Archive | sensuality

moving forward using all my breath

moving forward, using all my breath/
making love to you was never second best.

| I Melt With You |
Modern English

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I have been writing letters and emails about sex and desire and sensuality and letting the data slosh around in my head this week and a ‘memory’ came up on Facebook that made me stop and realize how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned since I started this blog.

The post, which I had written a year ago, said,
“I am not a sensualist for the feather and bone people.
I am a sensualist for people who like holodecks and math jokes.”

It’s true.

I’m a nerd. A geek. A weirdo.
I like science jokes. And math jokes. And clever word jokes (especially double entendre!). And digging deeply into whatever topic is currently grabbing my attention.

I’m curious.
And I like to have my curiosity satisfied.
Curiosity is my only appetite, really. And it has lead me to so many interesting places.
And those places have helped me learn so much about myself, my life, my sexuality, and my sensuality.

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I know that when I stared this blog it was a place for me to process what was happening as a result of the Sex Surge. My libido was high, I didn’t know what to do with it except have sex, and I wasn’t getting enough of that. So, I took that creative energy (because sex is, at its essence, creativity) and started creating things here. [Kinda sad, kinda glad to be out of that phase, tbh.]

Gradually that morphed into re-creating myself by focusing on sensuality. Which started with learning what sensuality even meant. And then learning to pull apart sexuality and sensuality (they aren’t the same, but we treat them as if they were) and starting to live with an awareness of my sensuality (even, or especially, when I wasn’t naked).

You can see one example in this 3-part series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

What I realized this week is that I’ve made a lot of progress in the last few years. I know my sensuality even with my clothes on- the thing that felt so out of reach in Part 3 is actually here.

I’m no longer afraid of my sensuality.
I’m no longer afraid of my sexual desire/s.
I’m no longer afraid of my own intensity. (Lots of people are, though, which is fine. You do you.)
I’m no longer afraid of living sensually on a daily basis.
I know a lot about sexual pleasure.
I know a lot more about sensual pleasure.

Sensuality looks different for each person. I’m an introvert, so my outward sensuality is quiet, if you see me in ‘regular’ life. I share my ideas, perspectives, and experiences here, and that can look like I’m brash or loud about my sexuality and sensuality, but I share openly here because this is a safe place to say such things. (Strangely enough, I can say whatever I want on this blog- in a totally public forum- and if anyone doesn’t like it, they are free to say so- or to leave!- but I don’t have to interact with them. Which is to say, I don’t have to read my comments section so I can say whatever the fuck I want and let any consequences go.)

My inward sensuality is really the key place where I have grown. If you take the time to get to know me, I will gradually peel my layers away (it takes time and I have to trust, which I’m not great at), and share my sensuality with you. (Which has zero to do with getting naked physically.) My inward sensuality is the place where I feel most alive- where I am most aware of all my senses and desires and enjoying each bit of life as it comes. There are 100 different kinds of orgasms and my inward sensuality is where I experience most of them. This inward place keeps me nourished spiritually- filled with the beauty of this Earth and this life.

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‘Making love to life’ was my mantra for the first few years into the journey of sensuality. I wanted to interact, intimately, with what Life had to offer. I wanted to seduce it and be seduced by it. I wanted to feel everything, to travel every emotion. I wanted to ask for exactly what I wanted and see how it was given to me.

This path looked like:
naming my prayers on a regular basis
being the Wild Heart
discovering that lust is not a problem
naming who I wanted to become and becoming her

And opening to my sensuality, learning from it, has been the path. Making love to life was never second best. I’ve learned a lot- and I’m so grateful for what I know. But I’m also curious about what is still out there to be learned. Curiouser and curiouser.

And so, if you find that you need the services of a sensualist- to help you bring more life to your life- I’m here. And I’ll make sex metaphors using Lord of the Rings or Star Wars references (seriously, let’s talk about how full body orgasm is similar to when Merry and Pippin set off the dragon firework, cuz that’s a thing). And probably a math joke. And pop culture. And myths. And some savage double entendre once we get going. But I know what I’m talking about now…and I’m here to help.

Big love, fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo





if you deserve
mine will flow from my arms to yours
no effort, no asking.
but, if there is none
you feel wind instead.
that my spirit already
senses that
when you smell sweetness
begin harvesting blades in your hands.

– kindness is a form of intelligence

| nayyirah waheed |

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This is what it
is to be wild
Wild is the strange
pull and
whispering wisdom.
its the gentle nudge and
the forceful ache. It is
your truth, passed down
from the ancients, and the
very stream of life
in your blood. Wild
is the soul where passion
and creativity reside,
and the quickening
of your heart. Wild
is what is real, and
wild is your home.

| Victoria Erickson |

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Tantra is one of the most important secrets ever discovered. But it is very delicate because it is the greatest art. To paint is easy, to create poetry is easy, but to create a communion with the energy of the other, a dancing communion, is the greatest and most difficult art to learn.

| Osho |

{{ i do enjoy practicing, though. }}

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At the peak of our stuckness, we habitually long for a sign that will stand out and call to us. We desire a signal or confirmation of the next right step or choice.

We long for inspiration and desire to return to our lives, when we feel desperate and depleted in the mundane.

The richness we crave lies in our ordinary, everyday lives. Cultivating awareness in each moment invites the possibility for deeper experience.

Intention and conscious alertness in our daily tasks, invites space for the aliveness we miss. Noticing details provided by our senses, being with the moment, and switching perspectives can all incite a magical spark.

| Gina Angelini |

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Take me past
the guarded place
in you
where confusion
covers itself
in unrelenting confidence
then marches on
in lively steps.
Take off the facade
let it fall away
into nowhere
Turn around and face me
I search the infinite depth
where beyond all entrenchments
I find your thirst
to be met
and understood
the sadness in your bones,
the want of your silent cries
to be heard
and be known-
abiding within those
unseen landscapes
is a world of precious
Let me touch where
the battle wounds
lie quietly healing-
Buried beneath
an armored sheath
rests a lifetime of love
and loneliness,
blame and triumph,
honor and defeat.
Within this blended web
of scars and treasures,
glistening with honey,
there you are-
I found you,
beneath the soldiers plated heart.
So loosen the knots around my own
see all its agony bared and mending
and in between each open space
we’ll breathe upon the frailty.
All the wishful longings to be had
bring to me yours
as I meet you there with mine.

| Susan Frybort |  Hope is a Traveler




Full Moon in Taurus

Tonights full moon is for relaxing, lovers, sensuality, and gratitude.

From Carolyn Elliott at WITCH:

Just a heads up – the full moon this Friday will be in Taurus, where the moon is exalted.

What does that mean, “exalted”? 

It basically means that the moon is happiest in Taurus, even happier than in the sign that it “rules” – Cancer. Cancer sure is moon-y and moody, but Taurus is super luxe and relaxed, and the moon loves to be there.

Also: Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of love and romance. 

So if you’ve been looking for a great time to do a love spell, the full moon in Taurus is your prime time. 

It’s an excellent night to have fun with friends and / or to relax in a bubble bath while you contemplate all the bounty that you’re grateful to have.


Some beautiful and practical advice from Naimonu James:

y’all, some days we are going to need something that will keep us going when we are unsure we can go on any longer.
then we will remember taurus and shout in delight, for it is taurus who knows that existing is more than enough. who knows the power of song and dance to bring us joy on the coldest nights. dear taurus knows that sometimes getting comfortable is more than enough work for one day. it is taurus that remind us that work without the promise of a warm bed and a delicious meal is probably the wrong work to be doing.
as the sky goes dark and the weather turns cold, may we remember our inner taurus and allow them to pull us toward joy too easily forgotten. this saturday november 4 at 12:23 am new orleans time, when the moon grows heavy in taurus, be joyful. indulge in what truly makes you happy to be alive. set aside your work for a moment and do whatever it is that puts a smile on your face and roots you into glee. if cannot think of that one thing that enlivens you, find someone who can support you in this crucial work. as hard as it may be, as silly as it may seem, be joyful. if that is simply too hard for you to do, and you would like for it to be a bit easier, what needs to shift so you can access your joy, your birthright? how can you step up for yourself this taurus full moon and build that life that allows you to enjoy your existence?


From Aeolian Heart Astrology:

On this Full Moon night, your receptivity to sensual pleasures will be greatly enhanced, strengthening your spirit and nourishing your soul. By grounding consciousness back into your body, this Full Moon will illuminate your senses, bringing new sparkle into your eyes, new softness into your hands, and a new melting into your mouth. Thus, your consciousness will expand as the wonder of infinity is revealed through the simplest enjoyments.


Enjoy this full moon, friends. Whatever of these perspectives calls to your heart, mind, or most sensual body, go with it.




the complexity of accepting joy

I am learning to accept joy in my life.

Which sounds like a strange thing to say, except that my life has almost always revolved around the emotion of bittersweetness…of almost getting what I want. Or of getting what I want, but in a slightly different way than I imagined. Or of hoping for joy, but watching it pass me by to one extent or another.

This past August/September there was a great upheaval within me- I clearly saw an old pattern in my emotional system. The pattern is this: I can only have what I want after great difficulty.

The world will give me what I desire, but never quite the way I want it, or only after I’ve hurt myself in the process of getting it. (Sacrificing too much energy in mind, body, or spirit.)

It probably started when I was six and was diagnosed with diabetes (type 1). From that day onward I never quite got what I wanted again. I could have dessert, but only angel food cake. I could only have candy if I had a low blood sugar. I could have dessert, but only once a month. I think I learned quickly that I could never have what I really, truly wanted. And when you get that message as a small person, it’s tough to clean it out.

In some places this story played out over and over again. Never quite the car I wanted. Never quite the house I wanted. The dress never looked quite right. The shoes were lovely, but the wrong size. The little disappointments were always mine.

Of course, I accepted it. This was my life, this was how things go. The spiritual traditions say this kind of acceptance of whatever comes is a good thing; a practice many wish to achieve.

I learned to tone down my desires. What I got was ‘good enough.’

But then…
but then…

Six years ago, desire swept through my body with such intensity that I could no longer deny that I wanted things exactly as I wanted them. I wanted things I have never wanted before. I wanted. I desired. The desire had precision.

And I had to own it.

It took me two coaches to understand that 1- desire was okay again and 2- it was okay to name my desires and seek to fulfill them. It was okay to be blown wide open with desire. I also had to learn the nuance between ‘desire’ and ‘want’ because not every fantasy can be fulfilled.

Which was the hardest goddamn lesson. To go from very little desire- because why bother?- to heated, pulsing desire, and then to recognize that fulfillment may not be in the cards anyway. Same old goddamn story as always.

But then, this August.

I got tired of living with whatever Life served of my desires.
I got frustrated with spending too much life blood to achieve my goals.
I wanted what I wanted, the way I wanted it. 

Was that too much to ask?
Just once?
Just when it really mattered?
Couldn’t I have the thing/person/experience as desired with no extra effort, just…just a bit?
Life is inherently unfair, I know.
And I know I get a lot of what I want; this isn’t ingratitude for what I have.
It is the pleasure of having it exactly as I desired.



I began to ask for what I wanted. Exactly what I wanted.
I’m fucking old enough to know what I want and ask for it.
I began to do just that.

But digging out an old piece of emotional software takes time; we must have patience in the practice so we can get somewhere and see our progress. I have learned three things so far:

Asking for what I want is frightening and liberating. Just asking- ‘can we chat?’ ‘I’d like to connect with you,’ ‘I want the blue one,’- has been a big step. Asking the person, the clerk at the dress shop, my friends, was different; I haven’t done that in a long time. It is one thing to accept my desires. It is another to name them, out loud, to other people and ask them to help me get what I want.

The risk of asking is vulnerability at another level. I have been told ‘no’ to a couple of my requests. Of course it hurts at one level or another. To want is to open our heart and then…to not receive it? Yes, it hurts. But what I have learned is that this risking is what it is to be alive. All the feelings that go along with wanting what I want, asking for it, waiting, hoping, and not getting- those are the feelings of being human. It is disappointment but at least in my disappointment I am alive, trying.

[I am also pondering when to fight for a thing, a person, an experience you want and when not to. Sometimes other people are scared or don’t have enough info (or maybe they’re agoraphobic, how do I know?). Do I fight to get what I want by reaching out again- even looking like a fool to do so? I don’t know. Sometimes it looks like Life hands me awkward second chances, but I rarely see them in the moment. I’m trying to figure it out. But I’m new to this piece and so I make mistakes. I am very good at learning, however, I wish I didn’t have to learn by fucking some things up.]

Receiving joy is complex in a way I didn’t understand. When I shut myself down to true desire I also shut myself down to receiving that which I desire (joy, connection, fun, a cute shirt, etc.). It’s one thing to throw out the pitch, it’s another to have your hands open, ready to have the ball come back at you. I have had to practice opening to joy, opening to getting what I want (the way I want it). [And PS- this is zero about the Law of Attraction which I think is bullshit.]

Two weeks ago, I had a day so full of joy I was beaming. I think I was lit up like a Christmas tree- I was smiling with my whole body. The day had gone so spectacularly well- a new tattoo, a little innocent flirting, a dress that made me feel just right, my twentieth wedding anniversary, heading out to my favorite restaurant, and a dozen other things that I was able to receive and enjoy. I truly felt like I was so full of joy I might actually explode into some kind of happiness ectoplasm if anyone touched me. (But, I don’t know, maybe happiness ectoplasm feels good when it’s all gloppy on you??) Fifteen little things had shown up as I’d imagined them and it was wonderful.


Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash


I’ve not had a day like that since (and even some of the fallout from that day has been tough), but I think it means I’m heading in the right direction. The point here is that I have learned plenty about being blown open by desire, but receiving those desires? That is a complex emotional hurdle I didn’t know I had. Not getting what I wanted at a young age put a web over so  many parts of myself- desire, wanting, getting, receiving. And while I know that I’ll never get everything the way I want it every time (and would I really want that anyhow?), asking for what I really want has been a developmental step, as has opening myself to receive those things/people/experiences. But it’s a step and a challenge that is helping me feel more alive, more in touch with my senses, my emotions, even in the bittersweetness that I want to get away from. But maybe this is how we grow- a few steps out of what we don’t want, a few steps towards what we do. I hope so.



[And, jesusfuck, if this doesn’t make any sense, I’m sorry. I’ve realized in the last two days that the muscles of writing can atrophy. I really need to be here more.]


my prayers.

I’m taking a class on reclaiming the Seven Deadly Sins. It’s fantastic. I have grown in new ways and really, deeply accepted some pieces of myself. I feel stronger.

One of the things the teacher asked us to do is name our prayers. That which we seek as a means of keeping our balance as we grow. Our prayers are our throughline. The thread that holds us together as we grow in a zigzag way.

I pray to this:

my journal of words and images

watering my plants (a new, simple, exquisite way I nourish myself)

facing my beloved, chest on chest, with hugs or kisses (or both!)

deep kisses with soft lips

curling up on down comforters

popcorn + rootbeer on Saturday nights


breathing into the orgasm and feeling it explode my whole body like a mandala

boot cut jeans

black leather boots. steel-toed.

rubbing my children’s legs as they fall asleep

English tea.

buying books. real, paper ones. reading them.

a dark wood with cedar trees and ferns

comfy chairs to curl up in.

magical things.

William Stafford’s words.

the feel of a good pen.

abstract art. art the size of whole rooms. 


lighting the candles for meditation + solstice.

listening to their stories + offering medicine.



Seattle. green moss. pine trees. mountains. streams. ferns. the smell of cedar.

my bed.


making things with my hands. wood working.

alone time. alone time. alone time. 

friends who hold me up. miracles.

the feel of writing. 
the feel of writing.
the feel of writing. 


“Prayer is what keeps us keeping on.
Prayer is where we allow for more.
Prayer is connected to what we are proud of,
what we covet, and our passion.”

– Renee Magnusson