By: Jean Samick
Impact play is the term used to describe the act of a Dominant striking the Submissive for the purpose of sexual arousal. Impact play can be everything from a few spanks to the use of whips and flogs, and includes a variety of smackers for every interest. Whips can be anything from a singled tailed bullwhip like a sexy Indiana Jones, or a more complex cat o’ nine tails type whip commonly called floggers. Other things like belts and canes are also commonly used in impact play with lesser used types at either end of the spectrum. The narrower the tail, the sharper the sting, and thicker items tend to have a more impactful thud on the skin.
The act can be pretty enjoyable and stimulating to the fat or muscular areas of the body. Good areas include the butt, middle back and thighs, but it’s recommended that people avoid joints, the fleshy abdomen and any boney areas like the hip bones or head and neck. The type of toy used has an impact (zing!) on the type of mark it leaves, with thinner switches differing from flat paddles.
Some whips and flogs will only leave light welts that disappear in a few hours while others may leave more lasting impressions. Scientifically, the smaller the area space being smacked the more concentrated the shock waves that travel over the surface of your skin. Wider toys like paddles and smackers affect a wide area and have a more spread out surface reaction. As with all toys, it’s important to keep all smackers in good shape. Any rough edges or broken leather can harm or break the skin, not to mention house bacteria.
Newcomers to the fetish should recognize the difference between impact play and abuse before embarking on any physical fun. Impact play has a Dom/Sub relationship, and because of the physicality of play it is absolutely necessary to establish boundaries and discuss barriers. A safe word is a good place to start, and for those bound for giggles at the mere thought can use an old faithful like “Cinnamon’. By incorporating a safe word, explicit consent can be given during situations when normal indicators like discomfort are more common. In times of being muted or gagged, a safe signal like a peace sign or dropped ball could be used.
All acts of impact play should be consensual, but don’t think this puts a damper on spontaneity. As long as both the Dom and Sub are comfortable with what type of play is okay and what limits they can reach, the fun can really begin without fear of crossed wires or miscommunication. I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t there a manual for such activities?’ There sure is, and after you download it for free you can skip ahead (no spoilers) to these issues being addressed around page 20.
For those looking to explore further into impact play, try taking a look at some of the instructional videos Kink Academy has, or stay tuned to the Wicked Wanda’s website for upcoming flogging workshops. You could also seek out the local or online community for other whip and flogging enthusiasts. There are some pretty tame beginner whips, flogs and crops available in store or online at Wicked Wanda’s, and you’ll never know how much you enjoy something until you give it a try!