Sensational BDSM: Getting Started with Breath Play and Temperature Play

Slow things down, turn up the heat — and take their breath away with our introduction to breath and temperature play

Are you kurious about BDSM? Many Kittens and Toms are interested in kink, and the beauty of BDSM is that there’s pretty much a kinky activity for every night of the week, so you can switch things up depending on what mood you’re in. 

Breath play and temperature play are two kinks I hear people say they’d love to try, but are often intimidated by the sound of them. A lot of people assume that BDSM is all about whips and chains, but did you know that BDSM can also be incredibly sensual too? 

When it comes to any kind of power play, I always say that anticipation is half the fun. BDSM is all about tapping into your partner’s desires and exploring them in ways that leave them begging for more. 

And this is what breath play and temperature play are all about! Also known as sensation play, this style of BDSM is about slowing down and teasing your partner by either heightening their senses or restricting them. In doing so, you allow your partner to focus on exactly what you’re doing to their body, making it impossible to resist your command. 

Breath play and temperature play are great to incorporate into foreplay and for creating more intimate BDSM scenes that can bring you and your partner closer together, as well as heighten arousal and intensify orgasms. Sounds incredible, right? So let’s get into it…

What is BDSM breath play?

Who doesn’t love a little light choking in the bedroom? Breath play is probably one of the riskiest kinks associated with BDSM, but it’s also one of the sexiest. 

Breath play is all about restricting the airways during sex for heightened arousal and sexual pleasure. For some, the appeal of breath play may be purely down to the euphoric sensations created when we restrict the airways close to orgasm, this is sometimes referred to as erotic asphyxiation. For others, the appeal is largely to do with the feeling of being overpowered or dominated, which is why it is such a popular BDSM kink. 

So if the thought of a strong pair of hands around your throat turns you on, then here are a few tips on how to explore this safely…

How to practice breath play safely

The first time I experienced choking in the bedroom, I must say I was a little scared…until I realised, I was actually just about to have a mind-blowing orgasm. One thing I will say is that BDSM requires a huge amount of trust and communication between both partners, and when it comes to breath play, it requires communication on steroids! 

So let’s get the housekeeping out of the way first and talk about safewords. A safeword should always be used during any kind of kink play, but I know what you’re thinking, how can you say your safeword when you’ve quite literally had your breath taken away? The answer to this is with a safe gesture. 

Whether you’re experimenting with choking, ball gags, hoods or masks, you can let your partner know when enough is enough with a pre-agreed safe gesture such as a raised hand or two taps on their arm, for example. With that being said, I’m sorry to say you’ll have to put the fluffy handcuffs away and save those for another night of kinky fun, because breath play and bondage often don’t mix too well!

Once you’ve talked about your limits, now the fun can really start. If you’re the Dom or ‘top’, then start off slow. Remember what we said about anticipation? A firm but gentle hand around the neck, when done right, can be all it takes to get your partner’s pulse racing. Eye contact is key here too, and if you have a sadistic side, you will love seeing the look in your Sub’s eyes as they slowly move through the stages of fear and ecstasy. 

And if you both agree you’d like to take this feeling further, then you can slowly move your hand away from the neck and place it over the nose and mouth for a few seconds. You can keep things both safe and sexy by using your Dom voice to tell your partner how long you’ll hold their breath for (this should be pre-agreed and then implemented as part of your role play). The stern look and commanding voice will make breath play all the more thrilling for your Sub as they feel totally overpowered by you, but don’t be afraid to communicate throughout, especially during the first few times with this. 

You can start off with short bursts of restricting the breath and build your way up from there, but if this is still a little too much to begin with, then you can also hold your own breath to experience the same delicious rush of euphoria. As the Dom, you can command your Sub to hold their breath for a set amount of time (with the added promise of a punishment if they don’t comply), keeping the power play dynamics flowing, but allowing the Sub more control. This is a great way to dip your toes into the world of breath play if you’re completely new to BDSM.

Remember that it’s not just about the breath; it’s everything else that goes with it. Talk your partner through it, look into their eyes and play on their feelings. It’s about finding that balance of fear and seduction that will really send your partner to new heights. One hand firmly around the neck leaves another free for exploring all those erogenous zones, slowly making your way down to their penis or clitoris as they patiently wait for their next breath, is what really makes breath play a powerful tool that can lead to mind-blowing orgasms. 

How to introduce temperature play

Another BDSM kink I often get asked about is temperature play. Have you ever used ice cubes or hot melted chocolate in the bedroom? Then you’ve already dabbled with temperature play, which is all about playing around with hot and cold temperatures and creating different sensations on the skin. If your partner’s a sapiosexual, here’s a fun fact: The science behind this kink is that changes in temperature excite our neuroreceptors, and this can heighten arousal, which I think we can all agree, sounds pretty fun. 

When it comes to BDSM, wax play is one of the most popular forms of temperature play, and it’s on many of our Kitten’s and Tom’s kinky bucket lists. While this might sound scary at first, using candle wax as a form of temperature play can be incredibly sensual and seductive. 

To try this at home, you’ll want to invest in a good set of bondage candles, which are designed to burn at a lower temperature than regular candles, so you can be sure you won’t burn the skin (a trip to A&E is not our kind of sexy). Start off by lighting the candle and dripping the wax from about an arm’s length away from the body. The closer you bring the candles to the skin, the more deliciously warm the sensation will become, and you can increase and decrease this intensity as much as you like to drive your partner wild. 

Not only does wax feel amazing on the skin, it also looks incredibly beautiful. Think of your partner as your blank canvas to turn into a stunning piece of erotic art, experimenting with different colours and patterns across every inch of their skin. Be kind (or not so kind) to sensitive areas such as the inner thighs and breasts, but be sure to stay away from the genitals! Ouch! 

Coming back to the theme of anticipation, temperature play can really get your partner aroused when paired with bondage and blindfolds. The combination of being restrained and unable to see what your partner is going to do next is sure to get their mind racing. And if you don’t want to try hot wax, then get creative and use your imagination. You know your partner’s body better than anyone, so next time you go down on them, why not pop an ice cube in your mouth to create an extra tingle and watch their hairs stand on end, or use some warm lube to give them a slow and erotic massage that is sure to leave them feeling hot and bothered. 

TOP TIP: Whatever you decide to use, be sure to test it on the skin prior to play, especially for any of you Kittens and Toms with sensitive skin. And put a towel down to minimise clean up so there’s more time to enjoy aftercare. 

So there you have it, some simple ways to get started with breath play and temperature play. Whether you’re into other areas of BDSM or not, these sensual practices are a fun way to experiment with power play dynamics in the bedroom. 

Remember, Kittens and Toms! Consent is sexy, communication is sexy, and aftercare is sexy. So always make time for these throughout those steamy sessions. We hope you have fun experimenting with these sensual BDSM practices, and if you’re kurious to find out more about BDSM then keep an eye out for our upcoming events and workshops on all things BDSM and kink. 


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