Sex

Meet the Kinky Kiwi Couple Who Get Turned On By Blood

We ask two adherents of the blood play fetish exactly what the attraction is.
November 25, 2016, 2:31am

A short-handled surgeon's grip with a number 10 blade, a children's playset stripped of its swing, a suburban garage lined with black sheets. These are, for Brad* and Michelle* just some of the essential implements of intimacy: Brad gets off on touching, licking and digesting his partner's blood.

Brad—small, bespectacled, clean-shaven—dressed casually, when VICE visited, in jeans and a T-shirt, says the central attraction of blood play is simple: trust. "You are playing with the very essence of someone's life. To me that is the ultimate form of trust, to trust someone with the very thing that keeps you alive. It makes me feel both humbled and privileged that someone has placed that trust in me."

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For Michelle—broader and taller than Brad—being cut is a "natural high". "The sensation draws my breath in. It feels very sensual and doesn't create pain but more of a warm feeling."

There is, of course, another element to her pleasure, the sexual yin to her partner's yang. "Knowing that there is a chance at any point of someone slipping or cutting an area that does hurt more. You have to trust your partner implicitly and it creates a close bond," she explained. For Brad, being "fluid bound" with a partner is the ultimate form of intimacy.

Apart from the aforementioned surgeon's scalpel – his "favourite" – Brad will use pinwheels, blunt objects, "anything else that my perverted mind can exploit to bring to life the ideas in my mind". Indeed, he says, fingernails will work too, in a more "primal sense, which is just as satisfying as the slow draw of a cold blade".

While danger is part of the attraction, Brad and Michelle ensure health and safety come first, both undertaking regular HIV check-ups, and sterilising an area before and after blood play."You have to be sanitary, so you wouldn't cut someone open who hasn't showered for a week," Michelle says.

The pair first met at a public kink event in the city a year and a half ago. Michelle, attending with her husband of 18 years, was introduced to Brad, also in a relationship at the time. After nine months of platonic blood play, during which the two cut each other with blades and needles, both their previous relationships ended, leaving them free to develop sexually.

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The first time they engaged in blood play together was at an annual kink event called Underground—they say that you'd be surprised by how prevalent blood play is, with a "huge" following in Christchurch—where visiting Australians showed them the ropes. Their initiation? Fire cupping, where a small cut is made in the skin, a piece of cotton wool doused with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol is placed on top, lit on fire and enclosed by a cup. "The fire burns off and creates a vacuum that sucks the blood up from the cut," Michelle explained.

From those beginnings, Brad and Michelle have progressed cautiously, focusing at first on shallow cuts and scratches on Michelle's back. "Each time we've done it, we've progressed further in the amount of cuts and the depth."

And now the couple engage in blood play every week, but Michelle feels no need to hide the physical evidence of her pastime."I'm not doing anything I'm ashamed of, or anything that I feel is wrong."

In that spirit of openness, Michelle's three children who live with the couple all have some idea of what is happening in the house, if not the specifics. "They know what I consider is appropriate for their respective ages. The two older ones know I engage in BDSM. The younger one has seen me get dressed up for events."

Brad also embraces his slices and scars, admitting it's easier with an accepting family and workplace that are aware of his more risqué pursuits."I have an open policy with my lifestyle so my employer knows about it to some extent and understands that I may show up to work with injuries or markings that may look odd. My family and all my friends know I am kinky so I don't have to hide it from them either," Brad said.

Brad has also experimented, with a previous partner, with period play, while Michelle, after a hysterectomy five years ago, is unable to. Not that she's disappointed: her menstrual cycle "didn't signify fun times". And nor is Brad. "It's not the same as when you intentionally draw blood."

*Names have been changed.

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