If you know your p’s and q’s when it comes to BDSM, you’ll know all about sensation play. And for those who don’t, this is when the body’s senses are used in such a way that it causes arousal. It can include the skin, sight, taste, and hearing, and can take on several different forms. 


For example: using feathers or soft objects to caress the skin, using ice cubes or candle wax aka temperature play, spanking, or using a blindfold during play time. Some scenes could also take it one step further by incorporating sensory deprivation, which is like wearing a hood, for example.


Today however, we’re going to talk about a different kind of sensation play that you may not have heard of. We’re going to talk about figging! 

What is Figging?

Many of us are no strangers to using everyday household items as an impromptu sex toy. But had you ever considered using a skinned piece of ginger root during sexy time? Welcome to the world of figging.


Figging means inserting this root into either the anus or vagina in order to feel the burning sensation it causes.

Figging: Where Did it All Begin?

It appears this act has been around since ancient Greece when it was used as a form of torture for slave women, and cheating men. But recently, this form of sensation play made its way into one of E.L. James’s spin-off book, as she wrote:


“An image of her shackled to my bench, peeled ginger root inserted in her ass so she can’t clench her buttocks, comes to mind, followed by judicious use of a belt or strap. Yeah… That would teach her not to be so irresponsible. The thought is hugely appealing. She’s staring at me wide-eyed and dazed, and it makes me uncomfortable. Can she read my mind? Or is she just looking at a pretty face.”


Well, that’s some strong imagery for you right there.


Either way, figging is totally a thing, and if you’re curious to try it, here are a few guidelines…

Adhere to Food Allergies

If you can’t eat ginger with your mouth, you shouldn’t be inserting it into any other orifice, sorry in advance.

Skin the Ginger

Before anything goes anywhere, be sure to skin the ginger. If not, there could be a risk for a bladder or vaginal infection. Also, you’re going to want to make the ginger as smooth as possible to avoid any cuts or scrapes. 


And, if you’re planning on having fun with ginger anally, try to cut a kind of handle which will make it easier to remove.

Beginners Beware

This kind of sensation play can be like rolling a dice. You don’t really know what kind of sensation you’re going to feel, and it could be hard to stop it should you feel uncomfortable. 


So, we suggest trying a few other things in the realm of BDSM before trying figging. We also suggest trying it with a trusted partner, and with a safe word.

Take Your Time

You don’t necessarily have to block out your entire calendar for the day, but do set aside a decent amount of time if you’re planning to give this one a go. 


This is because it takes a few minutes for the sensation to reach its peak (the ginger oils mingle with the delicate tissue of the anus or vagina), and it will also take some time for it to subside after play time. 


Once removed, you’re looking at about 30 minutes until the sensation is more mild.

Looking for Intensity?

If you’re hoping for a more intense burn, you’ll want to buy a whole root, not a cut one. This is because, if it’s cut beforehand, the juices are less potent, which will cause a lesser burn. 


And when you do shape the ginger, be sure to remove all of its skin as the ginger needs to be sans skin for the oils to create the sensation. 


Also, we suggest using the ginger almost immediately after cutting and shaping, because if it dries out, the oils will not seep out.


And last but not least, a little insight from the Reddit community to give you a few tips on the act of figging, straight from the horse’s mouth… 

4 Tips on How to Try Figging

Tip 1, Reddit User

“Main thing to be aware of is that the lesser-burning sensation doesn't go away immediately once you remove the ginger, so be prepared for that. A room-temperature douche afterwards will speed the process up a little but, as far as I know you have to ride it out.”


Tip 2, Reddit User

“This isn't totally unrelated but if you don't already know it's a lot easier to peel ginger with a spoon! You just kind of scrape the peel away with it. It's much faster than with a knife and no wasted finger from cutting deeper than the peel.”


Tip 3, Reddit User

“Only use water as lubricant. If you use lube it will cover the ginger and you won't get the sensation. As well as peeling it right beforehand keeps it fresher. I find the pain quite a bit just with fresh ginger but you can leave it in the fridge for a few days and let it mold slightly. It will then be very potent and burn more. Depends on how much pain you can take.”


Tip 4, Anonymous Reddit User

“Pain-wise...for me personally it's much more of an intense burning when it's used anally. It starts off as a mild burning but quickly builds and can last up to 30 minutes even once the ginger has been taken out.”


Have you tried figging? Let us know your experience in the comments!