Wax play is a form of temperature play practiced in a BDSM context. The idea of wax play is to introduce a slight burning sensation to the skin.
This is considered a moderately advanced form of play, and most people skip it. If done wrong, wax play can cause burns severe enough to require medical attention. Not to mention, most people aren’t too experienced with handling live fire. Wax play also has a bad reputation from being abused by the same sort of people who end up on the newspaper front page every single July 4th because they just cannot follow instructions on fireworks. So this is the kind of play that if you do it at all, you’d better know it in depth.
What Kind of Candle
Ignore the urban legend that colored candles burn differently than white candles. What makes a difference in candle composition is the ingredients.
- Scented candles are paraffin wax mixed with oil and burn at 120 F. These are the typical kind you’ll find in retail stores.
- Pure paraffin wax candles burn at about 135 F. Most unscented white candles are this.
- Beeswax candles burn at 145 F. These are the kind sold as tea candles or storm candles, where the point is to be a bright light source for a long time. Some beeswax candles mixed with stearin can burn at 170 F and up. These would be marketed as industrial strength long-lasting, bright lighting candles.
- Soy wax candles are the safest of the above for a number of reasons. The melting temperature is, typically, between 135 and 145 F, but cools quickly on contact and makes for a much easier clean up than paraffin. A major benefit over paraffin is that it is not carcinogenic as soy wax is produced using soy beans. It is also less likely to cause skin irritation.
You can purchase handcrafted soy wax play candles on our boutique (here).
The Furthest It Is from the Skin, the Safest
The main control you have over the temperature of a wax drop when it hits the skin is distance. Stand high over a subject and drip the wax from arm’s length overhead, and it will be about five degrees cooler than if you’d dribbled it from just a few inches over the skin.
Beware of splattering. And this should go without saying, but never drip candle wax on the face. Splattering in the eyes can blind. And also never pour hot candle wax inside a bodily orifice. Keeping it to the outside is fine.
There’s another safety variable to consider: The tolerance of the subject.
- People vary tremendously in pain tolerance when it comes to temperature play. One person will barely feel it, while another one finds it unbearably excruciating. There’s no way to tell ahead of time.
- Body areas will also vary widely by pain sensitivity. A drop on your arm feels cooler than a drop on your butt, and so on.
- Some people are flat out allergic to most of the additives in candles. Typically if a person has an allergic reaction to perfumes or tree nuts, they should skip the candles too.
- No matter how much a subject may enjoy this, be advised that some people scar from wax play, especially with a hotter candle such as beeswax.
- Some skin conditions make people more prone to scar from candles or lose some skin when the wax is removed. These range from recent sunburn to eczema.
- Some medications make people more sensitives to candle wax. These include blood-pressure medication and steroids, among other.
And now, basic fire safety:
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Be careful of flammable clothes, curtains, bed sheets, etc.
- Always use a non-flammable container for the candle. If nothing else, keeping a plate or bowl handy to set the candle in helps.
- Keep curious pets out of the room.
- Keep some method of fire control at hand. Since it’s a small flame, a damp washcloth or glass of water is plenty.
- Also, watch what the flame is under. It’s surprising how high above the flame a candle’s heat will rise. More than one couple has discovered that canopy beds and candle play do not mix.
Now for Some Plain Old Practical Precautions
- Candle wax is tough to get out of just about anything. It will stick for days in hair, will stain any fabric, and may have to be scraped off with a sharp object.
- Candle wax makes floors slippery.
- Candle wax is also bad for the finish on a nightstand or dresser. Just another reason to keep that plate or bowl handy.
Now that you’ve gotten through all that, wax play does have a few things going for it. It looks sexy, and it’s a nice way to deliver strong sensations without making too much noise. The kind of bottom which might be pierced or tattooed will typically appreciate wax. When finished, skin coated with wax turns the submissive into the Dominant’s literal canvas, upon which to paint a masterpiece.
This site disavows all legal liability for injuries to property or person while playing with wax. We told you not to try this if you doubt your skill.