Temperature Play Tips For Cool Summer Sex

You've seen this onscreen sex trope before: A man (it's always a man) slowly drags an ice cube over a woman's naked body, giving the camera an excuse to linger on said naked body. (Think of 9½ Weeks, Do the Right Thing, or any number of copycats.) This move is an example of temperature play, a set of techniques used in both BDSM and vanilla encounters to provoke a sensual response through the application of high or low temperatures.

"When people think of temperature play, they usually focus on warmth — melting the wax of a natural massage candle and drizzling onto the body for a heated-up massage or using your own body heat to melt massage bars into an oil can be quite lovely during the cold winter months," says Coyote Days, product and purchasing manager at sex toy retailer Good Vibrations. "But during the hot summer months, we prefer to look at ways people can cool down while getting hot with their partner."

And, as many a sex scene has demonstrated, you already have a temperature play product in your freezer.

"Ice is a simple and sensual way to incorporate temperature and sensations into your sex life," Days says. "Holding an ice cube with your fingers or between your lips offers intimacy with an edge. Not only does the ice chill the part of the body it’s touching — nipples, inner thighs, buttocks, stomach, and more — but the ice water it creates can also be a fun."

To add temperature play to oral sex specifically, Claire Cavanah, Babeland co-founder and co-author of Moregasm: Babeland's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex, recommends that you "put an ice cube in your mouth before touching your partner and have a cup of hot tea by the side of the bed — alternate between the two sensations."

But temperature play options don't end with ice. Click through for more techniques that will cool you down as they turn you on.

Photo: Courtesy of Babeland.
I keep my prized Babeland glass dildo (hand-blown, so you know it's fancy) in my freezer. This is awkward when my mom takes me grocery shopping and I forget to take it out before we unload but amazing when I wake up with puffy eyes and can press a curved end of the icy phallus against them to decompress. (It's better than using a frozen spoon. This is my best and only beauty trick.) But back to sex — a frozen toy also feels invigorating in a vagina or anus or applied externally to more erogenous zones than your under-eye circles.

"If your toy is made of borosilicate glass, you can actually place it inside the freezer to have a long-lasting, ice-cold toy," Days says. "If it’s soda-lime glass, then simply place your toy in ice water before use."

Babeland Candy Colored Glass Dildo, $120, available at Babeland.
Photo: Courtesy of Icicles.
This glass anal toy, designed for prostate stimulation, is even more fun after it's been submerged in cold water. (Remember to apply lube generously before insertion.)

Icicles No. 46 Glass P-Spot Pleaser, $27.95, available at Adam & Eve.
Photo: Courtesy of Jimmyjane.
This massage stone can be warmed up for a DIY hot stone massage or cooled to refresh — no run-off water dampening the bed. Try dragging it along the neck, wrists, and backs of knees.

Jimmyjane
CONTOUR M Ceramic Massage Stone, $25, available at Jimmyjane.
PHOTO: courtesy of bijoux indiscrets.
Without visual stimuli, more of your brain is available to process touch, which can enhance your temperature play experience.

"Add a blindfold to heighten your partner's sensation," Days suggests. "Them not being able to see where your touch will land next adds intensity."

Bijoux Indiscrets
Shhh — Blindfold, $15.50, available at Bijoux Indiscrets.
While they're not meant to actually be heated or cooled, some lubes and arousal gels (and even condoms) offer the sensation of warmth or cool. A few drops of this mint-scented clitoral gel will heighten your sensitivity and induce a pleasant — not overwhelming — tingle. (Another pro lube tip for the summer: Lube works wonders as an anti-chafe balm — just maybe pick a lube that doesn't tingle, unless you enjoy the feeling of tiny, icy pinpricks on your inner thighs.)

Kama Sutra Intensify Plus Female Arousal Gel, $18.99, available at Kama Sutra.
Photo: Courtesy of Babeland.
Or maybe warmth is more your thing. "Some lubes are designed to warm up with friction," Cavanah says. "Try Sliquid Organics Sensation and you’ll notice a big difference. Arousal gels like Babeland Arousal Balm draw blood flow to your most sensitive parts — clitoris, nipples — and feel pleasantly warm, too."

Babeland Arousal Balm, $6, available at Babeland.