One of the first things I talk about on most of the workshops, is creating sensual space. I’ve recently come to understand how this is even more important than I first thought it to be.
When you take the time to create a special space for you and your partner, what you’re saying is that you are important to me, we are important, we matter, what we have is special, what we share means enough to us, or me, to make what we do special and different. We separate it from other activities. You affirm your love, your caring, your excitement, your arousal. You keep love and romance alive. You keep your partner feeling special.
How do you create this space?
It’s not very difficult to do, it can be very simple or complex.
The first step is to change the lights in the room. Light a candle, light 100 candles. Cover the lamps with coloured cloths; change the colours of the globes. If you like incense, light a stick or two.
Music is very important for some experiences, no music with words. Why? Because you’ll sing the songs in your head, then you’re not present. So no CD of your favourite love songs, not even instrumentals of your favourite songs. All the music stores have sections of floaty flowy music for massage, yoga, relaxation etc.
Make sure the room is warm, winter’s coming and the nights are getting chilly. If you’re not warm you can’t relax, can’t let go.
Get snacks, water, chocolates, wine or fruit. Have lots of pillows, blankets, lubricant, toys, and towels, whatever you think you’ll need for the experience.
Rose petals on the floor make the space really beautiful, but know they stain sheets so use sheets that are okay to get marked, or go to a hotel. Most florists will sell you packets of loose rose petals. It’s a nice idea to have some sheets and towels that are just for play time.
You might include a small altar with things that may be special to you, stones or shells that you picked up on a holiday, a little gift for each other, objects that represent the elements etc. As I said before, it can be very simple or you can put a lot of effort and energy into it. Obviously phones are off, kids and pets elsewhere.
You can create the space together or do it as a gift for your partner, tell them to sit somewhere else and you’ll call them when you’re ready.
A wonderful idea is to make a trail from the front door or wherever they are to whichever room you’re using. Use petals and small candles, have a sip of champagne or chocolates spread out, a note of what might be to come, instructions for them to get undressed, have a shower, put on something special, leave your lingerie from the day as part of the trail.
Now here’s something to consider. The best place to create the space for a special experience is probably not your bedroom. Think about what you do in the bedroom. You eat and drink, you work, you sleep, you have sex, you fight, you might watch TV or movies, kids and pets are in and out, there are books and magazines and clothes and stuff all over. To make the room special you need to change a lot of things. If you have furniture in the bedroom, a chair, tables, whatever, move them around, it immediately makes it different.Because you want to have a different experience, the space needs to be different. Obviously it isn’t always possible to use another room, but then don’t always limit these experiences to at night. Make a date for 10:00 on Thursday morning for special time together.
You actually plan these times, sometimes days in advance. This doesn’t take away the excitement and it certainly doesn’t mean that every time you have sex this is what you should do. Don’t EVER stop those wonderful quickies and spontaneous moments of fooling around. These experiences are different and special. In fact, when you plan them, they can be even more exciting because you’re thinking about it all day, planning, dreaming about it, getting excited.
This idea is not limited to those in a relationship. A sexual or sensual exploration or self-pleasuring session can be made more special and meaningful by creating the space for yourself. By doing this you say that you’re important, you matter. Remember that you are a sexual and sensual being in your own right, regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or not.
I talk a lot about the difference between ‘having sex’ and ‘making love’. I’ve come, (I never comment on the possible double meaning of many words in my writing, but today I have to), to define sex as a goal-oriented genital activity, the goal being orgasm. Once that’s been reached, hopefully by everybody involved, that’s it, we’re done and we go onto the next thing, which for men is generally falling asleep. My joke is that for men it should be called going rather than coming.
Making love is different. In his book, ‘Indecent Practice and Erotic Trance, Making Sense of Tantra’, John Ryan Haule questions our use of the term ‘making love’. We tend to use it as a euphemism for anything sexual. This is not the case at all. If we break the phrase down, ‘making’ means that we’re going to make something, create something, mix ingredients together to end up with something different. In this case that’s love.
When the experience is over, there will be more love between us than when we started. That’s making love, and for that to happen we need special space. There are many ways to make love, not all of them sexual, but creating the space for such an experience is the beginning of ‘making love’. - (Jonti Searll, sensualist, Health24, updated April 2011)