It’s important to recognise, before anything else, that tease and denial play is by its nature about dominance. It can be loving and gentle, or rough and intense (or a combination of all of those, of course)… but the person setting the pace is in charge, up to a point. Have a conversation beforehand about limits of teasing, and how they’ll let you know when too much really is too much – it’s always better to double-check than go too far. Consent is always revocable, and if you’re taking the lead role you have a responsibility to check-in with your willing subject. You can always tease more next time, take them a little further, but you may both find limits that surprise you – whether it’s a ticklish spot you didn’t know about or at which point arousal turns to the bad kind of frustration. There are many more than fifty shades of dominance, and how you play is a mutual choice. Own it, and enjoy yourselves.
Tease and denial doesn’t have to start with touch. In fact, making them wait for your hands is the easiest tease of all! Glances and words – spoken, whispered or texted – are a very effective way of making sure you’re both thinking the same kind of thing. The expectations might be different, but that element of uncertainty is part of the fun. How (or if) you speak is a personal call, whether you praise or mock them for their responses. This is a good point to start emphasizing that for now, this is your cock to play with, not theirs. It’s likely you’ll already have some basic ground rules, but it might be worth defining some specifics. “Hold onto the headboard or I’ll stop,” is a simple way to set the scene. It also provides a low-stakes alternative to a safeword. Being mostly or fully dressed while they get naked shifts the power your way, or a blindfold for them allows you to feel confident rather than worrying about how you’ll look when you hesitate.
As you start to touch, think beyond the obvious places. Textures can be fun, and you don’t need to invest in leather. The back of a metal spoon, a soft brush, underwear. Have them strip before you start or take off one thing at a time, playing with each area of exposed skin. When you’re ready, and you can see they are, explore. You could alternate fingertips and nails, letting a rhythm develop gradually. Be gentle with the frenulum and balls, but you can probably be firmer than you’d expect elsewhere. Starting soft is always a safe bet. Tease and denial play is something to take time over. Tugging the balls back with one hand allows long strokes, across the skin or grasping in the classic thumb and forefinger grip. Take care with the tip until there’s something to lubricate it, and remember that friction might not be noticed in the moment but can be very sore the next day.
Saliva and other bodily fluids might seem sexiest but they’re often not enough. And despite what some films might suggest, butter or cooking oil aren’t always great additions (quite apart from their effect on latex). You might want to keep one hand lube-free, and keeping a hand-towel nearby allows you to change slick for grip when you need it. Keeping the bottle in a cup of cold or warm water is a way to add temperature play to you tease and denial sensations. Lubricant allows you to use faster, rougher movements so it’s about the right kind of discomfort. This includes twisting gestures – try reversing your grip so thumb and forefinger are towards the body rather than the tip – and using your palm over the head and frenulum. When you or they are ready for a change, reach for your Offbeat (other toys are available).
Start off by using the same movements as with your hand, but slower. It’s a good time to remember that it’s hard to have too much lube between the surfaces and their skin, so apply generously enough that every fold is coated. Vulva-owners will know that wetness at the entrance may not be equally distributed! Having a towel underneath them means excess can quickly be removed so you don’t lose your grip, even as they’re struggling with theirs… Alternating is good, between hand and stroker, or between varied textures. In general the steadier the rhythm, the faster they’ll get close. You can ask for a score, “Out of ten how close are you right now?” You don’t have to do all the work; telling them you might let them come if they can thrust as you hold the stroker steady is a good way to judge their need. Swap long strokes with focus at sensitive points, moving only a fraction each way. Or imagine a spiral, asking them to guess if you’re going clockwise or anti. You might find that using the stroker on the shaft exposes the head for your fingers; alternatively, using one hand to pull back the skin means you can use the stroker on and around the sensitive glans. When they approach their orgasm, you have a decision to make, more tease and denial or let them come, and there is no wrong choice.
Getting them to that point, where they’re close to orgasm, and then slowing down or stopping is called edging. You might decide to stop entirely, a denial of their orgasm. You might choose to delay things, while their imminent climax fades a little. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying yourself and can think of some way to pass the time before you go back to the beginning. It’s likely that each time they’ll get to that edge a little faster, so be vigilant. Depending on many factors, you may find that the erection dips a little in the ‘between’ times when the lack of sensation is too big a contrast. This is a compliment to your technique, not a lack of interest!
If – accidentally or deliberately – you don’t stop quite in time for the feeling to subside, then they may have what’s called a ruined orgasm. There will be some ejaculation, but the intense pleasure is missing. This can be hugely frustrating, and often will mean you can return to teasing quickly without the usual pause for recovery. Sometimes this level of play can be incredibly sexy, but it may be overwhelming. Be aware of the possibility, and if you don’t want to play this intensely then return to a steady rhythm as soon as you realise they’re over the line. This will bring a mind-blowing climax, especially if you’ve taken them to the edge and back a few times.
Most people know the saying “Be cruel to be kind.” Tease and denial is a great example of this principle in action; the question you will need to answer is how much temporary cruelty they need to ‘endure’ before you are finally kind. In reality, it’s like the slow climb on the rollercoaster – the anticipation makes the sudden drop even better!
James Mycroft was a Sherlock Holmes fan before Benedict Cumberbatch made him cool again. He reads, writes and enjoys adrenaline sports, including those that happen in the bedroom. Sadly he is much less interesting in real life than online.