If someone is blind, his or her sense of smell and hearing will likely become enhanced. Or, if a person is deaf, his or her sense of sight and smell will become heightened. In other words, if one sense fails, the others work to compensate.

It makes sense – the human body is smart. If it can’t get the information it wants or needs in the most obvious way, it’s bound to seek it in another way. So, when one sense is unavailable, the body avails itself of any others that are available.

When it comes to sex, the very same theory applies, which means that playing with the sensory can both vary and heighten the experience. Here are some fun ways to suppress or amplify one or more of your senses in the name of awakening the others.

1. Out of sight. It might be the oldest trick in the book, but it’s still one of the best. Blindfolding your partner puts you in the driver’s seat. Take advantage of the opportunity to tease your partner mercilessly. One of the sexiest things on Earth is wondering what’s about to happen to you next. To make the most of the adventure, ramp things up where the other senses are concerned with music and candles and a variety of textural surprises like sumptuous sheets or slippery massage oils.

2. Can’t touch this. Perhaps an equally familiar trick is the use of handcuffs. Of course, that’s not the only way to create a hands-off situation. A necktie can do the trick, as will tape. But steer clear of duct, electrical or masking tape. There’s actually a PVC tape made just for this purpose, which only sticks to itself. Booty Parlor makes ones called, appropriately, All Tied Up.

The key is to comfortably keep your partner from touching him or herself or you. It will be mind-boggling frustrating and lead to a bit of sexual frenzy. And when he or she can’t enjoy the sense of touch, he or she is likely to enjoy the sights and sounds and smells and even tastes in the room and on you more than ever before.

3. Can you hear me now? We rely a great deal on our hearing. It helps us to understand where we are, who we are with, and what’s going on. So, restricting the use of that sense can be really titillating. With some simple ear plugs, you can keep your partner guessing about when you enter and leave the room and what you are up to, if you also keep out of your partner’s sightline.

Your partner’s eyes will work double time, searching the room for clues. He or she will also kick their sense of smell into high gear trying to gather clues. And, in the meantime, their high level of sensual awareness will make all things sexual, all the better.
Now, with the remaining two senses, restriction is tough, or, at the very least, uncomfortable. So, instead of shutting them down, why not crank things up a notch?

4. The nose knows. Smell is a very interesting sense. It can profoundly affect our moods and interests. A bad smell can cause us to run from our current setting. Or, at the very least, distract us from being interested in anything else. On the other hand, the right smells can enhance our moods and even sway our interests. After all, the pheromones our partner releases are one of the reasons we’re attracted to them in the first place! People often relate certain experiences to particular smells too. So, be sure to use that to your advantage as well.

Chamomile, lavender, Ylang Ylang, and sage are all known for their soothing and relaxing effects. Rosemary, as well as a number of citrus aromas, including lemon, lime, grapefruit, verbena or orange scents are said to uplift, energize, and stimulate a person. Mint instills a fresh and clean feeling in many people’s mind. And jasmine, gardenia, sandalwood and rose are often categorized as romantic for the dreamy or wishful state they seem to inspire in people.

Everyone’s different, of course, so you might want to do an aroma test with your partner some time to see just what it is that floats his or her boat!

5. All in good taste. When a food is tasty, we want more of it. So, changing the way you taste, can cause your partner to want to devour you again and again. There are lots of products out there designed for just this purpose. There are edible dusting powders like Pure Romance’s Dust Me Pink. And, of course, flavored lubricants like K-Y’s Kissable Sensations or Wet’s Fun Flavors

Be sure to stick with products that are safe and designed for this particular purpose, so that no health issues arise. Sugar-free is best!

Sensual play can be a lot of fun. The trick is to discover which kinds of restrictions or indulgences create the kind of reaction you’re looking for. And, remember, to take turns. Your senses will thank you.

Jenny Block is a freelance writer based in Dallas. She is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Her work appears in "One Big Happy Family," edited by Rebecca Walker and "It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters," edited by Andrea Buchanan. Visit her website at www.jennyonthepage.com or check out her blog at www.jennyonthepage.blogspot.com.