Ask Emma

Recently I received this message from a reader of my blog:

I’ve been with women who enjoy spanking before, but I’ve always wondered how hard is too hard. Speaking as a woman who enjoys spanking, is there a good way for a partner to judge when the action is getting a little too intense… before the safe word is voiced?

As I was writing my response it occurred to me that:

  1. It was getting pretty long and would maybe make a good blog post and…
  2. all of you lovely people out there could probably give better advice than I could!  

So I’m including my answer below, but asking YOU to share your input in the comments section as well!  The reader originally asked for my input as a woman who enjoys being spanked, but I’m opening it up to anyone who loves to spank or be spanked!


Dear Reader:

What a great question!  But I’m afraid you’re asking the wrong woman.  That is to say – the answer will probably be slightly different for each woman you spank, so I don’t know that I can shed any light on what to expect with the variety of women you’ll hopefully encounter.  Here’s what I can tell you:

In considering your question, I tried to think back to the spankings I can remember that brought me close enough to my limit that I would have safeworded (had Jack and I had a safeword, which we didn’t and which is an entirely different topic altogether).  There weren’t many, maybe two or three over the seven years that we were together, and I guess I was a bit surprised to realize that in none of them was physical severity or pain what led me to that point, it was always the emotional intensity.

What hints or clues did I give?  Again, I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that, because I’d imagine that many of them were given unconsciously.  I have found that, in general, when I’m really having a hard time processing a spanking emotionally I go quiet.  If I can beg and whine and say owww a lot, it’s a pretty good indication that I’m ok 🙂  If I use the top’s name, that’s an indication that I’m getting awfully close to my limit.

When you get a bit of experience in playing with one person, you’ll probably start to pick up on their individual clues if you pay attention.  Before you reach that point, the best advice I can give is to discuss the parameters of the play with new partners before you get started.  This can be tricky because, as Pixie pointed out in her recent post, different people may (and probably will) describe severity levels differently.  One woman may tell you she likes “moderate” spankings, yet reach her limit quickly when you start to spank her because her idea of moderate and yours are not in line.  Or you may find a woman whom you are not comfortable spanking as firmly as she would like because her idea of “moderate” is too severe for you.

You can get past this by discussing specifics – do they like to be spanked until the skin is just pinkening?  Uniformly red?  Starting to bruise?  If playing with an implement, you may want to give the strokes in sets.  This gives you the opportunity to check in with your partner between sets to see how she is doing.  If you think she’s nearing her limit, but want to prolong the play, try backing down a level (spank her with your hand, for instance) then ask her if she wants more. 

If you aren’t playing a scene where this type of dialogue works, you can always utilize the green/yellow/red method of safewords, where green is an indication that all is well, yellow allows her to tell you she’s getting close to her limit, and red means stop.  This can be a wonderful tool, allowing both parties to relax into the scene without having to worry.  Lastly, if you hope to play with someone again, take some time to talk after the spanking as well.  You can learn a lot this way and hopefully use that knowledge to make your next encounter with them even better.

Good luck and happy spanking!

OK dear readers, now it’s your turn!  What advice would you add?  Please share your $0.02 in the comments!  And if you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email.


About Em

A 30-something spanking aficionado and all around good girl :)
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2 Responses to Ask Emma

  1. Hermione says:

    Hi Em,I'd say that is a pretty hard question to answer, because everyone's different. One top's idea of hard might be another's moderate, so even clear communication can lead to missteps. I could say I like hard spankings, but what I think of as hard might be someone else's idea of a warmup. I guess the only way to go about it for two people who don't spank together regularly is for the top to ask for frequent feedback from the bottom so they both remain on the same page. Hugs,Hermione

  2. Em says:

    Hermione – I completely agree. Thanks for sharing your input!

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