When you first started looking into the world of BDSM and Domination what kind of female images did you see? I know I saw women in stunning outfits (normally leather or latex) in a very strong, controlling pose and they were normally brandishing a whip. This was the “ultimate ideal” of Female Domination. Now we all know that this is a very one-dimensional view of domination. There are so many different sides to it. But the key element I want you to focus on is the whip. A powerful tool when dominating and playing with pain play. But the whip is recommended only for those who know how to use one. It’s for those who are at the professional level of pain play. For those who aren’t ready for the whip yet, there’s the flogger! It looks fun, there’s multiple tails to cause pain with and you can now get them in loads of cute colours and styles. (See my previous article ‘BDSM With a Softer Edge – How Lingerie is introducing a softer style to those in the Kink and BDSM scene’)
“But it looks so easy” – The Risks
The thing is, with any sort of pain play you must be careful – there’s no two ways about it. When inflicting pain on someone else for pleasure, it must be exactly that. For pleasure. You also don’t want to leave the submissive with any actual injuries afterwards. Slight bruising is fine, and we’ve talked about how to care for this in: ‘Physical Aftercare; a Quick Guide to BDSM-Related Bruise Treatment and Prevention’.
But the thing is… inexperience can lead to ACTUAL damage to the sub and this is something, of course, you’re trying to avoid. The main cause of this is inexperienced Dommes flogging their subs and causing injuries. This is normally due to being uneducated on where is safe to flog and where isn’t. In general stick to the safer areas like the upper back, (make sure you only flog either side of the spine. I repeat, DO NOT AIM FOR THE SPINE) the butt and thighs – the fattier parts that aren’t protecting organs. But even with these you must be careful. If the Domme hits too high up on the back the tails could wrap around the shoulders and hit the submissive in the head, face or even hands. If you hit too low on the back wrapping can occur causing damage to the submissive’s kidneys. Hitting incorrectly on the buttocks or thighs can cause wrapping of the genitals (This is not the kind of CBT you want to give). You also don’t want to hit the tailbone!
How to practice and play safely
So, each flogger is different in weighting and material, so it’s always a good idea to practice with your new flogger on a pillow or inanimate object before testing it out on your sub. Get a really good feel for it and see how hard or soft you need to use it to get the desired effect. Remember, this is pleasure-pain and not actual pain you’re trying to administer. This practice will also help you get better with accuracy so as not to hit those problem areas. Accuracy and the right strokes are so important. Try to avoid strokes that go along the back. You don’t want a full swinging motion, a quick, sharp snap is a much better technique with more desirable results. It’s the tips of the tails you want doing the work, not the thick longer parts.
It’s so, so, important to use safe words when conducting pain play. Let’s be fair, this is the case in all domination play. I like using the traffic lights as a good indicator for how the session is going. Green for ‘all good’, Yellow/Amber for ‘it’s ok, but maybe ease off a little’, and Red for ‘we need to stop’. Stopping doesn’t mean the end of play altogether. It may just mean the submissive needs a break or adjustments need to be made. Once again, communication is key!
Safe Play is Fun Play!
But lets also look at the fun elements of this rather than just focusing on etiquette and technique. As your flogging journey evolves, you get to play with different materials (we advised starting with suede and as you both evolve moving on to other material like leather etc.) and just try out new things like teasing your submissive with gentle strokes along their body. Pain play doesn’t have to be dangerous and that’s what we wanted to highlight here! Of course there are always people that take things to the extreme. Take, for example, this one female submissive who had previously had a few bad experiences with inexperienced dommes. Her solution? She got both her kidneys removed so that they weren’t at risk of danger. That’s right, she voluntarily is now on dialysis because she wanted to play and not be at risk. No thank you! Just have fun with it and be safe! Practice makes perfect!