Burn Baby Burn - The erotic art of Fireplay
I’m sure most of us can appreciate the mesmerizing effects of looking into a flame, the red and orange glow, the flickering, getting lost in its heat and charm, warming your hands perhaps… But have you ever thought of having it run over your skin for fun? Caressing you, teasing you?
Your natural instincts will tell you to fear it, but there is this alluring attraction, with the first sweep across your skin, instant heat but gone just as quickly, before returning. Fireplay is an incredibly sensual play involving not just the fire but touch too.
“I was tense, nervous, but also excited. There was an initial jolt of fear as the first lick of flame landed on my skin, but that soon faded as I realised that fireplay wasn’t painful – it was all about sensation. I fell almost immediately into a pleasure zone, my body reacting to the heat Secrets expertly trailed over my body.” Miss_la
I first encountered fire about 3 years ago, at a BDSM party, where the Top was lighting what I now know as flash cotton on his Submissive/Bottom. Little sparks of fire and a pop of noise…. I was intrigued.
[ Editor’s Note: Top and Bottom are alternative terms to describe a Dominant or Submissive respectively. See this article for more information ]
I started to explore more, reading up on Fireplay and trying to learn the ins and outs of how to do it and most importantly, how to do it safely. It looks simple, it looks easy, but it is important to remember fire is dangerous.
I had some amazing advice from a fellow kinkster in the States, and to this day I still pay some of that advice forward when I teach, but more importantly I was lucky to find people in my local BDSM community who mentored me in my early days, because quite simply, you cannot discredit real time teaching when it comes to Fireplay and if I’m honest, most BDSM play.
So this is where my love of fire (and temperature play) began, Fireplay is niche, I loved bringing something new to people. When I Top/Dom I am a reaction junkie and fire feeds well in to this.
About 6-12 months into my journey with fire, a great friend of mine who owns Gatwick Dungeon, said to me in passing ‘have you ever considered teaching a workshop?’ and now I have taught 5. I joined the team at FutureParties in December 2018 which has allowed me to bring Fireplay to a much wider audience and indulge people in my flames.
So what is Fireplay?
Those who do Fireplay for performance such as fire eating, fire breathing and circus skills generally use paraffin which is a black fuel (due to smoke).
The Fireplay I do for BDSM is using the fire on the body for sensations and temperature play. You can also get fear play from Fireplay, but this does not last long, as people usually fall in love with the sensation once they get over their initial fear.
Flash cotton which looks like cotton wool is what magicians use when you see the ‘poof’ in their acts. Using a small amount it sparks and disappears within seconds when you light it which is a great simple way to incorporate basic fire in to your play. Warming for milliseconds on the skin, it makes an amazing sparking sound that often makes the sub/bottom jump.
Yes I said hair mousse, I have found the cheaper the better, although not all hair mousses are the same, some burn well but are too hot, some don’t burn well at all and as ‘Goldilocks’ said some are ‘just right’. It is only through trial or error I have found the best brand with my thighs having had several tested on them whilst I found a new brand after my preferred one dried up.
The idea with hair mousse is that you can draw out small shapes on the skin, and then you light it. It will burn for longer on the skin, so you need to be careful not to apply it too thickly and have a wet towel on standby in your hands to extinguish, you can also relight the mousse a few times until it has burnt out. I always exercise caution when using mousse and tend not to let it burn for long.
Fire Wands and Fire Fleshing
This is my preferred type of Fireplay and I use a white fuel (no black smoke) 70% isopropyl (rubbing alcohol used primarily as a disinfectant).
Fire wands are soaked in fuel, any excess dabbed off before being lit, these can then be hovered above the skin for just a warm heat or gently brushed over the skin in light strokes. The sensation is warm and tingly, many compare this to the feel of a hot stone massage. It is a very sensual play as the fire wand is always followed by the other hand caressing the skin to extinguish any residue flames left from the wand.
Fire fleshing is where 2 smaller wands are used in the same hand with one lit and the other wet with fuel (wet, not dripping), small patterns are drawn on the skin with the fuel wand and then lit with the other wand, this stays lit on your skin for just a couple of seconds before being extinguished again by my free hand.
“The fire wands slide over me, fast yet gentle, little ribbons of sensation, cool then hot, that snake across my skin in a millisecond, one after another, patterning over me. A river of flame. I could do this for hours, the momentary, just bearable heat relaxing me, taking me deeper with each caress of the fire wand” – Alice Hunter Unicorn Hunting Blog
This uses 90% isopropyl and a special fire flogger, usually made of kevlar (a heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibre), the ends are soaked in the fuel, dabbed off, then lit. The aim of fire flogging is not heavy impact like normal flogging, you just skim the skin with the flames. It is advisable to do fire flogging outside with plenty of space. You also require several support people called spotters to watch for stray flames on the bottom/submissive, the room and the person flogging.
“The most amazing fireplay performed by Secrets, was the fire flogging, against a tree at kink event. Excited nerves disappeared as the warmth spread over my back, the whooshing sound of the flogger relaxed every part of me, a truly magical and sensual experience” Delilahxxx
Safety Safety Safety
Fire is dangerous if not carefully monitored, never attempt fireplay without having had some instruction and ensure you are careful.
- Always have a fire extinguisher
- Always have a fire blanket, my preferred set up for this is to have it on my station/table folded concertina style (like a fan) at the head of my bottom/submissive (if laying down) so it can easily be pulled over if needed.
- Bucket/tub of water and some towels that have been soaked in water, these are the quickest and easiest safety measure to have to hand. They can be used to extinguish and clean up residue for mousse play and wrapped around the head of the bottom/submissive for flogging with your spotter holding one, ready to jump in if any residue or stray flames happen.
- Know where your fuel is…… yes I will say again, know where your fuel is…. By fuel, I do not just mean your jar of fuel, but also you must be mindful of drips, residue fuel on skin, etc.
- Have a first aid kit including burns gels and dressing, just in case something goes wrong. Be mindful that different skin types can redden easier than others can. Any redness should be no worse than light sunburn. If the skin is reddening, then play must be stopped on that area.
- Your other hand… this is the most important safety measure for the wand fire play, your hand will easily extinguish the trails left.
- Spotters, the additional people who will watch for fire going astray, need to be on their guard to react quickly and be ready to jump in to put out any stray flames.
- Fire should not be done on a bed or fabric sofa, a massage table/spanking bench is a preferred work surface. It can be done standing, kneeling or on a St Andrew’s cross, however fireplay standing up and vertically is harder to control, therefore it is important that it is only done by an experienced fireplay expert.
Above all else, Fire is RACK play (Risk Aware Consensual Kink)
Playing with fire should not be tried without the correct instruction, knowledge of the risks and without full safety precautions
Want to find out more?
If you want to find out more about Fireplay, I teach regular workshops at Gatwick Dungeon http://www.gatwickdungeon.co.uk/events.html, and I offer Fireplay as part of the House team at Future Parties (you can find Future Parties on Fetlife).
Jo Divine’s regular write Alice Hunter has also written about Fire Play on her blog
Photo Credits: Dream Visions Photography http://www.dream-visions.co.uk/index.html and Joanna Armstrong https://joarmstrong2161.myportfolio.com/