Safe, Sexy Adult Spanking Tips for Two

Published: NOVEMBER 23, 2023
If you keep safety in mind before and during your consensual spanking sessions, you will be free to fully enjoy all the many facets of spanking and kinky discipline.

Feeling kinky? Don't you just love a thorough spanking?


You're not alone. Spanking - or, more specifically, adult spanking - when undertaken as part of a consensual, sensual session between fun-loving adults, is an extremely pleasurable activity. It's popular as well - a 2017 survey conducted by Lovehoney found that 75% of men and 66% of women had tried spanking. And why not? Both the spanker and spankee enjoy an entire catalog of positive sensations and emotions - not to mention a whole lot of physical stimulation.

As with all activities in BDSM, consent and safety are key. Sure, the emphasis is always on exchange of control, adventure and fun, but the levels of vulnerability between partners enjoying BDSM activities such as spanking are often pretty intense.

So, how do you go about ensuring that you retain all the fun of a sound spanking, while keeping everyone safe? I'll show you how to spank your partner soundly and oh-so safely.


Read: Your Hand, My Ass: Erotic Spanking for Beginners

Why are adults into spanking? What makes it erotic?

In general, spanking - both giving and receiving - can help our bodies release oxytocin, dopamine and adrenaline, all of which can make us feel good. In fact, research has found that mild or even intense pain received in a sexy context can lead to a mind-altering, trance-like state, or a sort of ecstasy.

Specific benefits that spanking fans cite are perhaps obviously, pleasure, but also stress relief and the enjoyment that can come from having or relinquishing power. Additionally, there can be some emotional and psychological payoffs to spanking. This is why an activity called "spanking therapy" exists within this context.


Read: Consent and Catharsis: Coping With Trauma That Comes Up During Rough Play

Adult Spanking Safety Tips

Spanking can be a lot of fun but it’s always important to make sure it’s also safe! Here are some tips for keeping you and your partner safe and happy while exploring spanking.

Know the Risks

There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to BDSM/rough sexy play. There’s the "risk-aware consensual kink" (RACK) school of thought, which involves accepting that BDSM activities are inherently risky and it is up to each person to decide how much risk they are willing to deal with. Then there’s the "safe, sane and consensual (SSC)" approach, in which participants engage only in activities they (and their partners) have deemed "safe" beforehand. No matter the approach, it is always of the utmost importance that before engaging in any kind of BDSM, play participants know there are risks and choose if and how they will approach them.


Play Sober

Mind altering substances can mess with our perception of both pain and the amount of force we are using. This makes it dangerous for either partner to be intoxicated when engaging in spanking.

Be Clear on Consent

As with all things sexual, spanking requires informed, enthusiastic, ongoing consent. This means it should probably be something you talk about before you try it and it should never be something you assume is OK or pressure a partner to do.

Talk to each other about what you want and keep checking in to ensure you are still on the same page. Also, though, make sure you talk about what you don’t want. Make sure you are both clear on each other’s boundaries and limits before you start spanking.


Read: The Basics of BDSM Negotiation

Keep Communication Going

One of the best communication tools to use during spanking, as in any BDSM and power exchange session, is a safeword. Establishing one before you start protects both the dominant partner and the one displaying submission. This should be a word you normally wouldn't say or hear during sex or BDSM role play. It can be anything you like, but words such as "no" and "stop" are definitely out. The traffic lights system is common: "Green" means go, "yellow" means slow down and "red" means stop.

Having a safe word in place, even if it's never spoken, allows the person who's receiving "punishment" to let the one in control know when they are not completely happy with the proceedings. This ensures that play is always, always consensual. Consent is at the heart of all BDSM - as well as fun, of course!


If you decide to use mouth gags or sensory deprivation hoods during spanking and BDSM roleplay, you will need to choose another form of safeword, a non-vocal one. This can be arranged by discussing and agreeing on finger signals, or by handing the submissive partner a bell to ring.

Mind Your Aim

When you are spanking someone it’s important to know where it is and is not safe to hit. There are some general rules of thumb:

  • Meatier, fleshier areas, like the butt and thighs, are safer

  • You want to steer clear of major organs, so avoid the abdomen and low back.

  • To avoid injury, tailbone, hips and spine are also no-go zones.

  • Also skip ears, head, feet and calves.

Beyond that, knowing how to distribute your swats can help you deliver a more thorough, enjoyable spanking. Follow these guidelines:

  • Focus 70-80% of the spanking on the fullest part of the buttocks.

  • Dole out 20-30% of your spanks to the tender sit spots right below the tush.

  • Leave the last 10-20% of your spanking time for some lighter swats to the upper thighs.

Erotic Spanking Implements

The next thing to consider: What do you use to spank your partner? There are many items available and the experience varies depending on which you choose.

When choosing your implement, you want to take into account whether you want to give (or receive) a short-range spanking (a spanking where the recipient is over the spanker’s knee for example), or a long-range spanking (a spanking where the recipient is bent over a bench, bed, or other piece of furniture). You'll also have to consider how much sting you want it to involve, and even what kind of marks you want that spanking to leave behind. It sounds like a lot to think about but it can really help you zero in on the right tool for you. Let’s talk about some options.

For short range spanking you might choose one of the following:

Your hand: A convenient and accessible option. Spankings delivered by hand are a bit gentler, with less sting than other options. Result: light splotches.

Strap: A moderately intense option with more sting than a spanking by hand. Result: bright patches.

Paddle: The most intense short range option. Paddles can deliver some serious bite and leave the recipient’s bottom covered with patterned splotches.

For long range spankings you have even more options and they get even more intense:

Flogger: Typically featuring a number of ends hanging off a single handle, a flogger packs a punch and leaves behind a lot of thin welts.

Riding crop: A riding crop delivers a more concentrated spanking with a similar pain level to a flogger. The recipient will be left with a collection of red splotchy welts.

Cane: Canes have less give than any option we have discussed so far and deliver a more intense experience than previous options. Cane spankings result in red, raised welts.

Tawse: Pain-wise, using a tawse is comparable to using a cane even though the sensation is quite different. This tool, which looks a lot like a wide strap that is split down the middle, will leave behind thick red welts.

Whip: The sting delivered by a whip is intense; many find it to be the most painful of all the options listed here. Whips leave behind thin red welts.

Something else to consider is that these aren’t your only options! When looking for spanking implements, you can throw some things you have around the house into the mix. Note the the material of your spanking implement can matter too.

Adult Spanking How To

So, you’re ready to get spanking! How do you want to do it? Let’s talk about positioning. Think about the position of the person you'll be spanking before you begin. Will they be comfortable? Are they able to breathe freely and easily at all times? Do you both feel safe? Here are some common ways to deliver a safe, sound spanking.

Adult Spanking Positions

Over the Knee (OTK)
If you're the one delivering the spanking, make sure you're in a comfortable seat, where you can keep both feet flat on the floor. This will help you evenly distribute and carry the weight of the recipient over your knees. It also means you won't be putting too much strain on your calf muscles or knees. If you get sore or stiff at any time, don't be afraid to stop the session for a moment to consider another position.

Both the spanker and the intended target should make sure that knees are not digging into ribs during the spanking, which could lead to unwanted bruises or difficulty breathing (remember that those being spanked tend to hold their breath). It usually takes some practice by both partners to get the right balance and get comfortable in this position.

On the Bed
If you're in a sexual relationship, or are indulging in BDSM as part of a romantically involved couple, you will most likely be on a bed at some point. Fortunately, spanking on a big, comfortable bed is both safe and, well, comfortable. The large expanse of mattress not only provides a supportive base for the one being spanked - whether that person's on all fours or flat on their tummy - but it also offers further bondage potential. Try under-the-bed restraints or traditional bondage cuffs.

Over Household Furniture
It can be highly tempting to spank someone over the kitchen counter or dining room table. But before shoving your intended up against something with sharp edges and pointy corners in the heat of the moment, stop and think. Will you regret it? Is there anything in front of your spanking partner that could injure them in any way?

Off-the-cuff fantasies are fun, but the best and safest bet is to carefully plan your location before you begin.

Using Specialized Spanking Furniture

Woman spanking man bent over a bench with a flogger

Yes, there is sex furniture designed just for spanking and it is obviously ideal - if you have both the money to invest and the room to store it. If you don't, certain sex swings can be used and stored away underneath the bed to give you a practical piece of furniture that is both supportive and safe for spanking.

For most of us, it's just plain impractical to have large spanking furniture around the house. But if you do have the chance to try out a spanking bench or table at a dungeon of fetish club, do it. You won't regret it!

Taking Care During and After a Spanking

Spanking is a physical activity, but the risks go beyond that. Putting yourself out there for a solid spanking requires courage as well as trust. It renders you vulnerable, especially when entering the realms of what is known as "subspace," the psychological state reached during times of intense submission. For the person doing the spanking, it's important to be sure of your recipient's enjoyment and emotional/psychological comfort at all times. This isn't just about bruises. When you're done playing, take lots of time to connect, recover and care for each other's needs. This is often referred to as “aftercare”. It might involve talking about what you just engaged in, or cuddling, or having some snacks. Whatever helps you both feel connected and cared for, do it.

Now, who's ready for an adult spanking?

If you keep safety in mind before and during your consensual spanking sessions, you will be free to fully enjoy all the many facets of spanking and kinky discipline. So go on, discover a new way to play together. If you do it right, you'll get to enjoy the pleasure of knowing that even when you're at your most vulnerable, you are being cared for and kept safe - not to mention well-spanked.

JoEllen Notte

JoEllen is a writer, speaker, researcher and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead. JoEllen has led workshops nationwide on sexual communication, navigating consent, having casual sex kindly, and dating as an introvert. She has toured sex shops, spoken at length on dildos, and...

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