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Olympics 2016: Cupping is also part of BDSM play, by the way

Olympics 2016: Cupping is also part of BDSM play, by the way
(YouTube)

Cupping is all the rage right now, thanks in no small part to a spotted Michael Phelps and other Olympians who say the therapy helps with pain relief and recovery.

The Phelps connection has inspired several local journalists to try out the ancient therapy, in which heated glasses are placed on your skin, causing it to "rise and redden as blood vessels expand," according to WebMD.

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It's also worth pointing out that cupping is a form of BDSM play (which you would have already known if you saw our photo gallery on Baltimore kink back in February). You can even buy cups built specifically for nipples over at Amazon. Or you could spring for the 12-piece deluxe set over at ExtremeRestraints.com.

As the blog for online sex toy emporium Adam & Eve explains, cupping is "not considered a dangerous form of sexual play."

"Cups can be placed on the nipples, vulva as well as on other parts of the body. Because many couples use candles to heat their cups, it's often combined with wax play. As with all forms of BDSM and sexual play, communication between partners is key to a successful session."

There can be some differences between the style of cupping Phelps uses and that found in BDSM, as upstate New York dominatrix Lady Julianna notes on her blog. "The bdsm community has adapted fire cupping as a kinky activity by making a small flame on the skin itself (usually on a penny, tile or other tiny receptacle) and placing the cup over that, causing extreme suction, mild pain and slight bruising," she writes.

"The subjects I worked on last night had a medium-average pain tolerance," Lady Julianna continues, "I kept the suction at massage-level or just a little more so as to not hurt my ladies. We tried both methods, and I did not find that the new 'kinky' way caused any more suction than the traditional way, but both methods were enjoyed greatly and we had a really good time."

Just something to keep in mind when you next see a bruised Michael Phelps take to the pool. Happy cupping, all!

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