Wax Play for Beginners

wax play

Photo by Vice Erotica

We have covered some of the BDSM basics in our first few Kink Weekly articles. Now, let’s give you an edge play activity that is both exciting yet easy to do right “out of the box.”

One of the easiest to learn and have fun with is wax play – but only as long as you follow some of the basic rules I will outline below.

Simply put, wax play is the act of the Dominant pouring hot, melted wax onto the body of the submissive. This is a very popular BDSM activity because hot wax on the body can cause incredible sensations.

Compared to other edge play activities — knife play, fire play, breath control, needle play, gun play, temporary piercings, surface burns/temporary brandings, golden showers, fantasy rape and abduction, burial scenes, mummification and electrical play (most of which we will cover in future issues of Kink Weekly) – wax play would appear to be quite safe. Wrong.

Wax play, done improperly, can be quite dangerous. First of all, hot wax is – duh – hot. Too hot and it can hurt, scald or even blister the submissive. And although it is safe if you follow these precautions, I would still recommend you attend a Wax Play class at any of the local dungeons.

All candles do not burn at the same temperature. The temperature is determined by the kind of wax that you use. Never use beeswax; it gets very hot and can cause serious injuries. The most expensive candles — with their hardening agents, perfumes and other chemical additives — are often the ones that burn the hottest. So, start with cheap, paraffin based white candles. This is one of the few areas in life where cheaper is better.

Before dripping hot wax on a submissive, first perform a heat check. Hold the candle a couple of feet above the back of your hand and drip it there. If it does not burn you, then it is a go. If it does burn, experiment to find a safe dripping height. And keep this “safe height” firmly in mind during the session.

Start by dripping wax from a little above this “safe height.” You can gradually lower it, but never go below this “safe height.” If you wish to go lower, test it on yourself again. When dripping wax on sensitive areas (such as the breasts, nipples, clit, labia, penis, scrotum, rectum, etc) always err on the side of safety and drip from a greater height than usual.

Also, watch out for “pooling.” There are spots on the body which are natural depressions where the wax can “pool,” thus increasing the heat factor. This can lead to blistering.

Finally, keep a bucket of water handy. I have heard tales of a candle being dropped and the sheet set on fire. Fire is fire. Treat it as such.

If you take these precautions, wax play can be one of the safest forms of edge play.

Now for some extra fun! Peeling the wax off the skin can create a variety of intense sensations; peeling faster or slower, stopping and starting – peeling wax as a BDSM art form with the submissive as the canvas! Also, running a feather, fur glove or even a tongue over the peeled area can be a sexy way to prolong the waxing session. (However wax on hair can be a real pain to remove – be forewarned.) Also, use a throwaway sheet or drop cloth. Wax is really impossible to remove, despite what the late night TV hucksters claim for their super-duper amazo cleaning products!


  1. Felecia T says:

    I’d be so nervous to try this. I guess the try it on yourself technique is good test.

  2. I would also like to add that specific aftercare is important Threading the skin with some après lotion and/or some cold cream from the drugstore for burns would be preferable.
    I never did this befor but started reading into the subject when one of my old subs got interessed in this.

    • Vinculum states: “I would also like to add that specific aftercare is important Threading the skin with some après lotion and/or some cold cream from the drugstore for burns would be preferable.
      I never did this before but started reading into the subject when one of my old subs got interested in this….”

      Very true. I had planned an extensive article to cover aftercare, thus I overlooked it in my article. My oversight. (As I said, Masters are far from infallible!)

      Fortunately, there is a fine piece on aftercare in KinkWeekly. Check it out.

  3. A couple thinks to note not mentioned here.

    Most commercial candles contain a hardener, sterin or steric acid, which increases the melt temperature of wax. Feel the wax before buying. If your finger comes away dry, dont use it. If it comes away slightly oily, it is probably safe. Sterin tends to reduce how oily pure paraffin or soy is naturally.

    Best candles commercially are the religious candles; however, be warned that some may have a wick with metal thread woven in or have a metal core. DO NOT USE under any circumstances. The metal melts and will cause blisters difficult to explain in the ER.

    If you are dripping from a lit candle, consider using pillars over tapers. The wax will cool more as it flows across and down the body of the candle, not so with tapers unless held near vertical and where’s the fun in that.

    • Great points. There is little truth in labeling (nor labeling at all!) in the candle world; thus, even with these guidelines a given candle can burn hotter than expected.

      Ultimately, the “hand test” that I described is still your best safeguard against burning the skin. And if you are using more than one candle — even if they seem identical — hand test each one of them before dripping.

      To use an old adage, “Better safe than sorry.”

  4. Renegade13 says:

    Good article for some basics. As noted, cheaper candles are often the best for this purpose, but ALWAYS test before you use – even if you have used those kind before (there might have been a change in the materials between batches).

    One thing that I have found makes clean up easier, is to rub baby oil or something similar over the sub’s body before starting to wax them. Getting to rub the oil on your sub’s body can increase the fun of the scene, and the wax won’t stick to the skin as much. Always test it to make sure that the oil doesn’t cause the heat to be increased somehow (hasn’t been a problem for me yet, but safety first, last, and always!). Also, being shaved or closely trimmed makes clean up a lot easier as well.

    I have used floggers to beat the wax off of a sub (got some GREAT pics of the wax flying!), and have used knives to scrape the wax away (without cutting the skin). I have heard of some other creative ways to get the wax off… so long as it is safe and consensual, go for it!!

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