What the heck is Impact Play?

This is for everyone who has ever wondered, what the heck is impact play? Perhaps you’ve dabbled in a little spanking – or picked up a cute leather whip from a bachelorette one time. Maybe you’re curious about all the fuss around spanking – and you have to know why anyone would want to spank or be spanked! And… how you can get in on that action too!

Good!

This blog is going to give you answers to all of this!

I spent Saturday at a spanking workshop run by Ms Kitten who is based in Cape Town. I managed to persuade Gavin to join too and while he was a bit reluctant about the more hippy (yet very helpful stuff) like synchronised breathing and eye gazing – we had a great time and learnt so much. 

We walked away with warm bums and smiles on our faces!

So today, I want to give you a beginners guide to impact play – which includes spanking – so you can see that it’s much more than just giving your lover a whack. And that it can be a gateway to deep intimacy and super heightened sensation.

What the heck is impact play?

It is a form of consensual sexual play where someone receives some form of physical impact. And of course, that is a very broad term. It can include spanking, flogging, whipping, caning and more. I’ll explain all of those terms in just a second.

Play can vary widely in intensity – ranging from light taps that kinda tickle, to strikes that cause deep tissue bruising and draw blood. We’re going to focus on the less intense kinds of impact play today.

Sounds kind of scary! 

There’s no doubt that impact play sounds a bit intimidating – and that can be part of the fun. But it’s important to understand that there are risks involved – even if you just fancy putting your partner over your knee and tanning there behind. 

So, today, I’m going to guide you through WHY anyone would want to try impact play – eg the pleasure side, we’ll also talk about the pain aspect, how to reduce risk – and then how to play! 

So that if someone ever asks you, what the heck is impact play – you’ll be able to bring them up to speed! 

We’re going to call the person receiving the impact the bottom, and the person giving the impact the top.

Ready? Let’s get stuck in!

Is it fun?

Ohhh yes! But of course, this is very subjective. There are lots of different reasons that people enjoy impact play – let’s look at some of these here. 

It’s exciting – a break from the norm, get out of the rut of missionary 😉 Plus it feels kind of naughty and that’s appealing for some people!

For the bottom:

It gets you out of your head – hard to worry about your to-do list when you know that a strike is about to come down on your bum! 

It releases endorphins

Being struck on your bum, thighs or other safe erogenous zones (I’ll cover in a second) is very stimulating to your nerve receptors! And this can trigger happy endorphins and dopamine release. Yummy!

It heightens sensation

All of your focus will be on the strike – but you will also be hyper-aware of the sensations before and after too. Pleasure will be heightened, just as much as the sting!

It can provide a psychological release

And this can be intensified by adding role play – you can take this as far as you like, teacher and student, parent and child (sorry daddy), a nun in a monastery. Let yourself explore the storylines that you’re drawn to

It can also be fun to feel the afterburn

Or sting and see the marks on your body (if you’ve chosen to allow mark-making). It’s a sexy reminder of what you got up to last night!

The power exchange can be great fun!

It’s a chance to mix things up in a relationship – can be very gratifying for the person who tends to be in charge, to allow themselves to be dominated or controlled. It can be used as a kind of discipline – where the top dishes out punishment (or funishment) for breaking the rules that have been set in advance. This can be a chance to have fun being bratty and breaking the rules on purpose. 

Sadism/Masochism

The bottom might find that it can be sexually arousing to experience pain – unlocking a little masochistic tendency! The top might also find that dishing out smacks can be arousing too – they might discover a slight sadist streak! Some people enjoy both, so switch it up and keep exploring! 

So, there are lots of individual reasons why someone might enjoy impact play – and there are as many different kinds of sensation that people enjoy. So let’s look at the kinds of pain next.

Does it hurt?

There are many nuances of pain – and just because someone enjoys being spanked, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to be punched or caned.

Impact play includes many varied sensations… and pain can be categorised as stingy or thuddy – and people often have a preference for one or the other.  

And impact play can cover a whole range of intensities – so be sure to start slow while you’re learning what you like. 

The feel of a light paddling is very different from a sharp caning for example.

So let’s talk about risk…

Is it safe?

Make sure you are playing with a partner that you trust! Whether you’re with a long term partner, or you’re hooking up for the first time – it’s important that you have a conversation about consent first. This is known as setting the scene. 

First up – don’t try this under the influence of alcohol or other substances. It can impact your decision making and your reaction to pain.

Consent: It’s important to reduce risk by checking in with how you and your partner are doing before you begin – both physically and psychologically. 

Safewords: Agree on a simple feedback system, such as traffic lights, green, orange and red. Here green means, yes, I like it, Orange is hmm, not sure, let’s check-in, red means stop immediately. Make it a safe space for feedback – so the top should thank the bottom for saying orange – and not be offended if they say red.

Boundaries/hard limits: Are there any absolute no go zones, or implements? Be clear about that. 

Understanding the Physical risk – knowing where to strike

The bum, inner thighs and front of the legs have the most protective fat and muscle – with no organs lurking beneath – so they are usually a good place to start. Be aware of the nerves that run on the outside of the thighs when using an implement that might wrap around the leg. The calves can also feel good for some people – as can the soles of the feet. Striking the soles of the feet is a form of punishment known as bastinado – and it can feel incredibly intense. 

So, fleshy fatty bits like the bum and inner thighs are considered the safest – but don’t go above the butt crack –  and avoid the coccyx. The spine is a no go zone – as well as the lower back where the kidneys are. 

Understanding the Physical risk – knowing your implement

I already mentioned that each instrument delivers a different sensation – and these can be considered thuddy, stingy. People tend to have a preference.

Stingy stuff hurts the skin more, and thuddy stuff hurts deeper tissues more. So, whatever you’re doing, start small and go slow. Some tools will leave the bottom with a warm glow, and some have the potential to draw blood. 

When you’re trying out a new tool – or even using your hand for the first time, it’s a great idea to practice on a pillow first. This will help you to feel the kind of force you can use. I’d also recommend receiving impact with the tool too – so you understand what kind of impact you’re dishing out!

And if you’re new to impact play – don’t even think about using a cane. That takes real practice in order to use responsibly. 

Understanding the Psychological

risk 

Checking in before play is essential, and it’s important to keep checking in as play progresses, with your preferred feedback system – and it’s also important to check in again afterwards. This is known as aftercare. Checking in is essential to make sure that both parties feel still good and secure. Do these immediately after play – after a few hours and also the next day.

Does the bottom need ice? Or a cuddle? Or chocolate. And how about the top? They need love too. They’re holding space and it can be a lot of responsibility. And seeing marks that you made on your lover can be quite shocking – not always in a good way!

Checking in can help play to be improved next time – and that only heightens the pleasure!

How to play

So, now we have that important stuff covered, let’s talk about how to get started with impact play – we’ll begin with spanking!

  1. Sober and sane mind
  2. Consent conversation
  3. Discuss how you’d like the spanking to go and make sure you have everything you need to hand (pro tip: use a latex glove on your hand to prevent stinging!)
  4. Choose a position – over the lap, over a desk, against a wall – use your imagination
  5. Start with gently rubbing the area that you’re going to strike
  6. Encourage them to use your feedback system from now
  7. Start with some nice light impact – checking is as you go – does it feel hot? Then keep going to see the goldilocks level of intensity that feels just right
  8. Gradually increase the intensity – watching their body language and their skin’s reaction. 

Are they pulling away, how is their breathing, are they crying? Do they want to continue?

  1. Vary the spot so that one area isn’t receiving too much impact
  2. Check in the whole time – and add stokes and caresses here and there between strikes.
  3. Make sure to finish up with aftercare and take care of each other.

Toys

Ready to try a toy? If you loved spanking, you can add some new sensory fun with implements. Start small with things you have at home – like a wooden spoon, a hairbrush, rolled up newspaper or even a belt (eeek!). 

If you’re enjoying the variety – you might choose to invest in a specialised impact toy.

Paddle: A spanking paddle is great for beginners – they have a flat edge that makes flat contact with the skin. They are easy to use and control – and are available in all kinds of materials for different sensations. 

Flogger: Floggers are multiple strands of a long, stringy material attached to a handle. They’re pretty easy to use with a bit of practice on a pillow and offer a varied sensation, with multiple body parts being stimulated at once. Soft flogging can feel like a loving caress, this can be interspersed with more intense strikes to create a delicious experience. 

Whip: A whip is a long strand of material that is hard to use in a controlled way. The sensation can be very intense and painful. They can wrap around the body and draw blood – and basically cause great damage if they land in a vulnerable place. Whips are not recommended for beginners. 

Cane: OUCH! I’d suggest proper training before you try to wield a cane. They feel sharp, very stingy and can break the skin. Someone should have told that to Mr Baxter! Canes are loved for the mark they make and the endorphin high that they can trigger. 

Solo

But what if you’re riding solo – can you try impact play? Sure thing! Grab your props and practice striking your back or legs. It might take a little tweaking to get the angles right, but this can be great fun. 

Summary

So, there you have it! I answered your question… What the heck is Impact Play? 

We discussed the pleasure aspect WHY anyone would want to try it, the pain, the risks and the how-to!  

So if you’re curious about introducing impact play to your boudoir, start slow, check-in, keep an open mind and explore what feels good! Who knows what kinds of pleasure you might unleash!

This blog was sponsored by My Sexual Health: https://mysexualhealth.co.za/