Removing your jewelry is just the first step toward indulging in spankophilia.

Photo: Luciana Pampalone

Em & Lo: The 5 Most Important Things to Know About Spanking (Before You Try It)

There’s more to it than just a slap to the you-know-what.

by Em & Lo

A little spanking session in the bedroom is a quick, easy (and affordable!) way to spice things up in the sack. But as with anything involving painful pleasure, there are important safety issues — physical as well as emotional — that you should familiarize yourself with before you go swatting away like gangbusters. Consider this the kinder, gentler way to spank:

1. Remove all bracelets and rings. The only prop you need is your bare palm. But if you want to accessorize, best to go with a made-for-kinky-play paddle, like the Naughty and Nice Plush Paddle at This type of tool helps you regulate the aim and force (unlike whips and floggers, which are too dangerous for dabblers). 

2. Make sure you have a willing participant. You can’t take someone over your knee and go to town without their consent (no matter how naughty they’ve been). However, if you know and trust one another and think your partner might savor a swat, try a gentle pat on the bum during sex and gauge their reaction. 

3. If you get their go-ahead from there, very gradually work your way up in spanking intensity, interspersing swats with soothing massages to spread the heat — all the while checking in with your partner as to their comfort and eagerness. 

4. Only aim for the lower, fleshier halves of each cheek and the backs of the upper thighs; avoid the lower back, tailbone, and back of the knees. Remember, you’re going for good pain (e.g., an intense back massage), not bad pain (e.g., getting a finger slammed in a car door, or listening to Celine Dion). 

5. While a woman might like particular attention paid to the intersection of bum crack and crease, with the vibrations reverberating throughout the vulva, definitely steer clear of his family jewels!

Internationally respected veteran sexperts Em & Lo have penned seven books together, including their latest, 150 Shades of Play, which has won praise from icons like sex educator Betty Dodson and Time columnist Joel Stein. They dish daily about sex, love, and everything in between at Follow them on Twitter @emandlo.