All The Tantalizing Ways To Use A Blindfold During Sex

Photographed by Bianca Valle.
If using a blindfold during sex gives you 50 Shades Of Grey, cliché sex vibes, it's time to reevaluate. Yes, Christian Grey was very into blindfolds, and they even sell 50 Shades-branded ones. But despite the reputation, a blindfold is a cheap tool you can use to take sex to the next level. And there are myriad fun ways to use one.
A blindfold provides sensory deprivation, says Myisha Battle, a certified sex coach in San Francisco. "When one sense is dulled, the brain can temporarily compensate and allow us to become more sensitive to the stimuli from our other senses," she says. "This means that when we take away sight, our partner's touches, scent, taste, and sounds are a bit amplified." All this amplified sensory information ultimately helps build arousal and sexual excitement.
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Keep in mind that, while a simple blindfold might seem harmless, it's important to introduce the idea to your partner in advance to get their opinion and consent, Battle says. "If they're down, it's best to create some ground rules," she says. Decide what you're both comfortable doing while blindfolded, and be respectful of boundaries throughout the experience. "Having a roadmap that can be followed creates a safe container for playfulness," she says.
If you're convinced it's time to give blindfolds a chance, ahead are some ideas for your own roadmap. Who knows? You may open your eyes to a whole side of yourself you never knew existed — and there's nothing vanilla about that.
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Talk.

If your partner is the one blindfolded, be sure to provide lots of verbal feedback so they know what you're doing and whether you're enjoying yourself, Battle says. Check in periodically, and have fun with it, she says.
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Use what you have.

You don't need to buy a fancy blindfold just for sex; any eye mask or bandana would work well, Battle says. "Be sure the material is actually thick enough to block out all sight and avoid covering the nose and mouth," she says. "You don't want anything that will distract from the pleasurable sensations elsewhere."
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Surprise your partner.

Going blindfolded adds excitement, because you don't know what your partner is going to do next, Battle says. "The not-knowing can build anticipation and allow us to tease and be teased in a way that seeing would not allow," she says. If your partner is the one blindfolded, try kissing them in unexpected places, or vary the way you touch them. "With eyes open, this is an incredibly different experience than when you don't know where your partner's mouth is headed next," she says. (But remember: You and your partner should discuss likes/disliked before the action starts so that "surprises" are within safe, consensual boundaries.)
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Make it a restraint.

At the end of the day, a blindfold is just a piece of cloth. You can use it as a makeshift restraint and tie your partner's wrists together, says Megan Stubbs, a certified sexologist. (Just be sure to ask your partner if they're comfortable being restrained first.)
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Feed your partner.

If you really want to get into it, consider feeding your partner while they're blindfolded to play up their heightened sense of taste, Stubbs says. Not sure what to serve them? Here are some sexy foods to try.
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Role play.

It's natural for your mind to wander while your eyes are closed, so run with that and create a role-playing scenario. You can adjust your voice and pretend you're someone else, or craft an elaborate story line about why you're using the blindfold.
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Experiment with textures.

Ice cubes. Feathers. Floggers. Warm lube. All of these items can feel several times more exciting when your eyes are closed, Stubbs says. Try touching your partner's body with all these different textures and drive them crazy.
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Have a safe word.

It's important to develop an exit strategy — meaning, a safe word — beforehand, Stubbs says. "Some people like to use the green, yellow, red system, and others like to use an obscure word they wouldn't ordinarily say during sexual play," she says. Agree on something, and make sure you both understand what it means.
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