This post has been writing itself, in the back of my mind, for a while now. It started with a conversation I had with a friend of mine a few weeks ago, who also happens to be a badass sex educator/coach, about this pervasive language of *sensuality* and how that influences and intertwines with our more complex sphere of sexuality. It was a loaded conversation, and it went something like this:
Sensuality is the language we use that describes feeling. In large part, when we talk about it, it has nothing to do with sex. We use this word to refer to the different ways we experience pleasure in our lives... beauty, food, body, touch, sound, smell, art, sunlight, love... everything is a sensual feast. I can't stress how much I absolutely believe in this practice - the importance of feeling your life when you are in it! Embracing life as a sensual experience is a necessary part of wide-awake living. Most often, it is how I navigate... by feeling my way. It helps me explore and build bridges to new places in my life, so it is of absolute value, unquestionably.
But in the realm of sexuality, sensuality can bring us up short. Sex is often not sensual, at least not in the way you or I might practice it... in the slow moving, softly lit, gentle decadence way we lean into life and all we do. In fact, expecting that sex will always be sensual is completely unrealistic.
-----> Because sex is almost always terribly awkward, laughably funny, shamelessly exploratory, messy and loud, and an imperfectly vulnerable act.
There is rarely time (or need) for the soft lighting, gentle breeze, lace and roses kind of romanced experience we are taught how sex "should" be. Because sex is not about the external. Sex is 99% between the ears, and not between the legs. Ask any guy who has lost his erection with a hot date, or any girl who knows the mechanics of her orgasm. The nitty gritty of good sex, is all in the head.
And so this is why the leap from sensuality to sexuality gets tricky and many women get stuck in the sensuality trap. It becomes a safe haven for not having to actually dive deeper, beyond the feelings and into the depths of self. Sensuality can certainly be the warm up, but it is not the main event.
-----> Our sexuality is, and deserves to be, something in and of itself.
So feel your life. Deeply. Explore the wonders and beauty all around you, and inside of you. Be a sensual maven. But also explore your sexuality. It's a whole different landscape, ripe with pleasure and possibility that goes far beyond just feeling, because it's deeply about connection.
-----> The best sex isn't about sensuality, it's about intimacy - with your partner, but mostly with yourself.