Adhesive latex imbued with capsicum. A hot chili skin-sticker, if you will. Used to treat pain with blistering-hot pain.


Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning,
One pain is lessened by another's anguish…

--Benvolio, Romeo and Juliet I.II


If you have aches or old injuries that cry out to you for warmth, a capsicum plaster is just the thing. And just see how long you can keep it on without howling. Put it on a body part you can see – because otherwise you’ll be half-convinced your skin is charring under the thing.

You may need to go to Chinatown to find them, or ask the interweb. A single plaster runs about a dollar. (I now buy a box at a time.) Slap it on your neck, lower back, wherever. Wait a few minutes for the burn. It could get you high. And it’ll keep crescendoing for a few more hours.

If you must make it more tolerable, cut the plaster into small strips or squares and space them out. Bathe and put the plaster on just before bed – it may wake you up, though, unless you’re a sound sleeper. Then you can wear it into the next day, enjoying its milder heat on your poor computer-destroyed neck. Smoking pot while wearing the plaster can help you bear the pain; it seems to transform the burn into something more entertaining than excruciating.

And yes, let’s not overlook the entertainment qualities. You could challenge your friends – how long can they go without tearing it off? (By the way – avoid hairy areas, or shave them first.) Clearly, the BDSM applications are tremendous. Put them all over your submissive where he can’t see them. When he starts to howl, tell him yes, you can see his flesh starting to crackle and blacken. (Or force him not to howl at all – whatever, I don’t know what y’all BDSM folk do.)

Finally, when the fun is over and you do peel them off, you are left with Nature’s mysterious temporary tattoos – if you were punk rock enough to leave them on a decent time, you pussies!


Capsicum plasters have been clinically shown by someone somewhere to be effective in relieving lower back distress, post-operative nausea, and pain-free states. They feel much more dangerous than they are, but please read the package for contraindications and don’t come whining to me that it hurts.

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