The Art of Impact: How to Increase Intimacy With Impact Play

Published: MARCH 16, 2018 | Updated: FEBRUARY 15, 2022
Impact play isn't just about paddles, floggers, and whips. This activity can help make you and your partner closer, too.

Recently, I wrote a paper for a social psychology course about BDSM communities and the importance of play parties. I read all kinds of research about the personal characteristics of kinky people (verdict: they're pretty normal!). However, I also read articles that weren't explicitly linked to BDSM; one of them was about how, when two people collaborate on a task, their brain waves harmonize. The more harmonized their brain waves, the better they were at the task.


So, what does that have to do with impact play? Actually, a lot.

Connection and Impact Play

When two people have a good scene, they often describe the connection as "flowing into each other." My partner calls it "surfing a wave." I like to think of it as energy, as actions and reactions seamlessly bouncing back and forth between two people.

I wouldn't be surprised if researchers were able to get EEG waves off of kinky people during a scene (we can't because EEG machines are super sensitive to movement). The might just see the same kind of synchronization between the brains of the participants.


This feeling of connection is one of the most wonderful rewards of impact play scenes with a trusted partner. Beyond the nice, floaty endorphins, you flow to the rhythm of the toys and your partner. At the best times, you feel very close to your partner, as if you'd become a new entity rather than two separate people.

Reaching this state demands trust, practice and openness to experience. There are also several things you can do to make it easier to reach.

Practice Your Skills

The first thing you need to do is make sure you know what you're doing. Check out this helpful guide for impact play to get you started. Knowing the pain and sting levels of each tool, as well as where and how to hit for maximum pleasure, will help you keep your bottom in that nice space between too much and too little stimulation.


What you see in BDSM porn or at play parties are usually very skilled people with many, many hours of practice, so allow yourself plenty of time to learn.

Begin a Session With Connecting Breath

One way to synchronize bodies and minds is to spend a little time breathing together. It's a basic tantric technique that forms the foundation of more advanced sexual skills.

Breathing together means setting your bodies at a similar pace. You can get a lot of information about your partner's state of mind as you pay attention to their breathing: quick and shallow means nervous or anxious; long and deep means relaxed. Try to guide each other to breathing deeply and slowly together, synchronizing your heart rates, and possibly even your brain waves.


Pace the Session

Good impact play starts with good pacing. You don't want to hit super hard at first; you need to build up blood flow, sensations, and endorphins in your partner. If you spent some time breathing together, you'll be more attuned to your partner's reactions, which means you'll be better able to increase the intensity at the right time.

Every person is different, but here's how it goes for me. If the session is too light, I just kind of get silent and a little bit bored; if it's too much, I'm screaming and trying really hard to move out of the way. The perfect intensity is somewhere in between, where it's hard enough that I vocalize, but not hard enough that my breathing becomes shallow and my screams sharper.

Good pacing is basically the secret to long sessions, too. If you can warm up and intensify incrementally, you can manage to hit your bottom pretty hard after a while.


Check-in With Your Partner

As with all BDSM play, checking in regularly with your bottom ensures that you're keeping it fun for them (and yourself). Checking in also serves to tell your partner that you're still paying attention to them, and not lost in your own space. It makes bottoms feel safe, heard, and connected.

None of this is new to experienced players, of course. A specific focus on connection can transform your play sessions from purely physical activities to meaningful moments with your partners. In the best of times, it can even become spiritual and transcendent.

Read: BDSM Safety Rules: Expert Tips for Safer Play


Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is orignally from Montréal, Canada and is currently living in Victoria. She speaks and writes fluent French as well as English. She loves to write about a variety of topics, from home decor and social media to books and sex.

She currently doesn't have a pet, but she's working on that. In the meantime, she's learning to write stories and hopefully novels so that she will one day see her name in...

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