Playing With Blood
Author: Rose Vergara ©
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The term blood sports encompasses many scenes - abrasion, scratching, cutting, temporary and permanent piercing, leeches, blood letting and vampirism. We will deal with each individually as we progress.
Blood is the essence of life. Blood is dangerous. Blood is thrilling and frightening simultaneously. Playing with blood requires an incredible amount of trust, care, understanding and time between play partners. When a sub lets me into her/him in a place where no one has gone before, into her/his very essence, it symbolizes the confidence s/he has in me. It fills me with pride and lust and a kind of natural high that other SM games do not. Blood play is true intercourse between players. It is beyond pain and pleasure.
When I first came out in the scene about 12 years ago, I had one never - no blood play. Well, that was before I actually watched a blood scene. It was in Houston at an NLA: Living in Leather event when I was still subbing. Dr. Drac a well-known blood sports enthusiast had a long line of folks waiting for him to draw their blood. He was putting it in vials that people hung around their necks. I was fascinated and horrified. Two of my female friends were assisting him. I told them I was so turned-on by the spectacle, but that I did not think I was ready for a venal puncture. Getting permission from my Dom, they each did a small cutting over my breasts. They bled beautifully! My Dom (with whom I was body fluid monogamous) reached in and gathered the droplets and tasted the blood. I had a spontaneous orgasm and I have adored blood play ever since.
Playing with blood requires impeccable and precise safety standards. I love my partners, but I am not ready to die for love. While the HIV virus is fragile, it is still deadly. Hepatitis is almost invulnerable and represents the worst threat to scene players. To prevent infections, there are several steps one must take before and while engaging in any blood activity.
A blood sports toy bag should contain the following basic supplies: gloves, antibacterial soap and/or wipes, alcohol, betadine, peroxide, Neosporin, NewSkin, paper towels or tissues, gauze pads or cotton balls, bandages, adhesive tape, gauze wrap, towels, drop cloths or tarps. You can buy cheap plastic picnic table covers for about $2.00 in party supply houses and they work well to cover the area so spills don't get on carpets, furniture or dungeon floors. Finally, you need a sharps container. You can purchase these off the shelf in most pharmacies. Local laws govern disposal of health waste materials. A plastic soda bottle with top works well as a sharps container. Put all your used supplies into the bottle -- including needles and corks, cotton, wrappings, etc.
Blood sports toys and implements must be as germ free as possible. Outside of a sterile hospital setting, nothing we use will be perfectly sterile, but we must do our best to achieve as close to sterility as we can. Reusable steel items should be autoclaved after every use. If you do not have an autoclave, you can clean objects in a 10-1 water and bleach solution or use a retail product like Wavicide. Antibacterial products like Citrase are acceptable but better for cleaning whips and other types of surfaces.
Once you and your sub have agreed to try blood play in some aspect, then certain procedures should be followed to help cut down on infections. If you will be doing cutting, piercing, abrasion, bloodletting or leeches, all of the following apply:
Aftercare is also extremely important when playing with blood. Follow these steps:
Now you are ready to take the plunge into the spiritually and emotionally fulfilling arena of blood sports. Which one is right for you? Let's examine the variations.
Abrasion: Many people play this scene without thinking of it as a blood sport. We often use our fingernails, hairbrushes, and other objects to irritate or scratch a subs skin during play. It is usually not the intent of the Top to draw blood. But, use other objects and you are more likely to scratch open the skin. Among my abrasion toys are nail files, sand paper, a hard boiled egg slicer, a metal grater, a ceramic ginger grater, serving forks of varying sizes, knives and paint scrapers, wooden and metal skewers, and various brushes, including a plastic horse washing brush. Anything that scratches and aggravates the tender skin can be used for abrasion.
Scratching: Obviously this is a form of abrasion and all the items used in abrasion can be used in scratching. The biggest point to scratching is that we do it with our fingernails. It is almost impossible to scratch while wearing latex gloves. It is easy to scratch through the skin hard enough to draw blood. Remember - blood and skin can get under the nails, so be extremely cautious when scratching by hand.
Leeches: Leeches were used in medieval times as a medical tool. Sterile leeches can still be found in hospital and medical research institutes. For those who like to play on the edge (and who are not too squeamish), leeches can be attached to the bottom and allowed to suck blood from a tit, thigh, ball sack or other intimate spot. Destroy the leeches after playing, but not by squishing them in the dungeon - blood will ooze all over!
Cutting: many subs love being marked by their dommes. Since most of us are not tattoo artists or body modification specialists, cutting is one manner in which the domme can personally put a mark upon his/her sub.
In addition to the usual items, if you are going to do a cutting scene, you need a few other items in your toy bag: disposable scalpels - I use sizes 10's and 15's. For most simple cuttings straight edged blades are fine, but I keep a few curved blades for certain fine work. These are available in medical supply stores and catalogs. Veterinary supply stores are even better - they rarely ask questions. Scalpels tend to dull rather quickly and the duller the blade the more pain. You will know if your blade is dull if it starts to drag and is difficult to move through the skin. Please do not attempt to do a cutting with a non-sterile Exacto blade. If you do a cutting with a knife, you may never want to use that knife on anyone else thereafter. I don't like limiting my knives, so I never use them for cuttings, only sensual terrorizing.
You will also need large sterile pads to cover the cutting and keep dirt out. There is another product called Tegaderm that is more expensive, but I prefer it because I can watch the cutting as the sub moves and see how beautifully it bleeds (if it does). Tegaderm is a thin plastic material that is non-stick and forms almost a second skin around the wound. It is easily removed, but doesn't come off in the shower. For scarification scenes, Tegaderm is a must.
If you are doing scarification, you also may want to have pure cigar ash or tattoo ink to rub into the cutting. This irritates the skin and makes it scar better, thus making the cutting permanent (although some designs need to be re-cut one or more times depending on the nature of the sub's skin - people keloid differently).
Some people have personal symbols, fetish animals, or other meaningful designs or patterns that they wish to have cut and/or scarred onto their bodies. These can be intricate. I am not a great free-hand artist and for those who also are not, add these items to your cutting bag: tracing paper, blue artist pencil and Mennen Speed Stick deodorant. Brand name and specific product are requirements for this. Don't get a generic brand. Don't get extra strength or antiperspirant. Get the original. A lot of R&D went into this conclusion (done by body mod artists, not me) and this product is the only one that works. Have the sub or his/her domme draw the symbol on the tracing paper with the pencil. Rub the deodorant on the space where you are going to cut (after cleaning) then carefully lay the paper against the skin. Rub the deodorant over the paper several times then carefully pull away the paper. The design will be transferred onto the skin so you can see where to cut each line.
The procedure for cutting is simple but I do not recommend trying it alone the first time. Ask someone who is skilled to assist or teach you. Straight lines are the easiest. Curves can be a bitch! Because of the different levels of scarring in each of us, it is best if lines do not touch. It takes a while to figure out how close to get to each point, but practice. Oranges are a good object on which to practice cutting. People have a tendency to cut too deeply, especially on the first line of a cutting. You do not need to go too deeply - only through a few layers. You won't always immediately see a red line or even blood seep where you cut, but give it a few seconds and most skin will open. If it is too slow, slap against the spot a few times. If any line is too shallow or doesn't look right, you can always cut over it. Shallow is much better than too deep. I have an ugly mark where an old cutting was done. The first stroke was too hard and hasn't gone away in over 2 years.
If you want to make the cutting permanent, rub cigar ash or tattoo ink into the cutting and cover it with tegaderm. It will sting and look dirty, but leave it alone for at least 24 hours. Too achieve clear, permanent scarification, cuttings often have to be redone several times, but should heal thoroughly in between cuttings.
Temporary or Permanent Piercing: I will deal briefly with permanent piercing. If you want one (or more) see a specialist. I will not put piercing jewelry in anyone. Even though I play pierce all the time, I do not feel my skills are at such a level as to be able to properly modify a body part in this manner.
Temporary piercings are hot and exciting to do. The scene consists of gently inserting needles into and through the sub's skin, going through only a few layers. The body can be pierced almost anywhere there is enough flesh to get through without touching bone. Around the eyes is just too dangerous. Leave that for the pros and the medical profession.
Piercing supplies: Needles -- the higher the gauge, the thinner the needle. I routinely use 21's or 22's. I get them fairly long -- 1-1/2" to 2". Medical supply stores sell needles, but state laws control whether you can buy them over the counter without a prescription. Most medical supply catalogues will sell to anyone. Small corks are used for capping off the point of the needle after insertion to avoid sticking yourself with a blooded needle, or having the poor sub get stuck accidentally. Most craft stores have these.
The procedure is easily learned but, as with cutting, better tried with a mentor the first time. Pinch up some skin between your thumb and index finger (this is my preferred method. Some people stretch the skin taut, but that does not work well for me). Make sure the "eye" or bevel side if the needle is facing up and place it lightly against the pinched skin. Remember you are only going to go in a few layers -- less than 1/16". Have your sub take a deep breath and hold it. As you say, "Release it," push the needle through the skin (be very careful to avoid sticking yourself. Remember that once you have broken the skin with the needle, it has blood on it). By pinching it up you go in and out with one stroke. (Look carefully to be sure you have not inserted to shallowly. If you can clearly see the needle through the skin, chances are it will rip out. Gently pull it out and, if your sub can take it, try again). Once in, cap off the end with a cork. Repeat as many times as s/he will tolerate. Needles can be left in for hours, depending on the sub. You can tap around the needle with your fingers and watch more endorphins flow. This can also be done by gently twisting the needles in a circular motion.
Removal is easy. Take off the cork and discard it in the sharps container. Stretch the flesh slightly, and gently pull the needle out. Put it in the sharps container immediately. The sub may bleed a few drops. If you like to play in blood do so carefully. Wipe a drop with your gloved finger and allow the sub to taste her/his own blood (Of course if you are body fluid monogamous, taste some yourself). If you don't play in blood, dab the holes gently with an alcohol wipe.
Blood Letting: Is an extreme form of blood play and should never be tried alone (unless the Domme is a professional phlebotomist). Anyone who has ever had a blood test or donated blood, has engaged in blood sports. Blood letting can be done in various ways, but usually involves a venal puncture. I do not feel capable of using this method, and recommend that you consult a paramedic or nurse friend who is scene friendly to help you learn this technique.
A much milder form of blood letting can be achieved with lancets. Lancets are very sharp, tiny needles the tops of which extend from a plastic cap much like a pushpin. Some people consider lancets a form of temporary piercing. The technique is simple, In a straight down motion, quickly jab the needle into and out of the skin. Lancets are more painful than piercing needles (in my opinion) and often surprise the subject. Most often a few drops of blood will flow from the lancet stick and can be played with. Each lancet is good for 8-12 sticks (depending on the thickness of the sub's skin) They start to dull immediately, so don't use them too many times. Besides, you can get them in boxes of 100 over the counter in most pharmacies.
Vampirism has many facets. Some folks consider any of us who have an affinity for blood sports to be vampires. The extreme form, of course, is actually drinking blood. For an excellent education in this subject, read Dhampir, by Viola Johnson. It is not good too drink too much - just a few drops, really. Even though you may love the taste, too much can cause vomiting. Many scene and Goth stores sell long, beautiful steel fingernails that can be worn over a fingertip. They have very sharp points with which the vampire punctures the sub's tender flesh.
Vampire gloves are a great one-person toy. They are made with studs with the smooth surface on the inside of the glove and the teeth of the stud sticking outside the leather. It is almost impossible to clean the stud teeth once they have been blooded, so if you play with more than one person, you need several gloves.
Acupuncturists use a small-headed hammer like device that has tiny needles sticking out of the head. The handle is somewhat flexible and is tapped gently over the skin pricking as it goes.
There are many other variations of blood sports, but these are the major activities associated with this scene. I get the most rewarding and sensual pleasure from blood sports and I hope you will find them as fascinating and exciting as I do. Feel free to contact me for more information.
originaly found at http://www.iron-rose.com/IR/docs/playing_with_blood.htm and used here with permission of the author.