Impact Play

Crops, Whips, and
Paddles! Oh My!

What is Impact Play?

More commonly known by their specific types, impact play involves striking a playmate, often repeatedly. A form of BDSM, impact play can be done with a hand (like spanking), or with a toy. The term "play" means that although there is pain, it is a consensual and safe act that players take pleasure from.

With thousands of different impact toys on the market, it can be hard to choose which is right for you. Would a flogger or whip be more suitable for your needs? To better understand which toys you want to play with, it's important to know which type of toy is which, what they are used for, and how to use them.

Regardless of which impact toy you're looking at, they all come in a variety of materials. Most impact play toys are made of leather (real and/or faux). Leather allows the user to wield the toy as soft or as hard as they would like. Other materials that impact toys can be made from are; silicone, vinyl/PVC, wood, and metal. These will make for more intense and painful impacts as the materials are heavier.

A cartoon depiction of a pinata donkey in a bondage mask.
A red icon of a impact paddle


Paddles are a thick, blunt wedge attached to a handle. They provide a solid slap with very little force exertion from the user. For the spanking aficionado, the wide, thicker slap simulates more of a spanking feel and tends to leave red impressions on the skin long after playtime has ended.

A red icon of a whip


Simulating a more lash-style feel, whips are the ones you see Indiana Jones & Catwoman using on the big screen. With a swift crack of one of these bad boys, your playmate will feel a sharp sting wherever it connects with skin.

Whips can be a little harder to wield, however, practicing on something like a couch or bed before a playmate is always a good idea, to avoid any injuries.

A red icon of a whip


Originally used with horses and other riding animals, crops are a mix between a paddle and a whip. The flat piece can mimic the spank of a paddle but made smaller, it can feel more like the sting of a whip.

Depending on the force behind it, crops can be used either for lighter or more forceful impacts. Making it great for beginners, you can explore the boundaries and pleasure of impact play on both a vanilla AND more hardcore scale.

A red icon of a flogger


Floggers (also known as flogs) feature multiple strands, or "tails" that simultaneously make impact with skin. The longer the tails and the harder the material, the more pain the flog will inherently cause. Similar to crops, floggers are great for beginners as they can be used for both soft and hard play.

A red icon of a cane


Often referred to as "caning", canes are used for more intense impact play. Definitely for experienced users, canes offer a sharp and specific thwack to the skin. Canes can come in different sizes for different results. A thinner cane will give a sharper pain, while a thicker cane will produce more of a thud.

A red icon of a feather


For less impact and more sensory, try a tickler! Typically made with feathers, ticklers can be combined with other sensory blockers (blindfolds, ties, gags etc.) to enhance the feeling. Without the use of one or more of our senses, the others become stronger!

On the lighter side, ticklers don't usually cause pain but instead, offer a tingly and sensual caress across the skin. Perfect for teasing, try using one of these along a playmate's erogenous zones such as nipples, inner thighs, and/or neck.

Take It to the Next Level

Now that you know the basics, have fun with it! Different impact toys can have certain features that can take the experience to a new level. A popular one is imprinting. These are impact toys that will leave a specific mark on the skin such as:

  • Footprints & Shoeprints
  • Words (Slut, Bitch, XOXO)
  • Patterns & Designs
  • Studs

Safety Information

Regardless of the impact toy you choose, this kind of BDSM play (just like all BDSM play) needs to be discussed previously and practiced thoroughly before use. Used the wrong way, these types of toys can cause unplanned damage such as cuts, bruises, and welts.

Alternatively, if those are the kind of results you’re looking for, then you need to be sure they are being treated for and healed properly.

Certain parts of the body are suitable for impact play whereas others are not. You’ll want to choose areas with more fat and/or skin tissue.

A cartoon female nurse wearing a stethescope with impact hand print on butt.


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