Why Do People Like Spanking? What the Science Says

Why Do People Like Spanking? What the Science Says

The science of getting a spanking

Spanking is one of the most common kinks. Probably the most well-known aspect of impact play, giving or getting a spanking in the bedroom has long brought some extra passion.

Indeed, the sex toy manufacturer Lovehoney ran a survey in 2019 that said 75% of women were into a good spanking and 66% of men were. It might be a kink, but it’s pretty popular.

What makes so many people want to take a hand to an ass and give a spank during sex? There’s quite a lot that goes into why people like spanking, so we’re going to look at:

  • What spanking is
  • The psychology behind spanking
  • How the brain reacts to spanking

Helping you understand where your desires come from and understand why spanking content is always a good seller on SinParty.

What is spanking?

Spanking as a kink is the act of a hand or paddle being used to slap another person, usually as a punishment.

There’s a lot to unpack with that definition. First, most people are familiar with the idea of getting slapped on the ass during sex, or doing the slapping. Likely a person’s first encounter with spanking will be with a hand.

Paddles are the next step up from a hand and have a similar effect. They’re sex toys and are generally made of leather or wood. It might sound intimidating at first, but plenty of people use them and love them.

paddle for spanking
Image Source: Lovehoney

Spanking is used as punishment, but during sex it’s during role play situations. Whether is a sub-dom situation or a schoolgirl fantasy, sexual punishment is a part of the enjoyment of sex rather than actually disciplining someone. It should always be consensual.

Where on the body gets spanked? Your first thought is probably going to be the ass, but spanking doesn’t stop there. Sexual spanking can also be done on the:

  • Balls
  • Vulva
  • Boobs

Or any other part of the body the spanker and the spankee are happy to take the hit.

What’s the psychology behind spanking?

People get spanked and give a spanking because they enjoy it. To those who aren’t into it, spanking can seem like a strange thing to be into, but what do they know?

Power play is a strong motivator in lots of sexual relations. Anything that falls under BDSM works on the exchange of power – one person ceding power to another through being restrained, taking orders, being verbally humiliated. It’s definitely a human trait to enjoy playing with power.

In 2013, an online study was conducted of people who were into BDSM and people who weren’t. The questions were all about their personality and how they related to people and the results showed that those into BDSM were:

  • Less neurotic
  • More open to new experiences
  • More extraverted
  • More conscientious
  • Less rejection sensitive
  • Less agreeable

And had higher subjective well-being.

Interestingly, people who identify as subs and switches tend to have more dominant personalities than people who identify as sexually dominant, says another study.

What does this mean for spanking? The people who do it are likely to be very much in control of their experience and aren’t doing it because they’re damaged or have problems fitting in with society.

Dance of the Souls and the psychological reaction

Although not directly related to spanking, the way the mind reacts to pain during the ceremony is interesting. It’s a piercing ritual where temporary holes are put through the skin and weights attached.

Both the people getting pierced and those doing the piercing went into an altered state during the session. What’s more, overall, the people who were studied reported a decrease in psychological stress and an increase in feelings of intimacy both prior to and after the ceremony.

This is yet more evidence that bringing pain and physical control into a relationship has very positive effects.

How does the brain respond to the body getting spanked?

Studies have been done on the brain chemistry of people partaking in a spanking session and the results suggest wholly positive reactions.

It can be hard to study the brain’s reaction to spanking. Lots of standard measurements of enjoyment need an MRI scanner which might be a bit of a mood killer, dontcha think?

Work has been done to measure hormone levels to understand how the mind reacts during spanking.

In a study of people giving and receiving a session of BDSM, people who were:

  • Bound
  • Receiving stimulation
  • Following orders

Experienced significant increases in cortisol. This is a hormone often related to stress and is part of the “fight or flight” instinct. It can be a feeling that people really enjoy – not all stress is negative.

The same testing also found that women who were being bound and stimulated had increased levels of testosterone. For women, elevated testosterone is associated with a higher sex drive and usually increases when they cum.

Why do people like spanking?

For the uninitiated, spanking can seem like a strange thing to bring into sex. It’s used as a punishment or discipline so why does that belong in the bedroom? Or car, tent, garden…?

Spanking is actually a really common kink – maybe because we’re taught that sex is naughty in our culture? That’s probably reading too much into it, people like a spanking session and find it a turn on because of how the brain reacts to it.

It releases stress and tension and makes the people who partake in it feel more intimate and connected to their partner. The brain also reacts with chemicals that people enjoy. Lots of people are wired to get turned on by spanking, for sure.

When it comes to spanking in porn, it’s a pretty common thing to see – from a cheeky ass slap in a doggy-style scene to a full-on paddling session. It’s not unusual to be asked for spanking content and being open to creating it will increase the people who watch, buy, and order bespoke porn.

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