ColumnThe ability to experience sensuality is fundamental to sexual pleasure. (You can have sensuality without sex, but sex without sensuality tends to suck.) Your relationship to your own senses has probably taken a serious beating in recent years, but you can increase your sensuality – in less than five minutes a day.
We’re often more intimate with our iPhones than our lovers, more gripped by pics of flowers on Instagram than by actual flowers. We stop to document before we stop to touch, smell, taste, hear and see what’s in front of us. We’ve got this thing called life backwards, big time.
It’s important to acknowledge that it’s been a long decline – we didn’t just wake up and start ignoring our senses when Facebook and Twitter officially launched in 2006. Before we were obsessively posting statuses, we were already Starbucks-fueled type-A’s, running around like headless chickens, too consumed with consumption to notice the hidden beauty and wonder of even our most mundane moments.
We stare at blue screens all day. We’re so addicted to our gadgets that we barely have time to look people in the eye. When is the last time you stopped to really take in a sunset with your senses — and not with your Instagram?
It’s no coincidence that yoga and meditation have been our obsessions du jour during the last decade – we need them more than ever because we are so desperately ungrounded and stressed out. But even those body-positive rituals don’t hit every note we need them to — and getting to class can be impossible sometimes.
Even if you’re too busy to get to Bikram today, even if you feel like you’re too frazzled to fit in a ten-minute meditation session or make yourself a smoothie, I have a quick and easy ritual that will help you kill about a dozen birds with one stone. This ritual, from my private vault, can:
• Help you feel grounded and calm, focusing your mind
• Restore your relationship with your body
• Get a healthy piece of fruit in you instead of a protein bar (duh)
• Enhance sexual pleasure — building a better connection to your lover, and the potential for stronger, slower orgasms
• Reduce your heart rate
The Apple Ritual:
(Note: You can use other fruits if you like – whatever is local, organic and in-season. I choose apples because the “apple a day” adage turns out to have some serious scientific merit. And they hit all the sensual notes, because they have a discernible crunch. Bananas may be phallic, but you can’t hear them.)
Start by shutting out other sensory stimuli – turn off the TV, shut down your email, and silence your phone. The ritual begins the moment you begin walking toward the apple – as you head to the fruit bowl in the living room, the kitchen, or wherever you keep your produce, you’re already prepping your body/mind for the experience. Think of this as if you were walking toward your lover – even in the moments before he/she is right next to you, or touching you, your body begins to respond.
Reach for the fruit, paying attention to the sensation in your fingertips as it makes contact with the skin. Is it cold? Room temp? Slippery? Go to the sink and run the apple under the water – but you’re not just cleaning it. Pay attention to the sound of the water hitting the apple, and the way it feels on your hands, always retaining your connection to the weight, shape, and slip of the apple.
You can dry the apple, but I like to keep it wet. Close your eyes, raise it to your nostrils, pressing it against your face, and take a deep inhale. Notice the different notes of scent. Then pull it a few inches away, and examine its flesh, colors, indentations, the way the light shines on it. Now you’re ready for your first bite.
Anticipate. Breathe. Don’t rush. Raise it to your mouth but before you do anything else, press it against your lips, and don’t be afraid to lick it a bit. (Or a lot.) Then open your mouth and take your first bite – ever so slowly. What’s happening? Are you hearing the crunch between your teeth? Does your tongue taste sweetness, tartness, a bit of both? What do you smell? Let the juices run down your face.
Notice if you go down to the core or feel satiated beforehand. Notice the slight tackiness on your fingers, the after-taste on your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Run your tongue over your lips and below your mouth – do you taste of sweetness?
Do not be surprised or ashamed if you get turned on. Or you might feel really silly – both are normal responses. If you need to immediately go and mount your lover or use your vibrator — congratulations — you have definitely experienced deep sensuality. Now come back and do it again tomorrow.
Keep in touch with Stefanie on Twitter: @ecosexuality
Related on EcoSalon