One of the things I am very grateful of- from early on in my kink life my mentor drilled into me that before I could potentially break it, I needed to know how to fix it.
I think everyone would agree, avoiding injury and safety in play is our first priority. But we spend, or at least I do, a whole lot more time thinking about the play itself, than about what to do if someone gets hurt. Of course we do! Fantasizing about our next scene and what will happen is a whole lot sexier than ticking off a mental list of risks and whether or not we packed a roll of gauze in our bag. Nothing will kill that mid-day tingle like the thought of a broken finger and how to splint it.
If we stay in the game long enough, someone is going to get a bit banged up. Not just our bottoms, but tops get injured also. It pays for everyone involved to be reasonably versed in first aid and general wound care. Here are a few things I picked up along the way which might help you be a little better prepared.
- Learn How to Fix It
Depending on what play you are into, there are a variety of injuries which can happen no matter how careful we are. For the most part, general first aid will cover the odd minor cuts, abrasions, bruises, and the like. For heavier players, split skin, lacerations, deep bruising, serious cuts and possibly worse can happen. Knowing what to do for more serious injuries is a must in these instances and can be the difference between something being able to heal well, and a trip to the emergency room.
Start with a Red Cross First Aid and CPR Class. Yes, go to an actual class where you can go hands on, not just watching a YouTube video or reading a book. Walking through the different aspects helps set the knowledge better in our heads and gives us a chance to ask questions and hear the questions of others being answered. The value of this interaction cannot be overstated.
If you are a heavier player, consider attending some kink specific training where you can ask the instructors what the potential injuries may be, and what to do about them. There are also plenty of survivalists out there who run field first aid classes which teach about how to deal with more serious injuries.
Nope I’m not a Kook and I’m not joking.
Sure, you may learn a whole lot more than you need, but having the core knowledge that is more in depth than simple first aid can be a game changer if a scene goes really badly. It’s better to be over prepared than under. Not to mention….it’s just good to know.
A good reference book for this more advanced care is the US Army Field Manual for First Aid which can be found for free here- Chapter 1 (army.mil) as well as this book available through Amazon ACEP First Aid Manual, 5th Edition (Dk First Aid Manual): DK Publishing: 9781465419507: Amazon.com: Gateway
Again, a whole bunch more information than you need, but if you do suspensions dropping someone on their head might be a real concern. Knowing what to do with a head injury might be important to you.
- Build Your Kit
“OH MY GOD!!!! I read that manual now I have to build a footlocker sized first aid kit!”
Nope. You really don’t. Start with a commercial of the shelf basic first aid kit which covers minor injuries. Most of these are small enough to fit easily in a side pocket of most gear bags. I won’t go over everything I think you should have in this basic kit, but here is one which I would recommend as it contains a bunch of what you need, and it has features which can be very helpful:
Amazon.com: 2-in-1 First Aid Kit (215 Piece) + Bonus 43 Piece Mini First Aid Kit -Includes Eyewash, Ice(Cold) Pack, Moleskin Pad and Emergency Blanket for Travel, Home, Office, Car, Workplace: Health & Personal Care
What is great about this kit:
- Red Bag with a reflective stripe so it’s easier to locate in lower light settings.
- Fold out sections and zipper pockets so its easy to find things quickly and keep organized.
- Comes with medical shears – somethings a lot of rope tops recommend having around.
- Has supplies which cover not just cuts, bites, stings and abrasions – but also has gear to help with a little more serious mechanical injuries.
- Great price point for a basic kit.
This is a great start and will cover the vast majority of players out there and what they need in a kit. One note though, many of these types of kits do have some supplies which expire over time. Put on your annual to do list to inventory your kit and replace items you have used or have expired.
For those who might need gear for more serious injuries look at the type of play and match additional supplies to those risks. Here are a few examples-
Fire Play- extra ice packs, sterile burn bandages, and extra gauze.
Knife Play- pressure dressing, chest seal, and a coagulant pack and/or coagulant gauze, CAT tourniquet (or similar).
Rope Play- rescue hook, extra ointment for abrasions, extra gauze, kinesthetic tape.
CNC and Primal- Kinesthetic tape and finger splints.
Whips (as in a serious single tail)- Antibiotic ointment, superglue, and butterfly closures.
Just some examples (I know there is a lot more you super prepper kinksters), and to many of you these may sound like overkill. For most of you it would be. But penetrating wounds can happen during knife play. Sweat drips onto a slick floor, the foot slips a bit and out of reaction the Top tries to catch themselves. That knife could wind up where it wasn’t intended, in either of you. Better to be prepared than not. Knives may be a cool thought for you newer rope tops….. until you try to get it between the skin of your bottom and the rope in a hurry without cutting them badly. Oh, and test it out on a spare piece of rope so you know how it works.
Don’t build a foot locker full of medical gear, unless that’s your kink😉. You’ll hate it and you won’t take it with you when you should. A smallish kit with what you need is best. Stick to items you know how to use.
Lastly, make sure you are protecting yourself. Pack extra rubber or nitrile gloves in your kit and a pair of safety glasses. Sure, you and your bottom may already have each other’s cooties…… but it may be someone else at the club who gets injured and you are the only one around with a decent kit and the knowledge to use it. Plan accordingly.
Like anything else in kink, when it’s happening is the wrong time to be googling how to do it. Take some time several times a year to go over what to do if someone gets injured. Not just you Tops but bottoms also. Practice on each other how to apply a basic bandage; what to do in case of a burn etc. We all like to think that after we go to a training the knowledge will always be there. IT WON’T.
Make the effort to refresh what you learned so if something does happen and people are freaking out around you putting you are under additional stress; what you need to do comes back to you without a herculean effort.
You would not use a single tail on someone without having practiced on a pillow regularly would you? Same principle.
Lastly, do not let your knowledge, kit, and practice make you overconfident. Things may happen which are beyond our ability to handle alone. Yes, there is risk in going to the hospital or calling an ambulance but its better than someone being permanently maimed or worse.
- Keep it Handy
Not in the car; not in the closet; not in another room………
Handy! Like within reasonable reach.
Depending on the scene I keep my kit either next to the kink furniture I am using (where I won’t step on it) or in the gear bag within a few steps. I make sure that anyone I am playing with knows exactly where it is before play starts, and if there is a dungeon monitor, I inform them also.
When you need it, you need it. Enough said.
- A Few Extras Which Are Nice to Have Around
Although not exactly first aid items, these can come in handy for different things if you have the room:
A bottle of water to wash out cuts or rinse abrasions.
Bug spray and sun screen for outdoor play. Mosquitos and sun poisoning can ruin an otherwise great outing.
Small pack of Kleenex for addressing small things that you don’t need a band-aid for like shaving cuts.
Pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.
- The Pay Off
Having good knowledge of what to do in case of injury prompts us to assess risks in play more carefully making it less likely we will seriously injure someone. Knowing first aid and having a kit is not just a cure, but a means of prevention.
Being prepared in mind and with kit gives us the ability to prevent minor injuries from becoming serious ones; helps us recognize more serious injuries quickly; and potentially prevent an injury becoming life threatening. Practicing on each other builds our confidence and makes it more likely we will respond appropriately if an injury does happen.
Yes, this is going to take your valuable time, effort, and a bit of coin to do right. But so does practicing kink and we do that without blinking. Why wouldn’t we make the effort to protect the most valuable of assets, each other. Being prepared is an investment in ourselves and our partner which should not be overlooked or taken lightly.
As I said before…… When you need it, you need it. Enough said.
Here are some other resources which might be helpful: