BDSM 101: Floggers (how to choose and use a flogger)

Improve Knowledge -

BDSM 101: Floggers (how to choose and use a flogger)

INTRODUCTION and BASIC INFORMATION

Talk to your partner about his/her experience with flogging to decide what you are both comfortable with, and what you both want and how. The smartest and safest approach to any of this, especially when exploring, start with soft strokes, focusing on larger areas that are easier and safer to stroke (buttocks, back, not shoulders or spine). Give about 3 seconds between strokes to give you and your partner time to react to the strokes and decide what is a turn on and what isn’t. It’s important to know each other’s expectations, as well as limits to ensure whether or not they can be met by your partner. A great way to ensure that each other’s limits are respected and safety is the primary focus is by agreeing on a safe word. As soon as someone says the identified safe word, this signals to stop all activity. Make sure your safe word is something easy to remember, and not something that may likely come up in play.

It’s best to start any scene with a warm up to help prepare and introduce the mind and body the types of pain that will come. It’s very similar to warming up your muscles before a work out, by taking a 10 minute walk. It’s an essential way of not shocking your body with such an extreme. Simply begin by giving your partner a few light strokes with a light flogger, and take your time. The more thorough the warm-up, the more prepared you and your partner will be. When it comes to good flogging, it’s all about accuracy. The main goal is to strike your flogger exactly where you intend it to go. Practicing on a pillow or covering an area with a towel to practice your aim and accuracy will not only improve your skills, but improve the experience of your partner receiving the flogging.

The two basic techniques to flogging are either single stroke or cyclic flogging. Single stroke flogging focuses on one single stroke at a time. As soon as the strands fall after a stroke, you can prepare for the next stroke. Cyclic flogging is a series of strokes that flow into the next stroke, continuing the momentum, creating a more rhythmic pattern.

Areas to flog light Lightly: For those that do not stick to flogging only the back, here are some areas to proceed highly with caution: Lower legs, breasts, genitals, arms, uppers shoulders (for reasons of accuracy), ribs where they are not protected by muscle, the muscular ridge on both sides of the spine (for reasons of accuracy), and top of the butt near the spine.

Areas to avoid at all times: For safety reasons, never flog the face, head, neck, the fingers, toes, or over skin that is still healing. Please keep in mind, the feet and hands contain many tiny bones, and rarely heal well once broken.

Advanced Flogging Instructions

Inexperienced Dominants can quickly wear themselves out with so much physical activity that it is no wonder they can only last ten minutes or so in a scene, while endorphin levels require far more time than that to build up to appreciable levels to be deeply felt by the one being flogged. Proper flogging technique goes beyond just looking good. It is about building endorphin levels for a bottom responsibly enough to stick with it until the deed is truly done.

The point of flogging is to strike a specific area of the back repeatedly with accuracy to allow a build-up of endorphins to take place. Then we move to another spot and give it a few flails. Then we move to still another.

At no time do we ever strike the kidney area (which is three to five inches above the buttocks line). We avoid ever wrapping the flails of the flogger over the tops of the shoulders or around the subject’s sides; if we are flogging the front, we avoid wrapping around the sides or over the shoulders from that direction as well. Wrapping this way accelerates the speed of the tips enormously, creating an unintentionally extremely painful effect that will NOT be appreciated by your victim at all.

You want to strike only the place you had intended to.  To do this with repeatable accuracy, stand squarely with feet planted firmly on the ground. Stand up erect and proud, like a Titan, a King or Queen, or an Amazon. Raise the arm holding the flogger handle regally. It can help to hold the tails of the flogger with the other hand, gathering them into your palm and tugging gently against your other hand.

Now, gently drop your arm downwards as you release the flails with the other hand. That’s all: just a gentle drop of the arm to check your landing position of the falls. Did they strike where you had intended? If not, move your feet, not your upper body, to adjust. No leaning forward! No turning at the waist! No reaching with the shoulders! (I’ll explain why not in a moment.)

Once the landing is affirmed to be correct, continue to stand regal, tall and proud. Raise the flogger arm again, take hold of the tails, and let your arm drop again, this time with more speed.

Repeat this and marvel at how the flogger lands in the exact same place every time.

Do you wish to move the position of the flogger? Do not do so by changing your arm’s drop angle. Do not reach with your upper body, or twist the body in any way. Move your feet! Then regain that regal stance of pride and control, of firmness and deity-like compassion, raise the arm up, and let it drop gently to test the position. Is the landing position correct? Then raise the arm once again, and let it drop with more force this time.

If you want to strike with even more force, simply assist the arm’s dropping movement with an easy, accelerating muscle tension push to make the arm drop even faster.

Raise the arm and repeat again. Isn’t this remarkable? You are hitting the exact same spot over and over again with accuracy and precision! And it is nearly effortless! You could easily last two hours working your subject in this manner.

The reason why trying to flog by reaching, turning the waist, leaning with the shoulders and upper body, or changing the angle of the stroke does not work is that all these movements are simply too much even for the miraculous human body to keep track. The amazing brain we have simply cannot keep all of these movements coordinated repeatedly each and every time. Eventually, it will get confused and you will have struck the kidneys or wrapped the shoulders or sides (which stings 100 times worsethan what you had intended) and said the single worst thing any Titan, King, Queen, Amazon or Compassionate Deity could ever say, namely:

“Oops! Sorry about that!”

Practice flogging from a standing position, moving only your arm and adjusting your position by moving your feet only. It may feel awkward at first; it takes practice for it to feel natural, but it’s worth it.  Use a pillow for target practice first, aiming the flogger at specific points.  Once you can hit accurately and with a minimum of bodily movement, you’re ready to try your technique on a willing victim.

Would you like to flog from the side? Lie the subject down on a table and continue to flog using the arm-dropping move, always testing your standing position, always standing with regal pride. This is a formal flaying you are applying to your subject. You are the one in complete control. Stand like it, so you genuinely feel it. So satisfying! Now, mix it up and use paddles on the bottom and slappers on just about anywhere. Try a quirt. Try clothespins and hair-clips. Try a Whartenburg wheel. Then back to the regal stance and more flogging.

What is “Wrapping?”

Wrapping is something to avoid at all times, and is often a “rookie mistake.” Wrapping is when the tips of the tails wrap around a curved part of the body (legs, butt); the tails of the flogger can gain speed and force as they wrap around the body, causing undesirable pain, and can leave marks. It is recommended to avoid wrapping the ends of the flogger. Ideally, you want to pick the spot where you want the flogger to go, and aim the tips of your flogger there. Time and practice will help you avoid wrapping. Trying practicing on a down or feather pillow, so you can see exactly where your flogger left it’s mark. Practicing will help you learn to avoid wrapping, as well as other dangerous mistakes, like hitting the kidneys, or striking sensitive nerves. For added safety, have band-aids available and apply them as soon as there is any break in the skin. If any blood or body secretions are on the tails, wipe them off with a dry cloth while wearing gloves. Ideally, it is recommended to avoid getting blood and other fluids on the floggers.

Aftercare is an important part of any BDSM scene. Taking the time to take care of your partner, addressing any physical pains or marks they received during the process. Good aftercare includes a soft and caring rubdown/massaging of the arms, legs, butt, etc. Even applying lotion or necessary ointment to any marks and scars to help the healing process begin shows responsible play and appreciation to your submissive partner.

Responsible, accurate, and safe flogging requires practice, research, talking with your partners, and others who are more experienced and comfortable with flogging. Flogging is meant to be erotic and arousing, but is also very dangerous. Enjoy this activity with much caution, consideration of your safety and your partner’s, preparation and education.

TIPS TO CHOOSE A FLOGGER

Step 1: Pick Out Colors

You might not realize it, but the color choice of your flogger determines a lot about what selection will be available to you. Quite a few floggers are produced in a sultry black or red color. If you want something more playful like light pink or blue, you may have to search a bit harder. If you have a favorite color or if you want to portray a certain mood during your playtime, selecting the right color is important.

Step 2: Know Your Budget

Floggers run across the entire price range. For a professional, weighted flogger, you can easily spend hundreds of dollars. You can even find people who can make a custom flogger for you if the price is right. For casual, beginner friendly floggers, prices can be as low as $20. If your budget is an important factor, you should decide how much you want to spend before you go shopping. It's very possible to get a good, high quality flogger for less than $50. It won't be weighted or made from luxurious materials, but it will work just fine for a playful evening.

Step 3: Understand the Basics of Flogger Materials

Different materials and fabrics will produce different sensations. Of course, there are floggers that fall outside of this guide. The more firm a material is, the more intense the sensation it can provide. The lighter a flogger is, the more stingy and painful the flogger can feel. Heavier floggers with heavier materials tend to provide more of the "massage" sensation. These "massage" floggers are usually made from heavy suede or leather.

If at all possible, it really helps to try the flogger out in person. Making sure no one is around, try a light smack of the flogger onto your thigh. Do NOT do it on the wrist or forearm. It's very easy to hurt yourself or nerves on your arm.

Floggers consist of strands of leather (or sometimes other materials) called falls. The falls are attached to a handle, or hilt, also wrapped with leather for easier gripping. The hilt sometimes has a ball that separates it from the falls, and another ball on the opposite end, called the pommel. Pommels can have a loop or ring for hanging the flogger when not in use.

Sensation – Floggers generate two main kinds of sensation: sting or thud. Sting is exactly what it sounds like: a sharp, stinging sensation that fades over time. Thud is a deeper, duller sensation than sting, and can feel more forceful. (Think of it like a slap versus a punch.) Despite the intense sensations they create, neither type of flogger necessarily causes lasting damage to the body.

Unbalanced vs Balanced –  In a balanced flogger, the handle offsets the weight of the falls. This puts the balance point at the inside leading edge of the handle and puts less stress on  the user’s wrist. Unbalanced floggers don’t do this, and after a while the odd weight distribution will lead to arm fatigue. Balancing adds to the flogger’s price tag, but it’s a requirement for anyone who enjoys long sessions.

Fancy is another term for balanced. The balancing is achieved by putting an elegant silver loop in the pommel. It’s an easy way to balance a flogger, adds a convenient way to hang the flogger between use, and looks very nice.

Shot loaded floggers are balanced by installing pieces of lead into the handle.  This allows for a smaller pommel and lets experienced users employ some advanced techniques.

Types of Leather – The type of leather makes a huge difference in the feel of the flogger. Keep in mind that leather is a natural product, and there will be variation from one batch to the next.  Comparing two toys made from oiled leather, one might be a bit thicker than the other, or stiffer, or harder, or softer, or different shades of black.

Suede is soft leather and quite flexible, delivering a nice thud mixed with just a little sting.

Oiled Leather is the most serious of all the possible leathers. It’s somewhat stiff and capable of delivering moderate to severe sting (see Thickness below for more details). This is the tool of choice for experienced players who are into major sting and possibly some pain. Floggers made of oiled leather can deliver such intense sensation that many people use a different flogger for the warm-up and cool-down parts of a scene.

Combo means that a flogger has falls made from a combination of leathers, usually half are suede and half are oiled leather. This can provide a very pleasant mixture of sting and thud sensations in a single blow.

Deer skin is thin as cloth, light as a feather, and soft as silk. It has a very light thud with virtually no sting to it. It’s just the thing for  partners who aren’t into pain, or for the end of a very intense session when the nerves are already singing.

Elk is soft like suede, and a bit thicker than cow hide. With a medium thud and light sting, it’s perfect for warming up or ending a session

Buffalo (American Bison) is very heavy, often three to four times as thick as cowhide, and gives a deep thud with little sting. Not recommended for the weak-of-arm to wield for any length of time, or to be used on the easily-bruised (unless you like to wear your stripes as badges of pride.)

Rabbit is softer than deer skin and almost always has the fur still attached. It’s virtually incapable of causing any sting and is so light that there’s hardly any thud either. Great for anyone who is into sensation play.

Non-leather floggers made of chain, nylon straps, rubber strands, and various types of rope are other options.  The list of possible materials is endless. These you’ll need to judge for yourself. Evaluate the heaviness of the material, its flexibility, roughness, and how easy it is to grip.

1”, ½”, or ¼” wide – The width of each fall changes how it feels when it strikes. Narrower falls create more sting, and wider falls make more thud on impact. The most common width is ½” especially for deer, elk, and suede, while buffalo runs 3/4″ to 1″ wide. Because oiled leather creates the most sting, it’s also the type most often available in a ¼” width that makes the sharpest sting possible.

20, 30, 40, or more Falls – The last thing to consider is how many falls are on the flogger. With more falls, there is an added ‘thud’ component to each strike as well as the possibility of spreading the sensation to a larger area (depending on how the blow was aimed). With fewer falls, the sharper the sensation (which adds to the sting factor) and the smaller area that is struck.

Now, armed with this knowledge, when you shop for floggers and see a listing like, “Flogger, Combo, Fancy, 40 Falls, 1/2″ Wide,” you’ll know that it’s a flogger made from 20 strands of ½”-wide suede and 20 strands of ½”-wide oiled leather that is balanced by an elegant silver loop at the end of the pommel. It’s as easy as ordering at Starbucks. Now go out and make someone’s skin sing.

Step 4: Read Product Reviews

Reading about floggers is one of the most important things you can do. If possible, read some reviews or talk to people who have used the particular flogger that you are thinking about buying. They will be able to tell you the type of sensation it provides as well as how the flogger has held up during its use. The Internet is an amazing place for reading reviews. Just do a quick Internet search of your product name plus the word "review" and see what pops up.

Step 5: Know How You Will Store and Care for Your Flogger

You'll need a specific storage plan for your flogger. If you just plan on shoving it into a drawer, I'd recommend that you purchase a cheaper flogger. Floggers are really meant to be stored with their flogger strands laying out flat. This means laying them flat on a surface or hanging them from something (like a hook in the back of a closet). Otherwise, the strands of material can get creases and may not behave in the same way as they were designed. Many floggers include a loop at the end of the handle to make it simple to hang up your toy for storage.


Flogger care is another consideration. Leather type material will require different care than cheaper floggers. You need to know whether or not you must clean the flails and keep them conditioned. Without conditioning, some materials will crack and quickly ruin.

Step 6: Consider Whether or Not Your Flogger Will Be Shared

If this is just a flogger for you and one partner, this step doesn't apply. If you have different partners or if you are considering using the flogger with multiple people, you should give some thought to the material. Fabric-like materials can be difficult to sterilize between partners. While there are only a few in production, you may want to look into a silicone flogger since it is simple to sterilize. However, be aware that silicone floggers have a more intense sensation than fabric floggers. Leather floggers area easy to sterilize as well.

 

Sources: https://www.sextherapyinphiladelphia.com/flogging-101-where-and-how-to-flog/ and https://friskybusinessboutique.com/how-to-correctly-use-a-flogger/ and https://www.kinkly.com/2/8317/sex-tips/bdsm/6-steps-to-choosing-a-flogger and http://decadenttransitions.com/leather-information/choosing-the-right-flogger and https://friskybusinessboutique.com/frisky-guide-to-floggers/


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published