Is there a color that soothes your soul? That you want to wrap around yourself like a blanket?
I have one: Weimaraner.
It all began with my love for William Wegman. Then I discovered that Martha Stewart paints had a color called “Weimaraner.” I was hooked.
I’ve had at least one room in all of our homes painted this hue. I love the way it changes from silver to brown depending on the light. Our white trim looks so crisp against it, and the leather furniture brings out its richness.
Mmmm, I totally adore this color. I want to surround myself with it and be swallowed up by it. I can’t get enough of it.
I feel a weekend’s worth of painting coming on …
I came across some rather dreary and downright offensive (at least to me) definitions of “Sensuality” today while researching for an upcoming class.
–noun, plural -ties.
1. sensual nature: the sensuality of Keats’s poetry.
2. unrestrained indulgence in sensual pleasures.
3. lewdness; unchastity.
When I work with women to help them develop their sensuality, it is not about “indulgence” or “lewdness.” It is not even about sex. It is about being aware of what they see, touch, taste, etc — and their reaction to it. It is about having all of their sensory inputs open. It is about being in tune with body and spirit.
I do not see how sensuality is in any way related to “unchastity”!
So I challenge you to come up with something better.
I treated myself to a massage after work on Friday at Eden Therapy & Massage, just downstairs from our office. I definitely needed a little “me” time. Massages are really my only indulgence. I don’t buy expensive shoes or handbags, but I would get a massage every week if I could afford it. (Maybe even every day if I had the time!)
A lot of websites list “The Benefits of Massage” (which include relieving headaches or cramps, easing stress, etc) but not many mention the benefit I appreciate the most — being aware of my body.
During a good massage, I am aware of each muscle in my body. I am aware that when pressure is applied to a certain spot on my foot, my scalp tingles. I am aware that my hamstrings are tight, that the spot between my shoulder blades is always tender, and that I carry my stress in my neck and shoulders.
I am also aware that it feels good to be touched by another person. I marvel at his strong fingers and focused movements. I wonder what it is like for him to touch people all day. I wonder if he knows that his touch may be the only physical contact that some customers have all week, or maybe all month.
And as a clinical sexologist, I am keenly aware that many people experience difficulty in their sex lives because they are not aware of their body. They haven’t paid attention to the kind of touch they prefer, or where they like to be touched. They aren’t comfortable experiencing their own body or inviting someone to touch them in a pleasurable way.
I’m not promising that getting a massage will improve your sex life, but I am strongly suggesting that if you want to improve your sexual encounters, one way to do that is to be intentional about touch and being comfortable in your body.
I am a reluctant blogger. I much prefer face-to-face and one-on-one interactions. I need to hear a person’s tone of voice, notice their posture and hand gestures, sense their hesitation or anxiety. For all of our “communicating” we barely look into each other’s eyes anymore. Eye contact is a form of non-physical touch, and we could all do with more touching in our lives.
I am teaching a class tonight at E-Sensual Woman on the importance of touch and how our earliest experiences of touch profoundly affect our sex lives as adults. As Aline Zoldbrod PhD writes in Sex Smart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What To Do About It:
When you are examining your feelings about being a sexual person, you should first notice how you feel about giving and receiving touch. Touching isn’t sexual per se, but touch is the foundation upon which your ability to enjoy sexuality is built; it is vital to loving and to sexual expression. To have skin contact with a partner and to feel the warmth of his (or her) body remains an essential component of many kinds of love relationships.” (p. 15).
As our world becomes more and more gadget-centered, we can’t neglect the importance of touch. Whatever technology we invent that is supposedly going to make “connecting” easier or faster … nothing can replace the power of touch to truly connect us to those we love.
Your homework for today? Reach out and touch someone.