"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams." ~ Ashley Smith
Sensory perception is a use it or lose it capacity; the less you employ your five senses, the smaller your related awareness and language becomes, effectively shrinking the known world.
In ways we often don’t consider, we know our selves most directly by what we perceive through our senses. Yet, many of us just don’t use our senses to explore much—especially when it comes to the senses, which are directly associated with our feelings and influence access to our sexuality.
Like our thought process, which for most of us is 95% repetitive, our sensory input—especially for what we taste, smell and touch—is a narrow tunnel that constricts us in ways that evade our awareness.
Ponder for a moment: How often do you eat something you have never tried before? When was the last time you tasted something that was new to your tongue? What was the last powerful scent (both positive and negative) that stopped you cold? When were you last touched such that it was all you could think about?
For many of us, our taste remains one of the least developed of our senses. Our childhood exposure to a limited array of flavor often sadly becomes a lifelong habitual and narrow window of what we "like." The increased consumption of processed foods, which rely most heavily on our innate cravings of salty and sweet flavors don’t work in our favor. In many ways what we taste is inseparable from both scent and texture. What we don’t experience and have language to investigate and express disappears from view. It is too easy to dismiss the unknown as unlikeable.
Sadly, it is these senses that bring us most fully into the present moment and out of our constantly reasoning mind. Falling into taste, smell and touch is the open door to true presence and not surprisingly the strong suit when it comes to making love. It is precisely when our quieter senses are allowed to dominate the rushing of visual stimuli and the overthinking daily life invites that we become more intimately capable, more pliable and open to the unknown that our sexual selves demand.
“Creating situations that demand your attention and awaken your feeling sense will make you a better lover.”
Beauty, which is sexuality embodied, emerges only as we slow down, and experience the world directly as a sensory reality. Pace is everything when it comes to feeling yourself in the world and not just thinking about it. I have been working lately to learn how to slow down and I realize that I have known and forgotten this simple truth at least a hundred times. When you live in all of your senses, you are not multitasking or even planning your next move. Slowing down, literally feeling the beauty and wonder of living in a body—even one with aches and pains—is a deliberate act that in many ways bucks the system we mostly live in.
Just the other day, it happened when I stopped to have a scoop of lavender ice cream. What a delight to not know what sense was informing me; smell or taste or the surprising in-your-face mixture of both. Creating situations that demand your attention and awaken your feeling sense will make you a better lover. Don’t eat to fill up, eat to taste. Literally stop and smell the roses, or the baking bread, or the summer at night. Rub your skin or try a loofah in a super-hot shower. Better still, rub the back of someone you love as they fall off to sleep. It’s all food for what makes us sexy. I bet you will be surprised how much sexy is there waiting quietly to be tasted, smelled and felt.
Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family. In her new book, "Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy," she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice. It has been called "the essential guide for relationships." The book is available on ebook. Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13-23 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. You can follow her on Google+