‘Tis the season for resolutions. While most of us have probably made resolutions we will forget about next week, why not resolve to do something you will actually stick with: adding some variation to your sex life? You may be wondering what kind of changes are possible. Aside from suggesting new positions, recommending more oral sex (flavoured lube for everyone!), or giving tips on how to make those orgasms last 20 times longer (we have no such hints), we suggest one thing: learn to play.
Play is another word for kink, which is anything outside the realm of the “norm.” Play often involves playing with power and its dynamics, with one person taking a more submissive role to the person in the dominant role. In general, most people have negative perceptions of these activities – mental images of people in black leather masks, whips, and other items that look like they cause pain.
This is by far an unwarranted stigma to affix to playing. Play is exactly what it sounds like: fun! Teasing, stimulating, and titillating can increase your sexual arousal and leave you wanting more.
Sensual play, or sensation play, is involved in all things kink. It is the base for intimacy – the process of working up the feelings you induce and endure. So many things you already have around the house can help you in your play. Feathers, bath poufs, or gloves in silk and leather, for example, are all potential soft tools to make your lover tingle. Imagine using a fork, cheese grater, or a rolling pin from the kitchen, a pair of panties and a tasseled scarf from your bedroom, or your tweezers or cotton balls from the bathroom. All of these items can be used to tease and increase your partner’s arousal, just through the different sensations of rubbing them against the body.
You can also deprive your partner of one of their senses, either by blindfolding or using earplugs, in order to bring thrills and mystery to your teasing, and heighten other senses, like touch and taste. The senses of smell and taste open up many sexy opportunities for teasing and playing. Think of the smell of your lover’s shirt or perfume, a tasty fruit, or even a meaty treat for your blindfolded buddy. The idea is to just feel. Take a more exciting approach to stimulating sensations. Start off gentle, and maybe speed up or get rougher.
Adding variety to a sexy session requires discussion and agreement beforehand. Defining boundaries is vital to having a positive and exciting time, to make sure that you both have similar expectations and ideas about what makes a good time. This is also an opportunity to see if your partner has anything they do not want you to do.
Talk with your partner throughout your play, so that you can emphasize their favourite sensations and check in to make sure things are still good. Some people use “traffic light signals” to indicate how they are feeling, whether to ask a person to stop what they are doing (red), slow down (yellow), or keep going (green). However you play, listen to each other, and have fun.
—with contributions from Kay de Monet