Sensory play: how incorporating all five senses will boost your sex life

The used panty marketplace

What exactly is it about sex that makes us feel oh, so good? Most of the time, we can get so wrapped up in the moment of passion that we forget ourselves, reduced to a puddle of nerve endings and electricity. If you ask the standard lover on the street, they’ll probably tell you that, obviously, touch is the most important sense during sex. 

But it turns out that many of us are underutilizing all of our senses – including touch. There’s way more to the bedroom than a handful of nerve clusters we rub together, and if you want to give your partner (and yourself) sex that you may have only dreamt of, you may just want to focus on expanding those sensory experiences.


I think we all must have gotten experimental with chocolate syrup or honey in the sack at least once in our lives, right? Turning yourself into a smorgasboard for your partner(s) is so common that it’s basically become yet another entry in the vanilla playbook (pun intended). But maybe we shouldn’t be writing food off just because it’s one of the safer ways to get experimental in bed – especially if we’ve been doing it all wrong.

Don’t just slather syrup on a dick and think you’re good to go. Turn your body into an art piece and play with flavors, textures, and temperatures. You may want to try putting different flavors on your body that are complementary, and invite your partner to lick one, then the other, so they can enjoy dazzling combinations as they work their way up between your thighs. Start with the food all the way out at your wrists or ankles and work your way inward, so you can enjoy the full sensation of being licked and loved on all over.

Of course, you should make sure it’s a flavor you both enjoy. You’ll be kissing at some point during this, so something that turns you both on is important. Chocolate and peanut butter are classics, but I’m thinking we should all be a little more adventurous: date syrup, wine in the belly button, or fig jam all sound more suited to my (expensive-ass) taste. You do you, but still – be smart. While sriracha may be amazing on rice, it’s not something I plan on showcasing on my body anytime soon.

And it may sound sexy to have something drip between your legs like you’re Aphrodite fresh from the sea, sweet syrups just aren’t good for your pH. If you’re willing to risk it for the scintillating image alone, then have at it – but sticking to your thighs or hip bones may leave you just as satisfied, and healthy enough to go at it again tomorrow.

However, there are some things that are both good for your body and for your taste buds, like raw coconut oil. This primo oil doubles as a lube (unless you’re using a condom), so you can slip and slide your way to the finish and make mutual oral that much more delicious. 

Considering our sense of taste during sex isn’t limited to what we put on our bodies. It’s just as important to make sure our bodies taste good, too. I’m not saying what we naturally put out isn’t divine, and I firmly believe that a great vagina tastes like a dang miracle, but good hygiene is a must. 

If you have semen, it goes beyond just giving yourself a good scrub. Have you ever thought about how your cum tastes? If you haven’t, now’s a good time to start. You’re actually in luck – you’ve got control over your own flavor. Nobody likes when spunk tastes funky. If you’re worried about how you stacks up, there are a few different things you should avoid:

  • Booze
  • Cigarettes 
  • Processed foods
  • Dairy
  • Red meat
  • Sulfuric foods like cauliflower and cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Loads of caffeine

To make your flavor worthy of a chef’s kiss, incorporate a few new things into your diet, like...

  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley
  • Wheatgrass
  • Mint
  • Pineapple
  • Celery
  • Cranberries

These healthy flavors all have me thinking it’s time for folks everywhere to whip out that juicer and make a healthy morning drink – your partner will thank you.


While this seems like a very obvious part of most peoples’ sex lives, it turns out we’re all most likely underutilizing our sense of sight when we go to town on one another. It’s more than just looking at someone and finding them attractive, although that has its perks as well.

To start playing with sight during sex, consider which positions give your partner a view to remember. For some, that can mean a close-up shot during 69, or a powerful view of you straddling your partner for a dance or as you ride them. When you see your partner flushed and ready, step back and admire their glorious bod splayed out on your bed. Delighting in those small moments makes the reward of mutual pleasure so much sweeter.

When you do finally get there, lick or nibble their thighs and look them in the eyes. And as you give oral, do it again. A confident lover is a sexy one, and making eye contact will make your partner shiver with pleasure. 

But don’t only think about sight once you’re having sex. Sometimes, this sense shines just because we’ve taken time to think about it before starting. Wear something sexy to get your partner in the mood, or sit them back in a chair and give them your best lap dance (you can even learn one online first). 

There’s more to our sense of sight than just looking at our partners as we grind. The ambiance of where we’re getting it on makes a world of difference, too. Once, I had sex inside of a redwood tree, and that stands out as some of the most satisfying sex of my life. It was transcendent.

We can’t all find a hollow redwood though, so minding how our home looks is a good enough second choice. A clean space matters – and it matters more to millennials than older generations. Clutter straight up inhibits our sex drives, and to be honest, I’m not surprised. In our Marie Kondo-obsessed generation, it’s no wonder a toppling pile of books we’ve never read might just kill our mood. 

Dirty dishes, unfolded clothes, and all those bills you keep meaning to take care of can stack against you when you’re trying to invoke pleasure. Nip it in the bud and turn your bedroom into a sanctuary. Up your lighting game (fairy lights are lovely), clean those sheets, and add some decoration. Hide your dirty clothes hamper in the closet. When the whole room encourages you to feel sexy, you’ll be a lot more inclined to rip your clothes off like you’re on the cover of a romance novel – and give your partner a view they won’t forget.

Breaking out the blindfolds

Employing sight doesn’t necessarily mean using it in full, either. Many people get off by taking away sight. Blindfolding your partner opens you both up to heightened communication, intensified sensations, and the freedom to try things you may be too shy to do when someone else is looking.

Consider the blindfold a delicious chance to play, and don’t worry about it being fancy – you won’t be able to see it anyway. Use whatever you have on hand: strips of fabric, ties, sleep masks, and scarves will all do the trick. Test out what it’s like to have both of you blindfolded, or just take turns. 

When you’re both blindfolded, it becomes a game of discovering each other’s bodies. Each goosebump, curve, ridge, or crevice becomes a small universe to explore with your fingers and mouth. You may be surprised by the struggles and delights side by side: maybe you struggle to land a kiss, or maybe you get so wrapped up in the moment that you’re just running your fingers lightly over your partner’s bare skin, listening to the hitch in their breathing as you pass over their most sensitive spots

If you take turns being blindfolded, you may even want to tie the blindfolded partner down, bending them to your sexy mercy completely. While they’re blindfolded, experiment by kissing, licking, and touching different parts of their body. You may want to incorporate feathers, silk, floggers, or your fingernails. Slowly work inward. Maybe they like to have their toes sucked, or maybe they’ll enjoy you kissing their wrists. When you kiss their neck, let them feel the warmth of your breath against their body.  Eventually, play with their hip bones or inner thighs. By taking your time, they’ll hone in on every sensation like it’s their first time feeling it. When you’re finally ready – and they’re begging for you to finish – you can finally give oral. Denied sight, they can sink into the bed and feel nothing but your mouth and hands conjuring that magic. 

Whether you’re incorporating ambiance, lingerie, or an incredible view – or taking sight off the table altogether – this sense is a powerhouse of potential for your sex life.


We already talked about the power of ambiance, so it’s no stretch of the imagination to get why sound is a powerful tool. To set the stage, start by turning off any distracting noises – take the kettle off the stove so you aren’t interrupted, turn the television off, or shut the door to keep the sound of the washing machine at bay. Then, add noises that enhance your game. If you live somewhere with a nice breeze, open the windows to hear the wind move the trees. If not, choose music that gets you in the mood. That can be a range of genres, and it varies from person to person, but something with a good beat and lyrics that don’t distract you too thoroughly is generally a safe bet.

But there’s one thing that’s better than even the sexiest song in the world: the sounds that come from you and your partner. Moans, heavy breathing, and that “yes” or “don’t stop” clues your partner in when they’re doing something right. Don’t be afraid to voice your pleasure. Doing so both boosts their confidence and lets them know what works for you. 

This is its own form of communication. And sometimes in the bedroom, the more direct you are, the better.If you are bold enough to be lear about what you want, your partner will be thrilled to hear it. The sound of a lover’s voice whispering their fantasies is tantalizing. If the thought of saying those out loud makes you blush, start small. Tell them little things you’d like, such as a kiss on the neck, and see how they respond to your direction. 

But be careful: some people enjoy rough talk or erotic humiliation, but not everyone is into it. Before you use potentially derogatory words, have a long conversation with your partner about how it makes them feel. Using the word “slut” may have made your last lover cum, but it could make your present lover cry. So play it safe. If erotic humiliation sounds like your cup of tea, talk it over well before any clothes come off.


I’ll come out and say it straight up: you’re reading this article on a blog for a used panty website right now. Obviously, smell reigns supreme when it comes to turning us on. We relish the smell of a lover (imagined or present). We sniff their shirts in their absence. I’m always getting up in my husband’s hair for a good whiff. If you love someone’s musk, don’t be afraid to lean into it; bury your nose in those pits and let the smell take you to new places.

The glory of scent isn’t limited to your partner’s own eau d’amor, however. In fact, this sense circles right on back to the importance of ambiance, baby. Start by taking away any bad smells first. If you’re hoping to have a great night, make sure any old or stale smells are cleaned up. You don’t want dirty socks, pizza, or even the smell of an unvented room lingering in your nostrils as you’re making out with your partner. Clean up any mess that could have a scent, and when you’re done, replace that smell with some incense or a favorite candle to keep you and your partners in the zone.

If you’re not into candles, choose a scented massage oil. One of my favorites is from Good Clean Love. Their quality ingredients are paired with some sexy scents that have me coming back to give my partner another rubdown time and again.

Not sure what smells set the stage? It’s a good rule of thumb that savory food smells aren’t very sexy. As much as I love soup, it’s not what you’d generally go for while making that sweet love. Instead, there seems to be a general consensus that sweeter smells like cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin spice (yes, I said it), and chocolate get all of us into that sexy zone. 

Before you write off pumpkin pie as “basic,” hold the phone. It turns out that penises scientifically just can’t say “no” to the power of the pumpkin. Looks like some of us better roll up our sleeves and start baking...or at least whip out that seasonal candle.

If you’re not much for the smell of food, there are plenty of essential oils to sprinkle in the corners of your room or dab on your neck before a date night. Lavender, for example, has been shown to up the frequency of sex overall. Maybe it’s all that good feng shui, or that you’re so relaxed you can actually think of a good Tinder quip, but whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Another classic, ylang ylang is a long-standing aphrodisiac with the scientific clout to back its claims up: the flower’s scent encourages relaxation and increases skin temperature, meaning it gets you and your lover all flushed and ripe for the plucking. For the record, I used to dab some ylang ylang on myself before hanging out with the guy who later became my husband, so I can tell you firsthand that this flower works like a charm. Cue the sunglasses emoji.

If none of these sell you on smell in the bedroom, you can always strike a major controversy and put trays of black licorice out – apparently it turns just about everyone on, even if only a handful of us love the taste. For me, I’ll stick with the ylang ylang. And okay, the pumpkin pie can stay, too.


The most obvious sense of them all, I saved the most complex for last. Like I said earlier, almost everyone would likely name touch as the number one sense to use during sex. And although the other four are vital, most people would be right. Touch matters. 

What some lovers misunderstand though is that touch is nuanced. The focus on this sense is often banished to one small area of our bodies. In so doing, we neglect so much of ourselves that deserves attention. Instead of focusing all your attention on the nerve endings in the clitoris or penish, think about the ones that go underappreciated: the toes, the backs of the knees, the crook of your elbow. The broad expanse of your back. These sensitive areas are open and waiting for any range of sensations.

When you feel comfortable with another person’s body, you may be less delicate than you had been in the past. You might have a confident hand that goes right to the places where your partner loves to be touched. While that knowledge of someone else’s body has definite benefits, you may lose something sweet in the process: those gentle grazes that come with hesitation. Fingertips tracing your arms and chest can trigger far more goosebumps and shivers than a firm hand can. 

When you think about shivers and anticipation, it can be downright disappointing when someone heads straight for the prize by putting their hands between your legs immediately. 

Unfortunately, some folks never grow out of this rookie mistake. Sure, there are a lot of nerves to play with in your primary erogenous zones, but what about the nerves along the legs and hips? 

When you focus on the rest of your partner’s body first, you’ll marvel at the way their body responds to your touch before you even land between their thighs. And once you finally find your way there, don’t fall back on routine. Experiment with different kinds of touch again. Use your fingernails or different sides of your tongue, and switch up the speed and pressure. Listen to your partner’s body and adjust based on their reactions.

Through it all, remember your hands and the places they land.

In the world of touch, there’s the soft and the teasing, but there’s also another world to explore: impact play. Known as spanking or flogging to some, impact play has two generally accepted classes of sensation: “stingy” and “thuddy.” The stinging sensations come from narrow toys like a cane, riding crop, or belt. Thuddy pleasures, on the other hand, are the gift of hands and paddles. While most people think of spankings as only happening across the backside, some people also enjoy the bright pleasure of being slapped across the face. These different kinds of pleasurable pain may sound alike to the uninitiated, but to those of us who love them, they are unique. Some people enjoy one and can’t stand the other – and you won’t know where your partner falls on that sliding scale until you ask them.

Just like with erotic humiliation, impact play requires a lot of conversation before the fun can begin. Talk to your partner about what sensations turn them on, what hard limits they have, and what they’re curious about exploring. Go slow together, and listen to what your bodies have to say. 

Playing with your senses is simple

All five senses deserve your love and affection, and it’s easy to get started tonight. With a little thought, you can up your game and incorporate all five senses without spending a dime. One step at a time, you can explore each delicious smell, sight, touch, taste, and smell from head to toe.

The options are only as limited as your fantasies – and they’re all within your reach.