Sensuality is different that sexuality, and it is an important distinction.
Sensuality is full presence and living from your five senses. Our senses being not only the data that is input to our brain from the external environment to signal reward and threat, but it is also the juice of our every day and what gives sweetness to the everyday.
Sexuality is the intentional behaviors to connect, control or play involving a more primal energy. Driven from this innate wisdom as human beings, we can feel it arise as if from deep within.
Sensuality can connect us to this primal nature, as it connects with our memory system in the brain and activates associations we have made them with sex. There’s a specific fragrance that every time it passes through my nose, I am instantly transported to this time I was being sexually teased with by this man I had been flirting with for months.
I visually see a woman’s bare back, feel the sensation of a caress on my face, taste the lips of my lover’s kiss, smell the musky scent of a man’s cologne and my body responds with arousal.
On the other hand, sensuality can also stand alone. We can be sensual in the way we move and interact with our day. From being grounding in the body and walking in a way that we are in fully awareness of the sensation of the air against our face, the pressure of the bottom of our feet to the earth, the caress of our own skin.
We can experience so much pleasure in the mundane tasks when we connect with our feeling body. And when we practice this state of being, we find and practice the experience of passion.
Now, sexuality can exist without sensuality and the practice of passion, but why would we want to do that? Sexuality without sensuality is simply the physiological responses of our body. We may experience pleasure, but it would be less optimal and more drive based to fulfill an internal pressure. We can even make our quickies become more amplified by your presence and senses.
Let’s consider sensuality and passion as a practice, shall we?
“Anyone who is observant, who discovers the person they have always dreamed of, knows that sexual energy comes into play before sex even takes place. The greatest pleasure isn’t sex, but the passion with which it is practiced. When the passion is intense, then sex joins in to complete the dance, but it is never the principal aim.” Paulo Coelho
I love this quote incredibly. And it’s not to create shame for anyone who may not have experienced this passion pre-sex yet or anymore but to encourage a SLOW DOWN and focus on the build up of energy and anticipation--in whatever stage of your relationship is.
He states passion is PRACTICED and I couldn’t agree more.
To savor the progression and enjoy the meetings, subtle touches, eye contact, buzz in the body without necessarily having to push faster for more...just yet. It’s like being in the enjoyment of the pleasure at THIS point and excited for the potential for development.
And further, let me remind you that sensuality brings the vitality to our every day. We can embody it in our actions, smiles, passion, play for all that is and isn’t involving sex.
The problem is that we label certain behaviors or attitudes as sexual and because of social conditioning and fears around what it means to be sexy, a sexual being, or just really expressive or intense, we may try to inhibit it, down play for the comfort of others. (Let me be clear I’m not talking about non-consensual behavior)
What happens with us when we try to do this? We aren’t living in full vitality in general which causes us to cap our pleasure potential and cap our passion/sexual potential with another.
Just for today, let’s try it out:
Let’s practice savoring.
Let’s practice pleasure in our activities.
Let’s tease ourselves and/or our partner.
Let’s go to the edge and then back down.
And go it again.
Let it build, babes.
And let’s create a palpable pleasure field of yum vitality and sensuality.
Deep, delicious gratitude for Dr. Cat Meyer for helping us discern the difference in these pleasure principles and for sharing her Breath. Sound. Movement. Practice as the digital bonus in our Sacred Sensuality Box.
Dr. Cat Meyer is a licensed sex and relationship therapist, yoga instructor, and reiki practitioner dedicated to evolving the relationship we have surrounding sexuality and our bodies. She is the host of Eat Play Sex podcast and the founder of SexLoveYoga.com, an online platform for education and programs on relationships, sexuality, and embodiment. Visit her at CatMeyer.com or follow her on Instagram @sexloveyoga