Knife play is form of consensual BDSM edgeplay involving knives, daggers, and/or swords as a source of physical and mental stimulation. Knives are typically used to cut away clothing, scratch the skin, remove wax after wax play, or simply provide sensual stimulation. Knife play is sometimes, but not always, a form of fear play. Knife play can also be a form of temperature play or body modification. The "victim" in some cases, is shown a sharp implement, and then blindfolded, and a blunt knife used on their skin. Usually sharp knives are used but for certain purposes special dull knives such as an oyster knife or a butter knife may be used for a mindfuck (for example: the practice of insertive sex play without the certain knowledge of the submissive that an exchange of implements—blunt for sharp—has occurred. This is a form of fear play, yet it still maintains safety.)
Knife play itself is quite broad. Such scenes can include anything from slowly and sensually scraping wax off a body or moving a blade along the persons skin without cutting them to role play where the fantasy abductor slices off the (willing) victim's clothing. Knife play can also break the skin, either for light scratches or deep cuts meant to scar.
For many, knifeplay can be highly erotic, as the physical and psychological reactions can be intense. It is also an activity that takes a great amount of care to learn properly. As with any sort of edge play that can potentially draw blood, there is the risk of passing diseases along. Also, there is the risk of cutting the wrong spot and causing excessive blood loss, or accidental stabbing.
It is possible to cut the skin in particular shapes so that a scar forms in that shape. This is known as scarification.
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