Lately I´ve been getting a lot of questions about the use of a whip, because some people think that a whip is just for show. Which might be true in some situations but during a session a whip will most likely be used by a Dom/Domme. But usually most Doms/Dommes would have discussed that with their sub(s) before they get started. At least that´s what I´d expect from a professional Dom/Domme, assuming things from someone you don´t know is always bad! Even from someone you do know it can be bad, communication is the key to better understanding and never think that you´re above that!
In a lot of drawings or representations in movies you see a Dom/Domme with a bullwhip which is actually a pretty good whip. But it might be a bit extreme for a sub that isn´t really used to that, which makes perfect sense that you use something a bit less impressive like a paddle or a riding crop. Now don´t get me wrong, you can still do some damage with that but compared to a bullwhip it´s actually not that bad. Sometimes a sub will want to go straight for the whip, he or she wants to be punished and the idea of that seems great to him or her. But then once they feel the first lash of the whip they´re often suprised by the impact and pain, which often results in wanting to stop. Something that is quite understandable if you´re not used to it. If you´re honest to your Dom/Domme and he or she is a professional then I don´t think this is something that could happen, because it´s important to know how much someone can take and if someone is actually up to feeling some lashes from a whip. It´s not for everyone and yes it´s can really hurt!
Do you need practice on handling a whip? It depends on what type of whip you use, I´d say a small whip takes less practice while a big one might take you some time to learn how to handle it. But practice makes perfect and there is no shame in learning that, I doubt there are natural talents that can handle any whipe from the moment they pick it up. What you want to learn is how you can accurately hit your sub without hitting yourself by accident, it seems silly but I´ve seen it happen multiple times. A whip is amazing, but also dangerous in the hands of those who don´t know how to handle it. But you can learn and it does look nice when a Dom/Domme can actually use a whip properly instead of just holding it for show.