WTF Is Impact Play, And Should You Try It?
You and your partner are in bed—lights are off, candles are lit, sex playlist is set to the perfect song—it’s all going according to plan… and that’s the problem. You’re having missionary sex for what feels like the millionth time, and you’re bored.
No shade to the longtime sex position staple, but let’s be real—it’s about time you spiced things up, right? And let’s get even more real: You’ve kinda sorta always wanted to know what it might feel like to be spanked, or even slapped a little bit.
Even if you’ve never dabbled in BDSM, you probably know what impact play is—you just didn’t know that you knew. Basically, it’s a type of BDSM practice where getting struck (for example: being slapped, spanked, or punched) by another person gives you sexual pleasure, says Dr Janet Brito, a clinical psychologist and sexologist in Honolulu.
Of course, she notes that before engaging in impact play, it’s important to “freely consent to clearly defined terms of what the impact play will involve.” That way, you and your partner will be totally comfortable and, most importantly, no one actually gets hurt.
How can impact play give you sexual pleasure?
Whether you’re giving, receiving, or watching impact play, expect to feel sexual pleasure in one way or another. (I mean, that’s kind of the whole point, right?) Oh, and impact play isn’t just about physical pleasure—it can be about psychological pleasure or both. Depending on what kind of impact you’re looking for, Brito suggests using paddles, floggers, hands, belts, whips, canes, or other various props.
Where does impact play fall on the BDSM spectrum?
“Impact play can range from a soft to a more intense strike—or both—depending on what each person agrees to,” Brito says. You may also want to incorporate being restrained, role play, or a give-and-take of dominance and submission.
What do you need to do before trying impact play?
Before you do anything else, Brito says to make sure you choose someone you really trust. And since this isn’t exactly something you can just spring on someone in the middle of sexytime, it’s best to talk to your sexual partner ahead of time, says Brito. “Have a dinner conversation about what the scene will look like, and what you would like to see happen, as well as your limits,” she suggests.
“It is also very important to establish informed consent before each session, and to choose a safe word.” That’ll make sure you always know when to stop, no matter what’s happening.
“Be adventurous, and know your boundaries,” she adds. “Don’t rush into anything.” That means not—repeat not—starting with a heavy strike. Instead, take it slow and easy at first. Then, “tune into each other’s needs and communicate at all times” to figure out if you should hit harder, at a different angle, or another part of the body.
Can you do impact play solo?
Yup, you sure can. “You don’t need to have to have a partner,” says Brito. All you need are the right props (paddle, flogger, a belt, whips, canes, etc.) to whip your legs or back. “It might take a little bit of practice, but practice makes perfect, right?” she adds.
How can you get started with impact play?
Brito recommends newbies try the Lelo Sensua Petite Flogger. “You can’t go wrong with the feel of the soft sheepskin suede tassels against your skin,” she explains. “Plus, it’s easy to hold.”
But if you’ve dabbled in other forms of BDSM, you’ll probably want something with more, well, impact (sorry, had to).
Remember, safety is sexy. So, focus on having fun and don’t put any pressure on yourself if you’re trying impact play for the first time. You’ll get the bang of it (see what I did there?) soon enough.