EROTIC MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN AND COUPLES » Sex Tips and Insights » How to have sensual sex?: 7 tips for the most sensual sex ever

Sight. Sound. Touch. Taste. Smell. As humans, we learn that these are the five senses that we use to experience the world around us; we are all sensual beings. But when it comes to sex, it seems this core human experience is sometimes left by the wayside.

In a predominantly sex-negative society, we are taught a very one-dimensional perspective of sex. Often filled with much taboo and shame, often in reproductive or transactional terms, and especially as something that we expect to be good at and our desires to come naturally to us—despite never being taught about pleasure or communication!

It’s often portrayed in heteronormative terms—a penetrative act whereby a penis enters a vagina and ends with ejaculation. Not to mention, most mainstream porn centres around the genitals and particularly the penis, without much consideration for the vulva or other erogenous zones.

Now, I’m sure many of us, and especially the members of FrolicMe reading this, are consciously aware of how limited this concept of sex can be. And as illustrator Hazel Mead beautifully interprets it “sex is so much more than penis in vagina”. With offerings such as kissing, oral sex, massage, solo play, BDSM, roleplay, and so much more—suggesting that sex can, in fact, be a smorgasbord of fun-filled activities and playful, sensual intimacy.

This is where I come in. Sensual sex, in my opinion, is something we can all tap into and utilise our individual sensual pleasures, personalities, and preferences.

Why have sensual sex?

For one, sensuality is a tool that can help to reconnect us to the moment; a type of mindfulness, if you will. Thus, whether you may be feeling stressed, bored, or disconnected, sensuality is just one of many keys that can be used to unlock even more pleasure at any given moment—particularly in the bedroom.

Yet, with common sexual frustrations such as stress, performance anxiety, mismatched libidos, or loss of desire, infiltrating our bedrooms, we have to wonder, do our limited understandings of sex play a part? Sensual sex could be seen as a chance to broaden our perspective of sex, decentralising the genitals and tap into our capacity for pleasure.

That pleasure has a direct impact on our physical and emotional well-being. It’s known that affectionate touch helps with the release of oxytocin, the love-bonding hormone, as well as other happy hormones and endorphins that help to reduce the release of that pesky stress hormone cortisol.

Not only does sensual sex help reconnect us to ourselves, but it can also connect us more intimately to our partners. I like to think of sex as a form of communication. Just as we can communicate on autopilot, if we engage in sex the same way, it can feel routine or uninspiring; left oriented towards an end goal—ejaculation or orgasm and then it’s over. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to experience orgasm during sex, with that being the focus, we might be missing out on the magic of each sensual and pleasurable moment.

Sensual sex allows this ‘communication’ to be present, fluid, intuitive, and even enhanced. Denying ourselves of our sensuality is denying ourselves of the richness of life. While bringing our full sensual selves into sex, we may be able to acutely tune into—and therefore, better communicate—our wants and needs.

How to have sensual sex?

What is sensual sex?

Firstly, let’s break down what sensual sex actually is. Sensual sex could be broken down into the awareness and activation of the senses during sex. While genitals may or may not be involved, the erotic intention of enhancing physical pleasure involving each of the senses is ever-present.

Sensual awareness describes a conscious acknowledgement of what we are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. For example, you may tune into the sound of your partner’s moaning or sense the temperature of their tongue on yours. 

Sensual activation involves an action to enhance what we are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. For example, you may light a fragrant massage candle, like FineBone’s Latest Flame, to ignite the olfactory system and pour it on your partner’s skin for a delicious massage.

According to Robert Jutte, author of A History of the Senses, while 80% of Germans stated that “stroking was an important part of their sex lives”, only 15% of Americans “regarded the stroking of erogenous zones as sex”, despite the fact that our skin is our largest sensory organ with over 1,000 nerve endings that sense touch, pain, temperature and pressure.

Our definition of sensual sex will not only differ between cultures but also interpersonally between two or more people. We each have our own sensual preferences, and it’s important to figure out what sensual sex means to you. which ultimately means figuring out your likes and dislikes in order to be able to express and exchange your desires with another in a way that hopefully will lead to everyone having their cup filled (so much so, that it spills over).

Going even deeper into what sensual sex is, we also have additional senses to the common five. Importantly, we have our inner felt sense. The capacity to know what is happening in our interior body: also sometimes known as interoception. Here, we are noticing the signals from our internal organs and our expressed emotions.

Internal sensual awareness offers the capacity for deeper understanding of our body’s wisdom and builds a stronger sense of trust with ourselves as we choose to listen and respond to its signals. For example, we might notice a tightness in the genitals when a partner does something we don’t like or discover how fast our heart is racing when they whisper something you adore into your ear. Each internal signal is a chance to learn more about what we want or don’t want next time.

Internal sensual activation is a great way to take control of your emotional state. After noticing your body feels tense after a long day’s work at the office, you might choose to breathe slower and deeper to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and allow your body to relax into more pleasure. Or you might find yourself getting sleepy during a certain position and want to adjust your body and breathe a little faster to send more oxygen to the brain and genitals to wake up the body.

It’s important to use our sensuality to learn about what we want and don’t want in the bedroom. With perfunctory and performative sex as the norm, we may subconsciously disconnect, allowing ourselves to run on autopilot without much mindful presence or consideration of how we are giving or receiving. Yet, with sensual sex, we can slow down and tune into what we are doing, who we are doing it for, and how we are showing up (or not) in the bedroom.

Sensual sex is something that is accessible to all of us. It is a skill for us to develop through a practice of mindful awareness and bodily curiosity. The more we practise sensuality in and outside of the bedroom, the more we can feel and inevitably learn about what feels good and not so good, rather than expecting it to go a certain way. We can be present in moments of discomfort and offer creative solutions to make sensual adjustments instead of disconnecting or enduring something that doesn’t feel great.

How to be more sensual in bed?

A great way to be more sensual in bed is to start being more sensual outside of the bedroom. Strengthen that muscle of sensual engagement. A great practice that comes from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method:

  • Note 5 colours that you can see
  • Note 4 sounds that you can hear
  • Note 3 things that you can feel
  • Note 2 things you can smell
  • Note 1 thing you can taste

Additionally, body scanning to notice what external and internal areas of your body you feel comfort, discomfort, tingling, numbness, energy, tightness, etc. This is a great way to tap into our internal felt sense of what might need adjusting—perhaps through a movement or posture, whether you need to have a glass of water or use the toilet, or where on your body you might be wanting some pleasurable stimulation, and how.

Tuning into your surroundings and your physiology helps to get us out of our “thinking” mode, which often creates a sense of automation and disconnection in sex, which can sometimes lead to us having unsatisfying experiences. Whereas the more in tune we are, the more likely we are going to feel confident in adjusting and communicating to enhance the moment.

Not only does being aware of the senses help in sex, but activating them by bringing in toys, tools, or even food or drink. For example, feeding your partner a raspberry to awaken their taste buds, or using a Wartenberg Pinwheel to stimulate the skin.

Additionally, dipping further into the realm of kink, depriving a sense or two can help to enhance the others; think blindfolds to block sight, rope bondage to inhibit touch, or ear plugs to limit sound. Alternatively, putting in headphones to force a partner to listen to erotic audio can be a sensual arousal tool—allowing their mind to be transported while being stimulated.

7 tips for sensual sex

1 – Pre-negotiate desires – It’s important to discuss fantasies and desires before you even enter the bedroom as this can offer a better sense of what each of you would like to experience. You can indicate what things are turn-ons and turn-offs and bring this into a conversation over dinner or during a sexting scenario.

2- Set the mood – Creating sensual contexts that are designed to turn you and your partner on – learn about what environments help to get you in the mood; maybe this is creating the right lighting or putting on a playlist…

3- Be curiously present – Instead of getting stuck in our heads about maybe what’s not going right, we can introduce a new energy of curiosity by asking a question like “how can we make this moment even more sensual right now?” The answers that come up may be “notice your partner’s breathing” or “let’s grab the lube to reduce the friction.”

4- Find some household objects – You don’t need to have an extensive pleasure chest of toys to have great sensual sex (although that wouldn’t go amiss). Often we can find simple household items to bring into the bedroom. For example a fork, an ice cube, or a silky scarf for creating new sensations on the body. Depending on the ingredients, some candles are also fun if you’re into exploring wax and temperature play. Just make sure they are 100% body-safe!

5 – Sensational dirty talk – The two approaches to sexual communication include making requests and asking for guidance. By using the senses to communicate, we can help tune into what you want and figure out what your partner wants. For example, “I love it when you lick my neck, your breath feels so warm and gives me goosebumps, could you do that for me?” or “how does it feel when I touch you on your inner thigh, do you prefer it hard or soft?”

6 -Post-sex affection – Studies suggest that the “period after sex is a critical time for promoting satisfaction in intimate bonds.” So don’t take this time for granted. When you are coming back to reality after a sensual sex session, use this as an opportunity to continue the sensual intimacy through touch, and tuning into what your or your partner’s body may be wanting—a glass of water perhaps.

7 – Sensual pleasure menu – To get yourselves excited for the best sensual sex ever, design your own menu of what you want to be included. For example, aperitifs could represent the sensual context for creating desire; the starters could be what stimulation helps you to build up arousal; the mains offers a space for a melange of climactic events; with desert being the post-sex affectionate aftercare.

It doesn’t have to end there…

What is so wonderful about sensual sex is that there isn’t really an endpoint. You can continue to tap into your sensuality outside of the bedroom and use the pleasure to fuel yourself for more presence and curiosity for continued exploration.

If there’s anything you have learnt from this, it’s to broaden your idea of what sex is and can be; enjoy the capacity for more connection, and understand that the more we tune into our wants and needs, the more we can build our confidence to communicate and adjust to follow the pleasure.

Sure, invest in more scented massage candles and create that sexy playlist you’ve always wanted to make, but also simply slow down your awareness to take in every magic moment from here on out!

Comments & Sharing

2 thoughts on “How to have sensual sex?: 7 tips for the most sensual sex ever

  1. Just wonder if there is a paper version of this magazine. If so, how frequently it’s published?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *