Hammerplay is the use of a hammer in the erotic arena. It is one of the more violent sex acts and has only made its way into the repertoire of the most extreme S&M practitioners due to the level of danger and pain involved.
The hammer being used can vary depending on the desired physical effects, but the importance of the psychological element cannot be understated either. The dom's role here is one of intimidation, and few BDSM toys can rival the sledgehammer in perceived brutality. A dom may play up the fear aspect by swinging around a 12 lb. sledge without actually striking the sub. Alternatively, partners may play with hammers just for the pain and forgo the entire fear-based side of it. Meat mallets are popular for light hammerplay, whereas role-players might find the use of a gavel to be appropriate. When hammerplay finds its way into snuff porn or sexual homicide, one may expect to see anything up to and including jackhammers to the skull.
Although newcomers may balk at having their teeth knocked out one by one or receiving a tap on the clavicle with a sledgehammer, hammerplay can be an addictive activity once experienced. It doesn't take much to go from drumming on your knuckles with a miniature geologist's mallet to shingling your roof at one a.m. wearing nothing but a collar leashed to the chimney and a gimp mask with the eyeholes zipped up to make hitting your thumb all the more likely. But then you end up slipping off the side of the house and hanging yourself in the alley, and on her way to school the next day the neighbours' little girl becomes traumatized for life.
Hammerplay was famously portrayed in the romance film Misery.