What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘sensuality?’ Do you immediately think about it in a sexual context? I know before I started writing this blog and reading more widely, I did. So I decided to sit down and think about what sensuality means to me and how I incorporate it into my everyday life. What things did I find sensual? Hopefully this post will get you think about it in your own lives.
If ever a word evokes the emotion behind its meaning it’s the word ‘sensual’. For me, it conjures up thoughts of relaxation, of letting my emotions take over replacing thoughts with feelings. It’s something felt deeply. It’s purely about the senses; what can be felt, smelt, tasted, heard and touched.
It can but doesn’t have to be sexual in nature and I’ll talk about the non-sexual side a little later but for now I want to talk about the importance of sensuality in sexual relations. In my own sex life, sensuality is vital. Without it sex can feel devoid of emotion. When I think about some of the best sex I’ve ever had, there’s always been an element of sensuality, even with kinky or rougher sex.
I enjoy sex to its fullest when there are elements of sensuality and when my partner makes a real effort to be sensual. It can be something as simple as turning the lights off and lighting a candle but what it tells me is that for my partner, they recognise that sex is more than a mechanical act to be performed and completed without any focus on stimulating all my brain and in turn, my senses. It’s about creating an intimate connection with another person. For this reason sensuality doesn’t have to be all about sex. Even if you’re not in a sexual relationship or are but want to introduce more sensuality into your life, there are ways to do so.
Here are some sexual and non-sexual ways to introduce more sensual experiences into your life:
When it comes to touch, the most obvious sensual experience for me is a massage. Again, this doesn’t have to be sexual in nature. One of my self-care routines is to make sure that at least every other month I treat myself to a massage. What I love is that you’re at the mercy of someone else’s hands and allowing yourself to be touched in ways that we’re not day to day. Recently I’ve started experimenting with different types of massage from hot stone to foot massages.
Another thing that I find sensual is having my hair touched, played with and brushed gently. I love having my hair stroked and I enjoy running my hands through another persons hair (as long as it’s clean). This I find slightly strange and contradictory because I don’t enjoy going to the hairdressers. But head massages are wonderfully relaxing and I’d take one of those over a haircut any day.
Something I’ve not done much of myself is sex outdoors. But I can imagine this is a highly sensuous experience. For some people I know it’s more about the risks of being seen or caught, but for me it would be more about feeling the sun or a breeze on my semi-naked skin (this is the UK after all).
Being washed or bathed is another way of introducing the sensation of touch. The feel of warm water on your skin is deeply sensual and you could incorporate a body massage into this or have someone wash and massage your hair for you.
Finally, I dare anyone to disagree with me that the feel of soft, clean sheets against your skin is one of life’s great pleasures, (even better with newly shaved legs). Or the feel of faux fur rug or blanket on your skin when you’re having sex, plus it beats nasty carpet burns.
The feel of faux fur on your skin
As I mentioned above, a long hot bath, being washed or bathed can ignite the senses especially if you incorporate scented candles, or one of my favourite things, essential oils.
Food is one of the ultimate sensual acts, in my opinion. What can be better than experiencing new tastes and flavours?
Whilst I’m really not a fan of eating food off another person, or have it eaten off me, I do enjoy being fed.
Or how about treating yourself after a long and difficult week, to your favourite treat but rather than shovelling it down, take time to savour every mouthful. Notice the textures in your mouth as well as the tastes and don’t distract yourself when doing so by chatting or watching the tv. Be present in the moment, enjoy the experience and you’ll start to notice things you’d never noticed before.
Then there’s the obvious joy of tasting your partner, whatever that might mean for you.
It’s believed that men are stimulated sexually much more by visuals, Whether this is true or not, why not dress up for your partner. Put on some sexy lingerie or play dress up and try some role playing.
Ann Summers dress up
Alternatively, what about watching the sun rise and set? Or standing and watching a fire burn, especially a bonfire. The sights and smells of autumn are something I find incredibly comforting and it’s without a doubt my favourite season.
Sunset in over Lake Grasmere
Recently ASMR has grown in popularity. ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is suppose to have a calming effect that’s pleasurable and results in that tingling sensation. Its purpose is to reawaken the senses and ASMR has been popularised recently in adverts and music videos. Since I have problems with my sleep, I’ve been incorporating ASMR into my night-time routine.
If we’re talking about sound, then is there anything that quite matches the sounds of your lover enjoying themselves? Or what about getting yourself in the mood with some sexy tunes? Personally I love listening to a song in a foreign language especially Spanish.
Connecting with your senses
What you don’t want to do is fall into the trap of experiencing sensory overload so try to introduce one or two of these at a time. You don’t want all your senses competing against one another. By being selective you can connect more with your body and senses and in turn help you feel more grounded. Ultimately it’s about achieving a balance, as with anything in life, if you want to connect more with your sensual side.
The more you start to explore what sensuality means and the ways we can experience it, the easier it becomes to incorporate more of it into our lives, and explore doing so with or without a partner.