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How Somatic Awareness Will Deepen Intimacy and Pleasure


Art by @alphachanneling

“I feel disconnected from my body.” This is something I hear a lot from clients and is the most common reason for people seeking Tantric bodywork. It doesn’t at all surprise me. We live in an age defined by screens and digital interactions. Increasingly, our attention is becoming fixed on a flattened, non-sensuous version of reality, rendering our senses useless. But we are sensuous beings. Our bodies perceive through our senses, and the less we engage with our senses, the more disconnected we will feel not just from ourselves but from each other and the world around us. This is why practising somatic (body) awareness is becoming increasingly important.


Somatic awareness can be defined as having an awareness and understanding of the sensations and feedback from one’s own body as perceived through our five senses.

The importance of somatic awareness is in listening to the whole organism for more information, rather than just relying on the thinking brain. When you become more somatically aware you begin to notice the experience of the lived body. It opens you to the vibrancy of life in relationship to self and others. The pleasure you feel becomes more satiating. Relationships strengthen and become more meaningful. You become more centred.

Let’s dive a little deeper into how somatic awareness can improve your relationships and experience of pleasure:


Self-Awareness: Emotions, Habits and Unconscious Patterns

In his book The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk says “In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.” Through somatic awareness we can identify unhelpful habits and unconscious patterns that may be preventing us from forming deep and meaningful intimate connections. It also helps us to become less reactive in emotionally intense situations, allowing us to respond with more intelligence, curiosity and compassion.


Connection: Empathy & Attunement

When we’re aware of how emotions manifest in our own bodies, it becomes easier to recognise this in others and empathise with how they may be feeling, allowing us to become more intuitive lovers/partners and offer better support based on their emotional needs.

Communication & Self-Expression

Ongoing research in interpersonal communication suggests that 70% of the way we communicate occurs nonverbally. 70%! Developing awareness of how our thoughts, emotions and ideas are expressed through the body can greatly enhance our ability to communicate, to understand each other and build more meaningful relationships. With somatic awareness, authentic self-expression becomes easier, inviting more openness and vulnerability into a relationship.

Pleasure: Excitement & Bliss

Pleasure is a felt experience so the more aware you become of subtle sensations manifesting in the body from sensory stimulation or thoughts, the more heightened and satisfying your experience of pleasure becomes. Somatic awareness also brings curiosity and inspiration to the way in which you engage with your pleasure body, opening new pathways to pleasure.


So what are some ways you can practise developing somatic awareness?

Mindfulness

Try engaging your senses more mindfully and with intent throughout your day. Here is a simple practice you can try:

Name:

・5 things you can see

・4 things you can feel

・3 things you can hear

・2 things you can smell

・1 thing you can taste


Movement

Yoga, walking, running, hiking, dancing, going for a swim or any outdoor physical activity are all great ways to connect to your body. The key is to make it mindful. Keep your awareness on the sensations you’re feeling and the quality of your breath as you move your body and interact with your environment.

Bodywork

Touch is the first sense we develop in the womb and is one of the simplest ways of connecting to ourselves and each other. Touching and stimulating our skin activates our entire sensory system so doing your own self-touch or seeing a professional bodywork practitioner is a highly effective way to awaken and reconnect you to your sensuous body.

 


Hi, I'm Ania White.

I'm a Tantric Bodywork practitioner and Somatic Sexologist passionate about supporting people to reconnect to eros – one's source of vitality, curiosity, creativity and pleasure.

I am based in Sydney, Australia.

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