Part of the Ropes and Knives and Cumming, Oh My! Series
First off the legal and health warnings. Yes I know, boring but important.
💖 Consider the risks involved before you even consider blood play.
💖 If blood play is done incorrectly it can be dangerous and lethal.
💖 Make sure that you carry out your RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) beforehand.
💖 Never engage in cutting or blood play without the enthusiastic consent of all partners
💖 Discuss boundaries and safe words beforehand.
💖 Make sure you have a first aid kit available and are aware of your own and/or a partner(s) STI status.
Make sure you know the local laws. These differ depending on where in the world that you live. In the UK there is a law regarding reckless passing of sexual infection to others during consensual sexual activity, which is important when considering blood play. There is a whole manner of infections that can be shared between partners via either bodily fluids or sharing of sharps (sharp objects i.e. needles) therefore everyone needs to be aware of their STI status beforehand and everyone needs to be in consensual agreement if there is a risk that something is transmissible before play goes ahead.
Despite blood play being consensual it is actually illegal in the UK as it constitutes unlawful wounding which in UK law a person is not deemed able to consent to (as outlined in R v Brown).
Once you are happy with the above, and are aware of the risks involved, blood play can be an enjoyable and trust-building part of relationships or your kink.
What is blood play?
Blood play is an extremely under-appreciated kink. Filed under “ick” by many, and deemed too “edgy” by most, “Hematolagnia” is the fetishisation of blood or blood like imagery within a sexual context.
This may include just the sight of blood, or for others the smell/ taste/ feel/ texture of one’s own blood or the blood of other people.
Blood play may involve the use of knives, needles, to draw blood to the surface and some people enjoy drinking blood (more commonly known as vampirism - which will be covered another day).
Surprisingly to many people (or the vanilla lot) blood play doesn’t necessarily have to involve sharps (encompassing any object that is, sharp, obviously). Some people like the imagery of blood play but actually don’t enjoy sharps play.
Other people use different ways to create the imagery or feel of blood without actually utilising blood itself which can be beneficial if the two people are not “fluid bonded”.
N.B. Fluid Bonded means the decision to not use barrier methods during sex (condoms/ dental damns etc.) and have agreed to exchange bodily fluids with your partner. Generally this term is used in regards to sex however is also used interchangably with “blood bonding” when people speak about blood play.
Period blood can also be used in blood play, even though again this is often an “ick” for lots of people. Sex during your period can help improve pain, cramping and general feelings of rubbishyness (remember sex releases happy endorphins!) AND I don’t know about you but I am horny AF when I’m on my period. Science tells me this is because we are most fertile around that time but WHO THE FUCK KNOWS?!
Why do people like blood?
Red is the symbol of passion (supposedly). The act of cutting or blood-letting can instill a primal urge in some people, and there is also a HUGE amount of trust you are putting in another person or yourself. It can quite literally be life or death.
The masochists among us might also get off on the pain that is caused, and the feeling of bleeding.
Is blood play the same as knife play?
Cut yourself with a knife you’ll bleed. Get your partner to cut you with a knife, you’ll bleed so yes the two are linked, go figure. However you do not have to be into knife play AND blood play.
Often knife play involves using DULLED blades, so therefore there would be no cutting of the skin - only the sensation of it being cut often in combination with sensation play such as ice cubes or heat. In the same instance blood play can also not involve cutting but as discussed earlier use other forms of liquid that represent or look like blood so for example red wine or food colouring.
So no, not the same.
Can I engage in blood play by myself?
Yes absolutely. Despite the association with self-harm (this is when someone hurts themselves, usually through cutting or burning, to feel a release of some sort either physically, psychologically or emotionally or to have a visual representation of how they feel on the inside on their skin), you can engage in blood play by yourself.
Someone engaging in self-harm (as explained above) is very different to someone cutting or breaking their skin for sexual gratification of seeing and/ or using that blood.
Often people who are into blood play are into needle play too, where needles are inserted into the skin across the body sometimes in a shape or a pattern. This is a common kink that can be practiced safely independently with appropriate knowledge.
You do of course have to be careful when engaging in blood play by yourself, and it is always a good idea to tell someone (even if it is virtually) what you are doing so that if there is an emergency someone can seek help for you if you are unable to do so yourself.
How do I stay safe when engaging in blood play?
These are my ultimate TOP TIPS when engaging in blood play…
Research, research, research - DO YOUR FUCKING HOMEWORK. Find out how you can break the skin safely, which places to avoid, what to do in an emergency, who you can contact in an emergency, seek advice and support from those more practiced than you and ideally go and learn from someone more practiced than you.
STI tests!! - Go get tested, yourself and a partner (if you’re choosing to play with someone else). It’s important you are both knowledgeable about your own STI statuses and each others before agreeing to partake in blood play.
Environment - Make sure where you are going to play is clean and sterile, as are the instruments you are using. You can purchase scalpels and needles pre-sterilised but if you are uncertain most can be placed in boiling water for further cleaning.
Cleanliness is next to godliness (or some other bullshit) - make sure any cuts or wounds are kept clean, during AND after play. Use appropriate dressings, antiseptic ointment until the wound is fully healed. Use your common sense and if something doesn’t look right seek MEDICAL ATTENTION.
WRITE DOWN - your emergency contacts, medical contacts you might need to get in touch with in an emergency and have those at hand, alongside a fucking first aid kit.
Seek HELP - If you have caused an injury that a. Won’t stop bleeding, b. Looks wide (i.e. gaping and/ or you can see the fatty tissue underneath the skin) GET HELP. These may require urgent medical attention and/or stitches. Don’t be embarrassed about telling the medical lot what happened, I can fucking promise you they’ve heard and seen a lot worse and will be far happy to patch you up and send you on your way than have to write your name on a tag for your toe. Honest.
ULTRA-IMPORTANT AREAS WHERE YOU CAN SAFELY CUT:
No I’m not kink-shaming, i’m not being a c*nt, in all honest there is NOWHERE that is safe to cut without risk which is why it is so fucking important you do your homework. Everyone’s body is different so a “safe place” on one person may not be on the next and this can change day to day.
Remember you are cutting for bleeding, not to cause injury. You know those finger pricks you get for your STI tests? They can fill a vial, so don’t think you have to take huge risks to create a lot of blood.
Ultimately you know you, and only yourself can keep yourself safe. Don’t be a dickhead.
But most importantly, stay safe, stay kinky and have fun.