BDSM play comes in a lot of different flavors. And it’s hard to know which is right for you until you’ve tried a few.

Sensation play is a form of BDSM that incorporates new types of touch into your play time, from light caresses to playful smacks, thudding impacts, and sharp stings.

The right toys make all the difference in which sensations you experience and how much you enjoy them. That’s why I’ve picked out the best floggers, whips, and ticklers for you to experience everything from sensuous to intense.

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Levels of Sensation Play

As you begin exploring in BDSM sensation play, you’ll discover that different toys and techniques offer different intensity levels.

It’s a good idea to ease yourself in, and get accustomed to the various feelings on your body.

Here is a quick rundown of the types of sensation toys and what level of intensity they can provide:

Ticklers

bdsm ticklerTicklers are intended to be purely for light sensation play.

They do not cause pain and are most often made from feathers or a similar soft material. Running the feathers along your body can be pleasant and may, as the name suggests, cause a tickling feeling.

That doesn’t mean they can’t be put toward torturous pursuits, however. If you find a ticklish spot on a partner, lightly tickling them for a prolonged period can be a lot of fun as they squeal and try to squirm away (as long as they are enjoying the torture, as well!).

Floggers

bdsm floggerFloggers are a great place to start with the type of sensation play called impact play. And they are also a good beginner’s point for experimenting with pain in a consensual BDSM context. The make of the flogger, as well as the amount of force used by the person wielding it, will determine the intensity of the sensation or pain.

At their most basic, floggers are made up of a handle and falls. The falls are the pieces of leather, rubber, or other material that falls at the end of the handle. They are the part that typically hits the bottom partner’s body.

In general, the thicker the falls, the lower the intensity level of a flogger. Floggers with thinner falls cause more of a surface stinging sensation when they hit the skin. But floggers with thick falls may not sting at all.

The intensity or pain level of a flogger also depends upon the material the falls are made off. And they can be made of many different things. Leather falls can come in softer or harder leather, with softer leather having a lower intensity level. The least painful floggers are made from jersey knit rather than leather. Rubber increases the intensity and stings more than leather. And other materials like plastic falls are available that also increase the intensity level of the sensation.

Note that how the top partner uses the flogger also makes a difference, and it pays to learn from someone who has experience. They can simply tickle and caress the bottom partner with the ends of the falls (light sensation). They can hit their partner with the middle part of the falls (moderate sensation). Or they can use the flogger more like a multi-tailed whip, hitting their partner with the ends of the falls (most sensation).

When you are flogging a partner’s butt or back, and the stingy ends of the falls come around and hit the side or front of their body accidentally, this is called “wrapping” and is generally an undesired effect.

Whips

bdsm whipWhips are the most intense toys you’ll find on this list. I do not recommend most whips for beginners because they do cause pain, and it’s good to experiment with floggers or other impact toys before moving on to the intense stinging sensation of a whip.

Whips can also come in different materials, and may have one or more tails. Single-tail whips, like, signal whips, bull whips, or snake whips, are the most commonly used. But there are also multi-tail whips like the cat o’ nine tails.

The most intensely painful whip is the dragon tail whip.

Pain is an Option, Not a Requirement

Many people enjoy engaging in pain play. That being said, you can still use these implements without trying to push the limits of your pain tolerance. It’s all about how the person in the top role handles the implement.

Some people enjoy the warm feeling associated with being spanked or flogged at a light to moderate intensity level without going into the realm of painful sensations. You can ask your partner to hit you lightly or ramp up the intensity.

The Importance of Warmup

Speaking of warm feelings, you know how you’re supposed to warm up before an intense exercise session? The same is true before intense pain play.

Even if you intend to get up to a more intense level of pain, it’s a good idea to warm up the skin with lighter intensity impact first. This can include starting with a flogger before using a whip, or using a flogger with thicker falls before switching to one with thinner falls.

Whatever implement you use, it includes starting out at a lighter intensity level and increasing gradually. This allows the person on bottom to communicate if the new intensity is okay for them. And just as importantly, it makes impact play more fun for the bottom partner because they will be able to tolerate a longer session and higher pain levels (if they’re into that!).

Now that you know what to look for, here are the floggers, whips, and ticklers I suggest…

Lelo Tantra Feather Teaser Tickler

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There are a lot of cheaply made ticklers out there, and you could certainly pick one up for about 5 bucks. But it wouldn’t last you long. So if you enjoy light sensation play, it’s worth it to get a tickler that all the feathers aren’t going to fall out of. And at $29.99, this one is still pretty affordable.

Lelo’s Tantra Feather Teaser Tickler has a well-constructed, comfortable handle that makes it easy to use.

Pros:

  • Incredibly soft feathers.
  • Metal and acrylic handle adds weight that makes it easy to control.

Cons:

  • A little pricier than most ticklers.

Bondage Boutique Luxury Ostrich Feather Tickler

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Unlike other feather ticklers that feature plumes of small feathers, the Bondage Boutique Luxury Ostrich Feather Tickler has just two large, black feathers. It also has a much longer handle than most ticklers, at 14.5 inches. That opens up new possibilities for positions and how you caress or tickle. Remember, ticklers don’t have to be used for ticklish sensations (though they can be!).

Pros:

  • Soft feathers.
  • Reaches more body parts more easily.

Cons:

  • Only comes in black.

Bondage Boutique Advanced Extra Long Suede Flogger

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If you’re looking for something a bit more intense than a feather tickler, this is a great flogger for beginners. The suede falls are soft and can double as a tickler if you just trail them across the skin.

When used as an impact toy it can cause up to a moderate level of pain intensity. And it’s much less expensive than more advanced floggers of larger sizes.

Pros:

  • Short handle is great for close play.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons:

  • Won’t last as long as higher quality floggers.

Coco de Mer Brown Leather Flogger

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This is a truly luxurious, sexy flogger.

I like that the Coco de Mer line comes in brown instead of the standard black that a lot of BDSM toys come in. This flogger has longer falls than the Bondage Boutique flogger mentioned above. And although the falls are soft suede, the handle is made with real leather, which is the standard for quality floggers.

With 40 falls, you’ll get a pretty heavy impact with harder swings.

Pros:

  • Quality handle construction that won’t come unwrapped.
  • Good weight.
  • The falls are not too thick, meaning you can use it to give thuddy or stinging impact.

Cons:

  • Expensive if you are new to floggers (but actually a good price compared to other quality floggers).

Flicker Whip

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This Flicker Whip from The Stockroom is a great little toy that can be used either for light tickling and caressing sensations or to produce sharp, stinging pain. It doesn’t look like much, but make no mistake that the thin tassel at the end will cause an intense sensation when used as a whip. Remember, thinner whip equals more sting.

And better yet, in addition to being versatile it is also quite affordable at only $28. This makes it great for beginners in sensation and pain play.

I love that it has a long, leather-covered handle and just a short whip end. That combo makes it super easy for even beginners to use precisely, getting around the difficulty of aiming with a longer whip.

Pros:

  • Multi-use toy that can be a tickler or a whip.
  • Easy to aim because of the long handle and short tassel.
  • Affordable.

Cons:

  • Not as easy to fold up and pack in a bag as traditional whips.

Victor Tella's Signal Whip 3' 12 plait

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I love this 3 foot signal whip. If you’re looking for a traditional whip to learn with, I highly suggest Victor Tella’s 3’ Signal Whip. It’s made from high-quality kangaroo leather and is so easy to aim thanks to the shorter length.

An added benefit of this being a shorter whip is that you can use it in closer spaces, such as if you’re going to a BDSM party or event.

This is not the least expensive whip, coming in at $175, but it’s definitely worth it if you are serious about pain play.

Pros:

  • High-quality kangaroo leather construction.
  • Will last for years of consistent use.
  • Short and easy to aim with a bit of practice.

Cons:

  • Occasionally goes out of stock.

Victor Tella's Wildcat

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Victor Tella’s Wildcat looks a bit like a flogger, but it’s actually a multi-tailed whip (a cat o’ nine tails, to be exact). This whip has got much more bite than a flogger and is an excellent toy for anyone who loves intense pain. Basically, you get the sting of a thinly tasseled whip at multiple points on your skin.

The design also makes it versatile enough to use as a single-tail whip, a flogger (by hitting with the middle of the tails instead of the ends), a cat-o-nine-tails, or a percussion toy (using the handle for impact). You seriously get four different toys out of this one design, depending on how you utilize it.

It’s definitely on the higher end of the price range, but worth it if you are interested in long-term BDSM impact play and a variety of sensations.

Pros:

  • Versatile, multi-use implement.
  • High-quality kangaroo leather construction.
  • Will last for years of consistent use.

Cons:

  • Occasionally goes out of stock.
  • Expensive.

Black Dragon Tail Leather Whip, 4ft

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If you are looking for the most intense stinging pain sensation you can get, a high-quality dragon tail whip is the only way to go. This Black 4’ Dragon Tail made by Dragontailz is made from Italian upholstery leather that breaks in well and will hold up for years, with kangaroo leather handle lacing. The tapered end delivers a definite sting with each strike and is likely to leave a mark on the skin if used with a heavy hand.

It is handcrafted with one long piece of leather for the single tail, so it won’t fall apart after repeated use, and has an oak core in the handle to keep the whip well-balanced. At $150, it’s also more affordable than either of the Victor Tella whips.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced compared to other high-quality whips.
  • Quality construction that will last for years of consistent use.
  • Well-balanced for better aim and control.
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.

Cons:

  • Occasionally goes out of stock.

My Top BDSM Toys:

Here’s how I would break down the decision for which of these BDSM toys to buy:

Best for Value

The Flicker Whip is an excellent tool for beginners and advanced impact players.

The tasseled end can double as a tickler, and it’s easy to control for delivering just the right level of impact at the location you intend. It’s two toys in one with an inexpensive price tag.

Click here to learn more about the Flicker Whip.

Best for Light to Moderate Sensation

The Coco de Mer Leather Flogger is a well-made flogger with soft suede falls that will last for years and can level up your play as you advance through different pain tolerances.

And if you get to the point that it’s not intense enough, it will always make an excellent warmup toy.

Click here to learn more about the Coco de Mer Brown Leather Flogger.

Best for Pain Lovers

The 4 Ft. Black Dragontail Leather Whip delivers a sharp sting that can make even a well-trained masochist yelp.

If you’re looking for quality and intensity, this is it.

Click here to learn more about the 4 Ft. Black Dragontail Leather Whip.


Jessica Winter
Jessica Winter

Hey I'm Jessica! Thanks so much for reading my work. I've been studying the Sex Therapy industry for years, and my absolute passion is helping men and women improve their sex lives! I really hope my work here is helpful, and I will continue to do my best at providing value for you!