For this, there is one word, NO. D/s is a program of sensations. If you are drinking or taking drugs, you are not experiencing things to the fullest. Alcohol tends to dull your senses. It also tends to dull your abilities. If you or your top have been drinking, DON'T PLAY!!!!.
Drugs are even worse. Drugs usually alter your mental and sometimes your physical processes. If you are not totally sober, playing should not even be considered.
So! You have your submissive all tied up, you pick up a burning candle, and you're ready to play! WRONG!!!!!The first and most apparent danger with Hot Wax Play is burns. As a matter of fact, that is probably THE danger with hot wax play. Burns can be nasty, they get easily infected, they often hurt worse than a cut. Burns are NOT a nice thing to get accidentally. They aren't even fun to get on purpose, in my opinion. Your mileage may vary which is okay.
The first thing to consider to avoid burning your SO is the TYPE of candle. Don't use beeswax, ever. The melting point is much higher than human skin can comfortably deal with. Paraffin is the best type of wax, the kind that your grandmother used to seal jelly jars. Unless you make your own candles, however, you probably won't be able to get pure old paraffin wax, though there is a hot wax technique involving the use of hot wax melted and applied with a paintbrush or three. But here, we're just going to get into the typical scene where the dom(me) uses hot wax on a submissive straight out of a candle. Then what kind of candles ARE safe to use? Folklore insists that dyes make the melting temperature higher. Having once made and sold candles, I can testify that a lot of dyes do contain hardening chemicals, though the amount may be minor. But why take chances? The plain white emergency candles sold for home emergency kits are probably the most trustworthy. They are usually relatively pure, cheap and utilitarian. They usually don't have the hardeners which make the melting temperature shoot up. These are the ones I tend to play with. Any other plain white table candle is a reasonable alternative as long as you take precautions and test the temperature. Any candle may be full of hardeners or covered with acrylic wax to give it a shine. This is dangerous. So, I want you to be very clear on one thing: NEVER USE HOT WAX ON A SUBMISSIVE THAT YOU HAVEN'T TESTED THE TEMPERATURE ON YOUR OWN BODY FIRST. You owe your submissive protection and as much protection from bonehead errors as possible. So you try not to hurt them accidentally. I usually test a few drops on the inside of my left arm (I'm right handed) and then raise the candle another foot before I pour. Just to be safe. You may want to use another body part, but make sure it is a body part where temperature is going to feel similar to your target area. Also note that a sub who is naked, bound, blindfolded, etc is going to experience the temperature as being higher than you will. This is good. You get more mileage from lower temperature being perceived as being higher than it is. And if you combine wax play with ice play, you can give them the feeling that their skin is being burned off without getting them more than pink. Mind games are the best games.
Hot wax play had some other minor considerations. I would suggest that you NOT use it on the head and face. Both because of the chances of burning, and because getting it in the hair of your sub can be a pain in more than a pleasurable way to remove. If you are into making your submissive very uncomfortable and feel that they need something to do with their free time, use it on pubic hair, chest hair, or other body hair. Getting it out is going to be a chore. Usually male subs who are very hairy make bad candidates for wax play unless they are willing to be shaved, or have a lot of time to pick the wax out. Keep this in mind when you decide to play.
One recent discovery by Elizabeth at Differences was that Renuzit (CANDLES not the gels) and other jar and container candles are often soft wax and are a fun way to color code your sub. I sometimes buy the cheap glass jar candles sold in ethnic groceries and use them. Those saint's pictures can add an interesting tone to the scene, especially if you're wearing a nun's habit. One problem is removal as it IS soft and sticky, and isn't easy to remove. A hot shower will take care of the worst of it. We've also found that a hairbrush is an interesting way to get it off body hair and skin.
Ice can be an interesting sensation toy. Combined with hot wax, it can be incredible. But it can also be a dangerous toy. And Dry ice, and other supercooled liquids have no place in D/s play at all. Please use common sense when you're considering play. Water ice is a reasonably safe toy, if a few precautions are observed. First, don't make your ice super cold. The human body can't really tell the difference between ice that is 20 degrees and ice that is -20. It's just cold. The colder ice is just sharper. There is little reason to turn your freezer to the coldest setting to make your ice -100 degrees. The only thing that colder ice has going for it is that it is sharper and takes longer to melt. It is also more dangerous. Remember, ice will adhere to skin. A lot of us as children had our tongues frozen to some icy confection at one time or another. This is not something you want to have happen to your partner's pink parts.
Ice popsicles in the shape of a penis, or just plain popsicles are popular to put into orifices. This should be a reasonably safe practice as long as the ice is not left in place for too long and as long as it is not too cold to start with. Remember, frostbite is a real danger. Frostbite is caused when a body part gets too cold for too long. Always check with your partner to determine whether they have Reynaud's syndrome or some other condition that would make ice play dangerous.
Another danger of internal ice play is hypothermia. Hypothermia results when a person's core body temperature becomes significantly less than 98.6. Leaving several chunks of ice in place inside a person for more than a very few minutes (probably 5 or less) is potentially hazardous. This is because it is chilling a person's internal organs. There are plenty of interesting things to do to humans on their skin surface where you can better monitor the chill factor, so why take chances? Be VERY careful not to get so involved in sensation that you screw up your partner's temperature regulation equipment. It's often hard to tell until it is at the danger point that you've gone too far. Please be cautious.
The dangers of spanking are rather minimal. Watch out for the sciatic nerve, as with any activity that you do involving the buttocks, hips, and thighs. If you are using your hand to spank, the dangers should be almost negligible. With implements, be sure you are paying attention to what you are doing. The "sweet spot" in spanking is a semi circle on the buttocks of a bent over person. The center is at the middle of the junction of the thighs and hips. The eroticism of the sensation decreases from this point outward. If you are spanking men, please note that the genitals may need protection. When spanking women, unless you compress the genital area against a bone, or use excessive force in this area, you should be reasonably safe.
If anyone knows the author of any of the anonymous postings I've used on these pages, please let me know. I'm posting the best information I can find, but I don't want to use anything that anyone has copyrighted. Where I can find out who wrote a particular article, I get permission for use.
From an anonymous USENET posting:
POSITION & POSTURE One of the factors that sets spanking apart from other forms of swatting is the deliberate and sometimes ceremonial positioning of the participants. While some spankings are haphazard, I prefer spankings that include the ritual of positioning.
Both the spankee and spanker adopt positions that facilitate and enhance the spanking. These positions generally work to the advantage of the spanker and the disadvantage of the spankee.
The spanker enjoys the following advantages from their position:
Comfort. Whether standing or sitting, the spanker is positioned to be comfortable throughout the spanking. They are able to swing their arm at a natural angle and able to sustain a lengthy spanking with ease because of their position.
Strength. Because they are able to wind up and freely swing their arm at a natural angle, the spanker is able to apply swats to the intended target with force. While standing, the spanker cannot only swing their arm but rotate their body to deliver maximum energy to an anxiously awaiting, clenching derriere.
Full access to the bottom to be spanked. The spankee's position is designed to fully expose their bottom and the spanker's relative position is designed to put that bottom at a convenient angle and height. Therefore, the spanker is able completely view, tweak, pat, and spank it.
Safety. Because the spanker is in the position to easily spank the rear-end at the correct angle, it is much less likely that a blow will fall too high or too low.
Control. The spanker's position gives them the "upper hand" and allows them to easily control the spankee. They sit or stand higher than the spankee and are easily able to restrain and situate the spankee.
The spankee realizes the following effects from their position:
Relative comfort. Except for the notable exception of their backside, I think it's important that the spankee be relatively comfortable so they can focus on the sensations being inflicted upon their posterior.
Anticipation. Bending over and getting into position to get your bottom blistered signals the beginning of the spanking and builds anticipation.
Increased sensation. A properly positioned bottom will tend to be spanked harder and more completely on the sensitive "sit spot".
Humiliation. Being put over the knee is a childish, humiliating posture. Having to "assume the position" is humiliating in its submission and rubs in the fact that they are being spanked.
Exposure. A properly positioned bottom is fully exposed. The cheeks are fully presented and split, their undersides turned up. In the case of men, the anus and back of scrotum show. Women are even more exposed, their rectums and vulvas fully visible.
Emphasis on their bottom. Spanking positions place the center of attention on the bottom of the person being spanked, a fact not lost on said person. The bottom is emphasized by its exposure and upturned position relative to the spanker.
Presentation of their bottom. Not only is the bottom exposed and emphasized but the spankee feels they are willingly "sticking it out" and presenting it for its punishment in the same way as the condemned man who must place his head on the chopping block. The spankee knows their bottom cannot evade or escape the swats.
Submission. Cooperatively getting into position to be spanked is the primary act of submission in spanking.
Safety. Although it may be of little solace, the spankee can take comfort in the fact that their position affords safety from injury. Of course, this can be disconcerting if they know they will be spanked with even more abandon.
Loss of control. Once positioned, the spankee has relinquished control and may not easily regain it until the spanking is done. They may have difficulty removing their rear from the line of fire if they try.
Inability to clench. When standing, one can clench their cheeks together, mitigating the sting of a swat and the exposure. When properly positioned, it is more difficult to clench cheeks and the spanking will be applied to a relaxed, bouncing bottom.
Excellent visual presentation. Speaking from the point of view of an admitted bottom fancier, there a few times that someone looks more adorable and beautiful than when he or she is positioned to be spanked. Not only is the bottom emphasized, but it is formed to a flattering shape and sexily perked out. Spanking positions would be sexy even to people not into spanking.
Following are descriptions of various positions that I find erotic, their distinguishing characteristics, tactics that can be used to enhance them, and precautions to take. All descriptions assume a right-handed spanker.
Over the lap. Spanker is sitting with good posture in an armless chair, knees together. Person being spanked must lay face- down across the spanker's lap, their head to the left and feet to the right. They must be over the lap far enough so their bottom is conveniently located directly over the spanker's right thigh.
In order to preserve modesty, the person being spanked may be tempted to lie flat with their head up and legs straight out behind; however, if they are concerned for their modesty, they shouldn't have gotten themselves spanked in the first place. The spankee's head and shoulders should be angled down and their knees tucked down out of the way so that their bottom is well turned up. A palm pressed against the back of the head and swats to the thighs are helpful in positioning the spankee.
Knees should be at least six inches apart and the lower back should be "arched" or dipped to further turn up their rear. For a woman, this will result in her vulva being fully exposed and presented. Depending on size, toes will either be resting against the floor or hoisted off a few inches. The full weight of the spankee should be resting on the lap.
Hands can either be on the floor or grasping the legs of the chair. If the right hand flies back during spanking, it should be pinned to the lower back by the spanker's left hand.
Prior to starting to spank, the spanker should firmly grasp the spankee's waist above the right hip with the left hand to prevent squirming off the lap. Then the left elbow should be planted between the shoulder blades to keep the head and shoulders from bobbing up.
The spanker should raise their right knee slightly, turning up the bottom further. In the case of a woman spanking a boy, she should make sure his penis is pressed firmly against her right thigh and aimed to the left.
By turning their upper body to the right, the spanker can get a fuller swing and more comfortably apply a stronger swat.
By combining all of these tactics - the raised knee, the elbow in the back, the hand in the small of the back - the spanker can effectively pin the spankee down and spank the daylights out of them.
Over the knee. Similar to over-the-lap except the spankee is bent over the left knee with their legs restrained by the spanker's right leg.
Hands on ankles. This is the classic school-style paddling position. The student must stand well clear of obstacles with feet shoulder width apart. Leaving knees straight and back straight, the student must bend over and grasp their ankles with both hands. The spanker may want to observe the student's hands throughout the paddling to ensure they do not leave the ankles and earn extra swats.
The spanker stands facing the left side of the student. They should stand far enough away so the paddle barely overlaps past the right cheek. They should adjust fore and aft to ensure that both cheeks are struck at the same time (assuming a paddle is being used. Canes and straps warrant slightly forward positioning).
It is not possible to more fully expose and present a rear end than when in this position. When one is told to bend over and grab their ankles, one is, in effect, being told, "we intend to thoroughly paddle your bottom. So not only will you present your rear-end but you will stretch and endeavor to stick it up and out as far as you can absolutely positively can. And throughout the paddling, you will continue to strain to stick it out for the paddle."
Since the angle between the legs and the upper body is well under 90 degrees, this position spreads the cheeks and exposes the rectum and genitals more than any other position.
This is a great fantasy position but I think it only works safely in reality for spankees with flexible bodies (especially when a thick paddle is used). Inflexible people can't reach their ankles without bending their knees. Men run the risk of getting their testicles whacked. Non-fleshy butts get pulled tightly across the pelvic bones and don't provide enough padding when a heavy paddle is used.
Hands on knees. A safer, more workable position than hands-on- ankles. The bottom is presented in a plumper, more paddle-friendly shape but visually, the position is still very school-like. Depending on the person, I think this position can be more visually appealing because the back can be arched a bit which perks up the bottom. In fact, the further up the legs the hands are placed, the more the spankee can arch their back and stick out their rump.
Again, feet should be shoulder width apart and hand position enforced. Because the back can be arched and bottom upturned, it should be required, both prior and during the paddling. A technique which tends to arch the back correctly is to require the student to look forward at a spot high on the wall. That way, they are required to pull their head up and arch their back.
Over the desk on tiptoes. Another school-like position. The student must bend over a desk with nose or chest pressed to the desk. Hands and arms should be placed on the desk over their head to further arch the back. To further elevate their bottoms to be spanked, they must raise up on to their toes. Penalty swats can be awarded for every incidence of a heal touching the floor (hint: watch after the "last" swat before the student is told they may relax).
Over a barstool or horse. This is probably the best position for paddling because the bottom is presented in a plump and relaxed manner. The person to be punished must lay their full weight across the stool, their feet hanging and hands grasping the legs of the stool at a level such that there is a little support for their upper body.
This is a relaxed, comfortable position which works well for lengthy spankings.
Laying on bed. Another comfortable position for lengthy spankings and ensuing diversions. The spankee must lay face-down on a bed. Their face should be pressed to the mattress while their hips and bottom are elevated on pillows. Since pillows are compressible, it may take three or four to achieve the proper elevation.
Kneeling in chair. One of my favorite positions for spankees with great butts because, properly executed, it presents the rear in its most flattering light. The trick is in the execution.
The spankee must kneel in the seat of a padded chair (save those knees) facing the back with the thighs vertical and upper body forward over the back. Again, the spankee should be required to arch the back well.
Two things conspire to shape his or her bottom cutely. First, the back of the chair prevents him or her from bending so far as to preclude a good back arch. Second, just as high heels shape calves fully by angling the foot to shorten and bulge the calf muscle, kneeling with the calves at right angles to the thighs seems to allow the buttocks to bulge fully.
I've found the following tactics can be used to enhance and focus on positioning:
Adjustment & readjustment. I think it's important to deliberately position and adjust the spankee prior to the first swat. Emphasis should be placed on positioning and presenting the bottom fully. Throughout the spanking, the spankee should be readjusted as their position begins to fail.
Verbal instruction. I think it's best to require the spankee to willfully maintain their own position with out the physical assistance of the spanker especially in the case of stand-up paddling. Therefore, verbal communication is necessary throughout the spanking to encourage the spankee to continue to assume the correct position.
Pickiness. One of the disciplinary aspects of spanking is that no matter how perfect the spankee is positioned, they can always improve, stick their bottom out a little further, etc. The spanker should not feel guilty that their exacting demands regarding position are perhaps a little too picky and unrealistic.