The beginner’s guide for moms who want to live a more sensual life
Welcome to The Sensual Mom! If you are reading this, I know you’re a mom who loves her children, works very hard and does her best for her family. But you also feel washed out, tired, and you’re thinking there must be more to life than this routine existence.
I hear you. That was exactly how I felt on my 38th birthday and why I started this blog.
So, what is sensuality exactly?
Sensuality is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as the expression or suggestion of physical, especially sexual, pleasure or satisfaction. But this definition doesn’t do the word justice at all. There is a much fuller definition that I don’t think we always consider when using the words ‘sensual’ or ‘sensuality’.
Sensuality can be defined as the ability to fully enjoy our senses; touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Being sensual can awaken our sexual energy, but it’s sensuality that opens the door to experiencing your authentic self.
Any experience can be sensual when we are really present in the moment and taking it all in. Imagine you need to make a cup of tea. You rush into the kitchen, grab the first cup you see, fill it with hot water, dunk a teabag in, add milk (if you want) and gulp it down as you rush back to your computer.
As you walk into the kitchen, imagine how nice it would be to have a hot cup of tea, you can already taste the perfect concoction. You choose your favourite teacup and your favourite tea. While the tea is steeping, you take the time to enjoy the view from the kitchen window and notice there is a breeze this morning. Feel the warmth of the cup in your hands as you take your first pleasurable sip.
Two very different stories of how you can make a cup of tea. Which do you prefer to experience? And if your husband came into the kitchen at that very moment? After which experience would you more likely pull him into your arms to share a kiss? 😉
For those who are just starting on their journey, sensuality will often start off as a ‘practice’ and can just be about the senses. But as you become more sensual, inner erotic and sensual energy will play a bigger part in the whole experience.
As you journey along, you will realize that feeling sensual and being sensual are filled with complexities. It is not just the physical experience; it is also the inner connection with emotion and desire.
Our bodies are designed to experience sensuality, love and pleasure. The world at large defines women as receivers, passive participants when it comes to sexual and sensual experiences. But if we think of ourselves and our bodies as passive sensual beings, too many of our days will be spent rushing around and hardly noticing our bodies exist until it starts to give us trouble.
We need to embrace the idea of consciously creating sensuality with and for ourselves. Because when we take the time to give our daily experiences the attention it deserves, we feel different, calmer and more alive.
But how do we be more sensual? Where do we even start? Most of us busy moms are so out of touch with our wants and needs. There are some elements that are out of our control, like our hormonal cycle, the phase of life we are in, etc. But there are so many aspects of our lives that are totally in our power to control.
First, we need to be in a frame of mind to be open to sensuality. We do this by making space to experience sensuality, having the energy to be sensual and loving and accepting ourselves. All of these will help us have a more sensual mindset. Let me explain.
Making space and time to experience sensuality
You may be doing your best to carve out space for yourself but if you are really honest, it’s usually far lower down the priority list and definitely less than what you really need. There is constant pressure to push ourselves harder. We feel we can’t slow down; that there is too much to do and that everyone is depending on us for life at home to run somewhat smoothly.
But there is only so much time in the day. And there is only so much space in your life. How are we supposed to feel sexy and sensual if our space is cluttered and our time is tattered?
The answer is to prioritize and simplify. Because when we have space in our lives to move according to our own intuitive flow, we will naturally feel more relaxed and open to sensual experiences.
Having the energy to be sensual
You know vitality and energy when you see it. People with vitality overflow with that special something or as the French would call it ‘je ne sais quoi’. Every night, as I lay on my couch burnt out, I know I am running on empty and I crave energy like a thirsty man craves water in the desert.
Why do some people (and moms) have more energy than others? And how do we get our share of it?
For sure, energy comes from having good health. But there is more to vitality than the physical. So where does energy come from? Where does it go?
Healthy, nutritious food, exercise, enough good quality sleep and having goals in life all contribute to building energy. And we need to unhook ourselves from sourcing energy from fear, adrenaline, competition and ambition.
How we spend our energy matters too. With practice, we would be more conscious of where our energy is flowing to and whether these are things worth spending our precious energy on. We will then need to re-evaluate our lives and plug our ‘energy leaks’. One way to save energy is to not waste it on worrying about people and issues in the past.
When we start having a surplus of energy, only then will we have the energy to live more sensually.
Loving and accepting ourselves (self-love)
To love ourselves is to accept ourselves as we are, remembering that no one is perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses but each of us is unique with our own special talents that we can use to contribute to the world. In times of weakness, I think of my favourite quote:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Many of us struggle with loving ourselves as we are. As someone who has consciously or subconsciously sought approval from my parents, then my ex-boyfriends and now my husband, the concept of ‘self-approval’ being the only permission I need is foreign and downright impossible to do sometimes.
But I know until I can love myself whole-heartedly, I will not be able to love anyone else. You can only love your child as much as you love yourself. And others can only love you as much as you love yourself. We already know self-love is the answer to all our relationship problems.
So how do we love ourselves? Loving ourselves means listening to our bodies and their need for rest, support, nourishment and connection. We need to invest in ourselves and work on our personal growth to be the best we can be. But at the same time, understand that we are a imperfect women and that is just fine.
A sensual mindset
So many of us don’t know how to live in our body. We live in our brains. Part of it is our upbringing, many cultures teach us either directly or indirectly that enjoyment of sensual pleasures is dirty and shameful. A decent woman, and definitely a mom, should not be spending her days in the clouds thinking about luxuries, pleasure and sex. She should be focusing on her children instead.
We need to change this mindset.
When we dial down our sensuality or limit it to certain areas like the bedroom or late at night, we curb our ability to feel joy and pleasure in all aspects of our lives. We diminish the possibility of igniting our sexual energy which can be used in and out of bed.
Thoughts create things.
Being sensual is not just a one-time decision; it’s an ongoing way of life. The more we think about sensual pleasures and the more we create a life that allows us space to honour our unique selves, our wants, our needs… the more effortlessly turned-on we will be.
Some call it a simmering sensuality, I call it being alive.
So now that we have ‘set the scene’, how do we actually create a sensual life?
How do we create a life that deeply nourishes our sensual side?
Well, for starters, we will not make sensuality another thing to cross of our to-do list.
Many factors play into our sensual vitality as women. How do we tap into our natural flow of pleasure as busy moms? Sexy is the last thing on our minds when we are covered in food splatters and our child is pulling at our already messy hair.
We reconnect with our body and senses
Our body isn’t a machine that gets us from point A to point B. It is a vessel for pleasure and enjoyment.
We need to start noticing our bodies again.
Scan your body, notice where you are holding tension and where you feel pleasure. Be mindful of your body. Try self-massage and self-stimulation. It doesn’t have to be sexual but it often will end up being sexual. Over time, you will start owning your own pleasure and will also be able to communicate what pleasures you to your partner more clearly.
We need to train our brains to be in the moment. It is the key to living a sensual life. If we’re in our heads all the time, it can block our intuitions, our curiosity and our ability to fully experience life as it unfolds around us.
We must live more in our heart. Focus less on fixing or figuring it out, and surrender more to feeling our way through our heart and body.
We can use sex to reconnect. Whether done by ourselves or with a partner, sex is one of the greatest pleasures and joys of life. And being sensual means we can enjoy sex to the fullest and feel truly at home in our bodies.
Whether we think we need it or not, we need to prioritize self-care. There are hundreds if not thousands of articles on self-care, but it is not what we ‘should’ be doing. Instead, we need to focus on what is pleasurable to us. Really drink in the experience, and do more of what enlivens us.
Even though we are busy, if we look out for it, we will find opportunities for ‘me time’.
Find our inner rhythm and flow
Move freely and with rhythm, to music or to a beat only we can hear.
Being able to enter a state of flow is life-changing. When we are so immersed in something that we lose track of the world around us, there is a sense of ecstasy when that happens that feels outside of everyday reality.
No energy is directed towards distraction, fears of failure, or other concerns because you have transcended your ego and are only concerned with the here-and-now – Csikszentmihalyi
Using sensual tools to engage the senses
Music is very sensual. It taps into our emotions and conjures feelings and memories. Create a playlist of songs that you find puts you in a sexy, playful mood.
We can use scent to supercharge our senses. Having a signature perfume elicits feelings of joy, confidence and allure. Diffusing essential oils can change our whole environment and wake our senses up.
When you think of exercise, you don’t immediately think sexy but exercising makes you feel great emotionally and you will enjoy the physical results. Some types of exercise like yoga and belly dancing have very sensual movements that can fire you up.
Fake it ’til you make it: Be who you want to be, not who you think you are
How we look has significant impact on how we feel about ourselves. When we put on something beautiful and we take a moment to say ‘Damn, I look good’, it gives us a little boost to start our day.
There is power in underwear, no matter who sees it. Wear beautiful lingerie for yourself. Simple makeup, even when you are at home helps you feel better about your looks.
Practise incorporating small sensual habits into our lives
Notice opportunities everywhere and keep taking steps forward. There will be times when you won’t feel like it, you will find those times are often when you are lacking in time and energy, and not feeling in touch with yourself.
We can practise experiencing our senses. With every small gesture, we are expanding our capacity for pleasure, and how much joy we can hold in our body.
Even simple things like practising good posture and eye contact has a cumulative effect.
When we are practising sensual habits throughout the day, we keep ourselves simmering. Imagine a kettle bubbling on the stove. It is much easier to bring it to full boil than to start with icy-cold water.
Flirting with someone can help us feel good and generate sensual energy. Whether we are in a long-term relationship or single, we may not be working that muscle as much. Make the effort. Practice being charming in any situation. It is not about leading someone on. It’s about warmth and making a connection.
We also need to make sure we schedule feel-good time, we will have more to give those around us if you truly nurture ourselves.
Delve deeper: Read Regaining your sexual confidence: How to feel sexy again after kids?
How do we benefit from being more sensual?
As if there was a need to spell it out. But if you insist.
All the little sensual habits we incorporate into our lives will add on to our wells of joy. And when our bodies are producing pleasure hormones, it cannot produce the same levels of cortisol and adrenaline.
Being in the mood for sex more often and having more satisfying sex would also contribute to our overall happiness.
We have higher self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual confidence
Being sensual grounds us in our body. When we are consciously exploring what feels good we are learning our body’s language and getting to know it better. We start valuing our bodies as vessels of power and pleasure deeply capable of experiencing life.
When we learn what feels good on a sensual level, we become more embodied as human beings, hold ourselves in higher regard and are more capable of being confident.
We experience life more deeply
Sensuality reminds us of what it is like to completely live life in the present moment. To be sensual is to be fully human. To be sensual is to honour life itself.
We have better relationships with ourselves and our loved ones
Being in tune with our sensuality will allow us to feel deeply connected to ourselves. And our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship in our lives. If we create a happy, healthy, loving relationship with ourselves then other relationships in our lives will follow the same way.
Of course there is a difference between only living for pleasure and mindfully choosing to enjoy pleasure in a balanced way. Most of us moms don’t have enough of pleasure and is in no danger of misusing sensuality and being hedonistic and narcissistic.
I know we want to be good mothers, good wives, good employees and successful businesswomen, all at the same time. It’s just that we have to do it in ways that are more sustainable and effective.
The more we take small steps that are in alignment with our real needs, the more naturally our body will blossom with sensuality and joy. We are enough and have enough. And when we are enough, it is natural to give our love and light to others.
When we own our bodies and the pleasure they give, we own our stories. When we live a sensual life, we are really experiencing the full spectrum of our lives – our body, mind, soul and spirit.
What I have covered so far doesn’t even skim the surface of the landscape of sensuality. Such is the wonderful complexities of it. But hopefully these will help start you on your way to having a more sensual life.
How moms can live more sensually is what this whole website and community is about. We will delve deep into how to live a sensual life when we are busy moms already barely surviving the day-to-day struggles.
- No sex drive while breastfeeding? 7 reasons it’s happening and and how to get it back
- The beginner’s guide for moms who want to live a more sensual life
- 22 actionable tips to make time for self-care when you have no time