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A bullwhip is a traditional whip with a rigid handle connected directly to a thong. The thong may be a continuation of the handle or constructed from the same plait. A strip of material, called a fall, connected the thong with the popper, which gives the bullwhip its distinctive crack.
Bullwhips are traditionally used for controlling livestock. However, they are also regularly used in movies and by dominant BDSM practitioners asserting their power over or punishing their submissives.
Thanks to the Indiana Jones movies, the bullwhip is what many people think about when they think of whips. However, BDSM practitioners should exercise some caution before picking up a bullwhip.
High-quality bullwhips are usually more accurate than cheaper alternatives. However, even high-end bullwhips can be difficult to control. They’re not for beginners. Using a bullwhip well requires proper technique and timing rather than strength. While a harder swing creates a louder crack, it will also leave a much larger mark. If the whip hits the skin at peak acceleration, it could potentially slice right through.
Using a bullwhip requires a technique similar to throwing a baseball or casting a fishing line. Users hold the handle in their hand, with their thumb on top and directed towards their target. The whip’s crack comes from following through towards the target, rather than pulling back. The technique can be challenging, so interested tops are encouraged to learn through a fetish workshop rather than experimenting at home.
Experienced bullwhip users know proper safety is important. They never crack their whips towards anyone’s face, including their own. Instead they aim for safer targets like the back, buttocks, and back of the thighs. Even experienced doms can draw blood at times. To minimize the risk of infection, couples should always play with a first aid kit, including antibacterial cleaner and latex gloves, close by. Most bullwhips are made from porous materials so they should be cleaned regularly with antibacterial soap and warm water. Even with proper care, bacteria and other nasties can linger. For this reason, doms should swap out the popper if they use their whips on multiple subs.