22 November 2004

Needle Play

Devi suggested I post about needle play. I posted it both here and on sub rosa. The version on sub rosa includes a photo of my nipple with a few needles in it. Since TBH is more about words and ideas than images, I wasn't sure RG would welcome a graphic photo. The version with the photo is here if you are interested. The full text of the article itself is below (I have included the photo in the main body of this post. rg):


Needle Play is considered edge play, but it's generally less painful than a lot of other activities considered "mainstream" BDSM. The mechanics are fairly straighforward. Sterile needles are inserted under the skin and into the flesh underneath. I've always seen the needles inserted through fold of flesh (like you might create by pinching) or a protruding feature (like a nipple, a penis, the labia, or the scrotum). The use of sterile gloves and pre-treatment of the skin with an antiseptic is more than a good idea. The piercer should also understand the risks involved in piercing different parts of the anatomy (for example, piercing the scrotum is fine but piercing the vessels inside or the testes is a really bad thing).

But what does it feel like?

The pain is pretty sharp and abrupt, but doesn't last long. For me, the feeling of intensity outways the pain considerably. I like to describe being pierced as something like a pain orgasm. There's a sharp sensation right away which rapidly blossoms into a wave of pain that seems pretty independent of the piercing location. The pain diminishes rapidly once the needle stops moving. The piercing seems to cause an almost immediate release of endorphins. It can be a pretty rapid trip to subspace if you aren't already there.

Looking down and seeing yourself pierced is just as powerful as the sensation. Because the visual image looks much more painful than what you're feeling, there is a strong tendency to disassociate from your body a little bit. Some practioners tie suture onto the piercings and create elaborate artwork from their submissive. The visual power of it is amazing.

Normally there's very little blood while the needles are in. Some bleeding occurs when they are removed, but it isn't much of a problem. A clean piercing will tend to heal quickly. Large gauge needles produce more blood and piercings that heal more slowly. MB and I generally use 20 or 21 gauge needles. My nipples look pretty normal within a few hours of our play. They seem to be completely healed within a couple of days.