Interview med Gaby om spanking

How to become good at spanking: Interview with Gaby

We have made an interview with Gaby, who you can also learn more about on her Instagram profile here @tiedupandpersonal. She's both well versed in and really good at spanking (which is also referred to as impact play), and in this article you can learn more about Gaby, get some great advice on how to get started with spanking, how to make it the best experience for everyone involved and also where you can find more information. 

How did you first get started with spanking? Is there anything in particular you can say sparked your interest?

I think I've always been very curious about my sexuality and wanted a sex life that was a bit exciting or different. I remember at a very early age watching a scene in The Prince of Egypt where the slaves were being whipped, and I didn't realize at the time that it was something sexual for me.

But I was very fascinated by that scene, so I think it's kind of always been on my mind a little bit. But I hadn't really explored it much before I got out of a long-term relationship when I was 22. After that relationship, I thought, now I have to learn all about this fascination and what my sexuality is about, so I searched around for which options were available and which communities that existed for this sort of interest, and then met some people who were already into it. I quickly became curious about dominance, and then it just went from there.

And would you now say that you are part of a BDSM community?

Yes, well, I participate in ManiFest (Denmark's largest fetish organization with events), Kinky Salon (a non-profit, voluntary organization centered on sexuality, self-expression and creativity with associated theme parties several times a year) and Kinbaku Lounge in Valby (a community for Kinkabu, also known as rope bondage). I also help organize some weekend retreats centered around rope bondage and I help facilitate Conscious Kink, so in that way I have my fingers in a lot of things and places. In addition, I also had the pleasure of doing a very short spanking demo at a Bedside party at the club Den Anden Side, so I'm a bit all over the place. 

Where can you find others who also like spanking?

There is the old-school FetLife site, which I have a love/hate relationship with. But, it can actually be a huge resource and there is a lot of really good information, thoughtful people and beautiful inspiration to find. It's also good for finding meetings with like-minded people or find events, as well as someone to just write with about the fetishes you may have. 

I also once made an anonymous Tinder profile without a picture and wrote that I was looking for experiences within that world. But unfortunately, that is probably most effective as a woman, albeit also quite risky, and on Fetlife there is probably also more guarantee that you meet people who know what they're doing. There are also swinger clubs in Copenhagen, and although it may in some cases be a bit hetero-normative and for slightly older generations, you should not underestimate how much you can learn from people who are older and more experienced than yourself. Here, however, I would say that it's really important to be very clear in your boundaries, and you may need to take a little more care of yourself, as there may be different values regarding consent and how it is expressed across the different age groups, which means that you need to be a lot more clear in your communication.

You can also join our Conscious Kink Sessions Retreat, which focuses on how to go deeper into kink and BDSM in a safe way. At the retreat we create a safe space to gain experience and knowledge about the different parts of the big kink universe.

And then of course there is SMIL, which is an association that does some important communication work and, among other things, has a spanking group, as far as I know. There is also another association, called Sex Positive Association, which is still in the process of starting up, but is on the way to do a lot of exciting sex education and other good things.

And would you say that you have received a real spanking education? Or is it just something you've learned through training and practice?


I think I mainly taught myself, but I read a lot about it online to start with. And then I have tried it on my own body, what works for me and what does not work. 

In addition, I also talked to others who were more experienced than me. It can be easier to learn through others, both practically in terms of what and where and how, but also why - why you practice impact play, what the fantasies behind it might be.

And what are the fantasies behind it?


When we talk about impact play, there can be different incentives for why we do it. It could be that you just think it's sexy to see others react to being hit, or that you think it's sexy to be hit yourself, but there could also be an element of punishment or other fantasies.

So it's important when you play like this that you think about what actually turns you on about impact play. Is it because you've seen 50 shades of grey and think it's something you "have to do" if you're into BDSM, or is it because there's actually a fantasy behind it that turns you on or just a feeling you like. In BDSM, it's often a kind of taboo fantasy you play with, but it's also very okay not to be turned on by everything on the BDSM spectrum.

And what is it you like about spanking?


I would call myself a reaction fetishist. So for me, I don't get turned on by spanking someone in a certain setting or because i'm using a certain tool, it's the response I get back that turns me on.

Like, if I can see that the person reacts in a good way, for example if I bite them or hit them or do something, then that is my driving force and ignition.

And in relation to receiving the spanking, I think it's especially the "high" you get from the hormones that are triggered when you do impact play and play with pain. Also the memories afterwards when you are warm and may have gotten bruises. And then it just turns me on personally to have surrendered and endured it for someone else's pleasure.

When you have a session with others, is there always a clear framework and rules, or can you do whatever you want?


Of course, I always have a very in-depth consent talk, no matter what I'm doing, whether it's me giving or receiving.

Then there may be some people who are very clear in their boundaries. And then there are others who don't like to put a lot of words to what they really think is nice. If they're a little short on words, then I take it slowly and poke a little before I kind of go for it. But basically when I play with dominance, no matter which way it is, the premise for me is that it's within the framework of the dominant taking what they want, within the limits of the submissive. And the cool thing for the submissive is then to be allowed to surrender completely to the will of the other. 

Of course, there are pain limits and personal boundaries to take into account. But, basically, that is the premise when I play, and then I trust that the people I play with can both give and receive a stop and a no. 

If I can't trust that they know how to set their boundaries and follow up on them, then I can't play freely and deeply with them until we establish that trust. And if someone says "I don't want hits from a whip of this type or a spanking with a flat hand", then of course those are the basic premises you work with, which gives me the confidence in knowing that they are aware and looking after themselves.

But I'm a big advocate that if you're going to do BDSM play or just involve elements of it in sex, you have to do A LOT of introspective work. Precisely because you're playing with some pretty extreme things, and you're playing with extreme things with other people. So in order for us to take care of each other in what we do, which is healthy and good, if it's done right, then you really have to consider: What drives me? What acts do I want to be a part of? What don't I want to do? Am I aware of how I communicate when I get excited, or am I aware of how I react if, contrary to expectations, I get scared? Am I able to tell my partner and say in advance: "I don't know if I'm going to freeze up if we do this, so you need to be extra careful, and maybe we should just try the spanking tool outside of a session, where you just give a single spank so I know what it feels like" - that way you can establish trust and assess what you can do. So if you don't have an experienced playmate, I would again suggest that you seek help and guidance from someone who has the experience.

If you want to try impact play with others, how can you talk about boundaries?

Some may feel that it takes the spark off if you talk too much about it beforehand. But it's really, really important to be super clear about what's okay for you, both as a giver and a receiver. It's important in sex, and it's even more important when we play with the more extreme forms of sex. 

You can talk about boundaries by asking what drives the person: "what turns you on?" might be my first question, also because it's quite a sexy question. "What turns you on, what makes you horny?" Let's talk about it. Instead of asking "what are your boundaries", it might be easier to talk about what turns the other person on, and if they're turned on by a certain thing, could they imagine that a related thing could be their limit, or is it something they're also turned on by? 

Because sometimes you can make the boundary conversation easier by giving suggestions and not expecting the other person to know everything about themselves. It can be difficult as a submissive to think about what your boundary is, because you might not know what the dominant wants, or you might not even be aware of it yourself. Instead, you can ask: "would it be okay if I did this?" And then the other person can more easily answer: "I don't know, let's try, but go slowly", or "no, I don't think so".

Watching porn together can also be a good conversation starter. It can also be a bit awkward, but it can actually be a good way to find the words if you can't explain why or what exactly you think is sexy. There's also often a lot of shame involved, which can make it harder to talk about directly. 

So to the spanking itself: Do you have any advice on how to warm up before you really get started?


When I warm up, you could say that there are two main elements. One is that we want to get the skin warmed up so that you are ready for the strokes. 

The other is that you need to release all the lovely endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and whatever else we want to release in the brain, so you can better handle the pain signal. 

That comes, among other things, by going gradually forward and warming up, which you can do with a flat hand or a wide flogger until the skin starts to become warm and reddish. It can also be done by starting slowly or using gentle force, but you should also be careful not to do it too much in the same area - the skin can become too warmed up and thus too sensitive. 

Because even though it might be the buttocks you want to focus on, you can also make the skin too sensitive in that area. Therefore, it can be a good idea to vary your strokes, perhaps place the strokes a little down the thighs or somewhere else with a good, solid muscle mass. Because you can still release all those hormones by hitting other places. And remember to take your time, it's very different how fast the body reacts - personally, I need quite a lot of warm-up.

That's really good advice, is there anything else that's good to know?

Avoid the tailbone! I have personally never met anyone who likes to be hit on the tailbone. In addition, it can be very individual where on the buttocks or where on the body you like being hit. Some people like the more superficial pain and prefer blows where the skin is more sensitive. Others like it deeper and find it irritating to be hit at the bottom of the buttocks or the inner thighs, where the skin is more sensitive.

So in that way, there are so many variables and it's very individual, but as a starting point, the tailbone is not a good place. 

Then you also have to be careful about hitting on the back, especially because of the lower floating ribs. They are soft and aren't attached in the same way as the other ribs, and then there are also organs just below that area that we want to avoid. So feel free to go further up on the solid part of the back if you hit in that area.

It can also be fun to play with hitting the hands and feet, but be aware of the many small bones and be really, really careful. In general, just avoid joints and bones as much as possible. Also avoid hitting the neck, throat and face.

If you use tools for hitting, start with the short kind until you feel like you've got the hang of it. I've really used spanking tools a lot, but I rarely go over 30-40 cm in length because they are really hard to control and I'd rather focus on other things than controlling heavy equipment. So even though they look impressive, start with the shorter ones until you get the technique. You can practice using floggers by doing figure 8s, more circular or direct impacts, as long as you get some confidence in the strikes first. You can do this by practicing on a cushion to learn how to aim. 

And then of course "stop while its still fun", but also stop before you get an actual "stop" from the receiving party. It's much more fun to take it a little further next time than to go too far the first time. This applies to all BDSM, and if you play with the stop words red, yellow and green, I would sometimes say: stop the game on yellow the first many times, so you can move it gradually, instead of giving a bad experience.

Then you also get an element of teasing, right? Even though it may not be intended?


Yes, leave them wanting for more!

And are there other good ways to tease? Maybe if you're a beginner and don't quite know what you're doing?


It can be nice to make contrasts in what you do. It can be both by changing pace and intensity, but also by switching between whip strokes and then caressing, kissing or stroking with your fingertips or a feather or something else. Especially when the skin becomes sensitive after a few strokes!

It can also be a good way to seem very experienced, even if you don't quite know what you're doing. For example, you can use the time while standing and nuzzling the back of their neck for actually aiming for the right spot. In the beginning, blindfolds can therefore also be good, because it gives you, as the dominant part, some peace and space to "fumble", so the submissive isn't just standing and looking at you expectantly.

You mention blindfolds and feathers, are there other things that are good to include?

I personally am very fond of all types of bondage, but mainly using ropes. There may be some safety precautions with ropes that you need to familiarize yourself with first. It can therefore be an advantage to start with cuffs instead, because it's very straightforward. But the feeling of not just being able to escape can be really hot, because after all, it is a power game you're playing.

You can also use wax candles, but they should never be the regular kind! Always choose wax candles intended for kink, as they have a lower melting point and are free of harmful chemicals, unlike candles from the supermarket.

It can also be fun to play with pleasure, where you can take a vibrator such as a wand or something similar with you. You can hold it on your partner while you spank, for example, which can create a pretty sexy contrast. However, you can become quite sensitive to pain after you have had an orgasm, so be aware that you may have to start over with slightly gentler strokes rather than the hard ones.

Anything you would like to add?


Safe, sane and consensual! Be sober and communicative, take care of each other when playing with impact play and other kinds of BDSM. It can be harder to sense your boundaries and your body if you are under the influence of something. As a general rule, don't play with BDSM if you're under the influence, even if it's "just" 4 beers and you're used to dealing with alcohol. A single glass to take the nerves off may be okay, but otherwise I would say: keep a clear head when playing, both as the giving or receiving party. Even if you've tried it many times.

And finally, of course, it's about having fun and naughty experiences with each other in a safe way - about mutual enjoyment - not about having the wildest tools or most advanced techniques.


Read also: How to talk about your sexual fantasies?

Read also: What are safewords and how do you use them?

And if you were inspired to try impact play, check out our range of kink and bondage products here!

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