Impact play - it’s exactly what it sounds like - and in kink, it’s a big category. Impact play includes everything from playful spanking to expertly wielded single tail whips, with many things in between, and as such there’s something for everyone.

Like all kink play there are some safety considerations to take into account. For one thing, you should never attempt something beyond your skill level without getting training first. You might not do much damage with a spanking, but whips, wooden paddles, and other toys can leave lasting injuries.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of safety considerations, so please do more research before you dive in. Firstly, make sure to avoid the face when doing any impact other than light face slapping (and even then be sure you know how to do it safely.) A misplaced flogger fall or whip end can do serious damage to the eyes. Also, look out for any boney areas - never do impact play on the spine and always avoid the tail bone - it’s easy to chip or crack. Also, avoid the internal organs - the kidneys are unprotected by the ribs so that whole area should be avoided. For beginners, the ass and backs of the thighs provide plenty of area to hit - as long as you protect the tail bone!

Bare handed spanking is the most basic form of impact play


And when it comes to impact play, spanking is something of a gateway kink. After all, the tools you need are always available. Not only that, but hands can seem less intimidating than many other toys used to make an impact.

The next most common tool you’ll see are paddles - in fact, you probably have things in your house that will do. A hairbrush or wooden spoon can be a great place to start. Paddles come in a wide range of materials and intensities. Some paddles are sweet and fuzzy, with a fur lining, and others even have metal spikes in them. Start with something simple to see if you like it before investing in something more elaborate or expensive.

Nothing quite says kink like a riding crop. Whether you get something from a farm supply store or something made for kink, riding crops are a versatile tool. With the small area of the crop that meets the skin, a riding crop can provide quite a sting. At the same time, the small area makes it easy to have precise aim, opening up smaller body parts as possible targets.

Canes are also widely used, and they come in a variety of materials from rattan to acrylic to stainless steel. Thanks to the British school system, and other countries’ corporal punishments, canes are widely fetishized. Despite their light weight and simple form, canes can provide an intense sensation. They almost always sting and they can leave significant welts and bruising. But they don’t always have to be mean. There are techniques for sensual caning that can even lead to orgasm for some people.

A heavy flogging can even feel like a deep tissue massage


Moving into more elaborate tools, there are floggers. Floggers require a bit more skill to yield, and they can get expensive. They also come in a variety of materials and styles so there’s something to fit everyone’s interests. A flogger can range from thuddy to stingy depending on its construction, and a heavy flogging can even feel like a deep tissue massage. The longer the falls of the flogger, the harder it will be to throw, and so practice is absolutely necessary.

One popular style of flogging - florentine flogging - involves wielding a flogger in each hand, and hitting the target rhythmically with both in turn. This produces an interesting sensation and it can be a spectacle to watch at kink parties.

Whips are not a beginner toy


impact-play-spanking-the-gateway-kink-2Requiring even more skill, and possibly more expense, are whips. Whips come in a variety of materials, styles, and lengths, but one thing is true of all of them - you need to know what you’re doing before you use them on a person. That old maxim “you’ll put your eye out” could very well be true here - whips are not a beginners toy.

A common form of whip is the single tail, and they can be found in any length from 3-6 feet. Although the sound of cracking a whip may be exciting, it’s not necessary for an interesting whipping scene. A whip can be thrown quite gently and still create an intense sting. With practice, whip enthusiasts can perfect their aim leading to a variety of intense and sensual experiences.

As with all sex toys, keep in mind the materials and whether or not they can be sanitized. Leather - a popular choice for many of these toys - cannot be truly sanitized and as such leather toys shouldn’t be used on the genitals or used to draw blood unless they are dedicated to only one partner. Metal or plastic toys are better choices for messy play.

Play safe. Have fun. And let us know how it goes!

Stella Harris is an author, educator, and coach who focuses on sex, kink, and intimacy. Through her writing and teaching she explores the complex world of love and lust and strives to help people explore their sexuality safely and free of shame. You can learn more about Stella on her website,www.stellaharris.net or follow her on Twitter @stellaerotica

Images by Powell Burns und Captain.Orange via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 license

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[…] don’t stop. Yellow means slow down. For me, it often means “Slow down with that particular torture device.” Red means stop everything. Outside of a scene, when we’re just having good old kinky sex, […]

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