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A guide to the world of BDSM

Flogging

This seriously underrated fetish material is a whole lot of fun; it comes in a plethora of colors and is great for sensation play, bound or unbound. Liquid latex is painted onto the skin and dries almost instantaneously, forming a thin layer of rubber coating over the applied area. You can use multiple coats if you so choose and it almost looks like you're wearing latex clothing.

Flogger/ Flogging

This hitting instrument is the most commonly recognizable BDSM toy in popular culture; so much that the term is now used to represent all instruments of its nature. The device itself is also known as a Cat-O-Nine Tails and is essentially a whip with many tails/thongs. Multiple leather or synthetic strips are connected to a handle and can be wielded in any number of techniques and intensities.

The most common technique is making a figure 8 using mostly wrist movement; the forearm rotates and the upper arm is stationary. One figure 8 will cause the flogger to strike twice in a fluid motion. Floggers can make a variety of different markings because they have a very diverse range of movement. With enough practice the flogger can be manipulated so all tails compress together to strike a concentrated area or flail out over a larger strike zone.

Cane

Cane

A slim stick used for inflicting a quick, stinging pain that was the primary weapon of corporal punishment from school teachers in previous years. It is typically made of rattan, bamboo, or plastic. The very end of the cane moves fastest, so the intensity of the initial sting is lessened if the point of contact is lower on the cane.

The end of the cane will produce a mark that will resemble two parallel lines (welts) straddling a bruise because it compresses the skin as it makes contact. The bruise represents the initial sting and the two welts represent the hot, aching after-effect of the cane. Canes take a little practice to master the degrees of intensity, so try using it on yourself before you subject another player to the lashing.

Crop

Or Riding Crop is a stick-like striking implement with a small flap of leather (or leather-like) material at the tip. It is commonly used in horseback riding to gain a little speed in the saddle. The crop can be used in a number of ways that vary the intensity of the blows.

With a flick of the wrist and an almost stationary arm it can produce a small slap to the skin. With the addition of even the slightest bit of arm movement it can produce a deep bruise. If struck with a stationary wrist, the slap of the leather will be accompanied by a stinging sensation from the tip of the stick. This stick is much like a cane and is usually made from similar materials but a bit denser. This will produce a deep bruise that might welt like a cane mark, depending on the strength of the blow. Crops with a stationary, rigid tab at the end are known as "bats" and are meant for small, quick slaps.

Paddle

Or Riding Crop is a stick-like striking implement with a small flap of leather (or leather-like) material at the tip. It is commonly used in horseback riding to gain a little speed in the saddle. The crop can be used in a number of ways that vary the intensity of the blows.

With a flick of the wrist and an almost stationary arm it can produce a small slap to the skin. With the addition of even the slightest bit of arm movement it can produce a deep bruise. If struck with a stationary wrist, the slap of the leather will be accompanied by a stinging sensation from the tip of the stick. This stick is much like a cane and is usually made from similar materials but a bit denser. This will produce a deep bruise that might welt like a cane mark, depending on the strength of the blow. Crops with a stationary, rigid tab at the end are known as "bats" and are meant for small, quick slaps.

Whip

A hitting instrument that is characterized by a handle with a leather or synthetic tail. Most people are familiar with the bull whip used by Catwoman. Bull whips tend to have long tails and are extremely difficult to use for any purpose (especially BDSM play). They are not recommended for this reason, but many whips with shorter tails are available for BDSM use.

Quirts are whips with very short tails (sometimes a split tail resembling a serpent's tongue) and are far easier to use than the common BDSM whip. All whips leave a stinging sensation and a thin, red welt (or lash) that will vary in length depending on the stroke. With a certain degree of force ANY whip can draw blood, so be very careful and practice.

Flogging Health Concerns

There are types of BDSM play that may draw blood; accidentally or purposely. To avoid drawing blood, practice with the flogger/hitting instrument and learn to control the depth and intensity of the blows. If blood does appear, it is best to use the SAFEWORD and stop the scene. Do not touch the bleeding area with bare hands; the blood may contain harmful pathogens (HIV/AIDS). Use latex gloves when cleaning up the blood, wash the area with antibacterial soap (plus your hands and the flogger afterward), then treat with antibacterial ointment or rubbing alcohol, and then cover with a sterile bandage. It is recommended that you have a first aid kit (equipped with latex gloves) if you participate in flogging.

Most flogging causes bruising and swelling of the targeted area; some people like to wear their bruises as memories of their play or badges of courage and accomplishment. Here are some important facts about bruising.

1. Safe bruising during BDSM play is caused by the breakage of small blood vessels under the skin. They spread out over areas larger than the actual point of contact. The area that might sting from a riding crop could be the size of a quarter, but the bruise will most likely be the size of a silver dollar.

2. It is unsafe to strike a player so hard that the bruise occurs in the soft tissue below the skin. This takes much longer to fully heal than the 2-4 week healing time of skin bruises.

3. Some people bruise more easily than others; women tend to bruise easier than men; older people bruise easier than younger people; fat bruises easier than muscle; bruising easily is a genetic trait as well. Stay healthy; bruising occurs frequently in people who do not get enough B12, iron, folic acid, and other important vitamins.

4.If you plan of taking medication for the pain, take acetaminophen (Tylenol), not aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) all of which thin the blood.

5.To decrease swelling, apply ice to the area immediately after play for 10 to 20 minutes and continue 3 times a day for the next few days. In addition to ice packs, you can apply arnica topical treatment (found at most health food stores) to decrease swelling. Arnica is a plant that reduces swelling and the pain caused by it, the plant also causes the blood to reabsorb faster.

6. If bruises last more than 4 weeks, it's time to see a doctor because it could be something serious, such as a sprain or red blood vessel damage.



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