I’m going to approach this question from a perspective of tackling the things that tend to get in the way of having sensual, connected sexy fun times with partners. The following three factors and their subsets are things I hear all the time from people who attend my workshops and clients who do relationship coaching with me. You’re not alone!
Issue #1: Not Enough Time
Perhaps you have kids. Perhaps you have a busy career. Perhaps you and your partner don’t even live in the same area. Many hear “sensual lovemaking” and envision a scene with candles, rose petals, soft lights, and a soundtrack of your choice blaring over the speakers – and it sounds time-consuming. This can be true, but it doesn’t have to stop you – it just means you have to plan ahead.
If you have kids – hire a sitter. Even if you can only do a couples’ night every few weeks or every few months as budgets allow, put it on the calendar well in advance, get a sitter, and block off the time. I’m a huge fan of scheduling sex, and especially for the sensual kind we’re talking about here, it is nice to have a full evening in which to create it.
If the issue is a hectic schedule or conflicting schedules, the same idea applies. Get a night or a weekend on the calendar a few weeks in advance and agree that you’re going to experiment with sensuality during that time as a way of setting expectations. If you have a time crunch – work with it, not against it. If you legitimately only have five minutes to do this, decide who will be the giver and receiver in this interaction and spend every second of those five minutes giving your partner pleasure and appreciation.
If you’re a long distance couple, or one of you travels frequently for work, make regular dates to video chat. Video chat incorporates more senses than a phone call or messaging and since we are focused on sensuality, incorporating more senses is ideal. Try dirty talk! It doesn’t have to be raunchy and explicit (although that’s awesome too) – it could be telling your partner how much they turn you on or the things you love about their body or what it feels like when you’re together. Your favorite strain can help relax your expectations and inhibitions in a rewarding way.
Issue #2: Lack of Inspiration (or, “Where Do I Even Start?”)
This is my favorite one to tackle, because there are so many creative ways to make bodies feel good. One of the hallmarks of sensuality is taking the time to slow down. If you only have twenty minutes, or ten minutes, or even five minutes, the way you spend those minutes will impact the sensory experience.
Explore your partner’s body: feel their skin, touch all of the places you typically rush over, and put your focus on your fingertips. Feeling everything in the tips of your fingers, begin by touching for your pleasure. Touch your partner in a way that makes your fingers feel good. Sex and relationship geek Reid Mihalko has a really helpful analogy about making a wine glass sing.
Ask them how they’d like to be touched. Don’t be surprised if they have no idea! Most people don’t know or can’t articulate what they want because sex often becomes relegated to the sexual escalator and there’s little deviation from the typical path to coitus. This is your chance to buck the system. Experiment with pressure, speed, and friction in your touch. Ask for feedback and thank your partner for giving it to you – this provides positive reinforcement for your partner advocating for their needs.
Incorporate multiple senses! According to Merriam-Webster, sensuality comes from the Latin word sensus or sense, so at its core sensuality is literally about utilizing your senses – and luckily, cannabis can heighten those senses. Fresh fruit or chocolate can be a great way to tease your taste buds. Gently rubbing your partner with fabrics in varied textures (soft, rough, feathery, silky, etc.) can heighten arousal when paired with a blindfold. When you take away one sense, the other senses can come online more powerfully, so use that to your advantage! Also, create a playlist and use it to both create the mood and anchor positive associations with hearing the songs. Wear something that makes you feel sexy and show off your outfit to your partner. Incorporate your olfactory senses by trying different essential oils and letting your partner breathe them deeply. Notice how each scent impacts your mood and arousal.
Finally, and most importantly – go slow. So slow. Super slow. This is not about rushing. This is about appreciating and enjoying. Slow down your breathing, your conversations, and your activity pacing. A relaxing indica can help with this. Slowing down is one of the greatest gifts you can give in the bedroom. However fast you typically go, slow it down by half. Then slow it down by half again. Try it for a minute or two and see what you think. Often, as we get more excited and aroused, we tend to speed up. Resist that urge!
Issue #3: Your Body Won’t Cooperate
I have chronic migraines, so I get it – pain is distracting, depressing, and can seriously hinder your interest in even being around other people, much less being sexual with them. However, this is where cannabis becomes incredibly helpful – assuming you live in a state where you have access to it. If not, you should still be able to get CBD products which can be excellent for pain. Try offering a massage with a cannabis-infused topical to whichever partner is having pain.
If it’s more of a mental or emotional block, spend some time discussing how you’re each feeling personally and within the context of your relationship. Dr. John Gottman, one of the foremost experts on strengthening relationships through scientific approaches, offers this fantastic homework assignment for couples, and notes that “understanding must precede advice.” CBD also helps manage anxiety in addition to pain, so if it’s an issue of not being able to get out of one’s head, incorporating a product with equal parts THC and CBD could help slow down the negative self-talk and racing thoughts. As an upgrade, use your mutual favorite vape pen and shotgun a hit every 30 seconds.
Key Takeaways for a Sensual Experience
That was a lot! Here are your key takeaways:
- Increasing any positive aspect in your relationship (in this case, sensuality) requires intention, commitment, patience, and a sense of humor. Nothing happens overnight, but by creating small, sustainable changes in the way you and your partner approach sensuality, you can have a tangible impact on your connection with one another.
- Cannabis can help. Find strains and products that help you get out of your head and into your body. You want to feel relaxed, creative, and present. That may mean two different products for you and your partner, because everyone is different.
- Engage multiple senses and slow down. Take your time and co-create an experience that’s a “hell yes” for both of you. If you’re not sure where to start, choose one sense per person and focus on that one.
What are your favorite ways of engaging your senses while using cannabis?