Everything in life begins with noticing.
What is sensuality? Sensuality can be defined as the ability to fully enjoy our senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. It doesn’t have to be sexual, so don’t confuse the two. Actually lack of sexual confidence often refers to body insecurity, which in turn means “not knowing how to be in your body.” And sensuality is in a way the ability to be fully in your body. Being sensual grounds us in our body, and we live in the present moment. To be sensual is to be completely human; and we get to experience ourselves, and this life, through many different ways; through all of our senses. This makes us more imaginative, and thus, more erotic.
What is eroticism? Eroticism isn’t sex; it’s sexuality transformed by imagination and creativity. The ancient mystics described eroticism as aliveness, vitality, vibrancy, and ecstasy. In a way, eroticism is similar to mysticism because both are transgressive forces; breaking the boundaries of the known to take us outside of our own limitations and beliefs, and lead us into an expansive beingness, a world which negates the rational. Eroticism is an inner thing. So the road to it may not be pretty for some people; it means we have to face our own borders and limitations, insecurities, self-image, judgments and emotional tensions. In other words, our erotic self has to first battle our inner critic, so that we can expand beyond our borders.
Eroticism is about being receptive, willing, open and responsive. And it is about noticing. Who are the best lovers? Those who pay attention to their lover, to their needs and the natural scents of their true self, and know to make love in so many more ways than just with the genitals. When we widen the realm of the senses, we unconsciously begin to appreciate things as they are; and love is very much about appreciation and acceptance, which is what I write in What True Love Really Is.
Below I lead you through exercises about widening the realm of our senses, and I also offer a couple’s exercise in my article Sensory Awakening Ritual for Couples. I’ve also previous featured an article discussing The Body Love Ritual, which has exercises for greater connection to body.
Widening The Senses Exercises.
1. Apply lotion to your body and focus on how each part of you feels; focus on the sensation against your skin.
2. Experiment with self-pleasure.
3. Walk outside with bare feet.
4. Touch different surfaces around the house and notice how each texture is different; notice which ones do your hands like most.
5. Stretch different areas of your body and notice how they move, and which ones feel the most relief.
6. Let someone brush your hair.
7. Sleep naked in your bed.
8. Wear soft fabrics, such as silk lingerie.
9. Let your partner touch different parts of your body and notice the sensation and how each part feels; which ones increased your pulse (you can wear a blindfold, so you can focus more on the sensation).
10. Focus the movement of your body and belly, as you breathe. You can watch how your body moves in the mirror also.
1. Have a candle-lit hot bath with essensial oils and flowers.
2. Visit a perfumery and/or candle store and sample different scents.
3. Create your own scent blends by mixing oils.
4. Close your eyes, or wear a blindfold, and let your partner give you different candles or foods, so you can guess which is which.
5. Indulge in the scent of something before you eat it or drink, for example, tea or chocolate.
6. Notice how your skin smells. Notice how your partner smells. Smell your arms, smell his arms, his neck, his chest. Press noses to skins and rediscover “kissing”.
1. Eat with closed eyes or a blindfold; which taste are most pleasurable to you; which textures are most noticeable to you; in what ways does eating in the dark amplify your tastes or desires?
2. Try new foods and tastes. Eat slowly and experiment with eating with hands.
3. Let your partner feed you. Does the experience of tasting change for you?
1. Light a candle and dance/move in front of the mirror, noticing how your curves change in candle-light.
2. Visit a church or an old building and notice the engravings, hidden corners and details on the stained glass.
3. Perfect the art of slow motion; imagine you are a camera and sit still outside noticing how things move by; watch the sunset, watch fields in the wind, watch your loved ones laugh, watch your children play.
4. Light incense or candle and watch the smoke/flame move.
5. Run your eyes down your skin and notice the details of your body lines. How does it change in different lights; when you are outside, at sunset, or home in the morning? Notice the details of your partner too.
6. Practice receptive gaze. Undress yourself in front of the mirror, noticing how you feel about the curves of your body. Dance, or move slowly, or do naked yoga, and notice how your body stretches and moves. How does this change if you now put on jewelry?
1. Sit in a quiet spot, or in a dark room, and notice what sounds you can hear around you.
2. Listen to wind chimes with closed eyes – what does the sound say about the wind’s movements?
3. Experiment with your voice, by recording it and then listening to it (as uncomfortable as it’d be).
4. Listen to different languages; which sounds appeal to you the most.
5. Repeat a sentences ten times with closed eyes, and then notice how the sound and feeling changed, and how your mind and body changed with each repetition.
6. Let your partner ring a bell while you are with closed eyes, and experiment with distance, space, movement and volume.
With love and peace,
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