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Fire Play

A Manual for Basic Fire Play
Including Fire Safety, Burns and Treating Burns

Fire Play Master




Fire play is both a play form and an art form. It captures one's soul as no other form of BDSM play can. There is both a mystical and a magical quality to it in the hands of a skilled player. To the observer it is an awesome sight.

The newcomer to the lifestyle seeing fire play for the first time may wonder if there is a trick to it. There is no trick, no illusion, the blue flame on naked flesh and the skin are real. It is only the skill, the rhythm, and the timing of the Dominant, which keeps the submissive from being burned.

The submissive observer may have seen it before. She may have even done it. And knows what her sister on the table is experiencing, and secretly finds herself wishing that it was herself on the table. The submissive that has yet to try it may find her drawn to it. She may yet fear the fire, fear being burned; still watching the skill of the Dominant player is building inner confidence that he would not burn her. She knows that she will feel the kiss of the flame against her skin, perhaps not that night but one day for certain. When she is ready for it she will lay herself upon the table, for the dancing flame has captivated her soul.

The Dominant observer watches and his soul too is captivated by the flame. Inwardly he admires the rhythm and flow of the player's motion, and wonders if it is something he could learn. He wants to gain knowledge, become a more versatile player. Perhaps he will ask the player to teach him the skills necessary. This manual is written for all of those described above, and for all of those who have a desire to experience fire play from any perspective, Dominant or submissive. It is intended to be an aid for a hands-on training workshop and later to be used as reference and refresher. It is not intended to be a stand-alone training manual for teaching fire play.

Fire play practiced by one who has developed the skills for it is reasonably safe, and submissives rarely get burned. In the hands of the unskilled attempting to do fire play the risk of an accident is increased a thousand fold or more. If you come across this manual and have not attended one of the author's workshops, then by all means feel free to read this, but before you decide to play, find a skilled fire play mentor, one who you respect, and have him show you the hands-on that is necessary to practice safe and sane fire play.

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What Fire Play Is and Is Not

Fire play is one form of what is termed edge play or playing on the edge. It is also an advanced form of play. The term advanced is used here not necessarily to imply that one has to be in the lifestyle for a long time before attempting to do fire play, but rather that one should be mentored by one who is an experienced fire player instead of reading about it and trying learn it on one's own.

It's not a difficult skill to learn, and yes fire play does require a certain amount of skill. If you have a reasonable amount of coordination, are willing to listen, and can stay focused, you should be able to learn fire play without too much difficulty .All basic fire play is, is a series of practiced movements and timing. The timing is the time between laying the fire on the skin and brushing away the flame before the submissive is burned or hurt. That is the essence of basic fire play.

Fire play is the only BDSM play form where there are always three living entities involved in the play. Fire if left uncontrolled can , and will take on a life of its own, so it should always be considered a living entity. The other two entities are the Dominant and the submissive. The Dominant fire player needs the ability to control all three at the same time.

Fire play is a sensual play, meaning that it is more orientated toward sensual pleasure rather than toward pain. There is almost constant physical contact between the Dominant and the submissive during play. The Dominant's hand is always brushing the flame from the skin. Even when he is changing torches, he should keep one hand in contact with the submissive as much as possible. This helps to relax and reassure the submissive.

While fire play is an intense experience for both the submissive and the Dominant it is not pain oriented. I caution those who want to learn or experience fire playas a means of getting new pain sensations that the risk of great bodily harm is too great to try it with that mind set. If you can't control the urge to either inflict pain or receive pain then perhaps fire play is something that you shouldn't try.

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When we play does that play have an objective? How many have ~ ever given it conscious thought. Let's begin by giving a definition to objective. I love to define things because it is only through definition and being on the same page so to speak that we can communicate effectively. Back to defining "objective". It is a singular path to reach a specific goal that one has in mind. I think everyone has objectives in their play whether or not they've given it conscious thought. Conversely, there can be many objectives in one session or scene. There are two terms tossed around the community and used almost interchangeably. To me a session is play done in privacy. A scene is public play before an audience. If you are at home playing it is a session. If you are playing at a club or a party it is a scene. In either case many objectives can and do come into play.

When I do fire play I have many objectives in mind. Two of the more important ones are don't burn the submissive and don't burn down the building, beyond that are other objectives.

  • Did the submissive go into sub space?
  • Was there intensity in the session?
  • Did I take the time to help the submissive relax?
  • Was I relaxed?
  • Did I read her body language right?
  • Did I give her breaks from the fire?
  • Were my movements fluid and sure?
  • Did I handle unexpected events smoothly?
  • Did I work the fire around her body so hot spots were minimal?
  • Was there variety in the play?
  • Did the session or scene end prematurely because of some problem?
  • Is the sub unharmed?
  • Is the place still intact?

If you've never thought about it, those are the types of things that either consciously or subconsciously goes through my mind when I fire play.

If I'm able to answer the above questions to myself: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no, no, no; then I've had a good, if not an awesome session or scene. If I can't answer the questions that way, then I need to understand what was wrong and correct it for the next time.

I used this as an example of how I approach my objectives for fire play. Yours may be the same or they may be entirely different. The real point is to get you to think and Develop a clear idea of where you are going and how you are going to get there.

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There is certain equipment you will need to do fire play. Keep in mind that comfort and safety are of the utmost importance. Both the Dom and the sub should be in comfortable positions before play begins. The submissive needs to be able to relax completely. The Dominant needs to be in a position where He/She has freedom of movement, and won't tire or get cramped muscles during the play. The floor is out for play. A bed is good, but experience has shown that most beds are a little low for long sessions because the muscles in the lower back tend to cramp after a time. Best is a table with a thick pad covered with vinyl, leather, or some sort of upholstery material that can be easily cleaned. Vinyl and leather are both initially cold against bare skin and the skin tends to stick to both so a bed sheet or blanket should be placed between the submissive and the upholstery. This should be done for both comfort and hygiene. The above is referenced for either play at home or at a play party where the host allows fire play. Keep in mind that the play party host may not have an adequate table for play and you may have to supply your own with the host's permission. BDSM clubs which allow fire play should and usually do have a table suited for the purpose.

Tables can be expensive $250-$300. M&K Creations makes a quality combination fire play/bondage table for $260.

You will also need a table of some sort and of sufficient size to safely hold your play tools. Keep in mind that you will be using a lit candle and have an open container of alcohol close by. There needs to be about one foot of distance between the candle and the alcohol. In addition you need room to lie out extra torches and possibly other highly flammable materials such as flash cotton or flash paper. The use of flash cotton or flash paper is not covered in this manual but will be in the manual covering advanced techniques. If you plan to incorporate another play form into your session or scene routine, such as knife play or use ice or cold packs in your play, keep in mind that the table should be of a size to hold those items as well. For playing at home a nightstand, end table, or side table should suit your purpose. For play at a play party you should check with the host and make sure that there is a table that will suit your needs available for you to use. Some BDSM clubs have a fire play area set up, others don't. Usually they can find something that will work. The drawback is that sometimes what they find for you to use means that it is something used for another form of play so potentially you are affecting someone else's fun.

Experience has shown that it is best for you to provide your own equipment table. There are good reasons for it. It is something that is familiar to you and you know it will work. You know how you want your toys laid out and you are confident that it is the correct size to hold everything.

If you are taking your equipment table to either a play party or a club, then it must be not only of sturdy construction so it won't easily tip over. It needs to be collapsible, and light for easy transportation. A wooden t v tray works well for this purpose. It is of sufficient size and fulfills the other requirements.

Quality wooden t v trays are available at several stores in the area. Costco sells a set of 4 with stand for $25.00.

A fire extinguisher is a safety item you should have. If you don't have one in your home, then I would suggest you purchase one. Check with the host of any play party that you plan to attend to see if afire extinguisher is available. If one is not then you should take one with you. Most BDSM clubs have afire extinguisher available. Check with the DM before you begin play to see if they have one and make sure it is handy and ready for use. Remember a fire extinguisher is only good if it is close at hand. If you have to look for it in an emergency you are probably in big trouble.

Fire extinguishers and how to use them will be discussed further under the section on fire safety. Fire extinguishers are available at most hardware stores Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, and others. Make sure that it is an ABC extinguisher. The cost is $15 and up.

Some sort of first aid items should be apart of your toy bag. You should have items like a cold pack; burn ointment, Neosporin, band-aids and disinfectant swabs at a minimum. This will treat most minor burns and cuts, which can occur during play. More about burns will be discussed under the heading ( Burns What They Are and How They Should Be Treated )

First Aid supplies are available at any pharmacy. The cost is $20 or less.

Now you need the things to play with.

The torch you can easily and inexpensively make yourself using chopsticks and bandage gauze. (See: the section under Torches )

Chopsticks are available at Fred Meyer House Wares Dept. for a cost of $2.00 for twenty chopsticks. Get wooden ones not plastic. They carry both kinds. Johnson & Johnson bandage gauze is available at any pharmacy or grocery store for about $2.50 per roll. One roll will make three torches.

You will need alcohol. The only alcohol to use for fire play is 70% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol. (There is a further discussion in the section on Fuels ). Alcohol is available at any pharmacy or grocery store. The cost is under $1.00 per pint. It is also available in quart size.

A lot of fire players in this area use a 20 oz steaming pitcher, normally used for making lattes, to hold the alcohol for play. It is good for this purpose because it is stable and made of stainless steel. Steaming pitchers are available at shops selling latte and espresso supplies, or at restaurant equipment wholesalers. The cost is from $10-15.

Any candle and candleholder will do as long as the candleholder has a sufficiently sized base to maintain the candle in a stable position. For candles, I use survival candles. They are a little bigger, but store easily in the toy bag and last longer than tapers.

Survival candles are available at any sporting goods store. Cost is under $2.00 per package.

If you intend to do Fire Balls in your play you will need a spray bottle. An 8oz. bottle is a good size because it fits well into a toy bag. The best type of bottle to use is one that has only 3 settings, closed, stream and wide spray, rather than one that has a fully adjustable spray. You can find these bottles at Rite Aide in the ladies makeup section for about $4.00.

If you decide not to purchase a table or TV stand the cost to '~ become a safe fire player is around $50.

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I wanted to comment briefly about fuels. As was stated several times throughout this manual the only tried, tested, and universally used fuel for torch type fire play is 70% isopropyl RUBBING ALCOHOL.

Sometimes when you go to a pharmacy there will be three different types of alcohol on the shelf. There may be on the same shelf, 70% ethyl alcohol, or 90% Isopropyl RUBBING ALCOHOL as well as 70% isopropyl RUBBING ALCOHOL. Even reading this you may find it a little confusing, because the names and percentages are so similar. The labels on the bottles look very much alike when you see them, and if you feel rushed when you are purchasing alcohol you can easily pick up the wrong type of alcohol... Read the label and make sure you are getting what you want.

Now you are probably wondering, why can't I use the Ethyl alcohol if its 70%, or why can't I use the 90% rubbing alcohol, after all it is rubbing alcohol?

Ethyl alcohol is the same type of alcohol that is used in alcoholic beverages. While you are doing fire play you are breathing the alcohol vapors, the alcohol is heated which makes the molecules in the alcohol more active and more readily absorbed by the body through the mucous membranes. Simply stated fire playing with ethyl alcohol will make you drunk while you are playing.

Well what about 90% rubbing alcohol you ask? That should really be intense for the sub. Therein lays the problem with 90% rubbing alcohol. It does burn hotter, to hot for the human body. The flame is harder to see and harder to control.

There is another concern I have when I teach fire play to others. As they gain some experience with it and confidence in their play they tend to want to experiment. The whole lifestyle is built around pushing limits of both sub and Dom, experimenting and trying new ways of doing things. I've done a lot of experimenting with fire play, but the one thing I've never done is experiment with different kinds of fuel on a living human body. However, I have researched the possibility of using different fuels.

Potentially there are a number of different fuels available. Anything which is flammable could be considered a fuel: white gas, Coleman fuel; kerosene, lamp oil, acetone, paint thinner, and denatured alcohol to name a few.

White gas and Coleman fuel are essentially the same thing. Both burns in the same manner which alcohol burns. All three consume lots of oxygen as the burn which is why it is easy to smother or blowout a small alcohol flame. It also makes them an easy fuels to ignite. Like alcohol they burn clean. The problem with using them is that they burn at about the same temperature as pure alcohol which is way too hot for the human body to tolerate for even a short period of time.

Kerosene and lamp oil are very similar in their makeup. Both burns at a lower temperature than alcohol, white gas or Coleman fuel. Kerosene and lamp oil are harder to ignite and neither burn clean. The flame tends to smoke and they put out a strong odor while burning. The flame doesn't consume as much oxygen as white gas or alcohol, and it is harder to put out. Another drawback is that kerosene and lamp oil leave an oily film on both the surface being touched and the torch.

Both acetone and paint thinner evaporate very quickly. Both have very strong odors, and the fumes from them will not only make you high, but both you and the sub risk the chance of passing out it you were to attempt to use either as a fuel for fire play.

Denatured alcohol is 100% alcohol. In industry it is used as a cleaning solvent. It is primarily ethyl alcohol 85%, which has been rendered undrinkable by adding 15% methyl alcohol, which is wood alcohol. The flame is too hot for the human body to endure, and breathing the fumes could possibly give you vision problems. The vision problems I've not tested, but I do know consuming wood alcohol can cause blindness.

It is hoped that this discussion has dissuaded you from trying to experiment with other fuels. Stick to 70% isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol and you won't get into trouble with fuel.

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The torch for fire play is perhaps the main piece of equipment you will need. Torches can be made in a number of different ways, but basically all are made from an absorbent material wrapped around the end of a handle of some sort and secured.

In different areas of the country, fire players describe different ways to make a torch. One will tell you to use a 1/4 inch diameter wooden dowel about 14 inches long for the handle, then fold a 4 X 4 bandage in half and filled it with cotton balls and wrap that on one end of the handle and tie it there. This makes a rather large tip and it does hold an abundance of alcohol, perhaps more than a beginning fire player can control. In addition to wooden dowels, chop sticks can be used for torch handles, and 2 inch wide bandage gauze wrapped around the end of the handle can be used for the absorbent tip. Wooden handles will burn through after a time. Some fire players, and I among them, treat the handle with boiled linseed oil. It won't prevent the handle from burning through, but they last somewhat longer than the untreated ones. One fire player I know uses glass stirring rods for his torch handles. Recently I've begun experimenting with using a cheap barbecue fork for a torch handle. I cut the tines off the fork, which leaves a wooden handle and about a 7 inch long metal rod sticking out of the handle. I wrap the gauze around the end of the metal part. Those torches do not burn through.

The critical part of fashioning a torch is that the absorbent tip remain on the torch while you are playing. On two occasions I've experienced tips coming off the torch while playing. It happened once while I was using a torch make by another person. It happened to be the glass handle torch and the tip was glued on. The alcohol dissolved the glue and allowed the tip to slide off the handle. The second time it happened was with a torch I had made using a wooden dowel and again using glue to secure the tip. Both times a serious incident could have happened, and I was lucky that it didn't. Glue will dissolve in alcohol. Do not use it to attach a torch tip.

When using a wooden handle for afire play torch the best way to make sure the absorbent tip will stay securely attached to the handle is to rough up the area of the handle where the gauze is wrapped. Cut it with a knife so small pieces of wood are raised up. It really doesn't take much to hold the gauze in place.

If you choose to use a barbecue fork to fashion a fire play torch, run a threading die down the rod about an inch or so and that will hold the gauze, and keep it from sliding off the handle.

Contaminants in the absorbent tip will create a hotter flame. After use, I air dry my torches, but occasionally I would get one or two which to the submissive seemed to be burning hotter. When I unwrapped the gauze I found a blackish looking substance inside. I suspect that it was a fungus growth of some type, and immediately discarded the affected torches. If you fashion a torch from a barbecue fork, you should be aware that the metal rod is usually mild steel which has been chrome plated. Threading the rod breaks the chrome plating, exposing the mild steel. Alcohol is 30% water, and the threaded part can rust and contaminate the gauze tip. Consequently these torches require higher maintenance than other types of torches.

I've found that coating the threaded area with a light oil helps retard the rusting and it doesn't affect the heat of the flame. Also unwrapping the gauze from the handle and allowing it to dry helps prevent the rust form forming. Currently I am working on developing a torch using a stainless steel rod because I do like the idea of a lifetime torch.

When you are finished wrapping the gauze around the handle, the ends must be tied off securely. Some people split the end lengthwise and tie it off. The method I prefer is to sew the end of the wrapping with needle and thread. The important thing is that there cannot be any frayed or exposed ends in your wrap.

Today it is almost impossible to find 100% cotton bandage gauze. What is found now in the pharmacy is a polyester/rayon blend bandage gauze. Loose or frayed ends on your torch, will melt and cannot only burn the submissive, but can stick to the skin as well. Keeping the ends tight will prevent this from happening.

In summation about torches, the cheapest, easiest to maintain, and one of the most reliable torches for anyone just beginning to learn fire play is one which is made from chopsticks and 2 inch wide bandage gauze. They also serve the experienced fire player well too.

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There are a few basic rules which should be followed for all types of fire play:

  1. Never play while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  2. Never play when you are tired.
  3. Never try doing a routine that you have not practiced beforehand.
  4. Check your torches for loose tips and nearly burned through handles.
  5. Make sure all flammable material you do not intend to use is stored safely away from the play area. Make sure all alcohol containers are securely capped.
  6. Make sure your play set-up is neat and uncluttered.
  7. In public play make sure that the audience is a safe distance away before attempting to do fire balls.
  8. Make sure that fire balls will not touch any flammable material, such as draperies, blankets, paper, etc.
  9. The sub and her/his welfare is always your most important consideration, and warrants your greatest attention.
  10. Play safely, be safe, and always have fun with the play.

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In this section the actual procedure for doing fire play will be described. Everything from the warm up to aftercare will be covered. Also topics like skin texture, land mines, and hot spots will be talked about.

You as a Dominant may feel that you want to learn fire play to play with your current submissive, and that is the only person you will ever do fire play with. The odds are, however, that you will do fire play with any number of partners. There are a couple of reasons for it. Relationships within the lifestyle, generally don't have a history of being extremely long term. Another factor is, that at some point a submissive will see you doing fire play and be drawn to try it and ask you to do it with them. The reason the manual goes into some depth in some areas is to make you the player aware different conditions exist with different submissives.

You the reader may have done some research into fire play before reading this manual and taking the accompanying workshop. What you have read may be slightly different than what is being presented here. Some of these people talking about fire play would have you believe that their way is the only way to do it. Keep in mind as you read this manual and go through the workshop, that what others may say about how it should be done is only a technique they have learned. There are many techniques for laying the alcohol and igniting it, many different ways to do it, but it is still only a technique.

What is described in this manual and demonstrated in the workshop is one technique. It's the technique this author predominately uses to this day. The author likes this technique for its simplicity .It only requires two motions, that of laying the alcohol and flame on the skin and brushing it away. It is easy for the novice to learn, fits well with the experienced fire player.

Before beginning play everything you intend to use should be laid out in an orderly fashion, so each thing is easy to get to without knocking over something else. Also check your torches making sure the tips are secure, and the handles are not nearly burned through. You don't want any surprises while you are playing, like a torch coming apart, or a flaming candle getting knocked to the floor or your alcohol container getting spilled

With that said, let's cut to the chase.

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The Warm Up

As with most other forms of play we do, whether it be flogging, caning, single tail, etc., fire play requires a warm up period. The warm up is needed for two reasons. First is to help the submissive relax. The second is to get the submissive's endorphins working.

To begin with the submissive should be laying on their stomach. There are several things you can do during the warm up period. You can give the submissive a light massage, or just lightly stroke the submissive's body. It's the touch of the Dominant's hands that's important for the submissive. If the submissive is new to fire play, they may feel some apprehension even a sense of fear about trying it. Also speak softly to the submissive, encouraging her to relax. A soft voice and gentle hands are important keys to helping the submissive to relax.

A technique the author uses during this warm up period is to lightly tap Along each side of the submissive's spine with the ends of the fingers as some do to prepare the submissive for caning. The gentle caressing and the light tapping of the fingers help the submissive to relax and start the endorphins flowing.

A spanking of some sort is also helpful in getting endorphins flowing. You can use your hand, some sort of slapper, or even a faggot bundle if you have one. The author uses all three during warm up. We've talked about endorphins, but what are they and why are they important for us. Simply stated, endorphins are chemicals produced in the body under certain circumstances. Both pain and pleasure sensations can produce them. In one sense they act as pain inhibitor because they allow the submissive to withstand more intensity in play. In another sense create a sense of euphoria in the submissive. They become the submissive's pathway into sub space.

Take your time with the warm up. Don't rush it. If you, the Dominant, are feeling rushed or excited or apprehensive in any way, what you are feeling inside can be transmitted to the submissive though your fingers and hands and create a sense of apprehension inside her.

Background music for the session or scene is important. Music is a mood setter, so it should be something the submissive likes as well as something you feel that you can play to.

In a public scene such as a club or play party, you probably won't be able to control all the outside influences. There are usually the sounds of others playing, people talking, or you may not be able to tolerate the music being play. Going in this all adds up to potentially a less than satisfying scene. A suggestion is to bring a portable CD player with you equipped with headphones so the background noise is muted.

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Where To Start

In my workshops I teach people to practice with the torch on an inanimate object like a counter top, table top or a shelf before they ever try to apply fire to another individual. The feeling is that if they can get good runs on something like a counter top without making it hot to the touch they are almost ready to try it on a human. When the novice begins playing for real, it should be under the guidance and watchful eye of a very experienced fire player just so he is there if something should go wrong.

Play should begin on the back side of the human body. The back has afar greater tolerance for fire than does the front. Also the front of the human body, especially the female body has many cracks and crevasses into which alcohol can pool and the player not be aware it has happened until it is too late. Front play has other considerations as well, which will be discussed later. For the novice fire players I recommend that they stick to the back side of the body until they have gotten a lot of experience with fire play.

Even on the back side of the human body, certain areas have greater tolerance for fire than others. The bottoms of the feet have the greatest tolerance, followed by the buttocks, the backs of the legs, the small of the back and the upper back in that order.

Although the bottoms of the feet have the greatest tolerance for fire, they are not a good place to begin, and should never be done with a dripping wet torch. Alcohol can run between the submissive's toes and ignite. It is a place where it is difficult to put the fire out.

A point to always keep in mind: alcohol always runs down, fire always runs up. Alcohol will pool in low areas and if you are not aware of its presence it can be accidentally ignited. That condition is a disaster waiting to happen.

This author has found it a good idea to draw the torch partly out of the alcohol cup and press it against the inside of the cup to wring out a little of the alcohol before lighting the torch. This reduces the risk of flaming alcohol accidentally dripping onto the floor or the fire play table or the submissive. It's just one less thing for the player and especially the beginning fire player to worry about.

The first touch of the torch against the skin should be on the buttocks area. It should be followed by a quick brush of the hand to smother the flame on the submissive's skin. When the torch is not being applied to the skin it should be held up and away from your face as well as the submissive's body.

Fire play is best done in a dimly lit room. In bright light the flame on the skin is nearly invisible. In dim light it is a blue flame. However, in a dimly lit room the torch light is bright enough that it may leave you partially blinded for a moment or two if you look directly into the flame, so it is best to hold it away from your face and eyes when you are not using it.

Keep your free hand in contact with the submissive. It gives the submissive a sense of being grounded and is reassuring. Move your free hand around gently caressing the skin. It is also good to rub the place where you intend to put the torch next before touching the skin with it. This gives the submissive a moment to prepare before the flame touches.

There is another reason for keeping the hand in contact with the submissive and moving it around while you are not applying the torch. You can feel hot spots on the skin. There are two reasons for hot spots to occur. One, the primary reason, is that you have played a little too long in that area. The second reason has to do with the body's physiology. The body is both a conductor and a resistor. As it will conduct electricity it will also conduct heat, and the same is true with its resistance. Some areas of the skin have a higher resistance than other areas of the skin. The higher the resistance the quicker a hot spot will occur. Hot spots or warmer areas of the skin indicate a pre-burn condition and should be avoided for a time. If the skin is turning pinkish or reddening it indicates a first degree burn and that area should be avoided as well.

As you work the torch, use short sure motions. Don't work an area larger than you know you can control. Wipe the torch across the skin, followed by the other hand to brush away the flame. Even if there is no noticeable flame on the skin it is a good idea to follow the torches path with your hand. Doing this instills a sense of complete motion in the submissive's mind and doesn't leave her/him hanging.

Don't concentrate on one place, move the torch around the body so hot spots and burns are not created. You can work the buttocks, the legs, backs and sides, the bottoms of the feet, the lower and upper back.

A word of caution, make sure that the submissive's hair is tucked out of the way so it can't be sent on fire. Submissive's with singed off hair don't look good, and the smell of burning hair is a horrendous odor.

When a torch is too dry to lay the alcohol on the skin it is time to change the torch. Blowout the torch, making sure it is completely extinguished before putting it back into the alcohol container.

If the submissive begins to jump around on the table, she/he is obviously reacting to the heat. When this happens the author, gives her a break from the fire, by running his hands over her body. This will help her to relax and go deeper into sub space. It is also a good idea to do this i after every two or three torches. This also helps to extend the session or scene time. For me a really good session or scene will last from 30 to 45 minutes, and I have played for more than an hour in sessions.

A technique I use is to incorporate knife play into the fire session. The blade of the knife helps cool the hot spots, and for many submissives it is relaxing as well. However, do not use the knife to cut or scratch the skin because when you go back the fire the alcohol will sting.

You can move the torch in straight lines, circles, S's, and even make designs on the skin with it, in your play routine. The key is to develop a fluid, sure motion with the torch, and make sure the flame on the skin is brushed completely away. You never leave one area to play on another area with a flame still burning on the first. It takes practice to develop sure and smooth motions for play, so practice those often. When I first began fire play, I would practice my hand motions while I was watching t v or doing something else that didn't require my hands.

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Unexpected Things Do Happen

Several things can happen during a fire scene or session that you totally weren't expecting. Sometimes it seems like its Murphy's law at work. If it can happen it will. We've covered many ways to prevent unexpected events from happening, but still you should be prepared for them when they do happen.

In my experience I've had things like the head of a flaming torch come off the handle and roll to the submissive's side away from me. I've had unexpected burn backs happen, and the submissive have a panic attack on the table while we were playing.

The burn back is perhaps the most common unexpected event you will encounter. Burn backs are good and can be impressive if you are expecting and controlling them. When you aren't expecting them and they happen they are a bad thing and potentially disastrous, because when you first see it your first emotion is one of panic. We need an explanation of the term "burn back". It is a condition where there is a residue of wet alcohol remaining on the skin after the flame has been brushed away. If this area is touched by the flaming torch, the alcohol will be reignited and burn. If it's a long run, say the length of the calf or thigh, the flame will follow the length of the alcohol stripe and burn until it is put out again. Pay attention for wet spots on the skin. Unless you intend to light them, avoid them until the alcohol has dried away.

In addition to brushing away the flame. The flame is easily blown out with a breath. It is wise to hold a breath while you are playing. Blowing out an unexpected burn back is the easiest and most effective way to handle it.

Prior to beginning play you should check the heads of your torches to make sure they are secured tightly to the handle. If you are using a wooden handle also check to see how badly it is burned. Wooden handles will eventually burn through, or break in a burned area during play, allowing the head to come off the torch and roll free. If this should happen while you are playing, locate the burning head and get it away from the submissive's body as quickly as possible. Knock it to the floor and step on it to put it out.

Encountering or creating land mines such as flashbacks and panic attacks always has the potential for happening during fire play. Many people have had serious and bad experiences with fire. The submissive could have been involved in a bad wax play scene, or have been trapped in a fire, or have lost someone close to them in a fire. Any of a number of things could have happened previously which may trigger a flashback or some other negative response from the submissive while she/he is on the table. If the submissive has either a flashback or a panic attack, or begins to hyperventilate or exhibits any other strong negative reaction during fire play. Stop play immediately. The submissive will probably be in some state of sub space. The submissive will be disoriented perhaps until she/he is able to come out of sub space a little, but you need her/him to sit up and focus their attention on you. Hold them by the shoulders and speak to them in a firm commanding voice until you have their attention. Once you are able to get their attention focused on you keep them focused until they have settled down and are calm again.

Then it is time to begin after care. At some later time, after they have fully recovered, it is time to communicate and find out what was going on inside the submissive's mind while you were playing. It could be that the submissive was challenging a fear of fire. It could be that something hidden was triggered inside the submissive, or any number of other things. You as the Dominant need to know these things, so in the future you can work the submissive through these fears and negative reactions.

Also the submissive's mind can play tricks on her/him. You are laying fire against their skin, and if you are doing things properly you are brushing it away before it can burn the submissive. The submissive may react like or complain that she/he is being burned. You need to reassure the submissive that they are not being burned. Give them a break for awhile, stroke them and get them to relax, then try the fire again.

Another thing which can happen during fire play is the submissive can achieve an orgasm during the play. An inadvertent orgasm is rare, but does occur, if you desire to see the submissive cum, often times she will if told to do so.

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A Word About Front Play

Only experienced fire players should attempt front play. The front of the female human body presents far more problems for fire play than does the back side. There are curves, valleys, little nooks and crannies into which the alcohol can seep and lay waiting unsuspected. You always have to be aware of where the torch is being placed, and what the alcohol is doing, pooling, running, or just remaining as a wet strip as the flame is brushed away. This is true whether you are playing the front or the back. Often times as well, you will encounter body piercing. Pierced nipples, navels, labia, and clit hoods are the most common. The problem with playing around piercings is twofold. One the alcohol can seep into the opening without you being aware of it, and two, the metal jewelry can be overheated and create burns. Warming the metal a little gives the submissive an intense experience, but again only someone who has a lot of experience should attempt this.

With front fire play, you can work the fronts, and sides of the legs, the tops and bottoms of the feet, the stomach, and yes you can have flaming titties. The legs and the breasts are the most heat tolerant. The stomach is the least heat tolerant.

If you've already done play on the back, the submissive already will be in some depth of sub space. Front play will send her even deeper almost immediately with the first touch of the flaming torch. Again begin your play with the most tolerant areas. The fronts of the legs are a good place to start, then follow through to the feet. Doing fire play on the breasts create a potential problem. Although the breasts are fairly heat tolerant, the nipples are more sensitive, also the flame of the torch is close to the submissive's face. Even with her/his eyes closed they may still sense the light from the flame. Also they will feel the heat of the torch against their throat, chin and face. When you lift the torch away from the skin, always hold it up away from the body and in the direction of the submissive's feet, not close to the face.

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Fire Balls

Fire Balls Fire balls are great. In a public scene they attract a lot of attention from people watching the scene. To create a fire ball set the nozzle of the spray bottle to the wide spray setting. It is a good thing to have preset the bottle and tested it before play begins. During the session or scene the room is dimly lit, and you may have a little difficulty setting the spray bottle to the correct setting.

Fire balls produce a lot of light and heat. People several feet away can feel the blast of heat, and the submissive can feel it even more. Practice the fire ball technique before you ever try it in either a session or a scene. Learn how big the ball of fire is and how far it is likely to travel. The bottom of the fire ball should be at least a foot above the submissive's body, never spray it directly at the body, but above it. Also make sure that anyone watching the scene is sufficiently far away that they won't be touched by the flame.

Another thing to be aware of is little droplets of unburned alcohol will land on the submissive as well as on the table. This is unavoidable, and can possibly create an unexpected situation. When you again begin to apply the torch to the submissive's body watch closely for any effects these droplets may have and what you expect to happen. Usually there is no problem, but be prepared in case one develops.

To create afire ball, hold a lit torch directly in front of you and about 2 feet above the submissive. Spray the alcohol from the bottle directly onto the lit torch. One or two squirts are usually very effective. If you try too many, the torch will become thoroughly saturated, and flaming drops of alcohol can drip onto the submissive.

Again it is wise to practice this technique before you ever try it around a human, or use it in a session or scene.

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Can I Combine Other Play With Fire Play?

Shortly after I began playing with fire as a BDSM play, I began experimenting with combining other play into a fire scene. I learned that some things work and do enhance a session or a scene. I've already indicated that I use knife play in my fire scenes and sessions as well. My slave loves the sensation of the steel knife blade against her skin as much as she has grown to love the fire. Fire and knives go well together. Introducing a cold substance like ice into the scene. I read once long ago that using ice in a fire session or scene creates in the submissive the sense that the sub is being branded. I've tried it and have not gotten that type of reaction from any submissive who I've tried it with. What I have found is that the ice melts and leaves water on the subs skin. The water will affect the torch as it will dilute the alcohol, and the fire runs on wet skin aren't nearly as effective as those on dry skin. But Ice does give a good alternating hot and cold sensation. No days rather than using ice I use a cold pack to achieve that effect. The cold pack I use is of a type used for treating burns. It's inexpensive, gets cold in a few seconds (about the temperature to freeze water), and will remain cold for the duration of a session or scene. Also it doesn't leave the skin wet, nor is there any type of residue left on the skin.

Light caning can be used during the warm-up period, as well as a paddle or other spanking toy.

In my experience wax play does not work well at all in a fire scene. The wax lies on the skin and it is almost impossible to get it all off in a scene. It will melt into the hot torch. Then it acts just about like popcorn popping, throwing tiny bits of extremely hot wax against the sub's skin. The alcohol we use in fire play is 70% alcohol, the remaining 30% is water. The water trapped beneath the wax on the torch turns to steam and explodes.

What about flogging and fire? I've seen light fire play introduced into a flogging scene. Usually it is done after the flogging warm up or before. It seems to work well, but this is fire introduced into a predominantly flogging scene.

If you intend to do to a flogging scene and a fire scene with the same submissive in the same evening, it is best to do the fire scene first. Flogging sensitizes the skin, making the fire feel hotter against the skin, and usually you will not have as satisfying a fire scene.

A violet wand works well in afire scene. However, the techniques for using it are more advanced that the scope of this basic fire play manual intends to describe.

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Bruises, Stretch Marks, etc.

There will be times when you play with subs who have bruises, stretch marks, cuts and scratches on their skin. You may wonder how this will affect the session or scene.

Bruises which are several days old, seem to have no effect on play. This means that the skin is not more heat sensitive in the bruised area than on other areas of the skin. Stretch marks on the other hand, are areas where the skin has been made thinner by the stretching of the skin. These areas are usually more heat sensitive. Treat areas where there are stretch marks as you would any other sensitive are.

Cuts and scratches if they are fresh, can affect the play. The alcohol seeps into them and stings. If they are older cuts or scratches and are scabbed over, these areas may be more sensitive to heat, but usually will not sting from the alcohol.

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After Care

When the play is done, after care is as important for the submissive, as it is for any other play you do. The sub will need all the attention you normally give in after care. If you have played on a table, do not try to have the sub get up too soon. Remember the sub is probably in a deep level of sub space, and it may take several minutes before she/he is able to move, so do not attempt to have them get off the table until they are somewhat cohesive in their speech. Also their balance may be impaired so they could slip and fall as they are trying to get off the table or try to walk.

The sub needs to be covered completely with a blanket to keep from getting chilled. There should also be water or some liquid for the submissive, as she/he may be dehydrated from the play. While the sub is lying on the table, talk to them, stroke their hair and praise them. After a period of time ask them if they are ready to get up. If they don't feel ready to move, don't press the issue. Even if she/he says they are ready to get off the table, use your best judgment about letting them get up. If their eyes are still glassy, and their speech is slurred, I won't let them get up. It's far better to have them lay there than to have an accident happen. There is no set time for recovery and each sub's time will be different. Even after the sub is off the table, she/he will probably require additional after care.

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How Fires Start

Fire is a chemical reaction involving rapid oxidation or burning of a fuel. It needs three elements to occur:

Fuel FUEL - Fuel can be any combustible material-solid, liquid, or gas. Most solids and liquids become a vapor or gas before they will burn.
Oxygen OXYGEN - The air we breathe is about 21 percent oxygen. Fire only needs an atmosphere of about 16 percent oxygen.
Heat HEAT - Heat is the energy necessary to increase the temperature of the fuel to a point where sufficient vapors are given off for ignition to occur.
Chemical Reaction CHEMICAL REACTION - A chain reaction can occur when the three elements of fire are present in the proper conditions and proportions. Fire occurs when this rapid oxidation or burning takes place.

Take away anyone of these factors, and the fire cannot 1 occur or will be extinguished if it is already burning.

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How Fires Are Classified

Class A Class A CLASS A
A Ordinary combustibles or fibrous material, such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber and some plastics.


Class B Class B CLASS B
Flammable or combustible liquids such as alcohol, gasoline, kerosene, paint, paint thinners, and propane


Class C Class C CLASS C
Energized electrical equipment such as appliances, switches, power boxes and tools.


Class D Class D CLASS D
Certain combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium, and sodium. These metals burn at high temperatures and give off sufficient oxygen to support combustion. They may react violently with water or other chemicals and must be handled with care.

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How To Prevent Fires From Occurring


Class A Class A - Ordinary combustibles

In fire play keep the area free of combustible materials and trash.

Store away everything that is not going to be used in your session or scene.


Class B Class B - Flammable liquid or gasses

In fire play pour only the alcohol that you will be using. Tightly recap the unused portion and store it safely away from the play area, preferably in the toy bag.

As a reminder for home fire safety this is included. Don't refuel gasoline-powered equipment in a confined space, especially in the presence of an open flame, cigarette, furnace, or water heater.

Don't refuel gasoline-powered equipment while it hot.

Keep flammable liquids stored in tightly closed, self closing, spill proof containers.

Store flammable liquids away from spark producing sources.

Use flammable liquids only in well ventilated areas.


Class C Class C - Electrical equipment

While electrical equipment in not necessarily a part of fire play it is sometimes used not only for fire play but in other play that we do as well, which is why it is included in this manual.

Check your electrical equipment for worn insulation, cuts in the wiring, and broken plugs. If any of those conditions exist correct them before you attempt to play.

Don't misuse fuses. Never install a fuse which is rated higher than the specific circuit. Never replace a burned fuse with a penny.

Investigate any equipment or appliance that smells strange. Unusual odors can be the first sign of fire.

Don't overload outlets. Outlets should never have more than two plugs.


Class D Class D - Flammable metals

Most of us will never encounter a flammable metal fire in our lifetimes, let alone in our play. This is included to make you aware that this class of fire does exist.

Flammable metals such as magnesium and titanium generally take a very hot heat source to ignite; however, once ignited are difficult to extinguish as the burning reaction produces sufficient oxygen to support combustion, even under water.

In some cases covering the burning metal with sand can help contain the heat and sparks from the reaction. Class D extinguishing agents are available (generally as a dry powder in a bucket or box) which can be quite effective.

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When Not To Fight A Fire

Never fight a fire:

  • If the fire is spreading beyond the spot where it started.
  • If you can't fight the fire with your back to an escape exit
  • If the fire can block your only escape.
  • If you don't have adequate fire-fighting equipment
  • In any of these situations


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How To Identify The Proper Fire Extinguisher

All ratings are shown on the extinguisher faceplate. Some extinguishers are marked with multiple ratings such as AB, BC ABC. These extinguishers are capable of putting out more than one class of fire.

Class A and B extinguishers carry a numerical rating that indicates how large a fire an experienced person can safely put out with that extinguisher.

Class C extinguishers have only a letter rating to indicate that the extinguishing agent will not conduct electrical current. Class C extinguishers must also carry a Class A or B rating.

Class D extinguishers carry only a letter rating indicating their effectiveness on certain amounts of specific metals.

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Remember the acronym, "P.A.S.S."


Pull the Pin Fire


Aim extinguisher nozzle At the base of the flames


Squeeze trigger while holding Extinguisher upright


Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the area of the fire with the extinguishing agent.


  • Should your path of escape be threatened.
  • Should the extinguisher run out of agent
  • Should the extinguisher prove to be ineffective.
  • Should you no longer be able to fight the fire.


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How To Extinguish Small Fires

Class A Class A - Extinguish ordinary combustibles by cooling the material below is ignition temperature and soaking the fibers to prevent reignition. Use pressurized water, foam or multi-purpose (ABC-rated) dry chemical extinguishers. DO NOT USE carbon dioxide or ordinary (BC rated) dry chemical extinguishers on Class A fires.

Class B Class B - Extinguish flammable liquids, greases or gases by moving oxygen, preventing the vapors from reaching the ignition source or inhibiting the chemical chain reaction. Foam, carbon dioxide ordinary (BC rated) dry chemical, multi-purpose dry chemical, and halon extinguishers may be extinguishers may be used on Class B fires.

Class C Class C - Extinguish energized electrical equipment by using an extinguishing agent that is not capable of conducting electrical currents. Carbon dioxide ordinary (BC rated) dry chemical, multi-purpose dry chemical and halon fire extinguishers may be used to fight Class C fires. DO NOT USE water or water extinguishers on energized electrical equipment.

Class D Class D - Extinguish combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, potassium, and sodium with dry powder extinguishing agents specially designated for the material involve. In. most cases, they absorb the heat from the material, cooling it below is ignition point.

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How To Inspect Your Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extimnguisher Know the location for the fire extinguisher.

Make sure the class of fire extinguisher is safe to use on fires likely to occur in the immediate area.

Check the plastic seal holding the pin in the extinguisher handle. Has the extinguisher been tampered with or used before?

Look at the gauge and feel the weight. Is the extinguisher full? Does it need to be recharged?

Make sure the pin, nozzle and nameplate are intact.

The APPEARANCE of the fire extinguisher

ABC-rated fire extinguishers are ideal for home use and recommended as the one to use for safety during fire play. They are also the most common ones found in commercial buildings and probably where you work. They are almost always RED in color and have a long narrow hose or no hose (just a short nozzle). They are very light (5 to 25 lbs total weight).

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How To Evacuate A Building

  • The last one out of the room should not lock the door, just close it. Locking the door hinders the fire department's search and rescue efforts.
  • Proceed to the exit.
  • Never use elevators under any circumstances.
  • Stay low to avoid smoke and toxic gasses. The best air is close to the floor, so crawl if necessary.
  • If possible cover your mouth and nose with a damp cloth to help you breathe.
  • If you are in a building with multiple stories, a stairway will be your primary escape route. Most enclosed stairways in buildings over two stories are "rated" enclosures and will provide you a safe means of exit; don't panic descend the stairs slowly and carefully.
  • Once in the stairwell proceed down to the first floor. Never go up.
  • Once outside the building report either to a predetermined area or someone in charge of rescue operations so they know you are out, of the building.

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What To Do If Trapped In A Burning Building

  • If you are trying to escape afire, never open a door without feeling it first. Use the back of your hand to prevent burning the palm. If the door is hot try another exit. If none exists seal the door with anything available.
  • If trapped look for the nearest phone and call the fire department, giving them your exact location
  • If breathing is difficult, try to ventilate the room. If on an upper floor and a window CANNOT be opened. DON'T break it out, you'll be raining glass down on rescuers and people exiting the building.
  • If you can't contact the fire department by phone, wave for attention at the window. Don't panic

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What To Do If Someone Catches Fire

If you should catch fire:

STOP - where you are
DROP - to the floor
ROLL -around on the floor

This will smother the flames, possibly saving your life.

If someone near you catches fire, smother the flames by grabbing a coat, blanket or rug and wrapping them in it. That could save them from serious burns or even death.


These are the keys to preventing and surviving fires wherever they occur

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What They Are and How They Should Be Treated

Burns are classified as first, second, and third degree according to the depth of the burn. In the first few hours it may be difficult to assess the depth. Burns can be caused by fire, sun, hot liquids or objects, electrical current, or chemicals.

1st Degree Burns

Superficial; causes reddened skin as in sunburn, or touch of an iron. It is the most common burn during fire play.

A first degree burn is painful, but is not a major problem even if over a large area. A doctor's attention is seldom necessary for this type of burn.

1st Degree Burn

2nd Degree Burns

Deeper than 1st degree; causes splitting of the skin layers and blistering as in a severe sunburn or scalding water. 2nd degree burns can occur during fire play.

These burns are painful, and if extensive, may cause significant fluid loss.

Scarring is usually minimal and infection is usually not a problem.

This type of burn can be treated at home if not too extensive. (More than 20 to 30 square inches of skin is extensive).

Any second degree burn of the face or hands should be seen by a doctor, as these may result in cosmetic problems or decreased function.

2nd Degree Burn

3rd Degree Burns

Destroys all layers of skin and extends into deeper tissue. These are painless as the nerve endings have been destroyed. Charring may be present (brown or black in color).

These burns result in scarring and present frequent and severe problems with infection and fluid loss. The more extensive the burn the more severe the problem

All third degree burns require a doctor's evaluation immediately.

Skin grafts are often needed.

3rd Degree Burn

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Apply something cold immediately. (Such as ice wrapped in a towel, a burn cold pack, cold tap water, a cold pop can, a bag of frozen vegetables, etc.) Apply for at least five minutes and continue until the pain is relieved or for 1 hour, which ever occurs first. This may be reapplied if the pain reoccurs.

Aspirin may be used for pain.

Do not intentionally rupture blisters. If they do open up, leave the overlying skin intact to act as a wet dressing.

Do not use local anesthetic creams or sprays. These may delay healing.

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  • All third degree burns
  • Extensive second degree burns
  • Second degree burns of the hands of face
  • Any signs of infection such as: white, yellow, or green drainage, increased pain, increased redness, foul odor, fever.
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06/25/2013 08:13 PM -0400