BDSM Marking: 13 Ways to Mark Your Submissive

BDSM marking can be an incredibly erotic practice between dominant and submissive partners.

BDSM marking is powerful physically and psychologically, marking ownership, commitment, milestone occasions, or sexual preferences in the context of power exchange relationships.

What Is BDSM Marking?

Simply put, BDSM marking is a practice in a D/S relationship, where the dominant lover marks the skin of the submissive. The mark may be temporary, or permanent.

BDSM marking can take place through sadomasochistic means such as impact play, BDSM branding, biting, or tattooing. It can be body writing with paint or markers. Or it can be an accessory, similar to the tradition of promise rings or wedding rings, including traditional BDSM collaring practices.

13 BDSM Marking Ideas

1. Spanking

Spanking naturally causes temporary body marking on the receiving lover, most often inflamed red marks on point of impact. These are temporary marks but can be incredibly satisfying.

A submissive often enjoys the tender, red, swollen surfaces as signs of their BDSM punishment or the presence of their master.

Read: How to Find Spanking Partners

2. Marking with Impact Tools

Other forms of impact play may be more intense. Marks from flogging, lashing, whipping, caning, or cropping will also be red, puffy, swollen BDSM marks on the body of the submissive. Sometimes repeated or intense impact play can result in lasting bruises.

Read: Impact Play Tips, Tools, and Safety

3. Body Writing with Markers

A dominant can write erotic instructions, rules, humiliating names or words like “pain slut,” or simply designs and patterns of their liking over the submissive’s body. It can be a careful, erotic, artistic ritual that takes time or a quick gesture of domination or degradation.

Read: All About Degradation Kink and How to Play

BDSM marking through body writing can use permanent or temporary markers. Both will last a few hours up to a few days.

4. Body Painting

Body painting is a long-time erotic practice, giving lovers more time to spend on the surface of the body. In the context of BDSM marking, body painting can show ownership, control, and domination.

BDSM body painting can include ownership symbols, humiliation words, or artistic preferences.

Read: Get Creative in the Bedroom with Body Paints

5. Henna

Henna is a red, orange, golden or auburn dye used traditionally and ceremonially in various cultures, creating intricate patterns on the body. This practice can be used decoratively in BDSM marking, the same way that a Dom might use paints or markers.

6. Bite Marks and Hickeys

Biting, sucking, and heavy kissing is one way to say “Dom was here” on a submissive’s body. The purple welts that come to the skin’s surface from intense sucking are called hickeys. Bruises and teeth marks from biting can be forms of BDSM marking.

Read: 12 Neck Fetishes and Neck Play Ideas

7. Shaving

Shaving in the context of BDSM marking could be pubic hair or head hair, in a style that pleases the dominant or for purposes of punishment or humiliation of the submissive.

Read: How to Shave Her Pussy

8. BDSM Collars or Jewelry

A classic form of BDSM marking is the tradition of collaring, which has a long history in sadomasochism and other power exchange relationships. Collaring lets others know that someone is already taken—property of their dominant or master or mistress.

There are many different kinds of collars and the collaring ritual includes choosing the ones that are most suited to the taste of the dominant.

Read: 9 Types of BDSM Collars

9. Clothing or Hairstyle Choices

One way to mark a submissive as being controlled by their master is for the Dom to choose the clothing and or hairstyle they prefer. This is a subtle nod to ownership and leadership in a BDSM marking context.

10. Chastity Devices

Chastity devices can be seen as a kind of BDSM marking. Indeed, they mark your territory like nothing else! A chastity cage with a lock is symbolic and literal at once, and authorizes your full control over how and when your submissive uses their genitalia.

Read: Kinky Chastity Devices for Men and Women

11. Tattoos

A tattoo can be a BDSM mark. Tattoos have long been used as a way to mark a passage or important event, as a declaration of worship, connection, or bonding, or as a way to keep someone who is not there with the person, to wear them on their skin so to speak.

Think about the famous classic tattoo styles. Some say “Mother” where men give homage to the real boss in their lives. Others are dates or symbolic numbers, names, or even images, of a loved one who has passed away or who is very important and warrants a declaration. This could be a child, sibling, lover, friend, elder, or mentor.

Read: Tattoo and Piercing Fetish

Tattoos usually have deep significance to the wearer that is personal and not necessarily obvious to an audience. Where others may see a rose for example, the tattooed person has marked a death of a loved one or a triumph over adversity.

Tattoos are permanent but the symbol can be something subtle or personal between the dominant and submissive, as well as being larger and more obvious.

Temporary tattoos are a fun way to experiment and enjoy BDSM marking symbolically without the permanent commitment.

12. Body Piercing

Body piercing is a unique method of BDSM marking because it is both intense, extreme and intimate, but also temporary. Unlike tattooing or BDSM branding, piercing can be temporary and removed as wished. But it is something painful and penetrating, not just “written on the body” like markers or paint, but worn inside of it.

The penetrating act of the needle and the options of claiming various body parts, as well as the pain in the process and the prize of the adornment chosen, are all profoundly symbolic. Body piercing and needle play can be a beautiful part of sadomasochist rituals including BDSM marking.

Read: BDSM Needle Play and Play Piercing

13. BDSM Branding

BDSM branding is perhaps the ultimate BDSM mark.

Branding is using a hot iron or a heated tool to brand a design or motif into the skin through burning. Historically, slaves and cattle were branded by their masters to designate ownership. This is potent symbolism in the context of BDSM marking.

Read: BDSM Branding and Body Modification Kinks

Does BDSM marking play a part in your kinky relationship? Please share!

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