Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spicing it up: Sensation play

Now, every so often, along with kick ass general sex tips and sex related reviews, I'm going to talk about things slightly outside of vanilla. I'm a big advocate of trying everything you're comfortable with, and providing anyone who wants to try any information they need to make themselves comfortable. These are going to be the "spice it up series." I'm starting out pretty basic, and as time goes on will be highlighting fetishes that are more hmmm.... how shall I put it.... extreme? as time goes on. However, I will never talk about or advocate for something I have not experienced myself. If I do think something is worth talking about but is something I haven't personally done, I'll call in a guest with some expertise. Anywho.... lets get this show on the road, shall we?

Sensation play is something that most couples have done, whither or not that really thought of it that way. Sensation play is something I will define as exposing someone to different and unexpected sensations during foreplay. Most often this would be something in the 9 1/2 weeks vein of things using things to cause physical sensation such as ice or feathers.

I like to refer to sensation play as BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism) light. There is no real pain involved and really only mild unpleasantness (such as a the shock of something cold or hot). However, there is a definite amount of power exchange and trust required, something very true in BDSM play. Most often, the person on the receiving end is bound, blindfolded, or both. There is a definite feeling of helplessness and surrender. Those who are performing the actions can feel a very distinct feeling of control and power. DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY! I can not say enough that you NEED to trust your partner before you allow them to restrain you in any way or blindfold you. You are essentially trusting this person with your life, make sure don't forget that, and make sure they are worth it. (I've already written extensively about this, here. Read it! It's important!) Now, as of late, I have been an awful bottom, and haven't been on the receiving end for quite some time. Consequently, I have little advice for those on the receiving end other then let yourself go, and just enjoy the surprise, feeling, and effort your partner is giving you. (I'll get one of my subs to write you your own how to)

I do, on the other hand, have a lot of experience with being the person in control. However, I admit that I'm usually more into the S&M aspect then with sensation play, it is a good way to test the waters with a new partner to see what they like and how likely they are to want to get into more intense play. First, you must discuss with this person what they are comfortable with. Usually the person wears a blindfold and has their hands bound, but again, check with your partner to make sure they are ok with this. Either one alone is more then enough to get the experience. Ok, now here is my breakdown of the basic sensations you might want to play with. Feel free to mix and match to adjust to your and your partner's interests.

Sensory deprivation: This is the blindfold, or if you're feeling extra devious, a blindfold and ear plugs. We rely on our sight for pretty much everything. Taking that away heightens the rest of your senses, so you feel everything more intensely. It also ads the element of surprise to the sensations. When someone is blindfolded, you can play with them a few different ways. You can either keep everything on the bed with you (as a side note, you might want to have crappy sheets or a towel down since things can get slightly messy.) and straddle your partner. This allows you to have everything at easy access and to switch things up with no warning. You can also stay off the bed completely. With this method, I recommend going barefoot and making as little noise as possible. This way, you can do things like, be as quiet as possible and just wait for the sub to start reacting to being left "alone." it also allows you to touch every part of the person without them knowing where you are positioned. Both are fun, neither is better then the other, it's all about personal preference and the element of surprise.

Soft: Most of the sensation play people are familiar with is... not unpleasant per say, but sort of a shock to the system. (cold or hot or something like that) so it's fun to add in something that is completely pleasurable into the mix. It's unexpected and unexpected is always good. I suggest having a few different things that just feel good against the skin. Soft or silky. Anything from a pair of underwear to a silk scarf to a soft cashmere sweater will work here.

Rough: Now this can range from sandpaper (be nice, get fine grit if you want to do this, it's scratchy but not ridiculously so) to just fingernails, but it's good to have in contrast to smooth things. It's also one of the easiest things to do, since fingernails are always around and free. Note of caution, however, you don't want to leave marks. Light scratching is ok, but leave the scratch marks until you've both discussed harder play.

Hot: You don't want to go too hot for this, again the goal is to be surprising, not really painful. For beginners, I like using tea or coffee. Make some and take a sip, hold it in your mouth for a few seconds, swallow, then lick or kiss your partner. This ensures you don't burn the person, and is very sensual. You can also use candles for this but DO NOT USE REGULAR CANDLES. Invest in a set of low temp burning candles. They come in a multitude of styles and senses, some are edible and/or flavored. Don't hold the candle, even a low burning one, closer then a foot away from the skin. Use more distance the more sensitive the area.

Cold: You can use the same trick as the tea, hold ice water in your mouth, and use your lips to transfer the temperature difference, but I personally like ice for playing with cold. You can just hold the ice to someone's skin, or slide it along as it melts, but personally, I like to hold a piece of ice above someone's chest and let it drip onto them as it melts between my fingers. Be careful, you don't want to give anyone frost bite. Be especially careful with nipples, but don't hold ice over any part of the skin for more then 10 or 15 seconds at a time. You should also alternate it with licks, kisses, or something warm, not only to keep that patch of skin from getting too cold, but because going back and forth is half the fun.

Tickling: Some people love being tickled during sensation play. Other people hate it beyond belief. If you don't talk about it before hand make sure you at least have a safety word in place your partner feels comfortable using. If the person is into it however, don't just go for the obvious. Right under the boobs, along the sides, and behind the knee are all good places to try, beyond the usual bottom of the foot and armpits.

Beyond that, use your imagination! There are plenty of products out there pretty much designed for you to play with. Massage oils, flavored lotions, flavored powders, candles. Try it all, or just walk around your house and really feel things. Focus on their sensation across your skin. There are dozen's of different textures in your house for you to play with without having to spend a dime. You also have your fingers, lips, and tongue. Use everything! The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep everything unpredictable. Don't just scratch in straight lines, zig zag down his back. Don't just go back and forth from hot to cold, put ice on her nipple, then hot on her stomach, then hot on her nipples, just mix it up! Pay attention to what their body language and noises are telling you, if you can tell they like something, go back to it often, but after doing something slightly less pleasant. It is called sensation play.... so play! Have fun with it. Try things, if they don't work, don't do them again, if they do, do them all the time.

I'll also note that using your body as sensation play is always welcome. Different parts of your body/skin against your partners skin and mouth are fun ways to keep yourself stimulated as well. This can often end in full blown intercourse, or any of the ways one chooses to get someone else off, but it doesn't have to, it all depends on the relationship of the people involved. That said, trying a little cold sensation on the penis or the clit can add a new element to oral sex (but if you are, only do it though your cold tongue or mouth, you really don't want to frost bite that area.) You can take this are far sexually as you feel comfortable. You can also incorporate things you enjoy during sensation play during a regular session just for fun. Don't feel limited to kinky vs. straight sex. Feel free to blur the lines on occasion. So on that note kiddies, this is your sensation lovin, nail scratchin, domming cleofaye signing off, as always, with when in doubt, just ask, and when you're unsatisfied, give direction.

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