How does seduction and sensuality tie into radical self love? Seduction has a bad reputation as a manipulation technique, but it’s possible to transform seduction into a spiritual practice, like my dear friend Kitty Cavalier does. As she says, “The source of your seductive power is your willingness to flaunt exactly who you are — unapologetically, uncensored, and with gusto.” Now that, my friends, is radical self love in action.
Sometimes, though, we get tripped up along the way. What does it mean to be “sexy” and how can we express that in a way that feels authentic? How about if you live in your head all the time and don’t make a lot of time or space to get into your seductive groove? And how do you keep the fires burning in a long-term relationship?
These are all good questions. I told my Facebook babes that I was interviewing a sensuality expert, and asked what they’d like to know. The questions they came back with were excellent, and I’m delighted to say that Kitty’s answers are truly awesome.
Let’s dive in…
Q. There seems to be a lot of perceived notions about sensuality and seduction. How can you exude that sensual aura even if you’re much more of a jeans and t’shirt and stay home with a good book type of person?
A. What could be sexier than jeans and a t-shirt? Hey, if it worked for Cindy Crawford! The thing about sensuality and seduction is that we have a very specific cultural view of what those words mean. Strutting down the Champs-Elysses wearing nothing but a trench coat and high heels is just one of the images that comes to mind. But remember this: sexy is not a look or a style, sexy is a sensation. Knowing that, ask yourself, what makes me feel sexy? Maybe it’s a trench coat, maybe it’s a t-shirt, maybe it’s a tutu! Your individuality is what creates your sex appeal, your outfit is just an expression of it.
Q. Do you have any tips for relaxing into orgasm with a partner?
A. The funny thing is, the answer is already embedded into the question itself! Can you guess which word I’m referring to? You got it, relaxation. When it comes to orgasm, relaxation and ease are KEY. What if rather than just focusing on the orgasm, you asked your partner to give you a slow, deliberate, sensual massage with sandalwood oil while keeping their clothes on, just for kicks? Orgasm won’t respond to orders. She needs to be seduced into being. Give yourself permission to be present and focus solely on your pleasure without any agenda. Just receive. Before you know it, your orgasm will have curled up beside you like a warm kitten your lap.
Q. If you primarily live in your head, what are some good ways to start living from your body instead?
A. The #1 way I have learned to live from my body is the regular practice of Qoya. Qoya is a movement class that combines yoga and dance, and is based on the concept that if it feels good, that’s how you know you are doing it right. What if you took this philosphy and applied it to your life? What if when walking down the street, rather that focusing on where you need to go, you felt all 7,000 nerve endings on each foot making love to the earth beneath you? What if when making your next decision, you relied on the feeling in your gut rather than just the thoughts of your mind? Keep repeating that mantra “if it feels good, I’m doing it right”, and you will be on your way.
Q. Is there a single trick to seduce anyone, anywhere, or do you need to use different approaches for different people and/or situations?
A. The answer is: it’s both. If I could distill the art of seduction into one phrase it would be: take whatever you are doing, and Just. Do It. Slower. When we slow down, we feel more. When we feel more, we have a deeper connection to our natural instincts. Our instincts connect us to our sensuality, and our sensuality is where our deepest seductive wisdom lies. Slow things down, feel your way, and let your inherent instincts reveal the exact code of captivation needed for each experience.
Q. Seduction is about making others view you as sexy rather than making yourself feel sexy. Discuss!
A. Indeed, that is how our culture currently views seduction. But what if seduction was not about manipulation, and it was just pure magnetism? What if it wasn’t about controlling how you are perceived, but surrendering to who you really are? What if rather than focusing on seducing someone else, you put your focus on that was seducing you? Smoke and mirrors are for amateurs. Bring on the realness baby.
Q. How do you reprogram your brain and reclaim your sexuality after years of religious shame?
A. As a woman who spent the first thirteen years of her life wanting to become a Catholic nun, I can relate! A powerful exercise I have found is the art of the re-frame. For example, in the Judeo-Christian creation story, Eve is seen as a vapid, naive tootsie that creates dead weight in Adam’s eyes. Well that’s fine, considering the bible is a text written exclusively by men. But what happens when we reframe this from the perspective of being a woman? Eve was a sensual creature who trusted her own inner authority, rather than following the dictates of a voice-from-the-sky outer authority. She trusted her own voice instead of the voices outside of her. Sounds like one smart lady to me.
Q. Odors? I need someone to address my odor paranoia (thank you asshole ex).
A. In the words of Napoleon to his beloved Josephine “I will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Do not wash!” Pheromones are the ORIGINAL eau de parfum my love. Nothing can compare with the sweet, natural, carnal aroma of your unique individual fragrance. Indulge it. Embrace it. Chanel No. 5 eat your heart out.
Q. Why is it some of us seem to only attract guys that want hook ups and not real relationships – what’s worse is a lot of them are already attached !
A. One of my personal mentors Barbara Stanny once asked me this thought provoking question: “If you don’t have what you want, why don’t you want it?” In regards to men, ask yourself honestly, “What would I need to let go of to attract a man who is serious about me?” Resist the urge to hear this through the ears of perfectionism. It’s not about making yourself into the picture of what someone else wants. You want someone to take you seriously, you have to take yourself seriously. Also, be discerning about whom you give your precious attention to. It’s the most valuable thing in the world.
Q. Does clinical depression render one either unable to seduce or unable to receive attention?
A. Hell no sister! Suffering from depression can absolutely put a kink in your hose, but think of some of the world’s most notorious lovers: Cleopatra, Casanova, William Shakespeare, Anais Nin. These icons of seduction were no stranger to the blues. In fact, being able to fully feel your emotions can make you an infinitely better lover. “Sex is emotion in motion” as Mae West would say.
Q. What would their suggestion be to someone who wants to be more seductive but has lived with their partner for a long time? (not much mystery left at all). I just don’t feel sexy with the guy who has seen me at my ugliest.
A. Time to reclaim your sexiness as a lifestyle darling! Flossing and flatulating in front of each other in a relationship does build intimacy, but it can also act like antifreeze when it comes to your desire. For the moment, let’s take the focus off of your relationship. What if you took all that energy and focus and put it on developing a sexy, sensual relationship with yourself? I suggest you take yourself out on dates, go shopping for new lingerie, make yourself a sensual meal by candlelight, wear high heels for no reason… The list is endless. Make your cup of self-romance runneth over, and once you have a surplus to give from, I dare you to spill it all over your partner like hot fudge over vanilla ice cream!
Q. How do you find your sensuality after years of eating disorders?
A. One step at a time my love, one step at a time. The best resource I can offer on this topic is the book Eating In The Light Of The Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston. There are so many gems in this book that will help you to approach your body and sensuality through the lens of curiosity, rather than fear or criticism. Read on, shine on.
Want a bigger taste of how sensuality and radical self love play together? In Radical Self Love Bootcamp, I interview Kitty about becoming your own lover, being a steward of pleasure, and how accessing your inner seductress can make you more confident. Check it out!