Ice Branding

Ice-branding uses a little bit of science to create temporary to semi-permanent marks on the skin that require a moderately low pain tolerance.

Salt lowers the freezing point of water, which is why roads are covered in salt during snowy weather, to prevent ice from forming in cold conditions. This BDSM practice takes that science and uses it on the skin to create brands.

Now, before I give you a guide on this, I must warn you, this is technically a second-degree burn and it does damage to your skin by following these instructions. There is a risk for injuring yourself or your submissive if you do this wrong, so please be very careful. Always stop if pain gets to be too much, and seek medical attention if pain persists. I am not responsible for consequences of this act, as it should only be done on consenting adults in a safe manner. Use this guide at your own risk.

Done correctly, however, this process should not hurt, but may feel uncomfortable. Be sure that your submissive is aware this can be a long-lasting mark and that you get their enthusiastic permission to do this procedure on their body.

What you’ll need:

  • Ice cubes (IKEA sells specially-shaped trays for around $2)
  • Table salt
  • Water (room temperature)
  • Paper towels

Step by step process:

  1. Instruct your submissive to sit or lie down with the area of skin you wish to brand exposed. Be sure they are comfortable in this position.
  2. Saturate a paper towel with room-temperature water and dampen the skin you wish to brand.
  3. Generously pour salt over the dampened skin. The salt should cover the skin completely, as opposed to just grains here and there.
  4. Taking the ice cube from the tray, be sure it is completely solid and not chipped or broken.
  5. Once you’re sure your ice cube is perfect, press it against the salted skin, firmly. There will be a cooling effect, and then a little bit of pain. However, the pain should stop very quickly, as the skin numbs.
  6. Press the ice against the skin for over a minute or two. Lean your submissive so the water melting from the ice will drip away from the salted area, thus more clearly defining the edges of the brand.
  7. Gently let go of the ice–it will probably be sticky against the skin. Use room temperature water and paper towels to get it off of the skin carefully.
  8. Your brand is now going to look a bit scary. This is just salt and water build-up over the frozen skin. Pour a bit of room temperature water over it and wipe off the salt with paper towels until the surface is clean.

At this point, your brand is going to be very light on the skin and will slowly turn into a raised welt over the next few hours. Overnight, this will go down and the color will get darker. It will feel cold for quite a while, but should not be painful. Depending on where you do the brand, some stinging sensations may happen up to several hours after your brand.

If any blisters form on the brand during healing, treat them like any other burn. You may bandage your brand for about an hour after the branding, but you should let it breathe overnight and after that point.

Healing process depends on your body’s healing rate and where you do it. One I did on a partner lasted three days, but I’ve had a scar on my forearm for about a year from one. I’d say a few months is typical, but there are a lot of factors involved. I wouldn’t suggest doing it unless you’re okay with semi-permanent marks.

Please be careful with this, keep your submissive safe, and have fun!

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