Increasing Your Sensual Awareness
In order to allow yourself to be sensual towards yourself, especially your body, is to realize that there is a distinct difference between sexualization and sensualization. Oftentimes, I see in the media or typical conversation sexual and sensual be used interchangeably as if they are the same, but sensual is just the more delicate version of a sexual situation, and it isn’t.
To be sensual is to appeal to all five senses, not just sexual desires or needs, to evoke different emotional states while using our senses as well. The common phrase “pleasure beyond the bed”, highlighting that sensuality and sensual things don’t always involve sex.
Sensuality is a state of being whereas sexuality is a state of mind!
Coming from the standpoint of someone who has been sexually abused throughout their whole life, it’s hard to depict the two because our bodies (for those who can relate) have always been seen and used in a sexual manner. We haven’t been able to decide for ourselves whether or not we want our bodies to be viewed in that way or not because we didn’t know we had the option. Even for people who haven’t been sexually assaulted, as women we never really have the option of deciding whether we are intentionally being sensual or sexual. It's always decided for us.
With learning the difference between sexual and sensual to create more sensual awareness, we collectively have to destigmatize the shame of pleasure that is deeply instilled within a lot of us. Allow yourself to wholeheartedly believe that you are deserving and allowed to feel pleasure with or without the intention of being promiscuous or sexual regardless of what you wear, do, or say.
Going back to “sensual” being a state of being, and “sexual” being a state of mind, no two people can be sensual in the same way. As for sexual responses they are typically the same for all of us. Getting aroused by naked bodies, watching porn, stimulation of genital areas, etc. all produce the same response within us majority of times because that’s how we have been wired.
With that being said, when it comes to being sensual with your body, the biggest thing you can do is realize what you actually like vs what you think you like based on a natural response rooted in us all. And I must warn you, that for a lot of us this may not be easy to take in and thus realize all things we may have done based on a natural response vs something you actually like. For myself, going back to my sexual history, I had to realize that a lot of things I did, I didn’t want to do but did them anyways was due to thinking my body was reacting to something, and I thought I liked even if I felt like I didn’t like it because I didn’t know any better.
Things to consider when increasing your sensual awareness:
It’s okay to find pleasure in all aspects of your life, and it not having to do with the fact that you are actually having sex, which seems to be the evoking pleasurable moment in a lot of our lives.
Realize that no two people can be sensual in the same way, and find some time to sit down and think about things that you enjoy on your own body. Try to stem away from comparing yourself to those who might even be similar to your body type because it’s still not the same thing.
Learn what your actual body shape is; there are five main types: Pear, Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, Apple, and Rectangle. No type is better/worse than another.
Get a mirror and look at yourself. Find angles and poses that now fit your actual body shape.
Wear clothes that make you feel and look good.
Be aware of sexual situations that you put yourself in that can lead to the decrease of your sensual awareness by your body taken up a form that you didn’t want it to.
Validate any trauma that you may have and know and believe that you can most certainly gain back that autonomy and create a sensual life.
Create boundaries in other aspects of your life such as saying “no“ to things you don’t wanna do or speaking up for things you believe in because our body can most definitely tell when we are doing things we have no business doing.
Take your time when doing activity, really stimulate and activate all five senses and use them efficiently.
Take note of how people respond to you when you wear a certain type of clothing, or attitude, or mannerisms vs when you are using ones on the other side of the spectrum.
Know that you always have an option to decide what you want for yourself and your body.
Learn to pleasure yourself, so you can go into relationships knowing what you truly do and don’t like.
All in all, realize that sensuality is a practice, and it’s something that you must constantly work on to gain that sense of being. Also, while gaining a sense of sensuality, know that you don’t have to disregard sexuality at all because that is still a big part of us all. Both should be included with yourself and people you are romantically involved with. It’s okay to be intentionally sexual and it’s okay to be intentionally sensual because we are all deserving of all those pleasurable feelings and desires. Sensuality is a no shame practice and you are allowed to find, activate, and use your senses to evoke any source of pleasure.