If we had to guess, we’re pretty sure you not only don’t worry about Santa putting your name on his “Naughty List”, but you probably aspire to be at the top of that list. To which we say, Ho Ho Ho! One sure method to work your way to the top of the Naughty Elf File pile is to try sensation play with your lover!
After all, when the weather outside is frightful, ‘tis the perfect season for temperature play. Snow becomes your sensual play pal, because you can put on some boots and nothing but the boots and go for a randy romp in your backyard before slipping into the hot tub, hot shower, or just slide under some chilled winter white sheets and under a mountain of blankets to explore creative ways to heat up together.
“Temperature play includes using heat or cold in your sexual play,” says Bryony Cole, Lovehoney’s Sextech Advisor in this 2021 article in Men’s Health by Zachary Zane. “The idea behind this is that variation in temperature stimulates your neuroreceptors, creating a ripple of sensations in your body.”
There are numerous and simple ways to enjoy temperature play, for example, by applying ice cubes, freezing your sex toys, or dripping warm wax on your partner from specially-made candles. Stainless steel toys are particularly great for temperature play, as you can chill them in the fridge or heat them in warm water. “Temperature play can be incorporated as a form of foreplay, during sex, and it can also be used as a way to relax after sex or a scene/sexual experience,” Cole adds.
But let’s shuffle back a silk-stockings-hung-by-the-fire minute. According to one online dictionary, the word “sensual” means “relating to or involving gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure.” So, remove gratification of the senses to generate physical, sexual pleasure and you don’t have much meaning. Sex becomes more of an amusing mechanical act.
Our human bodies are high-performance organisms. But we have to know how to tune them up and fully engage them properly to enjoy peak achievement. Sensation play may be just the exciting and pleasurable method to heighten sex and intimacy that you and your partner need. The diverse experiences individuals and couples can have with sensation play range from careful to kinky. All completely up to you or you and your partner.
True sensation play means you try to ensure that you employ all of your senses while having sex. It’s easy to fall into the rush of physical contact with a lover and just move instinctively without fully experiencing or enjoying all of your tactile, auditory, aural, olfactory, and visual senses that have potential to be stimulated.
Mature lovers know that while expeditious coital moments can be a fun part of your arse-enal – can you say “quickie”? – making slow, elongated love can be far more pleasurable for both parties, if you take the time to develop your awareness of each sense and how each can come into play during sex. You don’t have to take an extended Tantric sex approach – a topic for another article – but just knowing that each sense is a tool to elevate you into the ultimate sexual experiences, when time and desire allow, by heightening your lovemaking one finger, one tongue, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils at a time.
Interestingly, in the 18th century – and this will be only a minor digression – some philosophers and naturalists believed that sex should be considered a sixth sense. Or a “sexth” sense, if you will. For instance, in his masterwork, The Physiology of Taste (1825), Frenchman turned American, Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a food writer among other things, posited that physical desire should be listed with sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste.
Truthfully, the ultimate sexual experience should be the union of all five of the senses, each at their pinnacle of sensitivity. After all, what is great sex if not a fluid progression of sensual sensations?
“Becoming aware of the different feelings and sensations can help keep you in the present and heighten intimacy,” explains Liz Klinger, a certified sex educator and Co-Founder/CEO of Lioness in her 2019 article “What is Sensation Play?” on her website. “And yes, this awareness can also help you have better sex and pleasure (and orgasms, too).”
Several sensation play experts like Klinger recommend setting up a checklist that will give Mr. Claus pause by going through each of the senses, keeping track of different ways you’ve viewed, vibrated, touched, tickled, tasted, massaged, stroked, spanked, listened to each other’s voices or reflexive noises, whipped, whispered, licked, inhaled, nuzzled, pressed, pinched, paddled, and savored. Your goal? Find ways to make every zone erogenous!
All of them advise trying out the abundant variety of adult toys available. There are more instruments of pleasure – or pain, if that’s your pleasure – than a Medieval wizard possessed. But let’s plant some suggestions in your mind for some sensation play products you might want to get your hands on.
One of the perennial favorites for sensation players is the Wartenberg wheel. Don’t let the name frighten or intimidate you. (Unless you want it to.) True, it sounds like an implement that would have been de rigueur during the Inquisition to be positioned next to a saw and a drill on a small table next to the rack. But it offers you a choice of cool sensations, whether on your own or in close company.
“The Wartenberg wheel is easily one of the most recommended, most raved about toys for sensation play,” writes Jamie J. LeClaire in a 2020 self.com article. “This handheld spiky pinwheel can be used all over the body. You can use it to apply different levels of pressure, from light and gentle, almost like a tickling sensation, to deeper and more painful-in-a-good-way. The spikes are sharp enough to leave marks on the skin, but not sharp enough to break skin unless pressing very hard.”
Sorry, St. Nick. You’ll definitely have to check your naughty list twice this year! Add a few exciting new bedroom gadgets from Lover’s Lane to your sleigh full of toys.