Originally publiushed November 2020. L:ast updated August 2023.
What is sensory deprivation?
Sensory deprivation is exactly what it sounds like on the packaging, it's the depriving of one (or more) of the senses. For most people on the lighter end of the scale, this might simply be a blindfold. On the heavier end of the scale though, this could include full head hoods and vacuum beds.
Why might someone be into sensory deprivation?
Sensory deprivation is all about losing one (or more) sense to focus on the others. As human beings, we rely on all of our senses, all of the time, for example, even when I blog and listen to music, my fingers are giving me the sense of touch and telling my brain that I am striking the keys, and my nose is telling my brain that there are no foul odours in the air. On the day to day though, those senses work at a purely perfunctory level that only ever serve to help us do what we need to and help keep us safe. When we take away one of those senses, the others are quickly heightened to compensate for the loss. To use the most common example, if you take away sight, hearing becomes more attuned to help the body make sense of its surroundings. The skin becomes more sensitive, helping to determine the presence of other bodies and surfaces in the room, even the airflow around the room becomes more noticeable, which you might not have noticed before. People who are into sensory deprivation often seek an experience that allows them to "feel". Of course they've felt before and have been quite alive for a long time, but their mind and body is so on autopilot that they have never truly had to focus their senses on their environment. Don't forget, with one sense gone, all of the others become heightened, so sensual candles can smell nicer than before, touch can feel more arousing than before and a voice or some music can resonate even more than ever before. Sensory deprivation can sound like such a basic thing, but it can be so intense and meaningful between a couple. It's a great trust-builder, too!
How did you discover you were into sensory deprivation?
I'm a sensualist, so I'm a huge lover of all things food, drink, touch, smells etc. I love giving and receiving sensory deprivation, I love exploring new sensations and I love the smile on my partner's face or that gasp when I do something they weren't expecting me to do. Sensory deprivation is also best combined with sensation play.
Share with us a hot memory featuring sensory deprivation.
Okay, so this is something that shouldn't have been sexy, but it was actually incredibly sexy! At We The Curious, the science museum here in Bristol, they have an exhibit which is all about the nerves and the senses, about the neural pathways and how our brain works out left from right, arm from leg etc. The exhibit is fairly simple; there is a blindfold and you put the blindfold on then your partner (who, for the sakes of science, is just a fellow lab partner here) touches either your left or right arm and you guess which side it is. Simple stuff, right? Well, in theory, except that my partner was my sadist of a husband and He. Would. Not. Touch. Me. I became aware of him circling around me but of course I couldn't see what he was up to. For all I knew, he could have even left me all alone in the middle of the science museum! After a few minutes, he did touch me and I gasped in a way that was not entirely appropriate in a museum full of school children. Hot? Yes, but best kept to the bedroom!
Do you have a favourite toy for sensory deprivation?
Sure do! Ye ole faithful black rose blindfold, gorgeous, isn't she? You can't really see her roses here, but she has a sparkly embossed rose pattern and a black faux fur lining. Cosy and completely dark!
What advice would you give to someone into sensory deprivation?
Next, start slow and gentle. Try a blindfold first, then maybe a hood, and maybe, maybe work up. Keep communication open at all times - sensory deprivation can be a very immersive experience, so check in with your partner often. If you don't have the basics of trust and communication with your partner and the ability to handle it when they do start going through a potentially new, exciting and incredibly sexy experience, you should probably not be doing this together.
How do you make sensory deprivation work, as a disabled person?
Communication, communication, communication. I'm prone to panic attacks, so having a safeword (or even just general communication) is paramount. In the height of panic, I have forgotten my safeword before- it's not ideal, but such is reality that sometimes that happens. Playing with a partner who is aware of the signs of panic and can slow or even stop a scene is key, and is also why really, it's important to not get too kinky with someone until you really know and understand one another.
If you're playing with someone with limited mobility, think about safety first. Make sure they're in a space free of obstanles to bump into or surfaces that they could injure themselves on, or fall off of. If mental impairment is an issue, go very slow and steady, working on trust and exploring together at all times. Lastly, monitor your submissive closely, and stop immediately at the first signs of distress.
That's it from me for this post! HAve you tried sensory deprivation before? Do you rate it or hate it? Give this post a like, share, or leave a comment below. Alternatively, click here for more What's Your Kink? posts!
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun.
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