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Fire play is a type of BDSM play that involves lighting 50% to 70% rubbing alcohol or other flammable substances on or very close to the skin. Fire play is often considered a form of edge play and can be very exciting but can also be very dangerous scene.

If done correctly, fire play can leave few, if any, marks on the skin. On the other hand, if so intended, it can permanently brand the skin of the bottom. A brand can also be applied by repeated applications to the same area of the body.


Typical fire play scenes often include using some form of flammable material on or near the skin. Other than rubbing alcohol, materials used may include flash cotton, votive candles, or even hot parafin (not bees wax). Small torches, cotton balls, batons, and cotton swabs are typically used to apply the material and also to ignite it. Some materials burn at a higher temperature than others.

The Edge in Fire Play is more in the power exchange it offers both the Fire Top and the Bottom. It rubs against human nature to voluntarily allow someone to place fire on your skin, regardless of the level of trust.

I recommend that you spend some time watching various tops in action and then talk to them to see your comfort level with each one. Pick a more public place - if you are lucky enough to have a BDSM club that would be a great place to start - typically you might even find classes available.

A typical fire scene is about 15 mintues not including the initial neogiation where you talk through what will happen, what might be uncomfortable and the Top explains all that will be done during the scene. The top will start the scene with you laying face down (in as little clothes as you are comfortable in - none is the usual choice as you want to experience the fire play on all of your skin). The first is to get the bottom used to the feel of the warmth - so keeping the fire abit above the skin and running over the length of the body. Typically I will then "blow" fire to start a bit more contact. Blowing fire is simply what it sounds like - with the fire wand in place above the skin the Top blows it across the dry skin. Once this has happened the trust is starting to build between the top and the bottom. Next the Top starts into their routine - which is most likely different the more experienced the Top. I like to move into bouncing and fire tapping to the music to get the bottom in the mood. Always checking with the bottom on their comfort level. I also like to use alcohol on the skin and then light it with the wands to do pattern play - this requires quick reflexs as fire can not stay on the skin more than 3 seconds without burning. Other tools are flash cotton and paper which I like to slight with sparklers (always use the metal core ones - not the bamboo as it leaves heavy embers), mouse (I like VO5 and it makes wonderful fire patterns and of course any thing that will spray and light up.


In this method fire batons are used. Single or two-headed batons may be applied.

Fire cupping

Fire cupping is said to have predated traditional needle acupuncture and cupping sets can be found in some Asian stores. Fire cupping works by heating the air in a cup and then placing it upon the skin. A vacuum is created, and the skin is partially pulled into the cup.

Methods include:

  • Wiping alcohol directly on the skin and then quickly placing the cup over the area;
  • Holding the cup over an open flame until it is warm and then applying it to cool skin;
  • Placing small disks with cotton balls soaked in alcohol on them onto the skin. The cotton is then ignited and a cup is placed over the disk.

Fire cupping typically leaves small, round marks on the body that may last for days. If a single area is cupped again and again, a deep bruise may form and not disappear for some time.


Streaking is the process of applying the alcohol to the skin, usually in long strips or various designs, and then setting it on fire. The Top's free hand then follows in the wake of the flame, extinguishing the flame. The amount of delay from the fire to the extinguishing of the flame varies depending upon the material being set on fire, the goal of the scene, or the bottom's tolerance to pain and/or heat. While lit torches and fire batons are typically used it is not that unusual to see the same method being used with the violet wand.

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