Safe Spanking 101


Illustration by Tiffany Huang

Say you want to try something you've been doing in a safer, more impactful way. Hitting or spanking a partner can be super exciting, as long as it’s done right. Here’s your guide to the spots you can slap, the areas to avoid, and ways to keep impact play exciting and safe.

Where to spank

  • The butt, which is the probably the most obvious place. Aim for the middle, where the area is most fleshy and protected.
  • The thighs, which are also usually thick enough to appreciate some pain

Where to skip

  • The tailbone, or anywhere on the spine –– this can be easy to miscalculate when spanking your partner’s butt. This is another reason you should be aiming for the middle.
  • The hips and sides of the butt –– too many nerves, instant mood killer.
  • The chest –– this is a thinner-skinned, bonier area that protects your heart, even when your partner won’t. Don’t spank here.
  • The head/ears –– again, super important organs and nerves in here! Don’t disturb them! Face slapping is generally not recommended either, since there are so many thin-skinned and sensitive areas there too. Common sense, people.

For a full list of where to spank and where to avoid, check out an impact play map like this one.

Warm your partner up

You don’t want to go right into intense spanking, unless your partner specifically asks for you to do that. Instead, warm up with a few light spanks to increase bloodflow in the area, then amp up the intensity when you’re both feeling ready. Warming up can also prevent bruising, or at least keep it from being too visible, if that’s a concern.

Figure out a scale

If this is your first time engaging in impact play, having a pain rating scale might be helpful to gauge how hard your partner should be hitting you. Something that feels like a three to you may be their version of a six, or vice versa.

Establish a safe word, signal, or another way of letting your partner know when to stop

Communication before, during, and after sex is important no matter what, but it’s even more important when any impact play is involved. Figure out a way to tell your partner to ease up or stop completely, whether that’s directing them or having an established safe word before you start hooking up.

Vary spanking techniques and tools

Depending on how you position your hand, spanking can deliver a low thud or a stinging slap. Vary the motions and see what your partner likes best. You can also experiment with what you use to spank, whether it’s a flat palm, or a wooden spoon, paddle, or even a hairbrush. Get ~creative~ with it.


If you bruise easily, massage the tissue and apply some arnica gel to the bruises to make them fade faster (or, keep them as a secret reminder of the fun you had; we won’t tell). Talk to your partner; figure out what went well and what could be done differently to make the next experience better.

Safe spanking, everyone!