Whip Essentials

M Lucy Solo-1-2

“Whip and Chains.” You’ve heard this phrase a thousand times. It’s what made BDSM famous. (Well, almost.) The chains part is pretty straightforward. But whips… that is another matter entirely. So, Kink Weekly will try to give you an introduction into this exciting aspect of the kink world.

Trying to present an online course on single tails in one article would be like attempting to train an Astronaut in one day. Whips – especially bullwhips – are an advanced form of BDSM play and the skill level required is quite high. That said, you have to begin somewhere — and that somewhere is right here, at Kink Weekly. Here we will try to give you some basics about the single tail that will make your journey into this exciting area of BDSM play a little easier. And, if you are already knowledgeable about whips, this can be a good refresher course!

Whether it is the circus “Ring Master” or the BDSM “Bondage Master” cracking the whip, it is a sound that is awe-inspiring. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the whip, the “cracking” sound is made by a nylon or polypropylene “cracker” that is attached to the fall at the end of the whip.

The bullwhip is typically made of rawhide or kangaroo leather and has a leather-covered hard wooden handle that makes it easy to wield and throw accurately. They usually run from about five feet to twelve feet in length. Snake whips tend to be somewhat shorter in length, which makes them ideal for indoor use. The snake whip is basically a bullwhip with a flexible handle, rather than the rigid one of the bullwhip. Experts like the black snake whip because it offers a lot of control; beginners prefer it because it is easier to master than a full-on bullwhip. The stock whip with its long handle is also easier to crack. But, for our basic overview, we will concentrate on the bullwhip.

When you purchase your first whip, we suggest you buy a fine kangaroo bullwhip. We do not advise buying the twelve-foot Indiana Jones model. Rather, a shorter whip, such as a four-to-six footer, is the way to go. You must also buy two sets of protective goggles – one for you and one for the submissive. You only have two eyes and you cannot risk an errant throw injuring one of them. Also, do not be unnerved when you hit yourself; that is part of the learning curve!

We would recommend you initially practice learning how to crack the whip. It is a wrist-based motion – much like casting a fishing line — that does not require a lot of strength. All it requires is a ton of practice. Maybe even several tons! Once you learn how to consistently crack the whip, you are ready to use it in a “mind fuck” scene. If you are playing in public, remember that a four foot whip requires AT LEAST a fourteen foot diameter safety circle — twice the length of the whip and six feet for your swinging arms — around you. Safety is paramount; the bullwhip is not to be taken lightly. Blindfold the submissive, tie her/him to the cross and crack the whip near her/him being careful not to hit the submissive. After a couple of scary cracks, you can then use your favorite implements – floggers, paddles, etc. – to continue your scene with. Even though you are not ready to use the bullwhip on the submissive, we guarantee the whip crack alone will add an adrenaline rush to any scene!

Now comes the hard part – throwing it perfectly enough to use on a submissive. This, technically, should not be part of any article; hands-on instruction by a “whip master” is the best way to go. But let’s give it a shot!

One great way to start perfecting your whip technique is to use a stuffed animal as your practice target. (No, not the $10,000 original Beanie Baby you were saving for your kid’s tuition!) In this way you can observe changes to the fur to see where your whip is striking. Another targeting concept is to use a pillow with cornstarch smoothed into it. This will help you gauge the impact of your strikes. But whatever target you use, you must practice, practice, practice. You must not only know where your whip will land, but also how hard the impact of a given throw is.

Before you even think about using a whip on a submissive, you must get to the point where you can crack the whip on the target perfectly. This can take months. After all, the bullwhip can really cause injury if it misses its mark. When you first start working with a submissive, we suggest you practice on one who is wearing leathers to protect her/himself – and aim for the butt. (Become an expert on hitting the butt before you aim for the back.) Always err on the side of safety – especially where whips are concerned. Of course, safety goggles and a safe word are essential.

Once you become an expert, you will find the whip is one of the most rush-producing toys we have in our BDSM arsenal. From the crack of the whip to the sting of the lash itself, it is S&M personified. It is not for everyone. It takes a lot of dedication and practice. But, it can be very rewarding.

Some important tips: If your cracker draws blood, throw it out and replace it. Ideally, you should replace it after every scene, blood or no blood. Care for your whips. They are expensive. Treat them like the fine leather tools that they are. Keep them clean, keep them dry and keep them supple with a good cream leather dressing such as Pecard’s.

Finally, and most importantly, never forget aftercare at the end of a single tail scene. It can be physically draining for the submissive and aftercare is absolutely essential.

By Baadmaster
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.


  1. Steve Schnobrich says:

    Thank you1 it is a very informative writing. It has been an interest for me however the expense of a good whip is out of my budget at this time. I am a male submissive and experienced a few hits from a single tail but a long way from the knowledge of the whip. This gives me an introductory of knowledge to use in negotiation of using the whip in a scene.

  2. Countess Dionysus says:

    This was very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Jeannie says:

    I’m just now wanting to start trying corporal punishment. I don’t know if the bull whip is the way to go but I’m interested in canes.

  4. Thanks for a great informative article. My dom want to whip me and also inflict cbt on me. Im a beginner at whipping and we will be in a bedroom so Im thinking of going with a snake whip as I dont have enough room for a bull whip. Do you have a beginners guide to cbt too?

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