N.B. This is NOT a be all and end all guide, or even necessary the best way to do it. This is what I have found based on my experiences. This does not mean you should follow it, that it's for everyone, or that other people doing this will even agree with me. This is my blog, with my thoughts on the subject, from what I've learnt.
So I was thinking of doing some sex related blog posts. Which will probably come later. Though in fairness this one is very much related..
A friend said I should talk about needle & bloodplay, and how to do it safely, as I'm one of the few people into it, and someone who actually understands the risks and such and knows how to avoid them etc. Most of my friends know im into blood and needles. And whilst none of them are, lots have a sort of morbid curiosity and are intrigued as to how it works, what level I'll do it to, what happens if things go wrong etc.
I'm not going to post how to do needle or bloodplay. They are very very dangerous things that you should only ever do with someone experienced in it themselves, and learn from them. No matter how many disclaimers I give here, I'm not going to post something that might lead to someone following it and getting it all wrong and hurting themselves or someone else, potentially fatally. If you want to learn, you need to learn these things from someone who already knows it. I will however, post about some of the issues and concerns to do with it.
First of all, lets deal with this basic concept of OMGTHISISFUCKINGDANGEROUS. Seriously people, I'm into this shit and it's dangerous as hell. There is a concept called Safe Sane Consensual Kink; SSCK. There is a further concept called Risk Aware Consensual Kink; RACK. This latter concept applies to any kink,in general in my opinion, but especially to the ones that are obviously a lot riskier - suspension, breathplay, chemsex, any form of edge play etc. Yes yes we all hate health and safety. But with all things, and especially blood/needleplay you should be very aware of what the dangers are, how to mitigate them, any individual issues that may present further risks that may not otherwise be obvious and KNOW YOUR LIMITS. What are you capable of and how far can you be pushed? I love being bitten and I can take biting on my shoulder blades or the back of my neck intensely hard, but everywhere else on my body I tend to be very sensitive. I know this, and I adapt my kink accordingly. So should you. This is one of the many many reasons its important to learn this kind of kink play from someone who already knows it, you're dealing with an area where going past your limits doesn't just mean an unpleasant experience and perhaps some physical discomfort for a day or two, pushing yourself too far or too fast and ignoring the risks in this area can kill, paralyze, or at best give you a horrible infection.
These are the major serious concern with blood/needleplay. (For the record, I appreciate they are entirely different, if often concurrent, kinks, but I'm lumping them together here as the issues are pretty identical). Safe sex, this is not. Whether doing (relatively) light needleplay or full on cutting or even drinking of blood, at least one of you is exposing an open wound and fresh blood to the world and the other person(s). Any blood borne illnesses, including of course HIV, are thus WAY out in the open. A simple splatter can send whatever that person has flying into your mouth, eyes, nasal cavaties, urethra, vagina, anus, wherever. (Incidently, this is why you shouldn't combine any form of flogging etc with blood - sends microscopic drops of blood flying EVERYWHERE - especially a concern if you have an audience). On the reverse side, that person's immune system is now exposed to a lot. It doesn't have the normal barriers of skin, saliva, mucus, etc to protect the body from infection, anything can get straight into their bloodstream right there no problem. This is why when doing blood/needleplay you need to be VERY aware. Especially if you're the top/dom/active/controlling partner. You cannot necessarily rely in the receiving partner, a lot of them will go into subspace when doing this level of kink and may not be totally aware or coherent. YOU have to think, and look, for both of you.
Reducing infection risk is pretty straight forward and obvious. It's the same thing we've all had when we've gone to the doctors. All equipment used must be sterile. Preferably any kind of sharps should be single use and dispoable. If you stop, and put it down for any reason, discard it and use a new one. If you're using something again and again, either resterilize it, or make sure you put it somewhere clean and sterile in the first place. WEAR GLOVES. this is the simplest way of stopping infection. Hands are dirty dirty places people. Especially during sex/kink. Think of all the myriad places you might put them. Or what you might pick up in your hand. And where has that bottle of lube been during its lifetime? Clean things, sterilize them, let them dry, wear gloves, and dispose of anything used PROPERLY. And wash things clean afterwards. Don't use soap on fresh wounds it'll just irritate them, just wash with plenty of clean water. If you're really masochistic you could use surgical spirits or alcohol gel to truly sterilize the area around the wound, but it'll hurt like fuck.
You've been using sharps of some kind, that are now infected with at least one person's blood. And are still sharp and pointy. You can't just throw these in the trash people, they'll cut through your bin bag and put someone else's blood into some unsuspecting sap. And blood is traceable :P Ideally, all sharps should be disposed of in a sharps bin (you can buy these online - they're smaller versions of the big ones you see in hospitals). When they're full take them to your local hospital or GP clinic and ask them to dispose of them. If you have the confidence to do blood/needleplay on someone you should have the confidence to take responsibility for saying "here's a box of needles, please dispose of them safely for me." Any other contaminated materials should ideally be incinerated. I appreciate this may not be practical for everyone for whatever reasons, though really its what you should be doing. As a secondary option, and I stress, SECONDARY, get a thick plastic container, some thick tupperware or the like. CAREFULLY wrap up the sharp ends of sharps, in newspaper, bubblewrap, tape, etc. Place the sharps and all contaminated materials into the container. Seal it, and wrap that up with tape so the lid doesn't come off in the trash. Write on the container DANGER CONTAINS SHARPS, and then dispose of with your normal trash. But a sharps bin costs you all of a few £'s so please do this instead.
Maybe this all seems like excessive overkill to you, but frankly, with this kind of kink, at this kind of level, I'd rather be hugely over cautious than end up with a scalpel in someone's spine by accident. And that leads us nicely to:
What to do when things go wrong:
With luck it hasn't gone too horribly wrong, maybe you cut a little deeper than you intended, or the pain was a little too intense for the receiver, maybe you've noticed a little too much blood than you'd expect, there is a myriad of things that could go wrong with this kind of play, the trick is to stay calm, stay in control, let the controlling partner do their job, and fix the problem as soon as possible. It might be something really simple like you just happened to get a needle inserting itself right along a nerve ending. It's unfortunate coincidence but it happens - usually the area goes red and inflammed pretty quickly. Or it might be worse. Whatever it is some decent first aid training is gonna come in pretty handy, an understanding of the body's pain response processes and the blood system is gonna be a godsend, and you should already have all the first aid equipment within reach. Not across the other side of the person's body. Not on the table behind you. Next to you. With everything you need. Wound dressings, plasters, surgical spirits, swabs, gauze, scissors, AND A PHONE. I always keep a phone within easy reach just in case things go SERIOUSLY wrong. You can keep pressure on the wound to stem the bleeding and be on the phone to 999 at the same time as quickly as humanly possible. Assuming it's just a minor incident, it's just simple first aid and wound dressing. If it is safe to do so - i.e. it's not gonna cause more problems if you do this, remove whatever you've inserted wherever, and apply pressure as you would to any other wound. Clean the area, and dress it appropriately. If it wasn't obvious already if you've got to the point of dressing wounds the scene should have been completely stopped and not continue. No matter what your sub says. Remember your sub may still be very much in subspace, they potentially have a lot of chemicals floating in their body from the pleasure/pain responses that your play session has caused so far. They may not act helpful or be thinking clearly. And so you have to be the sensible one. If the wound needs it, get to A&E as quickly as possible after. Again this may all be over cautious, but needle and bloodplay are very dangerous things when done properly, let alone when things go wrong or if done improperly, so if you're not sure, or uncertain, or unconfident. DON'T.
That's as much as I'm gonna write on the subject really. I said I didn't want to get into talking about what sort of things I do and how I go about them because I don't want people to take them as a guide. You need to learn your own limits, your own interests, and you REALLY need to learn it IN PERSON from someone who knows their stuff already. This is not something you should be learning over the internet kids.
That said, there are certain resources to go to for more information.
I fully recommend the people at edgeplay.co.uk They sell lots of supplies very cheaply and they really know their stuff. They've seen it all, done it all, heard it all, and they are some of the best people to talk to. I think they're usually at the London Fetish Fair.
Fetlife has some great groups and message boards and a lot of people who have been doing this a long time. They can help talk to you about interests, resources in your community, best practices and techniques, and they can also give you all the horror stories about BAD instances of blood/needleplay
I myself am happy to talk to people on the subject further, but only in person, the stuff I've told you is about as much as I'm willing to tell you without knowing you're a sane person with half an idea of what they're asking about.
The next post will be on something far more normal, it's basically going to be a guide to being a good bottom.