#soulbitsonfire: Fanning the Flames of Sensuality

Updated: Jan 24, 2019

by Samantha Rose

If the feminine is about flow, I’ve been dwelling in the masculine. The need to control everything.

Where life goes, what restaurant I eat at… it’s not easy for me to be spontaneous these days. The older I’ve gotten the less spontaneous I’ve become… and I’ve reflected on why, felt guilty for not being so (being less spontaneous makes dating a lot more difficult––as I’ve found that people, specifically men, seem to expect women to very much so go with the flow and be down for whatever, which brings me to another curiosity of why men are like this and expect women to be like this, and why some women aren’t like this)... if I look at this from an energetic standpoint, it seems as though I’ve been much more comfortable in my masculine energy rather than my feminine energy. I’m not sure how long, but it’s become easier for me to control rather than flow.

Maybe because of past experiences where I was relied on heavily to be the one who had it together, who could make smart decisions, who was moving forward in life… that now, I’m not sure what it’s like to rely on someone in partnership. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and open and trust others. It’s up to me to make sure everything is “right.”

But it’s not.

There’s a fine line between boundary and control. As a child of divorce, I’m sure this desire to control has been a slow burn throughout my childhood and into my adult life. When you’re a child of divorce, nothing is truly up to you. It’s a lot of tug-o-war physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’d say it’s easy for us to grow up feeling the need to not rush, and not to control.

Once I reached an age in my 20’s where I felt more womanly and less like a teenager, I began to realize how uncomfortable I felt in sensuality and sexuality. Just because you have sex doesn’t mean you’re comfortable with it, even if you can be comfortable with another person. I’d argue that being comfortable with another person can be easier than being comfortable with yourself. We’re raised with such shame around our bodies and our sexuality no matter what size, orientation, or any other detail regards to these two things are. Down to the freckles on our nose, everyone is shamed for something.

Women have embedded shame in our bodies and very beings to the core of our existence. If we are the culmination of our ancestors, imagine what we’re carrying that isn’t even ours. In the middle and second half of my 20’s I’ve been learning this and I still am growing out of it.

One of my favorite ways to loosen up the calcified sensuality in my body is through dance. Dancing is an amazing ritual and tradition that I would say women and femme-identifying people own. I grew up extremely shy about dancing. I don’t think I was particularly encouraged to dance as a kid because I have two parents who refuse to dance (see? There’s two ancestors right there embedded in me that are already suppressed in some way).

I tell this story often, but in high school I was terrified to dance. I don’t remember feeling this shy in middle school, but when I went to high school I was around an entirely new group of people in public school, and acne had sprouted from my cheeks, and I was all around trying very hard to hide. So when it came to homecomings and other dances, I was frozen. Slow dances were easy, you just sway back and forth with your arms around some guy’s shoulders, whateva! But anything else… I had no idea what to do, and I was terrified to do it.

The first time I had fun at a dance without worrying about what I looked like or who was watching was my senior prom. I know that my inhibitions were gone because I was there with my first love and we had a blast that night. We both laughed and danced the entire time. I don’t remember much else besides being totally in love and not caring about anyone else in the room. We had the most fun together. It was a freeing experience full of flow.

In college, single again (I’ll spare you that story for now) and in a new city with mostly new people, I was back to being my nervous, shy self. It was like freshman year of high school all over again. And it wasn’t until a few years ago when I lived in New York that I truly and intentionally began to change this around for myself. Now, I’ve even posted videos of myself dancing on social media, which if you told my 15 or even 21 year old self that, they’d laugh or they’d be mortified at the thought.

Embracing sensuality can be hard, especially for those who grow up certain ways. There’s a myriad of reasons why women can struggle embracing their sensuality. I never grew up a girly-girl OR a tomboy, but somewhere in between, and I don’t really think it has anything to do with that anyway. I think sensuality is embedded in all of us, and I think that it’s more of a societal shame that seeps into each of us individually in different ways.

So, I’ve always leaned into my masculine side. Sometimes too much. I think it can be too dominant, hence my feeling the need to control little things. Leaning into our sensuality is healthy because it is flow itself. Being a woman is the most beautiful flow on earth and we can connect to this beautiful, sovereign, peaceful place. Don’t get me wrong, men can too, but I’m not a man so I’m speaking on women. Besides, feminine and masculine is not about what gender or sexuality you are. We all have both.

Dance is important. Do it by yourself, with a partner, stop settling for robotic love and robotic sex. If your partner can’t handle your flow, don’t take it personal. Their valve is simply shut off. And I’m not sure I have the time or the patience to shut someone’s back on these days. It’s been a long journey switching my own valve on, and as I explore this aspect of myself and do the work for myself, I realize I can’t do the work for another.

Everyone should be in touch with their feminine side. It is literal flow and life. Femininity is a power that we have feared or far too long. I said I was comfortable in my masculine side but I think we all are, a bit too much. Controlling every last thing down to the people we meet. Let go, breathe some life in. Don’t like to dance? Try yoga instead, or simple stretching. Listen to your body because that’s where the flow lives and thrives. You don’t need anyone on YouTube or anywhere else to teach you.

Be present with yourself and close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Once you’re centered, tune in and listen to your body. What does it want? Does your arm want to move? Or your leg? Do you need to sit or stand? Are you going to gyrate your hips or do a forward fold?

I did partly learn to listen to my own body from listening to others first. Yoga with Adriene was life changing for me but one message of hers always struck me the hardest: to listen to your own body. People talk about this a lot but some of you might be thinking, “What does that even mean? How do I know when my body’s talking?” I honestly don’t have one simple answer for that. I’m certain all of our bodies speak to us differently in some ways, and the same in others. Obviously pain is something we all know so if your body is in pain, stop doing that motion… but listen to your body’s limits and don’t push it where it doesn’t want to go. When you want to eat something but don’t want to eat another? That’s your body talking. When you need water? That’s your body talking. But eating and drinking and going to the bathroom and needing a shower… that’s the easy and obvious way to listen to your body. But opening yourself up to listening to the sensual part of your body that craves human touch, a slow dance, a soak in the tub, rays of sunshine, the smell of flowers, candles, or oils… these are the SENSES we have to explore more to enjoy life. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, but it is a journey. It requires you to get deeply in touch with yourself, but as you learn, the more confident in yourself you will feel. It’s a beautiful thing and not only does it improve our self-worth but it just improves our quality of life! I love the simple details of a candle in the room or a nice breeze… it’s those simple and beautiful moments that truly light my soul on fire and make being human worth it.

There’s a lot of mess in our worlds, our hearts, our society… but if we can manage to excavate and cultivate more beauty into our bodies, which then will feed into our mind and our spirit (and vice versa!) and we all embody more sensuality in our daily lives… imagine how sexy and happy and healthy this world could be. And guess what? You don’t need a single other person to do this. It’s a cliché, sure, but it wouldn’t be if it wasn’t true: It starts with you. And when others are added into the mix, then imagine the joy you’ll compound together.

Spread the love, my soulbabies. Enjoy yourselves and each other. Let’s dance around the fire and remember who we are.

Dance of Apollo and the Muses, by Baldassare Peruzzi (1481-1537)

Samantha Rose is a poet, writer, and editor whose burnings have reached The Occulum, ILY Mag, and more. She runs her own coven + lit mag, Pussy Magic, and has self-published two collections of poetry. Her writing speaks to the core of what churns us as humans and she is inspired by the interweaving of nature. She is passionate about honest and open self-expression. With Soulbits on Fire, Samantha hopes to inspire others to openly and bravely FEEL. She encourages you to take a few deep breaths after reading this. Feel that? Feels good, doesn't it? Check out her #soulbits on IG: @baddiesam.