In a steamy scene in 1993’s Body of Evidence, Madonna’s character ties William Dafoe’s to a bed and drips hot candle wax on his body, teasing him with champagne kisses as she moves lower and lower. As the wax burns him, Dafoe’s character cries out in pain, but his sounds are almost orgasmic as he submits to the wax play. We mark this as the point in history when hot wax play entered the mainstream.
The scene is an iconic representation of sadomasochism in popular culture, and regardless of your opinions about what is ultimately a terrible movie, Madonna’s wax play is pretty hot.
As is the very brief glimpse in 1999 into Ricky Martin’s boudoir where he was living a crazy, if still closeted life.
Why is wax play hot and loca (yes we think of wax play in feminine)?
The low light of the candle, the danger of a femme fatale playing with fire, and the intense sensation of molten wax all tug at our wildest bondage fantasies.
The heat sensation from the wax inspires pain and fear or danger, increasing adrenaline levels and, as a result, arousal.
The most famous [hot wax] enthusiast was St. Pazzi, a 16th century nun who would have others drop hot wax on her body while she was tied to a bed post and humiliated.
—Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices
If you enjoy a little sting with your bondage, you may like incorporating hot wax play into your activities. When done safely, wax play can be very arousing. It incorporates a jolt of intense sensation from liquefied wax, but without the force of impact play. It can be a more intimate method of pain and torture play, allowing you and your lover to slow down while you create powerful sensations with dripping hot wax.
We can wax philosophical all day about candle wax kink, so let’s get right to the details.
What Is Wax Play—and Why It’s Hot
Candle play or hot wax play is the act of dripping melted candle wax on your lover’s body to create burning sensations, enough to cause a little pain, but not quite enough to cause a burn on the skin.
Think about the feeling of slipping into a bath that’s just slightly too hot: it’s a bit of a shock to the skin, but it feels oh so good.
The burning sensation gets pain hormones like endorphins and serotonin going for the receiver (or bottom). The visual aspects of candle wax dripping all over their lover’s body can be a huge turn on for the top.
Candle wax kink can play out in many ways. You can tease your partner with a little candle wax torture, such as dripping hot wax on different body parts in small quantities. Or you can channel your inner Madonna and stare intensely into your lover’s eyes while you drip hot wax all over his body and watch him squirm with pain—and pleasure.
Safety Precautions for Hot Wax Play
Like with any bondage play, it’s super important to address safety before dripping hot wax all over your lover’s body.
Get a Fire Extinguisher for Your Candle Play
Wax play can be dangerous because it involves fire. If you are not cautious, a little fire can turn into a lot of fire. Don’t play with candles if you are drunk or intoxicated and always have a fire extinguisher handy just in case.
It may seem a little extreme and paranoid, but we can’t stress enough the importance of purchasing a working fire extinguisher and keeping it close by if you plan on using candles or any open flame in the bedroom.
If you can’t wait to play, have at least a wet bath towel handy.
But seriously, don’t be a wet towel. Do we have to get dom on you? Buy the damn fire extinguisher!
Keep the Wax Play Space Free of Flammables
Now you have your fire extinguisher. You don’t want to actually have to use it, so keep your hot wax play space free of items that can catch on fire easily, such as scarves, flowing nightgowns, feathers, tissues, and anything else that can get in the path of the flame. Keep your candle play away from your canopy bed or sexy net covering.
In other words, use common sense when playing with fire.
Get the Right Candles
Be careful about the candles you’re using. Don’t just use any candle for wax bondage.
Not all wax is created equal. Hot wax play can be harmful to your lover and cause serious burns if you use the wrong kind of wax. Materials to avoid include beeswax, which melts at about 10 percent higher temperature than paraffin or soy candles, and oil-based candles, which run up to 30 percent hotter.
Perfumes, scents, coloring, and other chemical additives can cause wax to melt at higher temperatures as well.
The key is finding low temperature candles made of paraffin or soy, with few to no additives. Soy and paraffin candles are the safest, with melting temperature below about 140 °F, so they won’t burn the skin as much.
Alternatively, go with candles created specifically for body play or massage, which may not burn the skin at all.
Test the Candle
Always test hot wax on your own body before dripping it on your lover’s. Try it out on your hand or another sensitive area. Just be careful if you startle easily or you could end up launching that candle across the room.
Keep in mind that what you find tolerable might be too much for your partner. Testing all low temp candles you’ve bought on your partner before launching into a hot wax play session is acceptable and recommended.
Control the Temperature
As we already mentioned, the selection of candle material is the primary way to control the wax melting temperature. The other is distance.
The longer the distance between the candle and the body, the more the wax will cool before hitting the skin. The ratio is about 5 °F per 3 feet.
Another way to control the temperature is to follow candle drip with that of an ice cube. Alternating the hot and cold sensations is a titillating kind of play in itself.
Avoid Splatter and Pooling
On the flipside, splatter can be an issue when dripping or pouring wax from higher elevations. Find the sweet spot between the right temperature and an acceptable amount of wax splatter.
Also be careful not to let the wax pool to thick on the skin. It may be too hot in large quantities and cause a burn.
Where to Wax Your Lover
Hot wax torture is particularly fun on sensitive parts of the body such as the nipples, buttocks, or testicles. A lot of hot wax kink involves dripping hot wax on genitals, which can be a very intense sensation.
Other fun areas of the body to experiment with include the small of the back, the butt crack (but avoid the actual orifice), and the perineum.
Some people even like hot wax dripped on their clitoris or penis head, but be absolutely sure you are using a safe candle with a low melting point before you drip hot wax on super sensitive areas.
Always test first.
If your partner likes the sensation of wax dripping onto their body but finds the wax just a little too hot, smooth the wax out on their skin after dripping. This will allow the wax to cool more quickly and create a bit of a barrier for further drips.
You don’t have to drip the candle wax on your lover’s body. You can stand the candle on a flat body surface and let the wax run down the sides of the candle and onto their body (this is easier with tapered candles). Or you can do the same but with the candle as an insertable, melting over the entry point.
Restraint and Wax Play
Wax bondage might involve restraining your partner so their movement is limited while you drip hot wax on their body. Pair your hot wax play with an under-the-bed restraint so your lover is splayed and their sensitive areas like armpits and inner thighs are exposed and ready to receive dripping hot wax.
Wax On, Wax On: The Best Wax Play Candles
As explained above, there are wax play candles that are safe for use on the human body, and those that are not. You want candles with a low melting temperature.
The best candles for wax play are made out of pure paraffin or soy and do not have any additives that raise the melting temperature.
Basic Candles for Wax Play
There are two kinds of candles we can recommend for your hot wax play session.
White paraffin candles, also known as safety or emergency candles, are known to be the best candles for dripping candle wax on the body. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and melt at a relatively low temperature, about 135-140 °F.
Unlike a lot of BDSM toys, cheaper is better in this case. Look for 100% paraffin, unscented. They come in packs of 5-12, and are usually tapered but short (not your typical elegant tapered candles that fit well into holders).
Be careful not to confused tapered candles with those made of stearine, which has a high melting temperature; always make sure paraffin is the main, if not the only, ingredient.
Some lovers prefer fatter, pillar candles, which allow wax to pool at the top so it can be poured on the bottom’s body in larger quantities.
At any rate, simple safety candles are the best place to start your hot wax play adventure.
Mega Candles are basic candles that are ideal for your earthquake preparedness kit—and can double for your hot wax kink session. They’re the right price and the right material (100% paraffin) for your lover’s body. You may want to grab two packs so you don’t run out of emergency or wax play supplies.
You can also look for 100% soy candles, but plan on paying more. Soy candles melt at a lower temperature than paraffin, at about 130 °F (54 °C ).
However, as a petroleum byproduct, paraffin is cheaper, while soy is a vegetable-based wax.
If you want a prettier candle for not only wax play but for ambiance, soy candles are a little higher-end and come in more shapes and sizes.
Maybe you’re looking for a something a bit more aesthetically pleasing as well as practical, such as a pillar candle you can keep in your room and use for sensual lighting.
Try the Ily’s Nature Light 100% soy pillar candle, which will have a low wax temperature and look nice on your beside table.
Massage Candles for Wax Play
Massage candles are sensual candles typically made out of soy wax, oils, and fragrance that have been specially formulated and tested for temperature contact with the human body. Even though they have additives, they are made to have a low candle wax temperature.
The idea of a massage candle is to let the wax melt and pool and pour it on your lover’s skin as a massage oil.
Massage candles can be aroma-therapeutic as well, if you want to incorporate another sense into your play. Just pour on your partner’s sexy, sensual spots and enjoy smelling them as you rub them down.
Even though they are a bit more expensive than your basic safety candles, massage candles can be the best candles for wax play because they are made to be drip candles for the human body. You can be fairly certain the wax from massage candles won’t burn.
Ignite Me Massage Candles are made with soy wax and soothing shea butter. They come in several delicious scents and sizes.
Looking for a little luxury? The Jimmyjane Afterglow Candle makes a sexy gift for your lover and comes in sumptuous Vanilla or Bourbon scents. Our favorite part? The candle holder has a little spout for pouring the heated wax on your lover’s body. Another fun feature is a brush if you’d prefer to show your artistic side and paint your partner in wax before you rub it in.
If you want some sensual aromatherapy, try the Kama Sutra Massage Candle. The gorgeous vanilla sandlewood aroma will arouse your senses while your lover drips this silky smooth wax all over your body.
The Burn & Bliss candle, too, has a cute little spout holder so you can control the amount of wax you drop onto your lover’s backside. It comes in three fairly pronounced scents.
Specialty Candles for Wax Play
A few companies make specialty bondage candles specifically for bedroom wax play. They are guaranteed to burn at low temperatures and, unlike basic safety candles which only come in white, they come in exciting colors.
Like the aromatherapy candles, these colorful candles invoke another sense in addition to the skin sensation. Does seeing your bottom’s breasts covered in drips of red wax sound like a major turn on?
These low temperature candles and long and sexy and made especially for sex play. They come in red, white, and blue so you can get off and celebrate America at the same time.
Make Me Melt candles are safe for bondage play and a little longer than your average safety candle. The wax is a sexy black, which looks beautiful when dripped on the skin. A red variety is also available.
According to the product description, Erokay’s Low Heat Bondage Candles burn for two hours and have a pleasant sent. They come in a pretty red and purple. This candle’s wax runs a little hot, which is better suited for lovers with a higher pain threshold. As always, test first.
And last, but not least, candles that respond to UV (black) light come in many colors and make for fun times in the bedroom as well.
Getting Off on Wax and Getting Wax Off
Removing wax from your lover’s body can be fun. Peeling wax off skin is a sensation in and of itself.
Hair is not a problem when the wax is hot, but once it cools and you try to remove the wax, you may find yourself in a bind. It is possible to remove candle wax from hair, but to avoid a sticky situation after your candle play, shave parts of the body you want to pour wax on. Oiling the hairy body parts prior to wax play can also help.
Don’t set yourself up for a stressful clean up by getting wax all over your nice things. Use an old sheet you don’t care about, or invest in a waterproof sheet if you plan to add wax play or other messy fun to your regular sexual repertoire.
Or get our of the bedroom. Wax play is a good excuse for sex on the kitchen floor. Or outside!
Wax on, Lovers!
If you’re game for trying something new, hot wax torture is great fun to mix in with your bondage play. Just make sure you take safety precautions (say it with us: “fire extinguisher”) and test your candles ahead of time to avoid any surprises. You’ll be waxing with as much finesse as Madonna, but with much better acting.
Drip wax and enjoy!