We are sensual creatures who experience our world in large part through sensory experiences and urges. Yet we live in a world where sensuality is alternately prohibited and commoditized, subverted and obsessed about. Is it any wonder most of us are confused about how to get our sensual needs met in healthy ways? Here, we address those challenges, and some of their potential solutions.

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Sensuality — what that word really means, and the important, underappreciated role that sensual experience plays in our health and happiness.

We live in a culture that often distorts sensuality — glorifying sex and promoting certain forms of consumer-oriented decadence, but limiting our appreciation of our own inherently sensual natures.

So here, from the biological benefits of sensual of pleasure to the difficulties we have in talking about it in polite company, we take a look at what’s known about sensuality and where it fits into our lives.

“Sensuality” Episode Highlights

  • Housekeeping details: A few shifts we’ve embraced in response to helpful listener feedback, and a call for more ideas on where we might go from here
  • A new segment: Listener questions! We address Ryan’s inquiry about which healthy lifestyle shifts to start with, and how to avoid getting overwhelmed by taking on too much at once
  • The difference between sensuality and sexuality
  • The dearth of scientific data on sensuality, and the many limitations of research into sensual and sexual satisfaction
  • Factors that limit our sensual experiences
  • Revisiting elements of the 1960s human potential movement and its modern-day expressions
  • The similarities between certain popular schools of sensual practice and nutritional reductionism
  • The role of sensual experience in a healthy, happy life
  • The opportunity to embrace sensual experiences wherever you happen to be, and some good reasons to do so
  • Our cultural squeamishness around long hugs and other forms of extended physical contact, even among close friends and family
  • Our human need for physical touch, and how we go about getting those needs met
  • This week’s experiments

Find or create a situation where you can experience some form of sensual touch that isn’t sexual.

  • It might be with a close friend or romantic partner — either way, the goal is the same: feel-good, non-sexual contact.
  • Notice that opportunities for physical touch are all around us, but sometimes we need to make an effort in their direction.

Decide to have a positive sensual experience right now, wherever you are.

  • Look around for what’s available for one or more of your senses to enjoy, and tune into the experience for at least 15 seconds.
  • If you’re having trouble finding something sensual to enjoy in the moment, decide which sense you most feel called to indulge, and make arrangements to address it at first opportunity.
  • Repeat as often as possible.

Bonus experiment:

Tell us what you’d like from us, and how. 

We launched The Living Experiment podcast with no business model, no sales funnels, and no marketing plan. And we’re glad we did!

Now, we’re in love with doing the podcast and we’re excited to make it sustainable for the long haul. We welcome your thoughts on how we might best do that.

Our goals:

  • Help people get healthier and happier, even in a world that makes that challenging
  • Think and talk about the things that interest you and us, and that have real impact on real people’s lives
  • Connect with a growing audience of individuals interested in the other content streams and experiences we create

We’d love your thoughts on how we can do all of that better.

Share the Love!

Have you told your friends and family about  The Living Experiment? If you dig it, please do! We are admittedly not all that great at promoting ourselves, so every recommendation from you means a lot.

We’d also love to have you connect with us on Facebook – share your thoughts, stories and reflections there.


Please note that while neither this episode nor its show notes includes any graphic or explicit sexual content, they do, at occasional intervals, reference sensual experiences. Some of the links within this section may also take you to sites through which you may discover more explicit content. Please explore at your own discretion.

PLUS . . .