Playing with Pain and Pleasure Toys
Playing with pain and pleasure is a sexy way to explore more intense or new sensations. When you use sex toys that inflict broad or pinpoint sensations that might be uncomfortable, rough or painful, the body responses with feel good chemicals like endorphins. Some people also describe a floaty headspace that accompanies the intense physical sensations.
When you’re playing with pain and pleasure, it’s important to remember these safety tips:
- Use a safe system. Safe words are great, but with pain and pleasure it’s helpful to use a system that helps you communicate intensity easily. Use 1-5 to indicate least painful and most painful. Practice using the safe system not only to communicate ‘no’ but also to communicate ‘yes’ or ‘more’.
- Warm up the body. Don’t start your pain at a level 10 — the body benefits from seduction, arousal, and teasing. Warm up the body with kisses, licks, vibrators, lower intensity impact play, massages, and more.
- Set the scene. What’s the mood you’re creating with pain and pleasure? Are you in an erotic power exchange? Do you want to feel a certain emotion, for example fear, helplessness, or adoration? Talk about fantasies with your partner.
- Have an aftercare plan. What emotional or physical care do you need afterwards? Playing with pain and pleasure can bring up intense physical sensations and deep emotions. Have a plan to help each other reset after. Aftercare can include tending to areas of the body with ice or massages and it can be about sharing space, food, water, conversation.
Pain and pleasure sex toys to get curious about:
Erotic Wax Play Candles
Body-safe candles (do not use household candles) are a form of temperature play. Using hot or cold sensations can help get someone more into their body and out of their head, it can deepen a roleplay like power exchange and it can add playfulness by getting creative with your wax designs. Wax play tips:
- The closer to the body that the wax drips, the hotter it will be
- Aim for less sensitive areas first like backs of shoulders, thighs, buttocks, forearms
- Drip from a farther distance from the body first, check in with your partner on intensity and move drips closer to the body as your partner is comfortable
The pinwheel is a single or multiple spiked wheel made of stainless steel. Its cold aesthetic can mean this pain toy can feed fantasies of sadomasochism or role plays like medical play. The pinwheel can be used to discover new sensitive hot spots, for example, along side of the ribs, behind the knees, inner thighs, and bottoms of feet.
You can create intense pinpoint sensations without worrying about breaking the skin. These sharp sensations can be an exciting mental tease and give physical pleasure from our body’s response to sharp sensations — endorphins and adrenaline.
Impact Play Toys
Impact toys are used for activities like spanking the bum or thighs. Here are some popular impact play toys:
Paddles are a popular spanking toy and they come in many different styles. The material and design of a paddle will determine the type of sensations you can create. Some paddles are designed to provide a more ‘thuddy’ impact and others a more ‘stingy’ impact. Paddles with holes in them allow air to travel through during spanking, making the sensation even more intense. Vinyl paddles are great for beginners or for sexy scenes with a long build up because they make a great sound but their impact isn’t inherently intense. Leather paddles give a more intense impact.
Crops are great for spot-specific impact play. The smaller tip allows you to get specific with your spanks — great for nipples, clitorises, and penises.
Floggers can be made of rope, leather, silicone, rubber, vinyl and more. They vary in intensity, but generally the more voluminous the flogger is - the heavier the impact will be.
Some pain and pleasure sex toys will require a higher degree of technique, but all of them require you to learn safety tips before using them. You can try testing the toy on your own body before you use it on someone else or before you let someone use it on you. Learn about specific things that can go wrong with the tool. Plan for ways you can mitigate the risks. Get to know anatomy, so you can be sure you’re using the toy on parts of the body that are safe. We want to create pain and pleasure, not injury!