For the last few years, I’ve been a student of sensuality. I’ve listened with my senses, letting them guide me into delight and deep knowing. I’ve allowed myself to be whisked away by the simple pleasures of each moment—a bite of a cupcake, the sound of my favorite playlist. I’ve made an effort to be aware of each of my senses throughout the day, my motto being, Sensuality is listening with the senses.
Since I began to embody the word, sensuality has only ever been about the senses for me. It had to be. The first time I heard the word sensual was in reference to a woman’s sexuality, which felt dangerous to me.
Because I wasn’t at peace with my sexuality at the time, sensuality as an actualization of the erotic seemed undoable (if not completely terrifying), so I made it a point to separate the sexual from the sensual, keeping sensuality strictly about my senses and sexuality just about sex.
But things are different now. I’m deeply at peace with my sexuality. Erotic energy is welcomed in my body. And as I play with a new expression of my feminine sexuality, I find myself curious about mixing the sensual with the sexual.
I finally feel ready to explore the inherent erotic energy in sensuality for the first time.
Bridging the sensual and the sexual means infusing your experience of the senses with erotic energy. It means noticing sensual moments and how they resonate with your sexual body. It means giving yourself permission to have the delighting of your senses turn you on.
And that’s probably why I hadn’t ever done explored it before. It’s felt incredibly edgy—maybe even a little dangerous—to allow myself to feel arousal outside of the designated act of sex. But as a sexually liberated woman, I’m realizing my erotic power, and how that power inspires the other areas of my life.
I’m trying not to be afraid of the sexual in me anymore.
So, here are seven ways I’m putting sexual energy into sensuality:
1. Breathing from my vagina. Breath is an essential piece to sensuality. By connecting to my breath, I connect to my whole sensual body. But when I think about infusing sexual energy in sensuality, I immediately think about my yoni, the seat of my erotic power. Because my sexual energy comes from there, I’ve been imagining that the breath I take in comes directly from the mouth of my vagina.
As soon as I begin breathing from my vagina, I can feel erotic energy stirring within me and bubbling over like a cauldron over a roaring fire. My yoni tingles, my pelvic floor warms, and my body begins to vibrate a little.
Feeling those sensations of erotic energy and allowing myself to go deeper toward them is sexual sensuality in motion.
2. Showing my body that I remember it’s sexual. In the regular hustle and bustle of the day, the realization that my body exists goes completely out the window. Our “get-er-done”, go go go! culture doesn’t help this, and when realize that I can’t feel my body, I know that’s a cue to slow the fuck down. So I get back into my body by feeling into its senses.
Lately, though, I’ve been taking it a step further. Rather than stopping at feeling into my body, I begin to feel into my sexual body—specifically, my erogenous zones: my nipples, my clit, and the point right at the bottom of my collar bone. I do not touch these places, I simply become aware of them. I let my mind hone in on them, giving them a few seconds of my interrupted attention.
And just like breathing from my vagina, I feel those tingly, warming, vibrating sensations that signal erotic energy moving through my body. But it’s not about arousal; that’s only a bonus. It’s about remembering how sexual my body is, how primed for experiencing pleasure it is.
My body isn’t a machine that gets me from point A to point B. It’s a highly sensitive vessel for pleasure and enjoyment.
3. Accentuating my sexual body. I love my body, and as an expression of self-love, I’ve been exploring what it’s like to emphasize the erotic in my body. I’ve been wearing crop-tops that show my belly. I’ve been wearing bright lipsticks that draw attention to my full lips. I’ve been going braless.
Adornment has been one of the easiest ways for me to play with my feminine sexual expression. When I feel sexy, I feel powerful, and that power helps me take up space in a way that wards off the creeps and fuckboys.
4. Using my sexual body to make him weak in the knees. My husband has this thing for my ass. He likes other parts of my body, of course, but my ass is the one part of my body that his hands never fail to find. And as an expression of my sexual sensuality, I’ve been using that to my advantage.
I love it when he delights in my sexual body, and I love using it playfully in a way that drives him crazy. Actually, when I asked him to name a few ways he sees the erotic in my sensual expression, he said, “When I see you using your sexual body, it shows me that you’re connected to the pleasure of the moment, and that really arouses me.”
5. Masturbation as a sensual practice. I’m not talking about a quick jilling off session. I’m talking about completely immersing your senses in sexual pleasure and treating your body like you would a lover who you’re bathing in a totally erotic, full body pleasure experience.
Light a bunch of candles. Massage your entire body with oil. Suck your fingers. Use your breath to move the erotic energy into every corner of your body. Give yourself an hour of non-stop sensual, sexual pleasure. Luxuriate and explore your sexual body, slowly, voraciously.
(BTW: Sheri Winston has a great exercise about sensual self-exploration in her book Women’s Anatomy of Arousal. Definitely check that out.)
6. Allowing pleasure to feed my arousal. There were moments in my strictly sensual practice where I would feel sexual energy trying to come in, and I’d stop it in its tracks. I felt like I couldn’t allow myself to go there because it felt inappropriate to feel arousal when I’m, say, sampling a piece of chocolate in the grocery store.
But sexual sensuality is about giving yourself permission to feel and feed sexual arousal. It’s about going with your erotic body, not against.
So now, when I feel myself being turned on by pleasure I’m experiencing—from the intoxicating scent of a flower or a sumptuous meal—I don’t stifle it. I allow it. I breathe it further into my body and use my voice to vocalize my delight: “This tastes so good!”, and “Mmmmm!”
One thing that used to keep me from allowing pleasure to feed my arousal was that I worried that if I didn’t stifle it, I might have an orgasm in public (which would be really embarrassing), or that I would get so turned on that I’d feel sexual tension in my body (which would be really annoying).
But now I know that I am in complete control over my sexual energy; I can choose how far to let it go. This has made feeding my arousal feel less dangerous.
7. Listening to my sexual desires. I am someone who has perfected the art of denying my sexual desires. I’ve done both mental and physical gymnastics so that I wouldn’t have to pay attention to the needs of my erotic body—because of shame and shyness, and because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone by making my desires known.
But now that I’m infusing sexual energy with sensuality, there’s no way that I can deny desire now. Desire is alive in my body, waiting to be acknowledged, if not fully expressed. And that’s one of the most powerful things I’ve learned about sexual desire:
Just because I feel sexual desire doesn’t mean I have to do something about it.
I can channel it into other things. I can use it to create. I can simply just let it be as it is without judgment or a need to do something about it.
Because being is just as active as doing.