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Standing On The Edge: Is It Edge Play or Not

Author: Norische

Filed in: edge play, definitions, limits

The definition for edge play varies from individual to individual, each person has his or her interpretation of what edge play truly is. For some things this may be odd, but not for edge play, let me explain.

Edge play is any activity that pushes the limits of safety and sanity. The reason that edge play is so hard to define is due to the fact that everyone has different limits, and therefore they have different views of what is safe or sane. To understand what edge play is you must first understand that there are actually two types of edge play, personal edge play and general edge play.

Personal edge play is any activity that pushes ones personal limits. It can be anything; there honestly is no limit to what someone might consider stretching their personal boundaries. If someone were afraid of single tails, then using a single tail on them would be edge play to that individual. If someone were afraid of closed in spaces, then putting him or her in a cage would be considered edge play. So you see personal edge play is different for everyone, but one thing is true in all forms, this type of play is dramatic both mentally and physically.

The second type of edge play is what most people refer to as edge play. This is any activity that by common consensus is to be considered pushing the limits of safety and or sanity. Normally people consider such activities as blood play, breath play, gun play, fire play, needle play and knife play to be edge play. However there are a few things that I would like to clarify even with this simple explanation.

Within the vanilla world almost everything we do would be considered unsafe and insane, so how do we define unsafe and insane within the BDSM world. Let's start with unsafe: to be unsafe an activity must be lacking in security or safety, it must involve or cause danger or risk; or be liable to hurt or harm. With this definition I would almost have to agree with the vanilla ideals, almost everything we do fits into this interpretation. However, this is not an accurate depiction of unsafe: unsafe should be described as any activity that is entered into without full disclosure of all safety issues, and a full understanding of any possible dangers or effects of said action. An activity should be considered unsafe if it will cause permanent physical damage, undue mental trauma, or unnecessary harm to an individual.

Breath play is considered unsafe due to the fact that the submissive/slave may end up with permanent brain damage if the play is not done properly or if the Dominant gets too carried away.

Blood play is considered unsafe for several reasons, the least of which is that an individual can die from blood loss, but also considering the list of blood born pathogens that can be deadly as well, like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. Another reason that blood play is considered unsafe is due to the high risk of infection, any time the skin is pierced there is a high risk of danger. If someone is a hemophiliac or diabetic blood play can be deadly.

Fire play is normally considered unsafe due to the risk of serious burns and permanent scarring. It only takes a second or two for a fire to get out of hand and cause serious damage.

Gun play is considered unsafe for the obvious reason, it may prove to be deadly, anytime a gun is used in play there is the possible risk of an accident. You can never be too safe when it comes to guns, even if you are sure the gun is unloaded. Guns are not toys and should be left out of play, but then again this is just my personal opinion.

Needle play is normally considered unsafe because not only do you run the risk of infection as well as the numerous diseases you expose yourself to, you can also do some pretty serious damage to someone if you don't know what you are doing. Puncturing a vain or artery is a very real possibility, so is doing nerve damage even internal damage.

Knife play is considered unsafe for the same reasons that blood play and needle play is viewed as unsafe. When using a knife in a play scene you may accidentally cut someone severely before you realize what you have done.

Each of the above types of play has a logical reason that it is considered edge play: it is evident that unless one knows exactly what they are doing, and understands all the safety and risk issues involved someone could get seriously hurt, perhaps even die. Now comes the second portion of the equation, insane. Can something be considered insane if you are aware of the risks and accept all the possible outcomes…. ask a skydiver, or perhaps an astronaut, even a policeman or fireman. Every activity has some level of risk, it is only when one ignores the risks or does not logically think out all possible dangers that the action may be considered insane. If one enters into an activity informed, and educated of the risks then the activity should not be considered insane, but is should be considered dangerous, hence edge play.

Edge play is an extremely fascinating type of BDSM, it challenges us mentally, physically and emotionally. In the middle of a scene our mind is racing, our adrenaline is pumping or emotions are running at full force…fear, pain, love, trust, and anticipation all flooding our minds and overcoming our very existence. Edge play takes us to a level of experience that we can reach by no other manner; the level of trust one must have in their play partner is extreme. This activity will stretch all boundaries and affirm the relationship between two individuals in a way that no other activity can, it can also destroy what you have spent years building in the blink of an eye. Do not engage in edge play unless you are sure the experience is worth the risk.

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