Headphones: A New Twist on Sensory Deprivation

headphonesphoto by SS.ma

You know the basic idea of sensory deprivation, right? You limit one or more senses, and the others gets stronger. Limit everything but touch, and your orgasm will feel like the center of the universe. You may have done this without even knowing you were enjoying sensory deprivation — when you blindfold your partner or add restraints to limit their movement so the touching is all one way.

But here’s a sense you might not have played with before: their hearing. Well, ear plugs aren’t just for construction workers and insomniacs, and noise-canceling headphones aren’t just for prissy cubicle workers. Controlling your partner’s soundtrack (or lack of one) takes sensory deprivation to a whole new level, especially when combined with a blindfold. If white noise is too nerdy for you, make a booty mix on your iPod and have your partner listen to it through headphones. Headphones and earplugs deprive your partner of aural clues and distractions, insulating them from sounds like your breathing, the smack of a paddle hitting their skin, the dog barking, etc. — all of which restricts their ability to anticipate your touch. They can only speak when spoken to, and they can only be spoken to when you choose to lean in real close and lift their headphones. This all helps your partner focus — exactly what that prissy cubicle worker is going for, too, except the object of focus in this case is not what’s happening on a spreadsheet but, rather, what’s happening on a bedsheet.