Are you looking to heat things up in the bedroom? Perhaps cool them down? Maybe a little bit of both? Welcome to Temperature Play 101....class is now in sesssion!
What IS Temperature Play, you ask? It’s a semi-kinky form of sensual play that stimulates the skin’s neuroreceptors, thus, heightening our sense of arousal. Basically...foreplay that will leave you and/or your partner shivering with excitement.
Every inch of our skin contains several nerve endings and receptors that send signals to our brain. These receptors trigger our neurotransmitters into releasing feel-good chemicals such as serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and oxytocin.
That said, HOW does Temperature Play fit into all this sciencey-brain stuff?
Let’s think about goosebumps for a moment; our body’s way of responding to being scared, cold, and excited. Now let’s say we intentionally introduce an element of cold (i.e. an ice-cube), to an area of the body -- oh, say the nipples! -- what do you suppose happens? Dem nipples get hard enough to cut glass! (Though, we recommend leaving the glass cutting *outside* the bedroom…)
XXXtra hard nipples, now accompanied by several goosebumps, relay a message to the brain of “HEY! I’M AROUSED!” In which case, the body begins to release oxytocin - AKA “the Love Hormone”.
BUTT where do we go from here? Answer: mix some cold play with heat play for added titillation. Perhaps your partner would like to wear a bandana or eye mask for an added element of surprise! Here are a few ideas to break the ice (#sorrynotsorry...how could we resist?).
First things first.
Like any form of kink and/or sexual intimacy, SAFETY is top of the list. (With consent being number one, of course.)
Pro tip: try things on your own body first, so you can better understand the sensations and level of intensity you’ll be introducing to your partner. Example: the forearm is a great place to test temperature. Prolonged exposure to any element, especially cold, has many dangers including frostbite and hypothermia. Take it slow and check in with your partner to make sure they’re enjoying themselves.
Incorporate a safeword and discuss any boundaries before play.
EXAMPLES OF COLD PLAY (NOT THE BAND)
X): ICE, ICE, BABY
It isn’t uncommon for folks to use ice to masturbate vaginally or anally, though just a heads-up... when ice melts, it often forms sharp edges. Try drawing patterns with the ice cube; hold it between your teeth as you trace the inside of their thighs; followed by warm kisses to their southern bits; get creative!
They ARE a thing (though you can opt to pop a glass dildo in the freezer instead; see below). IF you use an Ice Dildo, allow the ice to melt, forming a thin layer of water, BEFORE inserting internally, so the ice doesn’t stick to your skin. Trustttttt usssss. -OR- use a condom! Here’s a link for a DIY Ice Dildo.
There is probably one in the back of your freezer. If not, a frozen bag of veggies will work just fine. Apply cold to larger areas of the body, or cool down one of your hands for a different masturbatory “feel”.
XX): FOOD: DOES IT HAVE A PLACE IN THE BEDROOM?
That’s entirely up to you and your partner! If you decide it does, popsicles, frozen fruit, flavored syrups, and whipped cream are some flavorful options for *EXTERNAL* use. (Sugars will quickly cause a yeast infection...no bueno.)
XXX): WEATHER OR KNOT
We may not be able to control the weather outside, but we CAN control the “weather” inside. Is it a hot summer day? If you’re lucky to have AC, turn your space into an icebox. Turn on a fan and enjoy the breeze! Or -- if you find yourselves in a secluded cabin in the middle of winter, have a naked snowball fight, and return indoors to warm up with some playtime by the fire. Consider incorporating some bondage if you and your partner are both comfortable and familiar.
[Hashtag Chilly Willy]
-EXAMPLES OF HEAT PLAY-
X). WARMING CREAMS, LUBES, SERUMS, MASSAGE OIL, ETC.
This is the perfect place to start! Warming creams and lubes can be applied to our most sensitive areas, intensifying our pulsing desires. There are a cornucopia of products in this realm. One example would be a tingly lube or other formula - for example: CLIMAX clitoral arousal serum, which uses cinnamon to naturally titillate the clit.
XX): WAX ON, WAX OFF
Candles make for a great ambiance, and a sensual massage tool. However, if you intend to drip some wax onto your lover, make sure you’re using candles specifically intended for contact with human skin - soy massage candles with a pour spout, for example.
XXX): FIRE PLAY
Though this isn’t typically considered Temperature Play 101, we will address it for both safety reasons and to, perhaps, *spark* some interest for future play.
Fire Play is a form of edgeplay -- any form of kink play that introduces an element of danger. As does any kink or fetish, it requires communication with your partner PRIOR play and understanding of ANY possible harm and ways to avoid it.
Such forms of fire play may or may not include: fire wands, flash cotton, fire cupping, fire floggers, etc. Read more about that here.
Most hair dryers these days have different options for not only heat, but cool air. Try incorporating this common household item for a quick warm up or cool down, while adding another element of temperature.
GLASS/SURGICAL STEEL SEX TOYS
Not only are they super easy to clean, they are great conductors of heat (and cold). Simply place your CLEAN toy(s) in the freezer (ideally in a ziplock bag for sanitary reasons). You can also place your toy(s) in a bowl of ice. For a warmer feel, place your item(s) in warm water. However don’t boil prior use, as they hold heat VERY WELL and we don’t want to harm our partner/s.
No steel sex toys on hand? Stick a pair of metal tongs in the freezer for a few hours and use it as a slapper for some extra sting.
And always, always remember AFTERCARE.
This. Is. Important! Wind down with a shower together, cuddle in some warm blankets, or drink a warm bevvie while you talk about your experience. What did you love? What turned you on most about the way your partner responded to temperature play? What do you want to try next time?
(PS- Don't forget to clean your toys!)
Lastly, when it comes to all things experimental...