The hot, sweet burn of wax dripping on your inner thigh, the tingling shivers of an icy mouth on your nipples, or the sensual heat of warm massage oil being drizzled slowly on your back — our bodies and brains respond so beautifully to even the slightest change in temperature.
Temperature play comes in many forms and can range from soft and sensual to pleasurably painful, depending on how spicy you like it! It’s a fantastic way to ignite your senses and deliver full body pleasure.
What we so often think of as sex takes place in our genitals, and while you sure can have a hell of a good time in that district, it definitely pays to venture out and explore the rest of your body, and temperature play provides the perfect way to do it.
Why Try Temperature Play?
If you’ve never toyed with temperature play before, you might be wondering why on earth you would want to expose your sensitive areas to hot and cold temperatures. Here are my top reasons why temperature play is the perfect way to turn up the heat in the bedroom:
- Temperature play awakens the senses and gives your brain and body a new sensory experience.
- It increases sensitivity, heightening the intensity of every touch, kiss, lick, or flick.
- It toys with your sense of anticipation as you wait for the rush of heat or cold to kiss your skin. The the thought alone can be enough to get your heart pumping!
- We have so many associations with different temperatures that can be activated by temperature play: hot, fiery passion, the welcoming warmth of a partner, the goosebumps that shiver across your body when you are moved by emotion.
- We get a sense of danger from playing with temperatures that can feel exhilarating.
- New experiences with a partner can help enhance intimacy as they require a deep level of trust and respect.
The Best Sex Toys for Your Temperature Play Toolkit
There are so many ways to engage in temperature play, and you can adjust it to suit your needs and desires, so there really is something for everyone. Whether you are getting hot and bothered with a partner or spicing up your solo sessions, sex toys can be a great tool for temperature play. I’ve gathered my top picks for your temperature play toolbox, and I’ve added some DIY options to try if you are looking to test the waters.
But before you go and microwave your magic wand, not all sex toy materials can be heated, so read on to find out which ones can and how to do it safely!
Stainless Steel Sex Toys
Chances are when you think of stainless sex toys, you think of cold, hard metal because, well, that’s what it is! But maybe you haven’t considered how pleasurable that can be or that metal is easy to heat up as well. As well as being the perfect temperature play tool, metal sex toys are great for intense internal massage, and they are easy to clean. You can find metal cock rings and metal anal beads
How to Heat and Cool Stainless Steel Sex Toys
Place your toy in a bowl of warm (not hot) or cool (not cold) water and let it rest and adjust to the temperature of the water. You can keep the water and put the toy back in the water again as necessary. Alternatively, you can wrap your (clean) steel sex toy in a clean cloth and pop it in the fridge to cool down, but avoid putting it in the freezer as you definitely don’t want any sensitive parts getting stuck to it tongue-on-a-pole style.
Best Metal Dildo for Temperature Play: njoy Pure Wand
It’s no secret that I (and pretty much every other sex toy enthusiast) love the njoy Pure Wand. Deserving of the name wand, it has a magical ability to provide the perfect angle and pressure to make your g- or p-spot sing! Not only that, the stainless steel heats and cools beautifully. The two weighted balls are perfect for tracing cold lines over your partner’s most sensitive parts or giving a heated up, deep muscle massage. If you want even more info, check out my full review of the Pure Wand.
Best Metal Butt Plug for Temperature Play: njoy Pure Plugs
njoy really know their stuff when it comes to designing top-notch stainless steel sex toys that hit all the right spots, and their butt plug range is no exception. The Pure Plugs are a masterpiece of design with their full round bulbs, long thin neck, and finger loop that makes them easy to use on yourself or a partner. You can gently heat the plug to help your anal muscles relax or cool it for a tingly surprise. And, with three sizes from small to large, there’s a plug for every butt! If the Pure Plug isn’t your perfect match, there are plenty more metal butt plugs in the sea!
Glass Sex Toys
I know this goes against all your instincts, but before you rule out the idea, know that glass sex toys are made from borosilicate glass and not the fragile glass you’ll find in your kitchen cupboard!
Borosilicate glass is made from silica and boron trioxide, which makes it much stronger and able to withstand heating and cooling, unlike the everyday glass we are used to.
These qualities make it a fantastic sex toy material for temperature play! It’s also non-porous, easy to sterilize, and comes in the most beautiful designs!
How to Heat and Cool Glass Sex Toys
Similarly to stainless steel sex toys, the easiest way to heat or cool your glass sex toys is to pop them (carefully) into some warm or cold water and leave them for a few minutes to adjust to the temperature and you are good to go!
You can also wrap it up and pop it in the fridge, but you don’t want to leave it for too long.
You should avoid putting glass in the freezer as extreme temperatures can lead to damage. If you are not into either a dildo or a butt plug, you can also have a look at these guides on the best glass wands, the best glass anal beads, the best glass vibrators (yup, it’s a thing!), or the best glass prostate massager. One of the best glass sex toy brands you should keep an eye out for is Icicles.
Best Glass Dildos: Tracey Cox Supersex Glass Dildo Set
This duo of dildos from Tracey Cox is sleek, sensual, and gives you lots of ways to play! The curves are perfect for getting to your g-spot while the textures add another layer of stimulation. The biggest bonus of having two glass dildos is you can heat one and cool the other to really toy with your senses. If you want to make it even more intense, add in a blindfold so the recipient really doesn’t know what they are getting!
Best Glass Butt Plug: Chrystalino Expert Glass Butt Plug 4 Inch
Beautiful and incredibly pleasurable, the Chrystalino Expert Glass Butt Plug features a 1.5-inch wide bulb with a slim tip for easy insertion and a T-bar base to prevent the plug from being fully inserted. The size is perfect for beginners and feels fantastically smooth against the skin, especially when heated or cooled.
Best Set: Double Pleasure Glass Textured Dildo & Butt plug 2-Piece Set
If you don’t want to choose between vaginal and anal penetration then you don’t have to! This gorgeous glass set is ready to please you in every way you desire! Both the dildo and butt plug have flared bases, making them both suitable for anal and vaginal use. The beautiful blue swirls add texture that can be felt with every movement while the bulbed ends are perfect for g- or p-spot massage.
Self-Heating Sex Toys
If the rigidity of glass or metal toys isn’t your thing or you don’t want the added step of heating your own toys, you can indulge in the pleasure of self-heating sex toys!
Yes, they really do it all these days.
Self-heating sex toys are also great if you are all about the vibrating sex toys or you can’t live without soft silicone. The soothing heat also does wonders for helping you to relax.
For obvious safety reasons, the temperature doesn’t go that high above body temperature but your genitals are a lot more sensitive to even the smallest changes in temperature and the gentle warming can really transform your experience.
Best Warming Vibrator: Lora DiCarlo Drift
The Drift heats to a toasty 40 degrees, giving the perfect rush of warmth to both relax and excite.
This vibrator also has a curved, sculpted tip that’s perfect for stimulating the g-spot, clitoris, or any other external erogenous zones. With 3 patterns and 7 modes of vibration, you’ve also got plenty of different settings to play with.
Best Warming Cock Sleeve: Blowmotion Warming Masturbator
The warming function of the Blowmotion sleeve creates the familiar warmth of your partner’s body and when combined with some water-based lube, you are in for a real treat.
If that wasn’t enough, it also vibrates giving the shaft and tip of the penis the extra stimulation, it never knew it needed!
Candles and Wax Play
There’s something incredibly satisfying about dipping your fingertips in candle wax, from the first pinch of the heat to cool tightness as the wax hardens on your skin, so it’s no wonder wax can work wonders on the rest of your body. For safety reasons, you should never use wax on the head, face, or genitals and you should not drip it inside the body.
If you are just getting started, a warming massage candle made from soy wax, like this one from Lovehoney, is the best place to start. It has a low melting point so there’s less risk of the wax getting too hot. You can drizzle the melted wax on your partner’s body, followed by a sensual massage.
If you are looking for something with a little more spice, paraffin dripping candles, like this 3 pack of Drip Pillar Candles from LaCire, have a higher melting point, so the wax is a little hotter when it hits your skin.
SAFETY: To reduce the risk of burns or fire, blow the candle out before dripping the wax and always test the temperature before starting.
Easy DIY Tools for Temperature Play
If you aren’t in a position to buy a temperature play sex toy, aren’t sure if temperature play is for you, or you just can’t wait to give it a go, there are some simple ways to try temperature play with things you already have.
Ice is a super simple way to give yourself or your partner chills of pleasure and turn their senses up to full volume. Slide the ice over their skin or let the cold water drip on their body. If you love ice and want to take it a step further, you can make yourself a chilldo — also known as an ice dildo. A word of caution — never use ice straight out of the freezer as it can stick to the skin, which as you’ll probably agree, isn’t the sexiest!
One of the greatest sex tools of all time, your mouth can also be heated or cooled to create new levels of oral pleasure as you lick, suck or nibble your partner’s body. Using your mouth also creates a greater sense of intimacy as you share the sensation of the temperatures together. To take the heat up, warm your mouth with a hot drink before sharing the warmth with your partner. It’s best to avoid sugary drinks if you are going to be giving oral sex, particularly if the recipient is a vulva owner. To give your oral delights the Iceman touch, hold an ice cube in your mouth before teasing your partner’s sensitive spots.
Popsicles or Frozen Fruit and Veg
First and foremost, food should be kept away from genitals, as it can cause infections. It can however be a fun way to tease the rest of the body. You can slide frozen fruit or a sweet popsicle over your partner’s body and then use your tongue to slowly lick it off. The alternating temperatures of the cold shock followed by the warmth of your tongue will send your partner’s senses into overdrive!
Chill Your Lube
Pop your lube or massage oil in the fridge to cool down before using it for some chilly solo or partner play. Water-based lubrication is always a good option as it’s sex toy and condom compatible and it is suitable for use inside the vagina and anus!
Temperature Play Safet
It should go without saying that safety considerations are crucial when experimenting with temperature play. Here are some top tips to keep you safe when enjoying temperature play:
- All participants should be safe, sane, sober and give consent. Drugs and alcohol can interfere with our pain perception and risk evaluation, so we might be tempted to take things further than is safe. You should also follow the FRIES model of consent; it must be freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific.
- Negotiate boundaries before engaging in temperature play with a partner, respect the boundaries, and make sure to check in with them as you go.
- Keep safety equipment on hand. That could be a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and phone in case of emergency.
- Never use extreme temperatures, especially on your genitals or inside the body, as you can cause the body to go into shock. Always seek treatment when necessary.
- Always check the temperature on yourself before using anything on your partner.
- If playing with a partner, never leave them alone during a temperature play scene, especially if they are restrained.
Temperature Play Aftercare
Aftercare is something we need to incorporate into all shades of sex, not only the kinkier stuff. It helps to take care of both partners’ emotional needs and enhances intimacy by demonstrating how we care for our partners. This is especially important when taking part in a BDSM scene as it can help negate Sub or Dom drop. Everyone’s idea of aftercare will be a little different, but the main aim is to make your partner and yourself feel cared for and safe, so things like cuddling, talking, and having something to eat or drink are great things to include. Here are some temperature play specific ideas:
- Apply soothing aloe vera lotion to the skin.
- Wear cosy clothes and lie under a blanket.
- Reflect on your experiences together.