A Look Into Sensuality and Sensory Deprivation

Valentines Day might inspire you to seek new growth in your romantic and sexual relationship with a loved one, and if using a holiday to jumpstart this humanly-essential exploration is what you need, then have at it! 

But in the end, this style of internal and intimate growth, both with yourself and your partner, is something that should remain at the forefront of your love life consistently, all holidays aside. 

And speaking of love in the air, we are really impressed by this woman-owned adult-toy website, V for Vibes. There’s so much stigma and uncertainty surrounding the raw nature of sex, with much of it being falsely portrayed by Holywood or with media leaving a bad taste in their consumer’s mouths. Kinks, fetishes, and desires become intimidating, unrealistic, and unusual. 

And V for Vibes, to promote female empowerment (and all humans, for that matter)in the bedroom, is a beacon of hope in de-stigmatizing something as beautiful and spiritual as sex. By utilizing a real-life take on sex education, they are helping people to embrace their sexuality in safe, comfortable, and applicable means. 

As a perfect example, today, we will explore the world of sensory deprivation, going beyond our general comfort zones to solidify our own place in also promoting women’s empowerment.

How is sensory deprivation a tool for increasing sensuality (referring to the response of your five senses in the bedroom), why is this a perfect place to begin a new journey of sexual discovery, and how can you begin safely and simply doing so?

What Is Sensory Deprivation?

Sensory deprivation is a practice where a person is deprived of one of their senses. In the BDSM world, that person is typically a submissive who is being punished or disciplined by their dominant. Being deprived of a sense that you use on a daily basis might make you feel more vulnerable, but it can also serve as a distraction meant to help you focus on other senses that heightens your pleasure as a result. 

What Is the Relationship Between Sensuality and Sensory Deprivation? 

Since sensory deprivation can be practiced while partners are engaging in intercourse, it might translate into sensual sex where you and your lover take things slow and savor every sensation. And if you want to move towards the land of power play one day, you’ll already have all the necessary skills and knowledge to do so.  

What Is The Difference Between Sensory Deprivation and Sensory Play?

These terms are often used interchangeably but differ significantly. While sensory play is about experimentation with stimulating different senses, sensory deprivation is a bit more extreme because a submissive partner is prevented from using one of their basic functions. This gives the dominant more power and makes more distinction between these two roles. Being deprived of a sense can often feel humiliating, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but can help you discover what you like in bed. 

The general rule is that if you’re looking to try sensory deprivation, do it with someone you trust and take things slow. You can start by having intercourse like you always do and gradually introduce this practice into your sex life. 

How is Sensory Deprivation Used in BDSM?

To understand how sensory deprivation works, look at the breakdown of the 5 senses below. 

Sense of Sight  

The key here is anticipation. When waiting for your partner to give you pleasure, you first rely on your sense of sight. Once you’re deprived of this sense, you might feel a mix of excitement and anxiety, and you’re forced to engage your other senses. Taking away your ability to see can intensify everything else; you might become more sensitive and responsive to touch and notice sounds you hadn’t paid attention to before. A submissive in BDSM will typically be deprived of the sense of sight to make them focus on bodily sensations that aim to tease them or even punish them. For example, a dominant might tickle them with feathers, pinch their nipples, utilize a BDSM pinwheel for nerve stimulation, or use ice to stimulate their erogenous zones. A submissive has no choice but to fully concentrate on what they’re experiencing because they can’t watch their partner’s movement. Another popular option is incorporating dirty talk and turning a submissive on with words. But remember, always use a safe word to communicate when the activities have gone too far!

How To Put it Into Practice

The easiest way is, of course, by using a blindfold. It doesn’t have to be a blindfold per se – you can use clothing or any other material. Other options include turning off the lights and purchasing a BDSM hood that restricts your view.  

Sense of Smell

While not a very popular method, blocking the sense of smell can be an interesting experience. It not only allows you to focus on other senses but also gives your partner an element of surprise if they want to arouse you with perfumes later on or any other specific scent. 

How To Put It Into Practice

If you’ve ever seen ‘She’s The Man’, you won’t be surprised that one of the methods is blocking your nose with a tampon. Yes, as funny as it looks, it also works pretty well. Just make sure the tampon is big enough and doesn’t get stuck inside. You can also head to a BDSM shop and get a head harness that comes with a nose hook that should do the trick. 

This is also the ideal time to realize the relationship between the senses here. Although you can choose to restrict smell, the sense of smell becomes heightened by restricting other senses, such as sight. Now that lovely candle smells so much sweeter, the scent of your partner’s body is so much stronger. Smell becomes stronger as sight weakens, and this is a unique and pleasurable experience when combined with the joys of intimacy. 

Are you starting to see why depriving yourself of one sense is such a potent asset behind closed doors? 

Sense of Touch

Depriving someone of the sense of touch while having sex might seem counterproductive. However, leaving touch out of the equation can result in a gradual arousal build-up and appreciating other senses instead. 

How To Put It Into Practice

The easiest way to put this into practice is by focusing on stimulating other senses. For example, your partner might focus on dirty talk and teasing you with smell to keep you aroused. Another option is reducing the sense of touch by separating the skin with a special wrap. Some people use numbing agents to completely get rid of the sense of touch, but this method carries health risks and isn’t that popular. Alternatively, a dominant can ban a submissive from touching themselves while teasing them by masturbating in front of them simultaneously. If you keep exploring sensory deprivation, you might find your own method that works best for you. 

As long as it is safe and consensual, then you’re on the right track. 

Sense of Hearing

People can be divided into two groups; those whom silence makes uncomfortable and those who find peace in it. If you belong to the first category, being deprived of the sense of hearing can be an effective way to help you explore other senses. Plus, if you enjoy mixing arousal with fear, it works great in combination with a blindfold. Not knowing what your partner will do to you next can be extremely arousing. On the other hand, removing the sense of hearing during intercourse can seem like real torture, and your partner should come up with other ways to show you they’re enjoying themselves. 

How To Put It Into Practice

To block some of the noise, you can use earplugs – not ideal, but the dominant partner can try to be as quiet as possible. If you want to remove it completely, noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. 

Alternatively, you can try to create a controlled sound environment by playing loud music, which drowns everything else out 

Sense of Taste

It’s hard to take away someone’s sense of taste since it’s not something we use to navigate the environment. However, dominants can tease submissives and make them wish they weren’t denied it. 

How To Put It Into Practice

A dominant can eat food in front of a submissive or place it in front of them without allowing them to taste it. Another method is overwhelming the sense of smell with strongly flavored food. Your partner can feed you spicy dishes or make you drink mouthwash. 

Can Sensory Deprivation Be Dangerous?

It depends on what tools are used to ensure sensory deprivation. For example, being wrapped to prevent you from touching yourself can reduce circulation and put you at risk of suffocation. Additionally, it can put you in a vulnerable position if you’re doing it with someone you don’t know well. Decide on a safe word before you begin experimenting, and let your partner know if something feels off. If done right, sensory deprivation can lead to more sensual sex and a better understanding of your and your partner’s needs, so don’t be afraid to experiment.