Sometimes our mechanical, technological, scheduled world is simply not sexy. There is nothing mysterious about having to pencil in sexual encounters with your husband into an overbooked day planner (although its better than not connecting at all). Moreover, while high-speed Internet allows us nearly uninterrupted connectivity, studies show that the more we use the Internet, the more disconnected we feel from our loved ones. Ayurveda offers incredible tools for strengthening the five senses, moving us back into the realm of the sensual before we lose touch with it completely.
Many studies are looking into the reality of how Internet use warbles our brain, disrupting our sensitivity to pleasure from subtle sources. In his book The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brain, author Nicholas Carr states, “The Internet is an interruption system. It seizes our attention only to scramble it.” One of the key ways we connect to our sensuality is through the power of focus. As technology continues to reduce this capacity, we are left hungry for the real nurturance that comes from a calm, focused mind perceiving the beauty of the world. Honing the senses refines the pleasure power, leading to a boost of sensuality in daily life, as well as a deeper appreciation for the outside world.
Let’s start with touch. We can keep the channels of our skin alive and receptive to the tactile by massaging it daily with warm oil. When the skin channels are not blocked or dry, they are able to better perceive and receive the subtle energy emanating from the heart of those we love (children, lover, Grandma, pet gerbil), as well as our own heart. To boost your tactile receptors, practice giving and receiving loving or even sensual touch as a meditation. Ask your friend or partner to slowly run his hands over your skin. Meditate on the feeling of being touched.
Sight is important for expanding our creative capacity and appetite for life. The sense of sight is not only related to what your optometrist tells you at your annual eye visit. It is also related to our ability to observe the world, as well as ourselves, with awareness. In the pleasure- power context, this is about picking up on the subtle—a shift in your partner’s gaze, a change in their expression, a soft movement of hand to face. The importance of sight to sexuality may be why we get ticked-off if our partner doesn’t notice our new hair cut. It’s not about the highlights or the new dress; it’s about the fact that the Divine Feminine wants to be seen.
The more you develop your subtle powers of sight, the more you will spontaneously and deeply see your loved ones. They will also feel more seen by you. Enhancing our ability to stay present while lovingly observing the world boosts sexual energy more than any beauty product ever can. Practice “deep seeing.” Pick an object of beauty (preferably one that is not moving much)—a blooming cherry blossom tree, the pattern on top of your next latte, a snow-capped mountain—and simply look at it. Spend at least five minutes gazing at your beauty-object. Notice what subtle patterns and colors emerge. Notice how this deep-seeing practices effects your own mind and heart.
Smell has a lot to do with sexual attraction. Maintaining a proper diet and lifestyle will enhance your smell, making your body the most irresistible perfume on the market. There is nothing less sexy than last night’s lamb kabob covered up by cologne of some kind. And if your loved one comes to you with a noxious-fume-emitting armpit situation, you don’t need to immediately send him packing. Ayurveda offers many ways that we can actually alter our smells by cleansing and using spices as medicines. Fenugreek does wonders for body smells and makes your vaginal fluids smell and taste sweet! To spice up your bedroom, consider giving the linens a light mist with jasmine or vetiver essential oil hydrosols. The smell of natural elements is a huge aphrodisiac—open your windows and let in the smell of fresh rain, wet earth, or salty air. Studies show that men are most attracted to smells that are related to food (what a shock). The top of the list? Vanilla. Hilariously, “Cinnabon” and “pumpkin pie” were a close second.
Our minds are our biggest sexual organs, so sweet nothings whispered into our ears will definitely build sexual energy. But Ayurveda encourages us to think a little broader. To be a turned-on woman, Ayurveda asks us to tune in to the sounds of nature in general. The chirping of crickets, a flowing creek, children’s laughter, the musical cacophony of a busy subway line, our favorite symphony—by being with sounds, we train our ears to become life-appreciating, life- worshipping organs.
Taste can be enhanced by savoring life more fully. Often we rush through meals so fast that we don’t allow ourselves to actually taste the food. We do the same thing with our sexual energy. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that we can determine much about the state of our own sexual energy by our relationship to tasting food. You can also tell a lot about someone else’s sensual style by observing their relationship to cooking and eating. I once had a boyfriend who was a chef. Before I had decided whether or not we would be lovers, I watched him in the kitchen. The way he skillfully chopped vegetables and slowly tasted everything left my knees weak. He taught me that enjoying food slowly and with awareness translated into the ability to slow down in the bedroom.