Getting Hot or Cooling Down?
Tips for Temperature Play
by Jackie Velez
It’s getting hot out there! Like really, really hot. And as vaccination rates continue to creep up in our state as well as nationally, we know that many of you are eager for a hot, sexy summer.
And the weather seems to agree. This summer has already set records here in the Pacific Northwest for extreme heat, and the temperature shows no signs of dropping. With forecasts sticking in the 80s or above for the foreseeable future, this warm weather is something we will all have to learn to work with for the time being.
We want to acknowledge that extreme heat comes with many unique challenges and dangers, including heat stroke, dehydration, and power outages. The Register Guard has a wonderfully comprehensive guide to how and where to stay cool in Lane County this Summer, and Disability Rights Oregon has a helpful page of tips, tricks, and resources for staying safe during extreme heat. Greenhill Humane Society has also compiled a list of ways to keep pets safe during hot weather. In the days and weeks ahead, please do what you can to take care of yourselves, as well as looking out for the most vulnerable members of our community.
We know that some of you are probably thrilled with the warm weather, and eager to get outside and soak up the sun. Others are already over the heat, and seeking any way to stay cool this summer.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to play with temperature, and bring both sizzling, scorching heat AND icy, tingling cold into your summer play. You can use these tips from our expert staff on how to toy with temperature any time of the year, but especially as the outside temperature continues to fluctuate.
If you’re looking for a sexy, outside-of-the-box way to bring your body temperature down, there are lots of sensual, body-safe toys and topicals that can bring a refreshing chill to even the hottest summer days. From temperature-holding internal toys to sensation-causing topicals, you can bring the crisp feeling of winter to even the hottest summer days.
Look for toys that are made of glass or metal, which hold temperature extremely well, for a chilly sensation during your most sensual moments. NJoy has a full line of stainless steel toys ideal for chilling you out. For those who are interested in g-spot or prostate play with some extra chilly toys, the Pure Wand by NJoy is often requested by name. Because the g-spot and prostate often respond best to firm pressure, the firm sensation of metal and the rockable, curved shape of the Pure Wand is one of the most popular toys for those hoping to explore g-spot sensation, squirting, or prostate play. And like all steel, the Pure Wand and the Fun Wand holds the cold, and is sure to give you a shiver!
Also by NJoy is their Pure Plugs, a line of stainless steel anal toys that come in a wide variation of sizes and weights for all different experience levels. The smallest plug is subtle, and perfectly sized for beginner anal players. Meanwhile the Pure Plug XL is big and heavy enough to satisfy many who are more advanced. Also available is the PFun Plug , which has a slightly longer design intended to put pressure on the prostate. All Pure Plugs are 100% stainless steel, which gives them an incredibly smooth feeling, as well as being more weighty than silicone plugs to create a sensation of presure.
With any steel toy, it’s important to remember that it is possible to damage our skin with extremely cold metal. Remember the stories about licking a metal pole in the winter and getting your tongue stuck? The same risks are possible with steel toys. You should NEVER place your stainless steel toys in the freezer to cool them down. Instead, let them rest in a glass of cold water before you play. Always test the steel’s temperature by touching it to the inside crook of your arm and making sure it does not stick before touching it to someone’s genitals. If your steel has developed frost or ice crystals on the outside, run it under room-temperature water to bring it back to a safe, fun temperature.
If this all sounds like a lot of fun to you, but you’re looking for something more budget-friendly than pure stainless steel, then you might consider glass toys! Like steel, glass is incredibly smooth and firm, and holds temperature extremely well. However, glass is lighter than steel, which can make it less intimidating and easier to maneuver. All the same safety warnings that apply to steel toys also apply to glass toys. Just like stainless steel toys, glass toys should not be put in the freezer, but can be cooled down in a glass of cold water before use to create a chilly sensation sure to make you shiver!
Some of the most popular glass pieces are plugs, which can come in various sizes and shapes. Some glass plugs have beautiful, decorative gemstones on the base. However, for cool and comfortable wear, we recommend these T-Handle Glass Plugs. Made by Crystal Delight, the narrow base of the T-Handle fits more comfortably between the cheeks than the wide round base of those with inlaid gems. In addition, plugs with gems may have their glue compromised if the glass warms or cools too quickly, causing the gem to become loose or fall out entirely. Because the T-handle plugs are crafted from a single, seamless piece of glass, they are able to withstand more variation of temperature, which makes them ideal for cooling down.
If you’re looking for a glass toy for vaginal penetration, we highly recommend the two simple glass wands by Crave. One comes in a gradually curved s-shape, which makes it ideal for comfortable penetration or gentle vaginal dilation, while the other has a more intense curve, perfect for applying intense pressure to the g-spot. And if you’re hoping for a penis toy that can stay cool during use, try these unique glass Strokers! Created with various textures on the inside to create many different sensations, these glass strokers have very specific measurements, and require carefully selecting the one that is just the right size for your body.
For those who just can’t get enough of the summer weather, there are a wide variety of warming toys and products that can help you crank up the heat on your love life all year round! Some of the most popular options are vibrating toys with an internal heating motor that can warm to about body-temperature in a matter of minutes. This warming function can make the toys feel more realistic, closer to a human touch, and help to increase circulation. The warmth can also help relax and soothe sore or tense muscles — think of it like a sexy, soothing heating pad for your most intimate anatomy!
Our staff’s favorites among this style of warming toys is the new internal-heated toy line by our favorite tech-forward, Oregon-based, woman-owned company, Lora diCarlo. Their newest line is a trio of versatile vibrators in unique shapes, all of which come equipped with an extra-hot cutting-edge feature: built in conductive polymer heating technology. Drift, Tilt, and Sway may come in different shapes for different bodies, but all can quickly heat up to (but never above) a toasty 104°F. Best of all, their unique warming function is designed to deliver rapid, even heat throughout the body of the toy.
If you’re hoping for strictly external stimulation, especially with a partner, then we suggest Drift! The small, handheld size and ergonomic curve design make this powerful little toy ideal for slipping between bodies. If you want an anal toy, or you’re trying to add prostate stimulation, try Tilt! Tilt has two motors — one in the bulb for internal vibration, and one in the external flare to cradle the perineum. You can also use Tilt vaginally, with a subtle curve for the g-spot and a separate external motor for the clitoris. And if you’re hoping for a versatile design to explore lots of different sensations, there’s no better choice than Sway. This dual-ended toy means that you don’t have to choose what internal shape is best for your unique body. Whether you’re hoping to explore warmed up g-spot or prostate play, Sway really is the best of both worlds!
Another of our staff’s favorite warming toys is also a Rabbit, this one the Xena by Rianne S. This is moderately sized rabbit, but don't be fooled — it packs a powerful punch! With two strong motors, a flexible external arm, and a fully submersible design, Xena is an elegant rabbit vibe like no other. Potentially best of all, Xena’s internal heating function makes the entire silicone surface up to your body temperature, and easily turns your every session into a scorcher.
Another brand that has a line of warming toys is Svakom, which offers some more classic shapes with built-in heating functions to kick your favorite toys up a few degrees! If you're a wand lover, try Emma, the classic wand style vibrator with a hot new twist. From app-controlled capabilities, to the included rabbit-ear attachment, the warming function is just one of Emma's many incredible features. If you're hoping for vaginal penetration, you can’t go wrong with Anya's classic shape, unique, twisted texture, and ultra-soft silicone that holds heat perfectly. If you’re hoping for some dual-stimulation heat, Adonis is a large and in-charge rabbit whose warming feature can be controlled separately from its two powerful motors. Finally, for anal aficionados who want a warming plug, try Primo, the beginner-friendly, booty-safe vibe that also comes with a remote control for your convenience.
Last but not least, for those seeking a warming stroker, we have to recommend the incredibly unique Piper by Maia. Piper is a three-in-one stroker designed to let the user experience a wide range of sensation. Equipped with vibration as well as suction, Maia also warms internally to around normal body temperature. The internal heating feels more realistic, and creates a totally unique masturbation experience. All of Piper’s different features are controlled separately, so you can mix and match the different functions to find your perfect touch. Rechargeable, body-safe, and incredibly versatile, Piper is an undisputed superstar of the Summer.
Most of these toys have a warming function that is controlled separately from their vibration function. That means that for best results, you should turn on the warming function about 5 minutes before you want to use your toy so that it has time to heat up.
And if you don't necessarily need vibration, remember that glass and steel toys can hold temperature very well, and that includes heat as well as cold. But be cautious! With steel toys in particular, the material can easily get hot enough to damage skin. Never use boiling water to heat up your steel toys — letting it sit in warm water for a few minutes will suffice. Always test the temperature of steel toys on the inside of your elbow before touching it to the more sensitive tissues of your genitals so you don't get burned!
There are also products that you can apply to your skin that create unique cooling, chilly, sometimes even tingling sensations. Ingredients like Peppermint Oil and Cinnamon are very popular in sensation products, so it’s important when shopping for topicals to check the ingredients list for anything that you might be allergic to. When using topicals designed to cause sensation, remember that every body has different sensitivities. You can test most topicals to get a sense of how intense they will be on the edge of your lip, where the skin is thin and similar to that of our genitals. Always start by applying a very small amount of the product you want to try. Remember, you can add more at any time, but it can be a challenge to quickly remove topicals if you put too much on, as they frequently work by absorbing into the skin.
Among the most popular types of sensation products are external-use topicals. These are NOT lubricants, and should not be used as lubricants. That is to say, you should not use these topicals on the ultra-sensitive skin inside the vagina or anus. Rather, these topicals are intended to be used outside of the body, such as on the clitoris, nipples, or penis, to increase sensation. Some are formulated for the clitoris, while some are created with the penis in mind. No matter your anatomy, we have an option for you!
One of the most popular topicals that is formulated for the clitoris is the ON Arousal product line. Available in a small dropper bottle of concentrated oil, or a twist-top stick of ON Arousal Balm for easy application, the ON Arousal line creates an intense buzzy sensation upon contact with the skin. For those who are seeking super intense sensations, there is also the ON Ice Arousal Oil, with a stronger formula designed to chill and cool. For both formulas, only a small drop is needed, and you will feel the tingling effects for about 30 minutes.
Another option for those seeking a serious punch of sensation is the Organic O-Gel by Sliquid. Formulated to create powerful sensations, O-Gel uses both peppermint and menthol in a luxurious almond oil base to create a layered, cooling and tingling feeling.
If you’re looking for a cooling topical designed specifically for the penis, then we recommend the Excite-Mint Men's Pleasure Cream, a luxuriously smooth stroking cream with a punch. The secret ingredient in this product is peppermint oil, perfectly formulated to add a chilled out, tingling sensation to your stroking session. Formulated specifically for the nerves of the penis, this topical product may be too intense for use on the clitoris, and should not be used inside the vagina or anus. In addition, because this product contains oils, it should not be used with Latex condoms.
For those that struggle with vaginal dryness, low arousal, or sexual pain, you may consider using a product with CBD. For those who don't know, CBD is the chemical complex within cannabis that relieves pain and muscle tension, without any of the mental effects. In other words, CBD relaxes the body without clouding up your head. And one of our staff’s favorite CBD products is the new Arousal Oil by Foria. Carefully formulated with kava, peppermint, cacao, and full-spectrum CBD, simply apply a few drops of Sex Oil to your clitoris about 30 minutes before getting sexy! The peppermint and kava will tingle subtly, drawing blood to your most sensitive spots and building arousal, while the CBD absorbs into the skin and leaves your muscles relaxed and ready for pleasure.
Due to legal regulation of CBD products, we are unable to list them for sale on our website, or ship them in the mail. Please visit us in the store to hear more about the body-safe CBD arousal products we carry!
While most sensation-causing products are too intense to be used as lubricant, there are a few products on the market that are specifically formulated to be safe for internal use. For a cooling lubricant, our personal favorite is the best selling Aloe Cadabra in Peppermint Tingle. In this product, the classic Aloe Cadabra water-based lubricant formula is expertly mixed with pure Peppermint essential oil, which tastes sweet and feels electrifying. Although this product is created to be used as a lubricant, and is safe to use internally as well as externally, remember to test a small amount first to see how your body reacts.
(Pro tip: if you have extra sensitive skin — like the author of this piece — dilute the Peppermint Aloe Cadabra by mixing a bit of it in with the natural, unscented version for a more subtle sensation!)
In contrast, if you’re hoping for a lubricant that will warm you up once you get going, we recommend Sensation by Sliquid. Carefully created to create a changing feeling, Sensation will cool and tingle upon contact and warm up with friction. What's more, Sensation is a body-safe, water based lubricant that uses food-grade menthol to achieve a totally unique feeling. Safe to use internally, with all your favorite toys, and with condoms, Sensation by Sliquid is one of the most versatile topicals to play with temperature that we carry.
No matter the time of year, temperature play can add a fun and unique sensation to your play. We want to encourage you to get creative! For as many amazing products that there are out there, sometimes all it takes to dabble in temperature play is a few ice cubes. Just remember to set boundaries, communicate openly with your partner(s), and play safe!