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10. Why is whipping fun?

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This article is from the Bondage FAQ, by numerous contributors.

10. Why is whipping fun?

One way of thinking about whipping is as another way of touching
someone. People who are just getting into SM frequently play with
spanking; it's fun to be spanked! It's a punishment, it's a strong
stimulus, it hurts very pleasurably. But if you've ever spanked anyone
for a long time you know that your spanking hand wears out quickly!

Well, that's what whips are for--to allow you to hit someone for a
longer time, without tiring out. There are many varieties of whips
(cat-o-nine tails, heavy floggers, canes, light braided switches, suede
pussy whips, and on and on), all of which feel very different and which
have their own individual effect. A whip-loving top will often carry a
veritable arsenal of different floggers, but they are all extensions of
the top's touch. Indeed, when I whip or cane someone, I feel as though
I _am_ touching them--as though the instrument is an extension of my arm
and my desire.

There are deeper reasons why the variety is so diverse. A whipping
scene will often start off very lightly, with the top using a small whip
to sensitize the bottom and get them into the rhythm of the scene,
switching to heavier and heavier whips as the bottom gets deeper and
deeper, more and more receptive to additional sensation. Of course, the
top may choose to lead the bottom on any kind of tactile journey the top
desires--switching from stinging light switches to biting canes to soft
fleeces. (Yes, it can feel GREAT when your top stops hitting you and
suddenly brushes a velvet cloth against your back! Or maybe an ice
cube....) It's all about physical sensation.

Quite often people in the scene describe whips as being "thuddy" or
"stingy". Thuddy whips land with a solid impact; they shove you, they
feel like a cross between a hug and a punch. Stingy whips land with a
bite; they feel like a cross between a scratch and a slap. Both kinds
of sensation are enjoyable in different ways, and a skilled top can
alternate thud and sting (and then some!) to create waves of sensation
that wash their bottom into ecstasy.

Most people enjoy a slow buildup when being whipped. This can culminate
in an explosive climax of impacts, leaving both top and bottom drained
and delighted. Or it can wind down gently, ending casually. Or it can
stop feeling good suddenly, resulting in a safweord. Or it can turn
into a galloping intense sex scene! But the general "start slow, build
up, end intensely" tempo is common to many SM scenes: from gentle to
stronger to WOW and then back to gentle, then a little stronger, then
WOW!!... and gentle again. It's the motion of the ocean, as they say.
It takes practice to know how to use this to blow your bottom's mind,
but the more you learn, the more skilled you will be, and believe me,
these skills-- teasing your partner and making them feel better and
better and BETTER --are very useful in non-SM contexts as well!

Whips aren't the end of the story. Some people use paddles--of leather
or wood, sometimes with holes cut in them to decrease air resistance and
make for a harder impact. Paddles produce a solid "smack!" which can
feel like a super-powerful spanking. Some players like canes, which can
be thick or thin, stiff or relatively flexible. Canes can produce some
of the strongest impacts of all--the "whick!" of a quick-moving cane
is distinctive. Not everyone can handle the intensely focused pain
canes can produce, but those who can tend to greatly enjoy it. Wooden
spoons and kitchen spatulas have been pressed into service as
instruments of flagellation. For a while, erf bats were very popular in
some San Francisco parties I went to. (Bonk!) If none of this makes any
sense to you, well, if you have to ask, you might not understand.

Whipping or spanking is sometimes used as part of a "punishment" scene,
in which the pretext for the scene is that the bottom has been
disobedient or naughty in some way which requires chastisement. This
can be fun to do as role-playing, but it may not work in a more
long-term D& S dynamic. Bottoms often find it erotic to receive
non-damaging sensation from their top--and of course any scene causing
permanent damage is not safe nor sane. If your bottom learns that the
best way to get enjoyably beaten is to misbehave, you will have a very
bad bottom on your hands. It is often then best to separate "play"
punishments--which are intended to be fun-- from "real" punishments
involving seriously broken agreements. Here is where reality and
fantasy need to be delicately separated, and here is where the real
world differs from S& M fiction.

When whipping someone, be careful. Heavy whipping is usually done on
the back or ass, simply because those are the parts of the body which
can take it most readily. Be careful of hitting the spine, which can
break the skin where the vertebrae come close to the surface. Stay away
from the kidneys, as kidney damage can occur if you hit them too hard.
Stay away from the neck, for the same reasons you avoided the spine.

Be aware that if you hit someone hard enough (which may be lighter than
you'd think) you will bruise them, and if you keep going you can break
the skin, which is decidedly unsafe sex; and leather or string whips are
tough to clean. For this reason, some dedicated masochists have their
own toys which have come in contact with their blood, and henceforth can
be used only on them. Whippings like this are very strenuous, but as
with all SM, you can start out light and get only as heavy as you want!
Bruises will heal (even large ones), as will light cuts or abrasions,
but you should know how to avoid unintended damage that won't be so
accomodating.

One thing to watch for (a distant risk, but worth knowing): melanoma, a
form of skin cancer, can be worsened by skin trauma. If you see a mole
on your bottom's back that looks uneven, discolored, or different than
it used to, avoid that area, and have them see a dermatologist.

There have been posts on s.s.b-b that go into MUCH more detail about
the hows and whys of flogging. If you want to know more, post to
s.s.b-b and ask, or check out the resources. (This FAQ is not intended
to be comprehensive in every area... though it would be nice....)

 

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