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A Newbie’s Guide to Impact Play

Impact play

Even if you’ve never tried to play BDSM, you’ve likely engaged in impact play, but you just didn’t realize it. That’s impact play if you’ve ever spanked your partner while having sex.

What is impact play?

Impact play is a BDSM practice where being slapped, spanked, or punched by another person provides sexual pleasure. Impact play can range from a soft to a more intense strike depending on what each person agrees to. Spanking is the most common form of impact play, but more experienced partners will incorporate toys or try a variety of other acts. According to Janet Brito, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in Honolulu, it is necessary to consent “freely to clearly defined terms of the impact play” before participating in the impact play game.

Impact play should be performed on parts of the human body that are well protected by fat or muscle for safety. It is best to avoid areas that lack fat or muscle, such as the kidneys, neck, tailbone, hipbones, collarbones, the head, and all joints or areas where the bone is particularly close to the skin. The buttocks and the upper back below the shoulder blades are the most common areas for flagellation. Even the thighs, calves, and chest can be targeted with care. The breasts are also a good option, but it is risky and should only be attempted by those with experience.

Man holding whip hugging woman

Read: The Not So Kinky Truth About Kink

Common impact play terms and what they mean

Aftercare: To ensure the scene was pleasurable, all parties check in on one another to ensure no bruises or emotional needs and communicate how each party is feeling following the scene.

BDSM: BDSM is an umbrella term for any kind of kinky play involving an exchange of power. BDSM stands for bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism.

Bondage: Bondage is a common feature of impact play where the dominant partner ties the submissive partner so they can’t move, enhancing the scene’s climax.

Dominant (Dom/Domme): In BDSM and kink communities, the term “dominant” (Dom/Domme) is commonly used to describe someone more powerful or dominant. It can be a temporary or a permanent self-identity to indicate preferences for romantic partners and sexual encounters. The dominant partner administers the spankings or other forms of play in impact play.

Submissive (Sub): BDSM and kink communities frequently use “submissive” to describe less powerful individuals. It could be a temporary identity or a steady self-identity used to express desires in partner selection and romantic interactions. In impact play, the submissive partner receives the impact on their body.

Dom drop/Sub drop: BDSM scenes are full of adrenaline and endorphins for both partners. Because of this, both partners may experience a comedown immediately after or even several days later, like a drug user coming down from a high. During a drop, everyone has to look after their partner.

Edgeplay: The term “edge play” is used to describe BDSM activities that go beyond the boundaries of what is deemed safe, sane, and mutually agreeable. Activities involving bodily fluids and blood are frequently described in this way. Single-tail whips are considered a form of edge play when used incorrectly because they can cause injury and even death.

Hard limit: hard limits are completely off-limit activities. It’s important to let your partner know about any off-limits activities to you during a play.

Kink: A kink is a sexual attraction that goes against the grain of the heterosexual vanilla norm.


Masochist: describes an individual who enjoys being hurt or having pain inflicted on them in a relationship or dynamic.

Negotiation: Before a scene, it’s common for members of the BDSM and kink communities to have a conversation about what they want out of the scene, including things like the activities they want to do, power dynamics (if any), tools they want to use, and other preferences.

Play: It’s common in the kink community to use the term “play” to describe any erotic activity, from penetration to impact play.

Roleplay: Two or more people take on someone else’s persona and engage in conversation as that persona.

What should I do before trying impact play?

Choose someone you can trust.

Make sure you choose someone you truly trust before engaging in impact play. It is best to discuss this with your sexual partner ahead of time. Discuss how the scene will look, what you want to see happen, and your own boundaries.

Begin slowly.

Begin slowly.
Take your time. Even if you think you know how you feel about it, you won’t know for sure until you start looking into it. I cannot stress how crucial it is to have honest, straightforward, and open discussions regarding this type of play. Make sure you gradually build up the experience. Warm up your partner’s bottom first, then progress to higher impact. Don’t use anything near to your maximum force at first.

Communicate during and after the play.

Both partners should listen carefully and communicate before, during, and after the play. Prepare a safe word ahead of time. Make certain that each of you knows the safe word. Recognize that anyone can use it whenever they deem it appropriate.

Gay couple in bed

A whip in the bedroom? Oh, my!

Take a deep breath and relax! The term “whip” can refer to anything in the BDSM world, from floggers (a sturdy handle and a bunch of tails) to crops (like the ones used on horses) to single-tail whips which are the most dangerous type for newbies. These whips are suitable for impact play, including spanking, whipping, flogging, and caning. Adding a whip to your sex life isn’t limited to those well-versed in BDSM. As long as you safely engage in impact play.

When using a whip, the intensity can vary. The play should always be consensual. And if you’re willing to take the risk of trying new things, experimenting with pain and pleasure can lead to erotic exploration. A strike to your buttocks, upper thighs or other erogenous zones stimulates your skin’s nerve receptors and can cause the release of feel-good hormones. When it comes to kinky sex toys, I recomend you shop at Foxxy for amazing BDSM and sex toys.

What effect does using a riding crop (whip) have in impact play?

A riding crop is commonly used to sexually beat and arouse your partner. When you engage in impact play, you can use the riding crop to smack your partner’s sensuous skin. Pain and pleasure collide when you deliver a prickling thrash with a soft riding crop. If you are a dominant partner, you can assert your dominance in the most enjoyable way possible. You can also combine a riding crop with blindfolds, cuffs, restraints, and lingerie to create a beautiful romantic feel. Other types of whips include spatulas, obviously household items you already have. You can also spank your partner with your hand. The smack may feel amazing to you, but it can also intensify any subsequent pleasurable touch, resulting in a potential magnificent orgasm. Looking for an affordable and quality whip to buy? I highly recommend Slave Whip for Spanking.

whip for impact play

How does impact play give you sexual pleasure?

Adding impact play during sex can open up new possibilities of closeness and pleasure for many people. Spanking, whipping, or canning can enhance or improve sexual satisfaction. Impact play, by focusing on delightful pleasures throughout your body, can help you get off the tensions and anxiety that frequently accompany an exclusive concentration on the sexual organs, also heightening your desire. In response to pain, the body releases hormones such as endorphins, which are the same hormones that rise during sexual pleasure and create bonding between lovers.

Some individuals prefer impact play during sex because it increases sensation and heightens pleasure. Pain can be appealing. When there is pain, blood rises to the skin’s surface, making it more responsive to touch. It’s also possible that merely experimenting with sensations and activities outside the “standard” might be a tremendous turn-on. Fantasy is another motive for indulging in impact play during sex. Pain can direct attention away from the abstract onto the current moment.

How do I talk to my partner about impact play?

Do some resarch.

Do your homework to better grasp what’s available and zero in on what appeals to you. If you recognize what you want to do, it’ll be easy to ask for what you want. You should tell your partner what you want to try and why you want to try it.

Talk to your partner with understanding.

Be ready to experience a wide range of emotions. Your partner could be happy, afraid, angry, upset, bewildered, turned on, or any mix of these emotions. Prepare to talk about your desires. Explain to your partner how much you’d enjoy being spanked or having your hands tied together or whatever it is you want. Impact play is about a mutually beneficial exchange of power between two caring and willing people. The discussion should emphasize the fascinating, new sexual desires you can explore together in a secure environment.

Talk about your desires and limits.

After mentioning your desire to explore impact play, go further to discuss what each of you might be willing and not willing to try. Both parties’ opinions and desires must be valued for this to work. Impact play isn’t fun until everyone is having a good time. If you are willing to try canning or spanking, be sure to let your partner know. Let them know how you would like it. Also, understand your partner’s opinion about canning. It’s not about the dominating partner treating the submissive partner whatever way they want. Create a safe word that indicates to your partner that they should halt what they’re doing and check-in with you. The goal is to provide you a way to pause the action without completely exiting your BDSM characters.

Begin with the basics.

Start with the basics, then work your way up to the more advanced if you like. Begin by giving or receiving spankings on the buttocks with your palms. Then, try tying your partner’s wrists together. You don’t have to break the bank to experiment with impact play. You may really use any household equipment around the house as impact play makeshift. A spatula would work well for spanking. You can have a lot of fun with what you already own.

consent in bdsm safe words
Have a conversation with your partner about the experience.

Discuss the experience with your partner and make plans for the next time. You and your partner should examine your emotions before, during, and after impact play. Be open about how you feel, and then talk about it afterward. Take some time to relax before discussing it. If you didn’t enjoy the play, be honest about it. It’s perfect not to want to try it again, and it’s also perfect to attempt the play in a new way. Maintain an open mind.

Related: Kinky Relationship Tip Talking About BDSM With Your Partner


Whatever a person chooses to do to spice up their sexual experiences, the keyword is always consent. All participants in a sexual relationship must provide clear and specific and enthusiastic consent for all aspects of the encounter, and they should be able to withdraw if they are no longer comfortable or willing.
If you want to branch out from “vanilla” sex and try other varieties, that’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with you. Make sure you only do things you enjoy and are comfortable doing. Be daring, but keep your limits in mind.

If you’re looking to explore impact play for the first time or simply spice up your sex life, possibilities are someone else feels the same way. Foxtail is a sex-positive community where you can find people who share your kinks.

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