The Society for Human Sexuality at the University of Washington
Fire play is the SM technique of consensually applying fire to
someone for brief periods of time for mutual erotic pleasure.
Care should be taken to observe all appropriate safety precautions
in order to avoid injury. In the context of this document, the
"bottom" is the person to whom fire is being applied,
and the "top" is the person applying the fire.
PLAY IS SOME OF THE MOST ADVANCED PLAY TO BE FOUND IN THE BDSM
COMMUNITY. YOU *ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT* ATTEMPT THIS TYPE OF PLAY
WITHOUT LEARNING FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. READING
THIS DOCUMENT IS *NOT ENOUGH*. YOU AND ONLY YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS.
FIRST AID AND SAFETY
helpful to have a fire extinguisher on hand, to do the first play
over an area that isn't flammable, to avoid having the bottom
wear anything that alcohol could drip into that would then serve
as a wick or which would burn, and to avoid the bottom's (head)
hair from straying near fire (putting it up is a good idea, as
is avoiding the use of flammable hair sprays). It's helpful to
have a large cotton wet blanket on hand in case the fire runs
away, and the blanket may be used in cases where a fire extinguisher
Skin" works well for burn first aid.
Degree Burns: Characterized by localized redness. Treatment can
include cold water, keeping the burn covered by cool/clean cloths
(such as gauze pads), and perhaps using aloe vera and/or mineral
Degree Burns: Characterized by blistering. One shouldn't pop blisters;
just keep the area clean.
Degree Burns: These commonly need medical attention, especially
if they are large. They are generally kept covered with clean
linens, and treated with Silvadine.
fire play with alcohol, one may use one's hand to brush out the
flame, or block a traveling flame from going higher. If one is
going to be doing this, it can be helpful to apply a lotion such
as LubriSoft to one's hands first.
should go without saying that the bottom should not be wearing
clothing on the area to which fire will be applied, or which will
be anywhere near fire.
very helpful to have a few extra saucers on hand, so one has a
place to rest the torches.
general, it's helpful to do fire play in places with good ventilation.
If someone has body hair, that will be incinerated in the area
to which fire is applied, which can cause a stench unless there
is good air circulation.
may be used to produce a brief, brilliant flash of fire and heat.
helpful to have a punk stick to light the flash cotton with.
put the punk or flash cotton in an orifice or mucous membrane
- this causes more heat for longer.
thicker the amount of flash cotton used, the more heat is generated.
One may form the flash cotton into long strips, which one lights
at the tendril ends. If one twists the flash cotton, it burns
a glass of ice water handy.
keep the flash cotton in enclosed spaces near sources of heat.
Seattle, flash cotton is available at the magic shop in Pike Place
a series of 14" length 3/8" diameter dowels. One sands/bevels
the ends so they don't leave splinters or poke through the end
of the torch. About 1 1/2" down from an end of the dowel,
use a knife to make a score/indentation all the way around the
can then use a paper towel soaked in linseed oil to brush the
dowel with so that it doesn't burn. It can be retreated every
once in a while during its lifetime.
a Curity (or other brand) 4"x4" gauze pad, and unfold
it. Refold it as necessary so the pad has a consistent thickness
and appropriate area. Put some non-scented pure (preferably sterile)
cotton balls in the middle of the gauze pad, and fold the pad
and balls over the scored end of the dowel. The end of the gauze
pad should reach past the score in the dowel. Take some Nylex
waxed thread (about a 6" length - this thread is available
at Tandy Leather, etc.) and tie the pad to the dowel, having the
thread be protected from sliding by being in the scored channel.
Make several turns, tie with a secure knot or two, and trim the
thread and gauze tails.
helpful to have two torches, as one does fire play. One can be
unlit, and used to apply the lighting fluid. The other can be
lit, and used to light the fluid.
the torches in 70% rubbing alcohol before you light them.
may blow them out when you are done, and then possibly squeeze
out some of the extra rubbing alcohol before putting them away
(once they're cool enough to do so). It's then helpful to put
them in a plastic bag so they don't cause a stench.
helpful to have a couple of containers (with a low center of gravity,
so they can't be tipped easily) to contain the fluid used for
primary fluid used for fire play is 70% rubbing alcohol(isopropyl).
one wishes, one may use as a lighting fluid 70% rubbing alcohol
mixed with liquid soap. This will cause the flame to last longer,
and helps prevent the rubbing alcohol from running when it is
used on someone's back. One can put food coloring in this container
to distinguish it from the one with plain rubbing alcohol. For
cleaning up afterwards, regular rubbing alcohol will clean off
the soap/rubbing alcohol mixture.
candles may be used as a source of flame, possibly contained in
a saucer that can't be easily tipped.
TYPES OF PLAY
may pass the torch near someone (perhaps over their back, which
is the primary place over which fire is applied). Blowing on the
flame will produce more intense/more radiant heat on the area
the flame is being passed over. The area just below the scapula
works well for this sort of play.
can also tap the area in question with the torches.
most common type of fire play is to brush an area with the lighting
fluid of choice and to light it. The brushing may be accomplished
with an unlit torch or brush, and the lighting may be accomplished
with the lit torch. Common areas for this sort of play are the
back and the hands.
the back, one may brush patterns of fluid and light them. The
flame will travel the lighting fluid path. A very beautiful pattern
may be made by using an unlit torch to brush a "V" pattern,
starting near the base of the spine and going up to the two shoulders.
Lighting the pattern at the base of the spine will cause the blue
flame to travel up the back in an exquisite manner.
people (especially those who like psychological play) enjoy making
fireballs. This may be done with a spray bottle filled with 70%
isopropyl and a bic lighter. It's important to watch for alcohol
mists which may end up on the floor.
course the traditional sort of heat play is to hold one's hand
a safe distance above a candle, or to drip hot wax on someone.
With hot wax play, it's important to use unscented paraffin candles
(not beeswax). The farther the distance one drops the hot wax
from, the cooler it will be when it hits the skin. One can start
high, and work down to within the tolerance level of the bottom.
Another option (which is especially viable if one has a butane
torch for heat application) is to tape a bunch of paper-free crayons
together (different colors), possibly melt the base together and
remove the tape, and then hold the crayon bundle above the bottom,
and cause drops to drip off by applying the torch to them. One
may "paint" off individual drops of individual colors
with this approach, or twirl the whole bundle under the flame
to cause a series of drops to fall off quickly.
feeling of a brand may be simulated by having the bottom blindfolded,
and touching their skin with an ice cube.