Saturdays are our holy day in much the same way as religious people have a sabbath. But we don’t pray like they pray.

We pray with pain, pleasure, and love. Every sobbing breath from our heaving chests, as we lie spent after a night of celebration, is an amen. At the heart of our prayer is our weekly ritual: Church.

If you haven’t read part one, where I introduce the concept of Church, and part two, wherein I describe the mindfulness exercise I use to prepare my submissive for impact play, you may find that this piece dives into things pretty quickly. I’m okay with that if you are, but feel free to take a moment to catch up if you’d like.

I spend hours, on Saturday, looking forward to the moment I get to snatch her panties down. I’m always cognizant of the safety concerns – the last thing either of us want is a spanking session ruined before it starts because Daddy isn’t paying attention. And to that end I’ve experimented with different methods, but I spend most of my time just thinking about the way it feels.

It’s easiest to yank her panties down when she’s standing up, but it doesn’t feel as good as when she’s kneeling over the couch. Standing, the resistance is gone a mere instant after I yank. But, kneeling, I can work the top to just above her ass and then pull, causing the fabric to catch lightly on her hips, ass, and thighs. It’s an extremely satisfying tactile sensation for me, and I’ve come to learn she enjoys the abrupt transition from one mindset to another.

She knows she’s minutes away from getting spanked.

At this point I want her to feel my eyes on her, it turns us both on. Her pussy usually swells within a few seconds of being exposed, her breathing deepens without slowing.

What happens next depends on her mood. In fact, so much of what happens during the entirety of the ritual depends on how she feels in my hands in each moment. I play with her anticipation by rubbing, pinching, and scratching at her skin, but I’m gathering data. Lots and lots of data.

Basically, I try to find out if she becomes tense or anxious as we circle in on the most painful part of the night, or if she starts to feel calmer as the ritual unfolds.

Side note: I believe every top should have medical training, a basic understanding of trauma (physical and emotional), a better-than-average knowledge of human sexuality, and a desire to keep their bottom safe that borders on obsessive. If yours doesn’t, ask why.

Sometimes I like it better if she’s a bit, off, so to speak. Because that means this ‘foreplay’ time will take on a different meaning. As mentioned in part 2, I don’t want to toss her into a freezing cold pool and shock her into submission. I want to beckon her ass to my hand (and her brain to the “feel good” chemicals that hand is about to release for her).

But, the butt isn’t always ready. Or, more specifically, the brain behind the butt isn’t always in a place that’s conducive to 10 or 15 minutes of (nearly) uninterrupted physical pain.

When this is the case, I find that indulging other kinks we share in a complimentary manner are the shortest route from willing to ready. I get off on making her feel exposed, ogled, and “researched,” so I’ll often spread her ass open, tap my finger against her flesh, and make it obvious that I’m staring.

Sometimes that’s enough to get her into a mental state where she can most appreciate a good spanking. Other times I’ll eschew the kinky stuff and be more intimate. Again, a few kisses and tender touches and her body language and breathing show that she’s ready for spanking.

It’s important to point out that we’re two eager adults participating in an activity we both look forward to all week. This is the equivalent of stretching before running, not talking someone into something. If the distinction confuses you, this might not be the best article for you to be reading.

If one of us isn’t feeling up to it, we immediately cancel and find something loving and intimate to do.

But, when it’s all systems go, and we’re both ready for some much-anticipated impact play, I try not to give her any warning that the first strike is coming. I want her to savor it, to own that first strike. I want to see her take it in and recommit to herself. If she wants to continue being treated like a submissive, a bottom, and a masochist, that first strike is her opportunity to make the most informed decision possible.

We don’t need safe words during this scene: because, if she speaks, that’s a safe word. She’s allowed to cry, cry out, and utter permutations of “ouch,” but if she starts talking I’ll end the scene and consider her having safe-worded. And that, of course, means immediate triage and after-care.

But, back to that first strike.

It’s also my first opportunity to monitor her pain response and adjust the level of intensity. There are days when an open-handed slap to the buttocks I’d call a “3” is enough to make her yelp and squirm. I don’t allow her to roleplay her pain, because if I can’t trust her response, I can’t spank her. So, no matter how hard I hit her, I respect her response.

This comes from years of spankings followed by immediate after-care and discussion. If you’re not communicating with your bottom, you shouldn’t be spanking them.

Skin, like any organ, doesn’t respond to stimuli the exact same way every time. So, I adjust and take things lighter, without making her feel she’s being any “less spanked.”

Other times, she doesn’t cry out – she moans with pleasure. I’ve worn myself out with the flogger and had to resort to grabbing her by the hair to pull her up so that I could grab her throat in both hands and let her choke herself using her own weight. Because that’s what my babygirl needed that night.

The point is, there’s no one-size-fits all in BDSM. Not in our relationship, or yours. Not even in a ritual we’ve painstakingly built. If you want your impact play sessions to be successful: be flexible. Play smart.

Stay tuned for part 4. Better yet, follow me on Twitter @TristanPGP and be among the first to know when I publish. And read my sub’s latest, a fantastic (and hot) dissertation on the mental health benefits of being the subject of a fetish photo shoot.

We would love to hear your thoughts!