The human body can pleasure from toying with and teasing its senses and sensitivities to all sorts of different stimuli. Some people love the sensation of a chill and enjoy exploring temperature play with ice cubes that glide over skin, leaving pebbled droplets, goosebumps and delicious shivers in its wake. Others may love that of heat, a slow burn or sudden flash of heat that settles into the skin, just hot enough to cause a reaction, but not so hot as to harm. For these individuals, playing with wax can be a wonderfully liberating and tantalizing experience.
What is Wax Play
Wax play is a form of BDSM edgeplay that factors in temperature play. It is considered edgeplay because engaging in wax play has the potential to be dangerous or damaging when not executed with care.
With wax play, there does not need to be a power dynamic, though that can be a layer added to the fun. The top in this case is the person doing the action to the bottom, the one receiving. Therefore, the top would be dripping the wax on the bottom's body. Again, these terms do not necessarily coincide with any power exchange dynamic that may or may not exist between the two engaging in the play.
Wax play can be considered a form of temperature play as it explores the body's response to a drastic change in temperature. If you or your partner likes the sensation of heat against your skin, then this might just be a good kink for you to explore. If you are not someone who likes playing with extremes in temperatures, then this might not be the one for you.
It may seem pretty simple. Just grab a candle, light it, and get to playing, right? Wrong. There are certain candles that should be used and others that should be avoided. There are precautions that should be taken prior to play to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for all. But first, let's talk about the tools you'll need to make this scene come to life!
What You’ll Need
Here is a list of what you'll need to get the ball rolling!
Make Me Melt Jet Black 4 Pack (on sale for $10.00 USD) from KissyGames, available here.
As mentioned before, not just any candle will do.
Scented candles should be avoided. Not only could the chemicals or oils used to create the scent cause skin irritation and other allergies, these candles are often made from paraffin wax and oil and burn at 120°F. Pure paraffin candles burn at 130°F. They do not cool as quickly when spilled and do not harden uniformly. This does not mean they are impossible to use. If the bottom actually enjoys a little bit more pain, then this may be an option. However, if this is your first time, it is not where you should begin.
Beeswax burns at a much higher temperature - 145°F, while beeswax mixed with stearin will burn at at least 170°F . This is far too hot and could cause you to burn yourself or your partner. These are not suitable for wax play. Avoid beeswax and any candles containing stearin.
It should be noted - never, ever use gel candles. These are often the types of candles used as room fresheners. This is 100% a no-no.
Massage oil candles have the lowest burning point and are great for warm, slick, sensual massages, but lack the zip and bite expected in wax play. This could be a nice alternative for those who find the heat generated from other candles to be too much.
7.05 oz.. Don't Stop Massage Candle - Spicy Chocolate Cinnamon (on sale for $36.00 USD) from KissyGames, available here.
The best candles for wax play are soy candles that generally burn between 135 and 140°F. It is important to note that because of the soy, the wax cools more quickly when it touches the skin. It is also not as easy to remove from the skin as paraffin, but it is not so difficult as to make a huge difference. It is also the least likely to cause irritation.
If you do prefer to use coloured or scented waxes, please keep in mind that the presence of scents may raise the burning point 5-10 degrees, as does the presence of colour.
Make Me Melt - Red Hot 4 Pack (on sale for $10.00 USD) from KissyGames, available here.
A tarp or old sheet.
Unless you are doing wax play on a surface that wax can be easily removed from, it is a great idea to prepare a spot with a tarp or a sheet - something that can withstand warm wax and will not melt upon impact. That way you do not damage the carpet, hardwood or your bed with your playtime!
You could also use cotton towels instead as cotton will not burn as quickly and can be softer against the skin.
Bucket or large cup of chilled water, face cloth and towels.
These are important to have close by because as they can be used to help put out small fires. They are also useful for making a cold compress in case of any burns.
First aid kit.
Always have a first aid kit handy. If something goes wrong and you or your partner end up getting burned, you will need to clean and dress the wound. If it is severe then professional medical help should be sought out.
Something to remove the wax.
Some people enjoy a bit of knife play with their wax play, but that is a whole other article and another type of edgeplay that comes with it's own gamut of information and safety procedures, but you will need something with a thin edge to help scrape or peel it off. You can also just use your fingernails, but be careful not to scratch too hard and cause abrasions. You can try a metal spatula or bank card, both of which are perfectly safe and will not cut with the pressure needed to remove the wax. You could also wipe the wax off with a damp face towel or paper towel, as long as the wax is completely dried.
If wax ends up getting in anyone's hair, a fine-toothed comb will be most effective with getting it out.
A lighter or matches.
Before you do anything, check the ingredients of the candles you are using. Make sure that the bottom is not allergic to any of the ingredients. If the bottom has any medical conditions that may be exacerbated by this type of play, then please do not engage unless there is a safe way of doing so.
Always test out how your or your partner's body will respond to the wax first. It could be that your skin is sensitive or you may have an allergy to the wax or the dye used to color the wax. Test on a part of your forearm before you get into actual play. If you or your partner feels a great deal of irritation, and that irritation persists even after the wax has cooled, hardened and is removed, or skin becomes overly inflamed, itchy or swollen, cease use of these candles and apply something topical to ease the discomfort - aloe, Neosporin, burn cream if the recipient happened to get burned, etc. If the discomfort persists, see a physician.
If you have engaged in this type of play before and have purchased new candles you have not used before, it is good practice to test the new candles just to make sure you have an understanding of any differences in temperature, melting point, and comfortable distance from which to drip the wax.
Always make sure the bottom has their hair tied up or out of the way. Do not bring the candle close to the skin, face or hair to endure that they do not get burned.
Make sure that the parts of the body the wax is intended to be used on are discussed beforehand and agreed on. It is also a good practice to shave those areas to reduce the pain of having to separate wax from hair. It tends to stick and will pull when you try to take the hardened wax off. Of course, if this is a kind of pain that is enjoyable to you and your partner, by all means leave the areas unshaven. Applying oils to the skin may help to keep the hair safe and will assist in removal of the wax, however it could also cause the wax to stay warmer longer on the skin. If the bottom wishes to be oiled for ease of cleanup, make sure you test the reaction the skin has to the hot wax. If there is no reddening of the skin, proceed. If there is a bit of pink but the skin is not hot to the touch when it cools, proceed. However, if skin turns bright pink or red, apply the cold compress to the area and try dripping the wax at a further distance.
Wax Play Do’s and Don'ts
Do talk about what you are doing and what you expect first. Make sure that when you begin your wax play, both you and your partner know what words mean no and what words mean yes. For some people, a safeword may be as simple as saying yes or no. Or it may be the tried, tested and true stoplight system of green, amber and red. Or you may have a word that you have both agreed on that, once uttered, will mean an end to the scene. It is always important to have a way of communicating when either of you have had enough, or too much.
Do not use candles with metallics or glitter. They can be poisonous and can also burn so hot that it could cause the metal and wax to fuse with the skin, thus making them incredibly harmful. They may be a pretty sight, but they are not for wax play.
Do not drip wax too close to the skin. When you drop wax on your partner, or yourself, make sure you hold the candle a safe distance away. Too close to the skin and it will be too hot and possibly burn more than is safe or wanted. Too far away and you may not get the desired effect. Usually somewhere around 20 to 30 inches is the optimal distance, and possibly closer to the higher end for those more sensitive areas, like the back of hands, necks and inner thighs. It should not be dropped from any closer than one foot.
Do not drip wax on the face or throat as it could get in eyes, mouth, or inside the nose - places that hot wax should never go and places that could get easily and seriously damaged by this kind of play.
You can certainly layer wax on top of wax already spilled on the skin. However, please be careful when layering wax on top of each other. Layering different colours can make a very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing effect, however if the wax is not given sufficient time to cool in between, it can increase the heat and hold the heat longer and longer, causing the skin underneath to burn.
Do not wear clothing made of polyester or containing acrylic as these contain plastics and could melt under the heat of the candle and cause it to fuse with the skin, making for very painful removal.
Be extremely careful if dripping wax on or near the genitals. This is definitely not for first time wax-players. Increase the distance you drip from as these areas of the body are far more sensitive than others. I would not suggest doing this until you've had some successful and fun scenes under your belt.
Do not leave a candle burning and keep the candle away from fabric at all times. If either of you needs to leave the room, blow it out. And always be careful with live fire. If you get scared or worried, make sure you do not blow the candle out over your partner's body as it could cause the melted wax to splash on them. Don't forget to keep the candle in a candle holder or on a plate that will not melt and cannot be set aflame.
The recipient should not partake in any drugs, recreational or medicinal, that have a severe numbing effect when it comes to pain. It could cause them to get burned without noticing. Of course, if your partner lives with chronic pain and taking pain medication is a part of their daily life, then communicate with each other during play and monitor their body's response.
Fun Ways to Play
Wax play can make for a great addition to your usual foreplay. The heat, the intimacy of being naked, of touching skin, watching your partner's body tense or flinch for a moment then melt into relaxation, the slight tickle your partner feels as wax drips over their flesh, skin tightening a little as the wax cools and hardens… the sensations can be very arousing and sensual which is a large part of what makes wax play so enticing.
Building a scene, though, can be difficult, and just haphazardly dripping wax on someone can become rather redundant and boring for both of you after a while. You really get the full effect when you pair this type of play with roleplay or build a scene.
A fun game to play is to experiment with different shapes and patterns and to have the bottom guess what shapes or patterns you are dripping onto their skin. If they do not guess properly then you get to decide where the wax dries next. If they do, then they get to decide where. Or perhaps you could take a moment to add some sexual stimulation - touching places they like being touched, or have them touch places you like being touched. They could also request different shapes and you could make your partner's body into your very own campus to display your artwork. Take pictures of the aftermath to look at later, remove the wax and start over!
You could combine your wax play with a blindfold and allow your partner to be steeped in the anticipation and mystery of where they will feel that delicious spike of heat next.
Another exciting idea for future scenes is to use natural fiber brushes to paint on the skin in a fun way to Express your artistic side. This would be great for layering wax, as well, and creating different effects and sensations. Using harder bristles will give a scratcher, itchier sensation, but can also be a nice and surprising change for your partner.
There are so many different ways to explore your sexuality and sensuality, so many ways to tease and tempt the human body. If wax play works for you? Then keep at it. Experiment with it more and more, combine it with other types of play you enjoy for deeply fulfilling time. If it isn't your cup of tea? That's okay! Move on to something else! Whatever you choose, enjoy yourself, enjoy each other, enjoy your bodies.