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Disclaimer: We do not endorse blood play as a practice.

Love it, hate it, faint at the sight of it…regardless of how you react to blood, you can’t deny that there’s something primal and intense that we feel at the sight of it. Blood play has been a part of the BDSM community for ages. It’s considered one of the more extreme forms of play in the community and is considered to be part of the edge-play family.

Hematolagnia is an interest in using blood or blood-like images in sexual play. Not everyone who enjoys blood play enjoys knife play. It may just be about the sight or feel of blood on their partner, consuming them or the pleasure of watching skin give way, of watching a partner trust you enough to let you have power. Heck, even period sex can be counted as a part of blood play if you like the messiness of it.

For submissives in blood play, they may enjoy the feeling of helplessness, or of watching their partner practice careful control in the process. Some find the raw brutality of it to be healing.

If you’re entertaining the idea of trying out blood play, here’s a handy beginner’s guide I put together after speaking to blood play experts within the community and extensive research.

  • Try to narrow down on what aspect of blood play you enjoy. Some enjoy the sight of blood on themselves or their partners, others enjoy the power of wielding a sharp object that can cause pain. There are those who enjoy the idea of consuming someone’s blood. (That’s right, I’m talking about Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox, whose idea of vows involved drinking a vial of each others’ blood).
  • Have a lot of conversations about bloodplay with your partner. Do your research and engage only when there’s absolute trust. A consent model like RACK is especially useful.
  • Get blood tests done to ensure that both you and your partner/s are safe from any potentially transmissible diseases.
  • Explore the idea in casual play situations using dark-colored substances like ketchup. This can help you and/or your partner/s figure out how they feel about it.
  • Learn basic first aid, especially about what parts of the body have fewer surface veins and arteries. Blood play is an extreme form of BDSM, so it is important to be fully prepared for any kind of situation. Some experts in the BDSM communities may offer classes on the same too.
  • Always, ALWAYS use sterile equipment. Sanitize whatever tool you may use, and always be careful and delicate while handling these sharp objects in the bed
  • For beginners, tools like lancets, disposable scalpels and needles are always a safe place to start.
  • Consider practicing slicing on things like oranges and tomatoes. You can even purchase synthetic skin online. Learning to handle your tool of choice is essential to blood play. You do not want to hurt your partner.
  • Sterilize the skin if cutting will be involved. A quick alcohol swab swipe will do.
  • Be aware of your partner’s body language and words. Blood Play is very dangerous and requires complete trust and control. If your partner looks like they may not be keen on proceeding, pause and communicate. Primal fear can put us in a place where we forget our safe words or gestures.
  • Sterilize all wounds after engaging in blood play. You do not want a wound to get infected. If they do not heal, please get medical advice at the earliest.
  • If you are the submissive in a blood play scene, please be aware of your pain threshold. This is extremely vital to avoid injuries that will cause you pain even after the session is over.
  • NO. SUDDEN. MOVEMENTS. All you need is for someone to lose balance and you’ll have a disaster on your hands. And bed. And sheets. Go very slow and steady.
  • Like most forms of edge play, blood play can be very intense. Aftercare is essential, so make sure you cater to each other’s comforts.
  • Have regular check-ins post session, at least for a week.Top drop, and sub drop are very real phenomena that need a lot of care and support.

Writer Gayathri RN

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