"How to Flog" gets asked a lot on FetLife. Instead of writing a new answer each time, I figured I'd write this and just post the link from now on. It's a guide to the basics, intended for beginners.
Should you take a flogging class? People will legitimately disagree about that, but I'm skeptical. It's good to have an experienced flogger with you at first, but don't overdo it with the training. Flogging is easy, and I worry that classes throw so much information at people that the end result is to make it seem harder and more complicated than it is. I'd be wary of egotistical demonstrations, especially those with "special effects" such as Florentine (two-handed) flogging. Bottom Line: You're new. Start with the basics.
- The back is where to begin. Imagine a trapezoid. The top goes from the top of one shoulder blade to the top of the other. The bottom ends at the bottom of the rib cage. The sides connect the top and the bottom. That's the sweet spot.
- Start slow, and work up to more intensity. Check in during the session. Rub the floggee's back from time to time to improve blood flow. Stop if you draw blood, for example by opening up a skin tag.
- Things to avoid. Don't hit on the kidneys (below the back of the rib cage). Aim carefully to avoid "wrapping" the tails around the floggee's sides, shoulders, neck, or face. The tips travel faster, and can do more damage. Wrapping a t-shirt around the floggee's neck will help minimize the danger of the occasional mis-aimed blow. Don't hit repeatedly directly on the spine.
- Secure the floggee well, with leather restraints. In a long session, a floggee can relax quite a bit. It's up to the flogger to pay attention, and not let someone droop into a position where muscles can be stretched or damaged. (See "check in," above.)
- If you flog someone's legs, be careful about wrapping. A short-tailed flogger can be useful. If you flog someone's ass, you might want to start by doing it through their pants until you get the hang of it. (Side benefit: You can hit a lot harder through clothing,)
Choosing Your First Flogger
- The elements to care about: Material, width of tails, length of tails. All are discussed below.
- Floggers have "sting" and "thud." The basic flogger, cowhide with standard half-inch wide tails, has some of each. Heavier and/or thicker leather is usually "thuddier," an example being buffalo hide or bull hide. Softer and lighter leather, and/or narrower tails, typically offer less of both "thud" and "sting," an example being elk hide or deer hide. Rubber floggers, especially with standard half-inch wide tails, are some of the most intense.
- "Sting" and "thud" are also affected by how hard you flog, and wrist action. A "softer" elk hide flogger can sting and thud quite a bit if swung hard and/or "snapped" with the wrist. Because I am kinetic and like to hit hard, I prefer elk because I am less likely to cause injury with it.
- Start with a basic full-size cowhide flogger. Bare Leatherworks makes great instruments. Shorter tails offer more control with less impact; they can be useful for smaller floggers and/or more sensitive body parts. Larger floggers with extra-long tails are harder to control.
- If it's not the back you're after but the sweaty parts (genitalia), then go for short tails and soft leather. For that, you'll find that deer hide is best.
Comment by: CalIBurr:
Informative for beginners who want to lay it on or for some taking their first flogging.
I am a word-person meaning I consider the actually meaning of words and do not banty them around with mixed definitions of similar words or meanings. For example -- strapping is with a strap; flogging is with a flogger, and whipping is with a whip, etc et al. My feeling is to use the correct word so everyone is on the same page. Once tied or bound for the strapping, or flogging, or whipping, or caning, is not the place to decide not to do or how to change what is happening. All the details should have been worked out and in place before the meeting.
Floggers are not as sharp or painful as a whip, since flogger are a series of cut strips of leather versus a whip, whose tails are interwoven cylindrical tails. Both floggers and cat whips give a sort of swatting action with about a 50-50 disposition of thud versus sting. The single tail whips sting more intensely. I have been referring to leather implement as historically leather was tradition. Change the leather to rubber or vinyl and the sting intensifies. Length of the implement can easily increase pain with less force, but there is a point of length where length become more difficult to be accurate or control.
Lastly, I controversial area -- THE LOWER BACK. Many will quote the danger of injuring or damaging the kidneys, yet that same person cannot point to the exact location of the kidneys, much less realize that the right kidney is higher than the left kidney. The reason the left kidney is lower is to account for the space above to accommodate the heart.
The right kidney is three-quarter up and blocked by three layers of flesh, some thin layer of natural fat, two (2") to three (3") inches of muscle, half inch thick ribs, about another inch of muscle, some fat filler that cradles the kidney. The left kidney is half above and half below the last rib. In order to injure the kidney, one would have to weld a baseball bat, not a thin implement. Even with a instrument that produces a thud, it does not penetrate a few inches into the body.
You could cause more damage with your fists doing gut or belly punching to the organs in front of the body, but not the kidneys.
Do not believe me, then check the anatomical drawings of the skeleton versus placement of internal organs. You will see I am correct.
One of the biggest reasons for avoid the lower back is it tends to be more sensitive than the nerves near the surface of the buttocks, so it stings a great deal more.
Last note, person into taking flogging, or whipping, or caning fall into one of two groups. Those who like the thud or those who like the sting. Myself, I am more into the thud side. And I have had my lower flogged and whipped several time without any injury to them.
Good luck everyone and hope you all find that you seek,
Additional Comment - Dragontailz also makes an excellent line of floggers and dragontail whips. Note, leather is not recommended for flogging where bodily fluids may be present as it cannot be cleaned.