I have recently been thinking about the difference between sexuality and sensuality. In our society we are bombarded with sexual massaging and it’s mostly a massaging of patriarchy that we should sell our bodies. What is more interesting to me is sensuality. It feels more embodied. Sensuality may involve sexuality, but it is deeper. You play with your whole body and being when you are sensual, all of your senses may work at the same time and create more wholesome experiences.
I found this wonderful description of the difference and I could not do a better job at explaining it, so check what Dr Cat Meyer says about Sensuality vs Sexuality:
Sensuality is different than 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 everyday and what gives sweetness to life. Sexuality is the intentional behaviors to connect, control or play, involving a more primal energy. Driven from the 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 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 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 grounded in the body and walking in a way that we are in full 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 our presence and senses.
Now 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.
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 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 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 at it again.
And let’s create a super palpable pleasure field of vitality and sensuality.