Impact Play 101 | Ignixia

 So you’re interested in kink and want to explore beyond spanking; welcome to the wonderful world of Impact Play!

The phrase “Impact Play” refers to all play types that involve hitting someone with something else.  The time spent doing Impact Play, whether it is 10 minutes or 2 hours, is called a “scene.” For many the end goal of a scene is to create enough endorphins that bottom (person receiving the strikes) achieves a natural high, also known as “subspace.”

What kind of equipment is used in Impact Play?

The most common impact toys include: floggers, paddles, dragontails, whips, canes, crops, and rods. These toys can be made from a variety of materials that change the overall feeling of the play, some of which are leather, wood, metal, rubber, and just about anything else people can get their hands on. You can even turn common kitchen utensils into impact toys (such as wooden spoons, spatulas, and so on). These items are called pervertables.

How do I use impact toys?


Surprisingly enough most impact toys can function on similar throws. One such swing comes from your dominant shoulder straight down to your hip on the same side of your body. The motion in general looks a lot like swinging a hammer. The next easiest swing operates in a side to side motion from one hip to another, similar to opening and closing a door. This throw works while standing behind someone or while standing to the side of someone; the first throw operates best while behind your bottom.


Intensity & Body Language

When starting off it is best to use light/glancing throws to get the bottom used to what is being used. This is typically called “warm-up” and is similar to stretching before a workout. As you start, watch your bottom’s body for reaction; if they start to pull forward and away (often accompanied by pulling their shoulders back), this indicates that the swing or toy may be too much. The body’s natural defense to pain is to close off, which is why the shoulder blades will attempt to protect the spine from hits to the back that don’t feel good.

If the bottom is enjoying the hits they are receiving, they will typically lean back into the strike; this is the body’s way of asking for more. Think of it similar to how a cat will arch its back into your hand when you pet it, our bodies do the same thing (though often times much more subtly). As you play more, it’ll be easier to pick up these hints for when it is a good time to back off or strike harder.

In terms of “how do I apply this to my scene,” alternating your speed and intensity helps create a wide range of sensations per toy, which can help in that final end goal of subspace. Just like good music, avoiding monotony is key. When the body receives pain it produces a variety of chemicals to help us process it and it is those same chemicals that produce “subspace” at the end of the scene. Tops can also reach this natural high based on how much physical exertion they put into the scene, similar to getting a “runner’s high.” As stated before staying away from a monotonous increase of pain is ideal to keep up the production of good chemicals in the body. When the intensity is allowed to rise and fall, similar to the action of a wave in the ocean, the body has a chance to “catch-up” to the amount of pain produced more easily and for some, allow them to play much longer. Just remember while you’re learning that communication on both parts is essential!

What are the safe areas to strike?

In general the main areas for Impact Play include the upper back and butt. While there are other safe areas, beginners should focus on these two areas as they are the least likely to succumb to injury as well as being the most probable to feel good to new bottoms. The biggest thing to keep in mind when striking those areas is to avoid specific areas including the spine, kidney area, and back of the head (especially when using hard implements like paddles).

When it comes to learning how to use impact toys, it is best to practice on a pillow before a person. Laying a pillow on the edge of your bed so that part of it hangs down over the side is an excellent way to mimic a person being bent over. A standard pillow is roughly the size and shape of an adult’s backside from the shoulders to the bottom of the butt. Pillows also dent when you strike them, which helps with making sure your accuracy is on point.

How do I pick out the best toys for my partner and I?

When deciding to get into Impact Play the amount of available toys can be overwhelming. In order to find the best toys for you and your partner, try figuring out if whomever will be receiving the strikes enjoys sting or thud better. An easy way to do this is by using your hand in an open palmed, slap-type hit. The feeling from it will tend to “sting” or feel sharp. For a thuddy type of feeling, repeat the process with a closed fist. The resulting feeling will pack a bit more “umph” and lack that sharp feeling of an open hand. There is no need to put all your might into either swing, this is just for experimenting with sensations.

Once you have an idea of which the bottom prefers, you can then look for toys with similar sensations. It is also a good practice to take the bottom with you to test things out in the store, whenever possible. For paddles, rods, canes, crops and other stiff type toys, lightly tap your palm to get an idea of what the toy will feel like. For toys that are a bit softer, ie: floggers, whips, and dragontails, gently swing the toy at your own leg. Be mindful that some toys can be pretty intense and swinging too hard can result in taking your leg out from under you!

While cost is often a deciding factor in which toys one picks out, it is important to make sure that the toys you choose are going to last. Sure that $30 flogger from the sex shop may look appealing, but they often aren’t built to last when they are that cheap. When picking out your toys, gently tug on the various parts of the toy and see how sturdy it is. If there is any give or play in the craftsmanship, it probably isn’t one you want. This is also a great time to check online and read reviews of custom fetish gear creators. Shopping around and asking for opinions will definitely be worth your time when it comes to fetish gear.

Final thoughts

Many who watch porn with impact play can become intimidated by the level of play shown; remember, there is no need to compare your play to anyone else’s. Do what works for you and leave the rest.

In the end it all comes down to having fun and enjoying your play.

© Tantus, Inc. 2015. All Rights Reserved.


Ignixia is the owner and sole-operator of the award-winning Adrenalize LLC, through which she creates a wide variety of leather fetish gear. Her public play experience started at the Woodshed Orlando in 2009 where she continues to grow with the local community as an educator and dungeon monitor. In 2014 she was voted in as the Co-Chair for the National Leather Association's Orlando Chapter and has since been nominated for an NLA-I community service award.

With the help, love, and support from her submissive partner, she has been able to take experiences from her home community around the country, and even internationally, while teaching at kink events on a wide range of topics; the most requested class being "Chronic Pain and Kink." This year the two of them will be running for the Florida Power Exchange title, an event centered around teaching others about power exchange dynamics within the BDSM lifestyle.



1 comment

  • JZ

    Thanks for the excellent article.

Leave a comment