Sensory Deprivation

Sensory deprivation, also knows as sensation play, is an umbrella term which includes our 5 senses (sight, touch, taste, hearing, smell). It is commonly practiced in the BDSM and kink community. It is a type of bondage. At least one of our senses is restricted and this automatically heightens the sensation of the other ones. Sensation play is one of my favourite BDSM activity. It creates pleasurable or intense sensory experiences, occasionally involving pain and discomfort, to enhance physical and often psychological arousal. It often includes the use of certain types of tools specifically designed to give a specific sensation.


Among the 5 senses, the most commonly deprived, and at the same time, the most powerful sensory deprivation is taking away the sight. The dominant may cover the eyes of the submissive with a blindfold ( made of silk or leather). He may put a mask or a hood on her/his head. The latter is more powerful as the feeling of isolation and helplessness enhances. Especially if other senses, like the ears, are also covered. This puts the submissive into a vulnerable position. She/he has to give up control; not only physically but also psychologically.

However on the positive side, wearing a blindfold can be very sensual. It may lead to an ecstatic, blissful state and eventually to a heightened orgasm. The dominant may handcuff the sub (motion restriction) and whisper into her/his subs ears (as long as they are not deprived too). Or she/he may play with a Wartenberger pinwheel, a feather, a crop, some ice, vibrator or with other props on the body of the sub party.

Personally, both as a dom and as a sub, I enjoy the deprivation of the eye sights combined with the restriction of movement (handcuffs, rope bondage or other types of restraints).

Sensory Deprivation: Hearing & Speech

Another very commonly practiced sensory restriction is depriving the hearing of the submissive. This can be with earplugs (the most powerful one), earphones or with a hood that completely covers the ears.

When it comes to the mouth, the most common restriction is to give the sub a ball gag. This way, she/he will not able to speak or moan and can only communicate with her head/eyes. Or in a full bondage, only with fingers. In order to avoid pain and injury of the jaw, wearing the ball gag, especially for starters, for about 8-10 minutes is sufficient.

Sensory Deprivation: Motion & Touch

When the sub is wearing a blindfold and she/he is restricted in movement (like in a shibari position), the sense of smell becomes heightened. It is the ideal opportunity to turn on a nice, scented candle (flameless, electric ones if playing in a hotel). Depriving the smell is less common though occasionally the dom may do it by putting a hood on the sub.

If the sub is open to food play the dom may give her/him some grapes, strawberries or maybe a small spoonful of jam or chocolate cream. Sweet & spicy flavours are the most popular. When I am on the dom side, I always prefer to feed the sub with something rather sweet.

One way of restricting the touch is putting the sub into certain bondage positions where she/he cannot touch her/his own body. Another way of depriving the touch is wearing certain type of full latex costume. The latter can cause allergies and enhance the body temperature. Because of this, the sub must experiment with these type of materials and costume beforehand. An extreme form of this sense deprivation is full body mummification. Since, this is a high risk activity, I am not able to offer it.

Safe, Sane and Consensual

Before venturing into sensory deprivation, it is necessary that the dom and the sub establish basic trust. Discussing limits, preferences and and boundaries to ensure a safe and satisfying experience. The full play must be mutually consensual. There is a big emphasis on the safe word. In case of speech deprivation, a substitute signal, that is clear to the dom under all circumstances, has to be agreed on.

Sensory Deprivation

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