We have sex because we enjoy the physical sensations it evokes. So why isn’t all sex considered sensation play? Sensation play includes a wide variety of specific activities designed to put the body into erotic sensory overdrive. This type of play can be a great introduction to BDSM and can also be tailored to those that fall more on the vanilla end of the spectrum.
What is Sensation Play?
The goal is applying a number of tools with opposing effects in succession to gradually ignite the senses.
There is a bit of an art to successful sensation play. It involves exploration of the entire body as opposed to only the genitals. Awakening erogenous zones often passed over during lovemaking are key factors in achieving toe-curling results. It is crucial to concentrate on areas like the soft underside of the arms and thighs, the stomach, neck and feet.
Which tools you use and in what specific combination can also make or break a sensation play session. Opposing feelings like hot and cold, smooth and rough, or soft and sharp are best at awakening the senses. It’s also important to warm up the receiving partner as opposed to using something too harsh too soon. Carefully control your play so it raises your partner’s adrenaline and endorphins at a gradual pace.
Sensation play can stand alone or be incorporated into a scene with other kinks like bondage or sensory deprivation. In fact, these two complementary activities are recommended, as they also help ignite the senses.
Sensory Deprivation & Bondage
A simple eye cover can help you get the most out of sensation play. When the ability to see is removed, the remaining senses are magnified. It makes a simple touch, sound, smell, or taste feel new and unfamiliar as if it’s being experienced for the first time. This can bring about an explosion of unanticipated erotic reactions. Bondage can have this same effect. Having our hands and/or feet restrained with bondage tape or a basic cuff set interferes with our body’s reaction to stimuli. We may naturally respond to an unexpected touch by instinctively pulling away. When we’re not able to do that, it can kick arousal into high gear.
Sensual Sensation Play
Temperature manipulation is a great introduction to sensation play. It’s also ideal for those that aren’t particularly into kink but are curious to experiment. Glass insertables can double as temperature tools that can be used on any part of the body. Set a glass toy in warm water for five to 10 minutes. Rubbing and rolling it all over the body can feel like a hot stone massage.
Alternate the warm dildo with touches from a glass toy that has been sitting in the refrigerator. The quick switch from hot to cold is particularly intoxicating when used on nipples, inner thighs or stomach.
Advanced Sensation Play
A Wartenberg wheel should be in everyone’s naughty toolkit. One of the most common sensation play items, this spiky wheel can take you from playful to intense depending on how you use it. Place it in the refrigerator or cold water and run the flat end over your lover’s body for an icy, sexy chill. When you’re ready to turn up the heat, roll the prickly end along their skin for a sensually biting surprise.
Although sensation play is most often related to skin sensations, you don’t have to stop there. In addition to using touch tools, you might opt to add in taste. Sweet, decadent foods like strawberries, chocolate and honey can be alternated with bitter lemon. Similarly, a Fever Hot Wax Candle from Master Series not only provides a pleasant smell, it can be used for a hot oil massage or hot wax play, too.
Sensation play involves more than just using a few sexy toys. The goal is applying a number of tools with opposing effects in succession to gradually ignite the senses. Creatively thinking outside the box and finding alternate uses for toys is important, too. You want to leave your partner’s body and mind eagerly wondering what’s next. Done properly, sensation play will give your lover goosebumps and send them into an unforgettable erotic frenzy.
Rebecca Weinberg is the general manager of XR Brands, which specializes in fetish and BDSM with full spectrum product development and design to create a series of fully merchandised collections dedicated to the lifestyle.