Have you ever given some thought to the question where this trust comes from for those people you trust? It might be long-standing acquaintance, or it could be an instant connection you seem to have made; you may have known the guy since your childhood, or that guy has been introduced as trustworthy by your best friend,… As you can see, there are lots of ways to slip into that trust-zone.
The operative verb here is ‘to slip’. Giving trust is usually an unconscious action, and mostly we act on our gut reaction to a person. Seeing someone else trust that person might put him on the fast track, but in the end it is still your gut speaking to you. Is this a good thing? I believe so: trust is not something we give because we HAVE to, but because it feels right, in any situation in life.
The purely physical act of having sex does not necessarily require trust, but a meaningful connection with another person most certainly does. When you move from strangers to friends to close friends to lovers, that usually indicates an increased level of trust. Yes, of course there is a certain amount of lust there as well, but if you meet someone for more than a fleeting encounter, and move forward to a more sensual and erotic, rather than purely sexual, understanding with that man, trust turns from an obscure concept to an essential part of the equation.
Maybe it’s time to sit down and consider why you trust certain people more than others. Why is that? Is there something in those reasons that you consider crucial to your decision to move certain people upwards on the “trust scale”?
there can be no sensuality without trust
One of the main ingredients to sensuality – and to life in general – is consent. But how often do you feel that someone overstepped their boundaries and encroached upon your space? That could simply concern your need to keep a physical distance from people (think crowded bus) or it could be someone touching you without your consent, or worse.
Consent is a concept that sounds really simple, but it can be a bit of a challenge. For one thing, you need to be very much aware where your personal boundaries lie, if they are general or specific to this other person, if you know how to communicate these limits (do you know the words?), if you feel ready to communicate (are you shy?), etc. It turns out that these things take experience, and part of being consciously sensual is to be aware of those pitfalls and acting accordingly.
“This sounds very brainy and not sensual to me!” I hear you say
It may sound that way, but the matter of the fact is that you won’t have to stop and think about this anymore in the middle of something. Once you have properly worked out for yourself what you are ready to accept, from whom, how to express your feelings and desires at any time, you won’t be steamrolled into things you do not want because you will come across as more decisive and self-assured. Beware: those strategies only hold up in non-violent situations, of course.
Doing this ahead of time is worth considering. That does not mean you’ll have to be inflexible: when the mood strikes you’d be surprised how much your personal boundaries might stretch. Just keep in mind your original reasoning when you decide to change it up…
make up your mind and say it out loud
Often, ‘making connections’ is used in a very antiseptic way, especially when it comes to business networking, or any kind of practical arrangement where someone would keep tabs on another person for future personal gain or because these other people are perceived as useful in some way.
On a deeper level, making a connection is about a meeting of body, mind and spirit. And that goes far beyond that business-like meaning of ‘connections’. So what IS that deeper connection and how can you create it?
When it comes to sensuality, connection is key. Connection with another being comes from conscious engagement with them. That engagement could take diverse forms: touch is always a good one, and properly looking at each other into the eyes beats pretty much everything. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here: we have to be aware that connection works in two directions, and both parties have to want that deeper connection to develop!
In order to form a connection, you will need to let down your guard, be open to what the other has to offer, or to offer something of your own. And that wall you have to let down is different to everyone. One person may have no problem looking into someone else’s eyes for minutes on end, but be unable to even hold their hand. Another person is open to all level of sensual touch, but cannot accept the sense of warmth that comes from someone else’s breath.
We are all different, and part of making a connection is figuring out what works and what doesn’t at this stage. Connections can develop quickly, and you may be surprised what you are ready to accept from the right person.
open your mind to any and all possibilities
One of the basic tenets of anything to do with tantra – and indeed tactile sensuality in general – is that there is ‘no such thing as going too slowly’. It is surprisingly difficult to do things slowly. And it’s also surprisingly hard to not enjoy something that is done to you in a very deliberate, slow-paced manner.
Part of the joy comes from a sense of suspense: we think we know where this is going, but at the same time we cannot wait for it to happen. Expectations keep building, and the mind goes all over the place wondering what will come next. This mental overdrive has a useful side-effect: it takes our mind off everything else. Besides this purely mental experience, there is a physical side to this, of course.
Another source of joy is what your body will start doing when you slow down all the way: even your skin is perfectly able of anticipation. Have you ever had goose bumps from a slight breeze moving the hairs on your forearm just a little bit? Didn’t you wish for that breeze to come back and make you shudder once again?
This is also a perfect example of something happening unexpectedly. This is not the usual way of experiencing these tactile sensations, though. More commonly you would react to something that is done intentionally, either by yourself or someone else. Letting a bit of sand slide down your shins can be wonderful in itself, but if someone else is doing it when you don’t expect it can be sensational!
It is entirely possible to create a mental bubble that only contains yourself and get your mind to drift off into infinity. Many of us experience these moments while we listen to a babbling brook with our eyes closed, or watching the wind create waves in a field of long grass. The trick is simple: take your mind off everything else and slow down to a point where only one thing matters: the water, the wind, or the sand slipping down your shin.
That mental bubble need not be a solitary one, though. You can choose to include a partner in this, and add more of an unpredictability element to the game: just like the wind moving the hairs on your forearm, your partner could make this happen for you!
The above examples are common events in most people’s lives, and we tend to think of them as exceptional, relaxing, stress-free and enjoyable moments. MenSensual sessions intend to create such moments for you.
always be ready for the unexpected
I’m excited to announce the launch of MenSensual, a venture that has been on my mind for a long time. Ever since I started on my spiritual path I have tried to incorporate it into what goes for ‘regular’ life, and I have found that this is very hard to achieve, but also very simple in some ways. Let me explain:
I jumped into a tantric adventure when I first became aware that I needed a change from my nine to five job in a corporate environment. That sounds like a luxury project of someone who makes a lot of money, but it wasn’t: I was just an employee sitting in my office space with just enough salary to keep me going for fear of losing what financial advantages I had accumulated over many a year.
My first encounter with tantra lasted less than a week, but the experience changed my outlook on the life. Not only did I have moments of pure sensual joy, but also instances of spiritual clarity I never experienced before. I started to ask what I now perceive as the right questions in the face of ‘regular’ life. “Is THIS what I want my life to be until I retire?”, “Why do I have to bend myself into odd shapes to fit into this environment?” and “Isn’t there a more personally satisfying way to go about my life?”
Don’t get me wrong: I did like my job and derived a lot of satisfaction from it, but it felt hollow and temporary, whereas those new thoughts and questions seemed to point towards a healthier, more personally fulfilling path. So I quit my job, upped sticks, moved house/country and started working for myself: not an easy step for someone who values security. I had to take risks and kick my own butt to get me to move out of that comfort trap and into a place that – at first – felt like it lacked balance. That feeling of imbalance lasted only for a short time before I found a solid footing. My business took off slowly, but steadily.
So where had tantra and ‘the new me’ gone? They were still there, of course, as I had maintained my meditation practice all through the process of preparing the move, getting settled and building my business. At first I focused on doing things that I felt confident doing, things I KNEW I could do because they were similar to my old job, but then I realised that I had a lot more to offer than that and took yet another leap of faith about a year into my new life: I shifted from working for small business to working with residential customers.
That was the best decision I ever made! It showed me that I possessed the people skills I denied myself to acknowledge I could possibly have. Once I had recognised that little nugget of wisdom, I went from strength to strength and became more creative and forthright in my work with business clients. When it felt appropriate, I started to incorporate aspects of physicality, meditation, mindfulness, breathing, music and holding space into my business. And it works.
This being said, it still felt like I was holding back, and I understood that this tantric/spiritual injection into my business was not enough to keep the momentum going for myself. I decided to stretch myself yet a little more: and this has led to this latest brainchild born from my continuous development: in the past I adapted what I had learned to help me on the work floor, MenSensual is meant to pass on what I have learned to others who might benefit from my own experience. MenSensual is also a step forward on a very specific level: it is one more step towards a more physical expression of spirituality and physicality in tantra.
I have always been very much about physical touch, a quality that is mostly discouraged in modern society. Unless you are young, or interacting with close family or friends, it is seen as an intrusion into someone’s personal space. I beg to differ in that respect. I have found that most people appreciate a level of physical contact, albeit very limited and subject to clear intentions. Gently putting a hand on a shoulder, making eye contact for that little longer, being appreciative through words and actions,… those things can make all the difference.
I intend to keep developing in this direction, and to be a proponent of physical touch and connection to those who are ready to listen to the message. My own brand of sensuality involves more than physical touch, though: I intend to create a crisp container that allows you to let go of the ‘regular’ life for a while, and pick up skills that allow you to recreate that space for yourself in the fullness of time.
Let’s see how this works out for you. And for me.
make free time into quality time for yourself
These are my own thoughts on aspects of my work I feel strongly about.