Knife Play The Cutting Edge Of BDSM
By Unknown Author
The form of human interaction commonly referred to as BDSM is in
my view, best defined as "The art of producing emotional
feelings and physical sensation in human partner." Common
methods of accomplishing these goals, of fulfilling this art
form, include both the dynmaics of the D/s relationship, and
the phyiscal aspects of the relationship and specifically,
to the one method of producing physical sensation I prefer
above most others, knife play.
Before I begin, there are a few misconceptions related to
knife play that I would like dispel from the outset. The
first deals with the "depth" of the cutting. In
S&M the goal of the Top in all cases, is to inflict a
maximum or desired level of sensation, WITHOUT disfiguring
the physique of the bottom. Knife play is therfore about
75% "touching, scraping and rubbing" about 25%
actual cutting. The second popular misconception, is that
a knife has but one use, but the one sensation that it can
produce, and is therfore of limited use to the S&M
devotee. Knives have a cutting edge of course, but also
have sides, points, handles and since they are make of
metal, can be refrigerated or heated as the Top may
decide. A third erroneous view involves the unnecessary
if undesired. Finally, the forth most popular misconception
involves the idea that to play with knives means to scar by
necessity, and that scars, permanent lasting scars are the
name of the game. My current partner and I have played in
this manner on many occasions, and she has not ONE permanent
scar on her body, despite the fact that I have had her bleed
for me as often as not.
Having gotten that out of the way let's begin:
Knives are damn dangerous things. They have been used to kill and
maim for thousands of years. Some people have an inbred fear of
them. Of concern to the Top, should be the fact that unless they
are cared for VERY well, are sharp and are above all CLEAN, knives
can well incur their traditional penalties.
There are a few rules related to knife play.
Buy quality equipment. You are looking for carbon
steel blades, the finest quality you can find. You
want to keen, smooth, UNSERRATED edge. You want to
keep the razor sharp, or rather dull. Either or, as
befits your level of experience. The most dangerous
knives are those that are a "little" sharp. These
are unpredictable. They cut something, but not others,
depending on the texture of the skin. Sharp always cut.
Dull never will. Choose either and be sure of the
Keep the knives you choose WELL. That means, use them
for no other purpose keep them in a fine state of repair.
You might well be able to get away with a cat of 20 tails
that has a few tails missing, or a riding crop that has
a frayed wrapped on the handle, but a knife that is
chipped or nicked or has a loose handle, is absolutely
ready for the garbage can, or non-S&M related uses.
Keep your tools clean. Always use "hospital sterile
technique". Wash the knife blade and handle in
denatured alcohol, or with a sterilizing soap of the
sort surgeons use to scrub up with. "liquid germicidal
soap" works well here, but I still prefer alcohol.
It kills bugs, dead. Have your bottom take a shower before
beginning. Wash your hands, and unless you are playing
with your life's partner, BE SURE TO WEAR LATEX RUBBER
SURGICAL GLOVES. AIDS is transmitted very nicely through
the blood. So are a host of other ailments.
Go slow. Take your time. We are NOT in a rush. Are we?
Enjoy the session, and make it last a rather long time.
Make slow distinctive movements. Never vary the speed
unless you have a few years of experience under your
Nothing above the shoulders. Eyes and facial nerves are
important to repair if cut or gouged.
Buying A Knife
The purchase of a blade, to be used in S&M paly bears a deal
of consideration. Visit a knife shop, and have a look at what
they have on display. For your first blade, I would strongly
suggest that you stay well away from all the fancy "fantasy"
blades that they have on sale. They look pretty, but tend to be very
cumbersome for the first time "player". Choose instead a basic knife,
of medium size. A bowie with a six inch blade is a good choice.
Remember, we are going for QUALITY here, so expect to spend from
100 to 150 dollars U.S. As you become experienced with the concepts
of knifeplay, you may want to add to your collection of bladed toys.
A small knife, or razor sharpness for detail work. (Straight razors
are the MOST dangerous knives used in this field, so be warned!) A
large blade for scoring and welting. And perhaps even a set of
fingertip blades that will make you look like a well manicured
verson of Freddie Kruger. Each has a specific purpose, each has
a role to play. Eventually after you have become Master of the
blade, you may well at that point want to invest in a premium
quaility fantasy knife, of the type that caught your eye the
first time you walked in the door of the shop. Expect to pay
between 200 to 600 dollars. Some sell for thousands. Knives
to stay clear of are chrome plated ones, those make for food
preparation, double edged knives (unless you are an expert)
"fruit knives", which tend to be chrome plated
stainless steel, and are unsharpenable, hobby knives, widget
blades, disposable razor blades, box knives, carpet knives,
switch blades and folding knives unless they have a positive
lock and of course, cheap knives.
Keeping It Sharp
If you have followed my advice, and purchased a quaility blade,
made of steel with a high carbon content, you should have little
problem keeping it sharp. You will need a set of oil stones coarse,
medium and fine. You will need mineral oil, to keep the stones wet
as you sharpen, and finally, you will need a leather strap (yes just
like the kind your Grandfather spanked your Father with) to hone the
final edge. If you are unsure, your cutler will be more than pleased
to sharpen and hone your purchase for you. If you are a regular
customer, you can pop in from time to time to have the edge tweaked.
Beginners need no extra sharpening on their blades. The factory does
a pretty damn find job. In fact, you might just like to take that
edge DOWN a notch or two, by placing a bit of steel wool on the
cutting board, and running the edge through it, as if you are
slicing a loaf of bread. The quality knife can always be sharpened
again later. It's all a matter of choice, but I find that sharpening
the balde while your bottom lays bound on the bed waiting for you
adds greatly to the scene.
Keeping It Clean
Since knives can break the skin (that's what they were ALL made
to do in the first place!) it is imperative that you keep them
absolutely clean at all times. Wash your knife by hand (NO
DISHWASHERS) everytime you plan to do something with it. If
it came with a leather scabbard, be sure to clean the blade
before putting it away. Cleaning can be as simple as rubbing
it with a soft cloth, and oiling it lightly with mineral oil,
(high carbon steel WILL rust if not given a light coat of mineral
oil from time to time) or as involved as scrubbing it with alcohol
or germicidal soap prior to it's use. Beware of using the same
blade on multiple partners without sterlizing it. Never "boil"
a knife in oil or water to clean off the germs either. It can ruin the
handle, or even warp the blade. It can also impregnate the steel with
the oil itself, and cause it to lose some of it's temper. That means
you can no longer keep it sharp. (Hospitals can and DO boil all
their surgical instruments with hot steam in an autoclave but note
that they are all stainless steel, and that the cutting edge is
disposable.) Look at it this way, you have spend from 100 to 1000
dollars on the knife. The need to keep it clean, take care of it,
seems pretty straight forward after that.
I have always held strongly to the philosophy of "Me
First" when it comes to trying out new S&M toys.
It's not that I am a masochist by any means, but how else
can one actually know the sensation one is creating in one's
partner. Sit yourself down in a stable chair, and take the
blade in your writing hand. Place the blade SHARP SIDE UP,
that is away from the skin, on your thigh near the knee,
and let the weight of the blade rest more or less, depending
on how much you feel, and how heavy the blade is, on it's
point. Draw another line along side it. Draw several,
carrying the force on the piont and the knife's position
and angle. At NO time try this with the "sharp"
side of the blade. Once you have mastered this, you can
begin tentative steps with your partner. The technique
is the same. Use the balde to draw welted lines.
This is the core of knifeplay. Try this with the sharp
side of the knife, and you will be taking your partner
to the emergency ward. Never EVER reverse the direction
of the blade so that the point digs into the skin. This
is not a huge concern. They will in time fade, but may
take a few days to do so. Sometihing to consider when
playing this way, as they may be difficult to explain
the following day at work. Experiment with placement
of the lines, patterns and such. Don't be afraid
to lay them down over the erogenous zones, but watch out
for ticklish people. Nobody want any sudden movements.
Another beginning technique is that of "dragging." Place
the blade sharp side down against your thigh (I am assuming you
are going to practive on yourself again first, and are sitting
once more on that sturdy chair.) Tilt the bade so that it scrapes
your skin, that is drag it AWAY from the sharp edge. If you move
it the other way, you will cut yourself deeply if the blade is as
sharp as I have suggested it should be, or you will simply gouge
a little if you are a rank beginner and have wisely dulled it on
the steel wool as I suggested. Continue to drag the blade, back
and forth, as if spreading butter on a slice of bread. Vary the
force, and feel how your skin reacts. My partner finds this
particularly relaxing on her back, and the backs of her legs.
I often use it, and a gentle voice, to help her find her focus
prior to beginning more advanced play. Again this can be used
all over the body. However, there is ONE caveat. I would not
recommend this around the nipples, nor would I suggest this
for any place where the body's curves might cause you to
unintentionally place too much weight on any one given spot
along the length of the blade. Always start the knife moving
laterally before applying pressure, or you will cut deeply.
NEVER pull the knife to the side, (toward the handle) or
you will cut. Again, play cautiously. You have the rest
of your life to build up to the "ultimate scene".
More Advanced Techniques
Once you feel confident that you have mastered the beginning
stages, and can stripe your partner so that he or she looks
like a tiger or zebra, consider moving to the next step. By
now you will have acquired a variety of blades. Choose a small
and wickedly sharp one. Razor sharp. Experiment first on yourself
once again. Make a line on your thigh, that will produce a nice
clean welt. Lay the large knife aside. Now, using the small blade,
make tiny scratches at 90 degrees to the welt lines, that will
draw a little blood. The cuts needs to go ONLY into the welt
itself, NOT the skin on the either side. Hence the need for
a small sharp knife, or you WILL cut too far. I find it hard
to use a short bladed knife, and to hold it as one would a
pencil for this. PLEASE don't give into the temptation to
use an exacto knife or a carpet knife ... You cannot get
them clean enough. Wrap a longer blade with a few layers of
sterile bandage tape if you need to protect your hand from
the cutting edge. These cuts will bleed freely, and seal
themselves quickly after having done so. Still it is
possible to have your partner's back or thights, or
wherever you choose, to become awash in the sheen of
red. The secret is not to make deep cuts to flow the
blood, but instead to make MANY tiny ones each producing
no more than a few drops. On a personal note, I have always
found the climax of such a scene. Once you have completed
your session, take the time to cleanse your partner's body.
Wash with antibacterial soap, and finally, take care of your
tools before putting them away.
That First Scene
Alright. You have the tools, you have practiced on yourself,
and will have a willing, perhaps wantonly willing partner. How
do we begin? If the partner has never felt a blade against his
or her skin, now is NOT the time to be placing the blade in
the freezer or the oven. In fact, now is not even the time
to be bringing any D/s or role-play into the scene. Might
I suggest a clinical approach. Take your partner, and lay
him or her on a stable surface. The floor works very well,
water beds are RIGHT OUT. Have your partner relax, and lay
the blade on his or her back, so that it has a chance to
come to body temperature, and your partner can relax and
focus a bit. Don't pull any emotional stress on him or her,
now is not the time. Simply explain what is going to happen,
and help them relax. Begin lightly, stroking them with the
handle of the blade. Gradulally and gently, touch them here
or there, on their back, or buttocks with the flat or dull
side of the blade. Get them used to it .... take your
time. Draw the line gently with the blade as I decribed
above. It does not matter if it welts up or not, you are
building trust here. Nothing fancy. Continue for a time,
and see if all is agreeable. D/s and role-play can come
into it on the next session. Be caring and concerned.
Otherwise you may well find that you have spend good
money and praticed hard, only to have that nice blade
become a beautiful orament on your mantelpiece.
A Final Word
If you remember nothing else from this briefest discussion
on knifeplay, remember this. Go slow, and go to it sanely.
There are other techniques I personally use, which I will
not dicuss here, since they involve a degree of skill the
average reader will not have even for a few years if he
or she plays and practices a fair amount. I hope and trust
you will enjoy it as much as I have. Oh yes, one more thing
... Remember I mentioned fantasy knives? There is nothing
quite like giving your submissive a spanking (standing
bondage) using the flat side of a four and a half foot
broadsward, which weights in at more then 20 pounds. You
shall have to try it some time, but that is another story.