Blood play: what is it and the 101
Previous articles from us have discussed a lust for feral fiends and the sexy supernatural, but the appeal of such lovers of lore isn’t always about the purely fantastical. Sometimes it is the physical; the feeling of being pinned against the wall, the kiss of the neck, and then perhaps a sharp sensation followed by the warm familiarity of blood trickling down the body.
By this, of course, we’re talking about blood play.
What Is Blood Play?
As the term might suggest, blood play (or hematolagnia) is a sexual fetish that is defined by a sexual arousal or attraction to blood.
The blood play mentioned above is one of the most extreme versions of this fetish (and we will get more in to that later) but blood play isn’t just restricted to a vampire’s kiss either.
Blood play might involve menstrual sex, cutting a partner’s body in order to draw blood, or using less substantial methods (such as a pin prick) in order to draw blood which might then be smeared on another person’s body.
Why Do People Like Blood Play?
People might enjoy blood play for many different reasons.
If someone does appreciate the vampiric element then they might like the premise of drawing and drinking blood from the fantasy element, or for the sensation, taste, and smell.
The tactile, sensual, and overall quality of blood can be an inherent turn on for so many people. Blood, after all, represents danger, risk, and all the things that gets the blood pumping a little faster. There’s a reason red is the colour of passion, after all.
Then you get those who are doing it as part of a specific fetish that isn’t vampiric; things such as surgical roleplay, menstrual fetishism, or particularly ferocious impact play.
For some Submissives (and Dominants) a session might not be complete unless blood is drawn.
Another important aspect of blood play is the premise of intimacy that often lies behind it.
Blood is one of those vital fluids. It is often attributed with life, health, and safety – the true essence of our survival.
To trust someone to draw blood from your body in a safe and loving manner takes a lot of trust and builds a very strong bond.
To then have them consume or keep it in some way speaks even further in terms of symbolic intimacy.
This is why some people who engage in blood play will consider it a special gesture to offer up (or receive) some token of devotion with their lover’s blood contained in it. Think of it as the blood play equivalent of a collar for BDSM. Never given lightly and often a sign of deep trust and devotion.
Blood play is, however, a very extreme fetish and should never be undertaken lightly.
There are a lot of illnesses and lifelong conditions that can be transferred through the blood or other fluids – hence having someone directly bite in to or lick a wound is one of the most risky forms of blood play if not done correctly.
Here at Dusk we cannot directly advise on blood play. What we will say, however, is that it is important to look at reputable blood play sites in order to inform yourself about all of the components needed, what safety measures you need to put in to place, and what communication needs to be had before, throughout, and after a blood play session.
If in doubt always follow best practices for any wound or method of gaining blood. Always use surgically sterile equipment, avoid vital areas where it is easy to cause serious damage, clean off wounds with the right equipment, use latex (or vegan-alternative) gloves throughout for extra safety, and always clean equipment and tend to the wounded individual afterwards.
Safety and effective communication trump all other things, especially when blood play is involved.
Oh and please don’t go about licking and/or exchanging fluids unless you are completely fluid bonded with your partner/s and all regularly keep a check on your medical conditions and testing. This is good practice in general but with blood it could be a literal life saver.
If you like the idea of blood play but cannot stomach the practice (or just want to avoid the wounds and/or risks associated) then you might want to consider pursuing alternative methods of exploring your blood fetish.
Menstrual play is a slightly safer alternative (in that wounds aren’t being caused specifically for the play) but these still involve a degree of fluid exchange and risk.
Alternatively blood play enthusiasts could use or make a fake blood substance and engage in roleplay scenarios using this.
Items such as pinwheels, dragon’s claws or similar can help mimic the pain of drawing blood without having to actually do so and soya candles can also provide a rather strikingly similar sense of warm, trickling fluid in some occasions.
None of these will be quite the same as blood play but they will help facilitate a close alternative if so desired.
Blood play is the very definition of a niche fetish. It is extreme in every sense of the word and should only be done with people who absolutely trust each other in a safe, sterile, and well-trained environment.
When all of these puzzle pieces are in play, though, the thrill, reward, and bond of blood play can be irreplaceable for some individuals.
So next time you prick your finger have a look around you – you might just have got someone else’s blood pumping at the sight of it!
Celebrate your Halloween with Erika Lust’s “Can vampires smell my period?”