Collage by Lucia Love
We all know by now that the internet is full of horrors. My battle scars from virtual filth attacks are aplenty. I’ve had the cock windmill of Meatpsin burned into my psyche and endured eyeblasts of Goatse’s gaping men-anuses. But nothing I’ve ever seen prepared me for the visual assault I was hit with this morning when Allena Gabosh, the director of a BDSM club in Seattle, dropped a couple casual photos of a blood-spewing dick into my inbox.
“Probably my favorite scene I’ve ever done was putting needles in the head of a cock with a blood blister on it,” her email said, “And when I hit it the blood kind of just spurted in an arc and it was quite fun and silly and very messy!”
Needle play, the blanket term used to describe inserting needles into your body to get off, is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of kink in the BDSM world. Signs of its ubiquity are even poking into the media: earlier this month, The Tokyo Reporterrather gleefully detailed how Yuka Fujisawa, an aging S&M queen in Kyoto, Japan, was arrested for withdrawing blood from the genitals of her male customers without proper licensing. The 43-year-old madam apparently used needles and syringes to prick three different dicks while engaging in “sexual services” over the last four months. She also told the police that she started performing needle play at an S&M club eight years prior. According to Fujisawa, “the practice had become a service performed on a routine basis.”
Needle play has also been on the rise in America. “We’ve seen quite an increase here in Seattle. In fact, they call the whole West Coast ‘the bloody West Coast’ because so many play with blood here,” Allena said.
Todd, who writes a literary-oriented BDSM blog called The Pervert’s Library, posits that needle play’s soaring popularity has been spurned by the internet, which “has made it easier to buy needles without the stigma of being a junkie.” Daz, who runs the fetish gear emporium Edgeplay, adds that “the sharing of information on online communities, including how to meet people who know how to do it in a safe way,” has led to a spike in their sales of needle play starter kits.
Access to webstores like Edgeplay and KinkyMedical are convenient workarounds to state laws that sometimes make obtaining needles IRL pretty cumbersome. In New York, it’s technically illegal to carry needles without a prescription, so getting your hands on a batch of prickly little playthings without a doctor’s approval means having to go through needle exchange programs like ESAP (Expanded Syringe Access Program), while standing in line with crack heads. (Huge boner kill.)
Unlike a regular old flogging or ball gagging session, if you’re going to stick a bunch of needles in your dick, you better know what you’re doing. Wintersong (real name), a “kinkster shaman” who teaches needle play classes all over the country, warned that standard precautions like rubbing surface disinfectant on the skin are “hostile to the flora and fauna of the genitals. Getting them in the folds of the vulva or under the foreskin could be a pretty fabulous recipe for a yeast infection.” (Again: boner kill.)
Wintersong gave me an extremely thorough anatomical breakdown of how to do this shit right: piercing the foreskin, shaft skin, glans, and scrotum are all kosher. But stay away from the dorsal nerve. If you damage that, you could lose feeling in your dick, which is generally considered a bad thing. Steer clear from the frenum too. “Not only is (it) the most sensitive part of the male anatomy,” he explained, “There is also a significant vein that runs along the surface of the frenum that if punctured, bleeds like a motherfucker.”
Female bits are a little less complicated. The clitoral hood and inner and outer labia are all game, and while you shouldn’t pierce the clit itself, you can prick the surface of it with the tip of a needle for a sweet tingly sensation. Basically, if you follow the same precautions used by tattoists and body piercers, like wearing gloves and using sterile packaged needles, everything will be OK. Hopefully. Maybe.
So what are the benefits of sticking a bunch of needles in your junk? The answer depends on what you’re looking for. Sadists like inserting needles in “mean” ways—twisting and poking them as a form of CBT (cock and ball torture). There’s also “predicament bondage,” set up so that bottoms will experience pain no matter which way they squirm.
On Literotica’s forums, enthusiasts rave about the endorphin spikes that flood your body during needle play. “Nothing else gets a person so high so fast. People pass out easily… becoming chemically overwhelmed quickly. Weird bodily tricks, that’s what I dig about piercing,” one user wrote. The physiological effects seem akin to doing a bunch of drugs, but with the added bonus of mindfuckery that you don’t get from snorting lines with a stranger in the bathroom.
Lastly, the aesthetes out there like how pretty needle play can be. People insert needles to form intricate patterns and shapes, and many super-feminine dominatrices also like adding beads, bells, charms, and even feathers. One of the most common decorative practices is to lace the needles with ribbons, and pulling them together to elicit a delightfully bizarre sensation. It’s as if these ladies were dabbling in some demented flower arrangement workshop.
While blood-splattered dicks and needle corsets can sound pretty gnarly, those who are balls deep in the BDSM community brush off needle play as a pretty standard practice. Sir B, whose areas of expertise include “fire, electricity, and inserting sharp knives into vaginas and rectums,” quashed any of my suspicions that needle play is “edgy.” “On a scale of one to ten, I would say it’s about a three,” he scoffed.
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