Oral sex and ice cubes?

Dear Alice,

I see that in several messages and answers, that reference is made to oral sex accompanied by the use of ice cubes. I'm pretty ignorant about this and would be very grateful to you if you would tell me more about this. My boyfriend and I have a very good sex life and we enjoy making love, but we're also on the look-out for new things to try. I've asked my friends about this and some of them thought it was a joke! Thanks for the help.

— A curious Irishwoman

Dear A curious Irishwoman,

Looking for new things to try is always a fun adventure! In terms of incorporating ice cubes in your sex life, this is an example of what is known as "temperature play." This form of sexual experimentation involves heightening you and your partner's senses through temperature changes, or apply heat or cold to your partners erogenous zones, such as the genitals or nipples. When experimenting with new sex tactics, communicating with your partner to see what makes them feel good, what they would like to try, and what they don't want to try is essential. 

So why ice cubes? When changes in temperature occur, thermoreceptors within your skin become activated causing your body to experience an influx of sensations that can ultimately lead to arousal during foreplay or sex. Some folks find that using colder temperatures on their erogenous zones can offer quite the pleasurable experience due to the cooling sensation that ice, or other cold objects, emit, while others may find incorporating hot temperature play to be more satisfying and arousing. On top of using ice cubes, some other examples of temperature play include incorporating cold or hot drinks or foods, using candle wax, preparing a hot or cold bath for you and your partner, or even chilling freezer-friendly sex toys.

So what are some of the benefits to this kind of erotic play? For starters, given how temperature play involves both partners to be communicative with one another, some feel that it can allow them to feel even more connected with their partner. Additionally, this form of play can allow you to discover not only new ways to please or turn on your partner, but it can also be fun to discover new ways to be turned on yourself. However, some people may not like the feeling, or may be too sensitive to the sensations given off my the temperature changes, so continuous communication is essential, especially when trying something new in your sex life.

In addition to temperature changes, there are other many things you can try to explore the sensory experience of sex, such as playing with different textures and flavors. For example, you and your partner can play with ribbed, studded or other textured condoms. There are also flavored condoms that include mint, banana, cola, strawberry and grape flavors. Additionally, you can include food items in your sex play, but be mindful because any oil-based product will break down latex in latex condoms. Whatever you choose, there are many ways you can increase the sensations of sex with some additional props!

Happy experimenting!

Last updated Jul 29, 2022
Originally published Oct 11, 1996

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