Impact Play: Whips, Floggers, Paddles, Oh My!

Are you secretly turned on by the idea of being spanked? Have you ever considered turning things up a notch with your partner? Some people get weak in the knees at the thought of their underwear being taken down and having a firm hand applied to their buttocks.
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Photographer: Lori Kaye

Are you secretly turned on by the idea of being spanked? Have you ever considered turning things up a notch with your partner? Some people get weak in the knees at the thought of their underwear being taken down and having a firm hand applied to their buttocks. Others quiver with pleasure at the look and feel of a paddle, whip, or flogger. For a few, bruises make them all hot and bothered.

It's the intensity, the stinging just after impact, and the startling sensation that gets their heart racing. All of this -- from spanking to slapping to punching -- falls under the BDSM and Fetish category of 'impact play,' during which a person who has given specific, informed consent is struck for sexual gratification. Generally, this kind of play involves objects such as a paddle, riding crop, cane or flogger, but striking with the hand counts as well, and the blows usually occur repeatedly.

Now, if this sounds enticing to you, that's great! Like all categories of BDSM, it may sound strange at first, but impact play (done well) can be a totally sexy and fun way to spice up your sex life. However, before you get too carried away, it's important to note that anyone interested in taking part in impact play should learn how to do so properly, have a safety word, and practice partner care.

This is particularly important for certain aspects of impact play. For instance, there is a subset of aficionados who enjoy deep tissue bruising. There's nothing wrong with this, but this particular preference requires special care and careful guidelines in order for it to be enjoyed safely. Still, for those whose temperature rises at the thought of such play, the experience can be exhilarating.

Here are a few tips for couples interested in trying it out.

1.Be sure that your partner is someone you trust implicitly before considering such play. If so, discuss the matter at length beforehand, figuring out each other's likes, dislikes, and boundaries.
2.Take things slow. Even if you believe you know how you feel about it, you won't really know until you start exploring. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to have open, clear, and honest conversations about this kind of play.
3.For the partner who is control, make sure you slowly build up the experience. Warm their bottom up a bit, then work up to higher impact. Don't start out using anything close to your full force.
4.For both partners, listen carefully and be sure to communicate before, during, and after the play. Work out a safety word beforehand. (Some use the colors of a stoplight such as green for go, yellow for slow down or timeout, and red for stop.) Make sure each of you remembers the safety word. Understand that each person can use it whenever they feel it's necessary.

Be sure to take part in a safe, private, and comfortable environment. Have realistic expectations if you and your partner are new at this, and remember that, just like anything else, practice makes perfect. Try not to take the experience too seriously at first, and remember that it's okay to mess up and laugh at yourselves.

For the paddler, practice on a couch cushion with your hand or the object you and your partner have agreed upon before using it on their body. Understand that certain areas of the body can only sustain light blows, meaning that more moderate ones should only take place where a lot of muscle and fat reside. This includes the buttocks, the thighs, and on the lower area of the shoulders. Do some research. Read articles together online and watch instructional videos. Then, when you feel comfortable and confident, set aside some time to try it out.

Exploring your sex life and unlocking your innermost fantasies will help ease tension, give you more confidence, improve communication between you and your partner, and release healthy biochemicals into your system. What's not to love?! So why not mix things up? If you are interested, talk to your partner about impact play. You never know, they might be into it too.

Photographer: Craig White

And, if you end up enjoying it, here's a professional tip from the world of BDSM: When you're really in the heat of the moment, there's nothing sexier and sweeter when asked "Thank you, Mistress! May I have another?"

Sandra LaMorgese Ph.D. is an expert in bridging the gap between sexuality and a lifestyle that focuses on holistic health of the mind, body and spirit. She is the author of Switch: Time for a Change, a memoir of her journey from holistic practitioner to professional dominatrix at 55-years-old, and her passion and purpose is to empower others towards healthy authentic living. To learn more about Sandra and receive your FREE eBook "5 Steps for Better Communication, Sex, and Happiness (Did I mention better sex?) visit

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