The majority of teachings centered around pleasure teach through a lens of sexuality. The popularization of tools such as jade eggs, crystal vaginal wands, and experiencing different orgasmic states has been steadily increasing.
However, pleasure does not start with our sex organs and when we view pleasure this way, we skip over the important basics of pleasure.
That is the pleasure of the senses.
If we desire to increase our sensitivity to sensory pleasure, we must be willing to slow down and delight in the fullness of our senses. Once we allow time for self-care rituals based on our five senses, your internal and external world becomes richer and more alive through the feelings experienced.
A ritual asks us to be committed to our routine. It is important that we are disciplined in our rituals as many women do not rank pleasure as high on their to-do list.
We may view it as an inconvenience or waste of time. The discipline does not mean “you have to feel pleasure” rather it means being intentional, slowing down, and making pleasure a priority in your life.
A sight ritual centers on taking in our surroundings. Often, our gaze is fixated on multiple screens and we miss out on the world around us.
A great way to remedy this is by taking a walk in nature, visiting art museums, looking at old photographs, or creating a space that is aesthetically pleasing to you. As you look upon something, pay attention to each detail. Notice the varying colors and the contrast between light and dark. A sight ritual looks at the world as one big, beautiful canvas that is waiting to be taken in by the eyes.
A few practical ways to implement a sense ritual if you are chained to a desk all day is to buy flowers, candles, coasters, coffee cups, pens, etc that you will enjoy looking at throughout the day. A question you can ask yourself when creating a sight ritual is:
- What surrounds me currently and how does that make me feel? How can I improve it?
- What visuals attract my eye?
Aromatherapy is heavily praised in scientific and wellness communities for having many positive benefits for well-being. Our sense of smell can be used to deal with insomnia, anxiety, depression, and/or pleasure.
Here are a few suggestions to tap into your sense of smell:
- Light your favorite candle
- Smell flowers
- Inhale the scent of your beauty products while focusing on each scent note
- Step outside and notice the smell in the air
- Notice the smell in the air in your current surrounding
- Use a diffuser
- Notice the smell of your partner, children, pet, etc.
As you tap into your sense of smell, ask yourself how the scent makes you feel. Does it bring up a memory? Do you enjoy the scent?
Our sense of sound also plays an important role in mood. For instance, music therapy has been shown to help with anxiety and depression while singing increases our mood and reduces stress. Many of us spend time listening to podcasts, books, or music. However, why not switch it up? Try taking a walk in nature and paying attention to each sound. The sound of your feet on the dirt. The sound of the birds in the air. The sound of the breeze.
Here are a few more suggestions to dive into the depth of sound:
- Listen to your breath as you inhale and exhale
- Close your eyes (if it’s safe to do so) and listen to the sounds around you
- Read or sing aloud
- Create a playlist with various types of music
Pay attention to how each sound makes you feel. Did the sound make you feel excited? Grounded? Sad?
Will you be on soft bamboo sheets, warm rugs, silky pillows, or sandy outdoors? Gather a few different textures to play with. Explore what they feel like on your fingers, your legs, your eyelids, your inner thigh.
Our skin is the largest organ in the body and is always in contact with something, whether we are aware of it or not. By getting curious and leaning into the sensations that arise as we feel things on our skin, we open our world up even further to sensual pleasure. Physical touch from others, such as massage or a hug has a huge impact on how we feel as well.
Here are a few touch explorations to try:
- Lay in bed and feel the texture of your sheets against your skin
- When showering, pay extra close attention to how your skin feels as you lather up
- Feel how your clothes rub against you
- Next time someone hugs or caresses you, feel into the warmth of the embrace
- Take your time rubbing on lotion or beauty products
- Touch a variety of textures and notice the difference (smooth vs rough)
Food can be a wondrous sensual experience with its varied textures, flavors, and temperatures. It can also connect us to a variety of cultures and bring us joy while also nourishing our beautiful bodies. There is also a sentimental aspect to food as it can remind us of fond memories, or perhaps not so fond.
Here are a few suggestions to try when incorporating taste into your ritual:
- Slow down when eating and notice the flavors of the food you eat
- Try different recipes to expand your flavor palette
- Savor your food
- Pay attention to the temperature and texture of what you are tasting.
Morning Sense Self-Care Rituals Example
5:00 AM – A gentle alarm goes off so as not to shock the body into a stress state. You soak in the warmth of your bed, inhaling the scent of your sheets while feeling their texture. As you get out of bed, you notice the cool temperature of the room.
5:15 AM – You brew your coffee paying particular attention to the wonderful aroma. As you sit down on the soft couch and hold the warm cup, you delight in the slightly bitter flavor as you notice how it warms your throat. It brings you back to the memory of the best cup of coffee you ever had in that coffee shop you visited a few years back.
6:30 AM – During your shower, you notice the scent of your favorite soaps and hair products. You feel the touch of your skin as you lather up. The suds feel frothy and light. You notice the heat of the water and see the steam from the shower.
7:00 AM – Time to start the day
As shown above, we can incorporate our senses into ALL areas of our life. Life can be an intentional ritual full of sensual pleasure without being sexual in nature. When we allow ourselves to experience life in this way, we open ourselves up to a life turned on. We don’t need to wait for a vacation to bring our senses online and experience joy and pleasure. We get to experience it now, in this moment.
If you find yourself having difficulty slowing down to enjoy the senses, scheduling in a sense ritual is an excellent way to start getting in touch with yourself.
This sense ritual can be done alone or with a partner.
Step 1: Set the scene
You will need to gather a few items to delight each of your senses:
Touch: Grab a variety of textures to play around with. Feathers, silk, rough, soft.
Taste: This is entirely up to you. A charcuterie board offers a variety of flavors. So does different types of chocolate and fruit. Put together something that pairs well and offers a variety of tastes and textures.
Sight: In your ritual space, make it cozy and aesthetically pleasing if you can. Also, bring a blindfold. Using a blindfold while experiencing the other senses can help you feel into them more deeply.
Smell: Light a candle or use a diffuser.
Sound: Put together a playlist specifically for your practice that incorporates a variety of sounds or songs
Step 2: Set a length of time
Once you have everything in place, commit to a set length of time to really delight in your senses. Make sure you are in an area that will not be disturbed. Then, get started! As you feed your senses, make sure you focus on how you FEEL. The feeling paired with the senses is what ignites you from within.
By feeding our senses, we are experiencing embodiment on a deep level by opening up to the sensory enjoyment of that moment AND dropping into our felt sense of pleasure. With time and practice, you will be able to feel pleasure naturally regardless of external situations.
Muse upon 10 actions you do on a daily and how you can incorporate your five senses more into your self-care rituals.