The outer parts of ears are convenient targets for some forms of play and are sensitive enough to make it worthwhile. They are relatively fragile of course but light damage usually heals quite quickly and they are not particularly susceptible to infection or vital damage. That said, you obviously don't want to disfigure them so reasonable care is needed while having fun. .
- Often, play around the ears consists of tickling. How effective the tickling is differs with the sub; some love it, for others it is a merciless tease, which often encourages a Dom/me all the more of course! A tongue, a feather, in fact any instrument that can be weilded lightly and sensuously works well. Tickling the outer surface, behind or just inside the ear may drive a sub wild, or mad, so if one area doesn't work, try another!
You can't go far wrong with tickling, unless the sub isn't ticklish in which case it just gets boring. The only other thing to beware of is to ensure nothing get pushed too far into the ear channel. A burst eardrum is definitely nonconsensual and having to shout all your orders tends to disturb the neighbours!
- If a Dom/me wants to play with their sub's ear and they aren't tickling it then they are probably nipping it. Finger nails, clamps, pegs etc are all brought into play. They hurt just nicely enough without any chance of major damage.
Although nipping or clamping an ear isn't likely to cause any real damage, the ear tissue is sufficiently delicate that pulling or whipping pegs or clamps off isn't a good idea. Besides potential damage to the ear itself they are so close to the head and eyes that it isn't difficult to accidentally strike the wrong place. So just let the pain of returning feeling do the job without removing the clamps violently.
- Apart from being tickled or nipped during play, ears are also often covered. If a blindfold has been applied then effectively blocking the sub's hearing as well really heightens their anticipation, apprehension and awareness of their body. It isn't easy to block out all sense of hearing. A combination of purpose made earplugs, such as the ones made for swimming or shooting, a tight fitting hood and industrial ear protectors works reasonably well. Instead of blocking the hearing you can overwhelm it by substituting the ear protectors with ear phones connected to a music system. But music played so close can be distracting and that defeats the purpose. Instead of music you could use 'white noise', a constant hiss like static, which can be remarkably effective. Alternatively, instead of blocking the sub's hearing why not use it? Wind them up by creating noises they will either go frantic trying to identify or which they will associate with a loved/dreaded form of play!
There are 4 things to beware of in blocking a sub's hearing. Firstly, only use proper plugs not home made substitutes and be careful not to push plugs too far into the ear. Secondly, make sure that any music or noise isn't too loud. Thirdly, don't maintain unstructured noise for too long. People's sensitivity differs but depriving someone of their senses of sight AND hearing is a powerful tool. It can cause great disturbance and emotional upset for some people, especially in stressful situations, so it is not something to play with lightly. Lastly, with sensory deprivation comes disorientation. Make sure that the sub is well secured so that they will not fall or otherwise injure themselves. Being helpless as well as unable to tell what is going on around you adds to all the other effects of course!
- The areas around the ear and within it are all susceptible to damage from a blow or the shock from one. There are sensitive nerve centres and fragile bone structures and other tissue close by so care is always indicated.
No part of the ear should ever be a target for any sort of CP. It is far too easy to cause damage to hearing, eyesight or the skull and brain. Despite the old threat of thousands of parents that you will 'box someone's ears', this isn't safe or sensible play. Don't do it!
Have fun and play safe!