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Floggers: Types and Usage

Author: mysteria

Filed in: toys, flogging, play

I remember when I saw my first flogger, a long suede black one, hanging on a wall in a friends house. I picked it up playfully swinging it in a swirl and asked "What's this thing? Some sort of techno feather duster?" He simply laughed at me and replied "No, that is my toy. You'll get to know it well sooner or later and actually like it as much as I do. It is used on your skin similar to a paddle." That is when the color must have drained from my face because I could see his grin widen when I asked "Your going to spank me with this and I am actually going to like it??? Uh yeah right..sure.. I guess there is more to this submission stuff than I realized. Are you sure I can do this?" But over time, floggers did become a passion, an almost welcomed thing at times and I found they are not just for punishment.

Let me start by describing the different types of floggers available and attempt to describe their sensations. The ones I have felt in my years range from soft tassels of suede to braided knotted "fishing line" nylon, each having it's own unique touch. The lighter floggers deliver more of a "thud" than a "bite" providing a soft warmness to the skin without any pain. They are made of any thing from suede, silk, cotton, deerskin, velvet, or tassel type strings. They can be safely used on almost any part of the body as long as there is not a hard force used in the swing, but the most common parts of the body are the upper back, shoulders, arms, thighs, buttocks and calves. Soft floggers can also be utilized in foreplay by lightly dragging them over sensitive areas. Soft floggers usually cause no intense pain or markings, unless the same area is struck repeatedly or the swing is backed by force. The recommended (though highly individualized) swing for this type of flogger is to use the wrist to gently flip in a snapping motion, causing the floggers tales to fan out over the skin for a dull thud rather than a sharp strike in one localized spot. They can also be swung in a circular motion (known as whirling) usually in an upward swing on the lower buttocks.

The medium floggers have more of a sensation to the skin, a sharper more focal sting. The materials they are made of vary from leather to braided nylon with or without knots tied in various spots but most are typically a leather strip, ranging in size from a boot lace to inch (or greater) strips. A common example of a medium flogger is the Cat'oNine Tails because of the 9 straps the flogger contains or the Horsetails that contain 40 or more tails. Medium floggers usually leave a thin red line mark on the skin and a sting in the area of contact. They can cause a raised whelp on the skin with or without bruising, but it depends on the force of the swing. The swing of a medium flogger is more like a direct fluid motion, careful not to go past your intended spot (known as wrapping). These type floggers are not recommended for use on extremely sensitive areas such as breast, but they can be utilized in that area if caution is taken in delivering the swing. The most common areas to strike are the fleshy part of the buttock, the shoulders, upper back, thighs, and calves. (The areas that should not be utilized will be discussed in detail as well.)

Heavy floggers, sometimes synonymous with whips, usually have only a few thin strands for a very sharp focal bite. They are made of a heavier sometimes braided leather, chains, rubber, "fishline" nylon string, or horsehair. These floggers often leave markings on the skin, produce a very intense painful sting, bruising and even the possibility of breaking the skin open. A heavy flogger is not one for the novice, it requires great skill to be used properly and can be dangerous if misused, and placing a high risk of injury. It is common for the heavy floggers to be used near the end of a scene because the intensity of the pain involved to the skin often is best tolerated in subspace or once a level of mental comfort has been achieved by the submissive. I must suggest extreme caution when using these type floggers, even though they are an enticing part of play, they can be a dangerous toy and in my opinion, proper preparation and safety precautions should precede every use. The swing of a heavy flogger is usually a directed strike, taking careful aim not to misland the hit. The tips of the strands snap against the skin, the faster the swing the more sharp the snap. Wrapping can cause injury without intent and is highly discouraged, even to the most skilled. (It's been done but I doubt anyone can't say it's a risk)

The body is a resilient object, often absorbing pain and injury in amazing ways, but there are still certain areas of the body that it is highly suggested be avoided by floggers and whips. It is hard for me to forcefully say not to utilize these areas because as I stated, it has been done, but I think both Dominants and submissives need to understand the risk involved and be aware of possible complications. The areas most commonly discouraged are: the lower back, due to the possibility of bruising or injury to the kidney, the middle buttocks because of the location of the sciatic nerve which when inflamed causes severe back and leg pain and can if severely damage cause paralysis, the rib area due to lung and intercostal injury, the neck and face are highly discouraged for obvious reason but a tracheal injury can easily be fatal! (ok, that is my one big NO NO), and some do consider repeated use of the breast and nipples to be an increase risk of later complications though no medical data has been established connecting breast trauma and cancer.

The use of floggers and other bdsm toys vary as much as any other practice in the lifestyle.. take time to learn your level of skill and/or comfort. Tolerances and enjoyment grow over time, expanding your possibilities. Pay attention to the body's signals, they are there as protection. As any area of the lifestyle, when both participants are consensual and safety comes before all other, a flogger can be a pleasurable enjoyment.

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