Written By: Mistress Ariachne If your only images of BDSM include screams of pain, bleeding welts from heavy whips, razor-blade cuts or even asses reddened from long spanking sessions, you might be missing an entire side of the scene you never knew about. Especially if you’ve hesitated to try BDSM for the first time because you’re afraid of the pain, you should know there’s a whole library of scenes and play that is gentler and relies instead on surprises and exotic stimulation. It is the realm of BDSM commonly known as sensation play.
Why Sensation Play? Don’t be afraid of being labeled a wimp for experimenting with sensation play instead of diving in to heavy pain play. There is no award in the BDSM scene for extra-heavy play. The goal is to “play,” not to prove you can take a hard beating. Sensation play can be integrated into the heaviest, most sadistic scene, imagine alternating the tickling of a feather with the stinging smack of a razor strop.
Sensation play is also a great way to experience bondage for the first time. Generally, it’s best to try one step at a time when getting into BDSM, first light bondage, later, try a scene with no bondage and spanking, etc. Sensation play combined with bondage is one of the best first “combo scenes” that let the bottom explore their feelings of helplessness without having to simultaneously dealing with pain. It’s also a great way to get a newbie to experiment with BDSM. If they shy away from the idea of a beating but are still curious about the scene, doing a sensation play session with them can help them relax, realize it’s not as scary as it seems, and possibly get them comfortable enough to progress to other types of play.
What Is Sensation Play? Technically, almost all types of physical SM play could be classified as sensation play. They all use sensation of varying strengths, after all, even heavy beatings create sensations. However, in the established BDSM community, the term “sensation play” is traditionally reserved for scenes with lighter, non-painful elements. These type of scenes can involve rubbing, tickling, light scratching, and the application of feathers, velvet, nerve wheels, ice, warm wax, and a variety of other substances. These can be combined with other elements, like role-playing or bondage, to create a comprehensive, mind-bending experience.
Sensation Ideas: Try running your nails lightly over your bottom’s ticklish spots. Ice applied suddenly to the back of the neck is also good for a shock. Silk is an excellent sensation toy. I often run a long strip of silk fabric over my slave’s cock and balls as a form of teasing. You can easily make a silk “whip” out of multiple strips of silk or satin fabric bundled together. Try whipping your bottom’s chest or genitals lightly. Look around your house for inexpensive sensation toys. The kitchen is actually a great place to find a variety of wire, wood, metal, nubby, smooth, etc. utensils. Fur is another wonderful sensation toy, especially when alternated with cold metal.
“Guess The Sensation” I love to play “guess the sensation” with my bottoms. I tie them securely to a chair, blindfold them well, and “leave the room” for about five minutes (I actually go sit in the next room and keep an eye on them). This gives them ample time to settle into the role of the sightless, helpless bottom, ready to experience whatever their top has in store for them. I then approach them with a collection of toys and begin my ministrations. I might begin with a fairly easy one, rubbing a slip of velvet or silk over their body, for instance. After I stop a particular sensation, I remove their gag and command them to identify the sensation. In my scenes, if they are wrong, they are given one cane stroke and allowed to guess again. They are caned once for every wrong guess until they can identify the sensation, if they can’t get it right, they will be forced to perform a service for me later (polishing boots, washing dishes, etc.). If you are not playing with someone who will tolerate pain, you can devise alternate punishments; for example, they owe you a 15-minute back rub.
Sensation play is a wonderful exercise for tops because it forces us to really focus on the sensations our bottom is experiencing. It’s all too easy to zone out during a hard beating and be aware only of the swings of our whip or paddle; sensation play brings us down to the level of a single, light touch, an exquisite point of feeling. In some ways, it makes it easier to connect to the bottom. Additionally, it brings the bottom into a state in which every touch and physical sensation is magnified. I highly recommend sensation play as a warm-up to heavier play.
Reprinted courtesy of Bondage.com