Floggers are a variant of the old 'Cat o' nine tails' used as a form of punishment up until the 19th century.
Choosing the flogger that is right for you is a very personal choice, they are like toothbrushes. They come in a lot of different sizes, shapes lengths, weights, textures and colors.
- They come in three basic weights:
- light for warm up and sensual play, they are usually about 18" in length,
- medium for bright or thuddy impact play, and
- heavy for those people who enjoy the feel of maximum thuds.
- The overall weight of a flogger is determined by the number, width and length of the tails; the size and type of handle; and type of leather the tails are made from.
- I have seen them manufactured from various leathers including cowhide, buffalo hide, deer hide, elk hides and suede.
- Other than animal hides, floggers can be made from lengths of rope, rubber tubing, tubular webbing, PVC tubing, leather latigo, and even light chain.
- They have one (known as a Dragon Tail); two (known as a viper); or any number of tails, but 36 to 54 is the usual range.
- Overall length can be anywhere from 18 to 50 inches. I usually suggest that when buying first, basic flogger it should reach from the top of your shoulder to the end of your fingertips. This will help with balance and accuracy.
- The ends of the tails of the flogger can be square, round, or tied in knots depending upon the designer and manufacturer.
I often suggest that a person interested in buying a flogger talk it over with the person they will be using it on. Are they looking for bright, sharp feelings, or more of a thuddy feel?
You should also buy a "Keeper" for your flogger. It is a long "pillow case" for your flogger, usually made of the same color and material as your flogger. It will protect your flogger when not in use, and if you leave the keeper on during play, it will provide some very interesting 'thuddy' sensations.
(Sara says that only pink floggers have any value or merit. If they are pink, they can be made of any leather, any length or weight, but they have to be pink.)
A very good article on this subject can be found at www.sexuality.org
Care and use of Floggers
First and foremost is practice with the flogger before ever using it on a person. Lay a pillow on a flat surface and practice hitting it. There is a point where, if you don't use enough strength, the tails of your flogger will splay into a very wide pattern. There is another point where with the right force, the tails will not splay at all and cause a much more thuddy feeling.
Leather is very difficult to clean. Every one has their own opinion as how best to prevent cross-infections. After each use, lay your flogger out where it can in contact with a lot of air and sunshine for two days. If you can't lay it out in the sun, two weeks of quarantine should be established. If nothing else, mix a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water and, using a surgical glove, wipe each and every tail and allow the flogger to sit, unused for about fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, there is very little anecdotal evidence that any of the above will or will not work, so let your conscience be your guide.
Also remember that if you break the skin with a flogger, think about the consequences of using it again, or if you should ever use it with anyone else. How do you mark them to show that this particular flogger has been ‘retired’?
When using a flogger, stand close enough so that all of the tails land flat on the back or butt which are very good targets. If you wrap the flogger (hitting sides of the body instead of back and butt) your play partner will stand up and pronounce to anyone who is within earshot that your father and mother were in fact brothers.