This piece is not going to be about “How to flog”. First, in my opinion, that would be as practical as having an written course on how to swim. Second, quite a few sites tell you where you can and where you cannot hit people. I want to focus more on the other side, “How to be flogged”. With an odd tip for the flogger thrown in.
Flogging is not to be confused with whipping. A whip is one (1!) long flexible thong (the tube-shaped bit after the handle) ending in a tassel or fall & cracker/popper (the cord thingy at the end). A flogger consists of multiple(!) supple strips or strands of material, called tails or falls.
For whips, think Zorro. For flogger, think the end of a witches broom with shoelaces instead of twigs. Although some would say round ‘shoelaces’ makes it a cat(as in cat-of-nine-tails) whereas flat ‘shoelaces’ make it a flogger.
Generally, there are 2 sensations when a flogger is being used on you. The thud, a deep feeling like being slapped on the shoulder in greeting. Basically you feel the weight of the tails landing. The width, number and weight of the tails mostly determine this.
Second, there’s the sting. This is more of a surface feeling, like being bitch slapped. The surface texture, edges, knots and ends of the tails mostly determine this.
Generally speaking one can flog chest, shoulders, butt or genitals. Again, charts of what is on and off limits can be found on the web. But I’d say 90% of flogging is on the upper back (shoulder blades) and 9% on the ass. Peddling, eh, paddling an ass is more popular that flogging them.
As a floggee, stand still. Sounds simple but it’s a common newbie mistake. Shying away or cringing will end up in the flogger landing where it wasn’t supposed to. Although after your ears or elbows have been flogged a few times, you’ll learn fast enough. Also, try and stand in the same place for each stroke. It helps the Dom to control how the flogger lands if you’re always in the same spot and not 10 inches closer or further away. Touching a wall will help with that.
It makes a big difference if the flogger lands on a tense or relaxed muscle. A relaxed muscle has more ‘give’ in it to harmlessly dissipate the impact. A tense muscle tends to bruise and hurt more during and after play. As a dom I frequently instructed subs to ‘drop their shoulders’ in order to protect them from (minor) injury.
Speaking of relaxation, it might feel as cheating, but it’s a way to ‘handle’ the flogging. You can try to retreat into another place and leave to body to deal with the things being done to it, like you're transcending the pain. You enter a trance in which you are aware but disconnected from your body. Using an image like a forest path, a flame or a cave can help with this.
How to attain that trance is hard to describe. It’s all about relaxing the body, accepting the pain and letting it pass through you while you are engulfed in the imagery that works for you. For me that is the sub-space associated with flogging. I’m very curious to know how other subs experience & process flogging.
Whether or not to have a steady rhythm in flogging has it’s pros and cons. If a sub knows when the next one will come, a newbie can tense up a split second before, but a steady rhythm will help with a more experienced sub entering and sustaining aforementioned trance. If also depend what the dom’s intention is. He might want to give his sub a good thrashing or he might be in the mood for squirming, cursing or plain torture.
At the end there’s the stoke that breaks the sub back. Most Dom’s know immediately when they have given that one whack that shatters the trance because the sub’s reaction drastically changes. This is usually the sign for them to say ’10 more to go’. That line is the cue for the sub to either just grin and bear it, or start yodeling.
After a good flogging you’ll experience the endorphin rush a.k.a. runner’s high. You’ll feel giddy and euphoric for a few minutes, aftercare time!
tips & tricks:
Many people, in order to deal with pain, have a reflex of moving a large muscle group. Don’t know why, but I have observed doing it myself. So having the opportunity to freely move a leg(!), arm or shoulder can help taking more of the flogging.
Since flogging starts endorphin production, it can be used as a warm-up for other pain-intensive activities such as needle-play, wax-play, TT or whipping.
If in a group, ever considered synchronized flogging? Or in times of struggling sub-shortage, ring the ceiling-tied sub with Doms. Every twist for evasion will present another Dom with an exellent target. On the other hand, snogging another sub while taking turns recieving the flogger can be nice too.
On other continents a vile, murky underground aspirin trade exists in leather bars for the blood-thinning effect enhances marks and it’s a mild anesthetic . So I’ve heard... since I would never choose to take such an easy way out to bring a satisfied smile on my Master’s face. Nope. Not me. Never done that. Didn’t really work for me anyway.