The more weight the flogger has, the more work the dominant has to do.
If the handle is out of balance it will cause the top/dominant to use more muscle swinging it.
Ensure that both partners are in a good head space. This may mean the partners can go to separate areas to meditate, negotiate together, or even have a ritual before the scene. The point is to create a neutral thought process to allow for letting go of daily issues and transition into magical territory.
Reading the bottom
Pay attention to the skin. Beginning strokes do not mark. Warming up the skin gives you a chance to aim and get used to the surroundings you are working in.
More heavy strokes will create pink skin or pink stripes.
Increasing the weight of the flogging will create a general pink area.
Leathering up the skin is a term that came from Peter Fiske, a leatherman in San Francisco to mean preparing the skin for harder strokes.
Blood pumped to the area causes swelling or puffiness. The skin tightens, giving the skin an open pore look. The skin will be hot to the touch. This is where the endorphin rush comes from. Endorphines are pain-controlling drugs created by the body to overcome trauma.
Once the skin is “leathered up”, tightened and hot to the touch, the warm up is complete, the area is desensitized, endorphines are rushing to the brain as well as the body. Trust has been built up between the top and bottom.
Other symptoms to be aware of are bruising and bleeding.
Cuts seem worse during a flogging due to the skin being stretched which will cause more bleeding than normal.
Weeping can occur after a warm up. Weeping is plasma that is seeping through leathered-up skin before bleeding occurs. It is sticky and wet like sweating, but doesn’t run or evaporate as easily as sweat does. It IS a bodily fluid and licking the skin in this condition is a bodily fluid transfer.
Early reactions should be relaxation. It should feel like a massage. After warm up, the muscles should be relaxed still. If there is twitching, it means the top is moving too fast.
Conscious reactions – After warm up – the muscles will clench then slowly relax. If they don’t relax, ease up or else cramping will happen. The bottom is typically aware of the muscle movements at this point.
Involuntary reactions – Muscle quivering, bottom is not typically aware of the muscle movements.
Coordinated muscle movements are involuntary and are perfectly okay. Uncoordinated muscle movements mean back off.
Listen for verbal words or sounds from the bottom.
Watch the hands, they can tell you a lot about what the bottom is not saying.
Acknowledge your mistakes. Oops is not a safe word for the dominant, although us dominants do think it's funny. Touch the unintended wound gently to assure the bottom that you did not intend for that to happen. This will also build trust between the two of you.
Some people just don’t mix. For example if the top is sensual and the bottom is looking for a punishment scene, maybe you are better off with a different partner. Choose a partner that suits your playing style.
Emergencies – first aid kit, know CPR, phone call to 911.
Aftercare – physical: wash the flogged area under running water to wash away plasma, sweat and embedded material. It is NOT a good idea to apply antibiotic ointment or bandage the area. Let it air dry.
Ointment should be used on scrapes. The skin after a flogging is swollen and will knit together naturally when the swelling ceases. Putting on ointment can interrupt that process.
If bleeding, apply pressure for a minute or so with a clean, dry cloth. This will slow blood flow and allow clotting.
Bruises: to increase them, run hot water over the wound, take aspirin or vitamin E 24 to 48 hours after flogging, and/or use alcohol/drugs contain anti-clotting effects which will all increase bruising.
To decrease bruising: run cold water over wound or use ice for 24 hours, 15 minutes at a time or take vitamin C, (500 mgs. three times a day).
Emotional aftercare: touching, appreciation, a moment of quiet, check up 1-2 days after with a visit or phone call.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Garment leather is typically cleaned by polishing with a high gloss substance. Don’t clean floggers with that. The important thing to remember is to restore the moisture that has been depleted from repeated impact. Whips need deep cleaning not just surface cleaning.
Don’t use liquid conditioners (liquid at room temperature). It is too thin a substance to stay in the leather and from repeated impact will be forced out of the leather. Don’t use leather cleaners on non-leather material. It will leave a superficial coating of oil on the material.
Use water to remove water-based stains, squeeze dry and allow to air dry. Try to use leather cleaner first before resorting to water. Always condition the leather when it gets stiff. Don’t weaken the fiber by manually working the leather to get the stiffness out. Use distilled water so the minerals don’t stain the leather.
Wood finishes that are lacquered only need mild soap and water. Others are waxed and should be cleaned with furniture polish. The important thing to remember is to remove all chemicals that will be harmful to the skin.
Don’t store rubber items in sunlight or extreme heat. It can crack. You can condition it with a rubber conditioner product, just make sure to wipe it down enough so it’s not too slippery to use.
Leather – clean once or twice a year or approximately every 25-30 scenes with saddle soap. Keep your leathers conditioned with a product like Dubbin, especially in this dry Vegas desert environment. You can use a toothbrush to work in cleaning product between braided leather.
Be sure to condition the first two inches of the tails as this is where it is most stressed and will be the first place to break.
The upper spine is in a channel of muscle. The kidneys are somewhat protected under the rib cage. It is questionable whether to hit the lower back area and until further research is available, should be considered a sensitive area.
Find out what kind of pain suits the bottom: sting vs. thuddy.
Prepare the bottom for the scene, as well as the top, for getting into the right head space. Set up an environment where the sub is letting go.
If the bottom is kneeling, the top can adjust the height factor and posture of the bottom for more comfort. Remember to use knee pads if you are on the floor or a hard area.
The benefits of using restraints are that the bottom is not moving. This keeps them safe from blows and keeps the top from hitting unsafe areas. An idea for restraints could be using a belt around the waist to tie the hands to.
Choosing to use no restraints shows willingness from the bottom. The bottom is also able to adjust him/herself for comfort.
The cross position can be uncomfortable for the bottom to stand in. The cross doesn’t allow for relaxation, feet are not naturally the width of a cross. The feet should be shoulder width apart with the arms down to give the most muscle area to beat on and also for circulation in the arms.
Spanking or kneeling benches give you a better angle and are more comfortable for the bottom.
Types of implements used in flogging:
Floggers – Have a handle and tails that are usually flat and typically made of leather. They also can be made of horsehair, fur, silk ribbon, medical tubing, chain, wire, and rope.
Cats – Braided and have dense tails, but typically fewer tails than floggers. Cats typically have 27 strands that are braided with three strands each into nine total strands, thus Cat-O-Nine tails.
The target areas to hit are the back, butt and thighs and chest. It is not recommended flogging breasts due to forming of lumps and scar tissue or to flog implants, unless an okay is given by their doctor.
Don’t hit off limit areas of the person being flogged. Some trauma may have occurred in the past to make their butt off limits. Don’t ever assume, but instead ask.
Don’t hit where there is no muscle: Hands, feet, elbows, knees, face, neck, kidneys, spine, lower back, or flog lightly if you go there.
Basics of Flogging
Fortunately, anyone can do a flogging. The most important thing to remember is sensation wins over technique. It’s more important to give the bottom what they are looking for than it is for the top to look good.
There are many reasons to give a flogging: exercise, natural high, control, power exchange, connection, endorphines, etc.
The definition of flogging is anything used to beat another person. It doesn’t mean that you have to use a whip, it could be anything including your hands. However, typically when talking about a flogging, it involves a whip.
Negotiate with the person you will be having a session with beforehand. Talk about safe words, discuss levels of experience and instruments to be used, medical limits and pain limits.
Discuss clothing options, positions, equipment to be used, and areas of play you are both interested in.
Quirts – Have two tails. The handle is typically one foot long and the body of the quirt is two feet long.
Body parts – hands, fists, fingernails, teeth, pinching, and tongue can also be used in a flogging.
Household items – belt, wooden spoon, wet towel, spatula, Venetian blinds rod, or hair brush.
Flogging by Joseph W. Bean
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Online discussions about hitting the kidneys: