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Dry cupping is a treatment involving applying cups to the skin. This creates a vacuum between the skin, which is only broken when the cup is removed. Dry cupping differs to the less widely practiced wet cupping, as it does not involve the letting of blood.
Dry cupping is commonly used as a therapeutic technique in alternative medicine to improve circulation. It’s also used as a type of pleasurable torture in the BDSM community.
Traditionally dry cupping was performed by applying heated glass cups directly to the skin. The cooling cups created a vacuum without the use of a pump. As the glass cups were heated with fire, this traditional technique is sometimes called fire cupping.
While some people prefer traditional methods, modern cupping sets make dry cupping much easier. To use these, the dominant usually prepares the skin with a layer of massage oil or lubricant. Silicone or plastic cups are then applied directly to the skin. Many modern cupping sets have hand pumps, which let dominants control each cup’s suction levels.
The cups stay in place for as long as the submissive person can tolerate. Just a few minutes is a good starting point for beginners, but over time they may handle longer dry cupping sessions of 15 or even 30 minutes.
People enjoy dry cupping for several reasons. Many people love the distinctive bruised marks it leaves, which brand the submissive until they fade. These marks usually fade in a day or two. Since cupping is a therapeutic technique for improving blood flow, it also makes the body more sensitive to touch.
Fleshy parts of the body create the greatest suction. Hairless areas are best, as hair can interfere with suction. The breasts, nipples, back, and genitals are all common targets for dry cupping. You should not dry cup near the spine or other bones, or on areas where the skin has boils, moles, or other dermal conditions. If the submissive is pregnant, the lower back and abdomen also shouldn’t be cupped.
Dry cupping is a great way for people new to cupping to experiment with this technique, as it isn't as risky as wet cupping. However, dry cupping is not safe for people with aneurysms or cardiac disease.