals)
- Whips like dragon tails (these take a lot of practice to learn how to use, but the results are very satisfying and sexy!)
- Floggers made of suede, leather, rope, chain or rubber (practice your aim on a chair or other inanimate object before testing them on a partner)
After all the spanking fun is over, be sure to make time for aftercare. Aftercare includes things that we need after intense experiences like spanking to help our bodies and minds settle back down, relax and release. Aftercare can be physical like icing a bum, cuddling, massage, or getting rehydrated. It can also be emotional like debriefing what you both liked and didn’t like and reconnecting. Aftercare is important to make sure that everyone feels good about what happened, learns about what turns on their partner and makes it more likely that you all have an even better time on your next spanking adventure.