Flogging 101: Where and How to Flog
Floggers are versatile in the range of use and impact there are various strengths ranging from light, medium, and heavy strokes. For purposes of safety, especially for the novices, the best and basic area to flog is the upper back away from the spine (it’s important to avoid the spine to prevent any vertebrae/tissue injury). Other areas to flog, but do so with caution for issues of sensitivity and potential for injury, include the butt, thighs, and breasts. Please note, there is quite a bit of controversy out there as to whether or not flogging should be used on areas of the body other than the back. Some individuals in the BDSM community suggest other areas are safe to flog as long as you flog lightly, however, others strongly advise to use floggers for the back only. For this is tip it is recommended to focus flogging only on the back while you are still new to the activity.
The basics of flogging is to strike a specific area of the back repeatedly and accurately, to allow a build up endorphins, then move to another spot to strike a few times, and so on. For the “newbies,” start with a lighter, more gentle flogger before working your way up to bigger floggers once you gain more experience and practice.
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.
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.