Flogging 101

By Master Bryan

The following is the notes for our Flogging 101Workshop

By Master Bryan

Produced in conjunction with “The Ball” through the “Winnipeg Kinky Education Committee”

Copyright 2006 the authors  Version 2.0

Greetings and welcome to Flogging 101!

This workshop was developed to meet local needs for entry level flogging information. It requires no previous knowledge of BDSM. The goal of this workshop is to develop basic flogging skills and knowledge. It will also develop an awareness of basic safety issues in BDSM. This will be accomplished through demonstration as well as individual instruction in hands on practice of basic techniques.

When students have completed this workshop they will have learned the following skills:

  • Safely use a St. Andrew’s cross

  • Safely use a spanking bench
  • Safely give a flogging using the figure 8 stroke

  • Recognize and respond to shock in a flogging scene

  • Clean and sterilize equipment after play

The workshop will begin with an explanation and demonstration of equipment and technique. This will be followed by supervised practice of students’ new skills. Students will be required to follow Workshop Rules and Safety Procedures. Now let’s get things started!

Workshop Rules

1. No means no, no exceptions

2. This workshop uses the traffic lights system of safe words where:

a. “Green” means the top may flog harder

b. “Yellow” means the top must flog gentler

c. ‘Red” means stop all play immediately and release the bottom

3. The instructors’ word is final

4. If you suspect an injury, inform an instructor or the host immediately

5. No genital contact with demo volunteers without their express permission in advance

6. Designated floggers will be supplied by bottoms and used only on that bottom

7. No disruption of those practicing

8. No non-prescription drugs or alcohol consumption

9. No Cameras

10. No soliciting

11. Homophobia and Racism will not be tolerated

12. Anyone not following safety guidelines will be expelled

13. All safety procedures must be followed

14. Clean the equipment when you finish using it

15. Smoking permitted in designated areas only

16. Play at your own risk

Safety Procedures

1. This workshop uses the traffic lights system of safe words where:

a. “Green” means the top may flog harder

b. “Yellow” means the top must flog gentler

c. “Red” means stop all play immediately and release the bottom

2. Warm-ups as per instructors’ directions

3. Proper hit locations are a must

4. Clean the gear when you are through using it

5. Respect the gift being given by the bottoms/submissives/slaves

Lashing Out: A Newbie’s Introduction to Flogging - Version 4.0

By Master Bryan

So you want to whip your friend and you're wondering where to start? When you agree to dominate a person you are accepting responsibility for that person’s well being. Similarly, if it’s your ass on the line, you want to be confident that the person swinging the whip knows what they’re doing.

Fortunately, there are some basic, common sense rules which will assure that both of you have fun even on your first dungeon crawl.

The best type of whip to start with is a light suede or horse hair “flogger” or “cat of nine tails”. A flogger can provide a wide range of sensations with a minimal amount of risk. A good flogger can be purchased at most sex shops or you can make one in the comfort of your own home (see appendix for flogger making plans). When buying a flogger, insist on testing each model you are considering on a bare part of your own body such as your own arm. Buy the one that feels best, as opposed to the one that looks best. Your first flogger should be gentle. You can always buy bigger nastier floggers once you know what you are doing.

The most basic BDSM technique is communication. Before you start swinging that shiny new whip, start with a brief discussion of what both of you want done, to whom and how. Everyone has things they want, things they might not care for but will do to get you off, and everyone has things they just will not do under any circumstances. Your partner’s wishes must be respected and a serious chat about limits is the best way to find out what you are supposed to be respecting. It is also a good time to have the safe sex / family planning talk.

Once you have decided on who is doing what to whom, decide on a safe word.

A safe word is like an alarm bell. When someone says their safe word it means stop everything now there's a major problem. When choosing a safe word it should be easy to remember and say, but unlikely to come up accidentally in your play. Some examples of safe words are "red light" or "uncle". Words such as "stop" and "no" should be avoided as safe words because they are likely to come up in play.

If your partner is going to be gagged or be in a position where they can't speak, agree on a “safe gesture” such as, the peace sign or snapping their fingers.

The first time a couple plays together, they are just learning how they respond to each other as well as the various stimuli of BDSM. It is very important that the submissive be able to tell the dominant what they need within the context of the scene. If a dominant is dishing out more than their submissive can take, the submissive should communicate this before they are forced to use their safe word.

One way to do this is choose a system of words that mean slow down a little or harder please. A common example of this is the traffic light system which we will be using in this workshop. In this system the word “Red” is the safe word meaning that something has gone wrong and the scene must stop immediately. “Yellow” means ease up a little – you’re flogging me a little harder than I like, but there is no need to stop completely. “Green” means whip me harder please. Systems such as this allow the submissive to communicate their needs within the context of the scene thereby helping the dominant be the playmate of their dreams.

If you have the time before play, it is nice to set the stage. This is where you turn the lights down, put on mood music, light some candles or incense, put on your silk robe and ballet slippers, etc. Make sure that any toys or props (whips, rope, hand cuffs or whipping benches) are in the room and easily available. After the scene is set, all the preparatory work is done and you are ready to play.

Positioning the submissive affects the entire scene. Are they bent over a desk like a bad student? Are they standing with their hands shackled to the door frame, or tied up in bed? Do you want to feel them writhe against you, or do you want a little bit of physical distance between yourself and your partners?

Taking a moment or two before you start to consider what positions you plan to use will make things run much more smoothly once you actually start playing. Positioning the submissive sets the whole tone of the scene and it is also a good time to start the warm up.

The warm up is an essential part of every BDSM scene because it prepares the mind and body to accept the pain and other stimuli that will come. A submissive who is properly warmed up can take a lot more than when they are cold. A good warm up starts the flow of endorphins that reduce the chance of shock. It is the beginning of the rough play. If done well, the warm up is fun and naturally flows into the flogging.

Start the warm up by physically stimulating your partner with some light sensations. Gently scratch them, pinch them, bite them, pull their hair, even some light spanks or gentle strokes with your light flogger are good warm up techniques. Horse hair, frayed rope, or light suede floggers all make ideal warm up tools. The key is to start gently and slowly build the pain levels.

Take your time with the warm up. As with so many other aspects of sex, the time you put into the warm up will pay off when the going gets hot and heavy.

Each person has areas they prefer to be whipped and ways in which they want it done. Be sure your partner gets what they want. However, there are a couple of places you should avoid striking: Face and head, spine, tail bone, kidneys, joints, fingers and toes, or areas with organs close to the surface which can easily be damaged. If you are flogging someone’s back for the first time, focus on the shoulders or buttocks. A good general rule of thumb is to avoid the area from the bra line to the top of the panty line. Avoid body piercing jewellery as the lashes of the flogger can snag on piercing jewellery. Nothing wrecks the mood quite as fast as a flogger ripping out a fresh nipple piercing. You should also avoid flogging any place your partner does not want whipped. Most people dislike having their sides whipped. To phrase it positively, the shoulders, butt, thighs, calves, and soles of the feet are safe and entertaining body parts to torment.

Actual flogging can be broken down into either single stroke or cyclic techniques. The single stroke techniques focus on one single stroke. After each stroke the strands drop and are prepared for the next stroke. Single stroke techniques are easy and good for counting games as well as breaking up the monotony of an established rhythm.

Cyclic flogging continues the momentum of one stroke to flow into the next stroke. The lashes form either a series of circular motions, a figure 8, or other more complex patterns. Cyclic styles allow for a rhythm to the flogging. The most basic form of cyclic flogging is to simply make circles with the flogger hitting your partner’s butt. With a little practice you will be able to alternate between right and left butt cheeks or right and left shoulders.

Flogging_101_-_Image_1The figure 8 is a little more advanced. In this technique there are two distinct strokes which flow together to make the pattern. Start with a down stroke at 2 o’clock to the right butt cheek.


Flogging_101_-_Image_2Then carry through to the lower left, up and around to make the mirror image stroke at 10 o’clock on the left butt cheek. Then carry through, up and around to start the cycle again at 2 o’clock on the right butt cheek. Repeat while necessary.


As with a basic circle, the figure 8 can be used on shoulders, thighs, and chests as well. Once you have the basic figure 8 down pat, there are all sorts of variations on it that you can learn.


If your flogger gets all tangled and isn’t flying right, just stop. Straighten out the lashes. Then start again. Newbie’s aren’t expected to do everything perfectly the first time, so don’t be shy.

Talk to you partner as you play to monitor their needs and condition. There is an important natural cycle of stimulus and reaction, pain and recovery. Find your partners pace and work with it. As the flogging progresses, the submissive will usually begin to feel “floaty” or high. This is the body releasing endorphins into their system. It is the same thing as “runners high” - just a lot more fun to get.

Should you overdo the flogging a bit and your partner becomes groggy, begins to shiver, their skin becomes clammy, they become nauseous, or they do not respond to your voice, stop the flogging, remove any bondage, and put a blanket around them until they become coherent again. If they are thirsty, give them sweet beverages such as cola or fruit juice. If they are unconscious, and remain unconscious for longer than 2 minutes, call 911. Never hesitate if medical attention may be needed. Get that person into the emergency room right away. Emergency room staff are there to help. They have seen it all before, so do not worry about what the staff thinks. The dominant is responsible for the well being of their submissive and that always includes medical emergencies incurred during play.

When your scene is through, the submissive will be high on endorphins. Their legs may be weak from all the fun, so be ready to catch them should their legs buckle. This is a good time for a hug and a kiss and some warm fuzzy words - commonly referred to as “aftercare”.

It is also the time to clean them up and tend to any minor wounds which may have been incurred during your scene. Let your playmates know you value what they do at your command. Because they are high on endorphins, make sure your submissives have had at least half an hour to compose themselves before they operate anything dangerous such as motor vehicles, power tools, or military aircraft.

Improperly cleaned toys or equipment can spread disease. After play time is over be sure that all toys and equipment are cleaned and disinfected to the best of your abilities. The safest strategy of all is to have one clearly marked, designated set of toys for each of your playmates. Use of designated toys assures that individuals will not be exposed to the body fluids (and associated diseases) of another person.

Of course, and for all the obvious reasons, neither “The Ball”,

Prairie Caller, their writers, editors, owners, workers, sponsors, nor organizers are responsible for any harm which might come to you or your partner as a result of reading or acting on anything contained in this document.

Have fun and play safe.

Recommended Reading

Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism - Philip Miller and Molly Devon.

Without a doubt, this is the first book you should get. Well-written, lots of photographs, often humorous, it tells you what you want to know now.


SM 101: A Realistic Introduction - Jay Wiseman. Published by Greenery Press.

This will probably be your most valuable source of information on what is expected of you as a dominant and how to do the things we love to do.


Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission - Brame, Brame, and Jacobs. Published by Villard Books.

A comprehensive book that covers the full spectrum of what our lifestyle is and why we enjoy it.


The Loving Dominant - John Warren. Published by Masquerade Books.

This one tears down the myths of what it is to be dominant and shows the full potential that D/s relationships can have.


The Topping Book: Getting Good at Being Bad - Dossie Easton & Catherine A. Liszt. Published by Greenery Press.

Easy to read; amusing illustrations.


Daedalus Publishing Company,
584 Castro Street, Suite 518,
San Francisco, CA
USA 94114
Fax: (415) 487-1137


Greenery Press,

3739 Balboa Avenue,
San Francisco, CA
USA 94121

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