What are “Fire Cups”?
Fire cups are glass cups or bowls used in cupping and fire play. They were historically used in ancient medicine, but have been adapted for BDSM and fetish play as well.
The History of Fire Cups & Use in BDSM Play
Fire cups and cupping therapy have been around for over 3,000 years and was mentioned in early Egyptian texts. Many cultures such as the Greeks, Iranians, and many other Asian countries adopted cupping as a form of medicine over the millennia. Modern medicine does not have any evidence that cupping is effective as a treatment for any diseases or ailments.
The suction, heat, and pressure from cupping can be pleasant and therapeutic. The heat and suction can relax the muscles as well as increase blood flow. The skin that was suctioned into the cup itself is often tender and more sensitive. Many of these things naturally made the use of fire cups appealing in BDSM and fetish play.
Heat and fire from the cupping process appeal to those who enjoy temperature play. When used in conjunction with bondage, using fire cups on a submissive can be exciting and intense. Applying cups to their body and the use of fire can trigger a fear response and release adrenaline.
After cupping the skin will look red and welted and is very tender due to the increased blood flow. Slapping, smacking, pinching, or otherwise stimulating these areas can be done for pleasure or punishment.
Dos, Don’ts & Tips
Fire cups can be applied in several ways. The most traditional way is as follows:
- Step 1: Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol.
- Step 2: While holding it with forceps or tongs, set it on fire.
- Step 3: Immediately drop the cotton ball into the cup and then remove it.
- This allows the alcohol and fire to continue in the cup itself.
- Step 4: Place the cup on the skin and gently hold in place.
- The fire will burn itself out and burn up much of the oxygen in the cup itself.
- This creates a negative pressure inside the cup, suctioning it to, and attaching itself to the skin.
- Step 5: After a preferred amount of time the cup can simply be removed by breaking the seal between the skin and the cup.
The skin beneath the cup will appear dark red to purple depending on how much pressure was created. This generally goes away within a few hours. Remaining redness is usually the result of small capillaries or blood vessels breaking below the skin.
Generally cupping is done on one’s back but fire cups can be applied anywhere there is enough skin and surface area to be pulled into the cup itself. Care should be taken to buy glass cups made specifically for use in cupping. Glass can shatter under extreme heat or pressure which may cause injury to the wearer or the one applying them.
Related Practices and Fetishes
Cupping is the play in which fire cups are used. Those who enjoy fire cups may also enjoy other forms of heat based temperature play such as warmed dildos. Suction cups for nipples can also be used on other parts of the body. Suction cups can recreate the sensation of fire cups without involving heat or flame.