photo by marguerita
by Virginia Stewart-Avalon, M.Ed.
Sexuality in the modern world is blatant; a strutting display of goods, a means of gaining power over others and a method of turning others into objects. Sex is often self-centered self-gratification.
Sensuality means being completely at home in one's body, trusting and living through the senses. Tasting-savoring the flavors that life offers through touching, exploring, the body, the tongue, feelings... Seeing-recognizing the beauty in all that is beautiful-animals, flowers, trees, people, symmetry and asymmetry. Inhaling the fragrances of all and enjoying each. Listening to the voices of all living things and reveling in the uniqueness of each. Sensuality may be enthusiastic, even athletic, but it is always in unison with another.
Patriarchy has perverted sex. It shattered the consciousness of the Divine Sensual, separating it into controllable, cold, remote virginity, which led to possession; and crude sexuality, the perversion of sensuality. Sex as just a physical act can be uncaring even violent or brutal; twisted into the conquering and subjugation of another; the denial of the Divinity of another. When the sex act is finished, there remains only emptiness, an awareness of isolation and loneliness to be escaped through departure or sleep. The veneration of perpetual virginity and the disdain for the sexuality of woman is a denial of life and of life-enhancing values. They represent the enslavement and the murder of the God/dess. A virgin brings no new life into the world and a prostitute destroys the divine in herself. Sexuality focuses the attention on control and destruction. The foundation of the sexual experience is the self; the foundation of the sensual experience is the other.
Making love is not sexual; it is sensual. It is being swept away by the immersion of one's senses in another person… and more. Making love is experiencing the worship of the God/desshood of another. It is adoration, in the original meaning of the word, of the God/dess, of the perfect Divinity of another through the senses. It is tender, gentle, awed reverence; a passion approached through complete vulnerability and surrender to the Divine Other and her/his surrender to the Divine Self. Implicit in surrender is complete trust and respect. Trust that this vulnerability will not be abused and that the gentle, reverent worship will be returned; and the respect of independence. Surrender is not conquest or possession. There can be no enslavement or ownership of a God/dess; the divine can not be controlled by anyone. Love is the most precious sacrament of adoration; it restores the sacred to what has been profaned.http://www.sibyllineorder.org/editorials/ed_sensuality.htm