8 Things to Know About Scratching

Raking your nails down your partner’s back during good sex. Adding a bit of spice during a back rub. Getting your partner’s attention when their back is turned.

These are just some of the ways John Brownstone and I have experienced scratching in our kinky play. Oh, and did I mention primal sex that’s rougher and more animalistic than just “good sex?” Rawr.

You don’t have to know much about scratching before you do it, and like anything, you can make it as kinky as you want. As always, your experience will be unique to you, but here are a few things to think about if you decide to play with scratching.

It’s Sensation Play

Scratching is nothing more than a form of sensation play. You can lightly skim your nails down your partner’s skin or really dig in and leave marks. It’s up to what you both enjoy, especially the partner being scratched. For first-timers, try it light and gradually increase the intensity until you figure out what’s too much/enough. That may be all you need or want or you might find you (or your partner) are begging to have blood drawn.

Scratching Makes Great Marks

Scratches definitely leave behind great marks. Depending on your body, you might need a lot of scratching or very little. When John Brownstone scratches me, even his lightest touch leaves behind some pink. Only during our really primal moments (where we go extra wild) has he left behind scratches that actually stuck around for a few days. Some people play with scratching specifically for the marks they can leave behind.

Scratching Isn’t Just a Top/Dom Thing

During wild sex, I’ve raked my nails down John Brownstone’s back and turned him into a wild animal. (It’s sexy as fuck, y’all.) Yes, he’s definitely the one in control as Dominant, but I’m giving him pleasure – which has nothing to do with D or s. Of course, you can make it a kinky act in your scene, controlled and meted out by the top or Dom. But it can also be something either of you do in a different kind of moment.

Keep Your Nails Clean

If scratching becomes a regular part of your play (or you think it will be something you do), make sure your hands and nails are as clean as possible. You might not intend to draw blood or that might be exactly your goal. Dirt and bacteria in an open wound can lead to infections and other problems that are the least sexy things you can imagine.

Clawing Counts, Too

I was reminded (while writing this) that when I start feeling primal, I’ll dig my nails into his butt or hip while he fucks me. He growled while remembering it, so it’s safe to say he enjoys it. Digging your nails in is definitely an abbreviated form of scratching but it definitely works. I focus on fleshy parts of the body for this like his butt. Wrap your hands around your partner and dig in.

Try It During a Massage

As with any form of scratching (and every other kinky play) you need the consent of your partner first. If sensual massage is something you enjoy, running your nails down your partner’s back – lightly or heavily – adds another dimension to what they’re feeling. Because we like pain, John Brownstone starts out light (and laughs at the goosebumps) and progresses to a heavier, deeper scratch to watch me squirm and hear me squeal.

You Don’t Have to Be a Masochist To Like It

The fact that John Brownstone is a definite sadist (and hates pain) but loves scratching is my proof. He likes it when I run my nails gently down his back during a quick massage, and he loves the primal sexy scratching and clawing. You don’t have to label yourself a masochist to enjoy being scratched, especially since it doesn’t have to be painful. Remember, it’s a sensation, like any other, and if you enjoy it, it doesn’t make you less or more of anything.

You Don’t Need Long Nails

If your nails are bitten down to the quick, scratching likely won’t happen. But even relatively short nails can still create plenty of sensation. Some people love keeping their nails long specifically for scratching. I never think that far ahead but I always notice a difference when I run my nails over John Brownstone’s head and down his back when my nails are a little longer. Grow your nails out or don’t — as long as you’ve got even a little bit, you’ll likely make your partner feel something.

If you enjoy scratching, how do you like to play with it? Hard and heavy, light and soft, something in the middle? Or are you like John Brownstone and myself who love it all? Share in the comments!

3 Responses

  1. Carrie says:

    My partner loves when I dig my nails into his back during a hot session. Usually the marks last for a week or two and he loves showing them off. Recently he asked me to “leave a permanent mark”. How would I do this?? I don’t want to injure him but I do want to give him what he wants.

    • Kayla Lords says:

      We’re not experts on it, but for permanent marks, look up branding and tattoos in BDSM — this is usually the “safest” way to permanently mark a partner. Anything you do with your nails that could inflict injury would come under serious edge play and would require a lot of research and understanding about the body, injury, and preventing infection. We’re definitely not qualified to advise on that, and for most people, it’s not something we would recommend.

      • Carrie says:

        Thank you for responding! I really wanted to ask someone but couldn’t ask my friends/family lol! I’ll talk to my partner and see what we’re both comfortable with.

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