BDSM Basics: A Sound off on Sensory Deprivation

Wikipedia defines ‘Sensory Deprivation’ as; “The deliberate reduction or removal of stimuli from one or more of the senses. Simple devices such as blindfolds or hoods and earmuffs can cut off sight and hearing, while more complex devices can also cut off the sense of smell, touch, taste, thermoception (heat-sense), and ‘gravity’. Sensory deprivation has been used in various alternative medicines and in psychological experiments…”

sensorydeprivationhood

In fact, just 15 minutes of complete sensory deprivation can lead to having hallucinations and an altered ‘sense of reality’. Psychologists stuck 19 healthy volunteers into a sensory-deprivation room, completely devoid of sensorydeprivationchamberlight and sound, for 15 minutes. Without the normal barrage of sensory information flooding their brains, many people reported experiencing visual hallucinations, paranoia and a depressed mood. “This is a pretty robust finding,” wrote psychiatrist Paul Fletcher of the University of Cambridge.

All science aside, the practice of sensory deprivation is a common one within the world of BDSM. Blindfolds and earplugs are common ways of depriving ones sense of sight, and hearing. As we commonly hear about the blind person’s sense of touch being heightened, or the deaf person’s sight being better, this is also the idea behind sensory deprivation being used in a sexual manner. Hence, experiencing a heightened sense of touch when you are blindfolded and/or deafened by earplugs is one main reason it is done. This can lead to more intense orgasm or just an overall intensity during the session as a whole. Add in an extreme sense of anticipation about not knowing how, when, or where you are going to be touched next, and I’m sure you can understand the fascination with it.

Tip # 1 As with any experimentation, make sure you and all involved parties have discussed  everything that is to be done or not done, and especially any safe words/signals that are to be used. Experimentation is healthy and fun, but as with any form of BDSM, everyone needs to be aware of the dangers.

Tip #2 It is a good idea to test out the equipment before the actual session is started, i.e., wear the earplugs, so you know their limits, if you can hear anything at all, or not. Try on the blindfold; make sure it does what is wanted (can you see shadows, or do you not want to see anything at all, that kind of thing.)  And make sure you are comfortable with everything.

Tip #3 If you are going to be expected to move around without help while blindfolded,(following orders, etc.) make sure you are very familiar with your surroundings, and have a general idea of how many ‘steps’ or how far away something is. (It is even a good idea to practice, by counting steps, and seeing what may be in arms reach or not in any given position) Remember to move with caution! Your sense of touch will be heightened. If you are combining bondage with the sensory deprivation, as is often the case, you won’t have to worry about moving around on your own. Whether tied up (or down!), I recommend any first timers to this not move around too much. Get a feel for the deprivation itself, without having to worry about bumping into things!Blindfoldphotobydrikarj

Tip #4 So, you think you are a tough guy (or gal)? Be prepared!  I cannot stress enough how your sense of touch may be more sensitive than normal! If you are doing any type of S/M aspect, whether it be spanking, whipping, or any kind of possibly or purposefully painful body contact, test it out lightly at first! What is generally tolerable or even pleasurable, during ‘normal’ sessions for you, may be quite the opposite when sensory deprivation is involved. You may find out that what you can usually take upon yourself will change, be it for the ‘more’ or for the ‘less’. You and your partner(s) may just get more enjoyment out of the goose bumps that are left across your body than the trail of red marks across your thighs than you think, in the case of sensory deprivation.

Tip #5 More a little reminder than a ‘tip’; I would like to make sure everyone knows how easy and cheap sensory deprivation can be experienced! I included it in Beginner’s BDSM on A Budget just because of that. Swimmers earplugs can be used, ear muffs with extra cotton balls, can be gotten cheap, or may be already in your house. The same with neckties, extra-long pillowcases, scarves and the like for blindfolds. Learning what you like (and don’t) definitely shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg!

If anyone thinks of other tips or advice concerning Sensory Deprivation, feel free to share it with us here in the comments, or send us a message. Thanks for letting me Sound Off!

 

References:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/10/hallucinations/

Photo by Drikarj-Photobucket

 

 

 

This entry was posted in BDSM Basics, Beginner BDSM Information, General BDSM Information by misssubmistressrose. Bookmark the permalink.

About misssubmistressrose

Hello Everyone! I am a stay at home mom of 2 boys, ages 2 and 10. Been married to my awesome husband for 5 years now! We have 3 cats and a huge golden retriever in our family, too. My husband and I have been exploring the world of BDSM almost as long as weve been together, and I started my exploration in my teens, probably when I should've been studying! Its a wonderful part of our lives, and I enjoy each new discovery. In my spare time, (if I have any!) I really like to garden, and watch cheesey singing auditions on youtube, lol. I cook from scratch nearly every night, and do couponing, which not only satisfies my need to be "Suzie Home-maker", it helps fill in the money blanks as well, and doesnt everyone need to save money these days?! I am very much looking forward to contributing here as an author and forum motivator, this site offers so much in the way of education and satisfying the inquiring minds within all of us! I look forward to meeting and interacting with all of you ;)

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