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How to: Whipping (Basics)

General Information

Trust, Responsibility & Communication

Trust is always the base of good SM. Trust is even more important when it comes to action involving pain and a sub is likely to reach his limits. Of course you can use any whip to just tease your boy. But if the both of you are looking for harder action you should have a clear idea of what is about to happen. Of course a slave can be whipped by a stranger, but his master should stand guard and intervene if he realizes that his sub can take no more. So if you let others flog your sub, make sure you keep an eye on the action and guide the other dom.

The main responsibility lies with the master, dom, top – whatever you want to call them. However, it’s the sub’s responsibility to choose his master wisely. Trust is a two way street, in order to let fully go as a sub you have to feel safe and in good hands.

Communication is key in all bdsm action. Talk before playing! You have to know what the other has in mind and make sure to not only know their desires but also their limits. A bad experience can ruin the fun for any sub. If you’re the sub, make sure you tell your dom about your fantasies, needs, no-gos, limits and health issues. If you’re a dom and are about to whip a new guy, take small steps and don’t be shy to ask your sub as you go along the action how he is doing. Once you’re both on the same page verbal communication will become less important. But as long you’re unable to clearly read and interpret your sub’s reactions make sure you ask him. Once you’re finished, talk about the action and how you both experienced it. Having your sub tell you how awesome you were is nice. But try to figure out if there are certain aspects of your technique he was less keen about. That way your next session will be even more fun.


No two people have identical limits. Plus, some days we can take more, others less. It all depends on our current mood, state of health.

Of course, the sub’s limits are what we’re most concerned about. A good top can figure out his sub’s limits of the day without loosing hold of the situation and handing the power over to his slave – for some slaves it’s a real turn-off to tell a master what he should or shouldn’t do.

So even if you know your slave well, stay alert while whipping him and carefully read his reactions and body language. Better to stay slightly below the limits than to go overboard. Take small steps and if you go for a surprise blow, don’t be sure not to use your maximum strength.


Let’s say your aim is to go for some harder flogging. Make sure to provide a good “warm up” by softly hitting different body parts. Don’t worry, your sub won’t feel bored if you put some effort into it. Once the boy’s skin has warmed up and there’s good blood circulation it will be less likely to tear or open. Softer whips with several strings, called floggers, work particularly well for a warm up. After a good warm up sessions things can get significantly rougher. Braided whips and especially single tail whips like bullwhips should not be used on “cold” skin. Both cause significant pain and should not be used without a prior warm up.

Most subs will appreciate being tied up before a lashing. In addition to adding to the feeling of helplessness, being tied up prevents a sub from making sudden moves – and getting hit on sensitive body parts. Being tied helps most slaves to endure pain and enjoy it more.

After the Whipping

Depending on how hard a sub was whipped, there may be marks on his skin, like simple reddening, welts or even some ripped skin.

Reddening is caused by increased blood flow and skin irritation and usually disappears after a few hours, sometimes even within minutes.

Red welts with light swellings can easily occur is a sub has sensitive skin. One boy will get them after a light whipping, another only after a stronger one. While some welts remain superficial and disappear after a few hours, others may lead to deeper lesions of the skin or the connective tissue resulting in bruises. This discoloration can occur even after a short time. The welts then look like ordinary bruises and pose no threat to a sub’s health, but may remain sensitive and hurt when touched, even for a few days. During the healing process they may change colour, turning green or yellowish. You may want to put some ointment on bruised skin, e. g. an Arnica preparations. It is very rare for welts that were allowed to heal properly to leave permanent marks.

Should a sub’s skin be ripped and cut after a beating you’ll need to be a good nurse to them. With healthy skin such wounds on a boy are quite rare and in any case signs that he’s been hit rather violently. There might, however, be small spots that tose open or a light cut here and there. Clen and disinfect anything that looks like an open wound, even if it’s tiny. It goes without saying that any larger wound, particularly a long cut needs medical care by a doctor in order to prevent infections and unwanted scars.

Beyond all physical signs never forget: Your sub was subject to unusual stress, both physically and mentally. Make sure he feels safe and comfortable after a beating. Should there be symptoms of unusual mental stress a top must act responsibly and take the sub seriously. The psychological impact of a beating should not to be underestimated, especially with subs not yet accustomed to whipping.

Should you have to consult a medical doctor be frank about what happened. Don’t make up stories, tell what you both did and tell them that it was a consensual act. You’ll save yourself trouble. Luckily in all my years as a master I never had a sub who needed medical attention after a beating. But in a different kind of SM session I once had to go to an emergency room. I told them exactly what had happened. Trust me, medics have seen it all.

Safety & Whipping Areas

First of all, know what you’re about to do and what impact your whip has. If you’re not sure, start slowly. As a top observe your bottom and read his reactions. It’s not only your job to whip him. You’re also his protector and caretaker. So don’t whip when you’re drunk or drugged, your judgement will not be the same.

Fixate the bottom in a position to minimize his evasive movements, he’ll present you with a much better target this way and enjoy the beating more.

To make it easier for you we’ve drawn little traffic light type picture with green, yellow and red areas of the body.

Green stands for areas you’re good to go with. If you whip responsibly there’s no danger there.

The yellow areas are more sensitive. Hitting those still won’t pose a threat to your sub’s health but you should still be more careful with those, especially when using harder whips. Skin around those parts is more sensitive to pain and there are more nerves around those parts. Also on body parts where the skin covers bones you’ll get much louder screams from your sub. That’s for a reason. If you really want to see your boy in tears, try to hit there. But don’t go overboard.

You may tease the red areas. But don’t hit them. Just don’t. You could seriously injure the sub. There are bones, tendons and unprotected organs there which, if they gogett broken or rip, could do real harm to the sub.

The dick and balls are marked red here too. We only recommend people with experience to hit that area with harder instruments, since you could leave the the victim potentially impotent or dysfunctional. (We’re not talking about cbt here, this is the whipping and flogging department.)

And lastly: Though this drawing shows you general good and bad areas it’s not a detailed map of the human body. Your sub’s muscles and skin vary greatly, so a medium blow on one green area could feel much more extreme on another.

Types of Whips

The following list of different whips and their impact only provides a rough overview. Each sub feels differently and also takes the strokes differently. What is the correct severity of the blow for one may completely overwhelm the other, or even bore the shit our of him. Therefore it is – as always in an SM session – of utmost importance that the top and sub know each other and try out the limits before things get tough.

Nevertheless, I have created this overview of the different types of whips and their use to make it easier for curious newbies and to help them avoid mistakes. The list is based on my own experience over the last 20 years that flagellation have been fascinating me.

If you’re a good top, try your whips on your first available subject: yourself. You won’t feel exactly the same way as a sub who is beaten by someone else, but if gives you a good idea about how your torture instruments feel on skin.


A flogger is a whip that consists of several simple leather straps attached to a handle. The most common ones are flat, have relatively soft leather straps of different width and somewhere between 5 and 20 tips. Floggers with straps firmly attached to the handle are much easier to use than the ones, where a bundle of leather straps is attached to the handle via a flexible metal joint. So don’t use the latter.

Floggers with thicker and harder leather strips with a square or round cross-section cause much more pain. They should be treated more like Cat-o-Nine-Tails (see below). The same goes for heavier many-tailed rubber whips.

The length of the straps has a decisive effect on the handling of the floggers. I recommend a length of 50 cm to start with.

Floggers can be used on the whole body of the sub with the exception of taboo zones marked in red. In my experience because most floggers feel quite soft you can quickly increase the intensity of your blows. As already mentioned floggers are first choice for a warm up, too.

When you hit your sub with the whole bundle he’ll feel less pain than if you just let the tips touch his skin. Try different styles and check their effect on your sub. Hitting the other side of your sub’s body from being by wrapping the straps around his body is especially painful, this may happen deliberately or accidentally. This is due to the tips’ increased speed before hitting the body.

Cat O’Nine Tales

The Cat-o-Nine-Tails is a multi tail whip like the flogger. You may know it from sailor and pirate movies where it is used for physical punishment. Unlike floggers the cat usually has braided strands. The number of strands can vary despite its name. Depending on the thickness and roughness of the strands they hurt the skin much more easily. The thicker strands hit the sub’s body with significantly more weight. Therefore, cats should only be used on parts of the body where a larger muscular layer protects joints and bones, e. g. the back, ass, thighs, with appropriate stature also chest and abs.

The longer the strands, the more difficult its handling. Just as with floggers it makes a difference if you hit a sub’s body with the whole thing or just the tips. Same goes for wrapping them around a guy’s body. The pain will however be more intense than when using a flogger.

Welts from the Cat-o-Nine-Tails are often significantly longer visible than those of floggers. You might find a pretty one at ye olde souvenir shop while on holidays. Some of those have plaited thorns, metal balls or the like in the strands. Use them to decorate your home but don’t bring them into your playroom, they are not suitable for SM sessions because they can cause bad injuries.

Dog Whips (short Single Tail Whips)

Unlike the previously mentioned types the following two basic ones have only one strand. The braided whip tapers increasingly from the handle to the tip, which is often continued from one of braided thongs for a short bit. Dog whips are the best first step into the world of the single tail whips. They are easier to handle than bullwhips with their relatively short length; normally well below one meter.

Important in these thicker braided whips is an even braid. Unfortunately, this almost always means a higher price, but it is worth it. Unevenly braided whips are usually more difficult to use, because they often have unwanted kinks in the whip, which make accurate aiming difficult. Poor braiding also increases the risk of burst skin due to sharp edges without increasing the fun.

For above-average thick and thus heavy whips, the restriction of target areas similar to the Cat-o-Nine-Tails should be considered.

Bull Whips (long Single Tail Whips)

I call this the queen of whips – but it is also the most difficult to master. Bull whips are single tail braided whips too, but they are longer than one meter and may measure up to several meters – of rather martial appearance.

Because of how long they are you can create cracking sounds when you swing them. This happens when the tip reaches supersonic speed. Often bull whips tip with a significant thinner cord that reaches a high quite easily. Although they sound fun I advise against thin cord extensions for SM games, since such tips are difficult to control and can be sharp as a knife cutting the skin.

Bull whips can be used to intentionally wrap around the body of sub for the tip to take speed. A top should be well trained for this kind of whipping, only then can he precisely aim at where his tip is to hit the skin. This does takes some practice.

I tend to prefer two different techniques, in which the sub is whipped from an appropriate distance and the whip will hit with with its mere tip. In order to perform those methods you’ll need a lot of space. A bedroom or den will not suffice. Depending on the sweep the whip hits the sub with different intensity. The easiest way for this is to circle the arm above your head, letting the whip follow this move and by the tip of the sweep hits the sub. More difficult, but also even more painful for the sub due to higher speed of the whip tail is the method, in which the top deliberately gives the whip moving wave motion. The wave reaches the tail of the whip directly upon striking the body of the sub.

Any top wishing to become a master at bull-whipping should try out his whips extensively on non-living targets, e. g. a suspended pillow until he is certain to master the whip. I think it makes sense to protect parts of your sub’s body so they won’t accidently be hit even if you’re experienced. A thick mask with a collar, a wide belt around the kidney area and a chastity belt protect the exposed areas of the sub. Those items do not interfere with the session, but are rather a good support.

Other types of whips

There are a myriad of other types of instruments; e. g. dog whips that split at the tail end or others with a broader flat piece of leather at the end. For most of them the rules stated above make sense in one way or another. And any responsible master should try a new whip on himself before using it on a sub.

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