Wet, Hot, American Summer – a piece about sensation play*
My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congeal’d with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.
It’s mid-July. You’re opening your KinkCrate in the hottest part of the year. I don’t know where you are in the world, but KinkCrate comes from Florida – home of the hottest, wettest summers anywhere in the United States. In Florida, Summer is a sadistic Mistress. She licks at you, from head to toe, with a fiery tongue. She pulls you close and whispers against the back of your neck with warm breath. She strikes every inch of your exposed flesh until you’re pink and tender and your muscles ache with heat. She wraps her hands around your throat and makes it nearly impossible to breathe. As you’re gasping for your safeword and begging for relief, she sends a burst of cool air crashing into all that angry heat. Her skies darken to near blackness and you see the lightning flash, high and bright. At the precise moment you think you can take no more, you’re flooded with pounding rain; soothing and stormy and full of passion. Florida Summer thunderstorms are intimidating, exciting, and undeniably sexy. Inspired by our cruel mistress, Summer, this month’s KinkCrate is all about heightened senses. So, let’s talk about how you can use this month’s crate to heat things up – and cool things off – and get the thunder rolling.
When you hear the phrase “heightened senses” you might think that it’s about finding more of something. While I’m personally totally here for harder spankings, faster motors, and deeper penetration, when you’re exploring the world of sensation play, more isn’t necessarily the goal. In psychology, when we talk about sensation seeking, what we are really talking about is a change in sensation. If someone is a Sensation Seeker, this itch is scratched not by constant escalation to more intense or extreme experiences, but by fluctuations in the ways experiences make them feel. For example, if a Sensation Seeker has spent all day in a loud, exciting space, what they may crave more than anything is to go home and slip into a quiet bubble bath. This shift from crowded, noisy, brightly-lit garden party to the soft, warm, dimly-lit solitude of their garden tub might be incredibly satisfying and feel very extreme because they engaged all five senses in totally different ways. As you move through this month’s crate, think about the ways that you can engage all five of your senses in new and creative ways.
One of the best tools you can have in your sensation play toolkit besides that blindfold is a glass sex toy. What you received in your crate is medical grade silica – also known as borosilicate glass or, more commonly, Pyrex. Yes, that’s right, the same Pyrex glass you can use to freeze a lasagna casserole for months; the same Pyrex glass that can withstand the fires of Mordor when you forget you put that lasagna in the oven. Borosilicate glass is strong, durable, and deliciously soft with smooth, rounded edges. It is non-porous, which means it can be thoroughly disinfected by being boiled or placed in a steamy dishwasher. It is compatible with all kinds of lubricant and all safer-sex barrier materials. It is completely hypoallergenic. It can be transformed into any color in the rainbow, twisted and texturized, and shaped into beautiful works of art. It can also endure and retain a wide-array of temperatures. All of this make Pyrex glass absolutely perfect for sexual activity and sensual play.
[A picture containing wall, indoor, table, thing Description generated with very high confidence] Your glass toy will respond to changes in temperature quickly and hold its temperature for a long time. Don’t heat or cool your toy using the freezer or microwave. At room temperature, glass toys feel cool to the touch, which can feel even cooler against nipples or between legs. They’ll also respond to your body heat, meaning that they’ll start to slowly heat up as you start to heat up.
The best way to change the temperature of glass toys before play is to submerge them in water that is the same temperature you want your toy to be – water that is heated or cooled to levels that are safe for contact with even the most sensitive areas of your body. Keep in mind that what feels good to palms, lips, or fingertips, may feel like way-too-much to the tender skin twixt your nethers.
To heat up your toy: Start with a bowl of room-temperature water. Use a tea kettle or other source of boiling water to gradually increase the temp of the water to steamy and warm, making sure to stir it up to avoid hot spots. Test the water by using your finger tips to drop a bit on the soft skin inside your wrist, as this will closely simulate the sensitivity of other areas on your body that may come into contact with your new plaything. Use a warm toy like a hot stone massage, relaxing away tension. Do you like humiliation play? The use of a warm toy for anal sex provides an interesting sensation of vulnerability and exposure and may just get you (or your partner) blushing. (If you’ve used a toy for anal penetration, make sure you wash it thoroughly with soap and water before using it for vaginal penetration.)
To cool your toy: Submerge your toy in ice water. You can experiment by adding more ice if you want to drop the temp even lower. Watch your partner wriggle and gasp as you use a cold toy to make nipples rock hard and bring nerve endings to life. Don’t use the freezer, though, as this can make the toy far too cold and put you at risk for skin damage. Resist the urge to go from one extreme temperature to another with a glass toy. Going from freezing to fiery quickly can cause your toy to crack.
You can use any lubricant with your glass toy, but silicone lubricant responds best to temperature play. I recommend Überlube (https://www.uberlube.com/).
Fire and Ice
Your crate also contains a fun, flirty ice tray, and a low-temp candle. Pro tip: Use distilled or purified water (or boil your water), then, try adding a couple of drops of flavored, water-based lubricant (like the strawberry kiwi packets included in your crate) to the water in your ice before you freeze it. This adds a hint of sweetness that is body safe for tasting and penetration. Slowly trail the ice cube along your body (or your partners), starting at the lips, teasing nipples and soft skin, and if you or your partner have a vagina, slide your icy fingers and the melty cube inside and enjoy the rush of sensations as heat and cool collide in that most delicate area. The flame of your low-temp candle will burn hot, but when the wax falls on to your skin it will feel more like a playful nip than a stingy bite, making it safe to use all over the outside of your body. Pair the heat of the wax with an icy glass toy, or pair a warm toy with a handful of ice cubes and custom create an experience full of excitement and arousal.
In my opinion, a blindfold is the sexiest sex toy a person can have. Several things happen when you’re wearing a blindfold. First, you’re no longer looking around the room distracted by nonsense like dirty laundry, imperfections in your body, cracks in the ceiling, or socks on the floor. You also can’t see what your partner is up to, which adds a sense of mystery and anticipation to the experience as you try to use your other senses to guess at what might come next. When you remove the use of one of your senses, your brain routes that energy to the use of your other senses, enhancing them. Was the thud of a paddle against their hand? Is that the jingle of a belt buckle? A blindfold can add spice to even the most vanilla encounter, so I encourage you to get creative with your blindfold as you explore all of what’s in your crate. Your blindfold and your glass toy make an excellent pair, whether you’re playing alone or with a friend (or with several