Hitting someone (consensually) in the face, even with an open hand, is always going to be a little bit dangerous. Your face is where you keep your brain, eyes, teeth and other gooey bits. Hit it wrong and you can cause some pretty stupid injuries. Which is a shame, because being slapped in the face is pretty high on the “want” list for a lot of submissive peeps. And from my side of things, slapping a partner in the face is a great stress reliever, and a superb way to offer gentle encouragement when they’re giving oral.
Like most fun-but-dangerous kink activities, there are ways to mitigate the risk. Here are some of them. If your partner wants you to slap them, but you’re holding back because they’re oh-so-precious to you and you’re scared to do anything that might ever hurt them, the below might set your mind at ease.
Obvious first step: remove rings or other jewellery from your hand. Make sure your nails are neat and blunt. Badly placed hangnails are the worst, and can leave Harry-Potter-level scars.
If you’re planning ahead, your partner can remove or tape over any piercings that might be caught by your hand. Definitely get rid of any big, hooped earrings (otherwise you risk “lobes flying everywhere,” as Buffy would say). Otherwise, just make sure you’re very, very aware of exactly where their piercings are.
Your partner’s jaw should be closed, to minimise the possibility of dislocation from a misplaced slap. Ask them to loosely clench their teeth, or simply to show you their teeth if you want to preserve the surprise. It’s not a good idea to slap someone in the face while they are wearing a ball or ring gag – cloth gags are usually fine.
Of course, by this stage of play you’ll already have a rough sketch of your partner’s medical history. Know if they have any dental work that might be easily damaged, as well as whether they’re prone to marking easily, or have a particularly fragile head (you’d be surprised).
Finally (and this one should be a given, but I put in here because the internet’s a dumb place and I’ll get emails from idiots if I don’t) do take a moment to get a read on whether they actually enjoy being slapped before you just wind up and go for it. This isn’t a “try it and see” situation.
Hit your partner forehanded, not backhanded. The open side of your hand has way more padding than the back – which is mostly bone. Don’t believe me? Slap a concrete wall with your forehand and your backhand, then come back here and tell me what you think. You’re aiming to hit your partner with the padding on your fingers, and avoid any bone-on-bone contact.
Aim for the fleshy part of their cheek. Below the cheekbone, above the jawline, and at least an inch of two short of the ear. Hit with the pads of your fingers. Don’t hit with the ridge of bone at the base of your fingers, or with the palm. Keep your hand flat but loose. Keep their hands out of the way.
When you go to hit someone they will often (surprise, surprise) flinch. To ensure that you don’t end up whacking them in the ear you can hold them in place by the hair, of loosely cup the opposite side of their face. Don’t hold them in place so rigidly that they can’t shift a little when they take the slap.
The first time you slap your partner, do it gently, like you’re trying to wake up a sleeping baby bird rather than like you’re kneading pizza dough. Work your way up to hitting them harder little by little, checking in with them as you do.
When you slap someone in the face, you are hitting one of the most sensitive and easily-damaged parts of the human body (yes, more sensitive than the testicles). Even a slight blow to the cheek can cause damage to the head and brain – including concussion or head injury. Follow these guidelines and the likelihood of causing this kind of damage is minimal – but you should be aware of what can happen all the same.
This can happen when you hit the ear, forcing air into the ear canal. The sudden spike of pressure can damage the fragile eardrum and cause serious pain, as well as temporary or permanent hearing loss. Solution: avoid hitting the ear, and go see a doctor if your partner experiences pain or a loss of hearing in one ear after being hit there.
Sounds melodramatic, but it is totally possible to dislocate the jaw with a hard slap. To avoid this, have your partner loosely clench their jaw, and remind them to keep their mouth shut. If it happens: hospital. Dislocated jaws do sometimes pop back in of their own accord, but that’s not an invitation for you to try and slot it back in place like you’re messing with Meccano.
Again, ensure that your partner loosely clenches their teeth before you slap them, and make sure you’re aware of any vulnerable dental work. If you do chip a tooth, retain the chipped piece (if it’s a biggie keep it submerged in milk to increase the possibility of reattachment) and see a dentist as soon as possible. Oh, and brush your teeth three times a day, kids. Dental hygiene is cool.
A very small amount of swelling, tingling, lingering pain or tightness in the skin is normal. If any of these things are anything other than mild, consult a medical professional. Although a slap is unlikely to cause a serious head injury, it is possible. Double vision, nausea, confusion or a worsening headache can all mean serious trouble, so hit the hospital immediately if you notice any of them in your partner.
Enjoyed this? Found it useful? Tell me about it so that I know how many faces I’ve slightly reddened.