The following is from our very own naughty dictionary,Â 150 SHADES OF PLAY: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink.Â Bolded words signify individual entries that appear elsewhere in the A-to-Z section of the book. Anything with a tie iconÂ Â indicates an activity or prop mentioned in theÂ Fifty ShadesÂ series (symbolic of the famous woven tieÂ Christian GreyÂ uses to restrainÂ Anastasia Steele). The idea being: look up something youâre interested in and, from there,Â make it a choose-your-own-adventure book by following any bolded words that pique your interest to their own dedicated entry. Or just start at A and donât stop âtil you get to Zâor âtil youâre compelled to try something out with your partner, whichever comes first!:
The pom pom of theÂ BDSMÂ world. (âGive me a W! Give me an H! Give me an I! Give me a P!â) A popular flagellation tool, a flogger consists of a fairly stout handle and several âtailsâ of equal length (from one- to three-feet long) made ofÂ leather, suede, nylon, pleather,Â rubber, or even ribbon. Depending on the number of tails, their length, their material, and whether they have knots or beads at their ends, the sensation a flogger provides can be anywhere from soft to holy-fucking-shit.
Beginners should go with a well-made, small, light-impact flogger: theyâll evoke more giggles than actual cries of pain. Avoid heavy-leather, braided, beaded, or knotted tails in the beginning. As with most BDSM equipment, you donât want to scrimp: A cheaply made flogger wonât be balanced correctly (making it harder and heavier to wield), its tails wonât land in the same spot (what you want), and/or the edges of the tails will be sharp (what youÂ donâtÂ want). Try companies that specialize in making floggers, like Bare Leatherworksâwith their Midsize Cowhide Flogger, the handle feels great, you can give your partner a good whack without it hurting them,Â andÂ it makes your victimâs butt jiggle, too! For the kind of posh flogger you might find in theÂ Red Room of Pain, thereâs LELOâs Sensua Suede Whip (available also in red!).
To make sure youâve got good aim, practice on inanimate objects first. Work on your different strokes: twirling, backhand, infinity symbol. Donât graduate to animate objectsâthat have of course given you their consentâuntil youâve got the eye and aim of a national darts champion. The ends of the tails should be hitting only the safe zones: lower buttocks, thighs, and upper back (not the spine or neck!). As a beginner, itâs a good idea to protect areas you donât want to hit with clothing, a towel, blanket, or pillow, just in case you accidentally let the tails âwrapâ around the body beyond these safe zonesâthe epitome of poor form. (Another good reason to have your bottom lying down if youâre a beginner.)
SeeÂ flagellationÂ for more important safety info. A.k.a.Â cats. Mini-floggers forÂ genitortureÂ are called flails, pussywhips (ha!), or ballwhips.