Spanking is a consensual and fun way to play with your partner. In erotic spanking, striking a partner’s butt isn’t used as a real punishment, but as an enjoyable part of sex. Some people enjoy spanking for the sensations, some people enjoy it for the power dynamic, and some enjoy it for both these reasons!
How does spanking work?
Spanking is a type of “impact play” which is sexual play that involves striking another person with the hand or with an object like a paddle or flogger. When engaging in spanking, one person takes the dominant role as the ‘spanker,’ while the other person takes the submissive role as the ‘spankee.’ The spankee may be standing bent forward with the spanker striking their butt from behind, or the spankee may be lying on a piece of furniture, or over the spanker’s knee.
According to Cassandra Corrado, an independent sex educator, spanking can involve a range of things. “Sometimes, when people say they like to be spanked, they’re talking about open palm-to-butt contact. Others might include things like flogging and paddling in spanking — it just depends on the person and their own definition,” Corrado tells O.school.
Spanking is a form of play that some enjoy because they won’t bruise as easily, since areas like the butt and upper thigh are usually contain more fat than the rest of the body. Corrado says, “You can certainly still bruise, but you’re less at risk of bruising the bone or causing damage to a joint.” While some folks only want to be spanked with an item (like a paddle, book, wooden spoon, etc.) others like hand-to-skin contact. And some like both, or something in-between.
There are few different ways to include spanking in your sexual play. Some people prefer to receive light taps on their buttocks, while others prefer hits that are hard enough to leave a handprint. No one way is correct—you should do only what is consensually agreed upon between adults.
How to bring up spanking with your partner (consent is crucial!)
When done right, spanking can be enjoyed by all parties involved. For everyone to have a good time it’s important to practice consent. Since spanking involves hitting another person it is especially important that everyone is clear on what kind of impact will be hot and fun, and what is off limits.
Corrado tells O.school, “Spanking can be a fantastic exercise in trust. Talking about boundaries beforehand is absolutely essential, as well as establishing an upper bound of what is okay. The power exchange can be really exciting for people and when it is properly maintained and respected, can deepen a bond.” It can also be a great way for people to test out impact play. Plus, it’s cheap! “Because you can do it with your own hands, you don’t need to worry about shelling out cash for a toy that you might not love in the long term,” Corrado says.
Before you engage in spanking discuss with your partner what you do and don’t want to happen. Make agreements so you can both feel safe and happy in the moment, and bliss out with the spanking assured that it will stay within the limits you’re comfortable with.
How to prepare for spanking
When figuring out how to engage safely in spanking, you and your partner should discuss how hard the spanking should be, how long it should last, where exactly on the body the receiver likes to be spanked, and what verbal and body language cues can be given to stop the spanking immediately. Consider these questions:
Questions you should ask if you want to get spanked:
1. Is your partner willing to spank you?
2. Do you want to be spanked through your clothes or on your bare butt?
3. How hard would you like it?
This is super important! Think about your personal limits, what [strength] do you enjoy? How hard is too hard?
4. How long do you want it to last for?
Do you want to incorporate a few spanks here and there throughout your play or do you want a session of spanking? Just asking your partner to spank you can mean something different to you than it does to them. Let them know if you just want to incorporate spanking a few times here and there throughout play, or if you want a longer session of spanking, or somewhere in between!
5. Is there a part or parts of your butt you want the spanking to focus on?
One suggestion is to mix things up a little; you may not want to focus solely on one spot, but rather in various spots, this can help give you a break and relieve/reset that area, but still continue the spanking fun elsewhere. Let your partner know the areas that feel best for you.
6. Is there a part of your butt you don’t want to be spanked?
Alternatively, there may be areas that you don’t want to be spanked. Maybe you are sore in some places from exercise already or you are more sensitive in some areas and you anticipate that it would go from pleasurably painful to just plain painful if you were to be struck there. The key is setting these boundaries before hand so that everyone feel comfortable.
7. How will you let your partner know when you want to stop?
Establishing a safe word can be a great tool to use and is quite common in this type of play. Let your partner know when if you’ve reached your limit, or you’d like to switch things up and continue with a different kind of play.
Questions you should ask if you want to spank your partner:
1. Does your partner want to be spanked? So, "Do you want to be spanked?" is a good start.
2. How hard are you comfortable with striking your partner?
3. Where will you be hitting? What part of their butt?
4. What verbal or physical cues will your partner give you when they want to stop?
5. How will you let your partner know you’re ready to stop spanking them?
Why does spanking feel good?
According to Corrado, “When you get aroused, the way that your mind processes pain changes — your pain tolerance goes up,and when you’re in a place of absolute trust with someone, that pain and power exchange can lead to even more heightened arousal.” All folks are different, though. Some are really into spanking, while others are not-so interested, and for them, it’s totally off-limits.
“It also draws blood up to the skin surface, which can greatly increase your skin’s sensitivity, making you even more aware of light touches. Alternating spanking with another stype of sensation play, like a feather, handkerchief, or ice cube, can make for a fascinating sensory experience,” Corrado says.