Exploring BDSM? Here's How To Find The Right Whip For You

If you enjoy being spanked and you're ready to add a whip to your sex life, selecting the right toy to fit your desires can be more complicated than you think. In the BDSM world, the word "whip" can refer to anything from floggers (the tools with a sturdy handle and a bunch of tails) to crops (like the ones used for horses) to single-tail bull whips, which are actually the most dangerous and ill-advised type for newbies, says Galen Fous, a kink-positive sex therapist and fetish sex educator.
All of these whips can be used in what the BDSM community calls "impact play," which can include spanking, whipping, flogging, and caning. Of course, you don't have to be deep in the world of BDSM to add a whip to your sex life. As long as you engage in impact play safely — meaning you communicate before, during, and after with your partner, and you make sure to only hit parts of the body protected by fat or muscle (like the butt or thighs) — then you should feel free to experiment with whips, if that's what turns you on. Fous says it's also good idea to practice with any new whip on a pillow, and make sure to start slow when you use it on a partner (and, again, communicate throughout to make sure you're both enjoying yourselves).
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Ready to start shopping? Ahead, we've rounded up some great, whips, floggers, paddles, and crops to try if you want to add some BDSM to your sex life.
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If you're new to impact play, Fous says to start with a paddle about the size of the ones used for ping pong. (The surface area on paddles allows for a less painful impact than thinner whips, which can dole out stinging sensations.) This paddle is a great one to try, since it's double-sided, so it has traditional BDSM leather on one side and soft faux fur on the other. You can start with the furry side and work your way up to the leather one.

Stockroom, Gentle Persuasions Paddle, $49.95, available at Stockroom.
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This 24-inch-long riding crop is great for newbies and experienced kinksters alike. And if you're a pop culture fan, this is the crop for you. Not only is it from the official Fifty Shades of Grey collection, but Britney Spears wields it in the "Work Bitch" music video. Never tried a crop before? Crops are known for creating a mixture of "stingy" and "thuddy" feelings, so you can find the right level of impact for you and your partner.

Oh, and you don't have to use crops just for spanking: Tease your partner by running one along their body while invoking the power of Goddess Britney.

Fifty Shades of Grey The Official Pleasure Collection, Grey Sweet Sting Riding Crop, $34.99, available at Lovehoney.
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This riding crop is perfect for beginners — just check out that cute purple heart. It's reversible, so you can use the purple heart end to tease erogenous zones, and then use the black leather end when your partner is ready to be spanked.

Lovehoney, Tease Riding Crop, $16.99, at Lovehoney.
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Photo courtesy of The Kink Store.
This 40-strand rubber flogger provides intense stinging sensations. It's pretty heavy duty, so it's not the best choice for beginners. But experienced kinksters who aren't into using leather will definitely enjoy this one.

Kink Store All Rubber Flogger, $103.99, available at Kink Store.
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While large paddles may seem scarier than small whips, they can actually hurt less than whips, since they come into contact with a larger area of your body, Fous says. That means there's more muscle and fat to absorb the impact.

Woodpeckers, Spanking Paddle Unfinished Wood 12", $10.99 at Amazon.
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This red whip can be totally hot — but it can definitely hurt. So don't whack your partner with this one, unless you're both seasoned S&M pros and know exactly what you're doing. Since it has a tassel on the end, it can also be glided over your partner's erogenous zones to gingerly tease them.

Stockroom Red Flicker Whip, $33, available at Stockroom.
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Slappers feel similar to belts when used for spanking. This version comes with three leather strips, which means it packs a triple punch. Both newbies and experienced impact players can use this guy, depending on how hard you deliver blows.

KinkLab, Triple Leather Slapper, $38.95, available at Stockroom.
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Like all floggers, this one will deliver multi-faceted stinging on impact. But this one comes in a variety of sizes, so you can start with the smaller option (the one with 24 strands) and work your way up.

Kink Store Essential Flogger By Bare Leatherworks, $69.99, available at Kink Store.
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After you've become familiar with softer and wider paddles, you can move onto impression paddles, which leave specific marks on the person getting spanked. If you're using this paddle, those red hearts aren't simply there for decor — if you spank your partner hard enough, the inlets will leave three red hearts on their behind.

Stockroom, Impression Paddle 3 Hearts, $31.75, available at Stockroom.
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Important: This whip is not for first-timers. According to Fous, using single-tail whips like this one is considered a form of edgeplay (extreme BDSM behavior that's thought to be particularly dangerous). Long whips are more difficult to control and can wrap around the body, which can hurt like hell, and Fous says they can cut like a razor blade. So don't use anything that looks like this on a partner, unless you've spent years practicing edgeplay and understand the dangers.

Fetish Fantasy, 6 Foot Advanced Leather Bullwhip, $8.99, at Lovehoney.
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