Everything You Should Know About Blood Play

Everything You Should Know About Blood Play

When we think of bodily fluids and sex, we usually think of semen, vaginal wetness, saliva, and…blood? Hi, yes, blood can absolutely have its place in sex. What’s more, blood can even be a kink or fetish in its own right.

If blood gives you the hornies, you’re far from alone; a lot of people find it hot. According to Mistress Kye, a professional kinkster and BDSM expert, the blood play community is “a growing niche that’s being embraced more and more now that kink has become more mainstream.” And sex expert Julieta Chiara, a kink instructor and writer, tells Cosmo that she knows of plenty of people who play with blood (albeit fake blood, in her experience) during sex and kink play. “They like the look, the fantasy, the feel, but don’t want to actually exchange body fluids.”

It may sound a bit ~out there~ to want to bang at the sight, smell, or feel of blood, but when you consider the psychological reasons behind it, this kink actually makes a lot of sense.

According to sociologist Sarah Melancon, Ph.D, clinical sexologist and lead researcher at Womens-Health.com, blood play is appealing in large part because it’s not socially acceptable to be into it. “Blood is inherently taboo, and in sex we love playing with taboos of all kinds,” she explains.

If you’ve gotten a whiff of blood in the water (and were, uh, maybe kinda into it?) you’ve come to the right place. Allow us to explain what blood play is, why some people find it so damn sexy, and how to practice this kind of kink with safety and care.

What is blood play?

It may sound pretty obvious, but blood play is when people use blood as a key component of their intimate play. This kind of play falls under the kink umbrella, as it is considered to be outside of the ‘normal’ bounds of what society defines as ‘sex.’

Blood play can involve scenes with real or fake blood. Yes, you read that last part correctly. Some people do, in fact, play with real-ass blood. “It can range from something as simple as pinpricks to more complex scenes involving needles, razor blades, or knives,” Chiara explains. Within this D/s dynamic, blood play centers on power exchange, with the Dominant partner taking the blood of the submissive partner in some fashion.

In potentially less extreme scenarios, blood play can also involve menstrual blood—e.g. people actively enjoying incorporating their and/or their partner’s menstrual blood into sex in various ways.

Blood play can also be a part of highly stylized fantasy scenes. Think: vampires, horror scenes, and essentially anything that has a blood element.“Media such as Dracula, Twilight, and Vampire Diaries have sexualized vampires,” says kink educator Emerson Karsh, adding that common blood play fantasies involve sucking blood or having your blood sucked from you. “This rise of sexy vampires has become a part of people’s sexual fantasies.”

Why are people into blood during sex and kink?

For those who love blood play, “The sight, scent, feel, or taste of blood may be arousing,” says Karsh. “Blood play can make us feel very connected to our bodies, biology, and the human form, thus [it] may feel almost primal and animalistic to some.”

And, of course, there is the eroticization of blood-thirsty mythical creatures like, ahem, vampires. We all know we had (still have, probably) the horn for Vampire Bill, Stefan Salvatore, and—don’t make us say it but, sure—Edward Cullen.

Chiara says that there may also be an element of fear at play, which has a lot of potential for being hot. “Many folks have watched horror movies that may have [had] an erotic twist that involved blood,” she says. And because blood is taboo and often signifies danger, it turns some people on.

For those who menstruate, playing with their menstrual blood can be powerful because of what it symbolizes: life and death. Blood is significant because it is both life-giving and life-taking. “For those who menstruate, the monthly bleed can be experienced as both a death of the previous cycle and a rebirth into the next,” says Melancon.

Of course, this isn’t only true of period-havers. Blood symbolizes life and death in culture writ large. This cultural significance makes blood “ripe for eroticism,” adds Melancon.

What we know about people’s interest in bloodplay

According to Dr. Justin Lehmiller’s survey of 4,175 Americans about their sexual fantasies, documented in his book, Tell Me What You Want, 17 percent of women and 9.5 percent of men said they’d had fantasies involving blood. Who knew women were more likely to be turned on by blood? (Not us, but we low-key love it?)

We also know quite a bit about period sex. According to a survey from INTIMA, 82 percent of respondents reported having sex when they have their period. Another survey by Clue, a period tracking phone app, in partnership with the Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team, found that 15 percent of period-havers reported having sex on their periods.

It’s obviously worth taking this info with a grain of salt, because while period sex can be related to being turned on by blood, that isn’t necessarily why people do it and/or are into it. Some people are just hornier on their periods—for a variety of reasons that may have nothing to do with the blood itself—and others have no problem carrying on with their regularly scheduled sex lives while they happen to be bleeding, because literally why should they?

TL;DR: A lot of people fantasize about blood in some form or other and you’re not weird if you’re into it, JFYI.

How people typically play with blood

For people who get the massive horn for blood, it typically looks one of four ways:

  1. A lot like period sex, only the blood is an integral part of the play and not just a moderate, potentially messy inconvenience.
  2. With fake blood during sex and/or kink play. This might look like using fake blood capsules, bottles of fake blood, or fake blood bags to simulate bleeding.
  3. With fake or real blood during fantasies like vampire play or horror scenes.
  4. With real blood during D/s kink play, which usually involves cutting or piercing the skin. This is considered a pretty extreme kink a la edge play.

Chiara says that those who actually draw blood during a kink scene are usually highly educated in how to do it safely with sterile equipment and proper safety precautions. These are people who are not messing around, know what they’re doing, and have likely been trained by a professional.

To be very, very clear: We do NOT recommend drawing blood if you’re a beginner. It can be extremely dangerous.

How to practice blood play safely

If we’re talking about blood, that means we also need to be talking about safety. Luckily, we have some expert-approved tips to get you started on your merry way to BloodLust Town.

Get educated

    One thing to make extremely clear: Absolutely no one should be engaging with blood play—especially when it involves real, particularly non-menstrual, blood—without thorough education. It all starts with learning your stuff. “Education is huge,” Chiara says. “Get educated on blood play, how to safely navigate blood, and what may feel like a good starting point.” The more we know, the safer the play.

    There are various online courses available that you and your partner(s) can explore together, but nothing beats an IRL session with a trained professional who can show you the ropes.

    “Engaging in blood play in a way that is risk-aware and safer may incorporate using sterile items, being aware of the location of the cuts, being cautious of how deep a cut is, [and] getting blood from the wound and then bandaging it up before other fluids are involved,” Karsh adds.

    It’s also crucial to know the STI status and general health status of everyone within the scene.

    Always start with the fake stuff

      Karsh says that beginners shouldn’t go anywhere near anything that involves cutting or piercing the skin because you need to be highly skilled in order to execute this kind of play safely.

      But! That doesn’t mean it won’t still be super erotic. “Sometimes an illusion, like fake blood, is just as impactful in kink play, but can make the scene infinitely safer,” Karsh adds. Enough said.

      Consent is key

        Consent is a huge thing to consider in all kink play. Everyone involved needs to be a consenting adult who is fully aware of any and all risks being taken, regardless of whether you’re using real or fake blood. Remember that consent—yours or a partner’s—can also be revoked at any time.

        Set boundaries

          Communication is lubrication, friends! Be sure that you and your partner(s) fully discuss and negotiate what the scene will look like and what kind of play is going to take place. Everyone within a scene must have their boundaries respected at all times. Have safe words in place to stop the play if you or a partner reaches a limit.

          Practice aftercare

            Aftercare is the post-play activity that takes place after a kink scene. It’s very much needed during blood play because of the intensity that comes with it. We need to practice caring for ourselves and our partners to ensure everyone feels safe and centered after the play concludes. This is true of all scenes, whether the blood is fake or real.

            If you’re playing with real blood, “aftercare protocols should incorporate first aid,” Karsh says. “All first aid elements should always be nearby during play.” Think: alcohol wipes, bandaids, gauze, etc.

            Oh, and please remember that blood, fake or otherwise, is not a replacement for lube. Always use a water-based or silicone lubricant when you’re engaging with sex of any kind. Now go forth, you wild kinksters, and play (safely) to your heart’s content.

            Gigi Engle is a writer, certified sexologist, sex coach, and sex educator. Her work regularly appears in many publications including Brides, Marie Claire, Elle Magazine, Teen Vogue, Glamour and Women’s Health.

Source link