“Using ice sexually is a form of erotic temperature play,” says board certified sexologist Lanae St. John, DHS, who goes by The Mama Sutra. Temperature play, she she adds, is the pre-negotiated and consensual use of hot and cold senses in your sexual activities for pleasure. It’s a way to stimulate your brain and body differently, she says, and it puts your nerves on high alert.
Physiologically, cold constricts blood flow, which is an essential component of arousal, which may lead you to think cold sensations are an instantaneous mood-killer. In reality, though, they can dial up the situational heat quite a bit, says sex educator and sex-toy reviewer Indigo Wolfe. “The contrast of the cold on your hot body in a warm room floods the body with a rush of sensations that can be incredibly stimulating.”
“The contrast of the cold on your hot body in a warm room floods the body with a rush of sensations that can be incredibly stimulating.” —Indigo Wolfe, sex educator
Intrigued? If so, you’re going to want to check out the six tips from sexperts rounded up below for using ice as a form of temperature play. Just be sure to err on the side of slow to start, given that different people have different sensitivities and varying thresholds for handling coldness. To keep things fun rather than shockingly frigid, Dr. St. John has a rule of thumb to follow: “If it’s too cold to hold in your hand, it’s going to be too cold for genitals and sensitive bits.” Makes sense.
Ready to try temperature play? Keep reading for tips on using ice to spice things up.
1. Icy kiss
Set a cup of ice on your bedside table, and when your partner is watching, fish out a piece with your fingers. Lock eyes with them, then run your tongue back and forth over the cube, as a way to showcase your tongue skills. Then? Place what’s left of the cube between your lips, and kiss your partner.
“The stark contrast of the cold ice and your hot mouths will send shivers down your spine and a jolt to your system,” says Dr. St. John.
2. Let the ice drip
Another method is to use the water that drips from melting ice cubes to tease your partner’s erogenous zones, like the lower back, armpits, neck, breast and chest, and inner thighs, says Dr. St. John.
“If your partner likes to be blindfolded, you can make it even more exciting by putting one over their eyes, so they won’t know where the droplet will land next,” she says.
3. Go down, to the south pole
There are a few ways to put this tip into action, but putting ice in your hand, and then bringing it down to your partner’s bits is a great place to start.
But, be sure to exercise caution by using lubricant, says Wolfe. “If the body is not lubricated, and the ice is right out of the freezer, it could get stuck,” says Wolfe. To make sure you don’t end up feeling like Flick from The Christmas Story when he gets his tongue stuck to a flagpole, apply lube to your partner’s genital region, and let the ice start to melt in your hand before applying it to the body. “The more liquid down there, the less likely it will be to get stuck,” they add.
4. Lick (popsicle-style)
“If your partner has a vula, place an ice cube under your tongue or on the roof of your mouth, and then lick them,” says Wolfe, who adds that doing the same for a partner who has a penis can be tough to accomplish “because that’s a lot going on in your mouth.” Their recommendation for this situation? Either lather your hand in lube and stroke the shaft while licking the tip of the penis with an ice cube in your mouth, or do the opposite by placing a (smooth-edged) ice cube in your hand to use while you stroke.
5. Down and back, or “rim-skating”
Since Wolfe says there isn’t much research available regarding ice insertion to the anus for butt play, they suggest avoiding that and instead only using ice around the entrance point. Some strategies for this include putting ice in your mouth before performing anilingus and placing an ice chip under your fingertips before rubbing in circles.
6. Upgrade to a toy that won’t melt
Once you know you enjoy the cool side of things, why not invest in a sex toy made for temperature play? “High quality surgical stainless steel and medical-grade Pyrex glass are two materials that retain temperature for long periods of time,” says Dr. St. John. And unlike ice, neither turn to water.
The nJoy Pure Wand is one of the best stainless steel options on the market, she says. Since it’s eight inches long and curved, the toy is great for G-spot and P-spot (that’s prostate) stimulation, massage, and firm external touches. “Simply dip it in some ice cold water for a bit, until it’s cold to the touch, and then enjoy,” she says.
Glass sex toys offer the ability to see through them, so you can really watch what’s happening, but if you opt for this choice, “you’ll have to do a little more research and make sure it’s made of Pyrex,” Dr. St John says. Personally, I’m a fan of this Twisted Love Glass Dildo by Adam & Eve.
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