Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BDSM For Beginners part 20 : the fine art of figging


"Ginger, aphrodisiac and torture device all
rolled
into one convenient, easy to use package"
Norische



Mistress Norische has it right in that quote above ... and because it's such a "convenient, easy to use package" it makes figging a great form of play for people new to BDSM. Both for real time couples and for those playing online.

Considering we live near one of the ginger capitals of the world, and that the quality of ginger available in Oz is so high, you'd have thought we'd have tried adding some spice earlier...

Sol had tried figging once by himself and said it had possibilities but that his reaction hadn't be huge. As for me, if there's ginger in the house I'll cook with it, which might result in spicy dishes that jazz up our sex lives but never got as far as adding to our kinky lives. So I decided it was time we changed that, and found out more about the fine art of figging...


SO WHAT IS FIGGING AND
WHY SHOULD WE DO IT?

Wipi (NOT Wiki, note!) writes:
"Figging is the act of inserting something into the body that will cause a stinging, burning sensation. The word is likely to be a derivative of "feague", the practice during Victorian times of putting a piece of peeled ginger into a horse's anus to make it appear more sprightly and hold its tail up (for shows and selling)...

"Figging can be used as part of effective punishment. If the sub is made to tighten his/her buttocks with a fig inside the anus, the sensation becomes more intense: thus they will usually try to relax those muscles. This provides a good target for caning or spanking, which will often cause the sub to clench his/her backside, which will immediately increase the feeling of heat and pain, thus causing them to want to un-clench. And so the fun continues...

"Victorian texts on the proper treatment of recalcitrant wives included the instructions for figging as it was considered that a spanking should be received on relaxed buttocks and this was seen as one way to train them to receive the spanking properly. It may be from this practice that the phrase "who gives a fig?" originated.
So what's the attraction of using ginger?

"This pungent root has been used for centuries,
both internally and externally, throughout Asia
and India as a powerful aphrodisiac"
Norische

For vanillas, writes Norische in her excellent essay A Hot Time In the Old Dungeon Tonight (which you will find on the Iron Gate website):
"Ginger may be used virginally and anally without any long-term irritation, one method of entertainment is to put a paste of fresh pulp just inside the orifice of choice and then proceed with love making, the burn of the ginger will spread to both partners and multiply the pleasure for all involved"
For kinksters it's even more fun, as this page on figging explains:
"For the sub, the sensations are aided by the mental side of figging, all the aspects put together, the anticipation, the plugging, the obvious effects the ginger itself may be having, even the humiliation side of being exposed, bound etc are all part of the play session.

"One of the attributes of ginger is that of the "build up" effect. It starts as a gentle warming, then as the ginger juice seeps into the subs flesh the sensation of burning builds to a crescendo. Depending upon how resilient your sub is, or how potent the ginger is, the reaction will be different from sub to sub, as they feel the sensation deep inside them. Of course there is also the mental aspect of being plugged, at the Masters mercy, tied, bound, exposed as they lay there while their Dom looks on at the spectacle of a writhing sub as the effects build.."
For cyber kinksters, figging is also a great way to play online.

When I first started researching figging there was very little around online, but these days there are sites devoted to the subject and several good essays. Norische's A Hot Time In the Old Dungeon Tonight provides a very interesting history of ginger and it's medicinal purposes worldwide, as well as lots of practical hints plus safety instructions. I hope she won't mind my xposting the latter - they are essential reading for any novice "figger" and were invaluable for me and sol:
1. Keep hands away from eyes when working with ginger, if you do accidentally get some of the ginger in your eyes, rinse repeatedly with cool water until irritation is gone.

2. Before using ginger on anyone ask about allergies, some individual are allergic and may have a dramatic reaction.

3. If someone has very sensitive skin it is best to be safe than sorry and do a skin test on the inner arm, it is a lot easier to deal with a small rash on your arm than a big rash somewhere else.

4. If the ginger breaks off in the anus there is no need to go to the emergency room, this too shall pass. If you loose it else were you might want to seek medical help, just tell the doctor you're a gourmet chef and you forgot your apron, that should work….if not the doctor will have a good laugh at your expense.

5. If someone is having a dramatic response to the ginger, simply washing the area will lessen the burn and given a few minutes the burn will be gone completely.

6. If there is a persistent redness or a irritating rash appears you may wish to consult medical assistance.

7. Blowing on it will not make the burn go away, so it will not help to beg your Dominant to do so.

8. Use caution when there are open wounds, it is best to avoid the possibility of infection.
I thoroughly recommend you read A Hot Time In the Old Dungeon Tonight before using ginger in your play.

EXAMPLE OF A SCENE
WITH GINGER

Apart from anything else A Hot Time In the Old Dungeon Tonight includes a VERY hot scene between the author and her female sub, which will give you some great ideas how to use ginger yourself.

Here's how we organized our first play with ginger.

Sol and I decided to have a figging "experimental workshop". This is where we play but we agree we can step outside our roles if I want information on issues such as his discomfort level or he wants to tell me something. It's a good way to gauge how your partner is coping with new toys or games.

I directed sol to carve two anal plugs from the ginger:


As that pic doesn't give an indication of size, here's me holding the larger plug:


You can see that sol has carved the plugs in a similar shape to butt plugs so that the sphincter will lock around the tapered portion of the plug and won't vanish up up inside him (for what to do if that happens, please read Norische's safety instructions above).

Sol was then placed in his favorite position, ass up, lol:


I snapped on some latex gloves and placed a tiny amount of lube just on the head of the plug. Usually with figging people advise only to use water as lube can cut the burning sensation. I was just using a tiny bit at the tip to make things easier. As things turned out it didn't make a difference re the sensation.

But it did make insertion easier... and a moment later the plug was in place...


I directed sol to lie beside me on our bed. Here he is, becoming increasingly preoccupied with internal matters, so to speak..


I settled back to watch him, having taken Norische's instructions to heart:
"[after insertion] find a comfortable chair and wait for the show to begin. With ginger the burning sensation will take a minute or two to become evident, but when it does, it will be very evident. Depending on the sensitivity of the slave/sub and the strength of the ginger the reactions should start in a few minutes, everyone reacts differently, some more than others. Some find it to be barely more than a mild irritation while others find it almost unbearable. The burn of the ginger normally last about 20 - 30 minutes...

"About 10 minutes into this experience the aphrodisiac properties of this little wonder will start..."
I think with sol it was about 3 minutes lol. It began to get interesting after I put the camera away after taking the last photo above. Sol's cock as you can see above was semi erect, and sol's obviously preoccupied with what he's feeling internally. He described it as a spreading warm sensation at this point.

But shortly after I leaned over and began to play with his cock. And that's when it really started happening for sol, the burning spread to his genitals and that whole line of "flaming passions" suddenly took on meaning. He quickly became very hard, began to groan and whimper.

I was surprised at how fast he dropped into subspace ... here I was still in experiment (so I guess very matter of fact lol) mode trying to get info like where was he on his pain threshold and could he last another minute, and he was totally gone! Obviously this ginger was a lot stronger than the last piece he'd tried. I gave him ten minutes all up, which was enough for our experiment. Now I now that probably the next ten minutes will be the most interesting. When we talked through the experiment later sol said next time he'd like to be tied down. Which concurs with Norische's instructions:
"Have your slave/sub tied down securely before you get started. One position I like is spread eagle face down with a pillow under the stomach. You will want to have them secured in a comfortable position, one that they can maintain for 20 to 40 minutes"
I'm already planning what will accompany our play with the larger plug: a caning, perhaps, then I might even try this:
"Place a slice, approx. 1/8 to ¼ inch wide and an inch long, smoothed, into the urethra of the cock, leaving enough outside to allow for removal. The effects will be quite dramatic and almost immediate as the sub reacts to the burning sensation. If it gets too much, the slice can be removed for a while and replaced, removed, replaced until the effects finally subside, dependent on how much the Domme wishes to tease the sub"
Several writers discuss how ginger can be used on female subs. Here's Norische again:
"For added sadist pleasure you can drip fresh ginger juice on the clitoris, this will multiply the sexual frustration dramatically...

"I did find one reference [about figging online] that discussed the use of ginger within the vagina, and inserted within the urethra of the penis as well, both of these processes create a burning sensation that sets ones passion on fire. Also ginger can be made into a paste and spread directly on the clitoris, this action will drive the recipient wild. One article mentioned creating a small dough ball about the size of a medium sized marble, using your finger push in one side of the ball to create a cup of sorts. Now take ginger and fill the indention, and place the ball over the clitoris, ginger side down of course. Mold the dough until you get a reasonable fit, don't worry it wont stay secure for long, but it will stay there long enough"
*Ms160 fans herself, it's getting hot around here*

Hmmm. I think I know a female sub I can borrow :)

I'll wait until next weekend though, because I want that plug in the fridge to age nicely:
"there is a little secret about ginger, it gets stronger when aged properly ... take the remaining portions of the ginger and put it in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator ... After about a week or so check the baggy, if there is condensation on the outside of the bag you are on first base, once mold begins to form on the ginger you have hit a home run ... The mold does not hurt the ginger in any way and can easily be removed during preparation ... Using this little technique will increase the potency of the ginger quite a bit, so the second time you use it on your slave/sub will be even better than the first"
Oh I really can't wait.... have fun yourselves :)

REFERENCES AND ONLINE RESOURCES

Norische A Hot Time In the Old Dungeon Tonight
You can read more of
Norische's excellent essays here:

Figging (seekers UK site)
Figging: Advice
Wipi on figging
Figging: the ginger experience
The Art of Anal Ginger Root Play
Why Give a Fig?
Figging on Spanking Art
Personal Experiences collected at www.figging.com


Thank you
Norische

Photos:
Ms160

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