Mistress Sierra

Have your play partner take a warm shower to remove the excess wax.  Conditioner will assist on removing wax from hair.  If you get wax onto fabric, you can boil the fabric and melt the wax.  It is not recommended washing heavily waxed fabric items in your washing machine as it could clog.

Types of candles to use in wax play:
Paraffin – Emergency candles, tea lights, wax bars, etc.  Be aware that each candle is made up of its own chemicals, hardeners, and oil mixtures.  Each candle will burn at a different temperature.  Always test on yourself first.

Pure paraffin wax has a melting point of 130-135 degrees.  Adding stearine makes the wax harder and melt at a higher temperature.  Adding mineral oil will make the wax softer and melt at a lower temperature.

Soy candles – Soy candles are a natural wax, non-toxic, burn clean, and produces less soot than other waxes.  Candle spills are easier to clean up with hot soapy water.  You get a longer burn time than with paraffin wax.  Melting point of soy candles is between 110-130 degrees, depending on the additives.

Candle making additives that are sometimes used in soy candle making include: stearic acid, Vybar (a trademarked polymer), mineral oil, petrolatum, luster crystals, dye/pigment, fragrance (natural or artificial), paraffin wax, ultraviolet absorbers, and bht crystals.

Standard labeling of soy candles is not enforced, therefore any claims of benefits of these candles are not regulated.

Novena/religious candles encased in a tall, glass jar.  Candles in jars usually have mineral oil added to them and burn around 120 degrees.  The wax pools in the jar so there is a build-up of wax to play with.  Also, these candles can be heated up in a pot of boiling water to melt the whole candle. Always watch the candle while boiling or melting it.  Never leave a candle unattended.  The glass can crack or explode from the heat and cause a fire.  Boiling the wax in a double boiler can cause the glass to break and wax to splatter.  When wax splatters into the water while heating it up, the wax will start to cook and pop, which could also cause a stove fire.

Pillar candles are mostly paraffin and burn at around 140 degrees due to the hardeners added.

Votive candles are a shorter version of a pillar candle and have melting points of around 131-141 degrees.

Tapers can be used, but be aware that the temperature of the wax will be higher because it has nowhere to pool and therefore cool down before dripping.  Also tapers have a lot of hardeners added to them so they typically burn at around 140-160 degrees.  Candles that have a chance to pool up will give you more wax to work with at one time and also be cooler when dripped onto the skin.

Candles to stay away from or use with EXTREME caution:

Gel candles – never use.  The melting point of these candles is too high.  Gel candles are made from a mix of paraffin and plastic.  Melting plastic on your play partner’s skin is not my idea of sensual play.

Beeswax – burns at a high temperature and could cause scarring.  However, lotion candles are made with beeswax and are used specifically for use on the skin in a massage.

Animal fat – Beef tallow (lard).  Although the melting point on the tallow is low (typically around 110-112 degrees), it’s like pouring cooked grease on your skin.  Fun for making cheap emergency household candles, though.

Birthday candles – typically have different colors or decorations in them and have an uneven burn rate.

Candles that have a wick surrounded by a lead channel (banned in the United States since 2000), or zinc wicks.  

Dripless candles – what’s the point of using these anyway?  Dripless candles have a lot of hardeners added and burn hotter than other candles.

So, as with anything BDSM related, let’s go over safety.  Always test candle on yourself before using on others.  Liquid wax can be cooled below the normal solidification temperature by adding mineral oil.  Don’t add more than about 40% oil to 60% paraffin or it won’t solidify at skin temperature.  Start with 10% oil to 90% paraffin then work your way up till it’s a temperature you can work with.

When using candles, be careful of the wicks that are usually held in place by a piece of metal at the bottom.  If this falls onto the skin, it will burn.  Also ensure that wicks are trimmed to ¼ inch or less.

You can burn the skin with temperatures of 140 degrees.  If this is water, it will burn pretty bad, but will fall off your skin.  Wax at that temperature will not only burn, but will stick to the skin and continue to burn.  Wax also retains heat and cools down slowly so it is more likely to cause a far worse burn than mere water.  It’s a good place to say that temperatures above 135 should not be poured directly onto skin.  Ideal temperature of any wax should be between 120-125 degrees.

It is not proven that adding perfume raises the melting point.  Things to consider more so when using perfumed candles would be allergic reactions, headaches, or nausea.  This could also add to the discomfort of someone who has asthma, which is a question to consider when negotiating before a wax play scene.

Hardeners (Stearic acid, acrylics, and plastics) can cause burns as they also raise the melting point of the wax.  Color can be added to the wax (typically oil-based) and can possibly stain the skin. Other additives to watch out for are glitter, metal flakes, or decorations in the candle.  Those items will heat up and could land on your bottom’s skin and scald them.

Some say that different colors added to wax burn hotter than others.  However, science proves this theory incorrect.  It is proven that white candles burn at a lower rate than colored candles, due to the lack of additives, chemicals, or oils.  Also, depending on the additives in the candle, a white candle can easily burn hotter than a colored candle.  Test each candle.  But saying that one color burns hotter than another would be hard to prove.  One would have to consider all the additives in each candle.  Each candle, even from the same batch, may not have exactly the same additives.

Typically the cheap candles are your best bet.  The more expensive candles have hardeners added to them to make them last longer and drip less, they add perfumes, color or decorations that are frowned upon when using candles for wax play on the skin.

Types of burns:
First-degree: Causes a pink spot on the surface of the skin, but does not blister.  Treat a first-degree burn with cool (but not cold) water by placing a wet cloth on top of the burn.   This draws the heat out.  Then apply aloe vera or another type of burn cream or after sun care item.

Second-degree: Causes a blister and burns down through the top layers of skin and can cause swelling.  Do not pop the blister(s).  If the burn is over a very large area of skin, seek professional medical assistance immediately.  If the area is small, treat as you would a first-degree burn.

Third-degree: Destroys all layers of skin that leaves a white or charred area.  Seek professional medical assistance immediately.

Play equipment:
Furniture cover: plastic sheet, drop cloth, shower curtain, old sheets/blankets
Warm blanket for aftercare
Melting device – paraffin bath, crock-pot
Paint brushes – natural fibers – non-metallic
Ladles, cups, pouring device, Q-tips, eye droppers
Drip plate
Paper towels
Candy thermometer
Knife, plastic scraper, shower scrubby
Candles/Wax: Emergency candles, tea lights, votives, paraffin wax, religious candles
Wet wash cloth
Bowl/jug of water
Aloe Vera
Trash can
Fire extinguisher
First aid kit

Preparing the play area:
Start melting the wax well before playtime if you are using a sizeable amount of wax, such as a block.
Set up a drop cloth.
Have a table to set up your equipment.
Ensure your play area is out of the way of traffic.
Check the temperature of the wax.
Have a wet cloth and fire extinguisher near the play area.
Ensure you have proper lighting.  Waxing in the dark is super sexy, but you’ll need to be able to see where the wax is being poured, the color of the skin, and ensure you are not pouring wax where you shouldn’t be.

Prepping the wax:
Large amounts of wax can be melted in a double boiler, crock pot or paraffin bathe.  Never use the microwave, as it will cause the wax to heat unevenly.  Light Novena candles two to three hours beforehand so the wax has time to build up.  If you melt the candles in a pot of water on the stove, be careful, watch the candles at all times.  The glass could break.  Also use protective gear to remove the glass containers, as the glass will be too hot to the touch.

Prepping your play partner:
Psychologically preparing your play partner for the scene can be a rewarding experience.  Allowing them to watch you set up, even having them set up the scene for you can help put your play partner in headspace.  Determine if they will be allowed to watch the wax drip or will you blindfold them or apply it to their back?  The anticipation of wondering when the next drip will fall or will it even be a drip or will it be a pool of wax can be intense.

Have them shave well before the scene.  Wax on hair is when removed is painful and can pull out the hair.  Waxing directly after shaving is also not a good idea as the skin will be more sensitive, which will make the wax feel hotter on the skin.  My recommendation is to use mineral oil on the skin.  The oil mashes the hair down on the skin and lubricates the hair so the wax slides off it easier.  Be aware of the type of oil you use on skin before waxing, as not all oils will be appropriate.

I was going to put in here that plastic wrap over hairy areas can be used as this is what I was taught years ago.  However, hot wax will drip right through and melt the plastic wrap.  This is not an acceptable solution.  If you don’t want to shave, wax another area, be prepared for hair pulling, or better yet, don’t do wax play.

Tie the bottom’s hair back and remember to tie your own hair back if you are working with long hair.  Remove all jewelry and preferably clothing.

Prepping yourself:
Wear old clothing you don’t mind getting wax on.  Getting wax out of clothes is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible.  Or better yet, do it naked.  Wear close-fitting clothing, without loose or flowing material, as this can dip into the wax, or if using candles, can catch on fire.  Use gloves if you have acrylic or gel nails.  There is potential for the nails to melt if they come into contact with the flame.  Ensure your hair is not able to flow over your shoulder.  Getting wax out of hair is difficult and can be very painful.  It can also catch on fire if it comes into contact with the candle flame.

Wax play involves a lot of trust from the bottom play partner and, therefore, leads to headspace.  The play partner is putting their body in the hands of the top and trusts that they are choosing the right candles, playing with the correct temperature, and that the top is aware of safety issues.  Wax play is about the infliction of controlled pain.

For all you pyros out there, this is not a fire play class.  This is about temperature play.  Wax play can be considered edge play, but when done safely, it typically falls into the category of sensual play.  The reason it might be considered edge play is that it could involve fire, which in turn, could cause burns when done improperly or carelessly.  However, wax play can be extremely stimulating, producing incredible sensations.

Hot Dripping Desire – Molten Wax Play

By Mistress Sierra

Always test the temperature of the wax on yourself before you drip it on your play partner.  When you are testing the wax, hold the wax about six inches to a foot away from your skin and drip.  Note the temperature of the wax on your skin, but also note how long it took for the heat to dissipate.  This is important to judge how long to allow your play partner to adjust to the heat before dropping the next batch of wax.

There is controversy about the height of where you hold the candle and the temperature of when it lands on the skin.  The only version I’ve ever heard taught says the higher you hold the candle, the lower the temperature it will be when it hits the skin.  However, there is no science to prove this issue.  The time it takes for the drip of wax to hit the skin is a millisecond and does not provide enough time for the temperature to cool any significant amount to make a difference.

Don’t wax near or on the face or on open wounds.

Ensure the wick is trimmed to at least ¼” or less so that a burning wick doesn’t fall onto the skin.  

Taking away senses will make your play partner more sensitive to the temperature of the wax and will make the wax seem hotter than it is.  Be aware of the head space your play partner is in, as a tired, grumpy or moody sub may react differently than when in a well-rested mood.  Be aware of sensitive skin (freshly shaved, think membrane, newly pierced, cold skin, recently flogged skin, etc.).  The area will be more reactive to the hot wax.

The temperature of the wax shouldn’t be more than 135 degrees.  Even at this temperature, it could cause first degree burns, especially on sensitive areas such as nipples or genital areas.  Ideal wax temperature is 120-125 degrees.

Dripping – ensure you stay aware of what’s above the flame.  You can hold the candle horizontally or vertically.  The wax will drip faster when being held vertically.  Ensure you don’t burn your hand.

Pouring – ensure the temperature of the wax is tolerable and around 120 degrees if pouring from a wax-melting device such as a crock-pot.  If using a candle, extinguish the flame before pouring the wax.  Be aware of areas where wax can pool.  Pouring can occur using ladles, cups, or even use your hands and spread the wax out.

Painting – painting allows you to use the heat of the wax and also incorporate sensation play from the bristles.  Use all natural fiber bristles, and a paintbrush without metal, as the metal could heat up and cause burns if allowed to touch the skin.  Use a paper plate under the brush so the drips don’t get all over.  Ensure the temperature of the wax is 125 degrees or less.  Allow wax to cool before applying next layer so that the heat transferring to the skin does not build up.

Layering – Allow the bottom layer to cool and dry before adding more layers.  Wax will hold the heat in and can build up when the next layer is added.  However, I like to add a paraffin bath layer to the skin before adding other layers as it provides a lower temperature to be applied first and adds a barrier to the higher temperature candles.

Casting – building of layers over a specific part of the skin to create a mold of that area.  When removing wax from the area, pull the skin away from the wax rather than pulling the wax away from the skin.

Alternating wax drips and drips from a piece of ice, especially on a blindfolded play partner can be a good mind play game.  They may not be able to tell the difference between the two sensations.  Be aware that wax used on cooled skin will feel hotter if you intend to do ice play.

A long-used technique of wax play is to use a one to ten scale of how hot the wax is to your partner.  This will allow you to know how much time to leave between the drips.  It will let you know which areas are more sensitive.  It is wise not to let your play partner call a number over seven.  The idea is to keep it hot, but not burning, to allow them to relax into the pain and go into headspace.

Also be aware that dripping wax over wax may feel more sensitive to the skin.  Also, re-waxing after removing wax will cause your play partner to be far more sensitive in that area since it has already been sensitized.

If at any time your play partner complains that the wax is too hot, remove the wax and add a cool, wet towel to the skin.  This could be a sign of a burn or maybe they just need a break.  Do a visual inspection of the skin.  If you see large blisters, seek medical treatment.  If they are small blisters, don’t pop the blisters. If the skin is red, apply aloe vera or burn cream.  If the skin is pink, don’t worry.  This is a normal reaction when playing.  

If you intend to continue waxing after this occurs, keep communication open and adjust your method or placement of wax so that your play partner is comfortable.

Removal of wax:
Consider sensation play before removing the wax, such as using a spray bottle of cold water, scraping the wax with a fingernail, or creating patterns in the wax.  The skin will be sensitive from the heat of the wax play.

Keep in mind that your play partner may be cold after the removal of the wax, so have a blanket handy to cover them with.

Techniques or tools:
Some examples are peeling with fingers, using a knife (metal or plastic), ice scraper, credit card, hairbrush, vampire gloves, spatula, shower poof, or fingernails.  It is not recommended that you flog wax off, as it will stick in your flogger and splatter or fly all over the place.

If using a knife, insert the flat knife under the wax all the way around, and then slowly lift the wax off your play partner.   Ensure you have a trash can handy so that you can dispose of the wax.  I don’t recommend reusing wax, as it pulls off body oils, hair and dirt with the wax.