Spanking Safety

It can be a long wait for that first spanking. Many submissives are in their 40s before they muster the courage to act out fantasies they have had since childhood. The reality of spanking can be a bit of a surprise.

Firstly, it's every bit as fun as they had been led to believe. Submission is mind-blowingly liberating.

Secondly, they may end up looking rather different from the pink-cheeked and politely striped girls on the commercial websites.

There is a lot of variation in how readily people mark - some are apparently indestructible, while at the other end of the scale I remember reading a post from a distressed girl whose boyfriend had spanked her with his hand quite gently - it hardly hurt at all - and she had ended up with extensive bruising. Apart from natural variation, older skin is likely to mark more easily, and the damage takes longer to heal.

Safe Spanking - for the thin skinned

(and general spanking & BDSM safety advice)

by Celeste

Unfortunately, some of us have to accept that our skin can not be relied upon as a renewable resource. There may be long-lasting marks and even, an outside possibility, serious medical consequences.[1]

I write from experience. I was in my mid 40s when I got my first ever spanking and since that happy day two years ago have been beaten regularly, and usually quite hard, which is how I like it. But my bottom usually looks a sorry sight afterwards, sometimes for several weeks. Although healthy I have always bruised quite easily, and additionally I am sure the marks heal more slowly now than they did two years ago. I'm probably heading for menopause, and I believe thinning of the skin is one of the things that happens. (Thinks: I wonder if oestrogen cream applied to the derriere would help?)

I decided to share my experiences with the wider kinky audience because there isn't much information on the net about the dangers of spanking for those with fragile skin. I love being chastised and am a bit of a pain slut. I love going about my business with a tender bottom, all marked up under my clothes. BUT there is a fine line between nicely marked, and looking disturbingly abused or injured. We all draw that line at different places. For me, personally, a badly bruised bottom is worth the fun I had getting that way. But I want to know the marks are going to be gone by the time I need them to be gone, and I don't want to be branded for life, or to damage my health.

There are a few situations I could have avoided if I knew then what I know now: for instance the look of consternation on my doctor's face and the way her gloved hands, about to perform a cervical smear, stopped in mid-air as she beheld my well-caned bottom. Marks where and when you don't want them can have drastic repercussions.

[1]I have only come to grief seriously just once - a severe caning in poor light that broke the skin. I still have the marks MORE THAN A YEAR LATER. The marks are still fading and I am hoping they will eventually disappear completely.

Medical consequences

Not being a doctor I am not qualified to speak. All I can say is that my cursory search on the net has not revealed any hard evidence of serious misadventure from being spanked, and in fact, unless you have a pre-existing medical condition like a bleeding disorder, or are taking a drug like Warfarin (which reduces clotting), there may not be any. Saxon remembers reading about the danger of thrombosis on a BDSM website about five years ago, but I can't track down any useful information. The only other reference to permanent damage I found was in reference to liposuction: scraping the under-surface of the skin breaks the capillaries, resulting a blotchy pink-brown discoloration which is permanent. Unsightly, but not dangerous.

The usual advice to those prone to bleeding is simply not to indulge in this activity. What a lot they are expecting the devoted spankee to give up! It's like telling gays not to have sex because of the risk of Aids. In my opinion it's up to the individual. Learn what you can about the possible risks and what you can do to minimise them, and if you still want to risk it, proceed with caution.

If you have fragile skin like mine you can at least learn from my mistakes. May all your spankings be the unalloyed "pleasurable" experiences they should be, not only at the time but in the weeks that follow.

Implements and their effects

My boyfriend and I are constantly experimenting and refining, learning which implements on which areas cause which marks. What we have learned so far (about MY skin) is:

  • Broad implements like hand or strap are likely to bruise, but even bad bruising is gone within three weeks.
  • Cuts and bruises are far more likely over bony areas - avoid the hips, stick to the luscious padded bits.
  • Thighs, especially inner thighs, bruise easily.
  • It's much easier to hide marks that are under your knickers. This is obvious but, because I'm a bit dense, it took a while to act on this knowledge.
  • The tips of thin canes, switches and birches and knots on the end of a flogger can break the skin very easily. Even minor cuts can leave marks that last several months.
  • Red marks from a strap, switch or flogger can last for a month. Strap marks are dismayingly eye-catching, being distinctively broad and square-ended.
  • A cluster of red welts left by a flogger is not a bad look and can be explained away if necessary as a graze or scrape - preferable to the distinctive tram tracks of the cane.

Setting boundaries

'Safe, sane and consensual' goes without saying. Constant communication is necessary, and absolute trust. If you have fragile skin there is lot more to it that establishing a safe-word, because the sub's tolerance might bear little relation to the marks inflicted. She can't see what's going on behind her, and in any case, once she gets into sub-space she's not in a place to make sensible decisions of any sort. So there is an extra burden of care on the Dom.

We have found it is very important to reach an understanding beforehand about what areas of skin and implements are out of bounds, and about the level of acceptable damage. (Discuss well beforehand, and if necessary, write it down. Once you get started, the capacity for rational thought simply disappears.)

  • In my experience "yes you can birch/cane/belt me - but only gently" just does not work. The only implement that is completely safe, if excessive marking is absolutely out of the question, is one you have tried out previously and found acceptable when USED AS HARD AS POSSIBLE.
  • Always play in good light so the Dom can see what he's doing. Too bad about your stretch marks and cellulite.
  • Gagging is unwise. You need to be able to communicate easily.
  • Sometimes fantasy and reality simply can't be brought together. "Cane me like you got it at school, but don't mark me. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow." (Sound familiar?) "You can use the strap between my legs, but don't hit my clitoris." Instructions like these put the Dom in an impossible double bind.
  • Even with these precautions, we have come to realise that mistakes are almost inevitable. Even an experienced Dom will stuff up, even when he knows your skin, because:
  • Marks take a while to develop, and you can't take back a stroke once it's landed.
  • Force is impossible to judge, especially when the adrenalin kicks in.

I can't comment on the bits about restraints, the flogging and clamping of labia, nipples etc. Each to his own. Here are a few notes about that page:

  • My worst bruising lasts longer than two weeks.
  • I agree about many lighter strokes in preference to fewer hard ones.
  • His 'science' behind the conventional wisdom of warm-up spankings lessening further damage - I'm not convinced. With me the spanking itself usually causes bruising.
  • I agree with not spanking over existing bruising. Until the area is well-healed it's going to be more prone to damage.