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What is Sensual?

Our Bodies and Ourselves in Massage

Before we start, lets remember that we perceive the world through our senses and that our entire life experience takes place in our minds so that perception is a matter of choice.

The very word 'sensual' conjures up all sorts of ideas in peoples minds largely due to ignorance and the sexualisation of our societies, so we must understand that all massage is sensual and there is no such thing as a non sensual massage, its all just a game in your mind.

Sensual is about perception because we perceive through our senses and most indulgence in sensuality is done with an aim to expand perception and affect cognition of our environment. This can be done through taste, sound, smell, sight or touch.

To enhance our senses, we indulge in sensual activities like listening, smelling, eating, seeing and touching. Therefore we have music,  perfumery, cooking, visual entertainments and touch activities yet the moralists amongst us say that physical (sexual) pleasure is wrong, immoral and dangerous even though we have sense receptors in our skin that are just as important as our other senses.

If you imagine a string a million miles long then you place a knife blade on the string, the area covered by the blade represents our consciousness or sensory perception of our universe.  Great thinkers in our past invented yoga as a tool to expand our perception beyond what we immediately see around us and this expanded perception is required to know the nature of life, and our individual existence.

The entire ideology of health and fitness is about maintenance and expansion of our capacity not only to perform, but to sense life and in sensing more acutely and more accurately, our life is enhanced. This is another way of describing the path from suffering to happiness and joy.

Sensual in Massage

All massage is sensual because that is how we experience life and our bodies have an uncountable number of sense receptors. Like any faculty, if is not used, not stimulated, sense receptors stagnate and become less useful. Therefore indulgence in sensuality is so important for our health to our well being that we create our world according to our sense perception.

Sensual massage attempts to distract from pain and discomfort by providing deep relaxation and pleasure through stimulating perception, by stimulating the sense receptors in the body to make the recipient not only more relaxed and content, but more alert and aware of life.

What most in the Western world consider as sensual massage is a massage that sets out to arouse sexual energy.  This is not wrong, in the right setting with the right person (between consenting adults), sexual massage is an enjoyable recreational pastime and when done well, it's as therapeutic and healing as any massage. After all, we are sexual beings.

A few generations ago, there was little distinction as to massage being sexual or non sexual, it was a purely private matter between clients and therapists. It's only the moralists who argue that sex is bad who have raised any opposition to massage with sexual content so that within the massage profession this is a taboo.

As a service, sexual massage is fraught with problems and while sexual massage can be healing as in sex therapy, most while providing a little stress relief may do more harm than good because the therapists are largely untrained.

Experiencing the body

Our bodies are loaded with sense receptors that collect information which is relayed to our brain to interpret. That interpretation depends on how the mind is programmed which is why we experience the same things differently. In terms of massage, some may interpret treatment to the outer hips is politically incorrect and offensive because they are offended by their own physicality.

Conversely and this occurs in Lomi Lomi, the entire body is treated, it's amazingly sensual and although there maybe some genital contact, there is rarely any sexualisation and any sexual energy that arises is transmuted. However in erotic massage, the entire focus is sexual and the goal either orgasm or release. In tantra massage, the goal is to achieve a high level of arousal and maintain it through the massage.

So while all massage is sensual, the real distinction is in the minds of givers and receivers.  A sensual full body massage need not be arousing and yet so many people are confused by life that any touch is arousing. This is a problem common to all therapists who must negotiate the mire of political correctness which is the cause of our inhibitions, negativity and judgemental limitations.

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it.
You must learn to see the world anew.”

Albert Einstein


The honest way to be. Public domain image.

Today, our lives and our bodies are highly politicised. Everyone is taught to judge themselves and others which is divisive for ourselves and society. Negative attitudes, toward people, towards things, towards ourselves and our bodies are habit forming and destructive.

Massage is a combined system of healing and personal growth which lays everything bare for the recipient as much as they allow. The massage therapist is a facilitator for that person in that moment of their journey and getting comfortable with your own body is a yogic process of self discovery and self awareness is vital because until we unreservedly accept ourselves including our bodies, we cannot progress.

In massage there is a greater need now than ever to put 'sensual' into proper perspective and understand it is not sexual. The only thing that makes a massage sexual is the mind of the receiver.

Fears and problems associated with nudity:

  • Being seen naked
    • Of course we were born naked and we were totally unconcerned about our nakedness until we were educated and taught to believe it is wrong.
    • His disciples said to him, "When will you be visible to us, and when shall we behold you?" He said, "When you strip naked without being ashamed, and take your garments and put them under your feet like little children and tread upon them, then you will see the child of the Living, and you will not be afraid." ~ Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas verse 37.
    • To overcome being seen naked, get used to seeing yourself naked in your own home and with like minded friends.
  • Getting aroused
    • Who cares, really? It's only you as long as you don't try and force yourself on anyone else.
  • Getting caught looking
    • Who cares? really, It's only you.
    • When your comfortable inside your own skin, it matters not who looks and one can always ask why.


With trust, this is the ideal way to enjoy massage. Public domain image.

We are not here to change the world, but we are here to grow toward freedom. Freedom and improved heath and fitness in our bodies, freedom from attitudes that are so engrained, we don't know they exist. When you consider we are born naked and leave the body when we die, the body is our vehicle, our earthly home which we need to accept and know, inside and out including the seven chakras.

Accept your body!
Until you unconditionally accept your own body, every time you massage someone, you will be applying your judgements on them!

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10 comments to What is Sensual?

  • Gerard

    Anything sensual doesn’t have to be sexual because what that makes you feel good is sensual. Like, a massage, eating chocolate, having a bath or shower, tickling, kissing and hugging, sliding your fingers on your arms and neck, etc. It could also be a nice setting or eating tasty food and drink.

  • jeanette

    I tasted you in my dream, I woke up knowing what I wanted for breakfast.

  • Rose

    Hi there, life is sensual, our bodies are sensual, sex is our food is sensual, is there anything not sensual?

  • Teaa

    Hello, Since we perceive the world through our senses, our entire worldly experience is sensual and can be no other way but to bring it down to the level of the human body is confusing. Better we should look at the human body as being erotic and not confuse the two terms

  • Rubin

    Sensuality is the beauty in nature but more so the female body

  • Gunter

    Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! But look in the dictionary for a definition of sensuality, depending upon the version and maker, varying definitions exist. Ask any person to define sensuality, and still more interpretations. Sensuality in its truest form is not to be confused with SEX. Sensuality means to be aroused by things of beauty, luxury and refinement, to be aware of and explore the world, life and love with all the senses. To be sensual is to be aware of and appreciate the natural, ecstasy that can be found in the sensuous, passionate world of feeling, inhabited by poets, artists, song writers and dreamers. Being sensual brings to us a life felt through our senses, seen only in the world of spirit.

  • Jimosa

    if this works, this is what I like as sensual

  • John

    Come on, surely you know that everything that’s sensual is about stimulating the senses and massage is one of the best. It’s amazing to have one’s body rubbed and stroked all over this also delightfully sensual and enjoyable to include the full body if you know what I mean and create a happy ending

  • Albert

    Since we experience our world through our senses and our sense perception is interpreted by our minds, the must be some truth to the old saying that all this is an illusion because everything takes place within our own minds

  • Anton Vicars

    Awesome article! But at the end of the day what most of us think is sensual indulgence and the saturation of sensual perception that most often leads to arousal and sex.

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