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(This article is reprinted from the library of the Society for Human Sexuality at the University of Washington. While there have been some changes in the formatting to make the document more appealing to the eye, there have been no changes in the text.)

Distribution policy:

Comments, ideas and constructive criticism always welcomed. As with all of my postings, any archivist is welcome to copy and distribute this story appropriately without let or hindrance, provided that the distribution is free of charge and the entire posting remains intact and unedited.

Disclaimer of a legal sort

Striking the human body must be considered dangerous. As I am neither a medical nor a legal professional, the following is offered as my opinion only, not a recommendation for any activity. Nothing can possibly replace personal experience and learning directly from those who have been there before. There are now workshops and demonstrations available in larger cities, avail yourself of one. I have no control over the use of this information, use it at your own risk. And as ever, proceed with caring.


A 'flogger' shall remain for the moment 'any flexible many-tailed striking tool where the tails are simple strips of leather or similar substances, designed for use on the human body'. In short, not bullwhips, braided cat-o-nines, crops, scourges, thudtoys and such, simply floggers. A braided cat is similar to a flogger in many respects, yet has a distinct 'feel', both these and floggers with knotted ends are left for another discussion.

As floggers were less available in former days, many people made their own in various styles and weights. Even if you are not doing so, some basic principles of design might help you select a superior one from the regrettably large supply of the other sort. I shall not include specific designs, the subject has been done to death before, and they are readily available elsewhere. As Janet Heartwood has provided excellent information in her 'Heartwood Catalog', I have used a similar format in my materials listing below. Although I have not ordered from her and can give no opinion, her wares seem well received among posters here.

Design notes-

For any given force, the smaller the contact area that force is concentrated in, the greater the potential for damage. Think