Needle Play Tutorial

by Mistress Suzanne (SxySadist)

Play piercing is an S/m technique that involves consensually inserting needles underneath the skin of another person for mutual erotic pleasure. It is one of those activities that either fascinates, appalls or frightens most scene players. Due to its invasive nature and the risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens it is definitely an activity that you want to have proper training in before you dive in for the first time. Care should be taken to follow all appropriate safety precautions when engaging in this activity in order to avoid infection or injury.

While I am hoping to provide complete & helpful instruction in this article, I still strongly suggest that you have someone experienced in this type of play available to help you during your first time. Please keep in mind that all of these items are suggestions based on my research, personal experience and preferred style of play. Also, this is not meant to cover every aspect of needle play, but rather is intended to be an introduction for those of you new to this exciting area of play.

What do you need to get started?
• Needles – Remember the higher the number the thinner the needles. Common needle gauges for play piercing are 25 through 18: 25 gauge are thin, 18 are relatively large. Different gauges of needles have different color hubs, but these colors are not consistent across brands.
• Latex Gloves (non-latex if you or the person being pierced are allergic)
• Alcohol swabs, betadine or other cleaning supplies for the skin surface
• Band-Aids or Newskin
• Sharps container (can be purchased in any medical supply store)

Also good to have on hand (just in case):

• Towels, drop cloths or chucks to protect the table, floor etc.
• Cotton or gauze pads (for heavier bleeding)
• Small corks or Styrofoam for capping off the point of the needles
• A battery operated light in case you need more lighting
• Dental floss for lacing needles
• A surgical pen for drawing more elaborate designs
• A vial of smelling salts
• Some sort of sugary snack & a cool beverage

Where to get needles:

• BME Toolstore –
• Choice Medical Supply – (800) 456-3500

On the package, needles are commonly identified first by gauge, and then by needle length (in inches). Therefore, a package labeled “25 1 1/2” would contain 25 gauge needles with a length of 1 1/2 inches. If & when you are ready to place your order, needles are ordered by the box of 100. Ask for the number of boxes by gauge and length. For example 1 box of 25 gauge / one and a half-inches long. They typically run between $10.00 & $15.00 a box, but expect to pay a premium at “fetish friendly” dealers.

Note: I am able to order needles from these suppliers over the phone & have them delivered to my house without a prescription but laws vary from state to state. It is not legal to posess needles in every state or country. Please be aware of your local laws regarding this issue before ordering needles, or before transporting them across state lines.

Anatomy of a Needle

• The sheath – the disposable plastic protective covering over the needle
• The hub – the plastic end of the needle that you hold when inserting or removing. The color will vary according to the gauge (thickness) of the needle.
• The needle shaft- The business end that will be inserted into the skin. The tip is beveled at the end to form a very sharp angled point.

Important Reminders:

• Do not use any needles that are not sterile & factory sealed. They must be used once and then discarded properly.
• Follow all safe sex guidelines with respect to body fluids or blood, and dispose of any contaminated supplies appropriately!
• Be cautious not to break your own skin with the needle after breaking the skin of another or vice verse.
• Many people become faint or light headed after piercing, watch them carefully and do not let them move about unaided.
• This is considered edge play – even by most hardcore players – and there are several dangers associated with it. Please practice with someone who has experience till you are sure you know enough to do it on your own.

Preparation & Procedure:

– Find a good location to do the scene, preferably where the subject can lie down and you will not be crowded or bumped accidentally. Good lighting is also very helpful but not always easy to find. I usually carry a battery operated light for my needle play kit, just in case.

– Lay out your supplies neatly and cover the area that the sub will lie on with a towel or other protection. It’s also just nice to have something relatively warm to lie on and may help the bottom feel more comfortable.

– Make sure the subject is relaxed and ready. Needle play kicks up a lot of emotions for some bottoms and it may conjure up childhood demons and fears of going to the Dr’s office. Be VERY aware of your bottom’s emotional and physical state throughout the scene.

(Fainting is not uncommon which is why I suggest you have her/him lying down, have a vial of smelling salts and keep a sugary snack nearby.)

– If your subject is very nervous or frightened but still willing to try it, speak very calmly to your subject and encourage him/her to take slow relaxing breaths. Make eye contact and take a few deep connected breaths. Smile. If you seem nervous it will make him/her even more so. The more tense the bottom is, the more this and most other BDSM activities will hurt so if being nice and having your bottom enjoy the scene appeals to you as a top go the extra measure to help the sub relax. ?

– Put on your gloves, double preferred, because it is easier and faster to remove the outer pair if they become soiled than to take off a set and put new ones on.

– Choose the site on the body to be pierced carefully. To begin with I would start with the least delicate areas that I could and build your confidence a bit before tackling the more juicy bits. Look for meaty areas of the body like the chest, upper arms, front of the thighs or buttocks. Female breasts vary in sensitivity but nipples tend to be quite sensitive and a bit tougher to get through for a first piercing.

Avoid sticking needles into:
internal organs or bone
joints like the knees, elbows, wrists, etc
thin skinned areas like the sternum, shins, spine, etc
any area that has veins close to the surface like inner thighs and insideof the elbow.

– Clean the area to be pierced thoroughly with at least alcohol (betadine first then alcohol for extra precaution). Start at the center of the area and wipe outward in circular motion the area thoroughly clean. Iodine should not be used on someone with shellfish allergies and alcohol shouldn’t be used on anyone who is on antabuse.

– Uncap the needle carefully and discard the sheath (do NOT attempt to recap the needle). Please be careful to NOT contaminate the needle while uncapping it. Sometimes they can be a little tricky to open, if you have trouble hold the sheath firmly & try giving the hub a twist to dislodge it.

– Pinch or stretch the skin smooth and taut. Rest needle gently on the skin with the bevel side up or down it doesn’t matter, but I prefer to have it up so that I can see it enter the skin. Picture where you want the needle to go in and come back out. You want to go deep enough that you cannot see the needle through the skin but not so deep that you are puncturing vital organs and arteries etc. (Just teasing) Seriously though it is not an easy or precise measure as to how deep to go but keep in mind the closer to the surface of the skin that you stay the more it is going to hurt and the more likely it could tear out if you attach anything to it in more advanced play.

– Tell the subject to take a deep breath, wait a moment and then as the subject releases the breath slide the needle through smoothly, in one easy motion if possible. You want to also try to remember that the slower you go the more it hurts so depending on your objective you can try to minimize or maximize the effect by varying the speed and depth factors.

– That’s it! Those are the basics to play piercing and you can now continue to add needles into the body to forms pretty patterns or play with it gently and carefully by tugging, tapping or slightly twisting it in the skin.

* Important! Please be very careful not to stick yourself with the end of the needle once it has passed through the submissive’s skin. That needle is now contaminated and you could pick up anything in the submissive’s bloodstream or pass along anything you have as you draw the needle back out through the skin.

– If you and your submissive wish to keep the needles in for awhile you may, but please remember that you and others can be at great risk for infection and injury. Many play parties have restrictions on where you can go with needles in the body. Some that I have attended will not allow you outside of the “medical area” with needles in the skin while others let me move about carefully as long as the tips are not exposed. This can be accomplished by either burying the needle back into the skin again or by capping off the end with a cork or similar object.

– When you are ready, remove the needle gently by first spinning it slightly in both directions (they can become slightly crusty if they have been in a long time and spinning will help dislodge them). Then slide the needle straight back, and apply pressure to the puncture wound with a cotton ball or alcohol pad until bleeding stops. Place the needle immediately in a sharps container (a capped bottle may be substituted for a sharps container if necessary, but you are far better off investing a few bucks in a legitimate container as it will ease disposal and ensure safety). Dispose of any infected or contaminated supplies in the sharps container.

More advanced techniques in brief

Once you get some experience with the technique you may wish to start trying some more elaborate needle designs or other things such as lacing, adding weights or working the needles into bondage.

To add weights:
• Tie some dental floss gently around the needle and tug or add a small weight to it. Dental floss is my preferred tying medium since it stays clean within the package until you are ready to use it

If you do try lacing:
• Be careful that the needle is not so close to the skin surface that it may rip out, if you can see it clearly under the skin, it is too shallow.
• Do not tie them off to anything unless the subject is securely supported or lying down. If there is ANY chance the sub could fall, trip or be bumped DO NOT tie off to the needles.
• If you wish to show off or display your work, it is a good idea to have the bottom sit in the position they will be in while it is being viewed. The skin tends to shift and move a fair bit when someone gets up and your design might be totally different in the new position.
• Gently wrap around the needles tips & hubs with the string or floss but do not put a lot of pressure on them or wrap tightly around the needles until you are very familiar with the technique as it can cause an intense burning sensation.
• To remove the lacing, I generally find it easier and faster to remove the needles and then pick up the string rather than unlace them.

Play safely & have fun!

If you’d like to see more of Suzanne, you can visit her site,

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