"A wild, sensual creature?" you might be asking yourself doubtfully. "Sure, maybe I was a wild, sensual creature in a past life, or for a blink of an eye that one summer during college. But these days, I have no idea where that person is. Is she lost forever?"
I'm here to tell you: No. She is not lost. You can always touch back in with that wild, soft, playful part of you, the one who knows the deep pleasure of standing in warm rain, or feeling a soft caress against her skin. You can even grow your capacity to be in touch with her, at all times.
How do we know that you can come back to this wild, sensual nature at any time?
Well, you did click on this article. There's a part of you that realizes your birthright, who knows that underneath the daily grind, the exhaustion, and the maybe-not-so-healthy beliefs passed down from your mother, father and community ... that you are indeed, a creature made for pleasure and bliss.
What are some signs that your sensual, wild nature is waiting for you, just below the surface?
1. You come alive in nature.
Has it been awhile since you've shut off your devices and immersed in a forest or the beach? Even in the depth of winter, nature down-regulates the nervous system, meaning it relaxes and rejuvenates you. Nature truly is magical; watching a stream, or taking off your socks and planting your feet in the grass, can truly open you up to a blissful state.
Humans are meant to live symbiotically with nature, and there isn't a single one of us that doesn't benefit from an hour or two spent immersed in her. Get outside, and remember the vitality that comes from gazing at animals, smelling flowers and touching trees.
2. You enjoy massage, getting 10 hours of sleep, soft blankets, and other cozy treats.
Pleasure is pleasure. The pleasure of having your hair stroked or getting a deep-tissue massage is the same capacity for pleasure that can mount into multiple orgasms. Begin to orient to pleasure in your daily life. Notice the deliciousness of hot water when you do mundane tasks like washing the dishes, or really savor that moment when you slip into your sheets at night, feeling the different textures envelope your body.
A practice that will increase your pleasure: Sit down, close your eyes, and find a pleasurable sensation in your body. Really sit with that sensation. You'll often find that it grows.
Our brains our biologically oriented toward threats in our environment, so if you tend to focus on the negative (like a sore neck or a nagging thought), know you're not alone—it's human. With practice, we can begin training ourselves to orient on pleasure. Take five minutes every day on the meditation above, and watch your sensuality grow.
3. You have memories of being little, reveling in playing in the sun, mud, or rain.
We are born with the capacity for wildness, sensuality, and pleasure. We don't mind getting dirty when we're little. We're naturally curious, and we touch everything. We truly revel in what life has to offer.
Most of us are socially conditioned out of getting dirty, and even more than that, out of playing. Playing is a gateway to our wild and sensual self. No matter what's happened to us in our lives, no matter what choices we've made, childlike innocence is our true nature. We can get back to this place through making dates with nature, through coloring, through doing anything we enjoyed when we were young, before we were forced to "grow up."
4. You've spent a lot of time seeking altered states: through drugs, alcohol, sex, OR through spirituality, meditation, or yoga.
"Wait," you might be saying, "you're grouping drugs and spirituality into the same sentence?"
Why, yes, I am. A trance state is a trance state, no matter how you get there. Some of us use sober, ecstatic dance to achieve a trance state, and some of us use copious amounts of alcohol. Some of us sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day, and some of us go to a club. Without bringing individual ideas of right and wrong into the equation, all seeking is seeking.
It doesn't matter how we seek to feel open, blissful and connected; what matters is that we're trying to get there in the best way we know how.
In other words, there's a piece of you that knows the wild and sensual is available to you. Perhaps you've only found it when your inhibitions were dramatically lowered by substance, but I assure you, if you've found it that way, you can find it without drugs, alcohol, or self-destruction. The capacity is in you; the substances and behaviors are merely a permission slip.
5. You have the feeling there's something more to sex, or you've seen glimpses of it.
We can't talk about sensuality without talking about sex and self-pleasure (aka masturbation). After all, our genitals are innervated to create intense pleasure. All genders have access to pleasure through sex, and it's our society that cuts us off from this pleasure, and paints it with shame.
Some of you have had certain sexual experiences where you've realized: this is more than two moving bodies. This is more than love. This is a gateway to something greater. This is a space where you can completely surrender to your wild and sensual self, and let her out to play.
Too many times, we don't access this restorative, enlivening aspect of sex, the one where we can transform ourselves and heal. But this transformation is absolutely accessible to you, it just takes the willingness to explore your beliefs, patterns, and body.
Getting in touch with your wild, sensual self is more than available to you, no matter what you feel is in the way.
Perhaps it's that you have children. Perhaps it's that you're too old. Maybe you have an STI or hate your body. There are a million and one reasons we can feel unworthy of feeling good, by ourselves or with a partner. I'm here to tell you that you can work through them, that there is light, innocence, wildness, sensuality and pleasure on the other side, for everyone.
Originally published April 21, 2018.