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What is Sensation Play and How Do You Do It?

Have you ever looked at a bunch of kinky toys and wondered what they’re all for? Do you worry that you might not be able to get kinky because you don’t like a lot of pain? A lot of people new to the idea of kink are worried that they don’t know what to do or how to do, or that they won’t like what they’re “supposed” to like.

In the world of kink, it’s all about experimentation and finding what you enjoy the most. If you’re not quite sure, there’s no better way to discover it than with a bit of sensation play.

Understanding Sensation Play

Sensation play sounds like a big, complicated kinky thing that people do, but it’s really very simple. You and your partner create different sensations or feelings on the skin, in the muscle, and within your body in different and sometimes unexpected ways. Keep doing what you enjoy. Stop when you find something you don’t like.

Understanding Sensation Play

What you ultimately want is a feeling that’s not the usual, typical stroke of a hand on skin or the same caress you might be used to. These things definitely create a sensation but that’s not the kind you’re looking for if you decide to try this kind of kinky play.

Things you might feel during sensation play:

  • Pain
  • Tickling
  • Spankings
  • Pinches
  • Smacks
  • Sharp
  • Thud
  • Soft
  • Squeezing
  • Pressure
  • Burning

Ideas for Sensation Play

The sensations you create are limited only by your partner’s hard limits (the things they refuse to do) and your imagination. If you’re completely new to the idea, here are a few kinky scenarios to get you started.

Spankings and Impact Play

As long as you and your partner are willing, spankings can be a really erotic experience. You can use your hand, a wooden spoon from the kitchen, or a paddle. Have your partner lay across your lap or bend over the bed. Stroke their bottom with your hand. This will help them relax and surprise them when the first smack lands.

Start slowly and build up to more intense impact. Check in with your partner to make sure they’re enjoying the experience. Pause between hits to soothe their red or warm skin with your palm or to touch them in more sexual ways.

Blindfold Your Partner

What makes a lot of sensation more intense than it might normally be is the element of surprise. Blindfold your partner and begin experimenting. Without their eyes to warn them of what’s coming, they’ll react much more strongly to whatever you try.

What can you do?

  • Run a feather over their body, especially the most sensitive spots.
  • Use the Wartenberg wheel on their body. The little spikes are sharp and make some people nervous.
  • Drape the strands of a flogger over their body.
  • Smack their thighs or chest with a riding crop.
  • Pinch their nipples.
  • Rake your nails across their skin.
  • Pull their hair.

Bondage and Tickling

Not every sensation has to be painful. Sometimes the more torturous options also make us laugh. Most of us, when tickled, will kick, squirm, and do anything to get away from it. In this scene, your partner has to be willing to endure it without that option. Use handcuffs, rope, silk scarves, or whatever you have on hand to tie your partner to the bed. If you can, have their arms and legs spread.

Staying Safe

Now, use a tickler, your hands, or anything else that could tickle them. This scene makes them laugh, which is a good way to release pent-up emotions. It also allows them to feel helpless, and for you to feel powerful and in control. Watch them carefully and stop if they ask you to or if you can tell they’re overwhelmed.

Staying Safe

Any kinky play should be done in the safest possible way. Communicate with your partner before you do anything to make sure they consent. Talk about what you want to do and explain what items you’ll use.

Other ways to stay safe include:

  • Establish a safeword. If you decide not to use one, stop if your partner says “Stop” or “No” or gives any indication of being unhappy or in distress.
  • Check in with your partner. Ask if they want to continue or if it still feels good.
  • Try toys on yourself first. Smack your thigh or forearm before you smack your partner.
  • Start slow and light. Build up to heavier, more intense sensation play.
  • Respect hard limits. Never do anything your partner says they don’t want or like.


Sensation play is a way to get kinky with your partner. You can experiment and try different things to find what you both enjoy. Consent and safety are the top priorities but once you’ve got that, go wild and a little crazy. Try anything that sounds interesting. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself.

Want to try sensation play with a willing partner? Share our infographic to help them learn more about it!

Infographic for What is Sensation Play and How Do You Do It?


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