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BDSM Education Sensation Play Wax Play

wax play

Wax play is a form of sensation play where hot wax, usually from a candle, is dripped onto the skin. It is relatively safe and easy to learn and can be very versatile.
Kinksters enjoy wax play for a variety of reasons. The feeling of wax dripping on your skin can be painful, relaxing, or sensual.  Both masochists and sadists may find the intensity of the heat exciting.  In addition to the sensation and anticipation, wax play can create some beautiful images.

Tolerance to heat is a very personal thing.  Being able to tolerate high levels of pain from impact play does not mean one will have the same tolerance with wax play.  Start wax drops high, and work your way lower.   Never stay in one location too long – drip and move on.  You can come back when the wax cools, and connect the dots!

Wax scenes require a fair bit of forward planning and scene preparation. Areas to remember are: 

  • Location: make sure you consider your location, wax play can be messy and it’s very difficult to get wax out of carpets, rugs and bed linens. Make sure you have a disposable drop sheet.
  • Fire safety: make sure your candle can’t tip or be knocked over easily. Make sure you don’t have anything flammable nearby, including curtains, bedding and throws. Always have a quick way to extinguish flames within arms reach.
  • Wax types: Do your research, make sure you know what your wax is made of. Always check for any additives like fragrances, oils and colorings as these will alter the melting and cooling point of your wax.
  • Sensitivities and Allergies; always discuss medical issues, conditions and allergies in your scene negotiations.

Some people are sensitive to heat and maybe prone to getting a heat rash, while heat rash is fairly harmless it’s good to be aware of prior to wax play. Always do a spot test prior to double check for any skin irritation or allergic reactions.

Cleaning up; wax play is messy, you can minimize the time spent on clean up by doing some extra preparation prior to your scene. You can also use wax removal as a part of your scene. Using different implements to scrape, scratch, pick and flick the dried wax can be good fun and another form of sensation play.


Picking your wax

One of the most important components of safe wax play is choosing what wax is right for you, your sub and your wax play scene. Different types of waxes have very different melting points, and consequently different heat levels and cooling periods. The most important thing is to read the label, know exactly what the wax is made up of, wax blends are very common and for something to be labeled a soy blend it only needs to contain 51% soy wax.

Check the label for any additional additives like dyes, bleaches, scents and oils these will all alter the waxes melting point, cooling periods, hardening, pooling, spreading and splattering. 

● Massage Candles 

Massage candles are very low temperature candles specifically designed for a sexy, sensual massage. They don’t hurt, they melt into a soothing warm massage oil, they even come in lickable candles and flavored oils. These are not designed for wax play. 

● Low Temperature/Wax Play Candles 

Low temperature candles are specifically blended and often branded for wax play. They generally have a higher price point as they are commonly a blended wax, often handmade and marketed specifically for wax play.  They are generally made up of a blend of waxes like paraffin, soy and beeswax. They are available in a range of colors, scents and sizes. You can even purchase them in pitchers for ease of pouring. Be careful what you buy, there is no regulation on what is required to be labeled and marketed as a wax play candle, and low temperature means nothing without actually knowing the melting point. 

● Soy candles 

Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. Soy wax is opaque, semi-matte finish often with frosting of tiny crystal formations that appear on the top and sides of the wax. Soy wax is fairly soft and most soy candles will come in a container as they can melt in hotter temperatures and in direct sunlight. Soy candles have a melting point anywhere between 115-135F or 46-57°C. More importantly, their wax cools quickly on contact.  Soy candles are also less likely to cause irritation. 

● Paraffin candles 

Paraffin wax a byproduct derived from petroleum, coal or the shale oil refinery process. Un-dyed, unscented paraffin candles are odorless and bluish-white with a melting point anywhere between 115-154F and 46-68°C. The melted wax cools, hardens and becomes brittle fairly quickly on contact. 

● Beeswax 

Beeswax is a natural wax derived from honey bees. Beeswax candles have a melting point anywhere between 145-170F or 63-77°C they are not suitable for wax play and will move than likely cause burns. 

Dripping Distance 

The best way to start is far away from their body, the general rule is a safe starting difference is around 18 inches/1.5ft/50cm/.5m. 

The wax will very quickly lower in temperature once on the skin, however the initial few seconds can feel intense. Everyone has different levels of pain tolerance, and pain levels that they enjoy, if the pain lingers for more than a couple seconds, the candle is too close to the skin or the area is too sensitive. Communicate with your partner, check in, watch their reactions and adjust your dripping distance and style. Once comfortable begin to decrease the distance from the candle to the body, allow the wax to cool on contact or use your fingers to smear the wax for a less intense effect. From here, you can begin to experiment with shapes, patterns, brushing, rubbing and layering. Continue to communicate with your partner and do regular ‘check ins’ throughout the scene, adjusting your dripping distance and style accordingly. 


Areas to play 

Everyone has different levels of heat tolerance which is very different to pain tolerance. Someone who enjoys a long flogging and can endure a solid canning may only be able to handle a short wax play scene with only low temperature candles dripped on their back. Sensitive areas and heat sensitive areas vary from person to person, as well as the heat and pain levels that they enjoy. Make sure to discuss this and agree upon acceptable areas before beginning your scene. Take your time, watch for reactions and communicate with each other throughout the entire scene.

  • For beginners the biggest, easiest and safest area to start out with is the back. It gives you a fairly even surface to tryout different heights and techniques as it has the least amount of ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ that can accumulate dangerous hot pools of wax.
  • The ‘hairless’ chest and breasts are good starting points. Watch out for wax running down into the armpits and pooling around the neck.
  • The stomach and abdomen are okay for controlled drips. You need to be mindful of the ‘hills’ that can cause wax runoffs and the ‘valleys’ that can accumulate pools of hot wax. Stay well away from the bellybutton, it will pool, burn and is near impossible to get the wax out of.
  • One of the easiest of the more sensitive and erotic zones to apply wax is the nipples. The dripping sensation followed by the string of heat on erect nipples can be very arousing. You can create a nipple cast by slowly dripping dots of wax in a circular pattern around the areola.  Allow each dot to cool and set as you move your away around carefully joining the dots and moving ever closer to the erect nipple and slowly building up your nipple cast.
  • ‘Hairless’ legs are a good place to try out pouring wax. It’s a fairly safe zone to allow the wax to run down the sides of the legs for a whole new sensation. Create flowing lines of wax, alternating colors for a beautiful artistic finish.
  • While it is possible to do some limited wax play on ass cheeks the likely flow into ass crack is definitely for the more advanced D-types.
  • While it is possible to do some wax play on genitals, it takes a great deal of skill to do it safely. Only D-types with a lot of knowledge and practical wax play experience should be doing this.

Fire Safety 

Since wax play involves flames, it is important to keep fire safety in mind.  Don’t leave burning candles – or your partner – unattended.  Make sure your candles won’t tip and that you have a hard flat surface to rest then on.  Have a means of extinguishing a flame close at hand, a fire extinguisher, bucket of water or some damp towels. 

Keep aware of your surroundings and make sure flammable materials like polyester sheets, curtains or your hastily discarded clothing is well away.

Mistresses Ramblings…..

  • While you maybe comfortable having your cat or dog perving on your ‘normal’ sexipades having curious pets knocking over your candles and walking wax covered fur over your floors isn’t ideal.
  • Have your sub shave first – wax and body hair don’t like each other, but refuse to part ways.
  • Make sure to keep wax away from any remaining “furry” areas – unless that is part of your plan!
  • Tie up long hair and make sure it stays well out of the way, unless you want to have waxed dreads.
  • Cover and tape up any piercings, pulling a wax covered nipple or cock ring out is a sadist delight.
  • Thoroughly wash off/out any products that contain flammable ingredients like alcohol (think mouse, hairspray, deodorant, perfume) before any accidental ‘fire play’ lights up.
  • To make wax easier to remove, massage with a mineral oil or baby oil prior to your scene.
  • Keep in mind that the greater the distance you drip wax from, the greater the chance of splashing. You never know where the wax will end up, stay well away from the face.
  • Wax is for external play only – never put wax in any orifice no matter how tempting it may seem to shut someone up.
  • Removing the wax can be excruciating or very errotic. Fingernails, combs or even a knife can incorporate a whole other dimension into your wax play scene.
  • Use a large trash bag, shower liner, or commercial wax play drop cloth underneath your partner.

Running ice cubes over the still-warm wax, or tapping on hardened wax, can be lots of fun. Also, combining wax play with an element of sensory deprivation – like a blindfold – can heighten the sensation.  Not knowing where the next drop will fall can escalate the pleasure.

Once wax cools and hardens, it can be super painful to remove from any areas with body hair. You can shave ahead of time or you can incorporate applying baby oil to your subs skin before dripping the wax. 


These educational topics wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication from our Dom(me)sLife contributors – Thank you MM

Contributors: This article was researched and written by Mistress Michelle and published by Umlindi.

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