A Sexy Sting: All About Impact Play

Getting a smack on the bottom or flogged by a trusted partner – is this a turn on for you? Well, it so happens that very many people share your desire for a bit of pleasurable pain, enough so that there’s a name for it: impact play.

Impact play

Defining Impact Play

It’s when you strike or slap a partner in order to give pleasure. In short, it’s the part of BDSM that involves erotic spanking, whipping, flogging or slapping in order to sexually please one or both (ideally both) partners. The variations lie in which implement you use to inflict this pleasurable pain, and what kind of sensation it provides.

To some, bruising or deep welts being left on the skin is their preferred outcome of impact play, and that’s totally okay to pursue, however what we’re talking about is light impact play and BDSM for beginners and those curious folk looking to increase their repertoire. Leaving marks and bruising is BDSM master-level stuff and if that’s where you’re at, then this article isn’t for you. Newbies, read on!

Talk with Your Partner Beforehand

Being the type of person to pull out an erotic implement while in the heat of the moment is not a good look, and even the lightest of BDSM practices should be discussed prior to experimenting with them.

Speak to your partner ahead of time about the boundaries of what you are both willing and not willing to do to each other and to have done to you. Having this added security and comfort as you enter into a sexual situation can go a long way to getting the most out of your experience together, so be ready to open up and talk. As we’ve said before, trust and security in a BDSM relationship is absolutely critical.

Choose Your Item of Impact

After talking it over with your partner and deciding how you’ll be taking and giving your pleasure, it’s time to pick out the right tools for the job. All the different shapes and designs to choose from provide different sensations, so if at all possible, shopping for them in person is ideal. BDSM gear can be bought a la carte and is easy to find online or in brick-and-mortar sex shops near you.

If you’re browsing your local sex shop and see a whip, paddle or flogger that catches your imagination, try it out on the flesh on the inside of your arm to get an idea of what it will feel like and go from there. Generally, the items you’re choosing from will provide a sting or a thud, like:

Riding Crops

Depending on the length, a riding crop can provide a stinging slap on flesh when elongated, or a deep thud when made shorter. Get the best of both worlds by selecting a riding crop with a telescopic handle.


Shaped somewhat like a cooking implement, a spanker’s function is all in the name. The surface area of the contact end provides an assuring slap for a deep-feeling impact against a butt cheek or upper thigh.


The multiple tassels provide a playful sting when brought down on bare skin of the upper back, the butt or thighs.

The recipient should always be the one in control

Despite being referred to as the ‘bottom’, it’s actually the person who is being struck or spanked that should be in control of the situation at all times. The person doing the striking should begin with soft slaps or hits, and only increase the force or pressure when asked to by the bottom.

Hit the Correct Areas

People get spanked on the bottom mainly because it’s a resilient part of the body that can take a few taps due to being home to a lot of tissue.

Impact areas of the body should include the fleshiest parts of the butt cheeks, the upper thighs (front and back), the back of the calves and, with good aim and control, the upper back and shoulders. Avoid areas with joints or thin tissue covering bone. Avoid parts of the torso hiding major organs.

If you’re trying out a new BDSM toy like a whip or flogger, do a practice run on a pillow or the arm of a chair in order to get a feel for it before trying it out with your partner.

Plan for Afterwards

When your session is over, what do you do now? Put the kettle on? Fire up Netflix? Whatever it is, you both should discuss this ahead of time in order to understand what your partner’s needs will be. In BDSM speak, this is called ‘Aftercare’.

After a BDSM session, some bottoms (and tops) feel extra vulnerable and will need some emotional attention. Some prefer to be left alone. Some actually do want to just fire up Netflix and, while you’re at it, put the kettle on. Be there for your partner at all stages of this exciting new avenue of pleasure to make it even more enjoyable and rewarding for the both of you.

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