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The Nine Degrees Of Submission

This was posted to collarncuffs.com and is meant as food for thought, as an insight to where you see your own submission. Could also be u...

Is there such a thing as temporary branding?


It seems there is... and it's called Cell Popping.




Cell popping? Have you heard of it? Most people have not and I stumbled upon it quite by accident. Basically, it is a form of temporary branding. Did I get it done on me? No, absolutely not, I am a chicken when it comes to pain, but I do cell-popping on others. You could call me an amateur cell popping artist. Let me tell you a bit more about cell popping.

Recently I have developed a curiosity for what we call edge play, less run of the mill activities that a smaller portion of players may practice. As I was reading various topics on a website dedicated to BDSM I fell on a group called Cell Popping. I had no idea what it was so I started to read the articles of this group.

I soon discovered it was a term coined by ArtisticDomme, a Mistress who had reawakened an art once referred to as Devil’s Fire. So what is exactly, getting your cells popped? This body mod is considered a temporary branding that lasts anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months (or longer) depending on each person’s healing cycle. Basically, it is heating a small metal poker under a flame until it is glowing red and gently applying the poker to the skin for like 1 second. It is a small surface burn.

Of course, you want to make it pretty or aesthetic looking. The best way to achieve this is by choosing a pattern and draw it on a piece of paper. But here is the tricky part: you must be able to cut out a negative of the design. This will become your template. A good easy first attempt is a simple tribal design. Intricate designs will not really work unless you are really good at freehand designs. Keep in mind you will be burning an outline of the design.

Update: If you happen to have the following here is a great alternative: your design, tattoo transfer paper, and Dettol or any glycerine based deodorants (clear sticks usually). Trace your design on the transfer paper, cover the body area with a coating of the deodorant, stick on transfer side, peel off and let dry 10 min. The only inconvenient thing is after the cell popping is done you are stuck with the ink for a couple of days. But it is perfect for a more elaborate design. Helps to have the tattoo & piercer artist friend for such suggestions, thanks, Yanick!

So now you have your template. Next step is taping it to the body part you want to burn. Medical tape works best. If it’s a hairy area, shave it. Now your tools for the burn: your pokers, 2 to 4 straight teasing needles used in medical dissection kits; a stand for the pokers; a heat source, best is canned fuel gel found in camping equipment stores. I have heard of people using weird substitutes with often bad results.

OK so light your fuel and place the metal tip of the pokers over the flame as they rest on the stand. The idea of having more than one poker is that you don’t have to wait to reheat your one poker. You know your poker is ready when it is glowing red at the tip. Take your poker and start touching the skin with the tip only for about 1 sec. It is NOT necessary to add pressure, just rest it on the skin for 1 sec. Now this is where you will realize why it is called cell popping: you will hear a popping noise. What makes the noise is the water, or humidity, in the skin cell evaporating at the contact of the poker on the skin you are burning. Now keep doing series of dots about 1/8 to ¼ of an inch apart along the outline. If the poker is well heated you can do about 5 pokes before the poker is too cool. Then just place it on the stand to reheat and pick up another one of the other pokers that are glowing red. Keep going until you have completed the outline of your design. Remove the template. And you are done.

Now at this point, your victim will be disappointed probably by the result. Why? Well, most likely it will be a series of whitish dots with the skin around all red from the trauma. But tell them not to worry. Usually, the redness will disappear with 1 to 2 hours and the dot will become slowly redder. Usually, it will take about 24 hours for the design to really pop out. Here is the key to a long successful popping: DO NOTHING FOR 24 HOURS. Not water, no cream, no treatment. The idea here is to not encourage healing. The dots will scab and fall off within a week or two. Do not scratch. After the scabs are gone you will have fresh skin cells either darker or lighter than the normal skin tone. From that point, the body will heal the marks in its own due time, again 2 weeks to 6 months (or longer).

A couple of extra hints and comments:

  • Yes you may smell burning flesh a bit (and everyone smells different)
  • The pain level is usually considered less painful than a tattoo.
  • No, you cannot just burn a hole through the paper because the paper absorbs the heat too much. (I know, I tried it)
  • Only use a clean heat source. If soot develops it’s not a clean heat source (ex: candles)
  • No worries about contamination: when the poker is glowing read it is automatically sterilized.
  • The pain lasts that 1 second the poker is on the skin, and it feels just like, well, a burn heh heh.
  • It may be sore and tender for a couple of days after, take some ibuprofen.
  • You can repeat the process once the design starts to fade. This can help to become possibly permanent once you redo one spot over and over again.
  • Redoing a spot is usually more painful than the first time.


I have done about 20 cell popping sessions so far and everyone loves it. And let me tell you for some it can become addictive. I mentor a new young Mistress and she was my first victim. Since then I have done 4 cell popping sessions on her, 3 of them are a redo of her back cause it seems to heal fast there. I also did a design on her calf about 2 months ago and it still looks dark and fresh.

So hopefully by reading my submission you are now curious to try this new body mod technique. It’s really great for beginners with lower pain tolerances, for those looking for a more temporary form of body mod, or maybe you want to try out a possible tattoo design before actually getting the tattoo. If you have any questions please contact me.

Many thanks to Dominant Guide

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