What Is Sensuality?
Our sensuality is with us continuously. It is how we perceive our universe.
What is sensuality? As human beings, we have the luxury of our five senses and conceptual thought to enhance our experience of life.
Sensuality includes the five senses and conceptual thought. Our senses are always with us. They are there to add to our experience and give us pleasure. We can derive enjoyment from something we hear, taste, see, touch, smell or think.
Human beings perpetually see, touch, taste, hear and smell things. However, when we glide through life on automatic pilot, using our senses becomes an unconscious act of existence. For example, a seemingly mundane task such as preparing vegetables for a meal can be just as much of a sensual experience as stroking your partner’s velvety skin. Our pleasure and enjoyment of all things is enriched by our senses. It gives our life meaning, brings us joy and creates our memories.
Imagine the juiciness of a freshly picked strawberry as it spreads sweetness on your tongue. A soft evening summer breeze is a gentle whisper on your skin. We tend to forget, but this is our sensuality. Living sensually is pleasurably employing the senses.
Sensuality and sexuality
There is a basic difference between sensuality and sexuality. Although these terms are commonly used interchangeably, it is useful to distinguish between the two. Sensuality is about giving pleasure to the body and mind through the senses. The only goal is pleasure.
Traditionally and at its basic level, sexuality is the physiological function of reproduction of the species that we are all born with. It is primarily goal-oriented.
An analogy using food illustrates the difference. Sexuality is like satiating hunger with fast food or something that is good for you but just tastes okay. You eat it anyway just to take care of that hunger. Sensuality, on the other hand, is like having a seven course gourmet dining experience. You enjoy every morsel for the pure pleasure of it. People eat to survive, but they can also enjoy a delicious meal.
Just as we learn to prepare and appreciate food for enjoyment, the ability to have and produce limitless sensual pleasure can also be learned. When we consciously slow down in our busy lives to appreciate our sensuality, it changes the way we view our existence including our approach to sex. Our world expands.
Sensuality is an activity in and of itself
If you were to go to the symphony or a concert, you wouldn’t wait until the last few notes to start listening and enjoying it. Sensually, to appreciate a musical performance, requires listening to all of the sounds and notes from start to finish. The pleasure felt throughout the performance adds to the entire listening experience and makes the last note just as enjoyable as the first.
This is true for any experience in life; Why wait to start engaging your senses? When we put our attention on what seems like simple things, we can perceive a rich, meaningful enjoyment and gratification. This is what we call living pleasurably.
Exercise for becoming a sensualist
Applying sensuality to your daily life instantly opens the door to more pleasure. The next time you sit down to a meal deliberately notice sensuality. Explore your senses. Pleasure is the goal. Slow down and notice what your senses are taking in. What gives you pleasure? What elements of the experience do you enjoy?
“…if we let something linger in our mouth, feel its texture, smell its bouquet, roll it around on the tongue, then chew it slowly so that we can hear its echoes, what we’re really doing is savoring it, using several senses in a gustatory free for all.”
- Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
Savoring and finding delight in every morsel, each stroke and one note at a time is possible through training to be a sensualist. Training ourselves to deliberately enjoy our senses can affect anything and everything we do, both in and outside of the bedroom. Noticing and finding out what delights the senses of a partner creates even more opportunities for fun. The potential of human sensuality is limitless.
Consider taking an online sensuality class to expand your life.