BASICS OF WAX PLAY
Wax play involves melting and dripping candle wax onto yourself or your lover for the purposes of sexual or sensual gratification. It’s a BDSM staple, since hot wax is a fun and easy way to inflict some pleasurable pain… but it also works as a purely sensory thing, no pain involved. For those who don’t know, wax play is a type of kink activity in which hot wax, usually from a candle, is dripped or poured onto a partner. It falls under “temperature play” in the kink world, which is exactly what it sounds like: Using hot and/or cold objects or liquids to create fun sensations during sex.
For wax play, however, you can’t just use any candle – most household candles will provide only thoroughly burns rather than pleasurable little stings of heat.
And, speaking of burns, anything that involves fire and viscous liquids has some inherent risks. Here’s what you should be aware of when approaching wax play for the first time.
IS IT SAFE?
Wax play is seen to be a form of edge play due to the way you are literally playing with fire. Using candles does hold the risk of causing bodily harm to a person, hence it is on the ‘edge’ of what is considered within typical safety guides.
DOES IT HURT?
Everyone’s skin is unique and reacts differently to hot wax. Even with erotic play candles, irritation or burns may still occur. Communication is crucial for a mutually pleasurable experience, and it’s especially critical when playing with hot wax.
For masochists, being splashed with wax that’s almost too hot is an enjoyably painful prospect. For sadists, wax play is a versatile and interesting way of inflicting pain on their willing victims.
Many people also enjoy the sensory qualities of wax play too: the feeling of heat in one’s skin, the scraping away of hardened wax after play, the rapid changes in temperature, the silky feeling of liquid wax before it solidifies…
On top of all that, wax play also looks real kinky. Some people enjoy it just because it’s novel and naughty.
As with most things, a little bit of prep before a scene goes a long way to ensuring a good time for everyone involved.
No matter how careful you are, you’ll almost certainly spill some wax on your sheets during play. It’s incredibly difficult to remove wax from fabrics, so either use sheets that you’re not super attached to, or cover your play area with a junk sheet, shower curtain, or towel.
911? MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!
As over-careful as it might seem, also remove any flammable substances from the immediate area where you’ll be playing: spirits, cleaning chemicals, dangling wall decorations. Nobody plans to catch these things on fire, but it happens. Remove them and it won’t happen to you.
Similarly, be mindful of fire alarm systems and smoke detectors. Most candles produce only a tiny amount of smoke, but it can still be enough to set off an alarm (some of which detect heat rather than smoke in any event). Avoid embarrassment by playing in a room without a smoke or heat detector, or temporarily disabling one otherwise.
For the same reason, have a wet towel nearby and easily accessible. You can use it to both extinguish flames if necessary, and to cool skin if you do accidentally cause a burn.
If you do BDSM stuff on a regular basis you’ll probably already have a first aid kit. If wax play is a standard part of your repertoire, you might consider adding some soothing burn gel or a couple of extra ice packs to the mix.
The receiving partner may wish to shave the area that’s going to be waxed, since dried wax can be tricky and painful to remove from hairy parts of the body. This only applies to particularly hairy areas like your underarms, legs, pubic zone, and (maybe) chest. The hair which covers most of the rest of your skin is very short and very fine, and won’t get tangled or make it difficult to remove candle wax.