Sensory deprivation is a form of sensation play that is often incorporated into BDSM. It involves depriving a person, usually a submissive, of one or more of their senses, such as sight and hearing. This not only helps make them feel more helpless, but it also makes their other senses, like touch, more sensitive to stimuli. This can result in an intensely erotic experience.
Blindfolds, to remove the sense of sight, and earplugs, which remove the sense of hearing, are two of the most common props used during sensory deprivation. Once the dominant removes their submissive’s senses, they focus on enhancing any remaining senses. For example, a dominant who has removed their submissive’s senses of sight and hearing may tease and torture their submissive's body using props such as ice, feathers, Wartenberg wheels, floggers, hot wax, and sex toys. The submissive focuses on the sensations of these items on their body, as they are not distracted by what they see or hear. A submissive who still has their sense of hearing may focus on their dominant’s voice throughout sensory deprivation. A dominant may also light scented candles to arouse a submissive’s sense of smell. Food play can trigger a submissive’s sense of taste.Sensory deprivation usually focuses on heightening the sense of touch by eliminating other senses. However, some dominants try to eliminate all of their partner's senses, including touch. As touch is so central to sexual experiences, removing it can make submissives appreciate their other senses more. They may also be more responsive to touch once it becomes a part of sexual play again. Submissives may be told they can’t touch the dominant or themselves. The dominant may hover achingly close to the submissive, tempting them, or masturbate in front of the watching submissive. Using bondage mitts and full-body sensory deprivation suits also help dominants remove touch during sensory deprivation.