Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash
Written by Susan Jarvis (aka Susan The Maven)
You know how it is. You’ve been in a relationship for quite some time, life is busy and stressful. Day after day you find that you are just too tired to have sex. You think about it, and you do a mental calculation to work out how long has it been since you last had sex? You don’t know because the days just blur into each other. When you think about having sex you feel that there is nothing exciting to look forward to because it’s the same routine time after time. Deep down, you know this isn’t great for your relationship but what can you do?
Reignite passion in your relationship with sensuality
The two biggest sexual organs that we all possess are our skin and our brain. When you combine imagination with touch you have the ability to plot delicious pathways to pleasure.
Much of society is conditioned by the media and entertainment industries to think about sex as being just about breasts, bottoms, balls, penis and the clitoris and we forget that two of our biggest sex organs are in fact our brain and our skin!
We are also conditioned to expect that sexual activity must involve the thrusting of a penis and focused on just one goal – the orgasm. This is a fallacy (and yes, that is a very deliberate pun).
All that this fallacy does is place enormous pressure on both parties to ‘perform’ and in doing so, internal distractions end up blocking our pleasure pathways. I say, forget about performance and the end goal of orgasm, for when you focus on the journey and the connection to self and your partner, the experience can be quite transformative to your relationship.
Bump the daily grind, give yourself permission to explore
Every now and then it is good to indulge yourself in a little escapism from the harsh realities of the world. I don't recommend turning to drugs or alcohol (except maybe chocolate), I recommend being sexual (in any form) as this will activate your body’s feel good chemicals to help ward off stress, anxiety and fear.
With the additional worries brought about by COVID-19, many people are feeling heightened stress and anxiety and this can translate to a loss of libido and desire for ourselves, and our partners. For some, the thought of being sexual just doesn’t exist in the middle of our current reality. I get it. I’ve been feeling the same too.
Whether you are partnered or solo, sex and sexuality are at your fingertips. Imagination is your secret weapon to breaking through barriers of boredom and low desire. Giving yourself 'permission' is also essential in creating the right atmosphere and theme for your headspace. The simple act of scheduling protected time to indulge your senses honours and respects your relationship to your partner and to yourself.
What is sensuality and what are the benefits?
I spoke to Sexologist, Richelle Menzies, owner of Sensual Potential, for a definition of sensuality:
“Sensuality can be defined as the ability to fully enjoy our senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing. Sensuality can sometimes be sexual, but it doesn’t have to be. Anything that is physically pleasurable can be sensual.
I often get my clients to slow things down, to explore sensuality, engaging all of their senses in not only their love making but also their everyday life.
It is important to take the time to make yourself or your partner a priority, engage your senses and commit your time and energy to creating the space to explore each other’s bodies.
What does different types of touch feel like? What sounds of pleasure do they make? How do they taste? Watch their body respond, and how does their body scent change as they become aroused, releasing pheromones?
When you take your time, you can create a deeper connection…a quickie can scratch a physical itch but to delve into the soul of our lover, you need to slow things down.”
A recipe for sensuality in the bedroom
So how can you maintain connection with yourself and your partner? I have a suggestion that will create adult fun without the pressure, expectation or obligation to have sex. Play this game with a saucy, adult twist!
Kickstart your imagination with taste testing, touch and sound while being blindfolded (the receiver). When you play the part of the ‘giver’ you also engage your imagination because you are designing the game and being in control to tease and tempt your partner.
Use the different tones of your vocal range to build dramatic suspense by whispering in their ear a description of where you might perhaps touch them next…the trick is to keep them guessing and to surprise them with the sensation.
If you are the receiver, it is important for you to be open to the game by letting your partner see and hear your enjoyment, such as the moans and groans of pleasure or the natural movements of your body as you receive touch. The non-verbal communication is just as important as the spoken word.
I’d like to add this advice, which is from my own personal experience. It is important not to mock or ridicule the actions of the giver. Yes, their voice might sound different or they propose an activity during the play which is a bit of a shock to you. It is vitally important for both parties to remain respectful of consent, desires and wishes. It is vitally important not to make fun of the other person because they look or sound different to who or how they normally would appear.
It takes guts to step outside of comfort zones. Please always respect and try to understand that.
Before you begin, set the scene
Make an effort to create a welcoming environment for your playtime, this demonstrates care and commitment. Items such as candles, fairy lights and music will help to create a space that invites intimacy, or even organising a night in a luxury motel room! Go with your head, heart and budget.
If you’re worried about making a mess on your lounge, bed or bear rug you can protect your furnishings with the specially designed Décor Fascinator by the good people at Liberator. The Fascinator will absorb any spills, it looks and feels wonderful to touch and machine washable.
Roadmaps to pleasure
All of our bodies are covered in nerve endings though there are erogenous zones or hot spots, referenced below, which are more sensitive to touch than others. I would like to add not to forget the feet, behind the knees and also the face and ears as additional erogenous zones, quite often they are forgotten about! Have you ever nibbled on an ear lobe?
Image credit: Shutterstock
What you will need
Put together a tasting plate of different flavours, textures and temperatures. Find different materials such as cottonwool, a feather, silk, a ball of baking paper to make sound or even crushing up cellophane will do. A brush with bristles, a metal spoon and something sharp, like the Scandal Trio Pleasure Wheel (inspired by the neurological medical device, the Wartenberg pinwheel) to tantalise the skin. One of our favourites is temperature play using melted wax or warm and/or cold items such as a stainless steel dildo or a porcelain dildo.
If you don’t have pleasure devices on hand, we recommend raiding your pantry and fridge for anything that you can get your hands on! A spoon, cooled in ice water and then ever so slowly touched over the face is an incredible sensation. Try it.
Suggestions: salt, chilli sauce, honey, pepper, ice cubes, chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, dates, lemon, ice cream, crunchy nuts (hopefully not theirs!) We’re sure you get the drift.
Your imagination is the only limit though I do recommend that you play safe and be careful not touching sensitive areas with hands covered in chilli! (Trust me, it burns!)
Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash
Remember, communication is key
Blindfold your lover, undress them and lead them to where you wish for them to lie down. Then ever so slowly introduce each element to each of their senses. Throughout each phase of your play, watch their non-verbal language…are they twitching with pleasure or pulling away in discomfort? Continually ask questions such as, ‘Is there anything I can do to make this more pleasant?’ ‘May I touch you on the…?’
Every time you enquire to their level of comfort, wellbeing and consent, you fortify the bonds between you and your lover (and yes, that is a definite pun hinting at rope play).
Back to reality
Adding sensory play to your relationship creates shared memories that can be drawn on to inspire moments of intimacy. Imagine this scenario, two people rambling around the house on the weekend, both working on domestic tasks and one person approaches the other from behind, places their arms around them and whispers in their ear ‘Remember that time when….?’. That simple whisper (and hug) invokes a dose of feel good chemicals in both parties and while it may not lead to a physical dialogue, it does lead to feelings of connection and that is what we all need to spice up our lives.
So, clear your diary and make plans for your imagination to run riot over somebody’s skin. Your new pathway to pleasure could open up a whole new dimension to your relationship with yourself and your loved one (or ones for those poly people in the community).
Go forth and rediscover pleasure.
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