BDSM & Kink

Spanking: The Basics

Sex Ed queen Lola Jean is here to talk us through everyone's favourite cheeky kink
by Lola Jean
28 Jul 2021

UPDATED: 2 Nov 2022


Spanking is one of the most accessible kinks. You likely have a ready tool for a spanking on the bottom – your hand! Though because it is so accessible and readily portrayed in movies, novels, and even party performances, many approach the spanking bench unequipped and ill-prepared. Fear not, my friends: you’ll soon have all the tools and knowledge to make your five-finger paddle the hottest toy on the block.

For the sake of brevity, this guide will stick to hand-to-butt spanking. This is a fantastic place to start a foray into impact play using other objects or other parts of the body.

Spanking: Pain or Novelty?

Not everyone who enjoys spanking is in it for the pain. If this is your first time engaging in erotic spanking (or anything remotely kinky), as the giver or receiver, initial enjoyment may have more to do with novelty than the act or sensation itself. In this instance, motivation is driven by a sense of illicit excitement; because this act is out of the norm and potentially naughty or out of character it is arousing and/or exciting. That novelty may wear off after a few rousing spanking sessions so it’s important to be aware of fading feelings. Just because you like something a few times does not mean it’s an activity that you’ll like for life. 

Once you’ve determined that it’s not just the novelty you’re into, identify what draws you to spanking and how it makes you feel. This is very important for the person receiving the spanking and less important for the person dolling it out. If you are a person who likes spanking people, I don’t care how much you enjoy making skin-to-skin impact: if the receiver doesn’t have curiosity about this act, it’s time to find another outlet for your spanking proclivities. 

Spank Appeal

There is an obvious draw to spanking which is pain. There are a variety of reasons someone can enjoy receiving pain, from feeling resilient at being able to take so much to redirecting attention away from daily duties. Though it is common, not all who enjoy spanking enjoy pain. 

Kaia, a submissive with low pain tolerance, enjoys the domination dynamic most. “There are other types of impact play where I am more into the sensation, but spanking is about that classic punishment vibe for me.” While some may enjoy spanking for the sake of punishment, others are drawn to feeling submissive, basking in attention, or a pain-free sensation altogether. None of these have to be related to sex, though they certainly can be! 

The type of spanking can also be dependent on mood or context. Professional submissive, Subbie Cupcake Sinclair, sees spanking as incredibly versatile. “The fact that spankings can be used as foreplay, roleplay, or even discipline for D/s scenes are enjoyable aspects for me, and it’s incredibly fun sharing the creativity of scenarios with a spanking Top who shares the same fantasies and goals.”

Knowing these draws is just as important for the person doing the spanking. Whether they are wary to engage in the act or they are ready, willing, and able, understanding why someone likes this can be the giver’s main draw to engage too!

Spanking Techniques


Has the bottom just come in from a chilly walk outside? Coming from work? A warm-up is a great start to a spanking session both to get the two of you into the zone and to build a foundation in which to take impact. Pitter-patter your hands all over your target area to bring blood to the surface of the skin enabling this person to take more pain—should they wish to. This shouldn’t be anything too hard or painful. It’s a warm-up, not the main event, after all.


Curve your hand as if you are trying to hold a small amount of water for someone to sip on. This curved approach will not only save your hand from reddening or hurting after use, but it will also feel like a nice thud for your bottom while providing all of that fun noise we crave in spanking. 

Fingers & Palms

Experiment with the different parts of your hand to find what sensations your submissive enjoys. If you lead with your fingers, they’ll feel more of a sting. If you lead with your palm, they’ll feel more of a thud. Experiment on your own thigh or butt to see what this feels like to you!

Punching Bag

Another great method of thud to save your palms! Keeping your hands in fists, lightly punch the fleshy area of the butt. As you get more comfortable with this motion and where your punches will land you can experiment with faster or more intense punches. Try this in an upward motion as if you are hitting a speed bag. The upward motion will help the butt take less of the blow.

Create a rhythm, then break it

You don’t want to be wailing on someone’s behind the entire time—unless they’ve specifically requested this. Think of your cadence akin to a movie plot. You don’t necessarily start with action and gunfights unless you’re a Quentin Tarantino flick. Introduce some characters and build the plot before you crank up the intensity.

A great way to build this is by making a certain rhythm with your spanks so that the bottom gets used to this….then breaking that rhythm. The change of pace—whether you’re going from slow to fast, hard to soft, or vice-versa—will keep the spank session fresh and exciting. 

Types of Spanking Sensations


Thuddy spanks tend to sound much louder than stingy spanks, but they hurt way less. Thuddy pain is felt more during the impact rather than after it.

Thuddy impact toys tend to be made of softer materials with wider surface areas or with a high number of tails. The part of your hand that mimics this is your palm. Most people who enjoy spanking enjoy thuddy sensations. If you’re not one of these, you will soon find out!

Thuddy sensations feel more like the object making contact is pushing you in a certain direction. Because the sensation is spread through the butt over a larger surface area, this tends to feel less painful initially, though, with repetition and varied intensity, even thuddy spanks can become painful! 


Stingy pain is the type that lingers after you are hit. It tends to be focused on smaller more specific areas and hurts more than its thuddy counterpart. The part of your hand that mimics this sensation most is your fingers and fingertips. Stingy sensations feel just as they sound—they sting! This can range based on your repetition, intensity, or the material of the object being used. I.E. a latex toy is going to sting more than a suede or leather one.

One type of pain isn’t better than another. It all depends on your pain tolerance and desired level of play. Disappointed by her inability to take stingy pain, Kaia negotiated a different option instead of trying to grin and bear it, “I have a much higher pain tolerance for thuddy play like punching, so when I’m negotiating a scene, I’ll explain that spanking as a warm-up is fine, but I’d rather have most of the time spent on thuddier sensations.”

Safety & Risks

Like many kinks, there are always safety concerns and risks you’ll need to take into account, both mental and physical. 


Concerning only the bum area, your play space here is larger than other areas of the body. Take into account how much clothing the person is wearing in that area, as this may affect their pain tolerance or sensation experience.

Their clothing could also inhibit your ability to see the problem location of their lower back. High-rise pants can fool us into thinking there’s more surface area! A key areas to avoid is the lower back, which puts the kidneys at risk. Since you’re only using your hand you shouldn’t have to worry about making contact with the hip bone area, but if you upgrade to tools like floggers, this will be of concern. The thighs are another good area for impact, but don’t flirt too low near the knees!


Has this person experienced spanking before? Do they have any history with trauma related to this kink that would be good for you to know? Trauma doesn’t mean you can’t engage in a kink, it only means you both need to make sure you’re informed.

Before you begin, ask the person being spanked if they know their pain tolerance and what their preferred method of aftercare is. When you begin your spanking start with a few test spanks of different intensities and ask this person to rate how much pain they are in on a scale of 1-10. This will give you both a better idea since one person’s 2 is another person’s 8!

Safe Spanking: Tips From A Pro Submissive

Take it from Sinclair, she has seen it all from cheek piercings to planned abductions. Sinclair has processed her share of emotional and physical pain over the years and knows a thing or two about vetting new partners! 

Finding a spanking partner:

Only you can know what’s best for you and where your safety and comfort lines are. It can be helpful to go to local munches, then local classes and workshops, and then local parties where – if you do choose to play – it will be in a group of other like-minded kinksters who, if a scene goes awry, can help you in advocating for yourself if things get out of hand. This can be reassuring to some because having a rapport with your local kink community means having a chance to see people play before approaching them, as well as knowing if someone may be vetted – or dangerous. Explore the world of kink by joining the Killing Kittens Community, either through the Killing Kittens app, or through some of the Killing Kittens workshops.  

Negotiation & red flags:

Make sure that everyone is on the same page. Meet spanking partners in neutral locations (just like one might for a first date) to better assess if the person is compatible with your needs and expectations. If you are feeling red flags or if attempts to negotiate seem to be shrugged off in favour of rushing to play, this may be a cause for concern. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts!

Communication is key! 

Communicate when getting to know someone, communicate when you’re negotiating a scene, and communicate during the scene itself. Just like during sex, don’t be afraid to vocalize what feels good and what doesn’t. Playtime is a two-way street and submissives aren’t doormats! If you can’t communicate with your partner then something is wrong. Even scenes or dynamics that include “punishment” should mean that punishment implements are pre-approved, along with intensity, length, etc. These should be clearly defined during negotiations, especially if the dynamic is new.

Spanking Aftercare

Aftercare is important for both people involved, not just the bottom! Hopefully, you both discussed the type of aftercare you prefer and possibly negotiated based on what each of you feels comfortable offering. At minimum, express gratitude. Say ‘thank you for sharing your body with me’ or ‘thank you for sharing this experience with me.’ At this time you may choose to talk about what each of you enjoyed (or not) about the experience and what you’d do differently next time—if there is a next time. You can also choose to do this check-in 24 or 48 hours after the fact as these realisations often take time for us to grasp and then communicate. 

Your erotic spanking sesh can be the main course or a fun little appetizer you bring in sporadically to your regular play or sex. How you choose to integrate it is up to both of you depending on what the receiver enjoys and how the giver feels willing to engage. Above all, don’t feel compelled to engage in spanking even if you identify as a kinky individual. Spanking is not a right of passage nor is it a required activity to get your kinky merit badges.

Still curious to learn more?

Check out upcoming workshops to learn if spanking—or something else—is right for you!