It’s through our 5 senses that we create memories and interactions with our surroundings. Sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch – they’re crucial to how we perceive aspects of our life. Sexual pleasure isn’t excluded when we discuss such; in fact, being aware of our senses makes sex much more enjoyable and intense. Thus, there’s one way we can channel and really gear our senses for it: sensation play.
Learn more about this set of actions through this beginner’s guide, and what play ideas you should give a run for your money.
What is Sensation Play?
Sensation Play refers to a group of activities that explores all your senses, using them to increase intimacy and pleasure in sex. It can come from sensual acts (hugging, kissing, etc.) to the most subtle movements, like your hand brushing your crush’s in the hallways. From there, getting flustered is a normal reaction. But it also tells your body that it makes you aroused or turned on.
Combining 2 senses in this activity is possible, or you can deprive one sense to heighten another to spice it up. Take that one scene from Fifty Shades of Grey, where Anastasia is restrained and blindfolded in bed while Christian places an ice cube on her naked body that he rakes all over. She may not be able to see or touch him, which puts her mind on overdrive because she’s helpless and vulnerable (but in a good way). It keeps her anticipating more surprises.
Sensation play can be as light or rough as you please. BDSM-wise, it’s when the submissive is more focused on the pleasure and reward than the pain or punishment a dominant can give. Or in some cases, the dominant can do anything but no need for punishment.
It’s freeing and sexual tension-building because your entire body focuses solely on gaining (or giving) pleasure. Not necessarily focused on getting to those o’s so quickly, but on listening to your body and how it reacts to certain feelings.
Safe Sensation Play Idea to Try
On to the exciting part! Now that you have a clearer idea of what goes on behind sensation play, here are our top suggestions for acting upon your sexual urges and driving your senses mad!
1 Experiment with temperature play.
Our skin is easily sensitive to temperature, affecting our mood throughout the day. However in sensation play, it just makes your body heat up in arousal no matter how hot or cold the cause is.
If you want something chilly that’ll shoot shivers up your body, venture around with ice cubes, glass dildos, and other cold metal toys. Even something simple like the metal necklace of your partner dangling against your body while you’re getting action activates more pleasure through your veins!
If you’re leaning towards something hotter, you can try wax play! Yes, the wax from candles but not the average ones because those hold chemicals that are dangerous for your body. Plus, they can get too hot! So instead, you can use massage oil candles or body-safe ones.
For both temperature settings, you can experiment on stimulants like massage oils and lubricants that have warming or cooling properties. Also double-check its status before applying so no one gets hurt!
2 Try ASMR.
Otherwise known as Autonomic Sensory Meridian Response, ASMR can be taken on a more erotic road. It’s rooted in sensual, intimate sounds that can be viewed under a sexual lens, such as whispering, panting, bedsheets rumbling, squelching sounds, and more. Because of this, it brings a tingly, giddy sensation to the person listening and riles them up sexually.
3 Explore different textures on your skin.
Again, your skin can get very sensitive to foreign objects. Use that to your advantage by playing around with soft to hard items, lingering them all across your body by yourself or your partner. Some examples of items are feathers, fur, and anything leather.
4 Listen to audio porn.
There’s so much of this you can find online! Take storytelling to a whole different level by immersing yourself in those audio narratives, building up to the erotic, sexy parts. It even includes roleplays due to the numerous scenarios you can try out and make a tale out of. But for something more private and personal, ask your partner to whisper dirty words in your ear as they touch and penetrate you.
5 Engage in bondage.
Being restrained during sex deprives your ability to touch your partner and aches your intimate parts when they don’t give you what you want. And yet, you absolutely love it as you let them control how you receive pleasure, accepting what they give without complaints because they can always deny your orgasm. Ways to do bondage are through the practice of shibari and using handcuffs, ropes, and even your partner’s neckties. They can tie it around from ankle-ankle, wrist-wrist, or even link it around the bedframe, so you have no chance of escape.
6 Consume aphrodisiacs.
You are what you eat. So if you love sex and sensation play, you must eat the right food to be more oriented, aroused, or turned on to do the deed. Let aphrodisiacs energize you, its nutrients rushing through your veins so you and your partner have a good time. Some food listed as aphrodisiacs are watermelons, mangoes, chocolates, and spicy chili peppers.
7 Give in to impact play.
Impact play is striking or being struck by a toy or someone while doing the deed. It’s found between the scale of pain and pleasure. Impact play is also usually aimed at your butt, thighs, chest, or back area. Aside from one’s hand being a good tool in this play, floggers, whips, and paddle boards can make you moan out your partner’s name while you’re bent over like the good girl/boy you are.
8 Add some flavored accessories to the mix.
Rarely do we use our mouths in sex unless we’re kissing or doing oral sex, so excite your tastebuds by incorporating yummy accessories in the bedroom. Experiment with food play, wherein you spread anything sweet like chocolate and ice cream all over your body or your partner’s above their private or sensitive parts. Swirl and eat well while they enjoy the extra sensations!
You can also test variously flavored lubes that are meant to make your private parts slide and penetrate each other faster and easier. That way, not everything has to always taste like discharge. Flavored condoms and massage oils are included here as well.
9 Cover your eyesight with blindfolds.
At some point in our life, we want to experience this! We need our eyesight to be conscious of whatever is happening around us, especially in sex. But at the same time, it spices things up and keeps you on your toes because you have yet to figure out what will happen next! Whether it be an actual blindfold or a piece of clothing that belongs to you or your partner, sight deprivation requires a lot of trust as it makes one’s arousal seep like crazy out of their intimate parts.
10 Get wild with nipple play.
Don’t overlook our nipples! They hold a lot of sensitivity toward both male and female partners, so give them some attention during the deed. Pinch them, suck on them, lick them, toy with them with your fingers, or even put on nipple clamps for deeper pressure levels.
11 Use a mirror.
Whether it’s a vanity or a full-length one, mirrors give us a closer perception of the actions done on our bodies. Whether it be our partner sliding their palms down our thighs before inserting a finger inside you or squeezing your breasts, they’ll order you to watch everything unfold.
Rather than the natural response of closing our eyes from the sensations, they can even “force” you to watch them with their hand tilting your head to the mirror. The ideas here are endless, but mirrors hide no lies. It shows the rawness of each sexual action being done, and it’s up to you how you consume it.
12 Consume porn.
Simple, but really effective. Whether watching or reading it, porn under the sensation play tag helps you visualize what a session can look like. Alongside seeing our previous ideas in the flesh through porn, it’ll guide you through on how to make your own sessions erotic yet sensual. So, pay attention to every detail that makes up the entire picture.
13 Add some aromatherapy.
Our sense of smell is powerful when making memories or creating relationships. So whenever you miss your partner, you can spray their cologne on their favorite shirt and wear them or on the bed to help you relax. This is extremely helpful when they aren’t around, but when they are, it’ll take a toll on you more as they penetrate you. This scent of theirs will be deeply ingrained in your mind.
14 Maximize skin-to-skin contact.
Even your partner’s fingers brushing your face innocently can put you on overdrive. You’re not in the mood nor set to have sex, but any kind of skin-to-skin contact that is delicate can take your breath away. So consensually try to touch any part of your partner’s body (that is not a private part) and watch how they react to it. Maybe add any moisturizing creams so they can relax into your touch. You can also request they do the same to you so you can understand your body more!
15 Explore erogenous areas with sex toys.
Sensation play is all about reaching every part of your body to increase pleasure. And for that, sex toys can pass down to those areas your hands may have missed. Aside from the ones we suggested earlier, we also suggest using a wand vibrator, BDSM kits, and whole body massagers to penetrate them..
Tips to Remember
Having all these enthralling play ideas, it’s hard not to jump onto trying any of them right now! However, before doing so, we have some crucial tips to note down before diving into your deep senses.
1 Discuss thoroughly which senses you both want stimulation.
Communication with your partner is key before partaking in anything new, sex-wise or not. Since sensation play will stimulate various of your body, it’s important to break down which exact senses to challenge. Whether it be to deprive one’s eye sights and focus on touch, get specific with each of your needs and make compromises if necessary. However, make sure not to sacrifice your joy to satisfy the other. Both ends must be happy and enjoy the deed!
2 Take note of the risks of each play idea you’ll do.
Any new sexual practice or trick we bring to the bedroom must always be done cautiously. If not, its consequences on our body or even mind can be drastic. Whether you’re playing with temperature, rough surface toys, or deprivation of any sense, make sure to jot them down and prepare ways to avoid them from happening.
3 Establish deep trust with each other.
Sensation play will have your senses pushed to their limit (with respect and proper set boundaries, of course). Many of the play ideas we mentioned early cannot be half-assed, so ensure you are always on the same page. Ask questions when things get confusing and such. Once you and your partner talk it out, consent must also be given here.
4 Double-check what toys/supplies you’re buying.
Since some play ideas require tangible items, you must be certain you get the correct items. Quality matters too, so it can make the sex more pleasing and addicting, and no accidents occur. Aside from getting the right candles (not the regular ones) or testing the temperature, you can also inspect whether the handcuffs you bought aren’t dysfunctional or the blindfold isn’t too small on one’s face.
5 Start small.
There are many levels to sensation play, especially when it’s included in the BDSM realm. Don’t be overwhelmed with how experienced people get when they constantly take it up a notch. Because they were beginners too. You can begin with bondage or consuming porn with your partner, then constantly build it up to temperature or impact play when you’re both ready.
6 Take breaks in between.
Sensation play requires a lot of your body to be active, and it can get tiring mid-way. Perhaps after reaching those o’s back to back, you can tell your partner to give it a rest for a moment. Take this time to hydrate or clean yourselves before returning to your playful selves. Reenergize so your sexual energy gets stronger!
7 Explore power play.
Sensation play allows you to channel your inner dominant, submissive, or switch sides. Whatever dynamic you have with your partner, change it up every time! If you were tied last time, suggest to them they should be next. Learn more about your sexual selves through this tip.
8 Have a safe word.
BDSM or not, establishing a safe word before doing the deed ensures protection on both ends. Yes, we can get drunk on the pain and pleasure. But there may be times we may not realize that it can get overwhelming on the other end.
Even if we must prepare a safe word, it’s a reminder not to go that haywire. So set a special word you and your partner know well to use, or constantly ask them for reassurance through the traffic light code: green to keep going, yellow to take it slow, and red to completely stop the sex.
9 Don’t hesitate to break character if you can’t help it.
Certainly, sensation play urges you to be your sexy, adventurous self because you’re trying something new and inviting. However, you can’t deny any awkwardness sliding through when you and your partner are figuring out what to do. So if a laugh suddenly erupts in your chest, don’t be shy to hide it! Who knows, it might help your partner be at ease more as they make more moves on you. This also applies vice versa, so don’t feel insulted! You’re both on the learning curve, and that’s okay.
10 Debrief and practice aftercare.
Talking about your sex sessions with your partner is always beneficial, especially if you have incorporated new kinks or practices. Let each other know what went right and what can be improved next time. Alongside that, doing aftercare helps you unwind further after such stimulation. Clean each other up, take a shower together, buy your favorite food, practicing aftercare is a way of showing respect towards each other.
And that wraps up this beginner’s guide to Sensation Play! This list of activities you can do to rile your senses up will heighten your need and pleasure in ways you never expected! As long as you follow our important tips, make sure to keep safe and play responsibly. Have a blast stimulating your senses and reaching those o’s from a new perspective, reader!