I was asked a question about sensuality and sexuality. I’ve been turning it over in my mind for days. Are they different?
Everything in me says no.
But my cultural upbringing says yes.
There is a tug of war between my senses. I think there doesn’t have to be a difference. That the true nature of sexual energy could be more than what we really let it be. And potentially even our sexual nature could even be part of our senses. Even now the thought on this isn’t fully formed, but it is dancing at the edges of reason.
Sex, sexuality and sexual nature in this case are being interchanged as a singular energy; even though within each there are nuances. Likewise, sensuality is being removed from sensual sexuality and place in the category of the five senses. My thoughts on this are not what I was taught, nor what I was told by society at large. But rather through my observations and through energy practice. We have become conditioned to use sexual energy in a singular way. And we have been conditioned to use fragments of our senses, taking them out only in portions, and always by what is deemed acceptable.
In our culture, sexuality is everywhere and despite it being in our face it is really repressed. Sexual energy is so much more than what it seems. But its been reduced to a few body parts and excitable locations. We judge and compartmentalizing pleasure before we even know what we are doing. And this happens for many reasons, it hasn’t been safe to explore, it hasn’t been acceptable, and no one has been there making pleasure OK.
We were never taught about the inherent sensuality of being in a living breathing human body because of the repression. It hasn’t been safe to allow that energy to run free. But what is important to realize is that we are cheating ourselves out of a greater wholeness. Our senses are doorways into deeper connection.
Children understand sensuality naturally. They squish, they linger, they play. They are sensory creatures and learn through explorations. Its also why they are so happy. They are connected. If we are lucky, we retain some of that into our adulthood. In our culture we teach children to compartmentalized pleasure, and as they grow, sensuality and sexuality become fragmented parts of a whole and complete story. What is repressed can become twisted and distorted. What isn’t talked about becomes the shadow.
Because of this I think we’re unhealthy as a culture. We don’t own who we are as feeling beings, and then become fragmented individuals who are collected together, searching for some sort of wholeness.
Think about it, what do we teacher our children? Do we let them slow down and savor the feel of rain on their skin, or pull them inside before they get wet? Do we let them roll their food on their tongues, or tell them to hurry up and eat? Sensory play is full of pleasure in childhood and becomes compartmentalized over time. Even the best parents, who know how to linger over this type of play, are still building the zones of acceptability. The play-dough goes here, the sand stays there, you can feel this in this zone but hurry up because we need to get to the store and then off to soccer practice…
We hurry and rush and sweep over the natural rhythms, then squash down sexual exploration because its unacceptable or dangerous to explore those sensations. Everything becomes compartmentalized through the lens of an ill culture. If we were to seek out, and build upon the pleasure in all action as individuals we would better understand our inner energy. If we were to slip inside the space between movement, to savor how we feel when we use our awareness, we would transform our culture beyond our current understanding.
But could we heal our broken culture through this recognition of sensuality? Would we ever be safe to just be human, or would there always be a threat. I think anything brought to light fully can’t have a shadow. Even in our culture (that is over sexualized and de-sensatized) there would need to be a radical shift in perception. What would we begin to teach the next generation about pleasure, connection and what it means to be humans? What would happen if we began to notice the space between actions for ourselves everyday? Could we heal our own stories, one sensation at a time? Could we move forward once again innocent, childlike and connected? At the very least through deeper awareness of how we feel on all levels we would be happier as individuals.