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A Guide to Spanking

Naughty never felt so good.

The Ann Summers Guide to Spanking

Spanking has become such a huge hit over the past few years (see what we did there?) And it is an incredible way to experiment with dominance, spice up your foreplay or experience the heightened pleasure that goes hand-in-hand with a little bit of pain. Are you tempted? We bet you are; so read on for our complete spanking guide - bend over and get it right!

Why is spanking so great?

If you're new to the world of bondage, then the idea of pain feeling good might strike you as a bit odd. If that is the case, then our question to you is; ever been to the gym? Or for a run? When you push your body to the limit, the chemicals that swirl around in our brain, coupled with the physical and emotional release, can provide us with a serious adrenaline rush that just feels kinda… good. Spanking basically works on the same principle, although it might not burn as many calories. We guess it depends on how vigorous you are.

Our bodies are actually hard-wired to take a little pain with our pleasure. Oxytocin is a hormone that gets released when you're aroused; which has earned itself the nickname of the "love" hormone. And studies have shown that oxytocin can actually increase your pain tolerance. So something that might feel like a little too much when you're not in the mood suddenly becomes an irresistible lip-biting sting behind closed doors.

It's also really, really intimate; you're putting a whole lot of trust in your partner when you're at each other's mercy, which can be incredibly sexy.

I like spanking… what does that say about me?

When you first open the door to the bondage world, it can feel a little forbidden and that something is wrong with you for liking pain. Well we're here to tell you that liking spanking says absolutely nothing at all about you. If anything, all it suggests is that you are in control of your own kinks and desires, and know exactly what you want in the bedroom. Being assertive is sexy, and is exactly what we like to see.

Much less fun people have tried to paint those who like a bit of BDSM or bondage as damaged. If pain gets you off, you must be a little bit strange, right?

Wrong. Not in the slightest. Saying to your partner 'I want to be spanked' is actually healthy and shows that you know what you want and are able to communicate it. There is also growing evidence that people who are into BDSM are generally better off in terms of mental health than their vanilla counterparts. And there's the scientific research to back it up. If you needed another reason to live out your fantasies, we've just provided you with the perfect one.

But all jokes aside, what we're really getting at here is that there's no reason to be embarrassed about your desire for a good spanking, whether you're on the receiving end or the one holding the paddle. Go for it.

Getting started with spanking

Broaching the subject is a tricky one, but the best way to bring it into the bedroom is just to communicate it with your partner. Talking is essential for any type of bondage and BDSM play, especially if it involves pain. This means that you should really agree on limits and safewords before you start anything too serious.

But for some people, uttering the words "I want you to spank me" can be difficult. It can be easier to introduce it in the heat of the moment; a nice and gentle slap during sex should tell you everything you need to know. If they're into it, you can ask if they want more, or ask them to do the same to you, safe in the knowledge that it's not going to shock them.

Bend over, baby.

The Do's and Don'ts of Spanking

Unfortunately, there are a few rules to follow when it comes to the world of spanking. After all, you are inflicting pain on one another so it's best to stay safe at all times to ensure someone doesn't end up getting too hurt. Luckily, our spanking guide spells them all out for you.

The do's of spanking

DO warm up beforehand - We don't mean do a few stretches (unless it helps you of course) but rather warm up the area that you are about to spank. Light pats and spanks with your hand will help to get the circulation going; as the skin pinks up the blood circulation increases, which helps to act as a cushion against a paddle, crop or flogger. That way it's far less likely to leave a mark.

DO make sure everything is agreed upon - The tools being used and the frequency of hitting; it all needs to be decided before you play. And, above all else, make sure you are both aware of the safeword - the word you will say to stop all activity straight away.

DO keep an eye on your partner - Keep a close watch on their reactions, including any noises or movements they may make, to help you decide whether or not to ease off. Particularly if you are beginners, as the receiver may not be fully aware of their own limits.

The don'ts of spanking

DON'T hit in the no-go areas - There are certain areas of the body where spanking is acceptable, and others where it most definitely is not. We'll go into more detail on those soon, but it's important to never cross those boundaries. Not only could you make the receiver angry, you could also do them some serious bodily harm.

DON'T push your partner past their limits - Safewords are there for a reason. If you hear your agreed-upon word then stop all spanking immediately and jump straight into the aftercare.

DON'T overdo it - Don't get carried away and release any tension you may be feeling on your partner, which means controlling how often you hit and your intensity. This is meant to be an enjoyable part of sex or a wider BDSM scene.

What should I use to spank?

Variety is the spice of life, don't you agree? Which is why it's fantastic that there are so many options out there for you to choose from when it comes to spanking. Each of the different "tools" that you can use offers something new, so choose your arsenal wisely.

Bare hands

Nothing beats the sting of skin on skin. Using your hands means you can completely control the impact on your partner. Fingers spread to cover a larger surface area? Or held together for a sharper spank? How much of the palm? We'll leave the finer details up to you.

Floggers

At first glance, floggers might look really intense and a little intimidating. The curling strands seem to promise pain with every impact, but floggers are actually one of the gentlest tools out there - depending on how you use them, of course. You can drag the ends lightly over the skin to build anticipation, before bringing them down in a cascade of tingling pain. For maximum impact, practice getting a quick flick of the wrist to get a real bite.

Paddles

Big, flat and wide paddles make a loud and satisfying slap when they make contact with the skin, and they allow the wielder to spread the impact out over a wide area. This can make the pain less intense and focused than crops or whips, but it has a little more power than a hand, which makes them perfect for beginners who are starting to explore a little more.

Crops

Invented for horses but perfect for taking your partner for a ride. Crops have a small surface area on the tip, and the flexible swish of the handle means you can deliver seriously sharp, sweet and stinging swats. Perfect for spanking addicts who can handle something a little more extreme.

Whips

Whips are the most powerful spanking tools you will find. Literal lashings of fun. Whips are really only for the experienced as it takes a fair bit of practice to control that much length and be able to land your hits exactly where you want them.

The positions

Now here's where our spanking guide gets good...

Assume the position! But which one to choose? When positioning your victim, remember to think of both their comfort and yours, especially if you’re planning on a luxuriously long session of pain and punishment.

Lying face down

For the beginners, we recommend lying face down on the bed - maybe with a couple of pillows underneath your hips to raise things up a little. It's comfortable and relaxing, while keeping everything nice and exposed.

Over the knee

Over the knee spanking is one of the most intimate positions, as well as having that classic disciplinarian vibe - so hot. It's perfect if you're using hands, paddles or crops, or even for restraining the arms and legs if you're taking things to another level.

Doggy-style

During sex or not, doggy-style can really help to enhance the sensations that you are feeling. The skin is stretched much tighter so you will really feel every hit.

The warm up

OK, so they're in the position and you're ready to get started, but do you just whip out your weapon of choice and start spanking? No. Start out by gently massaging the bum and thighs, give it a good squeeze every now and then to really increase the circulation and blood flow. Build up your spanks from light to heavy; you'll know the skin is ready for more when it starts to blush a lovely pink.

How can you stay safe?

At the end of the day, you are inflicting pain on another person, so you need to make sure you are both staying as safe as possible. But fear not, our guide to spanking covers a few other precautions that you should be thinking of...

Know your areas

Don't just take aim and fire! There is a whole lot more to the anatomy of spanking than you might think. Stick to the fleshy part of the behind, as this is where you will do less damage (both internally and externally) and maximise your pleasure. The tops of the thighs are an okay area, but don't focus too much here.

Do not aim any lower than the thighs, as these areas have far less cushioning and are more likely to split or bruise. And DO NOT, we repeat, do not hit above the bum. If you strike the sides of the body, the tailbone, face, neck, kidneys or spine, you can actually do some serious damage. If you're upgrading to a whip or a flogger, make sure you practice first. If you can't hit a pillow properly then you shouldn't be taking aim at your partner.

Talk about your limits

Before you begin, talk about what you do and don't want, especially if you're the one getting spanked. Any toys you do or don't want used; any areas you do or don't want to be hit; and how much intensity you think you can take. And if you're doing the spanking, don't just assume what was OK last time will be fine this time.

Agree a safeword

A safeword is an "off-switch" for any BDSM activity. Once it has been said out loud, everyone and everything stops. No exceptions and no questions asked. A safeword is important because you can't always trust a "no" or a "stop" when you're locked into a consensual BDSM scene, where resistance is all part of the fun.

It can be anything really, as long as it's something you can remember. Pick something ridiculous and out of play so it helps to kill the mood. Potato. Ed Miliband. That sort of thing.

Take it slow

Start out slowly and build up to high-impact play. Ease yourself in and let those pain tolerance-building hormones kick in. Experiment with hands and paddles before going all out with the whips and crops. What's the rush? Make sure you enjoy every second...

It's all about aftercare

After the spanking scene is over, it's really important to take some time to relax, cuddle up and discuss what's just happened, and apply some soothing lotions to help those warmed-up cheeks.

During intense BDSM play your body will fill up with hormones and chemicals that basically keep you in a heightened state, especially if you're the one taking the pain. Once the scene is over, that adrenaline drops sharply and you may experience an endorphin crash. This is called the 'sub drop' - usually because it is the submissive who has been flooded with hormones. The answer is to stay comfortable, hydrated and remind yourself that what just happened between two consenting adults was amazing and nothing to feel ashamed of. You'll be ready for round two in no time.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to get stuck in and test the spanking waters until you hit the right spot. Being naughty never felt so good...