What is a Flogger?
A flogger is a popular type of BDSM impact toy, particularly favored by beginners due to its versatility and ease of use.
A flogger typically consists of two main parts:
- Handle: The handle provides a comfortable grip and control over the flogger during use.
- The falls are the multiple strands or tails that hang from the handle, ranging in number from three to a hundred. These falls deliver the impact and sensation when swung or flicked against the body.
With its adjustable intensity and wide range of materials, a flogger can provide a pleasurable and exciting experience for individuals exploring BDSM or seeking a new level of sensory stimulation.
What are "falls"? Falls refer to the hanging strands of material that make up the flogger.
Floggers are typically crafted from soft suede, deerskin, or similar materials, with a range of twenty to forty falls in relatively wide strips. However, there is considerable variation in flogger designs, offering a diverse array of sensations and intensities to explore.
It's important to note that floggers differ from similar-looking items such as cats or multi-tailed whips. Floggers generally deliver a sensation described as a "thud" rather than a sharp sting. Their falls are typically not braided and tend to be wider, contributing to a unique experience of impact play.
- A flogger is a recommended choice for beginners in BDSM as it is a commonly used impact toy that is relatively safe, easy to use, and requires less practice compared to other options.
- Floggers are available in various materials, but they all share a common structure. They consist of a handle that is tipped with a varying number of falls. The number of falls directly influences the weight of the blows and determines the level of impact sensation, often described as "thuddy."
- The choice of material for a flogger directly affects the softness or stiffness of the falls, ultimately determining the sensation of the impact. For instance, a flogger made of boiled leather or rubber tends to deliver a sharper sting.
- The aftercare required following a session of flogging depends on the intensity of the session and the type of floggers used. The most common injuries are welts and bruises. Once the submissive partner has been attended to, it is important to also care for the flogger itself. This can involve simple disinfection using a 10% bleach solution, or using a soft-bristle brush and saddle soap for suede or leather toys.
Choosing the Right Tool
Floggers provide a diverse range of sensations, influenced by factors such as the material, number of falls, presence of weights, handle design, and thickness of the falls.
Choosing the ideal flogger for you and your play partner depends on various factors. These include the desired level of "thud" or "sting" sensation, the desired weight behind the blows, the involvement of multiple partners, and the pain tolerance of each individual participant.
To better understand what will appeal to you and your play partners, it is recommended to visit a physical shop or venue to personally experience the different floggers. However, if that is not possible, here are some guidelines for selecting a flogger:
- Floggers with a greater number of falls distribute the force of the blows more widely, resulting in a higher level of "thud" and less "sting." However, certain floggers like filament rubber ones can still deliver a significant amount of bites.
- Floggers made from stiffer and stretchier materials, with narrower and fewer falls, tend to provide a stronger "sting" sensation.
- Suede, deerskin, and elkskin falls generally deliver a substantial amount of "thud" but rarely cause a stinging sensation.
- Rope falls will sting more if they are narrow, stiff, or have knots on the ends.
- Oiled leather, buffalo hides, and other stiff leather falls will produce more stinging sensations and may even leave welts.
- Rubber falls, especially filament rubber or narrow, stiff ones, tend to sting more than provide a "thud" sensation.
- Weighted falls offer increased intensity but can be more challenging to swing and aim accurately.
- Rubber floggers are the easiest to clean, particularly if you have multiple partners.
When selecting a flogger, it is crucial to take into consideration the preferences, needs, and endurance of the individual(s) it will be used on. For instance, a large and muscular submissive who enjoys heavy thud sensations would likely prefer a weighted flogger with fifty falls, whereas a smaller and thinner submissive who prefers lighter impacts or stinging sensations may opt for something different.
Using the Right Technique
The swinging motion of a flogger primarily relies on the wrist, although the handle design can influence this to some extent. For instance, a swivel flogger incorporates hardware that enables the falls to rotate, reducing effort and allowing for greater precision. Floggers with finger loops offer a similar benefit and are often sold and used in pairs. Additionally, ball-handle floggers rotate in the palm, helping to protect joints and conserve energy.
Similar to a short BDSM whip, you can "snap" a flogger by swiftly flicking it forward, resulting in a sharper sensation delivered by the tips of the falls.
To achieve a heavier and more thudding sensation, utilize the entire length of the falls against your submissive's flesh. Position yourself either standing over or beside your sub and swing the flogger in a vertical, upward, or downward arc, delivering the blow using your wrist. Ensure that the motion is primarily circular, avoiding side blows that may cause the falls to wrap around unintentionally, potentially resulting in unintended pain or harm.
"Wrapping" occurs when the tips of a flogger wrap around a sub's limb or body during a strike, hitting them in a way and area that was not intended.
It is crucial to avoid striking someone in the head, neck, spine, joints, or over the kidneys. These areas should be approached with utmost caution and care. It is recommended to practice on a pillow or similar object to build confidence and improve accuracy before engaging in flogging with your play partner.
Aftercare for flogger play is typically straightforward, as the play may not result in visible marks unless something unexpected occurs. However, the level of aftercare required may vary depending on the intensity of the scene. As always, it is important to have open discussions with your play partner(s) prior to the scene, establish a safeword, and have a first aid kit and phone readily available in case of any mishaps.
What is “Thud” versus “Sting”?
In impact play, there are two fundamental sensations: thud and sting. Thud refers to a deeper, broader impact that causes less surface pain but can affect deep muscles and nerves. On the other hand, sting primarily involves surface pain, delivering a sharper sensation. Thuddy toys, such as deerskin floggers, are less likely to leave marks but may result in bruising if swung forcefully. Stingy toys, like oiled leather floggers, are more likely to leave marks or potentially break the skin.
How do I know what kind of flogger will be right for me?
Explore your options! Shopping for toys can be a fun and engaging activity to do with your partner. Consider visiting a local shop in person, as it provides an opportunity to ask questions and even test the sensations of different floggers, helping you determine what excites you the most.
Why are floggers often recommended for beginners in BDSM?
Floggers are an excellent choice for beginners who are still exploring their preferences for intensity and target areas, as they distribute impact over a wider surface area and can be crafted from softer materials. Using suede, cloth, or soft leather floggers allows newcomers to safely explore pain play, providing a gentler experience compared to starting with a rubber whip or cane.