September 10, 1997

The Essential Sensual Day

Try saying that fast five times...Essential Sensual Day, Essential Sensual Day, Essential Sensual Day, Essential Sensual Day, Essential Sensual Day. I cannot do it. But it is a good exercise for building up the saliva in your mouth, should you ever require an excess supply.

I had an Essential Sensual Day recently. I had not planned it, but the day started slowly and I could feel myself doing a lot of stretching and sighing. My body was crying out for attention. I found myself standing in the hot shower, mesmerized by the sensation of the tumbling hot water. My body said thank you, thank you, and I knew this was going to be an Essential Sensual Day.

An Essential Sensual Day is somewhat akin to a mental health day and may even be part of a mental health day. The focus shifts from all of the outside daily activities to bodily sensations. Your goal is to nurture the body which nourishes the soul.

I chose the word “sensual” for the name because it just seemed to fit so well. I tried other words like “body,” “kinesthetic,” and “senses,” but no other carried the feeling involved in the day. The dictionary defines “sensual” as “excessively inclined to the gratification of the senses; voluptuous.” Ah, there are the right words: excessive, gratification and voluptuous. They are right on target. They express the carnal nature of such a day. It is by definition excessive, because any amount of this stuff is excessive for someone who never does any of it. But it also must be done excessively. You cannot just take an ordinary shower. You have to get extra soapy. The water has to be almost too hot. You have to get lost in it, lose track of time and drain the hot water tank.

The only purpose of such a day is self-gratification. You do not do it for anyone else. Now this is not an old Yankee principle. Our Puritan forefathers and their modern day successors like to talk about “delayed gratification.” There is a place for that--but not during an Essential Sensual Day! Save it for the rest of the month. Today, indulge!

Voluptuous is an even better word. It carries dark, sexual overtones and those are part of the day too. I am talking about luxuriating in the body and the body is sexual. Now the second dictionary definition of sensual is “lewd or unchaste.” Since this is a family publication I will not comment further. But you may--comment or whatever.

Here are some ideas for an Essential Sensual Day. I like heat and water: showers, jacuzzis, steam baths. I am not a fan of saunas, but others like them. Comfy clothes are a must (not in the shower.) Sweats work well and my favorite is fleece--fleece anything and everything. But this does not work well in the summer in Arizona.

Eating and drinking must rise to the level of an experience. Holding a hot cup of tea works for me. Sometimes I even drink it. Eat spicy foods. Savor them. Eat too much. Belch a lot. Or eat too little. Fasting can sometimes bring my body more in tune with the surrounding sensations.

Be outside. Sit in the sun. Close your eyes and feel the sun and the wind. Smell the air. Just let the world slosh around in your consciousness. Think of the day as a hardball candy. You close your eyes, pop that sucker in your mouth and the first burst of sharp flavor fills your senses. Savor your day and suck out the juice that life has to give you.

Do not “do” anything. My recent Essential Sensual Day was cut short when I started cooking. I thought that cooking would just add new smells and sensations, but it was too busy. I was using my brain too much. Remember, this is a sensual day. Whatever you do must create a sensation in your body and you must be aware of the sensation. If you are “doing” you will lose your awareness.

So schedule an Essential Sensual Day, or an Essential Sensual Half Day or an Essential Sensual Hour. Try it, you’ll like it! And let me know what works for you. I will pass along the new ideas to others. Together we will build a library of voluptuous activities for the common man and woman. What will we call it?

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