This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Blades & BDSM
  • From Mumblety Peg to Machetes – I Play With Knives

“Don’t play with knives.”

It’s a refrain most of us hear growing up, and in that retrospect I was really no different from anyone else. What was different, was the actual example my parents set when it came to knives. I mean, how many Mother’s teach their own children to play “mumblety peg” by the time they reach third grade?  If you aren’t familiar with the game, there’s probably a good reason, it makes heaving lawn darts at a crowded picnic look like a safe and sane activity.  Mumblety peg essentially consists of two players throwing knives at each other’s feet. The variant I was taught is also sometimes known as “stretch”.

knife play in front of fire

To play mumblety peg according to my Dad’s rules, (he actually taught us all of us a very specific variant of the game) Mom and I would stand about two good paces apart, with our own feet close together, heels and toes touching. We would then take turns trying to stick a knife blade in the ground within a hands length of one of each other’s feet. If my knife sticks, for instance, and is within the allowed hand’s length distance of one of Mom’s feet, her foot must go out to where the knife stuck, keeping the other foot in place.

The winner of the game spreads their opponents legs so far apart that they literally fall over, or are unable to make the required stretch. Mumblety peg was apparently popular among youth in the 19th and early 20th century, but was not exactly child’s play in most households by the 1970’s, when I was growing up.

mumblety peg & knife fetishes

Not only did Mom play with her only child by throwing knives at his feet, it could be said that my Father literally had a knife fetish. I’ll never forget, when Dad separated from Mom and I was left sorting though his possessions, counting more than 50 knives into a box to be given to him. And, those were just his butcher knives . . .

So, I come from the unique perspective of a young man who watched his Dad give knife sharpening lessons to a blind piano tuner! After all, he would have told you that individual’s with a vision impairment still have the need to cut things from time to time, and a sharp knife was always safer than a dull one.  At least that was Dad’s way of thinking, he liked to keep all his knives sharp enough to shave hair off his forearm. He’d get an argument on that topic every time he sharpened Mom’s kitchen paring knifes, and she then inevitably cut into her thumb while slicing potatoes. Just as invariably, Dad would say that using one’s thumb as a stop for a knife blade was the height of folly . . .

blade play machete

Which serves to highlight the most important point to be made in this introductory piece – Knives are very dangerous tools, as well as being potentially deadly lethal weapons. Knives are are made for cutting, slicing, stabbing, and chopping, they serve those purposes indiscriminately. No matter how careful you are, any blade brought into play in a kinky scene will increase potential risk to both you and your partner.

It may seem contradictory to tell you that knife-play can be a relatively safe activity, but that’s also true. Including knives in your kinky adventures might, at first, seem to be risky and intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be that way. We all use a knife at least once most ever day, even if it’s just a kitchen knife to chop vegetables, or a serrated steak knife to slice meat. It should be noted that I’ve never had any accidents in a playroom involving a knife, but the same can’t be said about my experiences working in a restaurant.

So, safety with knives is mostly just good communication and common sense. Add in a bit of respect for the tool’s potential to harm, and a bit of heightened awareness (which can be a good think in it’s own right) and we’ve got a prescription for safely adding sharp bladed objects as an exciting part of our erotic play.

I’m often accused of being a bit of a contrarian, and that’s certainly true to form when discussing the topic of erotic knife-play. I play with knives, machetes, and even swords, in my bedroom, at the dungeon, and out in the woods at a cabin I frequent. To my eyes, knife-play in a BDSM context is not just a scary thing, it’s exhilarating, exciting, and erotic.

I play with knives! And if you let me, I’ll help you learn how too. It’s just one more way I’ve found to enjoy and embrace the joy of kink.

(modelling credits for pictures accompanying this post go to yours truly, Michael Samadhi, and the lovely Lexxi Derrière)

Michael's Musings From Mumblety Peg to Machetes – I Play With Knives
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