Needle play, play piercing, or recreational acupuncture is body piercing done for the purpose of enjoying the experience rather than producing a permanent body decoration. Needles, sharpened bones, or other tools used in play piercing are removed from the body when the episode is complete, allowing the wounds to heal.
Play piercing as part of a BDSM scene can produce an intense natural endorphin high which can last for hours and may possibly induce orgasm in many of the people who experience it. The experience of multiple piercings in an erotically or spiritually charged context is qualitatively very different from the experience most people have had with phlebotomists in medical settings, in part because the needle is placed ‘through’ the skin at a secant so that both ends are accessible, rather than ‘into’ the skin, though some prefer their piercing scenes to take on a more medical theme and feel. So lets get down with it the basic kit needed and what to do or not do and the really important questions to ask from the outset to make sure you are going to have fun.
The Standard Top Ten Basic BDSM Principles:
- BDSM play should be safe, sane and consensual.
- Do not have BDSM play with strangers.
- Always inform a friend that you are having BDSM play: where, when and with whom.
- Always use safe words, i.e., 911 or red (STOP), yellow (slow down) and/or safe gestures (tap foot three times).
- Negotiate the scene before you start. Communicate your limits, medical conditions, medications, experience and desires.
- “No limits” is fantasy. Every sane player has limits. Do not be embarrassed to express them to the dominant.
- Do not have BDSM play while intoxicated or seriously stoned.
- Expect the unexpected (fire, power failure, medical emergency, etc.) and be prepared. Another man’s life is in your hands.
- Always have a first aid kit nearby.
- Don’t play with a anyone unless you feel absolutely safe!
Basic Needle Play Requirements.
- Full disclosure and trust of medical history from the top and bottom concerning Blood Borne Pathogens, recent fluid bonding history and testing.
- A Sterile Environment (clean drapes, stainless steel surfaces, puppy pads, supporting furniture for the bottom)
- A legal environment. In some cases performing piercing without a license may be illegal, research the laws in your area (here in the uk)
- Biohazard Sharps Container
- A sterile field to work in.
Basic Needle Play Kit.
- 1 Box Nitrile Gloves
- 1 Box 100 22 gauge 1.5 inch sterile (length and guage may vary) single use, hypodermic needles intended for human use (you may use other gauges, but start with 22, or 24)
- Needle Clippers and End Caps (or styrofoam bits, do not use cork/wood as an endcap)
- 91% alchohol solution
- Mini Flashlight
- A sugary snack and a water bottle filled with drinking water
- Various sized Bandages and a warm blanket
- Optional: Surgical Skin Marker and Needle Decorations (feathers, ribbons, etc)
Ten Needle Play Principles:
1) Do not attempt Needle play with a person without proper training and education.
Also, have everything you need set up BEFORE you start. Once you are sterile and gloved, and your bottom flying on endorphins, you do not want to have to stop the scene because you just realized you were out of something or can’t find something. Hypodermic needles can be purchased online or at Veterinarian supply stores. I do not recommend the latter, as those needles are made to go through hide and are less sharp.
2) The piercer should always wear latex or vinyl exam gloves and change them frequently.
Always wear new gloves for each person pierced in a group scene to avoid cross-infection. Some have latex allergies. Vinyl gloves are more expensive, but have excellent quality without the powdery gunk. Be safe, double-glove. Learn how to remove the gloves without touching the bloodied outside of the gloves. Blood borne pathogens are numerous and will result in discomfort at best, death at worst. Remember: You are most likely to contaminate the Top, the bottom is giving blood, not receiving it.
3) Use antibacterial soap to prepare the skin before play, and use antiseptics immediately before and after piercing.
Wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.
4) Always use brand new sterile needles, usually 18-25 gauge, one inch or longer is recommended.
I’d go with 1.5 inches if you are doing 22 gauge. For beginners, 22 gauge is a good start. 18 gets to be quite a lot larger.
5) All the bio-hazardous waste (needles, gloves, swabs or alcohol preps) should be disposed of in a biohazard container.
At a bare min. you should use a plastic container with a tight fitting lid to protect others from being cross contaminated to dispose of the above mention materials.
6) Prep the area to be used in needle play with alcohol.
Make sure the “victim” is comfortable and ready. I would recommend telling the bottom to take a deep breath right before inserting the needle, and then slowly releasing it as you pierce through.
7) The needle should travel just underneath the surface (the subcutaneous layers) of ordinary skin,
Emerging through the skin a short distance from where it was inserted. Be cautious of shallow piercings if they are intended to stay in. They can easily be ripped out and tear the skin.
8) Don’t pierce wrists, hands, internal organs, bones, eyes or the spine.
Avoid the armpit, sternum and areas with many veins. If you can see veins in the interested area to be pierced move over or around to find a site with less or No veins in that site.
9) Check-in with the masochist often. If they are faint, going pale or shaking?
These are common reactions to the flood of hormones and neurotransmitters circulating throughout the body. Have water, a first aid kit and blankets nearby. Never pierce somebody alone. If you both pass out, what then?
10) Aspirin and alcohol enhances bleeding and should be avoided if blood flow is not desired.
11) You can glue feathers to your hypodermic needles inside the plastic cap on top
If you wish to make pretty patterns, such as angel wings, eagle wings etc. Negotiate the patterns and number of needles ahead of time.
Needle Play Aftercare
You need aftercare for:
- Scenes that are demanding and intense
- Scenes that involve new partners or new techniques
- Scenes that involve punishment, humiliation, or intimations of nonconsensual
- Scenes that result in tears, screams, orgasm, or emotional release
- Scenes that have been interrupted by an accident, injury, fainting
- Scenes that have “gone bad”, resulting in anger, or upset, or ending with a safe word
Aftercare for needle play should include monitoring the bottom for signs of shock, emotional reactions etc. Some times reactions set in long after the needle-play itself is over. Sometimes after-care can repair a scene gone wrong, or help both parties process their feelings about what just occurred. Do not use this time to negotiate, just be there with each other and come down from the high. The bonding that happens during aftercare can open up more closeness and trust to allow your BDSM relationship to deepen and feel meaningful on a spiritual level as well.