You’d be wise to raise your eyebrows at the (oxymoronic) notion of sensual sensory deprivation. Is sex not about sensory information? Why deprive yourself?
Certainly an apt question—but when it comes to kink culture, sensory deprivation isn’t about obstructing any sensory information. Instead, it’s about eliminating some forms of sensory information to heighten others. Think about it: At a base level, something as minimal and thoughtless as shutting off the lights before intercourse is a small form of sensory deprivation. It helps rule out all the visual distractions in a room, thus elevating the sense of physical intimacy between you and your partner. And for those more invested in the project, you might expect things like blindfolds, earplugs, or even nose plugs.
Of course, there are plenty of folks far more invested in all the available sensory information: scented candles, mood lighting, playlists, the list goes on. And while that’s all well and good, the motives behind deprivation are a bit more particular. Whether or not you’ve got access to a full-scale deprivation chamber, you want to set the stage for a particular sensory experience (rather than one that’s merely sultry writ large). Perhaps you plan to lean into temperature play or a form of bondage. Maybe you experiment with food. Either way, your chosen form of sensory deprivation will help underscore whatever sensation it is that you’re attempting to spotlight. And that sort of project requires a bit more curation than, say, shoving some cotton balls in your partner’s ears.
In any case, forms of sensory deprivation require firm consent at every juncture. But for those enthusiastic about attempting a little depravity of their own, consult the below before getting started.
SightPerhaps your simplest foray into sensory deprivation is merely eliminating sight. Whether you go in for a proper silk blindfold, or you make use of an old bandana, the idea here is ensuring that sight is not an option—which typically means you’re blind (get it?) to your partner’s next move. And that kind of giddy anticipation can be a major turn-on.
This is a great time to play with heightened physical sensation: try temperature play with hot wax or a melting ice cube. These kinds of overwhelming textural, skin-level experiences will feel that much more potent without sight taking up all its requisite cognitive space.