Is spanking still taboo? In this post-Fifty Shades of Grey world we're living in, is a little light corporal punishment in the bedroom still something people are nervous to engage in or speak up about wanting to try? Although the mainstreaming of a BDSM relationship (albeit an inaccurate depiction, according to every kink pro everywhere) has meant spanking has lost much of the stigma, like in all areas of sexuality on a personal level, it can still be confusing. If you want to be spanked during sex, does that say something strange about you? Is it weird or anti-feminist that you really enjoy it? Is it OK to be turned on by being dominated and punished? Or, maybe you're not even worried about any of that and just want to know how to do it right.
To answer these questions and more, I reached out to some experts to break down why you want to be spanked, why those desire are perfectly OK to have, and how to engage in impact play properly and safely when you're ready to add some kink to your sexual repertoire.
Why You’re Turned On By Being Spanked
There is no one exact reason why people enjoy spanking in the bedroom. “Some enjoy the subversive nature of connecting punishment with pleasure. Others enjoy the physical sensation,” says Jessica O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. “In a consensual relationship, it can create feelings of both pleasure and the sensations can travel far beyond the site of impact.”
According to sex expert, educator, and professional domme, Goddess Lola Jean, it's likely "the subversiveness of impact" that really draws people to spanking. “The taboo tends to be sexy and more of the reasoning behind a certain kink,” she says. “Spanking can be used if someone is ‘naughty’ and they enjoy this type of punishment, or it can be for the enjoyment of the physical act alone.”
What Enjoying Spanking Says About You
What we enjoy sexually can also give us insight into our core beliefs and drives, and being drawn to kink, according to O’Reilly, says that “you’re open minded and willing to explore beyond the conventional.” Beyond that, she explains that people are complex, so there are many theories of why people are drawn to impact play, including “erotic association rooted in early experiences of pleasure and/or pain.” Or, as mentioned above, it simply indicates a taste for the taboo in general.
Jean adds that “though the physicality can be craved by individuals who have been deprived of physical expression,” it doesn’t always have a psychological component to it. It simply could just be that you like it because it feels amazing to you. “When we cause impact on safe parts of the body — like the butt, back, nipples, and sometimes groin — it brings blood to the surface of the skin, making the area warm and more sensitive to touch.” says Jean. So if you enjoy a little corporal punishment, it could just say that your body positively responds to this kind of impact.
Why There Is Nothing Wrong With Enjoying Impact Play
Your sexuality is an amazing, complex, and beautiful thing. The more you give the middle finger to all of the inhibitions and outside judgments that hold you back, the better it will become. “Never be ashamed or shame others’ kinks. Don’t yuck someone's yum," says Jean. "They had the courage to vocalize it and that’s pretty f*cking brave. Someone doesn’t need to have daddy issues in order to find pleasure in calling someone daddy.”
The bottom line (pun intended), O’Reilly says, is that “if it’s consensual and you’re doing it safely, you have nothing to worry about.” Period.
Some Final Tips From The Pros
“Consistently check in with your partner and develop methods of non-verbal communication that won’t distract away from the experience,” says Jean. “Whether you are using your hand or a tool, try hitting them very slowly to understand your range and distance. Vary up patterns, speed, and intensities so that you’re not going super hard at all times — the tease of it is more fun.”
O’Reilly also adds some practical advice, regarding the logistics. “If you are going to spank your partner, remove all jewelry first and warm up the area with some tender caresses before diving into the rough stuff," she says. “Tease your lover with gentle taps and smack your own hand to startle them with the sound. Focus on the lower butt cheeks and strike in an upward motion cupping your hand ever so slightly." O'Reilly also advises that you space out your spankings and, in between, "rub the area with your palms" to make sure you give yourself and your partner some time to communicate about how your partner is feeling.
At the end of the day, spanking is not only fine, but also a lot of fun. There is nothing strange about you if you dig it. But always remember when engaging in any kinky activity to do so safely and consensually.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.