5 Tips to Heighten the Senses

25 Aug 2009, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in sensuality

Since last week’s Sex on a Plate post (and the announcement of my mission to help people have great food and great sex) I’ve had a lot of compelling conversations around the subjects of sensuality, sexuality and food. One of them was with a national woman’s magazine, so let’s hope I make the editor’s cut for that.

In having such conversations, of course, questions have arisen, such as “Where do I start?” and “What do I do?”

I thought I’d put together a couple of tips (OK, five of them) to share my approach to the senses, and how these actions help me to savor life on a very profound level. I recommend you give them a try and see what happens.

  1. Quiet your mind. Nothing can interfere more with a moment of enjoyment than a mind that is full of worry, to-dos, schedules, etc. Take a moment to breathe. This has been my greatest challenge, as my brain is constantly buzzing with things I need to take care of, ideas for my businesses, people I need to reach out to, on and on; it’s enough to make a person frazzled. To quiet myself, I’ve committed a minimum of 15 minutes each day to sit quietly, preferably surrounded by trees and flowers, to just be. To take it all in.
  2. Pay attention. In that moment of serenity (you can get there — deep breaths, people) take note of the colors, sounds, scents and textures around you. Notice how vivid the colors are in that Iris over there, or how peaceful the sound of the breeze is. Feel the sun on your face.
  3. Reach down into that inner place of joy. The ultimate feeling is to revel in one’s very existence — to feel a sense of giddy happiness just to be alive, experiencing this moment. If we can take pleasure in something that simple, imagine the indulgent pleasures that can follow.
  4. Engage your mental mouth. This is your inner taster. We all have one. In remembering your favorite food memories, your mental mouth pulls up smells, flavors, feelings from the past, at times when you had a perfect bite, or your grandmother’s apple pie evoked the ultimate feeling of comfort. By exercising this little guy, and by thinking about flavors, you are putting your brain to work on expanding the receptors for these all-important pleasures. I did not develop my palate passively — I taste a lot of things, see how they make me feel, store the ones I like and refer to them for inspiration.
  5. Approach your food actively. Remember when you sat outside and paid attention to your surroundings? Apply that to your next meal. What colors, textures and smells are before you? Take a moment to absorb those, and note how they make you feel. Are you inspired to lasciviously dive into that dish of glistening red tomatoes? Does the soft texture of that loaf of bread make you want to play with it in your hands? These are exercises that put the mind to work — to train it to anticipate pleasure, and get you excited for the things you’re about to taste.

Let me know how you do. Or, as I am wont to say, keep playing with your food.

Photo: Lia Soscia