Sex Talk: Spankings

When it comes to SM, many guys will swear that nothing beats a good, old-fashioned spanking. Plenty of pain-play just plain hurts, which delights many a masochist. But since the butt’s a major erogenous zone, spanking walks a libido-lofting line between pleasure and pain. As one swatting bottom says, “A hard hand on my butt goes straight to my cock.”

Spanking is, in fact, one of the Nasty Things most likely to sneak into an otherwise staid relationship. Says one leather top, “There are plenty of men who don’t like floggings, hot wax, or clothespins, but just adore getting their butts worked over. It’s less intimidating to otherwise vanilla folks—kinky, but not too kinky.”

The classic over-the-knee scenario involves the forceful, repeated application of bare hand to naked buttflesh. But, as in all matters sexual, tastes vary. Some tops prefer their bottoms’ bottoms encased in tight white briefs. Some bottoms want to be worked over with implements ranging from the iconic hairbrush to elaborate leather whackers. For those into frat-rat role-playing, a wooden pledge paddle inscribed with Greek letters will provide a rush. And, as with other sorts of sadomasochistic play, some folks prefer pain to be linked to penis-based pleasures, while others look askance at including any outright sex.

While blistering a butt may seem like an anyone-can-do-it pursuit, good spankings do involve skill. Experienced spankers know, for instance, that a slightly cupped hand usually gives greater impact and a satisfying smacking sound. Our spanking bottom claims, “I can tell pretty quickly if a top knows what he’s doing. There are basically three zones to the butt. The big, fleshy middle of the cheeks can take a lot of punishment. Further out, it’s less padded, so things hurt more and feel less good. But the area around the crack is the sweet spot—that’s where getting slapped feels really great.”

Additionally, each spanking implement has a feel of its own, from stinging to thuddy. And the best way to really know what each one’s like—sorry, total tops—is to experience the impact on your own eager ass.

If you’re the one doing the spanking, you should, as with other sorts of pain play, start out fairly easy and gradually ramp up the intensity. That permits pain-managing endorphins to build, and lets you figure out a fellow’s limits without getting so rough so fast that he shuts down the scene. Limits are malleable, anyway. Says another well-seasoned spankee, “How much I can take depends on all sorts of things: how I’m feeling generally; if I like and trust the top; whether I’m in the mood for just a quick working-over that makes my hole pulse, or a long, cathartic session that makes me cry.”

Spanking’s not just a matter of physical fun—it has psychological dimensions, too. While reddening a rump is usually associated with discipline, it’s an open question whether giving a bottomboy what he craves qualifies as punishment per se. Still, spanking’s a central part of many a Daddy/boy or Master/slave scene, where props, such as doubled-over belts or paddles, often play a part. Spanking can be approached as a rite of passage, too. Whether through prearranged frat-hazing roleplay or something more impromptu, it’s bracing to prove one’s masculinity through enduring consensual abuse.

And sometimes it’s just about surrender, taking more and more and more sensation. Or it’s about dishing it out, reveling in pushing another man’s pain envelope. Our leather top explains, “When I’m spanking a dude, his butt feels better than my hand does. But I get a lot of vicarious pleasure watching my bottom’s behind get red—after all, I’m not a total top, and I know how good it feels to be smacked.” He smiles. “Fortunately, I’m a bit of a sadist, too, and I do love the look of a well-abused posterior. After all, I don’t do all that work solely for some masochist’s amusement.”

Despite its nasty trimmings, spanking is even safe sex (assuming you remove those bulky finger rings). Sure, there can be bruises or broken capillaries, but all that means is avoiding your gym’s locker room for a day or two…or coming up with a good story for your boyfriend, perhaps one about falling off a horse. So whether your interest lies in a quick slap and tickle, an involved leather scene in your local dungeon, or being punished for some supposed sin or other, you might want to give it a whack.

Simon Sheppard is the editor of Homosex: Sixty Years of Gay Erotica, and the author of Sex Parties 101, Kinkorama, and In Deep: Erotic Stories, and can be reached at [email protected] Visit Simon at

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