Nothing is more synonymous with BDSM than whips. Put BDSM in the search bar and inevitably a women in latex clutching a whip will come up. Part of the reason for this is that a whip is something you can photograph to get your message across (as opposed to dildos), but the other reason is that they are indeed used in BDSM. Before you start cracking the leather though, let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding whips.
1. Floggers and Whips are the same thing. – No. No, no, no, no. I can’t stress this enough. If you ask someone to whip you in a dungeon, and you really mean ‘use a flogger’, you are going to have a bad time. Floggers have several strips of material (usually an animal hide) and can be thuddy or stingy to the flesh. Even at their hardest, they are gentler than whips to the bottom/ sub. On the other hand, whips are stingy, and will leave marks wherever it touches skin; whips are long with a cracker and they are definitely not floggers, or crops, or canes, or dragon tails, or any of the other impact play instruments. They are in a class by themselves.
2. I’m Indian Jones! Or Cat Woman! or a Cowboy! – OK, maybe you feel that way, and I get it – it’s fun to play with a whip. But learning to play with a whip is a process. You’ll want lots of practice before you try on a real person. And you definitely won’t be cracking it like they do in the movies. That means no playing around with it.
3. Fine, I’ll take it to the local play party and use it. – Hold up, there. Not all play spaces allow whips, and those that do usually have a special place for such play. You can’t just ‘whip it out’ (heh) and start a scene with your sub. Check with your play space before hand, and when you go ask them what space is reserved for a whip. Hitting someone inadvertently with a whip is painful and possibly injurious, playspaces want to avoid this by setting aside a closed off space for whip play.
4. They can’t be that dangerous – Oh, but they are. With one good whip crack, you cause pain, a welt, and possibly bleeding. Good whip handlers can wield their whip like a knife. Everyone should treat their whip like it’s a sharp instrument, inside or outside a scene. It’s not just your sub you can injure, people have hit themselves in their face or hands or other parts, and injured bystanders. Prepare to feel a little sting yourself if you are new-ish to throwing a whip because you will definitely get yourself once or twice in the learning process.
5. But it’s still worth it for the crack – Yeah, lets talk about that crack. First, it’s hard to get and only really experienced practitioners get on every throw they attempt it. But the crack doesn’t mean the whip has or hasn’t touched your target. Intense whip scenes can happen without ever hearing that familiar crack once. The bite of the whip is just as potent without the powerful sound effects. Respect that thin strip of leather and what it can do, whether it’s a quiet throw or powerful throw with a crack.
These are only five myths about whips. The good news is that a lot of people have them and people will often give you a lesson if you ask nicely. I know that whips can be ubiquitous to BDSM, but getting one out and using it is rarer than you think. Just like anything else dangerous, respect what the whip can do and you’ll find the thrill of wielding a whip a treat.
Until next time!