Rhythm Play: A Beat You Can Beat To

Published: FEBRUARY 24, 2020 | Updated: SEPTEMBER 28, 2021
As we, as well as many musicians, like to say, “the beat is life.”

Crops, canes, floggers, paddles or even one of your trusty hands, can all be used to impact someone else in a BDSM manner.


The thing is unless you’re delivering what is commonly referred to as a punishment stroke, just smacking a playmate once or even erratically, can be more irritating than erotically stimulating.

How do you use these and other toys in a way that can steadily ramp up your chosen bottom’s endorphins, and even warm them up to take more and more intense play?

The answer: Rhythm.


With that in mind, here’s an overview of how you can use a good, sometimes steady and sometimes not steady beat to transform and enhance your kinky playtime in all kinds of hot ways.

A Quick Word on Punishment Strokes

Let’s take a brief moment to chat about rhythmic strokes versus the previously-mentioned punishment strokes.

Keeping it quite simple, using an impact toy (or hand) on a submissive as a form of discipline, where the goal is not necessarily to deliver pleasant or arousing sensation, usually involves one or a series of short, sharp impacts. These are punishment strokes.


Think of the classic BDSM erotica scenario, where a dominant whacks their slave for dropping a teacup, and you have the basic idea.

It’s also worth bringing up that some people prefer to receive their strokes in this manner. Some people respond much more positively to these intense, but brief, strikes rather than being on the receiving end of a rhythmical series of them.

As the old saying does: to each their own!


How to Set the Stage

By now we’re all pretty familiar that important part of a BDSM play session: the act getting of the person on the receiving end in a comfortable position where they can optimally take whatever the dominant is going to dish out.

When you are planning on doing a bout of rhythm play, it’s even more critical for the person doing the impacts to get themselves into a stance that won’t play havoc with their shoulders, back, or arms.

Doing this might take a bit of practice, but knowing what works and what doesn’t can be the difference between everyone in the scene having a good time or the dominant doing the impacting feeling more pain than their bottom.


Read: The Ultimate Guide to Impact Play

It’s all in the Beats

A big part of rhythm play is being able to deliver not just a few impacts, but sometimes dozens or more, depending on the toy being used and the person doing the impacting.

Using a heavy flogger, for instance, it may not be physically possible to whack a bottom more than a dozen or so times, while something like a cane, being lighter, can be used for many, many, many beats.


Even so, we recommend beginning your scene with something designed to warm up a bottom. Hands are good, as are paddles and lighter floggers. The goal here is to prep the bottom to be able to receive more intense impacts as the scene progresses.

The number of impacts, though, depends on the bottom. Some might take a lot while others would be fine with a dozen or so before they are ready to move to the next level.

The main thing is to begin with a steady rhythm, no matter what toy is being used. If you find this challenging, consider using a musical accompaniment: something with a good beat you can beat to. This is exactly the reason why more than a few dungeons spaces save playing Giuseppe Verdi’s Anvil Chorus for the end of the night.

Read: Floggers 101: How to Get Your Flog On

Steady, but Playful

Having a steady beat doesn’t mean you can’t mix things up a bit. After your bottom has begun to get nice and toasty on their backside, you can then begin to play with increasing or decreasing the tempo, or even switching the beats as you introduce a more intense toy.

You can also be quite mischievous by suddenly breaking your beats to get your playmate on the edge of their BDSM seat.

For example, you could deliver impacts in repetition and then, just when your bottom might be getting used to the sequence, you suddenly stop--relishing in how the bottom might squirm in anticipation.

Read: A Parade of Submissives: What Kind of Bottom Are You?

Different Toys, Different Beats

Each instrument in your play-bag can deliver its own unique sensation, thus each of them have a different rhythm you can use. Take floggers, for instance, as they can cover a large surface area, you don’t have to move where you are striking all that much. However, shifting it around a little bit, such as slowly pulling back or moving where the impacts are landing, can keep the sensations gently circulating.

Other toys, though, do need to be changed where they are impacting. Canes are a great example, since the part of the toy doing the actual contact is relatively small, you should slowly change the rhythm as the scene progresses. This will not just give a better overall sensation to the bottom, but also keep the area being hit from being either over-stimulated (ouch) or even numb.

When we say change, we don’t mean you should land your strokes willy-nilly as that can more often than not be more annoying rather than stimulating. It’s much better, to steadily, patiently drift your strokes around the area you’re hitting. Think of using a cane or crop as a massage tool and you’ll no doubt get what we mean.

Read: Happiness Is a Warm Bottom: Finding a Good Submissive

Practice Makes Perfect

Like with so many things, don't expect to immediately get the hang of rhythm play. Plus, some submissives may not enjoy it--preferring, once again, those short, intense strikes.

If you do have a playmate, who likes this kind of gradual build-up, a good way to get used to both controlling your toy of choice and getting more and more used to laying out a long series of beats is to use a pillow or similar for target practice. Again, music can also be a great help to get your rhythm going.

So while this may not be for everyone, using impact toys to deliver a steady increasing sensation can be just the thing to steadily raise those juicy endorphins, and sometimes even be a great warmup to more and more intense toys and sensations.

As we, as well as many musicians, like to say, “the beat is life.”

M. Christian

M.Christian is an author who has been published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even nonfiction, but it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. M.Christian's short fiction has been collected in many bestselling books in a wide variety...

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