There are many wonderful activities associated with BDSM. If you have a kink you can probably find a thriving community online to discuss it, learn more about it and be introduced to nuances of play that may never have occurred to you in isolation. It can also be reassuring to know that you aren’t alone in your kink. However strange you might think you are, there are going to be people out there who will accept you.
In this article I want to discuss a type of play which is for many people their first “toe dip” into the wider world of BDSM; spanking. For many of us it is our first experience of doing something that we are told is supposed to cause pain, which we are taught is a bad thing, but actually we find our partner enjoys, which we know is a good thing.
Spanking falls under a wider catagory of corporal punishment, otherwise known as CP play. While spanking almost exclusively refers to the use of an open hand to strike the bottom it can also involve the use of implements; paddles, floggers, canes, etc…
Spanking does not require a huge amount of equipment, in fact it can all be done with just a hand, a partner’s bottom, and a knee for them to lay over. It is a cheap, fun activity that we can enjoy for years to come.
The first thing we want to consider when planning a spanking are the same things we should plan before any scene (so it is good to get into the habit now). We want to know our partners limits, their safeword, and any issues we should be aware of.
We are going to break down a spanking into distinct sections so we can understand what is happening, and explore each part that makes up the whole. We shall look at: where is it going to happen, how are they going to be positioned, what is going to be used, what is the objective, and how will aftercare be managed?
We start by planning where it will happen because an oft overlooked side effect of a spanking is the noise produced. Not only the potential sounds of our partner, but also the constant noise of the spanking itself. The sound of a bare hand on a naked arse should not be underestimated.
Imagine how annoyed you would be if your neighbor started clapping rhythmically for 40 minutes while occasionally screaming unexpectedly!
While it is not always possible to rent a dungeon or attend a play event we can try to be considerate and think about the noise we will be making and if it could become an issue for others.
Once we have decided where we are playing our next consideration should be how our partner will position themselves. We should be aware of their comfort, and how their position will change the play area, in this case the surface of their butt and back of the thighs.
Hopefully your partner will have a position they find most comfortable, some like to lie flat on a bed, others prefer to be kneeling, or held over a knee. Overall our goal is to find a position which is comfortable and can be held for a prolonged time. Our objective is to spank our partner, not to have them develop cramp in their calf, or a sore back.
Depending on how our partner is positioned we may find that the surface tension of the bottom may change. Laying flat allows for muscles to relax and as a result you might find that they ripple more on impact, while bent over a bench you might find their muscles are more contracted, giving a firmer surface. For some this will translate into a stingier or thudier type of sensation, something we shall cover in more details shortly.
Get them comfortable and then you can think about how you are going to spank them. Most types of impact fall into one of two categories, thudy or stingy. Most people have a distinct preference for the type of sensation so it is important that we understand the type of sensation our toys inflict.
There are lots of things we can use before we have to go shopping for kink specific toys. A wooden spoon from the kitchen, a slipper from the shoe rack, a belt from the wardrobe. It is important that we know what we are working with before we start flailing around at someone’s bottom. Using your forearm you can usually practice a few strikes to get the feel of the implement and the type of sensation it elicits.
As a rule of thumb you will find that the further the point of impact is from the handle the more difficult the implement is to use reliably. So hitting the same place repeatedly with your hand is reasonably guaranteed, while hitting the same place repeatedly with a 6 foot single tail is much harder. We definitely want to start easy and make sure to spend plenty of time learning before using more difficult implements.
Most implements fall into the two sensation categories below.
Stingy: Thin canes, light floggers, quick hand slaps, light paddles, single tails…
Thudy: Thick canes, heavy floggers, heavy hand slaps, thick paddles, leather belts…
For a more stingy sensation you want to strike quickly with almost a flicking motion. This can serve to intensify the inherently stingy nature of the implement, or even add a stingy sensation to a thudy implement.
For a more thudy sensation you want to land the blow with a solid impact and press. Almost as if you are striking through the surface and holding it in place. This can help deepen the pressure of a thudy tool, or even to lessen the stingy sensation of a lighter toy.
We want to understand the types of sensation our partner enjoys. This serves us well if we want to let them enjoy a scene based around sensations, and is just as important if we want to be sadistic. The better we understand our partners ability to process different sensations the better we are able to take them on an experiential journey.
A spanking scene can be a transcendental experience, the constant, steady impacts become a drum beat by which the bottom can drift off into something often referred to as “sub space”. Or it can be a brutal punishment the bottom cannot escape from and eventually can only surrender to. These are just two possible goals, but are almost diametrically opposed, so we should be sure that both of us know what type of scene we want to have.
It is extremely important that we consider what we shall do for the bottom after the scene. Physically and mentally we need to help them settle again.
You will often find that your partner is not in state to coherently explain their needs after a spanking scene, so it is our responsibility to have had this conversation in advance. Before we begin we should discuss the type of aftercare they commonly need, and have it prepared for them.
This can be physical; blankets, drinks, sweets, and it can also be more mental; verbal reassurance, physical closeness. Have whatever you need close at hand and be prepared to spend as long as is needed helping your partner to recover.
We have explored a little of what is involved in a spanking, but there is so so much more. For many of us this might be our first experience of physical BDSM, but that doesn’t mean it is something we grow out of, or lacks nuance. There are lots of ways of playing with spanking, and lots of ways to engage in it.
Spanking, and the wider category of CP, fits quite easily into many types of play. Spending time learning how to spank, paddle, cane, flog and whip is well worth the investment. With practice you can learn to make a cane deliver a range of sensations and drive your partner into states of agony or ecstasy.
If you get to know your local community you will hopefully be able to find skilled kink educators who will be able to give you some hands-on experience. Different techniques and different tools are best tried with someone experienced in their use. I encourage you to get hands on experience and teaching wherever you can. Never be afraid to learn, we should all actively seek out those more experienced to learn from and improve our abilities.
We are building up our skills so we can explore with partners. While we can learn lots for them, we will also learn the most from them. Everything we learn is so that we can better take a journey together.
Will Hunt has been involved in the UK kink scene for the last 10 years; running clubs, teaching workshops, performing and generally encouraging naughty behavior wherever possible.