Creating and wearing marks on flesh are often used and enjoyed parts of BDSM play. Generally, bites, scratches and bruises only last a short time, but some kinksters want to find a more permanent way to wear their marks. A masochist favourite is body branding - but what is it, and can it be done safely? Victoria Blisse gives you the lowdown. 

 

What is body branding?

Body branding - or BDSM branding or skin branding - is hot (literally) and can be used to show your dedication to your Dominant. It could also be an experience just for you to enjoy if you're a masochist - or to show off your brand that says something uniquely about you. However, body branding is an extreme practice and is an example of Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) and is NOT something to be undertaken lightly.
 

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The process of skin branding is painful and will continue to hurt until the brand (which is an open burn wound) heals. If you're not good with pain, getting a brand is probably not a good idea! 

It's strongly advised only to be branded by a professional or by someone with plenty of experience. Body branding is considered dangerous and can leave a permanent mark - it also leaves a vulnerable, open wound on the person. While using a hot metal brand is one way of doing it, it's not the only way to be branded. There are electrical ways to do it too. 
 

Violet wand branding

Some violet wands have a specific fixing designed to burn flesh, where it focuses the electricity into a tiny intense point and leaves a burn mark the size of a small dot. If you move this carefully and precisely, you can draw a pattern on someone's skin.

Image of a skin branding made with a violet wand
An example of skin branding made with a violet wand.  Image: Mountain-Top via Flickr Creative Commons Licence


Hot metal branding 

This kind of skin branding involves moulding a piece of metal into a specific shape or design that you want, then heating it to an incredibly high temperature and applying it to the skin.
 

Body branding safety

A note on safety: We're not going to provide a step-by-step guide to body branding as it's not something any kinkster should do. However, if you're looking to give a body branding yourself, talk to people who know what they're doing. If you've never done skin branding before, it would be advisable to do it with a mentor to guide you as the process happens. 
 

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In general, ensure the person doing the branding has the experience and sanitize all equipment. If using a fire source, be sure to take all fire safety precautions. After applying the brand to the skin, it's essential to keep the site clean. Aloe Vera or antiseptic cream applications can control pain but don't cover the burn; it needs to be open to the air to heal. If the wound gets infected (goes green, smells bad or is gunky), then you must have it checked out by a doctor ASAP. 
 

Is body branding illegal?

Human skin branding counts as body modification, and a conviction of a tattooist for performing body modifications with consent means many body modifications such as scarification are not undertaken by tattoo and piercing parlours because the law isn't explicit in this area. Body branding is part of this legal grey area; consider carefully before agreeing to have one. 


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Some territories view skin branding as grievous bodily harm (GBH), and within those laws, you can't consent to this kind of harm. So in a court of law, a brand is likely to be seen as an illegal act. If in doubt, it's wise to check out the laws local to you.
 

Is body branding permanent?

It can be. However, there's no way of knowing this for sure before you have a brand on your skin. Some people burn easily; some heal well, and some don't. Every person will react differently to skin branding, and it will depend on the type of body brand and the design you receive - this means that a brand can last as little as a few weeks, or it could be permanent.  
 

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Realistically, it will be on your body for a significant time. So again - it really should be something you seriously consider before deciding to pursue. While body branding is regarded as an extreme kink, it certainly can be enjoyed - as long as you weigh up the risks and do it safely.  •


Victoria Blisse was an erotic author and sex-positive Reverend. She helped shape fetish.com and FET from the very beginning and we're eternally grateful for her passion and creativity. Sadly, she passed away in January 2024. We hope that whenever her articles are read, she'll be honored.
 

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Wanna talk more about body branding? Join our kinky family! 
 

Forum topic on body branding on Fetish.com

Cover Image: Stuart Updegrave. Martian Branding 058 via Flickr Creative Commons License

 

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Gj****

Posted

For those who attend a church and read a Bible, Leviticus 19:28 expresses that branding is forbidden. 

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Tr****

Posted

If my relationship was very long term I wouldn't mind getting a small heart branded on my butt to remind me of who I love and absolutely trust but professionally done if it is even legal

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Posted

Idk, that’s some serious pain!

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Lo****

Posted

Any truth in the claim that branding frozen skin inhibits blistering and gives a cleaner brand?

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Posted

Would love to branded ❤

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Parasite

Posted

This is hot 🥵;)
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Cade

Posted

13 minutes ago, ShezNaughty said:

I'm presuming to get a branding .... The relation between Master and Slave is a committed one, long term? You wouldn't get one just for the sake of it.

 

In concept, ownership is permanent which is a factor why branding (and other permanent markings) are used to represent it. The decision to own someone or be owned is not to be taken lightly, as there are responsibilities and expectations on both sides of the relationship.

 

Of course, there are also artistic burnings, which are closer in concept to tattoos in which a person is trying to express themselves through body art/modification. Obviously, the considerations for this may be different from branding - despite the same process, basically. 

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ShezNaughty

Posted

I'm presuming to get a branding .... The relation between Master and Slave is a committed one, long term? You wouldn't get one just for the sake of it.

 

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UK****

Posted

9 hours ago, ShezNaughty said:

Is this common?

No, it's very rare.  

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Kinkyone4u1214

Posted

Branding is not a common practice with mistresses or goddess and masters on!y with sadist 

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Cade

Posted

15 minutes ago, ShezNaughty said:

Is this common?

I wouldn't call it a "common" practice, although it does have a rich and colorful history between owners and property, masters and slaves.

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ShezNaughty

Posted

Is this common?

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Kinkyone4u1214

Posted

I have tried doing branding on myself but it didn't work out as I liked it to but I'll tell you that if you do a branding don't do it by yourself and make sure ya have a high tolerance for pain have someone else do the branding 

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Cade

Posted

Just wanted to add some additional information on branding.

Types:

Cold branding - done with dry ice (carbon dioxide).

Chemical branding - done with acid and base chemicals (a crude example can be found in the movie Fight Club).

Cautery pen - done with a medical device which looks like a marker, but the tip is a heating element which can heat up to (and over) 2200°f/1200°c (highly recommended over other methods on human flesh due to ease of use and even burning).

Considerations:

Keep your design simple with no closed shapes. Scar tissue has a way of spreading, and minute details will be lost (or the scar will grow together, looking basically like a scar blob).

Healing a brand is just opposite of normal healing processes because you ideally want to harvest scar tissue. Keep the wound dry directly after, but during scabbing, keep clean and use an abrasive substance to agitate the newly growing flesh (citrus salt and peroxide rubs with a hard bristle toothbrush is a personal favorite).

Safety notes:

Keloids are not uncommon in branding mishaps; research how to avoid causing keloids using your branding method.

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