What is Needle Play in a Fetish or BDSM context?

Needle play is the practice of inserting needles under the skin of the submissive and is considered a form of “Edge Play”, it can produce an intense natural endorphin high which can last for hours. Needle play involves inserting a hypodermic needle into the skin through the at least the top two layers of the skin, epidermis and dermis.

Penile needle play is one of my favourite CBT activity, today I am going to talk about the dos and don’ts. There are specific techniques and precautions in penile needle play and you need to know your penile anatomy well to avoid severe injuries.

This blog is probably more for advanced players than beginners but feel free to read on even if you are new to needle play, I am going to make it easy to understand without boring you with mind numbing details. I will write a blog about basic needle play in a couple of weeks time.

First of all, it is important to know about what skin does:

The skin is the largest organ of the human body, it serves as a barrier to protect the body from the external environment, regulating body temperature, keeping the moisture, excreting waste via sweat and most importantly transmitting sensations to the brain through the nervous system. Skin also hosts a variety of microorganisms.

Skin consists of three major layers:

· Epidermis – a comparatively thin layer of skin that lack of blood vessels.
· Dermis – supplies blood to the epidermis
· Hypodermis or subcutaneous level – consists of fat cells, blood vessels and nerve endings.

Because the skin both hosts and protects us from so many potentially harmful microorganisms, a break in the skin can provide an opportunity for those organisms to enter the body. Before skin is pierced with a hypodermic needle, it needs to be treated with an antiseptic to lessen the risk of infection.

Skin prep

The two most common antiseptics for play piecing are providone-iodine and isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Alcohol is drying to the skin and should not be using on mucus membranes, also it stings if use on broken skin. Alcohol has a good instantaneous effect on microbes but it is not persistant. Once the skin is pierced, the wound needs to be protected until it can heal well enough to reseal itself.

Providone-iodine (Betadine ©) is another commonly used skin antiseptic in needle play, it does not dry out the skin and is non irritating to mucus membranes.

With Providone-iodine, you need to check with clients whether they are allergic to chlorhexidine before you use it and this can be part of your standard questionnaire. These reactions are very rare, so these same skin prep agents are still used as before in hospitals, they just ask about allergies first. If in doubt you can do a patch test when they arrive, leave it when they are getting ready. If there’s no itching or irritation then go ahead with the skin prep.

Regardless of which antiseptic you choose, do not go over the same area twice with the same antiseptic pad to avoid recontamination. Start to wipe it in the spiral starting from the centre to the outer area, just throw away the used antiseptic pad half way through and start a new one if needed.

Penile anatomy

The parts of the penis are the base, shaft, glans, and foreskin. The tissues that make up the penis include the dorsal nerve, blood vessels, connective tissue, and erectile tissue. The urethra passes from the bladder to the tip of the penis.

Glans, the head or tip of your penis
Foreskin (if your penis isn’t circumcised, this covers the glans)
Shaft, the length of your penis
Scrotum, the sac that holds your testicles

There are arteries inside the penis:

Dorsal penile arteries
Cavernous arteries (deep arteries of the penis)
Bulbourethral arteries
Circumflex arteries

What to do and what NOT to do:

First and foremost is client’s desires and limits. For novices I focus on epidermis of the shaft and scrotum using 21 – 23G needles and work my way to the glans whenever client is feeling more adventurous. Do not put needles into the shaft i.e. across the Corpus cavernosum and Corpus spongiosum. I have seen many people doing this and THIS IS NOT SAFE!

Corpus cavernosum: Two columns of tissue running along the sides of the penis, blood fills this tissue to cause erection.

Corpus spongiosum: A column of sponge-like tissue running along the front of the penis and ending at the glans, it fills with blood during an erection, keeping the urethra – which runs through it open. You do not want to stick the needle across the urethra and cause damage. If you go through the shaft arteries breaks there will be heavy bleeding and haematoma which may not be absorbed.

If you are not familiar with penile anatomy, please just stick with sticking needles across the epidermis, nothing will go wrong except a bit of bleeding.

Glans is another safe zone. It is made of erectile tissue but the blood vessels are much smaller (capillaries not arteries) so it won’t bleed as much also blood pressure is not as high.

Scrotum – as long as you don’t stick needles right into the testicles you can put as many needles as you like as long as the client is ok with it.

Client’s care:

I push limits in medical sessions but only with clients whom I am familiar with their bodies and limits/maybes. I communicate a lot in sessions, checking if they are ok. I look into their eyes – if their eyelids starting to drop I have to make sure they are not fainting, I feel their body temperature to make sure their blood pressure is not dropping and they are not going into shock.

It is a good idea to have sweet tea prepared just in case they need it, highly recommend for long hours medical sessions.

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