inviting desire


  1. relating to or affecting the senses rather than the intellect:
    “the work showed a deliberate disregard of the more sensuous and immediately appealing aspects of painting”
    synonyms: aesthetically pleasing · gratifying · rich · sumptuous ·

  2. attractive or gratifying physically, especially sexually:
    “her voice was rather deep but very sensuous”
    synonyms: sexually attractive · sexy · seductive · voluptuous ·


We often get sensuality and sexuality confused, and seeing the second definition it’s understandable.

A sensuous woman, in my mind, is one who is in touch with her senses and therefore her body, she enjoys silky things for the way they feel, she savors meals, and appreciates the world around her. You might call it a heightened sense of awareness.

Sexuality refers to our sexual activity: our desire, our physical interest in sex. And on one level it includes the visual aspect of what makes someone sexy.

Sexuality is tied to how we think about intimacy and about our capacity to seek out sex.

I begin my book, Inviting Desire, by talking about the five senses and encouraging women to cultivate their awareness and explore the pleasure to be found in the various senses. Learning to tap into our sensuous nature may encourage our sexual desire when we awaken our bodies to pleasure.

I think one can be sensuous without being sexual.

But I think the sexual individual who taps into their sensuous quality ultimately has a heightened sense of themselves as a sexual being and is more inclined to enjoy and participate in sexual activity.

There is a distinct difference between the two. And when we’re talking about how women dress, or how men think about women it’s worth thinking about the distinction.

A woman may be dressing in a way that looks sexy when she’s mainly expressing her sensuous side.

When we call someone sexy, what we’re doing is applying our labels to that person. And just because you or I think a dress, or a look, or a person is exuding sexuality does not mean that person feels the same way.

A big thanks to Walker Thornton! She’s a sport for going on this “conversation” with me. Please check her book out.

On Monday I will return to our “regularly scheduled programming.”



1 Comment

  • I agree with you, Anita. Sexuality and sensuality are two different things. I used to know a couple of exotic dancers. Both had been sexually abused as young girls. Both knew how to project “the look” that got men to tip them $20, but neither understood sensuality or enjoyed their sexuality. They only knew how to “perform.” Sad… Brenda

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