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What, exactly, is temperature play?

what, exactly, is temperature play?

Fahrenheit and foreplay.

If you haven’t yet contemplated the erotic potential of a mid-July heat wave, we have some good news for you. Beyond the ceaseless sweating and the thrice-daily showers, there are indeed some salacious opportunities to be seized in the realm of sex and fahrenheit. Allow us to introduce you to temperature play. 

The practice is exactly as it sounds: The use of extreme temperatures (think: ice, or hot wax) to introduce new, and more layered physical sensation into a sexual experience. It’s all about utilising both heat and cold to heighten the senses and stimulate the body in new ways — and for folks who are interested in BDSM, it can be a fun, gentle way of testing your limits with pain play. Which is to say, whether you’re going at it alone, or exploring with a partner, this summer might be an excellent time to introduce some ice cubes into the bedroom. 

So how do you actually go about engaging in temperature play? Well, you’ve got a number of options: Beyond allowing an ice cube to melt in an erogenous zone on your partner’s body or making use of a massage candle, you might consider testing out a warming or cooling lubricant, or engaging in food play (think: licking ice cream off of your partner’s body), as well as freezing or refrigerating a vibrator or a glass dildo. For more advanced practitioners, there’s fire play: the use of matches and otherwise flames to introduce heat — without quite causing harm.  And when it comes to oral sex, you and your partner can both try sucking on ice cubes respectively before going down on one another. Long story long, the concept is fairly uniform across the board: It’s all about adding new, more exotic sensation to already-familiar sex acts. 

That said, when experimenting with temperature, there are, of course, several things to be wary of. For one, when using oils, warming and cooling products, or wax, be sure to read the ingredients before you lean all the way in: Some can have irritants that may irritate skin, or genitals. Moreover, when experimenting with heat, be sure to touch-test wax and other hot materials to make sure they’re not too hot. The idea is to introduce some warmth — not burn your partner’s skin off. And speaking of burning, make sure to keep tabs on any lit candles. You need not set your apartment aflame in order to engage in successful temperature play. And of course, be sure you’re communicating openly and fluidly with your partner so as to avoid inflicting undesired pain. 

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