Home > No Stupid (Kink) Questions > No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 35 – Are bruises dangerous?

No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 35 – Are bruises dangerous?

October 14th, 2014

NoStupidKinkQuestionsGandhi said that if you want to change the world, you have to be the change you want to see. To that end, Insatiable Desire brings you No Stupid (Kink) Questions, a series of questions asked by novice kinksters around the web. If you have a question for us, leave it in comments, or send it to rayne (at) insatiabledesire (dot) com with “NS(K)Q” in the subject.

Question 35:

I have heard myths that hickeys can cause blood clots and be dangerous. I know this is silly for the most part and there is supposedly only one case of this really being a problem if we even want to believe that. But this does lead me to question whether bruises caused by bdsm play such as spankings may be dangerous. Do you have any thoughts on this that may ease my mind?

First and foremost, I am not a doctor. Everything I know on the subject of BDSM and health, I find on the internet (from generally trusted sources, and a few random ones for good measure), or I’ve learned through experience with my own body and mind, and how it has handled the paces Master and I have put it through. If you’re concerned about something going on with your own body, please step away from the internet and see a doctor. The internet cannot positively diagnose you and it cannot treat you.

This subject is something I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while. Mostly because of the hickey thing you mentioned, but also because I want to know what I’m getting myself into when I’m chasing that adrenaline high. I did some more research for this post, and I’ll leave my sources at the bottom.

So…basically, it’s like this:

Yes, bruises contain clotted blood. If a bruise didn’t clot, there would be internal bleeding, and you could bleed to death. So something to watch for is that they stop spreading within a decent amount of time. Especially if you have a condition that makes clotting difficult. Those kinds of blood clots are good. They keep you alive.

However, bruises are clotted blood in the surrounding tissue, not clots in the vein. There is no danger of a clot in the surrounding tissue traveling to a vital organ (heart, brain, lung) and killing you.

The bad kind of clot is called a “deep-vein thrombosis (DVT),” which is a blood clot that forms inside the vein. You may experience DVT in an arm or leg, but a DVT in the leg is more common. These kinds of clots generally form after serious impact, much stronger than that which you will encounter in BDSM play. We’re talking car accident, or something.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. It is possible that if you play on the more extreme side, you could experience a DVT if you’re beaten too hard or too often directly on or too close to a major vein. But generally speaking, a safe, experienced top should avoid those areas, anyway, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

Some things to watch out for:

  • Swelling in one or both arms or legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both arms or legs, which may occur only while standing or walking
  • Warmth in the skin of the affected arm or leg
  • Red or discolored skin in the affected arm or leg
  • Visible surface veins
  • Arm or leg fatigue

If you think you may have a DVT, please seek treatment immediately. Your life may depend on it.


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