BDSM Basics: Impact Play

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On its most basic level, Impact Play is simply mutual gratification (sexual or otherwise) from repetitive contact to the body. Impact can be delivered by an array of tools and techniques, depending on the intent of the play. For some, it’s tied in with their fondness for Sensation Play, for others it’s about how much pain can be given or received, or the resulting bruises and marks may give them their high. Depending on the players themselves, the intent of the play, and the tools being used, Impact Play opens up an extremely rich world of sights and sensations.

Curious About Impact Play?

When starting out with Impact Play, there’s a few things to keep in mind…

This is not about a slap to the arse while you’re fucking. Or two. Or three, even. When the definition says ‘repeated blows’ it means just that. Impact Play is about the hits, swats, lashes, spanks, floggings, whippings, wallops, smacks, whacks, thumps, and slaps; it’s about the bruises, marks, and welts, feeling it for days, while watching colour-changing skin - sure the sexuality can be totally there, but the act of sex itself is secondary.

It’s always smart to gather some info about the technique you’re wanting to explore (and this is true for bottoms as much as Tops; you need to know that the people who want to play with you have a clue, and you can’t if you don’t). There are some fantastic ‘How-To’ kink videos on YouTube, and some great social media groups around depending what you’re into. It never hurts to check the AMM events section and see when relevant workshops or skillshares are being held - there is no educational comparison to a decent, hands-on workshop.   

Impact on the Body:

When starting out with Impact Play, your main focus will be on body parts highest in fat and/or muscle content; so really the buttocks and thighs are the best place to start. The chest or breasts can definitely handle some light impact via slapping, or lighter tools like a small flogger or cane, but due to the heavy duty glandular system and vital organs under the chest, avoid heavy impact.   

There are several body parts that are Super High Risk - hitting them too hard can result in long-term damage and even death.  

  • Throat, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles: Don’t go near them. They are home to barely protected arteries, tendons, ligaments and bones. Just no.
  • Kidneys: Impact to any vital organ is a bad idea, which is why the front of the torso is rarely impacted, and thus, the kidneys are the main organs to get a mention. Not only are they located at the back, they rest just above one of the major Impact Playgrounds - the buttocks. 
  • Neck and Tailbone: The extremities of the spine (particularly the neck) contain several sensitive locations for tendons, glands and major arteries. They should stay clear of any impact. The neck vertebrae and tailbone itself are delicate and prone to cracking.
  • Spine: All those little vertebrae need to be looked out for, so most play on the back is usually done with a flogger or a whip, and aimed either side of the spine. Never use any heavy-hitting tools on the back. 
  • Ears: Hits to the ear can perforate the eardrum, leading to hearing loss and/or problems with balance. It can take a couple of months to heal, and the resulting scar tissue does effect hearing long-term. Don’t hit the ears. 
  • Face: Unless this is your actual fetish, it’s generally best to avoid the face. Not only are there super-sensitive spots that can be damaged quite easily - eyes, cheekbones, nose - but the damage could be permanent. Added to this is the risk of whiplash if technique is lacking. 

Prior to play, it’s a great idea to spend some time warming up the area with some mild rubbing, kneading and massaging - mostly to get the blood flowing nicely, but also to allow a few quiet minutes of bonding. Physically it not only allows the Top to start setting a pace (and offers the bottom some time to fall into the rhythm), but the added blood flow can also enhance the markings. 

Physical and Mental Safety: 

Many of the safety aspects of Impact Play are common to all BDSM activities. Primarily, be sure to have a Safe Word (or signal) in use and respect the negotiated boundaries. Organise your after-care routine prior to play to make transitioning from the scene as comfortable as possible - also a bonus if play ends abruptly. Always have a First Aid kit on hand. There is risk inherent in these activities that can not be ignored, and even the most experienced players make occasional mistakes. Be sure to have access to ice; not only is it technically part of your First Aid kit, it could also come in handy as after care (although people do resist as it can settle the bruising). 

There will also be safety issues unique to your scene, depending on the type of impact you’re involved in, the body part that’s taking the hits, and the person you’re partnering - keep in mind, each experience is unique, and just because you’ve done something a few times (or a hundred times!) doesn’t mean any less care should be taken in keeping yourself and others free from unintentional damage.    

The Impact Play Tool Box:

As a general rule, the surface area and reach of the toy will give an idea where it sits on the sensation scale, from ‘Thuddy’ to ’Stingy’. A wider surface area gives the impact more space to spread, and given most of these toys have a relatively short reach, and can be wielded hard, the resulting impact is on the ‘Thuddy’ end of things. Not to say a paddle can’t and won’t sting, but in comparison to the tiny surface impacted with the force and velocity of a whip, which is at the extremely intense end of the ’Stingy’ scale, a paddle is totally ’Thud’.

Even if you choose to specialise with one or two particular implements, there’s no reason you can’t get a grasp of other tools and the sensations they can give. Once you get a bit of experience, you may start selecting toys based on the marks they can potentially leave, but for now, finish reading this, then go flog that pillow. *grins* 
        
Hands on Skin: The best place to start, and in recent times, a fairly common starting point for a journey into kink with almost everyone seeming to appreciate a bit of a slap to the arse during a fuck these days. Bare Bum Spankings are a wonderful starting point; you gauge pain tolerance and endurance, as this is said to be the least severe form of impact; you establish the closeness and trust that will enable further play; and, as it focuses fully on the buttocks, you’re also working with the safest zone. In terms of the Thud N Sting, both effects can be created using your hand - a flat-handed slap will give a stinging result, and likely a very clear handprint; a slightly cupped hand will result in a duller, deeper pain and a more even redness. 

Paddles: A paddle is any tool used in close proximity to apply impact. It has a relatively wide surface area, and a short handle (yes, think ping pong paddle). Made from a variety of materials, the sensation from the paddle will vary dependent on weight, size, and flexibility, but on it’s simplest level it’s most comparative to a very intense spanking from a hand. Like the other toys with a wider surface area, the paddle delivers a significant thud, but certainly brings the sting as well. 
            
Canes: Light weight, and fairly easy to control, the cane is a tool for extremely sharp, quick and intense stings. Although generally made of wood, canes can also be found in rubber, metal, and even fibreglass. The length of the cane is something to consider, and it’s not a bad idea to have a couple of lengths and work with the different sensations of short range and longer range swats. 
            
Crops: These can produce some incredible bruises, and they can be wielded with quite a lot of force, are flexible enough to bend with the body on impact, rather than snap, as, say a bamboo cane could. Added to this is the leather flap that will generally leave some intense red marks. Being a thin tool with a small surface area, the crop is for those who enjoy the sting.     
            
Floggers: Probably the most versatile pieces of equipment you can acquaint yourself with, but a tricky one to master. The standard flogger is generally made from strands of leather (falls) attached to a baton-shaped handle. One of the risks when flogging is ‘wrapping’ - getting the flogger (or whip) caught over the bottom’s shoulder or side, accelerating the speed of the falls, and causing a far heavier hit than was meant. When wielded correctly, the flogger can be used to create both the Thud and Sting sensations commonly enjoyed during Impact Play. It’s vital to have your technique down before attempted to flog an actual person - practise on pillows and be patient. 
        
Whips: Not a tool for beginner’s (and no, not even if you’ve played with a stock whip). This is said to be one of the most hazardous impacts tools in use. Not only does it take great technique and years of practice to truly master, but the sensation is incredibly intense, with so much impact falling so fast into such a tiny space. It’s not uncommon for the whip to break the skin, so be sure to take that into consideration in terms of aftercare. After your whip has made someone bleed, it is fluid-bonded to that person, and pretty much retired from use on anyone but them.                 

Toy Safety: 

Just as you need to be safe with the body, you need to be safe with your toys. A lot of kink toys are made from leather, wood, rope and other porous materials that can’t be sanitised, and therefor can’t be shared after fluid-bonding. If one of your toys breaks the skin, causes abrasions, or welts the skin during impact play it should not be used again on any other partners. If you’re thinking of using toys with the intention to share, be sure they are made of a non-porous substance such as silicone (REAL silicone) or stainless steel. 

The other thing to keep in mind is the condition of your toys as they age. Wood can splinter, and become more rigid with time, as can leather if not properly cared for. When starting out, it’s fine to play around with some cheaper, ‘throw away’ options until you find the toy/s you really want to play with. 

AfterCare: 

A major part of aftercare with Impact Play is inspecting the bottom’s body for any broken skin, and open wounds or bleeding should be sterilised and dressed immediately after the scene is complete. With a non-fluid-bonded partner gloves should be used. This play is physically and mentally demanding. It’s important to take some time after play, to check in with your partner; simple things like a cuddle, or an expression of gratitude, a cup of tea, and a blanket gives the body an opportunity to land softly from the endorphin high BDSM scenes are famous for. 

Be sure to clearly negotiate your needs prior to play, play with someone you trust, and enjoy. 

Final Word:

Risk-awareness, consent, respect and safety are all paramount to BDSM play. Whether you’re committing to the lifestyle itself, or indulging in some of the kinky space it has to offer, please be good to yourself and those you play with. This is about the love of sensation and the freedom to express, so please help spread those values when you’re hitting on each other. *blows kisses* 

20 Comments

wunwulf
More than a month ago
"there's a fine line between pleasure and pain" was that sooze demarchi or chrissy amphlett???anyway thays right??????
THORGODOFTHUNDE
More than a month ago
Amphlett, she was all hands on lol
SassySandy
More than a month ago
Nothing like being passionate......not into VERY harsh rough guys!!!!! SENSUAL IS BEST!!!! don't mind a little rough here and there. rather have shivers down my spine than a painful experience..
shellygurl1970
More than a month ago
Great article! never really understood the complecity of it,but,wow!
love to get into it I think! A good smack on the ass is great!
Megzter
More than a month ago
I dont usually post comments, but this is an extremely well written piece.
I love how the writer has made it clear, that the person receiving the impact play must also know, the fundamentals regarding the type of impact play, they are about to receive.
The only thing I would add is both parties need to know, if there are any medical conditions that need to be considered when playing.
To the writer, congrats on a great piece :)
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More than a month ago
Hear hear!

The receiver should always be the one in control, not the giver. Otherwise it's nothing more than abuse.
MisKnickers
More than a month ago
@Megzter: I'm so glad you did contribute. Thanks for both your compliments, and pointing out something I missed - considering pre-existing medical conditions (physical and mental) prior to play. And this isn't in a 'first aid' scenario in case someone is hurt. This is more about addressing any injuries or triggers prior to play to ensure there will be no more damage inflicted.
Desiresunny
More than a month ago
Good read .. Keen to apply.. Volunteers needed.. ;)
Kiwisub
More than a month ago
Thank you. Very informative and well written.
LizIan4u
More than a month ago
Each to their own I guess. The idea of inflicting pain on someone has never turned my sexual juices on. Maybe I'm boring but in my mind there is nothing like a passionate pleasurable lovemaking session.
Leolady727
More than a month ago
I agree - not my thing at all - to me pain is the antithesis of pleasure
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More than a month ago
I agree, I personally think something is a little off about this :(
1DoorMan
More than a month ago
Well written, yes if you want to partake talk with your the Dom / Dome about what you want and it is about your wants n needs to be meet . Have a SAFE words to express your limit and to end Play . A Dome must have control with in themselves to give and seek your pleasure and boundary. Enjoy the many forms of BDMS.
miguel45bttm
More than a month ago
OUCH!...mmmmmmmmm!
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More than a month ago
I've only recently been introducing Impact play into my BDSM sessions. At first it was very soft floggers and paddles more a wafting that a whipping lol. But it all comes down to what the sub wants. I love the sound of the whips etc hitting flesh and it doesn't have to be hard to get me turned on. At this time a few red marks are the most I've given. But I've a beautiful collection of whips etc for any sub who loves Impact play.Safe words are compulsory even for light play as each subs pain levels differs and also how quickly they redden up. Some very quickly from barely a stroke.Some take a while so it's the Dom/Domme that has to lookout for them and check regularly with their sub. Great article
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More than a month ago
Ouch is right, submissive men don't turn me on one bit. I couldn't be dominant in bed but each to their own.
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More than a month ago
BDSM is not predominantly about bed or sex for that matter.Most guys who are submissive are in high powered positions at work and just want to hand over control at some periods in their lives. I'm sure at times you haven't just lain there and thought of England you've taken control in bed or in your personal life. Sex would be pretty boring if only one party was doing all the work. It doesn't have to be painful either have you never had your bottom slapped in a sexual manner.? It's erotic not painful exactly.
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More than a month ago
I get what you are saying, still doesn't turn me on to dominant a man nor do I find that play erotic :)

Of course I've taken charge and had my arse smacked. Never laid there that I can recall :))),

I just like a man to take charge :), it works for me :)
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More than a month ago
Well that's good your a bottom in the bedroom and a top sometimes then. I'm a top and sometimes a bottom. Each to their own. Wonderful world isn't it.lol But as to Impact play or any BDSM Role play session it's what both parties agree on beforehand nothing is forced and if you think a person who hands their body over to you is weak then let me put you straight on that, they're the stronger of the two.
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More than a month ago
I guess I am :)), more than happy with it :)
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