Wax can burn and that burning can be severe. Be sure you know what you are doing before dropping wax onto sensitive tissue.
Church candles are straight, thin, cylindrical shapes with a narrow flat rim leading to an apex. They are best put into a holder for stability.
Tapers are dipped candles usually sold in pairs with the wicks joined. These need to be in candle holders for stability.
Pillar candles are wider cylindrical shapes with flat tops. They come in many more heights and widths than church or taper candles. No holder is really necessary for this type of candle until it coming to the end of it's life.
Votive candles are short, stubby, cylindrical shapes usually with the same top as a church candle. They need to be in a holder tall enough to cover their sides because the candle walls gets very weak as they melt.
Tea lights are small metal cups filled with wax. These are best put into a holder because the metal cup gets hot.
What type of candle to choose
There are so many candles around nowadays and it is difficult to determine which are good and which are bad for wax play. A quick rule of thumb is that the cheaper the candle the more likely it is to be suitable for wax play. This is because it is the additives that cause the dangers and it is the additives that bump the price up. Candles that are designed to burn without drips have a hardener added. These candles burn hot and rapid and can cause skin burns. Beeswax candles, although natural and therefore free of additives, contain residue of sugar and honey, and have a higher burning temperature which causes severe burning.
Candles perfumed with essential oils are also best avoided.
There is some debate as to whether different colours matter. Most people say colour is irrelevant. Church shops are good places to buy candles, either the regular church candle or the small glass holders containing wax and wick. Colour choice is usually limited to white. Also good, and also limited to white, are the cheap paraffin candles from hardware stores that are sold as emergency candles for power cuts.
There is always the option of making your own candles. Always melt wax in a pot placed in a pan of boiling water rather than putting it directly onto the heat source. You can colour your candles by adding kiddies wax crayons into the melting wax.
Tea lights are also a handy alternative. They are easy to carry around with you and come in their own little metal container although this can get hot and you might want to buy a holder to put them in. The wax from tea lights tends to be flaky to remove.
Church and taper candles should always be in a candleholder to stop them being knocked over and to reduce the amount you have to clean up after play. One aesthetic disadvantage with these candles is smut. As you up-end the candle to make the drips the flame licks across the candle tip and the smut from the flame deposits itself into the wax leaving a black or grey residue.
Coloured church and taper candles tend to be solid colour whereas coloured pillar candles tend to be white wax with a coloured wax coating. If you turn a coloured pillar candle over and look at the base you can usually see the white wax showing through.
Pillar candles and votive candles are good for creating a decent pool of wax that can be trickled onto the body rather than dripped.
How to start
Since candle packaging rarely gives an ingredients list it is always best to test a candle first by dropping a few drops of wax onto your forearm from a distance of about 12". Light the candle and allow a small pool of wax to form. Obviously pain tolerance differs from person to person but it will give you a rough idea. The height you drop the wax from will also affect the temperature as it hits the body, the more air space it has to travel through the cooler it will be when it hits home.
Where to drip
If you are just starting out it is probably best to drip over "strong" areas such as the back, chest or stomach where your partner is best able to deal with the intensity of the pain and build up tolerance from there. Highly sensitive areas are the groin, inner thighs, nipples and genitalia. The inner folds of the vagina are extremely delicate and caution must be taken not to cause burns in that area. The tongue is also delicate area.
One myth about wax play is that as you build up layers the heat is less intense. In fact wax on top of wax holds the heat in. Be very careful to avoid burns from layering. Your best guide here is probably the recipient. Most times your partner will react as the wax hits the body and then relax as it cools. If your partner is not relaxing out of the pain or complains about a constant heat or burning then carefully remove the layered wax immediately.
Blindfolds heighten the effects of wax play. Not being able to see when or where the wax will drip creates a very intense stimulus. Being tied adds to this as the recipient is unable to move away. This increases the erotic sensation.
Peeling the wax from the body is almost as effective as applying it. The revealed area is usually pink/red and tingling with sensitivity. Running anything over this area, from feathers to finger nails, will create amazing sensations.
Some people apply pegs or clamps to the genitalia or nipples and ensure that they have a good coating of wax. When peg/clamp and wax are removed simultaneously the pain is extreme.
Wax is almost impossible to get out of carpets and bed linen. Place a plastic sheet or shower curtain on the bed and cover with an old sheet or bath towel that can be re-used for wax play or just thrown away. If playing in a hotel room you can place the rubber slip mat from the bath under the arse and thighs. Any small spills on a carpet can be dealt with by trickling boiling water from a kettle at close range and immediately dabbing the area while the wax is melted.
Some people oil the body to make it easier to remove wax especially from areas that have hair. If you chose to do this you must remember that it will make the wax feel hotter when it makes contact with the oiled skin. It will also deny you the pleasure of the added sensations caused by peeling the wax from the body as the wax will not adhere to the oiled skin.