So, what exactly is temperature play? Sex expert Kasandra Brabaw gives the complete 101.
Imagine plucking an ice cube from a bowl beside your bed, rubbing your fingers around the cube to warm it up, and then dripping the ice-cold water on your partner’s nipples, down their stomach, and onto their genitals. This is the image most people probably conjure when they think of temperature play, the act of using heat or cold during sex.
But, as hot (and cool!) as playing with ice can be, there’s a lot more you can do with temperature, ranging from simple beginner tips to hardcore and slightly dangerous (which we don’t recommend unless you’re an expert!).
What is Temperature Play?
Why bother with heat and cold in the first place? Just like replacing the head of your wand massager with a silicone texture cover can make it feel like a whole new sex toy, temperature play can make your typical sex routine feel fresh. It’s all about the sensations.
So, pro-tip, try combining temperature play with sensory deprivation. Take our sexy ice cube scene from above, and add a satin blindfold. When you cut off the receiving partner’s vision, they’ll be able to pinpoint their focus on the feeling of the ice, making the sensation even more intense.
Sounds like your kind of fun? Here are 7 great ways to get started with temperature play:
Heat or cool your sex toys
Your trusty sex toy is the perfect way to incorporate some hot and cold temperatures into both your partnered and solo sex. While toys made of materials that conduct heat and cold well will create more intense temperatures — like stainless steel or glass sex toys — but silicone sex toys work, too.
Pro tip: Place your toy against your wrist to check that it’s a comfortable temperature for you or your partner. You don’t want to stick a piping hot or Arctic chilly sex toy inside of your body!
Grab some ice cubes
Ice is maybe the easiest option when it comes to temperature play. All it takes is grabbing a few cubes from your ice tray. You can drip melted ice water over your partner’s body. You can put the ice cube in your mouth and. then go down on your partner or run your icy tongue along their erogenous zones. Or you can rub the ice cube itself around your partner’s nipples, on their necks, over their lips, and on their genitals.
Warm your mouth up
Temperature play and tongues are an ideal match. All it takes to make your mouth warmer than usual is a cup of hot tea or coffee. Drink your hot beverage right before going down on your partner and see how the new sensation makes them feel.
Be careful: If you’re using coffee or tea to warm your mouth before oral sex, you’ll need to drink it black. Sugar in the genital area can cause yeast infections, and trust me, no one wants that!
Use a cooling or warming lube
There are lubes for just about everything, and that includes temperature play. Sensation lubes like the Wicked Toy Breeze (a cooling lube for sex toys) or the Wicked Toy Fever (a warming lube for sex toys) are handy essentials to keep by your bedside.
Try a massage candle
Massage candles are specifically formulated to burn at lower temperatures than regular wax candles. Plus, they melt into a delicious-smelling oil that you can rub into your partner’s skin for a sensual massage.
Take note: While massage candles are cooler than a candle you’d find in a department store, that doesn’t mean they aren’t hot — they’re just much less likely to burn your skin. So grab your favorite scent and settle in a for a hot night, literally. You can even use your Le Wand to massage the oil into the skin!
Use ice cream, whipped cream, or another tasty treat
Another great combo for temperature play? Food play. Simply open your fridge or freezer and grab any cool treat you want in your mouth or on your body and go to town.
But, again, if you’re choosing a sugary food like ice cream or whipped cream, then make sure to keep it away from your or your partner’s genitals to avoid a yeast infection.
Drip hot wax
And finally, we get into the more intense temperature play. If you’re using a regular candle, and not a massage oil candle like the one above, wax play can be dangerous. If you’re not careful, you could burn your skin with too-hot wax. Be sure to test your boundaries and start slowly. Start with wax that burns at lower temperatures, like soy or paraffin candles, and drop the wax from higher distances (it’ll cool down as it falls through the air). Once you get more comfortable, you can try a wax with a higher melting point, like beeswax or palm. You can also drop the wax closer to the body, which will make the heat more intense.