See also: Practical Cutting.
Cutting is an activity which involves cutting through one or more layers of skin with an extremely sharp knife or scalpel. When only a few layers of skin are cut there may be no pain or blood and the effect can be principally psychological. In this case, the cuts will usually heal within a few days without leaving any scars. Fear may be a component.
When the cuts are deeper:
- There may be blood,
- There will almost certainly be pain,
- The cuts will take longer to heal, and
- There may be scars. Indeed, sometimes scarring is the intention.
Blood and bleeding
The sort of pain associated with cutting is often much sharper and more intense than pain you might get from caning or flogging. Where the goal is to achieve a particular state of mind, the state of mind that results from cutting will generally be much different than from forms of impact play. This is very much a horses-for-courses thing and how catharsis, subspace, or surrender, for example, are achieved and the type of pain required in each case will vary from person to person.
Cutting is often associated with self harm, and pursuing cutting in a BDSM context may be a way of assuaging a need to self harm in a safe environment.
Scarification and decoration
- Cutting can be used for creating tattoos by rubbing ink or powder into the wound before it heals,
- When scars are desired the cuts can be held open during healing by means of adhesive bandages, or something, such as a hair, can be left in the cut to prevent proper healing.