What is Figging?

Q: Can someone please explain to me what figging is? I keep seeing it mentioned in BDSM groups and it sounds intriguing, so I thought I’d ask the experts.

A. In basic terms, “figging” is the act of carving a root of ginger into a shape that can be inserted anally, that then creates a sharp burning feeling against that most delicate area of skin. It is most often used in BDSM settings as a form of pain delivery and control, but in saying that it is also used for pleasurable purposes for those who enjoy the sensations. 

Where Does It Come From?

It can be dated back to both ancient Greece and Roman cultures where it was mostly used as a form of punishment and there are also documented details of it being used as a form of “domestic punishment” for husbands to use against unruly wives in Victorian England, although the phrase “figging” is a relatively modern term that derives from the word “feaguing”.

Feaguing is a (now banned) practice in equestrian events where the rider/trainer would insert a piece of ginger or hot chilli or other irritants into the horse's rectum which in turn made them hold their tails up – helping to make the horse seem younger, more sprightly, and in general more likely to win a competition. It became so widespread that they actually created a role for “ginger swabbers” to go round and examine horse's butts before competitions to make sure no-one was using it.

Is Figging Dangerous?

The burning and tingling sensations, while they can be incredibly painful, don’t seem to have any sort of lasting damage like chemical burns etc, to the area. Just like how your mouth can be in incredible pain while eating a hot chilli dish, actual lasting and damaging effects to the mouth area are incredibly rare and this is the same for figging.

If you have increased sensitivity to these sorts of thing, or allergies, then yes, there can be medical implications, but for the most part, the most dangerous thing that can happen when figging is either not carving it with a proper flared base, and it getting lost inside the anal cavity which then requires a trip to hospital to be removed, or inserting it too fast and without proper care which can damage the anal lining, and make that burny hot feeling a million times worse and possibly lead to infections and other nasty side effects of torn anal lining.

How Do I Do It?

It can be a good idea to do a test swab of the area before trying it out properly. Just rub a little of the still whole ginger on the area first and wait a while to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction. Make sure it’s a good sized knob of ginger that you can whittle down into a finger-sized bit, and make sure you keep the base thicker than the “finger”. It’s also a good idea to have a good curve in it so it doesn’t slide out (or in) without help, and I’ve also heard of some people tying a bit of dental floss or something around the “neck” just to maximise that peace of mind.

Take it nice and slowly, you can use lubricant to help slide it in but some people say that dulls the sensation, so if you DON’T use it, make sure to be even more careful when inserting. The initial feeling is more tingly than painful, but as the anus tightens around it, and more of the oils and liquids are released, the more painful and burning it will become.

Always make sure you have consent, and a safe word, and dispose of it properly when you’re finished (Seriously… You don’t want your housemate finding it and chucking it in the stir-fry).

Please be aware that, just like when your mouth burns from chilli, it's not just a matter of not having it in your mouth any more to stop it burning... The residual pain and heat sticks around for a while... So if you do find it super uncomfortable and painful just removing it won't instantly relieve it. Also, like your mouth, water isn't the best soother for it . Cream or yoghurt is probably your best bet, and, if you have a vagina, I'd probably recommend yoghurt as it shouldn't upset the pH balance if you get it near the area. 
Good luck, and have good fun!

Let us know your figging experiences in the comments!

5 Comments

  • Softcpl Photo
    Softcpl
    More than a month ago

    Are people that bored that they need to go to this extreme.
    The Ass is meant for one thing only.

    • Carlo.1. Photo
      Carlo.1.
      More than a month ago

      It may be, but you could say that about boobs, mouths, and any body part really...

    • Zamboon Photo
      Zamboon
      More than a month ago

      Don’t knock it just because you think the ass is only made for one thing - I know 3 women who love anal play - one actually orgasms best from this sort of play .... this is a site of all sorts so some understanding is required
      Plus I see from your profile that you like rimming - pretty close isn’t it?

    • Zamboon Photo
      Zamboon
      More than a month ago

      Yes - you can get really sick from rimming - you use your tongue don’t you ?

  • Areyoukinky2 Photo
    Areyoukinky2
    More than a month ago

    Years ago I read about figging on a Yahoo spanking forum. I decided to try it for myself as I have a very curious nature. It burned too much for my liking and I do have a high pain tolerance level. I tried figging a few more times to make sure that it wasn't for me. I have never tried figging again and LOL I won't be bringing the subject up with any of my partners here on AMM.

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