March 07, 2019
STING, THUD, & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN | Rain DeGrey
Impact play is usually what comes to mind when one thinks of “kinky” play. The image of a powerful person laying down blows on an eager and whimpering partner is the stuff of many a kinky fantasy. Impact is in fact a very common kinky activity, and there is nothing wrong with trying some rougher bedroom pastimes. Anyone who has engaged in some mild spanking during sex has already tried their hand at impact. But before one starts swinging harder, there are some important factors to consider.
First and foremost, sit down with your partner(s) to discuss any potential impact play. As long as everyone consents and the activity is approached in a healthy and positive way, impact can actually be quite fun!
“Fun” is why one would partake in such a thing in the first place--being struck can cause a rush of endorphins to be released. Those potent payoffs are why impact can feel so good. Such a feeling is typically called “subspace”. However, you don't have to identify as a submissive to enjoy the brain buzz. You can freely explore impact play without labels if that feels more comfortable for you.
Like all things, starting out slowly and cautiously until you feel comfortable with the territory is recommended. Hands are the original impact toy, and you might never feel the need to move past them. If, after trying some impact play with your hands and a willing partner, you want to take it to the next level, there is a wide world of toys available out there.
Crops, whips, paddles, floggers, dragon tails, and canes are the most common impact toys. These toys come in a truly staggering variety of materials--wood, leather, metal, plastic, rubber, and silicone. The sensation that each toy causes can shift depending on the type of material used to create it.
The diversity of “sensation” is what one is seeking when they engage in impact play. Most impact can be broken down into two categories: stingy and thuddy. Stingy is a sharper sensation. Whips are a classic “stingy” instrument. Most floggers fall under “thud.” People can feel quite strongly about their sensation preference, enjoying impact but only thuds and not stings or vice versa. Any way you approach impact is valid. Part of the fun is exploring and learning your preferences.
Before you grab a toy and start using it on someone, it is incredibly important to take the time to familiarize yourself with some basic human anatomy. There are “safer” strike zones and parts of the body you should avoid. The buttock/thigh area and upper back are considered the safest. Areas like elbows, knees, the neck, and head should be avoided.
Personally, I am a huge believer in education and classes. Learning and improving my skill sets is one of my favorite things to do. If impact play with toys is something that you desire to incorporate into your sex life, do the research! Most major cities will have a large enough population that impact play classes will be available. Search online to find the local public dungeon or fetish shop, these venues usually host classes. If you live in a smaller town or desire anonymity, there are online videos that showcase proper impact technique.
Once you have a willing partner, a toy, and know where to hit, you are ready to begin. Such interactions are usually called a “scene” and they start off with a “warm up.” Going charging into full impact without a warm up will blow someone out fairly quickly and generally isn't well received. Start with softer impact until the dopamine and endorphins begin to flow. By gradually ramping up the intensity, you will find that you can go a lot further than if you had skipped the warm-up.
Rhythm, pacing, and paying attention to your partner's body language is crucial. Body language is the universal language and everyone around you is using it at all times. You do not want to repeatedly lay out the exact same beat when it comes to impact. It rapidly will become monotonous and draw the scene to a close sooner. Think of it as a dance or the crash of ocean waves. There is an ebb and flow, ramp up the intensity and then dial it back as needed. You dance someone to the edge and then you pull them back.
By paying close attention to the action in front of you, you can generally get a fairly good idea of what the other person is going through. Are they open and relaxed, arching their body towards you to receive another blow? Or are they grimacing and cringing while attempting to pull away? Both of those are very clear communication. Many people also use safe words (typically green for go, yellow for caution, and red for stop). As a big fan of communication, I suggest the use of safe words as well as reading body language. I even go so far as to sit down with the other person and analyze what happened after the scene to see what I need to improve on.
If impact play is something that you find enjoyable, there is now a whole wide world in front of you. However, I must warn you, it becomes like collecting baseball cards. You will want ALL of the toys. What does this one do? What does that one feel like? How does this one work? While high quality toys can seem expensive, I also believe that they are worth the investment of money. I once had a flogger fall apart in mid throw, dissolving into strips of leather spaghetti and land sadly on the floor. It was rather anticlimactic. Don't be that person. Invest in a high-quality toy and enjoy it for years to come.
Lastly and most importantly, remember that it is not a competition. Find out what works for YOU and your needs. Don't be intimidated by other’s hard core impact play scenes and assume that is the level that you need to match up to. Do what works for you and your body. Your body's vote is the only vote that counts when it comes to your impact play.
© Tantus, Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Rain DeGrey is an international educator, writer, presenter and performer that has been teaching kink and sex education classes since 2009. After getting her start as a fetish model and Pro Domme, she was motivated to branch out into education, something she is extremely passionate about. Demystifying sexuality and presenting in a clear and humorous way are trademarks of her teaching style and she believes strongly in making sex education fun.
She has taught on a wide variety of topics at Harvard, Northwestern University, Kink.com, The Citadel, Pure Pleasures, Stormy Leather, Folsom Fringe, The Looking Glass, KinkAcadamy, PassionateU, Mission Control and Boundcon in Germany. Her work has been featured in such places as Playboy TV’s “69 sexiest things to do before you die”, Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, The SF Fetish Ball, Exotic Erotic, Rope::Burn, Kink-e-zine and Femina Potens. Additionally, she is a regular contributor to multiple online magazines.