Sensuality & Ways to Indulge in Sensual Self-Care
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been noticing many messages of love. Tutorials on new and exciting ways to enjoy lustful experiences with your partner, trendy, fun romantic ideas, and how to learn and become aligned with various love languages. But what if this month we prioritized loving ourselves? To take our love-giving to the next level, we’ve developed some simple, indulging practices that support sensual self-care and can be incorporated into any daily routine.
What does Sensual Mean?
Sensuality is a term that is often related to sexuality. And while sensuality can play a role in sexual experiences, the two words are not synonymous. The term “sensual” originates from the Latin word sensualis, which means “endowed with feeling.” In the dictionary, “sensual” is defined as “relating to or consisting in the pleasing of the senses” or ”devoted to the pleasures of the senses.”
Being sensual, or having sensual feelings, is directly related to the human senses – Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. To experience sensuality is to use our senses to enjoy our bodies and the world around us.
Sensual Self Care
When it comes to sensual self-care, we view it as pleasuring our senses to feel expressive, loved, nurtured, and heard. Opening up to self-sensuality often starts with slowing down and paying attention. What sensations are you feeling? What triggered those sensations? Are they intense or subtle? Can you and do you want to enhance them?
Once you increase sensational awareness, it opens doors for more sensual opportunities and allows you to be progressively present within your own body, mind, and spirit. We notice that being present invites an influx of gratitude for the sensations we experience. This pattern allows for a release of tension in the body and a noticeable decrease in stress—helping you to invoke the magic of calm.
Sensual Self-Care Practices & Rituals
Indulging in sensual self-care can be as intense or gentle as you want. It doesn’t have to take much time either; it’s a matter of personal preference. You are giving yourself love as long as you feel fulfilled by the practices and rituals you choose to experience.
Take a moment to consider all of the things that bring you joy. You may love food and choose to watch the construction of a three-tiered cake. For us, we find our hearts full when we take a walk through the forest.
You can choose any area where nature is present. Set your pace slower than you usually would, and look in all possible directions. Look up above the trees or hills into the sky. What do you see? Are there birds flying in the wind? What color are their wings? Are there significant contrasting colors around you, or do they blend?
Take the time to drink in the sights and breathe slowly and intentionally. During forest bathing, we love to express gratitude for the ability to see clarity, definition, and beautiful vivid colors.
This ritual can be completed with any scent you love. Using fresh or dried herbs, essential oils, or candles work well. We love using the Make & Mary Clarity Inhaler and the Make & Mary Calm Inhaler as they contain multiple, complex scents like lavender and cedarwood, encouraging us to take our time.
Start by inviting yourself into a safe, comforting space. This can be a room in your house or a bench at a park. If you want to indulge in this ritual, but aren’t in an ideal location, simply close your eyes and practice being within yourself.
Take your scent/s out, exhale all your breath out, and breathe your scent in deeply. What does it smell like? Is it earthy or floral? Does it bring about other sensations in your body? What are those sensations? Does the smell trigger a memory? Does the scent feel like a warm, refreshing hug?
As a way to feel present, it might be beneficial to write down your experiences as they come to you. This is a helpful way to encourage sensuality going forward.
For this sensual self-care ritual, we like to start in the bath paired with one of our favorites, the Make & Mary Love Note Bath Bomb. The heart-centered herbs add another love layer to the experience, and it’s nice to feel fresh and clean before applying oil.
Next, take out your favorite body oil. Our go-to is the Make & Mary Face & Body Serum, as the rosehip seed is profoundly nourishing, and the omega-3 and 6-rich oils always leave us glowing.
Start by slowly and intentionally massaging the oil into your skin. Notice where your skin feels extra dry and when it drinks in the oil. Is the intensity of your massage light or rough? Do your hands glide across your skin – how does that feel?
You can try alternating pressures and playing around with self-massage. When you’ve finished, notice how your body feels and thank yourself for nourishing it.
As avid herbalists, one of our favorite sensual self-care practices is choosing various herbs to taste. Herbs can be highly supportive and energetic, so it’s best to sit with the taste and view it objectively. Avoid judging the taste with labels like good and bad, delicious or gross.
If you’re not interested in tasting fresh or dried herbs, you can create a single-herb tea or tea blend of your choice. The Make & Mary Empress Loose-Leaf Tea is a fun one to try as it contains many different flavors and sensations.
Simply take a nibble of your herb or sip of your tea. Does it taste sweet or sour? How does the taste evolve? Maybe it’s earthy in the beginning and bitter at the end. How does the taste make you feel? Does it dry out your tongue?
Drawing awareness toward how tastes affect the body and mind can open up relationships with foods and plants. These connections have the potential to continuously support your overall holistic health, showing you love and care.
For the final ritual, we suggest finding that same safe, comforting space you found with your smell ritual. Turn on one of your favorite songs and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and focus on the different elements coming through the production.
How often do the drums come in? Are there strings? Does the music grow loud in some places and soft in others? If you’re wearing headphones, does the music move back and forth between your right and left ear?
We recommend listening to the song 3 – 5 times to see if you can catch other subtle sounds you’ve never heard before. This ritual will continue to elevate your feelings toward the sounds you love.
Taking the time to indulge in these practices and rituals will deepen your self-relationship and open up new avenues for expression. This season, treat yourself with sensual self-care and tap into the ever-evolving sensations of love.
Looking for an elevating experience to explore newer depths of sensual self-care, joy, and pleasure? Join us for our Full Flower Moon Retreat May 5th – 7th at the Bingen Hotel in the Gorge. This retreat focuses on igniting internal power in a supportive and expressive community of women. We’d love to have you join us!