There are two basic sections of a flogger: the handle and the falls. Tops will be more interested in the handle and bottoms tend to care more about the falls.
When it comes to any kind of BDSM toy, quality matters, but you can’t always count on the price tag to guarantee if the item you are getting is good quality. Really look at the item if it is in person, or the pictures if it is online. Does it look good? Is it designed well? If there is anything that worries you about it, well, better safe than sorry.
And yes, in this case, it is a matter of safety.
Falls: It’s the width that counts!
How wide the falls are directly translates to what it feels like. The wider the fall is the more thuddy the pain. The thinner the fall is the stingier the pain. It’s the difference between how a punch feels and a cut to go to an extreme example. Wider toys tend to hurt less because there is more surface area for the impact to disperse over. Each person has their own preference for what kind of fall they like. I prefer thuddy pain, but that is just me.
Falls: No, it’s all in the length!Length of the falls translates to how much force can be put behind a swing. A shorter fall will always produce less pain than a longer flogger. Length is also important due to the height of the wielder. Someone who is 5’ tall swinging a flogger with 3’ falls is going to hit the ground more than their sub in most cases. You want to make sure that the falls aren’t going to get in the way.
Falls: The bells and whistles
Many floggers on the market offer “extras” like braiding, flowers, or other things that have been incorporated into the falls. These follow the same rules of normal falls. Wider items like knots or flowers are going to feel more like punching whereas braiding or thinner additions like leather barbs are going to feel more stingy or cutting. All the extras make wielding the flogger a little more difficult until the top learns the weight and how they fall during a swing.
Handles are important and often forgotten. A handle needs to be comfortable and well weighted. The handle needs to fit the wielder. Too long or thick of a handle for someone with small hands or vice versa will create problems. Check the measurements or hold the flogger. If you are in person, take a practice swing with it. Make sure it feels okay.
Don’t lose sight of style when you are looking for a flogger. Fifty percent or more of BDSM is the psychology of it all. Buy something that sends the message you are looking to send. If the bright pink flogger feels right, but you are a big burly guy that can’t sell pink, don’t buy it. You won’t feel comfortable with it and it will show. Finding the right flogger is like fitting the glass slipper on. It’s got to have all the right things and feel just right. Wait, that’s Goldilocks isn’t it?