Needle play is a BDSM practice not for the faint hearted. writer Stella Harris explores the powerful appeal of breaking the skin.

For most people, when they enter the BDSM and kink scene, they look around and say, “I’m never doing that. For me, the off limits thing was needle play. Or, more broadly, anything that would break the skin. And, like most people, within months I was rethinking my limits.

There was a big kink and BDSM event - with education and “tastings” during the day and a party at night. The tastings allowed people to try out different sensations in a safe and controlled environment and see what they’d enjoy. I went from station to station, trying out all manner of BDSM activities including electricity, caning, whipping, and more, before coming upon the person doing needle play. If it hadn’t been someone I knew, I might have kept walking. But the needle top was a BDSM friend of mine and she waved me over. Tentatively, I approached.

Welcome to my medical play area

She was set up in a medical play area; having her bottoms lay back in a gyno style exam chair, under a bright light, with her tools on a metal tray nearby. The whole BDSM scenario was designed to elicit Doctor’s office jitters, and it did just that. She patted the seat and I hopped up and watched apprehensively as she snapped on fresh latex gloves.

We negotiated, she disinfected my skin, and the next thing I knew needles were pushing into my skin. It hurt, of course. I’ve been tattooed, I’ve given blood, but this was different. The needles went in more slowly and deliberately. They popped into the skin, traveled for about half an inch, and popped out again.

Needle play and endorphin buttons

In two spots on my chest she made an X with the needles; creating what are called ‘endorphin buttons.’ They get the name because when you press on the spot where the needles cross, you get a rush of endorphins as your body tries to cope with the intrusive pain.

Needle play cauases an intense sensation, and as such they can be a shortcut to where you’d be after 30 minutes to an hour of other BDSM play, like spanking, caning, or whipping. For me it was too much. I broke out into a sweat and thought I was going to faint.

Not only are needles intense, but they’re an up close and personal form of play. For some there is a ritual or spiritual element to needle play. Max of is one of those people. He saves needle play for partners he’s bonded to. And not because of the blood, but because of the intensity of energy and connection.

For The Infamous CoatCheck Girl needle play is a both a form of blood play and another form of penetration. “Taking needles from my Sir is a deeply intimate form of service and submission. Additionally, combined with hypnosis and energy work, it becomes a very erotic form of play-- an endorphin button on my chest can easily become a direct link to my clit and my orgasms.”

For Megan Jennifer needles are also an intense and personal form of play. "I use needles specifically to work through immense grief. Nothing offers me the same cathartic release as needles piercing right through the layers of sadness I carry in my chest."

Needle play as "a near-religious experience"

Some people use more intense forms of needle play as a near-religious experience. Miss Spooky performs as a human pincushion to see how far she can push her body. She has used hours of meditation to control her body’s pain response and now can stick a six inch spike through both of her cheeks as well as pierce most places on her body.

Needle play gets to the heart of one of the compelling reasons people engage in kink and BDSM. It allows people to push through the perceived limits of their body and to find strength and catharsis. Along the way people find deep connection with the play partners that help them reach these highs and lows and ultimately that connection.

Stella Harris is a writer, BDSM educator, and sex & intimacy coach. Through her writing and teaching she explores the complex world of love and lust and helps people explore their desires safely and free of shame. Learn more at

You need to find someone you can completely trust for needle play. Make some meanignful connections by joining for free today.


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