In the recent heatwave, while many felt it was impossibly humid and unpleasant for sex, others have been capitalising on the opportunity to enjoy a little niche sensory play that really only comes into its own at this time of year – ice play.
Far from being a niche fetish (although it is for some), ice play and cold play fit beautifully with sensory foreplay for even the most vanilla of libidos.
Ice play isn’t an all-year round thing for many. In a cool climate the notion can seem unpleasant, and it takes the relentless, oppressive heat and humidity of several days to really make it a blissful treat that releases the wilted sexuality of our baked bodies in a wellspring of delight.
Ice play can, of course, be performed at any time, but nothing brings out the sheer pleasure of it like feeling excessively hot, right through to the bones. Other times of year, a long soak in a hot tub or some sexy sauna time first might make it more appealing.
How does one start with ice play?
It can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. The first thing you are going to need is some ice.
Ice can be purchased in bags to break up, but caution must be exercised as the process can leave sharp edges- obviously they will soften as they melt rather quickly, but it is possible to scratch sensitive areas of your partner(s) with very cold, freshly cracked ice if you aren’t careful.
Don’t collect icicles from outdoors to use (it’s probably not the weather for it anyway if there are any) and don’t use frosty scrapings from the freezer- they will be teeming with bacteria and chemicals. Always only use fresh, clean ice.
Ice is, of course, easy to make yourself with freezer trays, that can vary in shape, size and even come in novelty moulds. As ice melts rather fast in play, it is better to select larger mould shapes to work with and make sure the ice is abundant. Ice cubes look amazing glistening in a crystal dish or silver ice bucket next to your play area. You can even boil the water before making the ice to make the cubes harder and crystal clear.
It can be tempting to experiment with the form of the ice you want to make – food colouring can be used to tint it, though it makes for a messier clean up, or fruit juices can be frozen to make for more tempting choices to lick and play with, though the sugar and acid content means that they will make you sticky and should be kept away from vaginal areas. Inserting an ice lolly or any sugar source penetratively is not good for vaginal health. Equally, any ice that goes in that area should be very clean- never scoop it out of your drink to use.
If food play is your thing, or you want to mix up the sensations with a little more gastronomic gratification, try freezing some watery fruits like orange or watermelon, or using icecream. The play and clean-up will be messier but it becomes more of a cooling sensual feast in addition to just the deliciously shivery skin sensations. You can teasingly feed your partner the frozen fruits, stroke the pieces down their neck and blur the boundaries between the gastronomic and pornographic delights.
Whatever form of ice you use, you will want to make sure you have a good supply on hand, as most pieces will last much less than a minute on hot skin and warm hands.
How to use ice
Before you begin, select a good area to work. You’ll want somewhere private and free from disturbances, with a comfortable place to sit or lie that can be protected from water, and obviously nothing electrical nearby. Outdoor furniture may work, a bed with a good waterproof sheet over it or a few layers of towels. Remember that however much ice you use, that’s the amount of water that’s going to end up on the furniture and floor. You’ll also need some hand towels or kitchen towels to dry yourself and your partner off as you go. Ice and water are slippery, so make sure you keep the floor dry and exercise caution.
With your partner’s enthusiastic consent, take a cube in your hand and slowly run it along the more sensuous areas of the non-erogenous zones of the body first. Try it in circles on the inner wrist, run it up the inner arm to the elbow and back down. Bring it up over the shoulder, around the base of the neck and round to the centre of the chest. Slow, swirling motions are delectable and titillating. Bring the cube round the side of the breast or chest and circle round toward the nipple. When you reach the nipple, it will probably become erect. Ice can feel quite intense here, so don’t keep it in place too long unless your partner enjoys it that way.
Work your way around your partner’s body, using new pieces of ice as necessary. Experiment with the sensation as they feel it on the torso, sides, back, around the buttock and to the inner thighs. They may love it on their feet or running up the legs. Carefully try the inner thigh, and around the genital area. Directly on the genitals may be too intense, but may equally feel wonderful, so proceed cautiously.
If it’s exceedingly hot, your partner may enjoy the cooling that’s effected (in completely non-sexual ways as well as the more sensual ones) by ice to the temples, sides of the neck and wrists particularly. Anywhere the pulse can be felt or has a lot of surface vasculature is going to make them feel cooler much more quickly.
Advanced Ice play ideas
-Put ice on your own lips and mouth before oral play, adding a new sensation to what you normally do. Cold fingers from holding the ice can feel delicious on the skin on a hot day, and the touch of your icy hand will erect the most disinterested of nipples.
-Work ice play into your bondage routine. If you enjoy some light shibari or tying, adding ice to your sensory play while you tie and tease will mix up the repertoire and make it a fresh new experience for you both.
-In addition to just stroking the ice along the skin, you can drip the icy water from a distance, creating anticipation and excitement for the next moment of sensation.
-After stroking the ice along a pathway on your partner’s body, you can warm it back up again and create a shiver of enjoyment by tracing the same path immediately afterwards with your tongue. This is especially fun to do if you have flavoured your ice.
-Place an ice cube on your partner’s chest as they lie down, then use your mouth to blow it along their skin towards their naval. The extra wind from blowing will cool the skin even more rapidly as the cold water evaporates, and the ice cube will take an unpredictable zigzag path, pausing between breaths. It can be a delicious torture.
-Incorporate ice play into your threesome or group sex – when there is a lot going on, the surprise and delight of ice in a hot steamy mix of sensations can make for a unique experience, even for the most jaded and blazé of veteran swingers. With less experienced threesome-afficionado’s there may often be times when one of the parties ends up a little neglected due to the geometry of the situation. In this case, coming in with ice play to the skin of any remaining areas that can be reached can both keep the odd-man-out occupied productively and heighten the experience for the other partner or partners who receive the benefit of the shivery delights.
- Temperature play skin safe toys are a godsend for those who love ice play and cold play but don’t love the mess. There are sex toys which can be kept in the refrigerator, never the freezer, ready to use, which can safely be inserted internally or used externally.
-If you and your partner enjoy spanking or impact play, use ice to soothe freshly pinked areas. Areas which have become red feel blissful with the gentle touch and application of ice afterwards. Focus your ice play here gently and the soothing sensations are both relieving and erotic.
How to get started with ice play in the bedroom
If you have fallen into a sexual rut with your partner or don’t feel confident suggesting new things to try, ice in hot weather can be a very easy one to go for. Ice play can also be started in a more impromptu way (with a consenting partner), when everyone is very hot, by getting a small glass of clean ice from the freezer and using it to gently cool their pressure points, gradually becoming more sensual in the strokes and areas touched. If you have a partner who is reluctant to try new things, this gentle introduction may be a lovely experience that changes their mind about it.
Ultimately, it’s never too hot to have sex. Not if you know how to choose the right kind of sex.