Whips: A ReviewbyJoseki Ko©
The term, "whip" has taken on a generic meaning of anything with which you can whip someone, or some thing. In the BDSM world, "Cats" and "Floggers" are often called whips, while "proper" whips are likely to be called "single-tails."
Strictly speaking, whips have a single lash, which is usually braided and tapered so that when "thrown," the whip's tip accelerates, breaking the sound barrier, thereby making a loud cracking noise. It is this sound ... the crack of the whip ... that makes drovers whips and bullwhips useful for driving cattle and entertaining spectators
The whip's pop is a result of the tip of the whip (the "popper") moving beyond the speed of sound and creating a vacuum in space. The air rushing back into the vacuum makes the pop sound. A whip generates its speed through the "conservation of energy". The body of the whip is built to be a continually shrinking diameter from the thick handle down to the tip of the popper which is only a few strands of fiber. A little energy imparted at the handle accelerates along the diminishing diameter until the popper is moving over 700 miles/hour.
Whips have been around in one form or another for as long as recorded history. Look at some reproductions of hieroglyphics and you'll see that many depiction's of rulers show them with their arms crossed across their chests holding in one hand a staff or religious symbol and in the other a whip.
There are several styles of whips, that are commonly referred to as Bullwhips. Other makers will have differing names and descriptions of these styles, here are mine:
Bullwhips: Bullwhips are single, long whips, with a wooden handle and rawhide core. They may be 6-12' long braided from top grain leather.
Blacksnake whips: These are similar to Bullwhips, except that the handle is made of rawhide instead of wood. This lends a flexibility to the whip that some prefer.
Signal whips or Single tails: These are like Bullwhips and blacksnake whips in construction, but are shorter, usually 3-5'. They may also have a nylon cord braided into the tail itself. The very best single tails are made from kangaroo hide, a very supple and durable material. Kangaroo whips generally have a tighter braid made from many narrow leather thongs
The Teamster's whip: It is a bullwhip made with a tapered, 4-strand braid over soft leather, connected to a long, 20", wooden handle by a loop in the core.
Weaves: Bullwhips are braided from long strips of leather. They taper form the size of the handle, about 2"dia. to about 1/4"dia at the tip. This taper is accomplished in one of two ways.
Multiple strand braid: This is where a number of small, straight strands (usually 12) are woven together, dropping out strands along the length to decrease the diameter, until only 4 strands are left. This allows for variations in the weave for decorative purposes.
Four strand tapered braid: This is a whip made from a single piece of leather, cut in a taper and split into 4 tails. It is trickier to cut, but makes a good solid whip.
Lunge: Is a multiple braid whip where the braid is woven over a 36 inch nylon rod. Used primarily in training horses.
Other whips: There are some other products that come under the heading of whips, they are multi strand whips called flogs or floggers. Also included would be the nine strand Gorean whip.
Whips are a big part of demonstrations at BDSM shows, in the movies and in Mexican souvenir stores. Good whips come at exorbitant prices but are worth the money. I can't state strongly enough don't buy one and go try it on someone. You will hurt them. Throwing a whip is a skill learned by practice and diligence. If you decide to incorporate whips into your scene. Buy a very long one to start with. Train for several months outside on selected targets. This will teach you how to throw them correctly. After you have mastered that, move to shorter whips.
Shorter whips are much easier to use, which is exactly why you should start with a longer one. You will have developed the precision control you need to use a singletail without damaging your sub. Distance control is a very important aspect of using a whip. One of the easiest ways to cause real pain is wrapping. If you throw the tail of your whip farther than your intended contact point the whip will wrap around the target. The ends especially on a flogger really speed up. As they impact your subject you will hear the results, and the marks are truly incredible. By the same token if you cut down on the force of your throw this technique is great for showing off.