LYNX: Waxing Philosophic - Temperature Play & Hot Wax
24 August 2020
Lynx AKA LeathermanLynx has been involved in Leather/KINK/BDSM as a follower, leader, supporter and champion of education in our community since 2015. In this piece, Lynx AKA member LeathermanLynx shares his insight and experiences from playing with Hot Wax.
Earlier today my partner and I went for pedicures -- he has a thing for feet. Towards the second half of my pedicure, the technician asked, "What colour wax do you want?" It caught me off guard, but I realized I had been given a choice of green or orange paraffin wax for the pedicure - I chose orange. I put my feet in the molten orange wax and - DAMN! - it felt so good! I sat there [the massage chair chopping at my back while the wax did its thing to my feet] and I started thinking about Wax Play. Those thoughts led to this piece.
In my experience, sometimes limits are not pushed in a BDSM scene. Sometimes, it's just two men, hot for each other, smelling each other's "man-ness." Sometimes, it just so happens to be an 'artistic' experience.
That's how I approach playing with hot wax in Temp Play. For me, it's more than dripping wax across a nice ass. It's a chance to "create" something with someone.
It's pretty fair to say Wax Play is one of the more well-known and widely explored kinks around. At base, it's pretty simple to prepare for, easy to "practice" with, clean up isn't overly involved (if we're careful in setting the space) and doesn't register that high on the "Pain Scale." Wax Play has been seen on TV, MOVIES, and music videos...It's pretty common. Therefore, it's considered a good place for beginners to start. It's where I began my journey in BDSM.
For those that wonder or might say, "What is it about wax that makes it so... hot?". I think it's both sensual and scientific. Wax play allows us the ability to transfer energy (in liquid form) to a generally precise location on the body. It also gives us the ability to control where (and when) our scene partner will "feel it." The element of surprise is always nice, isn't it?!
Of course, there are safety measures and protocols that need to be followed when playing with hot wax, but we'll talk about that a little later on.
The most common question I receive from people who sit in on my Wax Play Class is, "I can understand what's in it for the sub, but as a Dom or Top, what do YOU get out of it? It seems to me that you're just dripping wax on someone else for their pleasure (or torment), but what's in it for you?". Fair enough. Unlike Fisting, Single Tail whips or Flogging, Wax Play is seemingly one-sided at first glance, but when we think about it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
For me, and many of my Wax Play Doms, the reactions we solicit from our scene partners can be the "pudding" we are waiting for. Watching the anticipation on the face of a blind-folded sub excites me. There they are, lying on a table (or some surface) blind-folded, bound (or both), waiting with bated breath for the first drop of Wax to touch their body. Where will it land? How hot will it be? What will it feel like? They can only guess, right? Then the candle is tipped, the wax drips, and it lands. With Wax Play, the entire body physically reacts (sometimes vocally too!). With each drop or pour, there's squirming, jumping, and sensual undulating. If you have seen (or participated in) a Wax Scene before, you understand.
With the exception of a few sections, the human body serves as a full canvas for Wax Play. The front side, back side, legs, arms, ass, chest, feet, even genitals (if done VERY carefully and with experience) all serve as possible Waxing possibilities. For matters of safety, we should avoid the face, hair, and ears because we run the risk of injury or permanent damage in those areas, so I always avoid them...always.
Sidenote: The closer the source of the melted wax is to the body, the hotter the wax will be when it lands. It's recommended that the Dom tests the temperature of the wax on himself before moving to the sub. Is it too hot? If so, adjust the heat source accordingly. Playing with levels of height can vary the experience for the sub. Try starting the drip or pour 10"-12" (25cm – 30cm) above the area to be waxed and watch it land. What is that reaction like? As the wax falls, it has time to cool before reaching the skin. If we hold the lit end of the candle close to the body, it has less distance to travel and cool, therefore the heat exacted upon contact will be hotter. As we play with levels, we also should play with motion. We don't want to keep the drippings in the same place over a long period of time as injury could result. As they say: "Keep it moving…"
For those that are reading who may have never played with hot wax but have a curiosity to explore, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding wax type choices.
● When selecting wax candles, jars, blocks etc. it's important to pay attention to the "type" of wax used in making the candles. In my opinion, the safest bet is a candle made using paraffin wax. These can be found online and at a variety of local hardware shops. Generally, the emergency candles (sold in sets of 5 per box) used during power outages are made of 100% paraffin wax. Also, most religious pillar candles (usually with a photo of Mother Mary or Jesus on the glass jar) are made of paraffin wax in various colours and can be purchased relatively cheap - In the U.S. they're about $1 each, depending on where you shop. The paraffin wax candle is preferred because of its lower melting point temperature. We don't want candles or wax that have a high melting point. Once the melted wax reaches the skin, there is potential for burns to occur, and that's never fun--especially for the sub.
● Another option - 2nd choice if you will - would be candles made with soy wax. Their melting point temperature is higher than that of paraffin but only by a couple of degrees or so. These are a bit more expensive but not unreasonably so.
● If you're able to come across a paraffin/soy blend, that would be a 3rd best choice.
● Most tealight and votive candles will work as well, just check to make sure they're non-fragranced, as fragranced candle wax has a higher melting temperature than unscented candles and the risk of injury is present.
● It's fair to say that any candle type not mentioned above should be avoided, but here are a few specific examples: Birthday Cake Candles, Decorative Candles with bits of pine cone, metal shards, or any pieces in the wax placed there for visual effect, and the highly scented Yankee Candles (or their similarly marketed counterparts). These examples present specific possibilities for injury or damage. Birthday cake candles are wrapped in a plastic coating that melts as the candle does and when it touches the skin, it bonds--not to mention the extremely high temperature it takes for this wax to melt. The decorative candles contain aesthetic bits and pieces that are usually made of metal or plastics and once melted, can fall on the skin and cause burns (and also bond to the skin). Highly scented candles require a higher temperature in order to release the fragrance within the wax. This can also cause harm/burns on the body wherever it's dripped. It's best to avoid these types at all together.
Additionally, it's vitally important to set the space where the scene will happen. Drop cloths, proper lighting, clean damp towels, and mood music are worth considering. I say buckets of water, and a fire extinguisher should certainly be on your list of supplies to have nearby and reachable immediately in the event a flame-up happens. After all, we are playing with fire. If you're in a place where there are hanging drapes, or a room with items that could potentially catch fire, please take a moment before starting the scene to remove or secure these to prevent accidents. It's also a great idea to negotiate with any scene partner, a quick escape route in the event something goes wrong. We never plan for things to go wrong, but it's always a great idea to be prepared.
Consider thoroughly, people with body hair. Hot wax clings to body hair almost immediately as it dries, so if the person you're playing with has a hairy body, a conversation should happen during pre-scene negotiations. Are we going to shave? Are we going to avoid those areas where body hair is prevalent? Or, are we going to proceed and include the hair in the scene? Just remember as the wax is removed, so will be the hair - and it won't be a pleasant experience! A thin layer of baby oil or mineral oil over the hairy areas will help with the removal of the dried wax, but we can count on a decent amount of hair coming out along with the wax during removal. Speaking of removal, I find that using an old credit card, plastic hotel room key or any similarly shaped card-like item allows for a smoother scraping/removal process. If you're working with a sub that enjoys it, other options could be flogging or paddling the wax off the body. Honestly, there are several ways to remove dried wax. Creativity can run wild here.
As with all BDSM scenes, the aftercare is just as important as the scene itself. The skin will have been heated, the sub may have been taken into headspace as a result and we need to bring them down as we end the experience. After the removal of the wax, it's a nice touch to apply aloe vera gel to the areas that were waxed. It provides moisture and a luxurious cooling effect that the sub will really enjoy, plus it smells really nice. A cool damp towel is also a nice finishing touch as the body finds itself after an intense scene. Lastly, to capture any last bits of wax that may linger on the body, a soapy shower with a loofah sponge will do the trick.
Wax Play gives us the opportunity to be creative. Playing with levels, textures, colours, and various application methods gives us the chance to create a piece of wax art on a human canvas - take a picture when you're done, it'll never look the same way again. That alone, makes Wax Play a truly unique kink.