Sensuality when you’re having sex could be said to rely upon two things. Number one: your feelings of comfort, openness, friendship and, yes, love with and for your partner. Number two: your willingness and ability to indulge and revel in your own feelings of sensual and sexual pleasure.
You and your partner
Your partner may be, to you, a complete mystery. It could be a one-night stand, casual encounter. When this is the case, and especially if it’s late, it is possible to project all your sexual fantasies – and your hopes and needs – on this essentially unknown other being.
The setting will help or hinder. So too will how you behave and what you say to each other. Many find keeping the words to a minimum best – and this may be expected. The more you or he says, the more specifically individual you and he become to each other. The mystery then can tend to fade – though this can be more fun.
With a partner you do know well, whether in a one-on-one relationship or otherwise, things can seem to happen the other way: the more you say and have said, and the more you know about each other, the more sensual sex can be.
This partly because, if you’re having sex the third, tenth, hundredth or thousandth time, than you can be fairly certain that you do like, value and trust each other – and want to have sex with each other – because of who each other really is. You can feel confident being more emotionally open.
Beyond this, you’ll also have had more of a chance to discuss and otherwise discover what really turns you and him on.
And, with a loving partner, there won’t be the hurry, the urgency. You can take your time, linger on sensual foreplay and feel confident that once he’s come, he won’t be walking away.
Your sensual self
It might seem obvious, but it’s useful to recognize that, for fully sensual sex, you need to be fully in touch with yourself as a sensual being.
Many aren’t. They’ve shut their feelings off – perhaps because of traumatic experience, especially that rooted in homophobia – or through isolation. It can take a real effort to realize this is the case and to change tack.
Getting in touch with your feelings goes far beyond sex. It can be as simple as pausing at times to value a beautiful view or piece of music. It can involve making your own works of art – with a camera, perhaps, or paints or a paper and pen. The subject might be sex or love but certainly doesn’t need to be.
It can involve pampering – a massage, a day at a health spa, a fabulous meal with close friends, a hot, scented bath with a glass of wine. It can be about relaxing and closing your eyes to the pace of life while you let your mind wander. For those who are up for the discipline, meditation goes one step further.
This is about remembering, and re-membering, the experience of sensual pleasure, so that it becomes a habit and a resource.
If you feel sensuality is missing from your relationship, raise the issue with your partner and discuss things you’d like to try.
It might be, with a patient and understanding partner, you embark on a course of sensate focus training, learning to give and receive pleasure in a way which is not initially sexual.
It may be you would like to create a romantic scene to make love in, perhaps just changing the lighting and scent in your bedroom – or taking to the great outdoors.
It might be you just say: ‘Let’s really linger on foreplay and try not to come for as long as we possibly can.’
Or it might involve afterplay, stroking and caressing each other after sex and sharing a few intimate thoughts.
With a little care, sex with a long-term partner should become better and better, not lose its edge.