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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sexy Ways to Beat the Heat

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It's hot—really hot. If you don't have air conditioning, it might even seem like it's too hot to have sex. However, there are some fun ways to add an icy tingle to your play, even in the middle of this heat wave.

Many high-quality sex toy materials can be chilled by placing them either in a glass of ice water or in your fridge. Solid silicone dildos and butt plugs can be cooled in this way (be careful with vibrators, though, since moisture in the battery pack can ruin the vibe). In fact, toy manufacturer Tantus has taken advantage of this property by introducing the Vamp, a sparkly, ghostly pale silicone dildo that is designed to slake the hunger of all those Twilight moms who lust after Robert Pattinson; they suggest chilling the toy to achieve an authentic "undead" experience!

Glass and metal toys are also great for temperature play. Some people are a little put off when they first see toys made from hard materials such as these; they wonder whether such a firm surface would feel uncomfortable. Glass or metal toys certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, which is true of any type of toy, but they have some amazing properties that might not be apparent at first glance, but that make them especially great in hot, humid weather. They are naturally cool to the touch, and will get even more so when iced or refrigerated. Their smooth, hard surfaces glide across the body with very little "drag" or stickiness and very little lube needed. They warm up to body temperature quickly, but can easily be cooled down with a quick plunge into a bedside glass of ice water. Beware of freezing these toys, though, lest you experience a more intimate version of the tongue-on-frozen-metal-pole scenario.

Many companies also make topical cooling body treats, such as Nipple Nibblers or Kama Sutra's Pleasure Balm Stimulating Gel. These products usually use menthol and/or peppermint oil to produce a tingling sensation on the skin. Some are designed for non-genital use only, usually because they contain a higher concentration of cooling ingredients than would be comfortable on the sensitive genital areas, or because they have oils, sugars or glycerins that could be irritating, especially in the vagina. Avoid using any cooling products on the genitals unless they are specifically designed for this use, and even then you might want to test out a little dab of the product on your gums or lips to see how it feels on your sensitive mucous membranes before slathering it on your nether regions. Other "hot spots" such as the nipples, neck, or hip bones might be the best place to experiment with some icy hotness.

Let's not forget about the good old-fashioned ice cube, which can be delicious when rubbed across sensitive areas! Try putting an ice cube in your mouth and then sucking or licking your partner's erogenous zones. A similar effect can be achieved by sucking on a mint or taking a mouthful of cool mint tea (although again, be careful about introducing anything with sugar into the vagina). There's even a vibrator, the Touché Ice Massager, that essentially allows you to make a vibrating ice cube in your very own freezer, kicking that old-fashioned cube into high gear. Even though they are a temptingly phallic shape, use popsicles with caution—they can be sticky fun, but, because they are so high in sugar, are likely to cause yeast infections if inserted vaginally.

Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them tolaura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.

Laura Anne Stuart has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. She owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side.

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