simple sensuality

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been desiring some experiences in my life lately. Laughter, joy, ease, appreciation, and something I called ‘simple sensuality.’ When I wrote that, I was thinking about ‘simple’ sensuality as something that was opposite of normal? regular? complex? sensuality. But I have been playing with these labels and experiences in my head, and in real life, and I think I’ve got things from the wrong perspective.

‘Complex’ or ‘normal’ sensuality (as a thing that was in opposition to ‘simple’ sensuality) was the heavy, red, Lady Marmalade, lacy, layered, black lingerie kind of sensuality. The things we think of when the word ‘sexy’ is uttered. What modern culture defines as ‘sexuality’ and ‘sensuality.’

And in contrast to that, ‘simple’ sensuality was something lighter, easier. White sheets (just as sexy as black silk, btw), open windows, open spaces, light touches, not grinding but sliding against one another, unbuttoning soft cotton shirts, unzipping denim jeans. Just as pleasurable, but…different.

I’ve been playing with that for the last week or so and I’ve come to remember that these are not distinct or opposing experiences, they are flavors of the same thing. They are complimentary. They are simply colors on the wheel that is the entire rainbow. (Duh, Joanna, duh.)

I’ve also been very much guided by two quotes this week, as I’ve opened to fulfilling my own sensual needs and aligning with my desire (rather than fighting them):

“Any energy that you deny becomes a demon for you. It becomes your inner tormentor. And you don’t get rid of your demons. You embrace them. Not indulge them, but embrace them. And if you embrace them in a way I am talking about they no longer feel like demons. They are just energies that are available to you. They are just part of this whole spectrum of what it is to be conscious and alive and present. And everything becomes joined together back again. A mature emotional life if when all the different parts of yourself emotionally are joined back together. Nothing is put outside, nothing is denied, nothing is hidden. Nothing is unacknowledged. All brought together so that it can all come together.” – Adyashanti


“My life is my practice.

To join with myself as I am right here, right now, moment to moment.
To be in union with myself when I am happy and when I am angry.
To be in union with my wounded, imperfect heart. Even if it never heals all the way.
To let that be enough. 

To be here, to be human, to be able to practice, to be able to mess up and forget and start over and remember and do it all again the next hour or the next day.

That is my practice, our practice.

And in this thing called life, nothing is wasted. 
It is all part of the practice.”

– Mindy Scime

I am learning to enjoy my desire. To let go of attachments for outcomes (like, orgasm). It’s hard, honestly. I’m not used to it- letting such things live inside me without fulfilling them. Watching the desire to fulfill get so…passionate (and sometimes angry). Desire ain’t bad. Desire to fulfill can be problematic. So, I’m learning and practicing and seeing how it goes. It’s weird and uncomfortable because it’s new, but I can also definitely feel that it’s so much more useful and enjoyable than forcing it to be fulfilled in the way I want. Life sometimes has better plans for us than we do for ourselves. And there is a certain kind of fun to simply holding the hum of desire inside myself for as long as I can. It is not dissimilar to riding the wave of orgasmic energy (not the same, exactly, but not far off, either).


several trees in a backyard with spring blooms and fall leaves

The rain and the spring blossoms outside my window.


I am also feeding myself the simple sensuality I want so much.

Standing at the window and just enjoying how my neighbors’ cherry tree looks in blossom.
Being delighted by how my shirt folds and juxtaposes with my sweater.
I have a cold, so the feel of a cough drop in my mouth is a small surrender to pleasure.
Today’s rain. Just letting my soul fill up on watching it rain. So simple.
Getting to bed on time so I can curl up in my lover’s arms and fall asleep there.
The delight in a good, long drive with a great playlist.
Hugs. From anybody. The good kind. Close and warm and almost never-ending.
Doing two sets of perfect push-ups.
The joy of buying new books and waiting for them to arrive.
Dinner out with good friends and good food.
Two shots of silver tequila.
The badass daffodil in my yard that would not give up even when it was tossed by the wind.
Curling up in a chair and just listening to my life: the kids, the traffic, the sound of my husband’s bike wheels spinning.

I have made a practice of not denying my desires. To say, “yes, I see you and feel you. You are welcome here.” I have also made a practice of purposefully stopping to notice, enjoy, and feed my soul on simple sensual pleasures. I think it’s working. I certainly feel less anxious and frustrated, and far more happy and fulfilled. It’s good, so far. [The astrologers tell me that Pluto is in retrograde and I may be challenged by my shadow in relationships…again. So, we’ll see what happens. Maybe there’s some new infatuation for me to fall into. The question is: will I need to?]

It’s Spring here and I am hopeful. And excited to see where my new practices take me. I can only hope it is towards more truth and health and love. And if this post sounds like something I’ve written about before, perhaps many times, just know that this is what learning looks like. Going over the same ground until it is part of our being- ingrained, embodied- that is the path of learning.

I hope you are all well, fellow travelers.
Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo



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