Ask a sex coach: What is sensation play?
Sensation Play: What is it and why should you do it? Your Ultimate Guide to Sensation Play. Everything You Need to Know to Start Playing.
Sensation play is one of my favorite sessions with clients. From beginning to the happy ending! 100% of my clients find value in these sessions. They learn about the new and pleasurable sensations they can have in their body. How does it get any better than that!
So, where to start! Let's go!
What is sensation play and why should i do it?
Wikipedia describes Sensation play, also known as sensual play or sensory play, is a class of erotic activities meant to impart physical, generally pleasurable and arousing sensations upon a partner, usually during an intimate interaction, which induce sensuality.
 tickling can intensify a sexual feeling.  As opposed to mental forms of erotic play such as power exchange or sexual roleplaying, a sensual play is generally pleasing and light, that deliberately engages the five senses to explore pleasure, thereby leading to intense sexual arousal or orgasm.  Sensory play can be an umbrella term, with the harsher "pain play" and gentler "general sensory play" being subtypes, where an individual may prefer one or the other.
Sensation Play is a great way to really get to know your body and your partners. How do different sensations feel on the different areas of the body? Do you like it softer or harder? Do it like the softness of a feather or the pop of a flogger? How does your partner react? Does their breath quicken? Do they get goosebumps when you run a feather along their chest?
We are so busy in our every day lives! Take an hour or so to just play, to really enjoy the sensations you are experiencing in your body. Drop into the pleasure of it. You won't regret it! I promise!
Where do I start?
First, you may need to go on a Scavenger Hunt! You need toys to create sensations! You can purchase toys if you want however, you can just use things in your house. The goal is to create anticipation and different sensations.
What do I need?
You can use a scarf or tie for a blindfold. You need things that are soft. Anything furry, or with feathers. Do you have any soft rope? Do you have any silk or soft materials? You also need things that are scratchy. A hair brush or comb will work, even a fork from the kitchen. If you are a baker, you may have a pastry wheel in the drawer! Now, we need something for impact, that could be a spatula, several pieces of rope tied together, the back of the hair brush or ice cubes from the freezer.
If you want to purchase items, some can be found on Amazon for around $25.00. I purchased a blindfold, flogger, feather, paddle and other various items from there. My suggestion is start with something less expensive. When you find what you and your partner enjoy purchase a better quality. I love Etsy!
Where can I play?
Next, where can you play? You can play on a bed or massage table. If you decide to play on the bed it is best if you can move all the way around it.
Have a small table available for all of your sensation toys. I like to line mine up based on how I use them. Soft, hard, impact, scratchy etc.....
Make sure you have plenty of room to move around and that your partner will be comfortable.
You also want to make sure the room is warm enough and the lighting is dim. You will both be naked so you want to be warm! Being cold can be distracting to both of you. Also, bright lights can be irritating when trying to relax into sensations.
Have water on hand for both of you. It is important to stay hydrated!
It is best not to have any music playing in the background. This can be distracting.
What do I do now?
It's Time to play!
Plan on having at least an hour for playtime.
Ok, now that we have everything we need set up, the room is warm, the lights are down it is time to play! SO EXCITING!
First step- conversation
Always have the conversation about the hard No's you and your partner may have. Is hard impact a "No" but maybe some softer impact play is OK? Are there parts of the body that are VERY sensitive and need to be avoided? An example, some of my clients have very sensitive feet and do not want touch there.
Are they OK being blindfolded or not? Ask your partner and gain clarity.
I do recommend using a blindfold as long as it is consensual. Being blindfolded allows us to really drop into our bodies and sensations on a different level.
Second step- put on the blindfold
After putting on the blindfold, I like to start sessions by doing some "grounding" or connecting with my client.
When connecting, I put my hand on the breast bone and on the pelvis (same positioning on the back). Take a few deep breaths together and then just shake your partner a little. This kind of wakes everything up.
When you are playing, your partner can start on their stomach or back. You want to work with both sides of the body. Each side reacts differently to different sensations.
I have a soft red rope (seen in pic above) I use for pressure up and down the body. I stretch the rope out across the body, positioning on each side and press down to the mattress. Gently going down and then coming back up. This starts to wake up the body for sensation.
Next, use a dry brush (if you have one or a clean soft hair brush) and gently brush the body. All over. Arms, legs, chest or back, stomach, genitals or butt, legs and feet. Go down the body, then back up the body. Start with long strokes then change to smaller quicker strokes. This gets the nerve endings ready for play!
Ask your partner how they are feeling? What sensations do they feel? Always checking in with your partner throughout the play is important.
However, I have clients who prefer for me not to check in with them during play. I am trained to watch for reactions in the body that are both pleasurable and uncomfortable. If I see a reaction I am unsure about, I always ask!
It is a matter of trusting the person you are playing with. Trusting they will not do anything you don't want.
next Steps for play
Throughout playtime watch your partner. What do you see? If something stands out as pleasurable. go with it. spend more time there.
Begin with something soft. A feather for example. After the dry brushing the skin is on alert. A feather can feel really nice. Feather the whole body! Up and down. Side to side. Slow and fast.
Then, onto something a little harder. The paddle is a great next step. Gently place it on the body and move it slowly up and down. If your partner wanted to know every time you changed sensation toys, let them know what it is. Ask if they are ready for a little pop. This gives a sense of build up in anticipation. Then, give a little pop! Gently at first and then a little harder each time. Working up and down the body. Speeding up and slowing down as you go.
Then move back to something soft, then back to something with impact or something scratchy. The goal is to keep your partner guessing and their body on edge. It keeps the nerve endings unsure of what is next.
Don't be shy! Yes, even the pussy, cock and balls. Trust me it feels amazing. My male clients are unsure about having their cock and balls slapped with a paddle and are soon very surprised at how good it feels! Yes, 100% of the time! I get to see just how much they enjoy it!
As you get more into playtime your partners arousal will become very obvious.
You can always give your partner more of what they want. If they are ready for orgasm, give it to them.
Vibrators work well on women of course, and they work well on men too. Vibrating along the pelvic bone, on the cock and balls and on the perineum directly under the balls heightens every male client that I have explored this with.
If your partner needed a happy ending, and has orgasmed, it is time for grounding.
Sensation play can be a sexually arousing and heightened experience that can make your partner feel "buzzed". Some clients say they actually feel their bodies buzzing. Hence, drinking water and grounding!
I end sessions the way they began, without using the dry brush which is too stimulating. We want to calm the body down now.
Gently remove the blindfold, asking your partner to keep their eyes closed.
Using the rope, you want apply pressure up and down the body just as you did in the beginning. Again, this has a grounding affect and feels really nice after high stimulation.
Sometimes, using the Wand Vibrator in the center of the chest feels really nice! It has a soft vibration that is calming.
End your playtime with your hand of the breast bone and pelvis applying medium pressure.
Gently shake and ask your partner to take some deep breaths with you. Ask them to open their eyes to look at you and around the room.
If your partner has really dropped into their body during play it can take some time for them to feel really present. Try getting them to wiggle their toes, put their feet on the floor and drink lots of water. These are all things that help bring them back to present.
When your partner is ready, it is important to talk about the experience. What worked for them? What would they have liked more or less of? Where they surprised by things they enjoyed?
Spend time really listening to your partner. You will gain more insight into their pleasure by listening!
Next time, it will be your turn!
"Play is the highest kind of research." ~ Albert Einstein