Enhance Your Sensual Awareness For Better Health
Our five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch – are a precious gift of life. If we ignore or suppress our body’s sensual messages, our sensual responses are diminished.
We feel more easily stressed, more easily upset, and we heal from illnesses more slowly. However, when any of our senses stops functioning, when we are in a state of fear or in the throes of passion, all of our working senses become more acutely responsive. With a little practice, we can bring heightened sensual awareness into our daily lives and into our most intimate relationships. By paying attention to our intimate partner with all of our senses, we become more connected and more aligned, often leading to greater sense of love, pleasure and joy in each other’s presence.
It has been said that our eyes are the windows to our soul. Our eyes observe the wondrous beauty, colors, shapes and movements of nature. Through our eyes we can make or break contact with others. Through our peripheral vision, we anticipate movement, as in sports, or spot approaching danger. Even without our conscious awareness, our eyes detect the attitude and emotional state of others. Infants respond negatively to even momentary lapses of mother’s visual attention. Our eyes see more than outer physical appearance. Through eyes of love, we are able to see the inner beauty that lies within each of us just waiting to be acknowledged and appreciated.
Sound warns us of impending danger or the promise of excitement. A mother’s heartbeat comforts and lulls her baby to sleep. The sound of a purring cat calms us and makes us smile or startles us if we’re afraid of cats. A barking dog protects us, if we are its owner, or may frighten us if we are a stranger. Our lover’s voice thrills us with passionate sentiment or repels us after an unsettling argument. Certain sounds facilitate learning. Other sounds, through rhythmic entrainment, assist our body to heal. Sounds in the environment or those emanating from our lover enhance or interfere with our sexual desire, arousal, orgasm or overall sexual pleasure.
A healthy person may be able to detect from 10,000 to 30,000 different scents. Yet, each of us has our own unique scent preferences, based upon our society, culture, ethnic group, experiences, memories, or part of the world in which we live. Memories triggered by an odor tend to be more emotionally intense than other sensory cues. Some of the worst memories of disaster or sexual abuse victims are caused by their sense of smell. On the other hand, the aroma of freshly baked cookies or an oven roast can warm our heart, instantly reminding us of an emotionally comforting, happy time in our childhood. The lingering scent of our lover’s cologne or natural body odor can stimulate our longing to reconnect.
Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., author of the book, Scentsational Sex, conducted studies to discover what particular scents caus sexual arousal in men and in women. For men, the scent of a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie showed the greatest measurable arousal, increased blood flow to the penis, while licorice and doughnuts as well as cinnamon buns also had a stimulating effect. But arousal in men increased in response to every odor tested. Not so for women. Arousal for women, measured by increased vaginal blood flow, was highest in response to the scent of Good and Plenty, licorice candy, or licorice Allsorts and cucumber combined, but was also affected by a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie. Discovering which scents are personally most stimulating to our partner and to our self, we can create a scent sensitive environment designed to heighten sensual desire and enhance sexual pleasure.
It’s a matter of taste may be more true than we have ever realized. The French expression, chacun à son gout — to each his own taste, describes it well. Humans are, in fact, genetically, culturally and individually different in their ability to perceive food flavors. Scientists have categorized people into super-tasters, tasters, and non-tasters, based on the number of fungiform papillae, the structures that hold the taste buds, on their tongues. About 25% of the population appear to be super-tasters, 25% non-tasters, and 50% tasters. Women are more likely to be super-tasters, especially when estrogen is at its highest during ovulation or pregnancy. Super-tasters tend to be more sensitive to a bitter compound in broccoli and other vegetables or the bitter aftertaste of artificial sweeteners. Non-tasters appear to barely perceive these bitter flavors. Knowing our partner’s unique taste-ability, we can prepare meals that whet the appetite, we can play sensual food games together, or we can savor the taste of each other’s essence.
Touch, even the mere intention to touch, can affect the health, resiliency, texture and responsiveness of our skin and internal organs. How our skin responds to touch is determined by many factors: the quality of the touch, our genetic makeup, gender, state of health, previous touch experiences, individual pain and pleasure threshold, as well as our perceptions, beliefs, and memories. Even a light touch on the surface of our skin can have a profound effect of pleasure, pain, irritation, or ticklishness. Each of us responds very differently to touch and we respond differently to the same type of touch at different times and with different people. Touch therapy can alleviate our physical aches and pain, while somatic body psychotherapy can improve our overall health and wellbeing.