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What is Impact Play?

Updated: 1 day ago

Everything you need to know about beginner level impact play, flogging, and BDSM.


What is impact play and why is it a turn on?

Impact play is a type of “striking” play that is popular within the BDSM community. It can be used with a variety of instruments such as flogs, paddles, riding crops, or simply bare hands. And it can be very erotic due to the types of sensations that each tool gives when striking the body.


What questions do you need ask your partner prior to impact play?

The first thing you need to do prior to impact play is gauge your partner's tolerance. Whether they are a newbie or a veteran you need to understand each other's hard and soft limits, as well as each other’s wants and desires from the session, so ask!


The main idea of impact play, as with most BDSM practices, is that pain = pleasure. However, we don't want to put anyone in any danger. Prior to initiating the session, you should ask questions that pertain to what each other's limits may be, as well as communicate what your agreed upon safe word will be, just in case!


What are safe words?

It’s always important to have some sort of safe word if you are entering into any sort of BDSM session. Because BDSM can be extremely physically demanding, making sure that your partner knows when a limit has been reached, or a break is needed is important for safety. Also make sure your safe word is not something that would be easily mistaken for regular conversation. It should be be something unique but rememberable that your play partner will know for sure means to ease up.


Tips on trying impact play

Spanking will always a great place to start when it comes to impact play. Everyone likes it, at least a little, in my opinion, plus it doesn’t require any equipment. But if you want to invest in some beginner equipment I would recommend a paddle. It's a beginner-friendly tool and adds just a little extra leverage to the spanking motion. It’s probably best to keep impact play anywhere on the glute or the thigh area if you are new to it.




The Sex & Mischief Amor Paddle lets you choose between playing it safe and getting rough with its playful double-sided design. One side features a rigid surface to provide firm hits and the other side features soft red faux fur so you can switch up sensations and tend to your sub with some soothing aftercare.


Crops are also a great beginner tool because they combine the best of whips and flogs, and can be quite user friendly. A crop is a long stick with a small leather (or faux leather) strap at one end. Crops come from riding horses are were intended to make them run faster, it's because everyone kind of knows what they are and do that makes them pretty user friendly. It also has a great stinging sensation that works great on pretty much anywhere.




Keep 'em in line with this bat crop. The faux-leather tip delivers a satisfying sting, and the taut design with rubber grip handle gives you excellent control.





Whips and flogs are both handheld tools that have one or multiple leather strips attached to them, respectively. These tools may be on the more advanced spectrum of impact play, as they do require a bit of technique to use effectively. Whipping and flogging generally goes along the back, legs, waist, chest, or arms and the sensations can be anything from soft paddling to hard snapping or stinging. Try to avoid places with thin skin or bruises easily with these tools, and of course don’t use them around the face or head.




The Saffron Finger Flogger puts the perfect swing right at your fingertips! This unique impact tool from Sportsheets features forty supple 17" faux leather tails and two loops for an intuitive grip. Simply place your fingers through the loops and swing to get that perfectly satisfying slap. The Saffron Finger Flogger’s tails are coated in a red and black satin finish over a high-quality vegan leather design.


How does impact play feel?

Every form of impact play has its own sensation, and some may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone wants to be hit with whips and chains, but some people may like heavier tools like that. Some people may only have the threshold for spanking or flogging and that’s perfectly fine too. Just making sure whoever you are having a session with knows what your limits are beforehand can make the experience better.


What is aftercare?

Aftercare is something everyone in the BDSM community knows and supports. It’s important because of the physical and emotional energy that is exerted when engaging in a session. Proper aftercare can actually strengthen the relationship as well, rather than having it be a transactional experience.


Aftercare can be anything from rubbing aloe or cream onto the reddened skin after a session, helping clean up, checking in with each other, (“how are you doing? Can I get you anything?”) Or even being vulnerable enough to cry and/or hold each other afterwards. Yes, crying can occasionally happen! It can be a very beautiful thing, but it does take a high level of emotional intelligence to understand and to be able to




The Apothecary by Tantus After Care Cream with Arnica is made by kinky folks for kinky folks. Formulated with arnica to reduce inflammation and chamomile to calm the skin, this cream is a must for anyone who dabbles in their fair share of impact play. This After Care Cream has a smooth and silky consistency, easily spreading over and absorbing into the skin without getting sticky.

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