by Lord Unicron
We’ve all seen one of those scenes in a movie or in real life where the D-type takes the squirming, protesting, wriggling s-type over his (or her) knee and proceeds to spank her (or his) bratty ass into perfect, breathless, glassy-eyed, weak-kneed submission. There’s no lead-up, no foreplay, no warning of what’s to come, just WHACKWHACKWHACKWHACHWHACK followed by “Please fuck me, (insert title or honorific here).” Sexy, right?
On film, yes. In real life, not so much.
Oh, this scene or a variation of it works fine for discipline, when the idea isn’t to get your s-type wet or hard but to convey the simple message that the behavior that led to the spanking isn’t okay. But what if you want to turn on your partner instead of disciplining her? In the BDSM lifestyle, this is often called “funishment,”and it can be an exquisite bonding experience for both sides of the slash. Not altogether unrelated to the discussion, one of my girls recently experienced her first orgasm ever solely from impact play at a play party we attended. She said it was one of the most shockingly erotic and unexpected feelings she’d ever head.
**NOTE: Unless you have negotiated impact play as a part of your scene or relationship previously, treat it as any other form of touch and don’t do it until and unless you ask for it AND receive enthusiastic, explicit consent. There may be rare occasions where doing this any other way will work out surprisingly well, but the most likely responses run from “OUCH! What the fuck was THAT for?” to “Hello, 911…yeah, my partner just sexually assaulted me.” Save yourself the headache and don’t go there, hmm? If you want to try a spanking scene, always start by using your words. Neither the author, site admins nor hosting service will be liable for any consequences arising from any usage of this information in an inappropriate or nonconsensual manner.**
Definition of Terms: Force vs. Power
Yes, Virgil, there IS a considerable difference between force and power, and this difference is supremely relevant to understanding sensual spanking, as well as the basis for all other forms of impact play.
Power is the amount of kinetic energy behind the strike, usually related to the height from which the hand or prop falls, the speed with which it does so and how much effort is put into the strike. A quick, sharp pop from a relatively low height (<24″) will likely have more power behind it than a slow, light strike from higher up. Power is measured in watts and expressed with the equation P=w/t (power equals work [force applied over distance] divided by time).
Force is the transmission of the strike’s kinetic energy into the target area. If you think in terms of power being potential kinetic energy and force being actual, applied kinetic energy, you’re getting the idea. The power of a blow is only potential until the blow actually lands, because the strike could be pulled, redirected, softened, etc. Force is measured in newtons and expressed by the equation f=ma (force equals mass multiplied by acceleration).
**Another note: These terms also have psychological definitions that are eminently relevant to D/s dynamics, but fall beyond the intended scope of this article. I will discuss these in more detail on Freaky Friday, so be sure to check back in for more on this.**
Basic scene safety protocols apply to any scene, anytime, anywhere, until and unless you and your partner have negotiated in advance what is and is not acceptable at any given time or circumstance. When in doubt, trying something new or expanding boundaries and limits, always take the time to define what is and isn’t acceptable, even if you’ve been with your partner for years and THINK you know better than they do where their lines are drawn. Failure to do this may result in injury, the loss of the relationship, possible prison time, severe damage to one’s reputation and serious injury or death. Don’t neglect them. They are too important!!!
Be sure before you start that you negotiate a safeword and parameters for play, including any props, toys, insertables etc. you wish to employ, in advance and respect any limits expressed during negotiation, as well as mutually agreeable aftercare. If sexual activity is desired after the scene, guess what? That’s right! This has to be negotiated too, because if you successfully get your partner into the endorphin high known as “subspace,” your partner is basically in the grip of a heroin high and CANNOT give consent! Because of this, it’s vital that you set the lines beforehand so there are no questions later, and make sure there are NO unclarities on either side.
Always remember that “No,” “ouch,” and “stop” are not considered valid safewords! A good safeword is something that would not normally be used in a sexual context and is simple to remember, which is why many people prefer the stoplight system (green, yellow, RED) to signify safewords. Green means go ahead the way you’re doing it, yellow means slow down or check in, and red means stop the scene right here and right now. Feel free to mix and match to your own tastes, so long as you’re secure that you can say the safeword quickly and clearly if needed, or give a visual cue if gags and restraints are involved. (Hint: “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” = WORST SAFEWORD EVER!) If you or your partner do not permit the use of safewords, make sure you trust this person completely with your health and safety.
Step 1: Pick a position.
These steps are the way I go about this, so note that your mileage may vary and you may want to mix things up a bit. Whatever you negotiate with your partner ALWAYS kicks the ass of a list on the Internet!
For erotic spanking, I usually prefer my partner over my knee, but lying prone on a table has its advantages too. Over the knee gives more direct intimate contact, but necessarily limits the freedom of movement of both partners and restricts angle, force and power of the strike. It also limits the strike zone largely to the buttock and rear hip and thigh area. The prone position reduces or negates direct contact, but offers a broader range of options for the D-type concerning how, where and with how much power and force strikes are applied, as well as giving a great deal more flexibility in the use of props. Positioning in this case is largely a matter of personal taste and preference, but the intended application should be considered.
Step 2: Get rhythm.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have no natural sense of rhythm, like me, then you need something with which to mark time. A metronome or music with a heavy beat can help you maintain a steady, consistent rhythm as you work your way up in speed and intensity. I strongly suggest a playlist that goes from slow, steady 4/4 time to more complex and syncopated rhythms. Example: Start with Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” or Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and work up in speed and complexity to “Voodoo” by Godsmack. If you have natural rhythm, keeping consistent rhythm and adding in variations is important to getting your s-type into the right headspace to fully let go and just experience the moment.
Step 3: Getting started
You’ve got your s-type positioned to your liking, your favorite music is cued up and you’re ready to start. I prefer to begin a sensual session with my bare hand, applying just enough force to the target area to make a light slapping sound. To do this, “pull” the strike just as it lands so that it strikes at about half the terminal (highest) speed and position your hand so it deflects off the target area at about a 30- to 45-degree angle. This gives a solid impact, a little sting and a nice follow-through without being too much, too soon. Your strike doesn’t necessarily have to have a cohesive rhythm, but there does need to be enough of a pattern that your partner relaxes and doesn’t try to anticipate or figure out what you’re doing next. If you keep to the same rhythm, vary your pattern. If you keep to the same rhythm, vary your pattern. Also, do remember to switch hands as much as possible every so often, and reduce strike force a little about every five minutes for 2-3 minutes. This not only changes the angle and direction with which the force of the strikes is applied, but it also keeps your palms from getting tired and sore too early.
If you’re doing SDS (Same Damned Spot) play, where the goal is to strike one limited area without deviation or straying, you will want to be even lighter starting out. If you have a broader target area to work within, be sure to space out your strikes so no one area takes more than one hit for every 4-8 you deliver. (I find starting out in a square pattern resolves this fairly easily.)
This all seems like a lot to remember, so the biggest thing to keep in mind is not to overthink it. It will become second nature quickly enough, but don’t be surprised if you feel a little awkward or uncertain in the beginning.
Repeat until the area in question is a medium pink to light red color.
4. Gaining momentum
By this time, about 10-15 minutes should have elapsed. If your partner is looking very relaxed and even happy each time you strike, they’re experiencing their first endorphin dump. Check in. Offer your partner some water to keep them and you hydrated and/or some chocolate for quick fuel. Be sure to replenish yourself as well, because repetitive activity is always more tiring and draining than you think it is. Once this is done, it’s time to mix things up a bit. Back off slightly for 2-3 minutes. Start going slightly harder and faster, alternating and mixing up your patterns to keep your partner’s nerve endings alert. Remember to back off and then increase.
When your partner’s strike area is a medium to deep red, repeat this step again, increasing speed and complexity of the pattern you’re using again. Don’t forget to replenish your partner and yourself, and make sure to vary your strike force on a semi-regular basis. If you wish, you may continue until you and your partner feel enough time has passed, your partner achieves climax or the safeword is given, or you may proceed to the optional next step.
5. Shit just got real.
If you negotiated the use of props such as a strap, flogger, cane and so on, this is the time you want to put them into play. All the previous points come into play here, with the crucial exception being that you need to be very alert for a phenomenon known as “marbling.” This produces an appearance on the skin similar to a high-quality steak. This point can be dangerous because subdermal bruising or blood pooling (“Hematoma”) can occur. At this point, it is very easy to break the skin, or risk causing a blood clot with potentially fatal consequences. When you see marbling, regardless of whether your partner has used their safeword, you need to stop the scene immediately and begin aftercare, unless you’re VERY experienced and splitting the skin is what you and your partner are after, in which case, it’s your negotiation, your scene and your health and safety. Remember RACK!
Wash, rinse, repeat with each new prop you bring into the scene.
Do not neglect aftercare. This is the time where you and your partner can “come down” and express your love and caring for each other. This is also the time to thoroughly hydrate, attend to your physical needs (bathroom, cigarette, rehydrate, refuel, etc.) and begin debriefing. What worked in the scene? What didn’t? What was good? What was not so good? Are you okay? Is your partner okay? Are you both feeling all right about what happened?
Remember that during a window of immediately to 3-4 days out, your body is purging the endorphins built up during the scene. When they and the oxytocin and other great chemicals your body makes in these situations run out, you and your partner may experience a “crash” that feels just like coming down from a dose of hard drugs. This drop is so commonplace it is known as Dom/sub drop, and could manifest as anything from a mild feeling of malaise to severe-to-suicidal depression and any point in between. It is CRUCIAL, especially if you are a new player, to make sure you and your partner stay in close contact so you can help each other through drop if it occurs. Both of you may need that assurance that you’re not a bad person, you’re not a freak and you’re not crazy because you find pleasure and gratification in giving or receiving pain, so be sure that you and your partner are there for each other to get the comfort and care you need. Even if YOU don’t, that doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t.
Thanks for joining me for Tasty Tuesday. Be sure to check out the other posts that are coming down throughout the week, and join me again on Freaky Friday for an analysis of power vs. force as they relate to psychology and the kink lifestyle!
Want to enhance your spanking play and increase sensation? A good anal plug can do wonders… 😉