Top Five Ways To Consensually Hit Your Sex Partner (NSFW)

Autostraddle 5th B'day_Cats plus changes_Rory Midhani_640px (1)
We’re celebrating Autostraddle’s Fifth Birthday all month long by publishing a bunch of Top Fives. This is one of them!

If your sex partner(s) are into it; spanking, slapping, flogging, paddling and hitting can all feel great, done correctly.

If you’re playing with a new person or toy, experiment with a few different strokes with different intensities to see what you both like. (You should also try out new toys on a pillow to get the feel of them first.) As a very general rule, people who like being tickled may like stingier toys, while people who don’t like being tickled may like thuddier ones.

You can also try different positions — standing, kneeling, hands and knees, bent over a convenient piece of furniture or lying down — to see what you like best.

When hitting, aim for fleshy areas. There’s a reason a lot of hitting revolves around asses and thighs, and one of the reasons is because those areas are much harder to damage. Breasts and the backs of the upper arms are also safer. Absolutely avoid the spine and kidneys, and the lower back in general, as well as joints, ribs, necks and major arteries. Sugarbutch has a map of where it’s more and less safe to hit someone.

During play, start with lighter strokes and build intensity as you both warm up (unless you’ve discussed otherwise). If you have a few different toys to hand, consider alternating between them occasionally to keep things interesting. You can also work in other sensations, such as a strategically placed vibrator, butt plug, nipple clamps or fingers. Being turned on lets someone take a lot more sensation. (It also makes moving from hitting to sex easier, if you want.)

Discuss aftercare beforehand and make sure you do it afterwards. Clean any broken skin. A little while later, make sure to talk about what you both liked or didn’t like to make next time even better.

Read Autostraddle’s beginner’s guide to kinky play for more on communication and safety.

1. Your Hands

Your hands are the easiest thing to hit someone with. You already have them and it’s easy to learn how to use them.

A cupped hand will deliver a thuddier sensation, while a flat hand with spread fingers feels slappier. Hitting with the fleshy part of your palm feels much thuddier, especially if you hold your hand for a second after impact. (It’s also quieter if noise is a concern, as is backhanding.)

Hands are more delicate than, for instance, asses or thighs, so when you’re checking in with your activity partner, check in with yourself too. If you start to get tired, or if your hands start to hurt, consider using something else for a few minutes.

2. Paddles

Paddles are often made of leather (like this one from Good Vibes), rubber (like this one from Babeland), wood or a combination of other materials. They’re smaller and easier to control than floggers, and you can use them in more positions.

Slappers are closely related to paddles, but have two pieces that make noise so any impact sounds louder than it is. They’re fun if you’re more into the idea of hitting or being hit than actually hitting or being hit, because they sound scary but feel pretty light.

3. Floggers

Floggers have a weighted handle and multiple falls, and are often made of different types of leather, like the Heart 2 Heart, but can also be made of rope, rubber, latex, thin chains or other materials. Floggers are generally thuddier than other toys, but are variously thuddy and/or stingy depending on what they’re made of, how many falls there are, how wide the falls are and how you use them.

Ideally, the full length of a flogger, including the handle, should be as long as the distance from your armpit to middle finger. The balance point should be just behind where the falls are on the handle.

Frisky Business has a guide on how to use a flogger that may be relevant to your interests.

4. Crops

Crops are basically sticks with flaps of leather at the top that deliver a stingy sensation, and are often sold in full length or short versions. To hit someone with a crop, hold your arm mostly still and flick your wrist — you’re trying to hit with just the tip. If you move your arm a little more, you can hit a lot harder, but at a certain point it’s also much more difficult to control the blow.

5. Household Objects

If you have the right materials and tools and a bit of time, you can make your own flogger, paddle or crop. For a faster approach, belts, spatulas, clean fly swatters, books, magazines (flat or rolled), sanded rulers or paint sticks, spoons, hairbrushes, cheese boards and tons of other things can all be fun options.

feature image via misslillianbathory

Header Image by Rory Midhani

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I was admiring the pictures – I love chicks in corsets – and came across the last photo of the woman about to paddle her partner with an electric guitar and it gave me a massive laugh. So unexpected, and so very good.

  2. Relevant to both my personal interests and my (hopeful) future career as a sex- and kink-positive health care provider. Thanks for the clear, succinct overview!

  3. Next article: how to flog your partner when you have thin walls and don’t want your neighbors to talk about “the kinky lesbians who live next door”.

    • The best way to deal with this is to embrace being the kinky lesbians next door, probably.

      The second-best way is to make sure you have a few basic sound things down: I’ve found art on the walls goes a long way to reducing noise or echoes, as does an unevenly shelved bookcase, thick or multiple rugs and heavy curtains and various textiles in places around the room, etc. (In the battle of minimal vs. kinky, kinky is way more fun.) Also experiment with where you are in the room and what way you and you activity partner(s) face to see if that makes a difference for you. White noise machines, anti-noise systems and professional soundproofing are all technically options, but expensive ones.

      Even if you take Measures, your neighbours will probably still hear at least a little — it’s just a reality of sharing walls. As long as you’re respectful — not shrieking at or pounding on or accidentally conducting resistance play against the shared wall, trying to be quieter or using quieter toys if it’s really late or really early, etc. — you should follow your heart/pants anyway.

      • I think if you believe the ceiling will cave in then MAAAAYBE it’s a LIIIITLE too loud.

      • white noise machines aren’t too pricey actually! i mean if you’re going to be buying a lot of textiles. they’re not cheap, either– a good one will be like $40 on amazon? but i saw one in the as-seen-on-tv section for $20, i think.

        (this post brought to you by insomnia, anxiety, and viewers like you)

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