What do scented candles, ice cubes and nipple clamps have in common? Despite sounding like the BYO list to Russell Brand’s fortieth, they’re the gateway to new sexual realms known as hyperstimulation – foreplay that toys with pleasure and pain.
“With hyperstimulation, the body considers whether it’s about to be harmed,” explains neuroscientist Dr Jim Pfaus.
“Once it has eliminated danger, it serves you with an incredible rush of adrenaline.” Try these shock tactics yourself:
One reason to keep your ice tray well stocked… Intense cold creates skin-tingling sensations, as the sudden change in temperature triggers the narrowing of your blood vessels. On cold contact, your body then releases the pain-dulling hormone noradrenaline, says Pfaus.
Cue an enhanced orgasm. Crack open the ice as things become heated.
“The effect is heightened when unexpected,” Pfaus says. Cool.
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Try it: For arousal on overdrive, slide some ice cubes along a lover’s earlobes – where most of the thermoreceptors are. Or try the Purple Love Glass Dildo (R799, Desir.co.za); glass dildos can be warmed or cooled for extra sensation. The aftermath? Incredible pleasure… and a slightly larger than normal wet patch.
When it comes to nipple clamps, get your partner to try them on you first as women's nipples are more sensitive than male ones. Just remember, it’s the release of the clamps that creates pleasure – not the pressure itself. “Temporarily restricting blood flow creates a flood of sensory feeling when the blood flows back into the skin, plus the psychological sensation of relief. It’s nothing to do with how tight you can stand it,” explains bondage instructor Midori.
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Try it: For a little extra fun, try Bad Kitty Vibrating Nipple Clamps (R513, Passionfruit. co.za). If you want to sidestep your nips, other erogenous zones are the inner thighs, neck and earlobes.
The moment you light the wick on your very own sex candle (bear with us here), your body releases a surge of hormones. The mere anticipation of pain from high heat means when you touch, you release noradrenaline.
When that pain doesn’t come, the release that follows will create a crazy sexual high. This play is all about suspense and expectation, not physical pain.
Try it: Introduce the wax when you’re 10 minutes into foreplay; you’ll be hyperaroused for a bigger rush when the real sex starts. Remember to use proper massage candles, like Coco De Mer Roseravished Massage Candle (R620, Matildas.co.za).
Aim for the areas adjacent to the most sensitive parts – thighs should be your first port of call. Drip slowly, then sensually massage it in. Just maybe avoid synthetic underwear – nobody wants flammable privates.
Science lesson time: when you apply a current to a motor nerve, the muscle contracts, like a mini-orgasm. By stimulating sexual nerves, you can multiply both your climaxes – just don’t go live-wiring his penis.
You can get toys that allow a current to travel through pads that you stick to skin. “Sharing a signal turns your bodies into living electrodes: you and your partner will feel tingles and contractions everywhere you touch each other,” says sex educator Hella Walkington. High voltage, minus the danger.
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Try it: MyStim do a range of toys – like the Tension Lover Set (R2 850, Passionfruit.co.za) – that couples can plug in using electrodes and currents. Place the pads on the butt, chest and thighs before venturing further. Not for those with heart conditions!
This article was originally published on Women's Health South Africa.