By: Starielle Hope
We are all born with an innate sense of curiosity about the world, and about pleasure.
Our ability to imagine an entire world inside of a cardboard box that we get to interact with for hours, or the amount of joy that we experience simply from rolling down the grassy hill or squishing our fingers through mud is so normal for us as children as to be completely effortless.
Then, someone tells us that squishing our hands through mud is dirty, and wrong to do. And somebody else tells us that we are bad because we roll down a grassy hill and stained our clothes and don’t look “pretty” anymore. What do we learn? If we are silly and playful, that is reckless, and if we are reckless, no one will love us.
Over time we learn that these simple sensual pleasures are immature, childish, and undesirable.
We spend years shutting down a desire for these pleasures, and trying to fit ourselves into the box of what we think “a real man” or “the perfect woman” is “supposed” to be.
This is how we end up on so many awkward dates that can feel intimidating or draining instead of fun and flirtatious. Have you ever been on one of those dates that felt like a job interview? If we don’t want our relationship to feel like a job, we certainly don’t want our dates to feel like we are trying to “get the job” of dating this person.
Yet we live in an achievement based society, where we are rewarded (or at least think we will be) for checking boxes. Rational, analytical, sensible, yes. Arousing? Fun? Flirtatious? Not so much.
In fact, it is exciting, intoxicating and incredibly attractive to meet someone who has a vibrant passion for life. Who is sensually activated by getting to experience the people, places and things around him or her.
The idea of this can feel intimidating or even scary if it’s new. Don’t worry, that is completely normal.
Humor me for a minute and imagine what it would be like to show up for a date with your focus on finding pleasure in each one of your senses and having fun, instead of analyzing whether the person sitting across from you is a good match?
I know that when I made this shift, it made dating WAY more enjoyable. I knew I would have a good time whether or not I wanted to go on another date with this other person. My ability to enjoy myself became completely my own, instead of being dependent on the circumstances of the date or whether I was attracted to the other person.
This internally generated happiness is also completely magnetic to people around you. The more I see people cultivate their sensuality, the more I see them attracting the friends, jobs, and romantic partners they desire.
At this point maybe you’re intrigued by this idea but not sure where to begin?
Anytime you want to incorporate more sensuality into something and aren’t sure where to start, I recommend choosing one sense and seeing how you might be able to experience more pleasure through that sense.
Let’s start with taste.
What if, instead of meeting a new love interest for a first date at the same bar down the street from your place that you always go to, you chose a new place that makes fresh specialty cocktails, or that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try for a while?
Wouldn’t it be more fun to go on a flavorful exploration together? If the focus is being fully present with the new experience and savoring each delicious mouthful, could you create a date that would be a pleasurable experience, even if you weren’t into this particular person?
And what about the experience of preparing for the date? Sometimes getting ready can feel like a chore. What if you choose an outfit that feels delicious to wear and dance around your apartment to your favorite playlist while putting it on?
In this way, dating can be an adventure of re-activating our sensual brilliance, one date - and one sense - at a time.
Feel ready to activate more of your senses on a date? We’d love to hear your ideas!
Photo by Enrique Abed