Impact play is a human sexual practice in which one person (the bottom) is struck (usually repeatedly) by another person (the top) for the sexual gratification of either or both parties. Impact play is sometimes referred to as percussion play, physical punishment or CP (corporal punishment). It is considered a form of BDSM.
There are number of activities that qualify as impact play.
In erotic spanking the bottom is struck either with the top's open hand, or a rigid implement such a paddle, cane or riding crop. In the latter case the activity is often referred to as paddling, caning or cropping. The usual targets for spanking are the buttocks and inner thighs.
In erotic flagellation the bottom is struck with a flexible implement such a whip or belt. Whips are classified by how many falls they have:
- Single tails such as a bullwhip have a single fall. The associated activity is referred to as single tailing.
- floggers, such as a cat o' nine tails or a scourge have many falls. The associated activity is referred to as flogging, though in common speech this term applies to any form of whipping.
For safety, impact play should be done on areas of the human body well protected by fat or muscle; spots to avoid include the kidneys, neck, tailbone, hipbones and all joints. The usual targets for flagellation are the buttocks and the two areas of the upper back below the shoulder blades. With care, the thighs, the backs of the calves and the chest can be targets as well.
The use of a whip means that the top must take great care to hit the intended target area, and avoid wrapping; that is where falls make contact with the target area somewhere up their length and the remaining length wraps around the bottom's body to deliver a sharp, non-erotic, and possibly injurous off-target blow. The longer the falls the more skill is required by the top to land a safe blow. Advanced flogging techniques use a pair of floggers employed in a martial arts style alternating pattern.
Less common forms of impact play include punching and face slapping.
The sensations produced by impact play depend the area in which the impact is concentrated. Wide implements such as an open hand, paddle or flogger produce a dull "thuddy" sensation. Narrow implements such as a cane, riding crop, belt or single tail produce a sharp "stingy" sensation.
- sexuality.org has articles on spanking, flogging , and caning
- The basics of flogging at Albany Power Exchange
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