Face Slapping 101

Hello there, curious kinksters!  Today, in our never-ending quest to make sure your bawdy BDSM lifestyle is as satisfying and well-informed as possible, we bring you Face Slapping: A tutorial.  This installment of our BDSM 101 series will introduce you to the basics of this relatively advanced kinky practice, so that if you choose to venture out and try your hand at it, you will have enough knowledge at (or under) your fingertips to go forth and slap safely and smartly.

In all seriousness, face slapping is not to be taken lightly (well, certainly it is, if that’s how you like it). Like any other kind of kink play, but perhaps even more acutely, you’ve got to be incredibly careful of both the psychological and physical implications of gettin’ slappy.  The first of those gets at something we talk a lot about on this site; namely, the importance of communication between you and your partner(s).  Slapping, particularly on the face, is one of the most intimate acts you can engage in: outside of BDSM play, it is almost universally an act of violence, of aggression, of unequal power distribution. Even some enthusiastic sadists, who at any other time might be fine with choking and spanking, or even bondage and electroplay, are squeamish about face slapping.  Because of this, face slapping is for a lot of people an extra-special form of kinky deviance.  This is what makes it such an erotic and desirable form of play, but it is also why you must be incredibly careful.  So, like any other time you lace up your kinky boots, make sure continuous consent is both given and received: slappers and slappees get to say “no” whenever, and as soon as they want!  Face slapping can trigger unpleasant feelings and memories in the person being slapped – since much of the thrill of it comes from its subversive associations with violence and danger, those very real feelings might well come into play during a scene.  Enjoying being slapped and having it instigate a serious emotional response are not mutually exclusive either.  It’s important to enter into a scene having talked seriously about slapping with your partner, and exit it by practicing the appropriate kind of self-care/care for your partner – give them space, if they want it, or cuddles, or a hot bath.

Fun tip: Cradle the opposite cheek of your slappee with your non-slapping hand – not only does this give the head and neck support and thereby decrease the chance of injuries, this tender gesture is a nice contrast to the sharp sting of a slap delivered to the other cheek!

But how does one go about slapping face safely, you ask? The face is, as you surely know, an incredibly delicate and complex area of the body.  This may surprise you, but it was not in fact designed to be repeatedly smacked, as delicious as it may feel.  As a result, there are very specific ways of hitting that will cause ocular and maxillofacial damage – the kind of thing that will skew the pain:pleasure ratio unpleasantly to the former – and others that put the happy in slap-happy. Aim is infinitely more important than force: too short a reach, and you’ll nail the nose; too long and you’ll get the ear.  Accidentally slapping the ear might rupture the eardrum by forcing too much air into the ear canal, and that’s no fun at all.  The “sweet spot” of the face is the fleshy part of the cheek, which flushes red upon contact – it doesn’t even need too much force.  The sweet spot of the hand is a bit more up to you: experts recommend that you aim the base of your fingers at the sweet spot on the cheek.  Start out with a series of light taps that slowly and gradually increase in intensity until your sub feels she can trust your skills.

Gotten the hang of that?  Has your sub given you the stamp of approval?  Have you been checking in with your sub at every step?  Great!  If you’re so inclined, you can progress even further.  A harder slap, well placed, might do the trick.  The element of surprise takes the whole enterprise to a new level: the sensations of even a light slap will be magnified when your sub doesn’t know exactly when it’s coming, whether that’s because it’s punishment, or because she’s blindfolded.  Think about toning down the intensity of the slaps when it’s being amplified in other ways.  Or, she might enjoy a different type of slap: you can give the sub’s thoroughly smacked cheek a break by finding ways to reach the other one.  With a little practice, you could use your non-dominant hand to start in on her other cheek, or flip the palm of your dominant hand to reach the opposite cheek.  An exceptionally tolerant partner might let you attempt to backhand her, a notoriously difficult move.

Not really a fun tip: As a general rule for novices, if your hand hurts…you might be slapping too hard!

Topics in Face Slapping 201 might include: the importance of honing your follow through, or: the excitement of sending your sub flying across the room.  However, you’ll need a tenure-track temptress to teach you that one.  You might not be a slapping expert right off the bat, but everyone has to start out as a slapprentice!

Want to learn even more about slapping technique? This has a lot of great information on technique, and this is just plain great!

*BDSM can be dangerous and cause injury to yourself and others if not practiced safely. Don’t play hard if you don’t know what you are doing (ie. the likes of electric tools, asphyxiation, bondage, wax play, sensory deprivation and augmentation, etc.).  Never leave your partner tied up alone, and always be concerned about blood circulation and nerves. Please do your research and contact a professional (ahem…come visit us!) to learn more before you act!