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Nettle play is a term for a form of sexual torture practiced in the BDSM community, where the dominant applies stinging nettles to the submissive’s bare skin.
Nettles give the sensation of stinging heat, but they do not bring about the same instant pain that comes from classic corporal punishment. However, the effects of this play typically last longer. The burning and itching of the affected area helps remind the submissive of the nettle play hours or even days later.
Nettle play is also known as urtication, a term which comes from the Latin word for nettle.
Some people experienced in nettle play say that applying the nettles one at a time from close range is the most effective technique. Nettles can also be used like a whip or worn inside items of clothing.
During a scene, a dominant may threaten to use the nettles to punish the submissive for disobedience.
Stimulation after nettle play is said to feel much more intense. Because of this, nettles can help resensitize an area of the body that has become desensitized, such as a well-spanked bottom. Nettles are also appealing because they can be used on areas that should not receive heavy blows, such as the skin covering fragile organs or delicate tendons.
Nettle play does sting, but it is considered a relatively safe activity. However, allergies can occur. A submissive’s reaction should be tested by rubbing nettles on a small area of their skin. If a reaction occurs, seek medical attention. It’s also best to use a nettle on just one person, and to keep any bodily fluids away from the plant. Nettle hairs can pass through condoms, so using condoms with nettles inside is not considered safe sex. Instead, some people apply the nettles to their erection, and then put the condom on later.