In Part 1 I asked you to learn how to “presence,” how to ground yourself in your body and feel stuff.
Once I am adept at being in my body, being present to how it feels to be alive in this place right now, I can begin to explore sensuality. I can bring awareness to my senses and through that awareness, begin to interact with the world in ways that please my senses. Part 2 of this series is about opening up sensual experience and creating a sensual “language.”
Part of the function of language is to bring experience into understanding. Learning a language allows me to refine and add detail to experience, and to increase my ability to interact effectively. If I am in an unfamiliar country and I need to pee, I have a better chance of interacting effectively to achieve my release if I speak the native language.
Is your body “unfamiliar country?” I was raised to believe so, to ignore or avoid parts of my body and to keep away from “dark places” many of which are highly sensitive and delicious areas to explore. My colleague Nekole Shapiro of EroticBirth.com calls these areas “tissues rich with sensational opportunity,” which I find delightful and intriguing. In Part 3 of this series, I will challenge you to go into your dark places and explore. Before we take off though, I want to review some stuff about operating your controls.
Remember when it felt really good to touch yourself? Perhaps you were just entering puberty and your hormone flooded body began to demand your attention. Perhaps it was earlier even, or later…maybe it was just before you joined this conversation. I want to evoke a time when your curiosity overcame the resistance of fear and you were rewarded with absolute pleasure. Maybe that happened when you first self pleasured, maybe when you first ate sushi. Find the place in your body that feels excitement, curiosity and joy and let’s practice.
We have, depending on who you ask, five or six or more senses. In the “presencing” exercise, I asked you to enter your senses and become aware of your body. For this exercise, I want to practice isolating one sense at a time and exploring. I will walk you through it with taste, and then you can expand as far as you wish. Don’t worry, in a later installment, I will get to touch too, and if you want to skip ahead, I find Barbara Carellas’ book “Urban Tantra” to be a wonderful resource.
Nope, not yet…
First, some ground rules for erotic exploration:
Give yourself the time. You are worth it…make an appointment with yourself. “Today from 3-4 pm I am exploring.” Turn off your phone, shut down Facebook, make sure the dog has peed. If you are like me, you will resist this and get distracted, have “forgotten” to check your email until 2:59 and need to respond to something for just a sec. If you are seriously distractable, get professional help…give me a call. I have ways…
Create an intention. This is pretty critical because it’s the step where you let go. Intention gives you focus. It can be as simple as “I want to explore touch” or as complex as you can imagine.
Create your space. This is about clearing distractions and setting the mood.
Let go of expectations. Anything that is inconsistent with your intention may be a distraction, so let it go. If you are exploring touch for example, achieving orgasm is a goal and a distraction, so let go of it.
Now you know how, so let’s try something.
Follow steps one, three and four above, then get a strawberry or something similar. Let your intention be “I am going to listen to this strawberry.”
Give yourself enough time that you think you will struggle to fill it. Fifteen minutes to eat one strawberry for example, or half an hour.
Try to let go of everything you know about strawberries.
For the first minute or several, get presenced. Really practice being in your body and completely present to the strawberry. Notice whatever comes up for you with interest and curiosity. Maybe it’s a memory, maybe it’s feeling silly, maybe it’s hunger or a feeling. Notice everything.
Once you are in your body, explore the strawberry in whatever way comes to you. Practice using each of your senses. Notice everything. Notice in particular how each sensation feels in your body. When you smell it does the back of your neck tingle? When you close your eyes and slide your finger over it, can you feel the difference in temperature between the seeds and the fruit?
This is both about pleasure and about expanding your vocabulary, so really pay attention to the details. Let the strawberry teach you new words, new sensations, new connections.
When your time is up, give yourself a few minutes to reflect, to write perhaps and to integrate whatever happened.
If this was useful to you, make a practice of it. Every day or as it suits you, do something similar. Take a bath, go to a concert, or for a walk in your favorite park. Notice how your body feels.
I have done this as a practice for many years now. For me it never gets old and I continue to learn new things. Savor everything!