Guide to Flogging
Copyright by Grim. Per the author, any archivist is welcome to copy and distribute this story appropriately without let or hindrance, provided that the distribution is free of charge and the entire posting remains intact and unedited.
Disclaimer of a legal sort: Striking the human body must be considered dangerous. As I am neither a medical nor a legal professional, the following is offered as my opinion only, not a recommendation for any activity. Nothing can possibly replace personal experience and learning directly from those who have been there before. There are now workshops and demonstrations available in larger cities, avail yourself of one. I have no control over the use of this information, use it at your own risk. And as ever, proceed with caring.
Grim's Flogging FAQ
A 'flogger' shall remain for the moment 'any flexible many-tailed striking
tool where the tails are simple strips of leather or similar substances,
designed for use on the human body'. In short, not bullwhips, braided
cat-o-nines, crops, scourges, thudtoys and such, simply floggers. A
braided cat is similar to a flogger in many respects, yet has a distinct
'feel', both these and floggers with knotted ends are left for another
For any given force, the smaller the contact area that force is
concentrated in, the greater the potential for damage. Think of a knife
edge as the extreme case. This is why quality flogger tails have rounded
edges and tips; although sharp edges require less work and are less
expensive, rounded edges are preferable.
An ounce or two of loosely twisted cotton wool in a pillowcase folded lengthwise- this and the next two have been useful for those with no experience with flogging, yet much interest. Quite safe, I originally tested mine by repeated strikes to my own face with no effect.
- a more permanent version of the above, a 3/8 inch tail width
20-tail is a specialized tool for flogging either a complete novice or one
who prefers nearly no sensation. Noise, a very light skin-level sensation,
and nothing else, tested as above. Of course it may also cause hir to look
back at you and ask if that is all you plan on doing....
Much has been discussed, experienced, debated, and counter-debated here and elsewhere on this personal topic, but as this is intended as a generic suggestion for the beginner, perhaps there is a possibility we might avoid the usual flamewar-of-the-moment? Of course it would be wonderful if others would add their own ideas to this basic outline (subtle hint).
As 'flogging' is something that covers much by way of different
activities, I have taken the liberty of separating it into 'light'
(entirely sting, no deep tissue effects), and 'heavy' (sting and/or thud,
reaching and jarring deep tissue). *Hint* it is impossible to do 'heavy'
flogging with a 20-tail chamois flogger, and quite difficult to do 'light'
flogging with anything over deerskin in the materials progression cited
above (with the exception of horsehair, again a sting-only material).
Where not to flog *under any circumstances*
For obvious safety reasons: the face, head, neck, the fingers and toes, or over healing skin (if you want it to ever heal).
Where to flog *extremely* lightly and carefully if at all
The palms and back of the hands, over any joint, the lower front and back
and sides between the top of the pelvis and the lower ribs (kidneys and
other internal organs), the spine, the tops and bottoms of the feet.
Use a gentle brushing motion rather than a striking one, tips of a
*light* stinging instrument only, such as the chamois or horsehair above.
Where to flog lightly
Lower legs, arms, inner arms, breasts, genitals (skin is more fragile
there), upper shoulders (accuracy), top of buttocks near spine, the
muscular ridge on both sides of the spine (accuracy), the ribs where not
protected by muscle.
Where to flog 'heavily'
Buttocks, upper back on each side of the spine, thighs, lower shoulders. These areas are principally composed of strong bones protected by muscle tissue and a fatty layer, any other organs present are reasonably protected. There are reasons for these traditional areas being so traditional, they reduce the likelihood of major damage, making an
Body position affects the position of both skin and muscles. If someone is bent over, the muscles of the rear lengthen and are not as thick, so the muscles themselves no longer protect in the same way. If the skin is stretched as well, it will feel more than it would if relaxed. Flogging someone who is standing unsupported may lead to falling, and seems foolish given the known physiological and psychological effects ('going away'). Standing bondage changes without warning to partial suspension if someone faints, plan for that possibility.
The more ways one knows to do an action, the more effects may be created,
and the less one's arm aches afterwards. Varying the motions has a good
effect for top and bottom. Practise the following until you can do them
from various directions and speeds, they all feel and work differently.
Knowing the techniques is only one part, knowing which to use and when
is beyond my ability to suggest in a post.
Swinging StylesI know of four basic ways to end a stroke of any force:
Each of these and all their variations may be primarily accomplished by wrist motion alone, or with arm and wrist moving together, this depends on your strength and the effect you seek. A properly balanced flogger requires less effort, and may be used for a longer time with less fatigue.
I would like to add my voice to (I believe) Mauser's previous post on
this, bad technique is simply inexcusable; although we are all fallible.
misplacing a stroke is not something to be taken lightly. There is indeed
an art to the physical act of flogging. This may be learned as any other
physical art, by observation, thought, and practise.
A flogger (as opposed to a crop or whip) 'flops around more', it naturally
covers a wider area and is more difficult to control. If one avoids any
spin on the handle, the first stroke may be accurate with the tails close
together. Unfortunately the next ones tend to be less so unless some care
is taken with the tails between strokes. The tails may be caught in the
free hand between strokes, allowed to wrap gently on the top's torso or
leg to gather them together, or hang straight down between strokes. Any of
these options will make the next stroke more accurate as the tails will at
least start together. It is possible to stop them in mid-air as well, but
more difficult to cause them to swing together. With practise, a well-made
flogger that is 2 inches in diameter with the tails gathered together may
be precisely placed within a 3 to 4 inch target path.
If the middle section of tails strikes first on a rounded 'edge' of the
body, and the tips 'wrap' following the curve, the tips actually
accelerate far more than the original swing (physics, try it on
something inanimate and see). This is 'wraparound', and is usually a bad
thing, causing inadvertent hard blows to areas one did not intend to touch
at all, or ruining the controlled stroke one did intend. Keeping the
flogger handle the same distance away from the skin as you did in practise
will help here, as will being very careful to plan where the tips will
fall at each stroke, avoiding curved edges to wrap around.
An average of one stroke every few seconds often proves best, with the exception of the spinning technique above, a fast version of which will seem constant. This 'blow-rest-blow' allows processing time to feel each sensation, and this rhythm once established may easily be changed for effect. No doubt some people will differ with me on this, but I maintain that it is a suitable pace to maintain in many cases. Increased speed near the end is also popular, and pacing oneself early on will allow for that.
Different people seek to give and receive different experiences. I offer two quite diverse scenarios to begin the discussion, perhaps others might volunteer their own favorite experiences or methods.
The slowly building endorphin encouragement
Start slowly and lightly, begin by placing the flogger on the skin, holding the tail tips in one hand and the handle in the other, moving slowly to and fro on the skin. Then a slow caress with the tips for a bit, using more and more of the tails in a soft motion, building the movement into a partial swing, then a full swing. Vary placement gradually, work up and down the body in a methodical pattern with few surprises. When changing to a 'harder' flogger, repeat the above 'accustomization' process in minature, the ideal being that although the actual force applied increases markedly, the 'feeling' remains much the same, matching the growing ability of the bottom to enjoy the increasing sensations. In a person looking for this, it is often possible to cause a 'flying' sensation of complete relaxation, buoyed by trust and natural reactions of the body to slowly increasing stimulation, with little or no feeling of actual 'pain'.
The overwhelming sensation
More of a 'hard' style than the above, to take a bottom past the 'comfortable' area into one more likely to push hir strongly. Useful for 'sensation overload' and for those who seek a more 'painful' feeling. Beginning as above, vary the speed and intensity of the blows much more, pushing more, being less predictable. Work upper body and lower at seemingly random times, not allowing the bottom to grow used to the sensation before moving on. When changing instruments, do so with less subtlety, let hir feel the change as an increase in intensity. Should sie enjoy both sting and thud, use these interchangeably as well, surprise is often more effective than merely increasing the power of blows.
A few suggestions in this admittedly most subjective area. A flogging of even the gentlest sort may have exceptionally strong effects on both participants; leaving time and energy to 'wind down' at the end of the session is, in my view, a requirement. Reassurance, a caress, or a simple touch during the flogging may do wonders also. Do not expect verbal responses if the flogging takes the bottom into new areas, sie may not be possible to speak readily, and it may be that sie will not be hearing well either. I find that flogging the front of the body, use of ear plugs and blindfolds, stringent bondage to open up delicate body areas, and making the bottom look at hirself being flogged all are more 'serious' and have more emotional impact than a 'simple' flogging. Bruises may appear immediately, not appear at all, or suddenly appear after as much as a day or two, depending on the body concerned, and most people have some reaction to such marks, whether positive or not.
Flogging can be a powerful and loving act, top and bottom not separated by the flogger, but connected through it. While basic competence and sensitivity will increase the chances of this, caring does help a bit too.
Comments, ideas and constructive criticism always welcomed.
Copyright by Grim. Per the author, any archivist is welcome