Illustration by Dirk Hooper
My fascination with flogging happened when I attended my first play party. I met a couple at a munch and connected with them again the night of the play party. Early in the evening the Dom positioned his wife/slave over a divan in the middle of a large living room and went to work on her for well over thirty minutes.
What happened that night was quite different from what I imagined or what I had seen in erotic movies. This was real, and visceral, and hot! I saw how he used several whips on her. He varied his pace. He mixed-up how strong he threw those tails. The reaction of his wife was amazing!
I talked to them both when they were done with aftercare. She told me how wonderful it was. It shattered my expectations and thrilled me to watch.
Needless to say, I was hooked. I threw my first flogger that evening and the rest is history.
I’ve had multiple submissives tell me that they enjoyed my flogging so much that they asked for it as a reward, instead of a punishment. That’s fine with me! I love it too.
Nothing that I say in this article is going to replace the hands-on experience that you’re going to get with a flogger, or the advice that you’ll get from someone who can show you what to do in real time. Please, before you try this with a real person make sure you do your homework, and even better, get some help from someone that has experience with flogging.
I’m going to tell you the same thing that Dom told me on that first night. Looking at your intended target from behind, draw an imaginary line down the spine and make a cross at the kidneys. Those areas are off limits. Even a light flogger can do damage if you hit the wrong place.
Focus on the meaty areas, like the ass, the shoulders, the thighs, hamstrings, and calves. Stay away from the head, and joints, and anywhere that’s bony. In short, use your common sense.
Flogging is typically a marathon, not a sprint. It’s so much more effective (and safe) to build up pain and heat slowly and softly, than to wail with your whole strength.
Also, please forget everything you’ve seen in movies or in video clips. Reality is a lot better, and it’s a lot safer.
It’s also essential to take your time.
Hopefully, you get a chance to throw some floggers before you buy your own. When I bought my first flogger, I had a pretty good idea what I wanted and took a chance on a custom piece that I purchased on the web. What I got was an excellent flogger that I still use today.
Floggers have many different elements to consider.
- What do you want it to be made of? Some floggers are soft and fun, others can be “thuddy” or stingy. Some can be downright vicious.
- How long do you want the handle to be?
- How long do you want the falls to be?
- How many falls do you want?
- What color do you want? Hey, don’t knock this. If you choose the same colors over and over again then your toy bag will be cohesive, and it will also make finding your toys easier.
For your first flogger, my advice is to do the same thing I did and get a medium-sized suede flogger that’s custom made. What’s great about suede floggers is that they are not too heavy, so you can learn to aim, and it will help to build the flogging session for the bottom/submissive slowly.
Before you ever throw a flogger toward another person you need to get your range and touch down. Ideally, you want those falls to all come together in one spot. You also need to be able to vary your strikes between the lightest possible touch to something that’s nearly full strength while maintaining accuracy.
How do you do that without striking a person? Try with a pillow first. Just set it on your couch and hit that pillow over and over again until you feel like you’ve got real control over that flogger. Then do it some more.
You’re going to find your own style when you get some experience under your belt, but what follows is how I approach flogging.
I usually start by running the tails over the submissive’s body. If it’s a suede flogger it can be a very stimulating, and it sets up what is to come.
I step back and slowly, lightly, find the range between me and my target. Once you get your range down it’s time to go to work.
The back is a good place to begin. However, don’t just strike in one place. Focus on the ass, but move to the shoulders too, and occasionally try the back of the legs. Keep moving and keep it unpredictable.
What I’ll do is think about pressure in levels. Like, I’ll start at level one, then go to level two, then throw one blow at a three, and start over again. I like to pop a sharp blow every so often to get a reaction and see where my partner is. If you’re doing the same thing all the time it’s going to get boring for both of you.
Build up over time, and check in with your partner constantly. Some people just like to be flogged like an intense massage. Others like to be broken down or challenged.
Furthermore, even if you think you know what your partner wants, some days they will want more or less. Stay in communication with your partner throughout the flogging, every time.
Also, keep in mind that being flogged can be hard on the body. Leaning your partner against a wall will help with stability. Some people use restraints or bondage furniture to help. You can also simply place them on a couch or a bed, so they don’t have to worry about standing at all.
If your partner has become unresponsive or has developed the balance of Jell-O, then you’re done. Wrap up the session and engage in whatever aftercare that you usually do. If you’ve had a lengthy or challenging flogging session then it’s likely that your partner is experiencing subspace. Flogging has always been the easiest method for me to introduce subspace to a partner. It’s that rhythmic building of pain that is so effective in initiating subspace.
Some Additional Thoughts
There are some very fancy ways of doing flogging, like Florentine flogging, or other methods, and those are great. But unless you’re doing a stage show or trying to demonstrate a skill, the only thing that matters is creating an experience for your partner. If what you’re doing is not pretty it doesn’t matter at all. Find your own style and get comfortable with it.
With that said, you can learn fancy flogging techniques and get the chance to play with new floggers at your local BDSM group. You can ask questions to experts and have someone watch what you’re doing and give you advice. Watch other people throw a flogger and learn from them. Joining a local group is always a great idea to be better at what you do and to be safer.
There are a lot of flogging demonstrations on YouTube and elsewhere. While it’s not as good as a live demonstration, it can give you a good idea of different styles and suggest some good tips to follow.
The next thing I’m going to say is going to upset some people… mostly people who haven’t done this. It is extremely informative to let someone else flog you so that you know what it feels like. Have I been flogged? Yes, many times, and it’s unequivocally made me better when I’m throwing the whip.
Finally, let me stress that flogging is a lot of fun and can be exceptionally rewarding for everyone involved. Don’t ever forget to have fun while you’re doing this; it will make you much better. And just like every other skill, try new things and seek out other ways to do flogging.
Knowledge is power.
About the Author
Dirk Hooper is an award-winning fetish photographer, professional writer, audiobook narrator, podcasting producer and host, journalist for the fetish community, BDSM mentor, and adult personal branding and marketing consultant for Sexy Networking.
Dirk Hooper won Best Fetish Photographer at the 2017 Fetish Awards in St. Petersburg Florida. As a fine-art fetish photographer, Hooper’s work has been exhibited in England, the Netherlands, Belgium, China and all over the United States. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Dirk Hooper’s work has been published in magazines like Skin Two, Von Gutenberg, Fet Erotica and Sinical Magazine. His work was published in the German hardcover art book “Fetish Fantasies: The Best of International Fetish Photography.” He has done professional photography for bands, books, posters and the adult film industry. Hooper co-founded the alternative modeling site Toxic Goddess. He offers his photography services for portraits and commercial projects.
Hooper’s articles have recently been published at Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, HuffPost, Slate Magazine, The Sporting News, MSN Sport, and Quartz. He has won the Quora Top Writer award for the past two years. He has also been published as a comic writer, a poet, and performed numerous copywriting assignments for professional and private clients. He is currently working on an erotic novel and a non-fiction book about social networking.
Dirk Hooper is the Host and Executive Producer of “The Fetish Show.” He has also recently launched a new podcast about success and inspiration titled, “The Dirk Side.” Hooper has been podcasting since 2005 and has produced hundreds of hours of shows over several networks. His first audiobook narration was for the Suzanne Steele novel “Glazov.”
Dirk Hooper does journalism for the BDSM and fetish community through The Fetish Show News, FETISHWEEK articles, the Daily Fetish Chronicle and freelance writing. Hooper’s award-winning website, http://www.DirkHooper.com features a gallery of his work, informational articles and is the home of “FETISHWEEK.”
Hooper’s inspiration for his work is an extension of his interests and experience in the BDSM and fetish community. He is a BDSM mentor and has helped guide or train both dominants and submissives.
Hooper works as a consultant on personal branding, social networking, SEO, copywriting, design and marketing through his Sexy Networking business at http://SexyNetworking.com