How not to do a caning (and more than 10 tips to hit your sub safely)

I came across this picture of a bottom after a heavy caning session. The Top was quite clearly unsafe during this scene, hitting the kidney area with sufficient force to cause bruising and welts. Don’t hit the kidney area unless you want to cause some serious internal damage to your bottom!


Here are some guidelines that SLAP! put together and distributed during our Impact Play Workshop, in conjunction with our presenters. While certainly not exhaustive, we believe that it’s a good starting point. Play Safe and Have Fun!


  • Certain parts of the body are more suitable than others for impact play.
  • While light impact play is suitable against the face, feet, hands, breasts, lower legs, and genitals, heavy impact play should only be exercised against places with high fat and muscle content– so, the thighs, buttocks, lower shoulders, and at either side of the spine.
  • Keep in mind to not hit at the front of side of the body, where you run the risk of hitting vital organs.
  • You should never engage in heavy impact play against the face, neck, head, fingers, toes, or over skin that is healing.


Here’s a pictorial guide. Red for No-go, Yellow for proceed with caution, Green for more suitable areas.


  • Kidneys. The kidneys are located in the area of the back between the bottom of the ribcage and the top of the butt.
  • Tailbone. The tailbone is located at the base of the spine, it can be cracked or broken if hit.
  • Hips. The sides of the bum and along the bony part of the hips, where several nerves are located.
  • Spine. The spine, along the back, has several small bones that can be cracked or bruised.
  • Neck. The neck is a very sensitive area where many major arteries, tendons, glands, and lymph nodes are located, not to mention the larynx, and should never be hit!
  • Face. Although face slapping and other impacts to the face are sometimes seen it is best to avoid hitting this area of the body. There are many sensitive areas (sinuses, eyes, lips, cheekbones, etc) that can be easily damaged and those injuries could be permanent!
  • Ears. Hitting someone on the ears can cause permanent damage to their hearing or sense of balance.


  • Stick to larger muscle groups.
  • Avoid places like lower back, kidneys and stomach, because hitting internal organs can cause dangerous internal bleeding.
  • Do not strike joints, bony areas, or spine. You can cause joint pain and troubles for your partner later.
  • Make sure your implement hits your target. Practice and communicate! Don’t let the flogger or toy get out of your control and wrap around the shoulders, hips or other sensitive areas.
  • Make sure you are not hitting anything/anyone on your backswing.
  • Genitals and breasts can only take a light to moderate level of impact.


  • Impact to the breasts can cause cysts to form.
  • Leather Butt – nerve endings in an area can get damaged from repeated heavy playing. You can avoid this by mixing up the parts of the body you play with, and giving yourself plenty of time to heal between scenes.
  • Watch for broken skin. If you do accidentally draw blood, keep the area clean with alcohol wipes, put on some gloves and clean your toys
  • Make sure your toys are in good shape. Damaged toys can cause unintended injury
  • Remove any jewellery before engaging in impact play. Rings and bracelets can cut, and earrings can accidentally be torn off.
  • The only alcohol involved should be used for disinfection. Drinking while playing affects your aim and judgement.


  • Safewords and safe signals are important.
  • A safe word is established so that the action can be stopped instantly should anything go wrong.
  • A safe signal is used in situations where a word cannot be spoken, e.g., when the submissive is gagged or is wearing a hood.
  • Sometimes you could use a specific series of grunts, or it may be possible to hang on tightly to a bell and dropping it would be the safe signal.
  • A dominant should trust that the submissive will use his/her safe word if things are going too far. However, he/she must also look out for signs (eg: subspace) when the submissive is unable to use their safe word.


  • Establish limits before play – both hard and soft.
  • For impact play, limits may be necessary due to physical problems (certain injuries) or mental and emotional reasons.
  • Limits must be respected

Singapore Learn and Play (SLAP!) is a non-profit group that delivers quality learning experiences for the Singapore BDSM community. The SLAP! Skill­Share Series is aimed at helping members learn or refine techniques, with the main focus being on safety. These are either non-­demo (lecture style) or demo (hands­-on workshop) and are held in private spaces. For more information on our upcoming events, visit our Fetlife discussion group or sign up for our mailing list

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About RobinDoood

RobinDoood has been active in the Singapore BDSM community for the last five years, although he has been exploring kink privately for the last decade in Australia and the U.S. He enjoys community building, and likes to build safe, collegial spaces for participants to learn and share their experiences and skills with each other. He feels that there is such a wealth of knowledge, experience and viewpoints floating around in the community, and seeks to facilitate the sharing of the knowledge. While he currently identifies as a switch, RobinDoood started out as a submissive bottom. He has been actively exploring his top side over the recent years and is enjoying the process of learning and discovery. RobinDoood is one of the founding members of Singapore Learn and Play (SLAP!), a non-profit organisation that strives to provide quality and affordable BDSM education for the community, where he leads discussions, presents skill-shares and writes for SLAP!. He is always interested in hearing about new ideas/formats/mediums for BDSM education.

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