After a year and a half of pandemic life, there’s a good chance you’ve had a hard time with your sex life. Maybe not, but you might need a little extra help remembering how to connect with your senses.
Sexuality is a complex mixture of variables that have to come together in just the right way to turn us on. It’s super psychological as well as physical and one thing that can really help is when we detach from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and instead, center our focus on feelings.
The following is a list of things you can do to reconnect with yourself and the pleasures of your body senses.
Lie in the grass
As a kid, I spent hours rolling around in the grass. I’d roll down big, grassy hills, and lie down to watch the clouds go by or to gaze at the stars. As I grew older and focused more on my career and on constantly being busy, I stopped taking time to lie in the grass.
But lying in the grass is so good for us.
Find yourself a nice, soft patch of grass. Run your fingers through the blades and feel the cool plants on your skin. Smell their fresh and rejuvenating scent. Lie down and feel your body cradled in the earth. Open your eyes and watch the sky.
Give yourself at least 5 minutes. The more, the better. Not only is it a great way to awaken your senses, but also a great way to get relaxed and loosen up any tensions you might’ve accumulated throughout your week.
Cook a nice meal
Cooking is one of life’s finest pleasures. Choose ripe, seasonal ingredients that you’re drawn towards. Relish in every step of the preparation. Cut vegetables to the size and shape that pleases you the most. Take note of the colors and fresh scents.
Maybe throw on some great music and sing along. Dance with your frying pan and smell the sizzling butter! Take pleasure in the process of preparing a meal and when you finally sit down to eat it, chew slowly.
A well-cooked meal can awaken your senses with smell, taste, sight, touch, even sound or sizzling fats and fragrant spices. The best part is that we need to eat several times a day, which means we have plenty of opportunities to reconnect with our sensuality every day.
Listen to an album all the way through
Music is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to change our minds and moods. When we listen to music, we are transported to an alternate reality and when we immerse ourselves in it, that experience could even change our lives.
Pick an album. Preferably a concept album, or one that was well thought out or that seems to tell a story. Might I suggest Saturn Over Sunset by Midnight Sister or the classic, Horses, by Patti Smith?
Create a mood, or put on headphones and close your eyes. Try to resist the urge to multitask while listening. Allow the act of listening to envelope your entire consciousness. Notice how the tones and frequencies affect your body. Sink into the music until you forget your ego.
Give yourself a scalp massage
Giving yourself a massage might sound a bit…uh…quirky, but it’s actually really amazing. You get immediate feedback to work with and can wordlessly communicate to your fingertips what works and what doesn’t without feeling awkward about it.
Body massages are best left to a professional, or an intimate person in your life, but giving yourself a scalp massage can be a beautiful thing. We rarely are touched on our scalps and it can be a very vulnerable place to touch. Go slow.
Close your eyes and move in little circles across your head. Stay on each spot a minute before moving on. Explore different movements, speeds, and pressures. Allow your neck and shoulders to move gently to release tension and stretch out your muscles. If it feels good, keep the massage going to your neck and shoulders or wherever else it feels good.
I highly recommend this before having some solo play time, or rather, as part of it.
Have a bath
When was the last time you actually had a nice, long bath? It’s the stereotypical self-care tool that often receives eye rolls and scoffs (not without good reason; a bath does not solve systemic problems), but it’s become that for a reason. Bath time can be sacred.
Did you know that baths can relax your muscles and improve your circulation? In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that baths can improve your heart health, improve your breathing and increase your serotonin (the chemical in your brain associated with happiness and well-being).
Immersing your naked body in warm and steamy water, without other distractions can calm you down and bring your attention to your body. Take time during your bath to explore your body as you might explore a lover’s body. Delight in the shape of your toes and the softness of your body. Your body is unique and it’s worth exploring.
Have a solo dance party
You know that advice, ‘Dance like no one is watching? Take it.
Dancing has so many wonderful benefits for us, both psychologically and physically. It improves coordination, flexibility, and even confidence! Taking on different postures and ways of moving can help you see yourself in a different way. Doing that without outsider observation means you have complete freedom to explore how your body moves and what movements and postures feel best for you.
We often feel silly expressing our sexuality through dance when others are watching. By yourself, you can really get in touch with your sexy side and shimmy your body in whatever way feels good. So, turn down the lights (or turn on the party lights), choose music that lights you up, and let your sexy divinity shine!
Change your house plants’ pots
Yes, changing your house plants’ pots may seem like a chore, but it’s also an opportunity to get dirty and covered yourself in life-giving earth. If you have access to an outdoor space, take your plants outside and place the new soil in the fresh pots with your bare hands. Feel the cool, grounding dirt on your palms.
Connecting with the natural world is one of the most effective ways to recenter yourself. Look at the words we use. Down to earth. Grounded. So dig in, and while you’re down there, breathe in the M. vaccae, a healthy bacteria that lives in the soil, which can boost your serotonin and reduce anxiety.
Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re done, though!
Go for a walk or bike ride
Awaken your sense of adventure! Walking, running or biking outdoors gives you the physical and mental benefits of being active combined with the benefits of being in nature. Your blood flows better, your lungs breathe deeper and all those great mood-boosting chemicals come out to play.
If you can manage to go out to a place you rarely visit, that can further stimulate your good feels by satisfying your need for novelty. Take the focus away from yourself and give it to the world around you. Become an observer.
You’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in no time, so bring that energy back with you (and perhaps into the bedroom as well 😉 )
Light a candle
Our senses love the natural elements. Water, air, earth, and FIRE. If you have access to a safe place for a campfire, get that wood crackling! Otherwise, light a candle and watch the flame. Flame gazing is also a tremendous tool for meditation which could help awaken your senses and melt away any remaining tension you might have. If you can find a candle with a scent that speaks to you, all the better.
Scent is another strong way to transform your frame of mind. Keep this in mind when choosing a scented candle. Some smells will calm you down, others will invigorate you. Some may stimulate memories while others may direct you to the future. Choose a candle that elicits a feeling you’d like to get into.
Remember, don’t leave candles unattended. And if you want to explore hot wax in a sexy way, there are candles made specifically for that purpose. Don’t use your average candle wax. You’ll get burned.
Take a sexy photo or video
This one is daring and it can be really hard to do on an emotional level, but trust me, it’s worth it. Rather than just take a shortcut and snap a photo while you’re doing something universally seen as sexual, put the effort into crafting something sexy.
Before you bring out any cameras, put on some clothes you feel sexy wearing. Do your hair and makeup, or don’t. Whatever allows you to connect with your sexuality. Move your body in ways that feel sexy. Put on some steamy music and craft a mood in your environment.
Once you’re ready, take out your phone and take a selfie. There are no rules. Keep your face out if you want to feel anonymous and free, or keep your face in it and claim your power. Move around until you like what you see. You might want to play with camera angles and lighting. Do whatever it takes to create something that you can look at to remind yourself how sexy you are.
Relax and have fun!
Getting in touch with yourself is liberating and don’t be afraid to have fun! Living under capitalism forces us to view more and more things in life as work. That dull sense of duty can permeate every part of our lives, but it doesn’t have to. Fight back!
You are allowed to have moments of pleasure, even in a messed-up world. Even in times of grief and sadness, you can let yourself breathe. It’s necessary to reconnect with ourselves so we can better connect with each other and work together for a better tomorrow.