Maybe he was 8, or 7, but his day of reckoning had arrived. I was sitting in the coffee shop with my breakfast companions when the young boy’s sensuous actions pulled my attention away from our shallow conversation. He was too young to be drinking coffee, so maybe he was sipping hot chocolate. He held the cup close to his lips, as though the cup was warming him inside and all over. His movements were slow, tender and so sensual I could feel his innate pleasure simmer within myself. It was not the liquid within the cup he was deriving his pleasure from as much as the feel of the cup against his lips. He never once returned the cup to the table, and the adults sitting with him were too engrossed in their discussion to even take notice of his pleasurable pastime.
I suppose I was invading his privacy, but I could not stop watching. His eyes were transfixed as he remained vigilant to his task. He was making love to that cup, and I had never seen such tenderness in a boy that young. Through his actions, he could have invoked jealousy in the most accomplished of lovers. Whatever he was experiencing that morning, he was the master of his craft, and I think of him often, the unknown stranger – the sensual kisser. His actions still serve to remind me that as children we start out with wonder, passion and impulse – an eager sensuality that somehow we lose along the way.
When I read a romantic novel, I become instantly aware that anyone can do sex. Not everyone can do sensuality. Sensuality involves all of the senses, not just body parts. Sensual writing requires a commitment of time. It is an evasive art form for writers who get caught up in the heated rush of the sex act itself and forget about the rest of the senses. I like the way Michael Stipe explains it:
“I’ve always felt that sexuality is a really slippery thing. In this day and age, it tends to get categorized and labeled and I think labels are for food. Canned food.”
I sit back in my chair in the teacher’s lounge on my lunch break and get ready to watch the show. Eyes roll and burn as I bite into my cheese sandwich, and the conversation between several women heats up. “He’s such an ass,” one woman says. “He has no clue what to do with that meat whistle. After having sex with him, I feel utterly empty and alone. The spot that feels good to me is at least three inches from where he thinks it is. He’s useless to me.”
I watch good women transform before my eyes and ask myself, ”Who are these people? Do I know them?” When the bell rings and lunch is over, I am thankful. I hurry back to my desk to jot down the latest quips and quotes in my writer’s notebook about how inept men are when it comes to good sex. Future writing material.
When women claim that men do not fulfill them sexually, that they know nothing about foreplay or after-play and are insensitive to their sexual needs, they are wasting their time. They could use that angry energy to communicate what is liked, disliked, and desired. If we want something specific, we need to verbalize it. We can play show and tell and openly communicate our sexual needs to our partners with our words and with our bodies. Telling is good; showing is better. Both are desired.
A friend of mine once said, “When you enter the bedroom to make love, you should leave your shoes outside the door. Inside those shoes you should leave your head as well. Only then are you fit for lovemaking.” By leaving our head in our shoes, I’m pretty certain he meant our guilt, shame, anger, beliefs, judgments, opinions, positions, conditionings. It was good advice, and I got it!
Another openly communicative male friend once shared that a woman he had been dating told him she enjoyed having her eyebrows massaged during sex. He said, “Who knew?” I must admit, that was a new on on me, but hey, hat’s off to her! She clearly communicated her unusual request, and her request was granted.
Open communication and freeing ourselves of doctrines and hang-ups not only frees up partners, it frees up our writing up, too. It helps up to give our characters a more sensual experience, one that our readers will feel. Purposeful communication. What is not understood is misunderstood. Remember, the road to sensuality involves all of the senses, and when our senses are alive, the written word comes alive as well. Even the fabric in our characters’ clothes starts to breathe.
Who knows, if we can learn how to do it, we might just hear someone whisper in our ear,
“Love, let me sleep tonight on your couch, and remember the smell and the fabric of your simple city dress, oh, that was so real.” Jeff Buckley, In Music
Otherwise, the best we can hope for in real time and books is –
“Love is 2 minutes and 52 seconds of squelching noises. ” – Johnny Rotten
Feng Shui suggests if you are unlucky in love you can put two ducks in your bedroom or place crystals in the southwest corner of your love-making quarters to transform your social life. I think it’s a little more immediate than that. If we help ourselves and each other to feel safe enough to allow our needs to be heard, sensuality will emerge on its own. It’s a win win situation. How bad can it be?
Standing On A Whale on Amazon