One rainy day, over chai lattes and gossip, my best friend Katie asked me a surprisingly saucy question, "Do you like spanking during sex?" Blushing behind my oversized mug, I thought about the irony: She was asking me to simultaneously drink and spill the tea. Though I've never been one to shy away from a sexy conversation, I realized then and there that I had never really talked to my friends about spanking. Oral? Sure. Period sex? No brainer. Ways to do it in a twin bed? I could go on for hours. But getting bopped on my bottom? Now that's a chapter that never seemed to get covered.
Don't get it twisted: there's a lot of behind-the-scenes action when it comes to getting your behind seen. Do you know you enjoy a tap on the tush? Or perhaps you've always been intrigued by someone dabbing your derrière? It's natural to wonder about the best practices for incorporating spanking into your sex life. And while knowing exactly what to do can be helpful, knowing what not to do can be straight-up enlightening.
I spoke to two sex experts about the seven things you may want to avoid if you enjoy spanking during sex.
1. Starting Without Discussing Boundaries
Before engaging in any type of sexual activity, you need to discuss boundaries with your partner(s). Spanking, like everything else between the sheets, requires some major conversation about consent and intentions.
"Before incorporating any kind of pain or hitting into your sex life, establish boundaries and safe words," McKenna Maness, sex educator and former education and prevention coordinator at The Santa Cruz AIDS Project (SCAP), tells Elite Daily. "Using a safe word is revoking consent at that moment."
Though it may seem sexy to jump on in without a care, you need to be clear about what you're doing and where you and your partner(s) are at. Establishing a safe word and/or non-verbal cues with your partner (i.e., touching your shoulder means, 'Spank me harder") can be great first steps.
2. Assuming Your Partner Knows What You Want
Point blank: If you don't have a conversation with your boo about what you want before getting down to business, they won't be able to deliver.
"Don’t expect anyone to read your mind," Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional, tells Elite Daily. "If you’re feeling something, want something, don’t like something — your partner is learning you both verbally and non-verbally."
Whether you enjoy spanking with little to no pressure, or you want to be spanked during missionary, be as transparent as possible before you turn up the heat. Though you may feel a little sheepish or awkward telling your date about your deepest sexual desires, describing your turn-ons can help everyone out. "Be judgment-free. Just as we shouldn’t let others shame us, we shouldn’t do so either," Jean says. "Try your best to create a welcoming environment. Be perceptive and celebratory of others differences."
3. Putting Too Much Pressure On The "Should"
"Don’t try to be someone you are not," Jean says. "When you try to emulate others (or porn), you lose sight of the person in front of us, which is what this is all about, right?"
Whether you have always been super into spanking and it's your partner's first time or this is something new to both of you, remember that it's OK to laugh. It's OK to do something awkward, feel silly, or want to stop at any time. You don't have to feel pressured to "perform" in any way.
"Above all, ensure it’s something you and your partner both want to do with no pressure from each other or people outside your relationship," Maness says.
4. Not Checking In Until The End
Of course, while it's imperative to go over consent and intentions before having sex, it's also mandatory to continue checking in throughout your sexy time. "Communication is key!" Maness says. "You always have the right to stop [or shift] whatever you and your partner(s) are doing to each other for any reason."
You can think you're in the mood to be spanked and then realize that you ate too much for dinner, and you're no longer trying to be spanked. You could be more into spanking than you ever realized and want to be spanked even harder. As long as everything is consensual, the world is your spanking oyster.
Even if you and your boo have established some (aforementioned) nonverbal cues, asking, "How is this?" or, "Does this feel good?" can be helpful, too.
5. Jumping In With Something Rigid
Like finding the prefect amount of toppings for your fro-yo (is fro-yo even a thing anymore?), when it comes to spanking, you can add more as you go. Sure, if you know you enjoy being spanked with a hard paddle or something spiky, by all means, do your thing! However, if you're just dipping your toe into spanking, starting with a toy or device that's more flexible, like a malleable paddle or a soft flogger can be a good technique. If you prefer a hand-spanking situation, have your partner start softer and build intensity as you see fit.
Whatever the case, it can be a good practice to start with something softer and assess your comfort level before moving forward. You can always build towards spanking harder and/or with something more rigid.
6. Showing Instead Of Telling
"Communicating your intent is just as important as consent," Jean says. "Try giving options and seeing what they respond to."
If you know that you want to get spanked, rather than moving your partner's hand to your booty or silently motioning for them to do it, ask them to spank you. Talking about your desires and turn-ons is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and getting their sexual needs met.
7. Going With The Flow (If You're Not Completely Into It)
Of course, your needs and desires can (and do) change. If spanking isn't turning out as expected, or you want to try a different tool, alternating hands, or a new position, you don't need to go with the flow.
"Perhaps sex got too intense, someone is physically uncomfortable, roleplaying crossed into something less desirable, they’re overstimulated," Maness says. "In any of these cases, it's time to stop immediately and check in."
Taking a break, switching your direction, using a new toy, calling off sex to watch a bad movie and eat Thai food alone —these are all options. You're always allowed to change your mind.
Of course, as long as everything is consensual, there's no right or wrong way to have sex. While it's completely natural to feel a little sheepish about talking about spanking, being open about your needs and desires is the first step in having them be met. And when it comes to spanking, being clear with your partner can really hit the spot.