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"Figging" is a name for a practice involving the use of ginger root for stimulation. It's a practice with historical roots; allegedly, this technique was developed during Victorian times as a way to discipline wayward women. In any event, it's great fun for people who enjoy moderate to fairly intense sensation play, and it's totally unlike anything else I've discovered.
Figging is the practice of peeling and carving a piece of ginger root into a butt plug and inserting it in the anus. The ginger oils gradually create a warming, then a mildly burning sensation, that becomes much more intense if the recipient squeezes down around the root. It's surprisingly easy to do, and one of the nice things about it is that it can create moderately intense sensations without any risk of injuring or harming your partner.
Figging is a fairly rare sexual technique, which I think is a shame because it's so easy and the effects are so interesting. It's a lot of fun, and I encourage people to experiment with it. So without further ado, here's a simple tutorial that you can use as a how-to guide for figging.
All you need to experiment with figging is a ginger root and a sharp kitchen knife. Look for a complete, intact ginger root, rather than one that's been cut up beforehand; once cut, the ginger oil is exposed to air, and the potency decreases significantly (unless you ferment the root, which I'll describe below).
The ginger root, for those who haven't seen one, is a central oblong root a little smaller than a fist with several round, thick "fingers" extending from it. The root is covered with a tough skin. The goal is to carve out one of the fingers, peel it, and whittle it down into an appropriate size and shape to be used as a butt plug.
A sharp kitchen knife makes very short work of the ginger root. You'll want to cut out one of the "fingers" by carving into the heart of the root, so that the finished plug is long enough to use without getting lost. The pictures below show step by step how to carve out the root, and you can get a sense of how large the root is by comparing it to the knife:
Choose a finger and cut it from the root by slicing through the central part of the root. Peel the skin off the finger and carve it smooth and rounded, a bit larger around than your thumb (or thicker if your partner really likes anal play), as shown in the second photo. Round off the end of the root and remove all traces of the skin; the ginger oils won't penetrate the skin of the root, so you'll want to remove it completely. Near the base of the finger, carve a shallow groove as shown in the third picture. This acts to hold the root in place when you insert it.
That's really all there is to it. Once you have the root carved as shown in the third part of the picture, rinse it off under running water and you're ready to begin.
Have your partner lie down face up or face down with legs open. Slowly work the ginger root into your partner anally until you reach the groove you carved. This groove will prevent the root from moving and hold it there. Don't use lube on the root; you'll find that it'll be slippery enough to work fine without lube, and adding lube will prevent the ginger oil from doing its job.
Then wait. The results don't happen right away; they build up slowly over time. Your partner will begin to feel a sense of warmth, which will increase steadily until it starts to tingle, then over several minutes become more and more intense.
When the ginger works its magic, you can do what the Victorians did and take this as your cue to turn your partner face-down for some good old-fashioned impact play. The Victorians would use a crop at this point; if that's your thing, you can find a guide to cropping here. Or, you can simply spank your partner with your hand, if you like. Figging works great with spanking, paddling, or cropping because if your partner tenses up and tightens in anticipation of the smack, the ginger root will create a very sharp burning, which won't go away until your partner relaxes.
But, of course, not tightening up means that the smack is more intense. Ah, decisions, decisions...
The ginger will probably last about fifteen or twenty minutes, after which the burning sensation will fade very quickly.
If your partner is female:
You need not restrict yourself to using the ginger anally. You can also carve a piece of ginger into a dildo for use vaginally, where the effects are more directly sexual; some women say that ginger root creates very strong sexual arousal.
To do this, start with the same basic idea as carving the butt plug from the ginger, but you need not carve the groove in the base of the finger. Leave enough of the central part of the root that you can grip the end and use it as a handle; and as before, take care not to touch your eyes after handling peeled ginger.
Yet another way you can add some delicious excitement to the experience is by carving a small (about 1/2" long) wedge from the central part of the root, then scooping a concave depression in the top of the wedge as shown here:
Spread your partner's labia open and place the wedge, narrow end forward, directly over her clitoris, so that the scooped depression snuggles down directly over her clit. As before, the sensation builds slowly, beginning as a sense of coolness and then growing steadily into a moderately strong tingle. For many women, this tingle is accompanied by strong sexual arousal and a strong desire to orgasm. When combined with vaginal or anal penetration, it's quite intense and a great deal of fun. Depending on how your partner's body is shaped, you may find that you can tuck the wedge in place so that it stays put without holding it.
Tips for advanced figging
Figging is a lot of fun, but for some people, the sensations aren't really strong enough to have the desired effect. The potency of fresh, newly-cut ginger is moderately strong, but some folks like a little more sensation. You can get this sensation by fermenting the ginger before you use it.
To do this, take a piece of ginger root and seal it in a plastic baggie or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate it for three or four days. After it's been sitting in the refrigerator for several days, remove it from the plastic wrap. If the skin of the ginger is discolored or has mold spots on it, don't worry; that's perfectly normal.
Peel and carve the root as shown above. Ginger that's been tightly wrapped in an airtight plastic bag and refrigerated for a few days will be much more potent, and the sensation will be significantly stronger. Experiment with aging it for varying lengths of time to find the point that's most enjoyable!
What you'll need
A kitchen knife and a ginger root. Look for fresh, uncut, whole ginger roots; avoid pre-cut or packaged ginger. If you want to try something a bit more intense, you'll need a sealable plastic bag (not a freezer bag; they're not airtight). And if impact play is your thing, any sort of crop or paddle you prefer goes nicely with figging.