Floggers are what most people called any flexible many tailed striking tool. The tails are normally strips of leather or other similar fabrics, though in my search for floggers I have seen that people have certainly taken to making them from many different fabrics from the softest like fur to metal cord. However there are ones that are commonly used.
Fabric (Silk, Cotton)
Light Nylon Cordage
Oil tanned thick leather
There are in my opinion two different types of flogging; light – which is stingy and leaves no deep tissue effects and heavy which is more thudy, reaching and does leave deeper tissues effects. For obvious safety reasons, you never want to flog the face, head, neck, fingers, and toes. These places of course contain smaller bones and do not respond well to stress internal or external. You also want to be careful with the palms, back of the hands, over joints and when it comes to the back you want to steer clear of the spine, lower ribs (near the kidney’s and other internal organs) and then the pelvis.
It almost makes you think well just where the hell can you flog someone if so much is off-limits?
Lower legs, arms, inner arms, breasts, genitals (the skin here is more fragile), upper shoulders (though this takes accuracy), top of buttocks near spine, the muscular ridge on both sides of the spine (again it has to be accurate), the ribs where not protected by muscle.
There is some evidence that ‘thud’ on the female breast is not advisable for reasons of health, nipples are far better suited to strong stimulation. The top of the buttocks protect the coccyx, a small and fragile triangular bone at the base of the spine, avoid striking between the upper buttocks.
Buttocks, upper back on each side of the spine, thighs, and lower shoulders. These areas are composed of strong bones protected by muscle tissue and a fatty layer, any other organs present are reasonably protected. There are reasons for these traditional areas being so traditional, as they reduce the likelihood of major damage, making an extended safer session possible.
How to wield a flogger is of course the most important step. Until you feel comfortable with using it, use a pillow instead of your partner to practice striking. Setting it away from you as if it was your partner is perfect for improving accuracy if you are able to imagine the top being the shoulder and then of course the bottom being where there buttocks is.
One of the most common ways to wield is the basic X pattern (some do call it the figure 8). It helps you keep away from the spine directly once you are able to master it. This is my favorite. You can also use a pattern that takes it up to one shoulder, across them and then back down the other side which is like an H. If you snap or ‘whip’ the tails for smaller point stimulation it can feel sharper, and more of a sting. The stance I find also helps to produce a different feel on the skin, the most of the flogger hitting the body produces a thud when you are standing closer to your partner. Then if you step back and are hitting more with the tips of the flogger, you get that sweet sting. Each of these and all their variations may be primarily accomplished by wrist motion alone, or with arm and wrist moving together, this depends on your strength and the effect you seek. A properly balanced flogger requires less effort, and may be used for a longer time with less fatigue.
One word of caution on wrapping. If the middle section of tails strikes first on a rounded ‘edge’ of the body, and the tips ‘wrap’ following the curve, the tips actually accelerate far more than the original swing (gotta love physics). This is wrapping, and is usually a bad thing, causing inadvertent hard blows to areas one did not intend to touch at all, or ruining the controlled stroke one did intend.
Needless to say, I think it all comes down to practice practice practice! No one is going to be perfect at it from the start. Trust me I am nowhere near it, I have this really bad habit of not being able to keep it in my hands and sending it flying. But I am sure that eventually I will be able keep a good handle on it. I hope that the little I was able to write about the use and safety will be a help There are many articles out there that go into deeper details that you can find.