We’ve all heard of the importance of self-care for our mental and emotional wellbeing. Self care is a key practice in avoiding burn out, regulating the nervous system and enhancing connection to oneself. But have you heard of sensual self-care?
Get ready to dive into the world of sensual self-care, where indulgence meets self-love.
Through simple practices, you’ll discover how taking care of your sexual well-being can improve your holistic well-being, while also enhancing your solo and partnered sex life and opening you up to a whole new world of pleasure. Check out our top tips and tricks to help incorporate sensual self-care into your routine and unleash your inner pleasure seeker.
Let's Talk Sensual Self-Care
We know that self-care is vital in our overall health and wellbeing, and yet often sensuality and sexuality are placed at the bottom of the list of priorities. However, it’s incredibly important that we cultivate a positive and healthy relationship with our sexuality to enhance our physical and mental well being along with having positive impacts on our relationships. This genre of self-care is all about connecting you deeply to your body, prioritising your pleasure, reminding you that you’re worthy of feeling good and reclaiming your sexual self.
Infusing sensuality into your self-care practices is a beautiful way to increase your sexual self-confidence, reduce stress levels and improve your body image.
The Art of Mindful Pleasure
Have you ever felt yourself stuck up in your head during sex? Or perhaps mindlessly rushing through your self-pleasure practice by just going through the motions? It’s remarkably common how often we are totally disconnected to our body and our senses during solo or partnered sex. But, when we do this we’re essentially cheating ourselves out of incredible pleasure.
We’ve all heard the buzzword ‘mindfulness’ thrown around the wellness space over the years, but are we really practising it? Mindfulness is a somewhat simple practice of presence, becoming aware of your surroundings and calmly acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without attaching meaning to them. In my work as a Certified Somatic Sex Coach, I use the concept of mindfulness with my clients a lot. However, I like to take things a step further, and this is why I refer to sensuality as mindfulness 2.0. Where mindfulness asks you to become aware of your surroundings, feelings and sensations in the body, sensuality invites you to savour in these - to take pleasure in your surroundings, feelings and sensations in the body and truly be of the senses.
The term somatic means ‘of the body’ and pairs so well with the concept of being sensual - ‘of the senses’. When we become more mindful, connected to and aware of the sensations in the physical body, we inherently open ourselves up to more expansive experiences of pleasure. But, how do we do this? Great question!
There are many tools available to help you enhance your sensual connection during sex. A simple and effective place to start is with the breath. The deeper we breathe, the more sensations we allow in our bodies. Focussing on slow, deep and long breaths during sex (be it solo or partnered), is an incredible way to move energy throughout the body, extend arousal, build up sexual energy and relax the body - all things that will increase pleasure and orgasmic potential. Another practice is to use the act of mindfulness to focus on the subtle sensations throughout the body. Often we tend to focus mainly on the obvious sensations, and fixate particularly on the sensations of the genitals themselves. But when we expand our awareness and tune in to all the soft, subtle sensations throughout the body, we increase our potential for pleasure. This practice opens your whole body up to the depth of sensation, allowing you to become orgasmic all over. Who knows, you might just find yourself experiencing an elbow-gasm purely because you are so highly attuned to all types of touch.
Love Your Body, Love Your Sensuality
Getting out of your head and into your body is a key pillar of sensual self-care. The better you feel in your body, the easier it will be to connect to your sensuality. This isn’t about your physical appearance or arbitrary beauty standards, but instead how you feel in your body. Building a neutral or loving connection to your body is a vital step in connecting to your sensory world and opening up to more pleasure.
We all know that regular exercise of any kind is incredibly beneficial for your physical and mental health, but did you know it’s also great for your sexual health and satisfaction too? Aerobic exercise increases your circulation and blood flow - which are essential in sexual function and arousal. Read: stronger erection, increased vaginal lubrication and clitoral sensation. If that’s not extra motivation to get to the gym, I don’t know what is!
My most favourite practice to help you get out of your head and into your body is sensual movement. While lifting weight at the gym and going for long walks is amazing for your muscle and heart health, dancing is an almost instant way to connect you with your sensuality. Through intentional sensual, embodied movement you move your body in an intuitive way that focuses on how you feel in your body - as opposed to the perfection of form and technique. Sensual Movement is a delicious way to drop into your body and feel really sexy through the focus on big, rounded and circular shapes paired with flowy and fluid movements and connection to the breath. To explore this style, check out my course The Art of Sensual Movement. (https://www.eleanorhadley.com/online-programs)
Unleash Your Sensual Expression
In a world that emphasises output and productivity, often creativity takes a backseat. But exploring self-expression is a vital component of self-care to feel connected with yourself, explore your inner world and open yourself up to new experiences.
When it comes to sensual self-expression, there are many ways to get creative while channelling your sensuality.
Journaling is a simple, accessible and impactful practice that you can start or pick back up at any time. To add a more sensual spin to this tried and true practice, I invite you to reflect on your sexual desires and fantasies. You could do this by simply writing a list, or take it further by writing out what fantasies you have and why they interest you. Or perhaps flex your creative muscles by trying your hand at writing some erotica. You could start by recounting the best sexual experience of your life, or get fictional and write a whole world of dreams and fantasies. You’d be surprised how much more satisfying your sex life can be when you actively indulge in your fantasies - be that IRL or simply written down.
Many artistic pursuits can feel quite sensual and even erotic - from painting to pottery (that scene from Ghost, anyone?). Regardless of if you think you’re good or not, playing around with some arts and crafts will inevitably unlock your creativity. This isn’t just great for your own mental and emotional health but studies show that people who express their creativity tend to have more sexual energy. Esoterically speaking, sexual energy and creative energy originate from the same chakra, or energy centre, in the body and are thus inherently linked. So, grab the paintbrushes and pottery wheel and get crafty! Bonus point for doing so in the nude.
Seeking Support on Your Sensual Journey
If you’re feeling stuck with your connection to your sexuality, your pleasure or your body and crave some guidance on your sensual self-care journey, maybe a pro can help. Let’s face it, none of us received adequate sex ed growing up, and it’s rare to have even heard the term self-care let alone be encouraged to partake in it at all. Thankfully, there are plenty of incredible folks out there whose job it is to empower you to feel fully embodied in your sensual and sexual self.
Consider working 1:1 with sexologists, counsellors or sex coaches to work through any blocks you may have around your sexuality. These professionals are trained in sexual health and wellness, somatics, energetics, pleasure anatomy, coaching and more to help you achieve your sexual goals.
Sex therapists and sexologists tend to help patients move through specific sexual issues or dysfunctions, whereas Sex Coaches focus more on helping clients reach their sexual potential. Depending on where you’re at in your sexual wellness journey, different types of specialists may appeal.
At the end of the day, any activities, exercises or personal practices that take you out of your head and into your body, prioritise your pleasure and enable you to connect to your sensual self are incredibly beneficial on your journey towards embodied sensuality. Embrace sensual self-care as a vital part of your well-being and revel in the magic it brings to your life - you might be surprised just how powerful it is.
So go ahead, prioritise your sexual wellness, and let our tips and tricks unleash the blissful, sensual goddess within you. Get ready to shine!