“Is not this the true romantic feeling — not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you?” — Thomas Wolfe
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. For lovers, romance is the timeless tradition of keeping magic and passion alive by finding ways to say, “You are special to me, I adore you, I am grateful to have you in my life.” Dedicated couples thrive on “finding one hundred ways” to make any and every day Valentine’s Day. What often goes unnoticed, however, is how often and how much our senses are part of the successful magic of romance.
Composer-songwriter Stevie Wonder garnered an international #1 hit in 1984 with these simple words: “I just called to say I love you . . . to say how much I care.” Hearing the touching words and the melody prompted thousands of couples to follow suit, calling each other just to express their love. What sweet sounds for our ears?
While it’s common knowledge that women, as a rule, love to be romanced, it’s true that men also do. The important thing is to remember that romance need not (and should not) be limited to the bedroom, or to stereotypical ideas about what men and women are supposed to like. Take the time and interest to get to know your partner, and your own desires and preferences. Neither is it necessary to spend a lot of money: you can pleasure your sweetheart –and be pleasured– maximally without spending a cent, if you know how. A scented flower from your garden offered with a kiss and “I love you” can provide two pleasure points for free — right under your honey’s nose. And involve at least three senses: sight, sound and touch!
To help you and your significant other get started coming to your romantic “sense-abilities”, or support you to keep up the good work you’re already doing, let’s focus on each of our five sense organs, and stir up some possibilitease. Men: don’t stop romancing after you’ve won her over ( a kind of genetic “guy” thing), and women, take time and interest in finding out what exactly pleases, delights, entices and gratifies each of your man’s senses; it may be different than what you like. Surprise: enriching each other in this special way, opens up many new vistas for pleasure for both of you as individuals, and for your relationship together. What’s even sweeter is that the richness may also extend itself for each of you towards increased vitality, sense of wellbeing, self esteem, mutual trust — and presence.
Success in romance will require commitment. Planning for romance means being emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually available. It takes work. But when you involve your natural sensuality, developing what I call a relational “sense-you-all-ity,” the rewards are huge.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ROMANCING BY ENHANCING
THE EYES — Visual: The most dominant sense for most people still requires your awareness to employ it as a romancing tool. What is beautiful to your honey to look at? The way you dress? A tidy house? A lovely flower arrangement? A polished car exterior or pair of boots? A handmade greeting card with a special photograph? A sexy negligee or “birthday suit?” Paint the walls to a room in a new, favorite color.
THE EARS — Auditory: Bombarded as we are in a contemporary society by unwanted noise, choosing ways to pleasure our ears is a welcome gift: sing a favorite song at bedtime — or as a fun wake up. Play romantic mood music and dance in the living room by candlelight. Relax on a nature walk, listening to birds, or the waves at the beach. Whisper sweet nothings, and pay attention to the tone of your voice for couple of days.
THE NOSE — Olfactory: Such an important sense! When you offer your honey something delightful to smell, s/he not only appreciates inhaling the scent, but can appreciate health enhancements. Smelling means using the breath more fully and easily as well: oxygenating the bloodstream, relieving mental distress, calming the nervous system, releasing endorphins. This can be true whether you’ve just made a delicious cup of coffee (organic and caffeine free, of course), baked bread, put on her favorite cologne, purified the bathroom by burning white sage — or add-ed gardenia to the massage oil.
THE TASTE BUDS — Gustatory: The old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach may not be far off — and it works for women as well. What woman’s heart doesn’t go pitty-pat over special breakfast in bed — on her “un”birthday? Pleasing the palette of your special someone, taking time to explore what exactly turns him or her on is a wonderful, fun and highly romantic expedition, whether you do it by sharing fruits in an elegant, sacred ritual style — or watching each other devour a whole meal — like in the movie “Tom Jones,” lusty, earthy and anything but neat!
THE SKIN — Touch: Called the “mother of all the senses,” the way you touch and how often, says so much about how you regard your partner. Take time to plan a hot bubble bath together, or give a “non-demand” back massage to soothe and relax. A touch of fabric softener can produce a velvety clean shirt, or buy her a satiny pillow case and sheets: yum. A soft stroke to the face, unexpected bear hug, butterfly kiss on the eyelids — are just a few of the “one hundred ways” you can find to employ your sense of touch to please, honor, heal and humble your mate.
You are aware by now that seldom is only one sense actually engaged at a time. Take the time to devise secret ways to activate as many of your lover’s senses as possible in your romancing. For example, if you go to the movies and share a hot batch of yummy smelling and tasting popcorn, then hold hands you have used all five: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching!