Dripping candle wax — playful or painful?

Originally Published: October 26, 2007 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: April 22, 2013
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Hello Alice,

My girlfriend and I like to drip hot candle wax on each other. Is that safe? Can there be any damage or anything? I wouldn't exactly want anything bad to happen to either of us down there... Thanks!

Dear Reader,

Sounds like you and your girlfriend are waxing creative! Plenty of people find wax play erotic, and as long as you're conscientious about safety, dripping wax on one another may help keep the flame burning in your love life.

Using care and common sense can help avoid waxy mishaps (like serious burns!). For starters, there are various types of wax, which have different melting points. Generally, the softer the wax the lower the melting point. The lower the melting point, the less chance you have of ending up with a nasty burn in a potentially sensitive area, so wax that's soft at room temperature is best. Paraffin wax (the kind sold in bulk for canning) melts at around 120°, votive candles around 135°, taper candles at 140° or higher, and beeswax at 145° or higher. To avoid burns, it's a good idea to stick below 125° (that means home canners are your friends!). Additives such as color, perfume, and stearic acid (used to reduce shrinking and add hardness) can increase the wax's melting point and cause skin irritation. Another thing to keep in mind, dripping wax sticks to your skin and increases the chance of burns. Holding the source of wax at least 18 inches above the skin gives the drips some time to cool. Testing on yourself (first on a less sensitive area, if your eventual goal is a more sensitive one) can help gauge safety in terms of temperature and propensity to skin irritation. Avoid the face, and be especially careful with delicate areas like the genitals, nipples, and navel.

There are various things one might experiment with: dripping wax, pouring it, or painting it on with a brush. The more wax involved, the more risk there is of burning, so use special caution if you attempt to create a wax Picasso or a penis mold. If you're using large quantities of wax, you can use a candy thermometer to keep the temperature around 120°. Once wax cools it's tough to remove it from hair, so avoid hairy areas unless you're aiming for a wax hair removal treatment.

Communication is crucial for a mutually pleasurable experience, and it's especially important when playing with wax or other things that could be physically dangerous. Talking with your partner beforehand about what each of you feel comfortable with, paying attention to non-verbal communication, and letting each other know if something isn't pleasurable are good ways to get the most out of your waxy encounters.

Alice

March 16, 2009

21518

To the reader:

Test the heat of the candle in two ways.

1. Hold it above your own arm to see how high it should be to fall without burning. Start too high and gradually come closer...

To the reader:

Test the heat of the candle in two ways.

1. Hold it above your own arm to see how high it should be to fall without burning. Start too high and gradually come closer.

2. Having someone else drip it onto you hurts more than when you do it to yourself (less control increases anxiety and increases pain). So test it on your partner by going a bit higher than was comfortable for you, and gradually decrease it until it's just right.

December 7, 2008

21500

To the reader:

Some good sex toy stores sell two brands of "massage candles" made of soy wax designed for this very purpose. The wax melts at a relatively low temperature and...

To the reader:

Some good sex toy stores sell two brands of "massage candles" made of soy wax designed for this very purpose. The wax melts at a relatively low temperature and turns into massage oil. I just bought one but haven't had a chance to try it. I have also seen recipes online for homemade massage candles.