I first experienced Liquid Nitrogen play at The Pink Party at Mission Control the first night of OpenSF. I received an email before the conference telling me that Ned and Maggie Mayhem were going to do a liquid nitrogen demo. I was excited about meeting The Mayhems and wondered how they could make liquid nitrogen sexy. It turned out to be a fascinating example of sensation play.
At the demo, Ned filled an extra thick insulated styrofoam cup with the super cold liquid nitrogen, also known as LN2. Fog drifted along its top. Ned poured it over Maggie’s chest. The liquid would release a cloud of smoke and hiss on it’s way down. It would often be completely evaporated before it hit the floor. Each time he poured you could see the effect on her as she arched. Ned disrobed and we watched the effect of the cold sensation on his body. Then they put their bodies together and poured the liquid nitrogen between them. I have to admit this was very sexy and my favorite part of the demo.
Each time the liquid nitrogen hit the floor my feet were splashed with the most amazing cooling sensation. The Mayhems went around the room and shared it with us. We all extending our arms and the LN2 was poured over each of us. The sensation was just mind-boggling. It was like a shower of glass shard pinpoints enveloped in the cold cushion of the fog. They also dipped a straightened out wire hanger and a belt in the LN2. Ned first ran the hanger over Maggie’s body then the super cold belt and buckle along everyone's extended forearm. For me this was more intense than the icy pinpoints of the falling LN2 and there was lots of sexy there.
I was intrigued and compelled to learn more about this. I returned from OpenSF and emailed The Mayhems for more info on their sexy science play. The science behind it is fascinating and I wanted to share what I learned. Liquid nitrogen (LN2) has a boiling point is 77 Kelvin (-196 °C, – 321 °F). The LN2 needs to be kept at low temperature in a thermally insulated container, called a dewar, or it would just boil away. The dewar is a dual layered metal container with the hollow space in between the layers sealed under high vacuum. It provides a good amount of insulation between the cold liquid and the warm room. Or, as Ned describes it, a big glorified thermos.
The qualities of liquid nitrogen, and the necessity of a specific type of container, means acquisition is a challenge. When LN2 is not being used for sex it’s used for cryogenics, construction and molecular gastronomy. It’s also used as a coolant for superconductors and food preparation. It may be harder to gain access to LN2 if you’re not involved in any of these. It helps that Ned works in a physics lab giving him access to purchase from the appropriate vendors. If you’re not a super sexy physicist, you will need to find a vendor for the LN2 and the required dewar for storage. Most vendors will only do large orders.
Another challenge is proper use to avoid hurting yourself or others. Proper storage and ventilation must be observed at all times. As LN2 boils away it can remove oxygen from the room. They were only using a small amount in the demo but a window in the room was opened as a precaution. There could be serious consequences if the room you are playing in does not have a way of replenishing the removed oxygen. It’s also important to remove all clothing. It doesn’t burn (basically extreme frost bite) as long as it doesn’t settle on your skin. Liquid nitrogen needs to be kept moving on your skin so you don’t get burned. Dropping the liquid down the body using your hands to keep it moving usually prevents burns. You also have to be careful of body hair and crevasses like the navel or a fold in the skin.
Another challenge with LN2 is that it can freeze clothing to the body, which is hard to get off before it does some serious burn damage. Ned suggested having insulated gloves or potholders to protect your hands if you need to move something really cold. Maggie shared a story of how she has been burned by LN2 in the past. They were doing a mad science stage show with a liquid nitrogen finale. She still had on a pair of lace panties with ruffles along the top. The nitrogen was poured down her body but pooled in the ruffles and ran down the lace. This burned the lace pattern lightly into her skin. She was fine but for days afterward it looked like she was wearing a red lace negligee.
Personally I don't suggest trying this at home but if you do I highly recommend you consult The Mayhems beforehand. Rather than doing it on your own you can go to a future Mayhems Liquid Nitrogen demo/Mad Science show instead. Their next appearance is at Dark Odyssey: Surrender in San Francisco November 9-11, 2012. One of the classes they are presenting is Liquid Nitrogen SM: Kink at -320 Fahrenheit. The class will give you an opportunity to see liquid nitrogen play in the capable hands of Ned and Maggie while also offering a chance to experience it in a safe environment. You never know where they pop up with their sexy science experiments. I'm sure there will be more in the future and should not be missed.
Many thanks to Ned and Maggie Mayhem for a “hot” experience and for giving me such wonderfully detailed answers to my questions for this article.