By Michael Fleming
I would like to share some of my feelings about the experiences I’ve had with respect to the sensitive and sensual aspects of flogging. For both Top and bottom, many S/m scenes can be greatly enhanced, even “immortalised” with a sensual flogging done well. Indeed, flogging can literally make or break any session if executed skilfully or performed poorly, and it can determine whether or not your partner plays with you again.
Now, an important note must be mentioned here: no matter how careful you think you are, it is always wise to give your partner/bottom a safeword(s), and use common sense during any scene.
SETTING THE FLOGGING SCENE
To begin with, I start with my bottom being blindfolded, and I particularly like the type of blindfold with an elastic band that simply slides over the head and into place. This serves two important purposes: first, to help place the bottom in a relaxed state of mind by cutting off any visual distractions; second, to protect the eyes from any stray flogger tail.
I also like for my bottom to be restrained, usually with a pair of hand or wrist restraints (I have a pair of leather bondage restraints from Mr S Leather that tend to put most of the pressure on the hands, rather than the wrists, and they are exceptional!).
Now that my bottom is secured and in a proper position, with all of his clothes removed (except possibly his boots and a jock strap), and with some background music on, I am ready to begin.
BUILDING UP THE SENSATIONS
I generally start off with a soft piece of equipment, such as a foxtail, and work my way over the backside of the bottom’s body. Moving from the head down to the ankles, I try to take a little extra time around the ass and back, not rushing the whole process. This can be a very sensual beginning to the scene, for both Top and bottom.
I then move to a light flogger (either horsehair or deerskin), working on the back, or possibly both the back and ass: again, I’m not rushing the scene but, instead, taking it slowly, gradually building in intensity. When I feel that I’m about finished using this flogger, I will be swinging it at a strong clip so that, if it is the deerhide, it will be making a loud, popping sound as it lands on the back. I then return to the foxtail and slowly go over the area of the back and/or ass which I’ve warmed up, noticing any reactions the bottom may have.
Next, I will take up a medium cowhide or bullhide flogger and again work over the backside of the bottom, starting as before, slowly, and somewhat easy, then steadily increasing in intensity with more powerful strokes. I may also use the tails on the handles of certain floggers and strap the ass with them at this stage of the scene. The strapping will produce quite a red ass, and the bottom will be moving around a bit(!).
When I’m finished with this flogger, the back and ass are warm, red and sensitive: again, time for the foxtail to “swing” into action. The reaction of the bottom to the foxtail is usually very nice, and might include some moaning and body movement in response to its light, caressing touch. This part of the scene is quite enjoyable to me, as I respond very positively when watching the bottom’s reactions to my kind of tactile sensation.
MOVING INTO THE MAIN EVENT
Most of the time, I like to complete a flogging scene with one of my cats, but I may also use a heavy flogger at times (buffalo/bison is great!). Once again, I start off slowly, possibly draping the cat or flogger over the back softly, rubbing the tails on the back with the palms of my hand. Flogging with the cat can be very intense, so I always watch the reaction of my bottom after each stroke, reading the body to see where I will go next, and how hard I will strike. As Guy Baldwin explained in a whipping scene, there’s three ‘actions’ the bottom goes through, “cue, stroke, response”, then “cue” again, in that order, and I try to be aware of where my bottom is at every stage of the flogging.
After I feel the bottom has been brought to the level of satisfaction and/or release we’re searching for, I will stop. At this point, the bottom has been reacting intensely to each swing of the cat, and I am ready to use the foxtail one last time. The body might shudder as the foxtail travels lightly over the skin while the bottom may gasp or sob: very strong reactions indeed!
Then I move the restraints (leaving the blindfold on), and caress the bottom while still going over him with the foxtail. This portion of the scene may last for a considerable time, and can invoke very sensitive, and spiritual feelings. I can also be a very moving experience for both Top and bottom.
SETTING YOUR OWN SCENE
During the scene, try using a little imagination, maybe before each flogger is employed. Run the tail lightly over other portions of the body, or let the bottom smell the leather of the flogger. This can only heighten the sensuality of the scene. The bottom whom I used in many of my flogging scenes is experienced and knew my technique well, so we “made music” together whenever we’ve played!
However, when working with a novice, or a bottom who has not been flogged by you before, take it slow, and keep in close communication with his feelings and emotional state. It is important to be in constant ‘contact’ with your bottom, both physically and emotionally. Check verbally every once and a while, making sure that things are proceeding as desired by both of you — and enjoy!
Now, for a few final words. It pays to have quality equipment, whether it be a flogger, a cat, or whatever. And above all, buy from a reputable dealer. If something is, or goes, wrong with the item you purchased, you want to be able to either have it fixed, or exchange it for another product. Mr S has some nice ones or have a look in the stickies (or ask around) in Fetlife’s Flogging group and work with a flogger maker for something unique to you.
• Deviance & Desire – BDSM Impact Play Safe Zones
• BDSM Learning Center – Introduction to Flogging
• Sexuality.Org – Grim’s Guide to Flogging
• UberKinky – Beginner’s Guide to Flogging
• Dominant Guide – Mastering the Dynamics of Thud and Sting
• The SandMUtopia Guardian Magazine – Flogging