What is “Cupping”?
Cupping (also called ‘Erotic Cupping’) is categorized under BDSM’s range of sensation play. In cupping, bowls, cups and sometimes are placed on the player’s erogenous zones or distributed along the genitalia to create a suction on the skin. The goal of erotic cupping is to increase blood flow on the cupped areas on the body, increase sensitivity and boost the effect of different pressures applied on the receiving this specific form of play.
Cupping has been practiced in Arabic and Chinese ancient medicine. It was used as a variant of acupuncture, as a counterirritant (moxibustion) or as a technique for dispelling pus (horn method).
For erotic stimulation, the cups or bowls are typically placed over the clitoris, breasts, buttocks, nipples and inner thighs. Bigger cups bring about more intense pressure and sensations because of the stronger suction that it can cause on the skin.
Dos, Don’ts & Tips
- The traditional way of performing cupping involves heating the cup and then applying it to the skin. Once the cups begin to cool down, a suction is formed and this pulls the skin into the cup. As the skin is being sucked, an ignited cotton ball is thrown into the cup.
- In BDSM, the traditional cupping method is modified in order to create a wider and more intense variety of sensations.
- Dry cupping involves mechanically creating a vacuum in the cup. It is said to be the safest and easiest cupping technique.
- Other techniques used in BDSM cupping include fire cupping and wet cupping. Fire cupping requires the use of combustible material to create the suction; while wet cupping entails creating small lacerations on the skin. The lacerations allow blood to be drawn as the suction begins.
- Applying lube or oil on the cup makes it easier to be moved along the skin.
- The safest length of time to leave the cup or suction on the skin ranges between 5-15 minutes. Other individuals are able to endure the suction for longer, usually until 30 minutes.
- Players should be reminded that cupping potentially leaves purple bruises on the skin.
- Individuals with excess hair on their skin are also predisposed to ineffective cupping since the hair can affect how tightly the cup’s rims will stick on the skin.
Related Practices and Fetishes
A nipple suction cup is a small suction device crafted specifically to make the nipples erect. The suction produced by nipple cups draw increased blood flow to the nipples, making it more sensitive to sensual stimulation.