A Deviant’s Guide to Impact Play

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

Demitri Wylde
4 min readNov 20, 2023

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.

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.

How does impact play feel?

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.

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.

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Demitri Wylde

Sex educator on a mission to help you understand topics around sex, dating, and relationships. linktr.ee/demitriwylde