Flogging 101

A little bit of kink can greatly improve sex. That’s not just me editorializing; that’s biology speaking. As it turns out, a controlled measure of pain can trick your body into doing some pretty amazing things. A sharp, stinging pain will cause your body to release adrenaline, heightening your senses, while a dull, thudding blow will cause your body to release endorphins, also known as your built-in happy juice. Yes, kink can do all sorts of fun stuff to your system, and one of its most versatile tools is the flogger.

The flogger is one of the most widely known tools for kink, and there’s a good reason for that: it can deliver both sharp and dull pains, it’s fairly affordable and easy to use. That said, if you don’t know how to handle one, you can also cause kidney damage and other serious injuries. That’s the wrong kind of pain. So how can you get the most out of your flogger without turning your precious, precious kidneys into mush?

First, you’ll actually need to get yourself a flogger. Most specialty sex shops carry them, but you might want to make sure you’re not getting a cheap piece of crap. Generally speaking, the handle should be of equivalent weight to the falls (the tendrils used for contact). The handle should fit comfortably in your hand, and you should be able to throw it at a speed where all the falls stay together without wearing out your arm. You should also check to make sure the workmanship is up to snuff: open up the area where the falls meet the handle to make sure you can’t see the core. If it’s visible, put that shit down and ask to see a proper flogger.

Now for the warm-up. As I said before, using a flogger without any knowledge can lead to serious damage, so you might want to train up beforehand. Going to a kink demo is an excellent starting point, as it’ll give you some firsthand experience. (In Toronto? Try a seminar by Master Tony. The guy’s like Picasso with a flogger.) If you want to try training at home, prop up a pillow or hang a T-shirt at torso level and work on that. You should be throwing the flogger so that the tips consistently hit the same point, making sure that the falls stay together as uniformly as possible. If you’re not confident with your aim but still want to try flogging someone, have the bottom wear a weight-lifting belt to protect their kidneys.

If you want to try training as the bottom, first find an accomplished leather person who you trust. The top should aim for the solid, meaty areas of your body: the upper back, butt, thighs or pectorals. Under no circumstances can a flogger hit your lower back because, once again, kidney damage. No es bueno. As the bottom, do not ever turn around or you may take a flogger to the face. Above all else, make sure you keep an open line of communication between the top and the bottom.


The top should make sure to check on the bottom’s needs, and the bottom should make sure to let the top know exactly how they feel. If something isn’t right, don’t try and tough it out: let the top know ASAP. Make sure you can hear the bottom, even when their back is to you. If for some reason verbal communication is impossible, work out a system of physical cues. A good top should be able to discern body language, but that being said, tops are not psychic. You are both responsible for each other’s safety.

Ultimately, while the technique is fairly set in stone, you should know which sensations work for you and which ones don’t. Keep training, find a partner you trust, and have fun with it.

Keep Reading

In the midst of despair, how do you find the will to go on?

“We have a calling, here in this decaying world, and that is to live and to serve life with every precious breath that is gifted to us”

I’ve met someone amazing, but I can’t stand the way he smells. How do I talk to him about it? 

Kai weighs in on how to have a “scentsitive” conversation with a new date 

Queer and trans families are intentional. They take the shape of what you and your loved ones need most

In the nine-part series Queering Family, Xtra guest editor Stéphanie Verge introduces us to people who are redefining what it means to build and sustain a family

Valentine’s Day gifts for every queer in your life

Shower every love in your life with gifts galore this Valentine's Day