People can have a lot of feelings about their first.
Maybe you’re nervous. Not sure what to do or how to go about it. Maybe you’ve read everything you can get your hands on and now you’re overwhelmed. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who is spoiled for choice and doesn’t know where to start.
Let me help.
There are three main things to consider when picking your first flogger; the type, size, and quality. If you do well on these three elements the chances of picking a piece that will be with you for the rest of your kink journey are high.
So what do I mean by flogger type?
We’ve all seen a traditional flogger but it quickly becomes apparent to new kinksters that there are many other designs out there. Cat O Nine tails, Fur floggers, rose floggers, etc. Most makers come up with specialty pieces as well. If you’re here you’ve probably heard of our Fluffinators and Thumpers.
Since it’s your first one it is best to keep it simple. Stick with a standard flogger. The others can all come later when you develop your style and taste. There is one choice to be made here and that is handle style. Traditional handle floggers have a long solid handle and finger floggers have either leather loops you lace your fingers through or a small knob handle.
If you can get your hands on all three to try that is great! If not, then the traditional handle is the best place to start. Some people find later that they enjoy finger floggers for their fluid style, but a traditional handle flogger is a toy bag staple so don’t overthink this too much.
Size does matter.
At least in this instance. Your flogger needs to be the right length for you or you will have more difficulty using it. For a traditional handle flogger, the entire flogger should not be longer or much shorter than the length of your entire arm from shoulder to fingertip. Place the flogger butt, the part where the hanging loop is or would be, at your shoulder. If the tip of the falls is past the largest knuckle on your fingers but not longer than your fingers then you are in a good size range.
For finger floggers or ball handle floggers, the flogger tails should not be longer than the length of your forearm. Don’t count the ball handle or the loops in the measurement. You are measuring only the length of the falls from elbow to fingertip.
Why shouldn’t you choose a flogger with shorter tails? Aren’t shorter tails easier to control?
This is a common misconception commonly born from a lack of confidence. Using floggers with tails too short for you will cause you to have poor posture when flogging which means your technique suffers. Poor technique causes bad practices like poor aim, unintentional wrapping, and misjudgment of power.
How a flogger is made and what it is made of will determine its quality. Places to avoid purchasing a flogger are most adult shops and large online retailers like Amazon. Etsy is a hit or miss since it will depend on the shop you are purchasing from but if the flogger is under $100 USD it is likely a cheap mass-produced item made in toxic tanneries overseas.
The best places to purchase floggers is from a trusted maker with a good reputation. They can be found online. Obviously. You’re here after all. Or at kink conventions.
Leather is the best material for floggers to be made from. Don’t come at me with the vegan nonsense. Leather is a byproduct of the meat industry and hides would clog up landfills if we didn’t use them. ‘Vegan’ leather is just plastic that isn’t biodegradable and harms more animals and the environment in the long run than leather ever will.
There are many different types of leather and I go into them in great detail in my Kink Leather Guide, but for your first flogger it is best to stick to something with versatility. If you know you’re not into very intense impact then deerskin is a good choice. It is soft, durable, and has very little sting.
Cowhide suede is a good choice for those who don't know their preferences yet. It has a good balance between thud and sting and isn’t too intense or too light.
Other good choices are elk or nubuck. What you are looking for is a leather that isn’t stiff. The tails should be soft and flexible. The leather should feel good in your hand when you run it through the falls. Leathers with very smooth finishes will have more sting than leathers will velvety finishes. I have a whole section of my shop dedicated to pieces I would recommend for beginners.
The next thing to look for is handle quality. Leather braided handles offer a good grip but there is nothing wrong with a wood or acrylic handle that is properly finished. A knot or retaining collar at the top of the tails, the neck of the flogger, is recommended. This helps keep tails from going squirrely while you’re throwing it.
Balance is another thing to consider when choosing a flogger. A balanced flogger will have a balance point on the handle where you can place the handle on one finger and it will settle properly without falling to either the tail side or the handle side. Balanced floggers maximize the amount of impact you achieve for the effort you put in. People who engage in very long flogging scenes usually prefer balanced floggers. This is not a necessity, some people don’t care about balance, but it is something to be aware of as the maker has to weight the handle to achieve the balance.
And now you know all the things to consider when purchasing your first flogger!
You know how to measure a flogger for your height, and have some tips on how to spot a good quality one. The most important thing is to not get too bogged down in it. If something feels good to you then lean into it. Even if it goes against one of the guidelines here. This is about your kink practice and style. And remember to have fun!