Sensation: Temperature Play

This Sexploratorium Sensation Collection includes paraffin or blended candles, torches, cups, wands, and other accessories for temperature, fire, and wax play.

Temperature play is using the sensations of heat and coolness to stimulate the skin. Usually this is done by actual heated or chilled objects, but sometimes warming or cooling ointments or salves (like menthol or capsicum oil lotions) are used to achieve a heating or cooling effect. 

Wax play is a common form of heat play, and while Sexploratorium sells many low temperature soy based massage candles (that melt at about 100 degrees fahrenheit) in our massage department, BDSM players generally prefer candles with temperatures of 110-130 for added intensity. Paraffin candles have melting points in these ranges and thus are typically ideal for BDSM sensation play.

Why not just use your candles at home? Taper/Beeswax candles burn hotter, require added caution and so are generally not recommended for wax play, especially for beginners.
Dyes and scents can also make wax burn hotter. 

Wax Play Precautions: Different people have different skin tolerances, and what one person finds “warm” may leave a blister on another person’s skin. Barring allergy to scent or dye, wax is generally considered safe for all surfaces of the body. Keep in mind that different areas of the body will respond differently to wax (and really any temperature or sensation play). Nipples and inner thighs, for example, will be more sensitive than the back or the palm of the hand.

Also note that height from which wax is dripped affects sensation delivered (heat). Always advise customers to start a wax drip at least 40” from the skin to allow the wax to cool before contact, and then slowly move closer as they have determined their partner’s ability to handle the heat. 

At the end of a wax scene, other sensation toys like knives are often used to scrape the wax off the body of the bottom allowing them to shower the remaining wax off more easily. 

Fire Play is less messy, and generally not as hot, because the cooler, lower end of the flame is the only part that typically comes into contact with the skin. 

  • Fire Wands: Most fire wands sold at Sexploratorium are cotton, although Kevlar wands and canes can usually be ordered for a higher price. Cotton swabs and torches work well with 70% isopropyl alcohol, but Kevlar can withstand 90% alcohol which burns hotter. So Kevlar wands = more intense/hot fire play. 
  • Fire Cups: Uses glass cups similar to acupressure cups sold with pumps, except that the suction is created by a flame consuming the oxygen in the glass cups rather than a pump that removes the oxygen. The pressure created by the suction of fire cupping can feel pleasant the recipient. Depending on how long the cups are left on the skin, the recipient will be left with circular shaped marks (essentially, glorified hickies), which is ideal for folks who like marks but don’t enjoy a lot of pain or intense sensation.