By: Riley Fortier, M.Ed.
Temperature and Play
Temperature play, is (you guessed it) playing with temperature! Temperature can heighten the senses, making it a fun aspect to your sexual exploration. Changes in temperature activate the thermoreceptors within the skin, and these shifts can provoke a sensual reaction during sex. Ultimately, this is a way to enhance sensations, intimacy, and trust with a partner, as well as exploring ways to be intimate that does not directly include genitals or other erogenous zones.
One of the most common types of heat play is wax play. This is when BODY SAFE candles are lit, then dripped from ~3 feet above the person’s body onto their chest, back, or butt. This creates a really intense heat in one small area for a few seconds before the wax hardens.
Again, please make sure you use candles that are specifically for wax play (and not just any old candle) because these candles are unscented, made from body safe wax, and have a lower melting point than your typical candle.
Another option is using warming massage oil, or warming up your oil for a relaxing massage, or an erotic one, depending on the mood.
The most common is using ice cubes! Try trailing ice down your partners neck, chest, or stomach. Watch how the ice melts and the reactions your partner is having. (Another fun trick is blindfolding your partner while this happens so there’s an extra level of heightened sensation).
Another option is refrigerating or freezing certain sex toys. The most common and safe toy for this is stainless steel (like njoy’s wands) before playing with them. Please make sure to research and read the safety instructions before trying this.
Want to try both? Try alternating between hot and cold to deliver mixed sensations.
As always, explicitly discuss what you’re planning on exploring, ask/receive consent beforehand, and have a safe word, and talk about your likes and dislikes afterwards for the safest and most enjoyable connection.