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.