Wax play can be a highly erotic and stimulating form of play if done right. This is a very sensuous form of erotic torture but it can turn into actual torture if done incorrectly. Read on for all the information you need to do it right and make it fun!
First, you need to have the correct wax. Beeswax candles, typical table-use colored candles, and no-drip candles all burn too hot and could cause welts. A paraffin-based candle is the best tool for this type of play.
One great, bondage-specific candle that can be used for wax play is Johnny Black's Sensual Hot Wax. The candle comes in a small and easily maneuverable stick, and it is perfect because it typically does not have a large flame and does not burn too quickly. Always watch your wicks to make sure that the flame does not get too big. This may create more melted wax than you intended (or know what to do with!), and this could burn your lover.
Another option would be “body massage” type hot waxes, which melt at much lower temperatures and feel like a cross between hot-waxing and a hot oil massage. Many “massage-style” hot waxes also contain skin conditioners, so they're actually good for your skin too!
Before you begin: always do the drip test first! The most effective way to check to make sure that the candle is not burning too hot is to drip a few drops of melted wax on the inside of your wrist. This is a sensitive area so you'll be able to tell how hot it will feel to your lover. Remember if the wax is too hot, it can burn the skin and lead to permanent scarring. How high you hold the candle also has a cooling effect on the dripping wax - the higher you hold the candle from your lover, the cooler the droplets will be by the time those drops of wax touch the skin. Try this by testing on yourself first to see what the appropriate distance to drip from is.
If you're playing on an area of the body with hair, you may want to shave the area first to prevent ripping out the hair upon removal of the wax. Never apply hot wax to the genitals or to the face. The most important thing to remember is safety first, at all times. It's always better to take the extra time to do it right than to try to repair the damage from doing it wrong. Just in case an accident does happen, make sure you have some soothing balm or burn cream handy for an immediate remedy. This also helps put your lover at ease. They'll know you're serious about safety and you'll both have more fun if the wax-ee trusts that you will not harm them.
Okay, now that you have the proper type of wax and have tested it, it's time to play!
It's generally a good idea to lay down something you don't mind getting wax on, like an old sheet or a vinyl or latex sheet (yum!) onto your play surface before getting started. This will keep your carpet safe and save you the hassle of trying to scrape any little pieces of dried wax out of it. (See my wax removal tips below on how to clean up errant drips and how to remove hardened wax from your lover's body.)
It's always best to arouse your slave before you begin. Wax play can be very intense, and if not experienced when aroused and "in the zone", also known as "sub-space", it could be quite painful. In my experience, the best way is to lovingly and sensually rub your partner with massage oil. This has a two-fold effect; it helps put a layer of oil on the skin to make removing the dried wax easier and is very erotic! Make sure you lovingly caress the massage oil into all the places you wish to do wax play. Be generous with the oil. It's best to go over the area several times, properly lubricating the skin until it has a soft and silky sheen. Important: do not use baby oil because baby oil quickly absorbs heat and makes burns much more likely.
Now that you're all set with the right wax, your partner is all slick and oiled up, and you've tested the wax, you're ready to play! Hold the candle approximately 8 to 12 inches away from your partner and slowly dribble the wax onto the flesh (that distance depends on the results of your earlier testing, how hot your partner can take it, and how deeply in the zone or "sub-space" your partner is). As you learned before, you can adjust the temperature of the wax by increasing or decreasing the distance between the candle and the skin, so tease a little and change the height of the candle to elicit different feelings and responses. The further the wax must fall before hitting the skin, the cooler it will be upon contact. Do not cover the entire area with wax for long periods because the skin needs to be able to breathe.
The best way to remove wax is with a plastic scraper. You can also use a fingernail if it's a small space or the blunt back end of a butter knife. Make sure to remove all the wax from your drop sheet before you wash it. Unfortunately, even a small amount of wax can clog up your washing machine, so make sure to check your clothing and sheets carefully before putting them in your washing machine. To remove wax from carpeting, use an iron set on medium and run the iron over the stained area with a towel between the carpet and iron. The towel will soak up the melted wax and be out of your carpet!
Always remember that no matter how "hot" your wax play may get, always keep your partner in mind. As always, be safe, sane, and consensual!