For those who do not know, the singletail is a particular type of whip, but at the same time the one we think of most often when people use the word “whip”. A singletail is the kind of whip Catwoman and Indiana Jones carry. In the BDSM world, anything with flexible tails is classified as a whip, including floggers, cat-o-nines, and so on. This leads to a lot of confusion: if someone says “I brought my bag full of whips”, you have no idea if they are referring to a bag full of floggers or singletails or both. So for the rest of this essay, I will just call it the singletail, and those of you unfamiliar with the term should substitute “whip” in your heads. (For those of you who want to know the precise instrument I am discussing, it is the signal whip from this Wikipedia page.)
The singletail has a oddly mythical status in the kink community, probably borrowed from its exotic depiction in movies and popular culture. Singletails are considered edge play at some dungeons and can make it onto the list of banned activities. Tops approach the singletail as an art to be learned, more so than other toys, which they tend to be willing to just pick up and hit people with. Some singetail instructors recommend six months or more of practice before attempting to use a singletail on a person, and want you to be able to perform delicate aiming tasks.