What is it and how does it work?

Spanking therapy uses spanking as a form of release. People may choose to take part in spanking therapy to release stress and responsibility, explore power roles, or work through negative emotions or trauma. However, there is limited scientific research on spanking therapy and its effectiveness.

People may speak with a practitioner for spanking therapy or learn how to do it safely with a partner.

This article looks at what spanking therapy is, what it involves, and why individuals may do it.

Spanking therapy has no exact definition, but people may class it as any form of consensual spanking under BDSM, which stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism (SM).

Individuals may also class it as any consensual BDSM spanking to release certain emotions or work through issues, such as trauma.

People may use it for relaxation or the release of power, responsibility, negative emotions, or trauma.

Spanking therapy may be an option for anyone of an appropriate age to take part in consensual BDSM practices.

People may wish to find a spanking therapist or learn how to safely carry out spanking therapy with a partner.

According to an article in TheJournal of SexResearch, people may engage in spanking therapy for a range of reasons, such as:

  • Power play: People may find it sexually arousing to play with power roles, such as becoming dominant or submissive. Others may also find it freeing to release responsibility and power in a controlled environment.
  • Spiritual experiences: Some people report that SM practices alter their state of consciousness, providing them with a sense of connection, wholeness, and mind expansion.
  • Stress release: Individuals may find similar benefits from spanking therapy as those from mindful activities, such as meditation.
  • Escapism or sense of adventure: People may find spanking therapy a way to change their routine and elevate their experience from mundane or everyday matters.

The authors also note that some scientific theories suggest that SM practices, such as spanking, may help some people heal from trauma.

Reclaiming or relinquishing power through the act of spanking may help some people regain psychological control over past traumatic events.

However, a person may wish to consult a mental health professional before engaging in spanking therapy to help heal from trauma.

According to a 2020 article, BDSM, particularly SM practices, may offer therapeutic and soothing effects for some people.

The research also suggests that SM practices may also provide similar psychological benefits as meditation. These benefits may include increased concentration levels, reduced mental activity, and relaxation.

Anecdotal sources also report that spanking therapy may help:

  • relieve stress
  • provide pleasure
  • allow people to gain or relinquish power in a controlled situation
  • process or release trauma

There is little scientific research on spanking therapy and its effectiveness.

Research on BDSM practices has shown that those submissive in BDSM had biological changes indicating increased pleasure.

According to spanking therapy practitioners, they may use their hands to span the lower, inner quadrant of the bottom.

A practitioner may also use a silicone or wooden paddle to create different sensations.

Clear communication is important, so the practitioner understands what people are hoping to get out of the session and the acts with which they can remain comfortable.

A spanking therapy session may involve the following:

  • a warmup session to get the body prepared
  • discussing any injuries or physical concerns
  • what the person hopes to get out of the session, and at what point it will end
  • agreeing on safe words or actions to stop the session at any time
  • whether people will keep their bottom clothed or not

During the spanking therapy, a practitioner may use a hand or paddle to offer different sensations.

After the session, the practitioner will check in with how people are feeling and allow time for them to process the emotions that may have come up.

Spanking therapy skill, and people without training may not be able to carry it out safely. However, if individuals wish to try spanking therapy with a partner, they may want to speak with a trained spanking therapist first for advice or training.

People could also learn from sex parties, classes at sex shops, online tutorials, or books.

Discussing consent

Before engaging in spanking therapy or any sexual activity, it is important that individuals discuss consent, boundaries, and expectations with their partner.

Consent is an ongoing process, and a person can change their mind and withdraw their consent at any time.

To ensure those involved are comfortable, people should:

  • talk about the activity
  • check in with each other often
  • ensure that everyone consents beforehand

The following are answers to common questions about spanking therapy.

Is spanking therapy always sexual?

Spanking therapy is not necessarily sexual, and some people may see it in a similar way to other forms of physical therapy. Others may see it as a more ritualistic experience.

According to a 2015 article, people may take part in BDSM activities such as spanking for nonsexual reasons.

Individuals may find it provides a new experience and a release from their everyday selves and responsibilities.

Why might people like being spanked?

People may enjoy spanking for several reasons, such as:

  • the release of power and responsibility
  • relaxation
  • stress-relief
  • the release of trauma or negative emotions
  • altering their state of mind

A 2019 study looked at how Canadian university students thought about BDSM practices, with 60% of male participants and 31% of female participants having positive thoughts about whipping or spanking.

Where can a person learn more about spanking therapy?

If people want to learn more about spanking therapy, they may wish to:

  • read articles or books on the subject
  • talk with a sex worker trained in spanking therapy
  • connect with a local or online BDSM community

Spanking therapy uses spanking as a therapeutic method to release stress, explore power play, or let go of trauma.

People can consult a trained spanking therapist for a session or learn how to safely carry out spanking therapy themselves with a partner.

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