Everyone knows what spanking is. But when most people think about spanking—hitting a person, usually on the buttocks, with an open hand or an implement like a cane—they think about corporal punishment. The kind of spanking we love brings pleasure on the heels of pain. Spanking is for lovers! But just how do you spank you lover? In this Bondage Is for Lovers Spanking 101 Guide, we cover the basics of spanking for safe sexual and sensual pleasure.
spank /spangk/ v. & n. 1 tr. slap, esp. on the buttocks, with the open hand (…) • n. a slap, esp. with the open hand on the buttocks.
—The Oxford American Dictionary
Spanking 101: Getting Started
A lot more people than you think enjoy spanking, and have throughout history.
Spanking is an ancient sexual practice: the Kama Sutra has an entire section on spanking.
Starting in the 20th century, and particularly since the 1960s, spanking magazines have provided a visual outlet (and, dare we say, inspiration) for spanking lovers. On porn sites, spanking is a popular fetish. On a more rigorous note, one of our favorite websites, Spanking Art, is a wiki showcasing the artistic side of spanking.
The 2002 flick Secretary featured spanking among a plethora of BDSM practices.
The 2011 movie A Dangerous Method includes a spanking scene as well, as Michael Fassbender, as Carl Jung, explores experimental therapy with Keira Knightley’s character.
More recently, author Jillian Keenan wrote a popular memoir about spanking. And a 2014 Canadian study found that 24 percent of women and 44 percent of men want to spank someone, while 36 percent of women and 29 percent of men want to be spanked to obtain sexual pleasure.
Spanking is in the sexual mainstream now. You like it (or at least want to try) and no one knows, right? We rest our case.
Why you may enjoy spanking is a more interesting question. Spanking increases blood flow to the area being spanked; more blood flow means more arousal. On the deeper level, the pain spanking causes activates your hormones by delivering dopamine AKA the pleasure chemical to your system. Pleasure and pain are, indeed, interconnected.
Outside of bondage itself, spanking is also a simple, straightforward way to express submission and dominance. Associated with corporal punishment, spanking evokes a power exchange in a relationship faster than you can slap a butt. This can be an amazing turn on.
Introducing Spanking Into Your Sex Life
There is no rule as to who in the relationship gets spanked and who spanks. Man spanks woman / guy spanks girl, woman spanks man / girls spanks guy, man spanks man / guy spanks guy, and woman spanks woman / girl spanks girl (and add to each “or those who identify”) are perfectly acceptable scenarios for adults getting spanked. Not to mention the delicious combinations when you add people to the mix. It’s your sex life, and you can get spanked if you want to.
Whatever your dyad (or more), spanking starts with communication, just like any other bondage-related practice. Both the spanker and the spankee must consent to spanking.
The best time to discuss spanking is way before it actually takes place and in a sober, calm state of mind (an unexpected and particularly an unwanted slap on the behind during intercourse can kill the mood before the echo of the sound is over and put spanking away for good).
Be positive, honest, understanding, and, most importantly, don’t judge.
Blows are a form of love play.
—The Kama Sutra
If you are a spanking novice and wish to try spanking on the receiving end, you might bring up the topic gently, e.g. by saying “I fantasize about you spanking my sweet ass,” or “I want to try spanking,” or “Would you like to spank my delicious butt some time?” You can also get straight to the point by saying, “I want to be spanked” or “I want to get spanked” or “I want to have a spanked bottom.”
If you’ve already tried and know that you like spanking, you can introduce it into your sex life with a new partner by saying things like, “I get turned on when I am spanked,” or “I like to be spanked” (or “I like to get spanked”).
The idea is the same if you are an aspiring spanker, though you should broach the subject with extra care and without getting pushy: “Would you like to try getting spanked sometime?” or “How would you feel about me spanking that adorable ass?”
Let your partner know what you find attractive or gratifying about spanking (pleasure? power? pain?), and how you see spanking being part of your sex life.
Once spanking is on the table and both partners agree to keep it there, continue the conversation by establishing the parameters of the play.
Start with the safe word. Though establishing a safe word is particularly important for the bottom, the top should also have one just in case they are unable to continue the play. If you already have your safe words from a previous bondage negotiation, keep them. Otherwise, tell your partner the word that will stop play no matter what. Some use non-sexual words, others keep to the Green = Go, Yellow = Alert, Red = Stop! system.
The intensity of spanking (how hard you hit your partner, what level of pain they can tolerate, or what sensation they prefer) will be a matter of experimentation but you can agree upon some basic parameters ahead of time. Ways of communicating intensity are particularly important: you can say things like, “Harder,” or “Not so hard,” or you can stick with a common pain-scale system, with 1 being the least painful and 10 being the upper limit. It’s possible your threshold will increase the more you get spanked, but if you’re just starting out, know and communicate your limits.
One thing you can agree on is whether you will only use hands or introduce an implement. Particularly with paddles and canes, you should also agree on whether you want any bruises to show; some enjoy and even feel proud of their welts, others may wish to keep less evidence of spanking.
And finally, you should agree if spanking will be part of a fantasy or role play (teacher spanks student for bad grades; husband spanks wife spanked for being bad by her wife; patient spanked every day for a month by nurse as therapy), part of a domination-submission play, incorporated into regular intercourse, an extension of bondage, or a simple standalone play focusing on the sensation. You can also combine these to suit your mood, as long as you agree ahead of time.
Spanking has some themes. Submission and dominance are two of them, of course, but there are others. Obedience. Discipline. Authority. Accountability. Respect. Punishment.
—Jillian Keenan, Sex with Shakespeare
Remember, be open to experimentation and keep it safe.
Spanking 101: Tools of the Trade
The best thing about spanking: you don’t need anything other than a partner to deliver or receive it. All that spanking requires is a hand and a buttock or two.
If you want to take spanking beyond the hand (while making sure it doesn’t get out of hand), you can use spanking toys.
In common parlance, paddling, flogging, caning, and whipping are often included under spanking. In our minds, bound as we are to accuracy, they’re different kinds of impact play (or flagellation, if you want to get really nerdy), and we tackle them elsewhere on Bondage Is for Lovers. Here we’ll stick with hands and a handful of spanking toys that don’t fall under any other category of flagellation.
Spanking Implements at Home
The beautiful thing is that you don’t need to spend a time on spanking toys, especially if you’re only starting out on your spanking journey. You can spank your lover (or get spanked) with common household items like
- wooden spoon
- rolled up magazine or catalog
- slipper or sneaker
- feather duster
Of course, a lot of these get close to paddling (wooden spoon) or caning (ruler). But who’s paying attention when you’re enjoying yourself?
Specialty Spanking Implements
In addition to spankables around the house, you can go specialty on your partner’s ass and spank them with a spanking glove (or mitt), a slapper or a riding crop. All of these spanking toys come in a variety of materials and designs.
One thing to keep in mind: there is no such thing as the best spanking toy or an ideal spanking implement. There is only the best spanking toy (or, more likely, toys) for you and your partner.
Give your palm a rest and vary the spanking sensation by using a spanking glove. The palm of the spanking glove is usually padded and lined on the inside, and comes in different materials and textures on the spanking side, e.g. leather, fur, spikes.
Of course, you can use a variety of other gloves in lieu of a specialty spanking glove, like regular leather gloves or motorcycle gloves.
A slapper consists of strips of leather attached to a handle or just an eyelet. In some slappers, the leather strips are sown together.
Being the loosest of spanking toys, slappers deliver lighter and louder blows. For more intense impact, go with the toys below.
A riding crop is exactly what you think it is: an implement traditionally used to spur horses into faster gallop. A crop consist of a handle, a long thin rod, and a crop end, which is typically a piece of leather looped and attached to the rod.
Crops are typically leather but there are some made from silicone. Crop heads come in different sizes and shapes, and they can also be studded or spiked or have various shapes knocked out to create imprints on the skin.
Using a crop for spanking requires some practice to make sure you hit with the crop end, not necessarily with the rod. A pillow or a cushion can provide a simulation buttocks for you to practice accuracy and impact.
Additional Spanking Accessories
Whereas spanking implements can enhance your play and deliver a wide range of sensations, spanking accessories is where you can get quite specialized. In other words, spanking accessories are for true spanking enthusiasts.
A spanking skirt is a female garment with a special opening for the buttocks. Some spanking afficionados also use full-on leather, latex, or leather skirts for spanking, as the impact through the material can be quite delightful.
The male equivalent of the spanking skirt is the chaps, sometimes known as assless chaps.
If a bed or a couch or a chair aren’t enough, you can get a special spanking bench for your spanking pleasure. These are specialty pieces of furniture specifically designed to restrain the bottom expose his buttocks for a good spanking.
Spanking Techniques: Fifty Ways to Spank Your Lover
How to spank your lover sounds like a simple question, but you can get quite creative in spanking. With quite a few choices to consider every step of the way, there might just be fifty ways to spank your lover.
Oh the combinations you will enjoy!
Spanking can be a standalone (or bendalone, as it were) pursuit. You can sneak in a quick spanking session after work before you make dinner, or you can get the blood flowing first thing in the morning.
You can incorporate spanking in your foreplay, to tease your partner with a bit of pain, to get a fantasy rolling, or to establish a power dynamic for your play session.
Spanking is also a wonderful activity to include in your intercourse, often as part of ratcheting up the intensity of your play as you ride into the climax.
How to get spanked is a much easier issue to handle than how to spank someone. Once again, you’ve got options.
(Note we are tackling this section from the standpoint of the spanker. After all, matters are in her hands.)
Where in the World to Spank or Get Spanked
And finally, the place. Because of the sounds it makes, you’ll probably want to keep your spanking in the privacy of your home, which is hopefully well sound-insulated (you don’t want your neighbors to call in a domestic violence incident).
You can sneak in a quick spanking session anywhere you have a bit of privacy (and again, sound insulation). A party, your parents’ place, the office, a bar restroom, a car—nowhere is off limits. And if there isn’t a Mile-High Spanking Club yet, there should be.
The world is your spanking oyster.
Spanking 101: What Body Parts to Spank or Get Spanked
Most commonly (and unsurprisingly) you will administer or receive spanking on the buttocks. Spanking on dressed buttocks is spanking, too, and it will do in a pinch. But the real fun is in the bare butt spanking. Butt is where the most padding is, and the sting there is safer and the sound divine.
You can also spank the back of your partner’s upper thighs, calves, penis, breasts, and outer labia. With these non-butt parts, make sure to start very lightly and increase intensity very gradually.
Areas to avoid include
- anywhere a bone is close to the skin, especially the tailbone or the back, particularly the kidney area
- anywhere nerves are close to the skin
- anywhere major veins or arteries are close to the skin
- testicles (unless you’re into cock-and-ball torture)
- lower thighs
- back of knees
Spanking 101: Spanking Positions
Think about spanking.
The first spanking position that came to your mind was probably having your spankee stretched over your lap while you sit in a chair or sofa. While this position is really advantageous for the spanker, it gets uncomfortable quickly for the spankee.
Try instead sitting on a sofa or edge of the bed and having the bottom stretch over your lap. That way, you have great access to the spanking areas and your spankee’s legs and torso rest comfortably on a soft surface. The disadvantage is that the top can’t move or see the bottom’s eyes.
Aside from (dis)comfort and freedom of movement, the greatest disadvantage of prone positions is the spanking angle. The lower the angle between the legs and the torso, i.e. the less protruding the butt is, the lower the spanking impact. That’s why the least painful spanking position is lying flat face down on a bed or couch.
The opposite is the happy-baby position (borrowing the term from yoga), which has the bottom lying down on their back with feet way up, even touching them. This is one of the most painful positions, as the angle between the hips and the body is severe and the most sensitive parts, including thighs and the sit spot, exposed.
Standing positions ensure greater bend and stronger impact.
Have the bottom bend over with her hands on an object, like a table, back of a chair, bed, sink, or kitchen counter. You can alter the angle of the hips depending on the height of the object or whether the bottom touches it with their hands or elbows.
Standing positions are great for changing up the spanking angle and for eye contact, enabling better communication. They’re also more painful than lying-down position, both because of the angle and because the solid object stops the bottom’s forward movement as they squirm or try to get away.
You can also have the bottom bend over standing up, as far as they can go, touching their knees, calves, or feet. This is a more painful standing position, chiefly because of the greater hip angle.
In kneeling positions the bottom kneels on the floor (preferably on a cushion), chair seat, or bed (on all fours, or even better on his elbows). You can kneel beside or behind them and get to work.
Spanking 101: The Warm Up
As with any erotic practice, it’s a mistake to jump right into spanking. The point is to relax your partner and reach greater spanking heights. Start slowly, warming your partner up, and building the intensity over time.
Start with soft pats or swats. Rub and massage his buttocks, thighs, and surrounding areas to relax your partner. Feel free to stimulate your partner’s genitals, and try other sensations like tickling or scratching. Change it up as you go.
You’ll know when your partner is warmed up for spanking if you feel their body relax, see their skin get warmer and slightly redder, and hear them make their usual pleasure sounds.
Spanking 101: The Impact, or, How to Spank Your Lover
There are essentially two ways to deliver the spank: a slap or a thwack.
And anywhere in between!
[T]he different kind of spankings [include] erotic, maintenance, “good girl,” punishment, “funishment,” stress relief, rhythmic, role play, just-for-fun, power exchange…”
—Jillian Keenan, Sex with Shakespeare
The Slap vs the Thwack
There are essentially two ways to spank, creating two different sensations and sounds.
The slap entails hitting with a smaller surface area of the spanking delivery mechanism, be it a part of your palm with fingers spread out or bent slightly backward, or a paddle. You’ll hear a sharper, more high-pitched sound as your hand or spanking toy hit the bottom’s skin. The slap leaves more pronounced, albeit shorter lasting, marks on the body, which is particularly the case when spanking with a cane. The slap generates a stinging sensation that last for a short moment but lingers on the surface (think hot sauce).
The thwack penetrates deeper into the body as it is delivered with a cupped hand or wider implements like a bigger paddle. It makes a deeper sound and doesn’t bruise as much, though any bruises that do show up last longer.
Spanking techniques include (the names are ours):
- Hit and Run: Deliver the blow and withdraw immediately or let your hand or spanking implement bounce off.
- Swat and Stay: Deliver the blow and rest your hand or the spanking toy on the impact spot for a moment to punctuate the impact.
- Spank and Rescue: Deliver the swat and grab or fondle the area you hit.
- Spank Me Sideways: The most natural spanking motion is perpendicular to the body. Glancing blows, delivered from at an angle deliver a different kind of stinging sensation. A slap upside the bottom (think a slap upside a head but on the buttocks) is one, more impactful way to do it. You can also go the other way, from top down.
Because spanking entails multiple, repeated swats, you want to find a rhythm to it. Alternate the buttocks and different other body parts. Change how you deliver the blow.
Give your hands a rest by substituting a spanking implements, and you can change up the toys themselves. Mix in a little caressing or stroking or rubbing or scratching. You can also cool off the bottom’s skin with an ice cube for a tasty hot-cold sensation.
Take breaks to do something entirely different.
The point is: experiment! It’s up to you and your partner.
Spanking is like a dance or a massage: it can be erotic, but it doesn’t have to be.
—Jillian Keenan, Sex with Shakespeare
Whatever you do, make sure to communicate throughout. The bottom may communicate with their body or sounds or verbally (“there,” “not there,” “harder,” not so hard”, and so on), directing the top toward the most pleasurable sensation. The top should check in with the spankee periodically to see how things are going.
Spanking 101: Aftercare
As with bondage, aftercare is important in spanking. While it often leads to other sexual activities, it’s still good to check discuss the experience afterward. What worked, what to do differently, what else to do, and so on.
For any bruising, minor wounds, or soreness, clean the area and apply a cold compress (alternate with a hot pad), arnica cream, or aloe for a cooling, healing effect.