Small disclaimer. This is the next level beyond candles. There are more levels. Kinksters are wizards at taking things to the next level. My partner was telling me stories about he and his friends heating "Jesus candles" with blow torches and flinging hot wax at each other on the stage. As long as everyone is risk-aware, so be it. But this is not that quite level. This level involves crockpots and candy thermometers.
I have experience bottoming in wax play scenes with candles, but this was the first time I bought blocks of paraffin wax from Amazon, melted it down, and asked someone to pour it over me. I'm still recovering from my hysterectomy, so I wanted to play off therapies we already accept in mainstream, like using heat and wax for relaxation and to relieve pain. But I can't be satisfied with just a few candles or dipping my fingertips. I need to melt down about three pounds and have it painted on and poured over me.
Paraffin, Not Beeswax.
Paraffin is the same wax they use in spa treatments. It melts at a low temperature, about 120 degrees. As an added bonus, it also makes your skin feel amazing. Beeswax melts at too high of a temperature, and can cause serious burns if used in wax play.
I like to buy things from Amazon Prime, so I buy Gulf Wax at about $8 per pound. My partner prefers to drive to the arts and craft store and buy huge blocks. Either way, it 's going to need to be cut into smaller pieces so you can melt it evenly. Just use a big ass knife, with a dish towel under the wax to keep it from sliding everywhere.
The wax comes white (clear when it melts), so you can color the wax with crayons. It doesn't take much. One green crayon was enough to color a half a pound of wax.
Instead of a blow torch, I chose to melt the wax with a crockpot double boiler method. I added about two inches of water to the bottom of the crockpot. Then put the cut pieces of wax and broken, peeled crayons in glass containers placed in the water.
It's going to take some time for the wax to melt because the crockpot is designed to bring things to temperature slowly. A couple hours maybe. You've used a crockpot before. You know how this works. Stirring the crayon into the wax is super satisfying. Do it a lot.
A candy thermometer can help you gauge the temperature of the wax. 110 to 120 is the magic number. Any hotter than that and you might have burns. I came away from the kinky reading with some red, splotchy, sensitive skin - like a sunburn, but nothing to cry about. This is risk-aware kink. Not risk-aversion kink.
Wax On Sex Positive, Wax Off Sex Shame
The good news for the bottom is that the wax builds up, so the first layer on your skin is always a lot hotter. You can pour it, spread it like paint, splatter it, make a mold of your butt. Generally, you can go as bananas as your creativity will let you go. I like to feel it running down my back and onto my thighs. I also like playing with anticipation - the adrenaline of not knowing where it will fall next.
Kink etiquette says Tops should test everything on themselves before administering to a bottom. The best place is on the inside of your arm. Nipples work, too. Coco-butter, or coconut oil applied to the skin before the wax will make it come off a lot easier.
Next leveling the next level.
Or, since we're all "next level" folks here - this is a good spot to do some knife play. Leave out the lotion, and use a sharp edge to scrape it off your skin after it's dry. There's nothing quite like having someone scrape wax from your labia with a sharp knife to get your adrenaline going. I don't have to told twice not to move. If you want to try knife play with your wax play, please negotiate it before the scene. Do not spring a knife on someone unexpectedly. Mkay?
The trickiest part of this play is regulating the temperature of the wax, and that is a skill that takes some practice. Wax play may seem pretty tame to lifestyle Kinksters, but there is real risk and skill involved in all kinds of Kink, including wax. If you don't know what you're doing, you could hurt yourself or someone else. There are many adult sex educators who have experience leading workshops on wax play. Here's a Wax Play 101 video from KinkAcademy.com, which features hundreds of respected sex educators. and it's possible that you could find someone to demonstrate safe practice in person if you're involved in a local Kink community.
During my wax play kinky reading of "Sex Outside The Lines" by Dr. Chris Donaghue, Ph.D., I got covered in wax while I read about sex positivity and how our culture debases sex. I had the opportunity to attend Donaghue's workshop while I was at CatalystCon. Donaghue has been trying to recover the cultural shame of creative sexual exploration created by society. He teaches a philosophy of sexuality that encourages sex as therapy. This is exactly why "Sex Outside The Lines" was the perfect one to read for my first reading while I'm recovering from surgery. Yes, this was fun, kinky and sexy, but kink can also be self-care.
The kind of play that generally involves more sensual touching and less play with pain is called "sensation play." It's pretty well documented that human touch is essential to mental health. Creative thinking and "play" time are attributed to happiness and well-being. Some people play cards or video games, some of us cover each other in hot wax. What is "normal" is a social construct - one with a pretty narrow and negative view of what healthy sexuality looks like. Sensation play like hot wax is a pretty easy leap from nonkinky persepective on sex, and one with a lot of possibilities for creativity and connection between partners.
If you want to hear more of Donaghue's book, "Sex Outside The Lines," and see me get covered in wax feel free to watch and share the kinky reading below.