Finding Your Sensual Self

Originally published on www.evolvedworld.com

In this modern age there is tons of information on sexuality. How to accept it, how to learn about it and how to master your sexual self. But what of “sensuality”? It seems that through all the studies and articles, workshops and books, we have deemed sensuality the same as sexuality, but it’s not.

I’ve always felt that when it comes to all things sex, sensuality is the flavor and sexuality the food. Without one, the other just doesn’t cut it. But often, we ignore the sensuality in our life in order to make room for other, “more important” concerns of day to day life. You may go to the doctor for a check-up and your therapist for a check-in, but I’m here to say that unifying your sensual self with your sexual and every-day self is just as important. Integrating your sensuality is as important as taking care of any other part of your mind and body.

But how do we embrace such an elusive expression when it’s been summarily ignored for so long?

For those of us that live each day performing at work, picking up kids from soccer and tending to all of life’s obligations, finding your sensual self can seem daunting and less important than scheduling a teeth cleaning. But, integrating this essential side to our selves is more important than you might think. Without knowing ourselves sensually, how can we fully enjoy sex? Sex is great. But when sex and sensuality meet it’s earth shaking. In addition, our sensual selves can hold the key to releasing the other sides of our personalities that have been waiting to be exercised. The freedom inherent in integrating this part of our selves let’s loose the inhibition to release our more open and playful parts of our selves. Owning your sensual self and building confidence in element will bring out a boldness that might be missing from your every day lives.

So, how do we wholistically meld our personal sensuality with our day-to-day personas? The first step is identifying what “sensuality” is to you. Literally, sensuous means “gratifying the senses” especially in the sexual sense. What is sexy to you? Does eating fruit always seem a little suggestive? Does a lacy bra make you swish when you walk? Does a certain type of music always make you feel warm and fuzzy? Isolating what it is that “gets you in the mood” is a great way to take hints from your body and psyche about what will lead you into the realm of the indulgently sensual.

Once you have identified what elements make your heart a flutter, start to coalesce them into your everyday life. Wear those “date night” bras to work, pack strawberries in your lunch and put that sultry music on your iPod. Don’t shrink away from this new found awareness, embrace it and make it a part of your daily ritual. It seems elementary, but you will be surprised how sexy you will feel when you least expect to. And why not? You don’t have to act on it, you just have to feel it. Feeling this way is a good sign your sensuality experiment is working. You might even recognize that you feel a bit more confident and that the people around you are responding to that. Good work!

Now that you know what makes you feel luscious, take it one step further. Let yourself fantasize about what to do with the burgeoning arousal. I like to read erotica written by women for women. Reading others accounts of their sensual exploits described in a way only a woman can is exhilarating and reinforcing. There’s something about reading a sensually sexual adventure that someone else’s sensual self has lived or dreamt up is empowering and reinforces how natural and welcome my own sense of sensuality is. Besides my own erotica website (shameless plug) some great sites to explore are Love Boudoir (www.loveboudoir.com) and The Erotic Woman (www.theeroticwoman.com).

If you’re like me, you like to read up on any subject you are interested in. The subject of your own sensuality should be no different. Trailblazers on this subject abound if you know where to look and luckily I’ve done all the research for you! Great places to start are Barbara Carrellas’ book “Urban Tantra”, Sheri Winston’s book “Women’s Anatomy of Arousal” and “The Art of Sexual Ecstasy” by Margo Anand. All these books explore the different ways you can meet your elusive sensual self and greet it head on. Chock full of exercises and techniques you will become a sensual expert in no time!

Now that you’re all revved up, you’re ready for a field trip. Take an expedition to your local sex shop. Gone are the days of the seedy storefront with cheap signs espousing “XXX” wares. Now, a gentrified more female friendly shop exist in lots of major cities. Like The Pleasure Chest in Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, DC and Las Vegas, Babeland in NYC and The Hustler Hollywood store in more cities than I can count. Browse the wares and don’t be shy, everyone is there for the same reason and the staff has heard and seen it all. If you don’t have one already, check out the vibrators (my personal fave is the iconic Rabbit) and choose the one that excites you. Maybe you’ll find other items that arouse your senses, like candles that melt massage oil or a tantra video. Let yourself drift into that part of you that is adventurous and craves touch and pleasure. Your instinct won’t lead you astray!

When you get home with your new toy and/or “aides” and you are ready to explore … set the mood. Soft lighting, music, dvd’s, soft sheets … anything that makes you feel sensual and delicious … you are about to have a date night with yourself. Get comfortable and explore your body with your own touch. Connect with the parts of your body that yearn for a soft graze or a warm hand. Be in the moment and listen to your body tell you what you need and what you like. No negative self talk. Tell those voices to go away. See the beauty in your unique and beautiful form and take your time. The goal here is not to “get-off” but to indulge your body. Sensuality is all about your unique path to pleasure and the confidence to explore.

Soon you will find, that whether you are partnered or single, your fresh look inside yourself is being integrated into who you are. The more you explore, the more natural you will feel expressing yourself and transforming your relationship with your lover, but more importantly yourself.