Flogging and being flogged can be intensely erotically stimulating. For the Top (Dominant partner), it can be about power, but it can also be about giving a sensually superior sensation to the bottom (submissive partner). For the bottom (submissive partner), flogging can be about the pain, but for many of ‘us’, it is about the enormous endorphin rush we get coupled with the concept of kink, or the erotic connection between partners, due to increased sensitivity and acceptance of erotic stimuli. The truth about flogging is that there are as many reasons for the joys as there are individuals practicing it!
First, you need to know what it is you want in a flogger (the implement), and very important, what you require in a flogger (the person doing the flogging).
Know Your Flogger
Most well constructed floggers have a nicely weighted handle (the weight helps balance the strokes), a knob or other ‘stop’ at either end of the handle, the knob nearest the wrist strap end is called the button and the knob nearest the ‘floggy bits’ is called the neck. Those ‘floggy bits’? They are actually called tails, or falls. And the ends of the falls are called points (even though they are usually not pointy at all) – very odd language usage, isn’t it?
Floggers can be made of almost anything, including cheerleader pom poms, but the most widely used material is leather and suede. Bull, Elephant, Elk, Moose, and my favorite, Deer, dear. Deerskin floggers are thuddy, not stingy, and warmly caress the skin to depths of arousal, unlike the stingier materials. Top-Grain Cowhide (called top-grain not because it is the finest cowhide, but because it has grain only on one side, thus the other side is flat and produces much less friction through the air- ouch!), horsehair (super stingy), and rubber (ack!) are far more stingier than thuddy, and should only be used on contented masochists.
Choosing Your Flogger (the implement)
Personally, I have a wide range of floggers in my Play Kit, each carefully selected for the sensation or level of sensation it provides. If you are not into pain, select your flogger for the softness and pliability of the falls. Generally, the thicker the falls, the thuddier the flogger will be, and conversely, the thinner the falls, the stingier.
I have, in my toybag, floggers I purchased from Halloween stores for a few bucks, and use these for decoration in our home dungeon. They are pretty worthless as sensation toys. I have several that I selected for different levels of sensation, and several that I selected for ‘different’ body parts and areas because of their smaller sizes. While for many people, their bottom is the absolute favorite area to receive the flogger’s caress, many of us also enjoy breasts, thighs, upper (muscle padded) back, genitals, and the soles of our feet (called Bastinado, and ONLY done with extreme caution).
Places on my body a flogger will never touch: face, head, neck, and spine, hips unpadded by enormous mounds of flesh, feet, wrists, hands and any joint.
Choosing Your Flogger (the person doing the flogging)
I recommend attending a flogging workshop, instructed by reputable, experienced floggers, before even thinking about flogging a live human. These ‘demos’ are often held regularly at local dungeons or bdsm community gatherings. To find a local group, check out http://www.janesguide.com.
Another way to go, if you are not in an area where attending a dungeon workshop is possible, is to connect with a vendor that is willing to share their knowledge and expertise on floggers with you. Our personal favorite is WIAN Studios. They make deliciously wicked floggers of a variety of materials, and are not shy about sharing their extensive knowledge about floggers and flogging with anyone who asks! WIAN Studios (rhymes with Brian) are very active in the community and can be found at many west coast events and activities, and their WIAN Studios can be found at http://wian-studios.com. Each custom made flogger is finished with such perfect attention to detail, and of such high quality materials, that they can easily become your favorite floggers, and last a lifetime. Each type of flogger is ‘coded’ with the thud vs. sting factor, and the lovely couple operating WIAN Studios is happy to discuss your personal taste in floggers before you order. Check them out; you will be amazed at the excellent and reasonable prices for such awesome quality and choice!
Learning to Flog
I highly recommend practicing on an inanimate object, such as a pillow or cushion bolster. Place the pillow on a chair or stool approximately the height of the ‘submissive subject’s’ bottom, and for starters, concentrate ONLY on the buttocks while learning to ‘throw’ the flogger properly and safely. Another idea is to pin a pillow to a wire coat hanger and hang that from a doorknob, to practice stroking an upright human being with varying stroke intensities and rhythms. A damp paper towel or tissue can be a great gauge of your control after you have practiced some on strike zones and aim. Try to flick the tails of the flogger without breaking through the delicate tissue! Whatever you do – DO NOT strike human flesh until you have achieved the control, aim and attitude required to keep the submissive safe and enjoying himself!
I have to recommend spending enough time to really feel comfortable with the weight and feel of the flogger, before you ever even ask a submissive to play with you. When the submissive is naked and tied to the whipping post is NOT the time to practice! She (or he) needs to know and trust in your competence with the floggers to fully realize the delicious freedom floggers can bring to an erotic encounter. When the submissive (or masochist, because some of ‘us’ are masochists and NOT submissives, and some of us are both masochists and submissive!) knows, trusts and is comfortable with the flogger, both the implement and the person wielding it, the scene is far more erotically stimulating and satisfying to both partners. And besides, if you do it right, your submissive will be begging for more!