Are you looking to bring some more heat to your sex life and try some new types of BDSM play? Or maybe you’re just super turned on by bare bottoms, anxiously awaiting a good spanking.
Whether you’re interested in using your hands, fancy floggers, or “punishment by paddle” for maximum pleasure, we got you. Let’s talk about the pleasure mechanics of erotic spanking, shall we?
Introduction to erotic spanking
What is erotic spanking, you ask? According to certified sex coach and clinical sexologist Kristine D’Angelo, it’s when "you’re spanking someone or getting spanked for the erotic and sexual pleasure it brings.”
Erotic spanking is supposed to make both of you hot. It’ should make you both feel good, even in its complexity -- since it potentially mixes pain, pleasure, and punishment. It also may or may not involve sexual activity or sex toys for couples.
A brief history of erotic spanking
According to sex writer Kate Sloan, “The Etruscans were a civilization that existed in ancient Italy, and their ‘Tomb of the Whipping’ – created around 490 B.C.E. – contains one of the oldest surviving artistic depictions of an erotic spanking. One painting in the hallowed tomb shows two men spanking a woman with their hands and a whip, presumably in an erotic scenario. So we know humans have been spanking each other for pleasure for at least 2,500 years, probably longer!”
Yes, the spanking kink has ancient origins, and various sexual texts, including the famed Kama Sutra, include spanking to amplify sexual arousal. The spanking literature abounds!
Another example: Famed philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau was spanked as a child by a woman caregiver, but she gave it up once she realized he enjoyed it. On the subject, he said, “I had found in the pain, even in the disgrace, a mixture of sensuality which had left me less afraid than desirous of experiencing it again from the same hand.”
Why is erotic spanking so hot … according to science?
Sloan goes on to reveal that, “Modern science has been able to explain at least one reason: the butt region shares an artery and some nerve tracts with the genital region, meaning that the two areas feel somewhat connected, sensation-wise, and increasing bloodflow to one can result in increased bloodflow to the other.”
Or as experts at MasterClass put it, “Spanking is a light BDSM activity often used as foreplay before sexual intercourse or a kinky warm up during domination play. Receiving an erotic spanking can increase blood flow in the groin area and releases pleasurable chemicals in the brain, including endorphins and dopamine, to enhance sexual pleasure.”
What are some guidelines for doing erotic spanking well?
There are a few things to consider when going down this path, including the mechanics and healthy communication. Here are five erotic spanking tips:
1. Get consent
Before you start,you should set a few ground rules and, of course, get consent. Or as Men’s Health writer Gigi Engle points out, “Like all things in BDSM (and sex in general), erotic spanking should only be practiced between consenting adults who are super into it. If it isn’t a ‘HELL YES’ from both you and your partner, it’s a ‘no.’”
This isn’t to say that you might not have already tested out the waters. Sometimes it’s hot to slap your partner’s ass a little bit during sex. “Rough sex” or “kinky sex” means different things to different people;for some, it includes a little hair-pulling or booty-spankin’ during the act.
So you and your partner may have already partaken in erotic spanking, and now you’re looking to up the ante. You’ve heard some hot erotic spanking stories about the erotic euphoria that’s possible from a really hot BDSM scene. Now you want to take things to the next level.
Along with consent, get a safe word! As Masterclass puts it, “Different people respond differently to spanking—while some may find it immensely pleasurable, others may dislike it entirely or enjoy it only briefly before they’re ready to move on. To ensure that you and your partner have an open line of sexual communication, choose a memorable, safe word before you start so that if one of you needs to stop, you can use the word to end the session and take a break.”
2. Erotic spanking is fun on its own
Now, while you can engage in spanking for sexual gratification, erotic spanking doesn’t always have to lead to sex. It doesn’t even have to involve adult sex toys or bare buttocks -- you can get spanked through clothing, too.
According to one sexpert, “Giving up control can prove to be relaxing, and some people like spanking because it allows them to give up their worries for a moment. While you can add erotic spanking to your bedroom games, you don’t have to. It can simply be a way to relax without having sex involved.”
In other words, spanking by itself can be the name of the game — it doesn’t have to lead to genitals being touched or orgasms being had. Sometimes it can just be a fun activity that’s bonding and stimulating. It sure does get you out of your head, trust us!
3. Start slow
As experts at MasterClass point out, “Everyone has different sensitivity levels, and it’s important to listen to your partner to see what feels best for them. When starting with erotic spanking, the spanker should begin with gentle spanks—then, if your partner asks for more or harder impact, you can gradually increase the intensity. Easing into the spanking can help both of you discover your preferences.”
In other words, you want to start with less and climb up to more. This also helps the body of the spankee to get used to the sensation, and perhaps start to crave more. ;)
It’s also helpful to agree on a scale of intensity, for example 1-10. If you’re playing the dominant role, you can try a very gentle slap and say, “This is a 1. What would you like to try next?” They can say, “Three,” and then you can both find your way from there. It’s beneficial to do this because the sub can be specific about what they’re enjoying, and how intense they want it to be. You both have a shared frame of reference.
4. Special tools and spanking positions can be hot
According to Charyn Pfeuffer, author of 101 Ways to Rock Online Dating, “One of the best parts of spanking is that you don’t need any fancy (read: expensive) BDSM props to partake—only a hand and a willing bottom.”
That said, true spanking fetishists have endless toys related to spanking, and it can be super fun to experiment with some.
Impact play refers to sexual play involving that involves hitting, of which spanking falls under the umbrella. Spanking implements include spanking paddles, floggers, whips, canes, and more. Some bottoms (submissives) prefer a more stingy sensation, while others prefer a more thuddy feel. The different implements will provide various sensations -- you can be a lot more specific with a cane than you can with a paddle, for example. And floggers can be super hot because, depending on the position, you can use them to gently stimulate the person’s genitals and their backside. The best part of this is that you get to experiment to see what you like.
As experts at MasterClass put it, “[S]panking tools can provide new sensations—a paddle can cover more surface area with each impact, while a riding crop concentrates on a particular spot. Aftercare is also important—rubbing the spankee’s buttocks after a few spanks can extend the duration of the sensations and further increase the pleasure.”
And if you get really into the intense stimulation of spanking, you may want to start shopping for a spanking bench! (Yes, this is really a thing … and it’s pretty great.)
5. Sexual roleplaying can be extra fun here
Ever wanted to be a naughty girl being punished by daddy, or a schoolboy being taught a lesson by his sexy teacher? The sky’s the limit regarding the kind of scene you can engage in.
An erotic spanking session usually involves one person taking on the role of dominant partner, and the other playing the more submissive partner. For extra fun, the submissive can become a “bratty sub,” purposefully annoying or provoking a dom into punishing them.
The intense sensation accompanying scenes like this is the stuff of dreams … and the source of spanking fetishism.
How to build anticipation and arousal during spanking play
One easy way to build arousal is to go “zone by zone.” According to experts at MasterClass, “Pay attention to all four zones. The buttocks have four different zones that respond differently to spanking: the tops by your lower back, the sides near your hips, the undersides, and the fleshy center dome. When spanking, give each zone some attention, which will also help provide other zones with relief. As you ramp up the sexual arousal, focus most of the spanking on the underside zone, which will send vibrations up to your partner’s genital area for the most pleasure.”
Providing emotional support and aftercare
As with any BDSM activity, sometimes erotic spanking can feel vulnerable to one or both individuals involved. Be sure to perform BDSM aftercare afterward, asking your partner, “How was that for you? What did you really enjoy? Were any boundaries crossed? Anything else you want to share?”
You should also make sure to soothe the actual tissues -- sometimes, the adrenaline and endorphins present during a session will mask the actual hurt from bruising or stinging resulting from it. Rubbing and sometimes applying soothing lotion can help, and can help the sub feel loved and cared for.
Remember, too, that even hours or days later the sub may experience what’s known as sub drop -- intense feelings of sadness, irritability, or depression. This is when the adrenaline and endorphins have left the body and the “high” is gone. Don’t worry -- this is a normal thing that happens, and it doesn’t last. Aftercare can help reduce the impact of subdrop, as well as soothing hugs and acts of care. :)
- Erotic spanking is sexy spanking that takes place between consenting adults
- It doesn’t have to lead to sex or involve sexual activity, but it can if you reach a sweet spot of pleasure
- Some subs like more stingy sensations, and some like more thuddy ones, which can vary by spanking tool
- There are four zones in the buttocks region that all provide different feelings
- Aftercare is important to help each person feel loved and held
- Spanking toys can be fun to incorporate!
- Know that subdrop can occur, which is another reason aftercare is important
Want to learn more?
There are lots of resources to learn more about erotic spanking, including an entire MasterClass on the subject. There’s also a whole erotic book on the subject, and countless tutorials like this one on YouTube.
MasterClass, "Explore Erotic Spanking: 5 Erotic Spanking Tips", MasterClass. Published on June 7, 2021. Accessed March 25th, 2023. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/erotic-spanking-tips