Expanding Your Mind Through BDSM & Sensual Play

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Expanding Your Mind with Sensation Play

Erotic sensation play is a class of activities meant to impart physical sensations upon a partner, as opposed to mental forms of erotic play such as power exchange or sexual roleplaying. Sensation play tends to be more sensual and is a good way for beginner’s to experiment and explore light bondage. Many couples that would not consider themselves active in BDSM are familiar with this kind of play.

Generally, this type of play uses the body’s senses as a way to arouse and provide stimulation. During sensation play, an altered state is induced by over stimulating or depriving the use of one or more of your partner’s senses — touch, sight, taste or hearing.

While others tend to enjoy certain sexual fetishes that the average person might shy away from, or consider to be of a darker, more psychologically rooted nature.  There are hundreds of mainstream kinks, fetishes or lifestyles in the world of BDSM, such as: sensory deprivation, breath play (auto erotic asphyxiation), consensual rape fantasies, mummification, and edgeplay.

Forms of Sensation Play Include:

  • Using textures such as feathers, silk, leather, or spiked mittens.
  • Mummification of body with latex bands, bandages, plastic, or silk sheets.
  • Clamping parts of the body with clothespins, forceps, or nipple clamps.
  • Wearing a hood, mittens, or being placed in a sleep sack.
  • Canceling sound by using ear plugs, head phones, or head hoods.
  • Using whips, flogging, bondage suspension and other BDSM related activities.
  • Using blindfolds, hoods, or masks to limit vision and heighten other senses.
  • Exploring the sensations of kissing or other intimacy while blindfolded.
  • Restricting movement by binding with scarves, handcuffs, ties or ropes.
  • Stimulating the body through erotic tickling, biting and clawing
  • Creating temperature play with ice or hot wax.
  • Using impact play — spanking, flogging, or paddling.
  • Prolonged stimulation from sex toys.

We have wonderful beginner kits for Sensual Play and Light BDSM. We have extended our sale on our Sportsheets Sexperiments Kits at 25% off!

BDSM – Getting Familiar

So you want to try your hand at BDSM? Often people lack the understanding to really explore this realm of desire to its full extent – allowing for a deeper exploration of one’s sense of erotic passion, fantasy, or desire. Some experts would agree that when one adds this type of sexual play, it not only grants the freedom to experiment, but also helps build trust and intimacy with your partner. The 50 Positions Of Bondage Card Game is a great way to initiate a playfully kinky night with sex position cards. Use the cards for ideas that incorporate bondage, or build a five card fantasy of bondage position challenges. There are 100,000 possible fantasies!  Bondage equipment is not necessary as players can use belts, neck ties, scarves, or robe ties as suitable replacements and it’s affordable at $5.95!

Sexuality is complicated and unique, and our needs and desires are ever-changing. This is why exploring and experimenting is so important. If you want to experiment with BDSM, the first thing to do is establish some ground rules with your partner! Dr. Laura Berman

Glossary Terms:

Anyone who is looking to experiment for the first time should get familiar with the lingo so that you know what exactly you are getting into. This list of terms should help you figure out what kind of non-vanilla kinks you may be willing to explore.

  • Aftercare: The time you and your partner take after play to recover and also to see to each other’s emotional and physical needs. There are several ways to administer aftercare and some people might need more or less than another.
  • BDSM: Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism: a combined acronym often used as a catchall for anything in the kink scene – and includes fetishes.
  • Blindfold: A blindfold is an implement used to partially or completely obstruct someone’s sight so as to heighten their other senses.
  • Bondage: The enjoyment or sexual gratification through the act of being restrained.
  • Bottom: Someone who receives physical stimulation in a scene from a Top.
  • Chastity: Erotic sexual denial or orgasm denial wherein one partner restricts stimulation or access to the other partner’s erogenous areas.
  • Consent: Critical to any sexual relationship – consent entails agreeing to which actions are allowed/not allowed in a particular scene.
  • D/S or D/s:  Shorthand for Dominant and submissive.
  • Dominant (Dom/Domme): A person who exercises control in a scene. When it’s written, it is capitalized and usually gendered, ‘Dom’ referring to a male and ‘Domme’ referring to a female Dominant.
  • Dungeon: Even though they are called ‘dungeons,’ they aren’t basement rooms in castles; the term simply refers to an indoor space (in some clubs or private homes) used specifically for BDSM play, usually stoked with toys and furniture for kinky play.
  • Edging: Edging is a form of orgasm control (sometimes called orgasm denial) that involves coming close to climax and then ‘coming back from the edge.’ In the context of BDSM, a Dominant may bring and keep their submissive close to orgasm but not let them climax as a form of domination.
  • Fetish: A fetish is defined as any inanimate object that is given unreasonable attention, or any part of the body not of a sexual nature that arouses erotic feelings.
  • Flogger: A flogger is a device used to whip or gently tease the skin of someone during play, made of several strands attached to a stiff handle.
  • Hard Limit: This is an unchangeable limit, something that a participant in a BDSM scene (Dominant or submissive) will not do or participate in.
  • Hogtie: A bondage position that involves securing the ankles to the wrists with handcuffs, ropes or ties behind someone’s back to immobilize them.
  • Impact Play: Impact play is any play that involves striking a partner for the sexual gratification of one or both partners; it includes erotic spanking or flogging.
  • Masochist: A masochist is someone who enjoys receiving physical pain or emotional humiliation during consensual sex play. Not all masochists are submissive, nor are all submissives masochist.
  • Munch: A munch is a social gathering for those who are interested in BDSM. They are usually held at restaurants or bars, and do not involve ‘play,’ just meeting and talking with people who have the same interests, so they’re great to go to if you’re a curious beginner.
  • Nipple Clamps: Nipples clamps are a type of sex toy that pinch and squeeze the erect nipple for a mixed sensation of pain and pleasure.
  • Pegging: Pegging is when a female partner penetrates their male partner with a strap on, which can be incorporated into BDSM play as a form of domination, but does not inherently put a man in a submissive role.
  • Play Party: A play party is a gathering of people interested in BDSM for the purpose of engaging in kinky sexual play together, either at a private home or at a business like a dungeon.
  • ProDom/ProDomme: A portmanteau of ‘professional’ and ‘Dominant,’ this refers to someone whose job is to dominant submissive clients of either sex in exchange for money.
  • Pony Play: This is a type of D/s play where the Dominant plays the owner or trainer of their submissive, who let their partner ride on their back, or may wear bridles, bits, or harnesses to create a specific look. Sometimes tails and whips are incorporated into this play.
  • Pup Play: Pup play is a type of D/s relationship where the Dominant is very caring of their submissive, but will expect obedience from their sub, and their play may incorporate leashes and collars.
  • Role Play: Sexual role playing involves taking on a character to play to indulge in fantasy with your partner.
  • Sadists: The tendency to derive sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others. A person who enjoys sadism is a sadist. Sadists in the BDSM community derive no pleasure from inflicting pain unless the recipient is enjoying the experience, a true sadist is not concerned with the benefit of the other person.

Misconceptions of BDSM

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BDSM activities can range from slapping, to hair pulling, to bondage, to intense use of sex toys and other tools. There are no significant differences in the rates of psychopathology, depression, anxiety, OCD, psychological sadism or masochism between couples who practice BDSM sex play and those who don’t. In essence, couples who engage in BDSM sex play are not violent or “crazy” and their BDSM practices don’t leave them psychological troubled.

Ironically, some people turn to BDSM practices as a coping mechanism, or as a means of healing through role play or power exchange scenarios. With the right person and environment, it offers the chance to work through trust or sexual issues that may be a result of sexual abuse or assault from their past. BDSM is not abuse — and power exchange is not manipulation.

The important thing to keep in mind is the benefit for the people involved. BDSM and power exchange can be done badly and for the wrong reasons, but they can also be used for personal, professional, and spiritual growth and for the enhancement of relationships. – Kasi Alexander

Kasi Alexander, the author of several books and short stories about alternative lifestyles, such as Becoming Sage and Saving Sunni, has been involved in the lifestyles of polyamory, BDSM, and power exchange. Stated that she currently identifies herself as a “slave,” and the partner in her polyamorous relationship is the “master”;  she could also be referred to as a submissive. Alexander believes that people will eventually become more accepting of these types of lifestyles and realize that they can be beneficial to people who can learn how to make them work.

Notice to Sexual Trauma Survivors:  We do not endorse participating in reenactments of the original abuse or assault.  BDSM practices should never substitute therapy or counseling from a licensed and trained professional. If you would like to learn more about experimenting in BDSM After Sexual Trauma, please review the resources below.

Additional Resources:
Using BDSM for Sexual Healing
Sex After Sexual Assault
Coping with Sexual Trauma While Exploring Kink.

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