This entry is part 22 of 26 in the series Blogging from A to Z

unction – unc·tion  noun
1: the application of a soothing or lubricating oil or ointment
2: something that is used for anointing : ointment

Unction is an odd word.  It’s more than a little bit archaic, not common at all in modern use.

That’s probably why I like the word, it feels old fashioned.  It seems far more mysterious than mere ointment.

Of course, being the sick and perverted SOB that I am, it’s a word that I turn on it’s head.  Unctions are normally used for medicinal purposes, or for anointing.

There’s really nothing soothing about an unction used for BDSM play, it’s used to create strong sensations.  I wrote about one example back on Tuesday, when I suggested Icy Hot as a lubricant for a gates-of-hell cockring.

That’s a purely sadistic suggestion, in case you didn’t know, especially the part about a q-tip coated with Icy Hot being swabbed inside a guy’s urethra.  I guess there’s a reason I’ve never had a male submissive, eh.  I’d be a horribly sadistic fucker to a guy submissive or cuck, scary sadistic.  Well, that and the fact I’m not terribly bisexual.

Unctions, potions, ointments, as well as some other natural ingredients like ginger, Jalapeno peppers, and stinging nettles, all fall into the category of irritants.  They are used in BDSM play to create sensations.

And they are very effective.  But, they have to be used with caution.  Isn’t that the case with most of the really good kinky toys?

Irritants commonly used in BDSM play includes: Ginger root, toothpaste, Mineral Ice, Vic’s Vapor Rub, Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, Ben-Gay, HEET!, Capzicain, Tabasco sauce, Oriental hot oils, Oil of Wintergreen, Peppermint extract, Cinnamon Oil, Altoids, and stinging nettles.

Plain old alcohol can be an irritant too, but generally only where there’s open skin.  I’ve been told, by a masochist I’m very fond of, that the feel of alcohol on an open wound is a very special sensation.  It’s an extreme form of play no doubt, but it has fans for sure.  In my mind, the clear choice is to use an alcohol safe for drinking (ethyl alcohol) rather than something like a rubbing alcohol (isopropol alcohol).  Rubbing alcohol, and other medicinal alcohols of that sort are only safe for external use, so are not recommended for use as irritants in BDSM play.

The list’s not all inclusive, but includes most of the ones I’ve commonly heard of being used.   Most of the oils need to be diluted significantly, and it never hurts with the balms to cut/dilute them with something like Vaseline or make-up remover.  Failure to dilute some of the irritants can cause severe chemical type burns on skin, not a good idea.

Most everything on the list has the potential to be an allergen too it seems.  So caution is always advised on that front.  Testing an unction / irritant on an area of the body that’s not terribly sensitive before moving on to anointing someone’s tender bits is always recommended.

Please don’t take this limited introduction as an invitation to try this kind of play yourself.  To my eye, the definitive text on this topic hasn’t yet been written, so I suggest that before incorporating unctions and irritants into your own BDSM play, that you conslut local experts, or find a class on the topic at a lifestyle festival or event.

“u” is for unction


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Blogging from A to Z Challenge “U” is for Unction
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