Sensuality in Dance
Guest Blogger: Lilla
To me, sensuality is an engagement of the senses in a pleasurable way. It can be visual, auditory, tactile, or olfactory. Something that stimulates the senses in a pleasant and enjoyable way. Feeling a soft fur is sensual, smelling apple pie, listening to relaxing music, or watching a beautiful sunset. Sometimes, it is connected with sexuality, and sometimes it is purely sensual with no sexual component.
Sexuality is, as the word implies, purely about sex. It is that aspect of ourselves which is connected to our sexual arousal and attraction, sexual thoughts and feelings, and sexual behavior and actions. It is the expression of our mating instincts.
Sensuality and sexuality can be connected, but don't have to be. Something can be sensual without necessarily being sexual. For example, I can have a very pleasurable massage with essential oils and soft music, which is a very sensual experience, without having any thoughts of sex and without any sexuality on the part of my massage therapist.
I see dance the same way. Dance can be sensual without needing to be sexual. It stimulates and pleases the senses. Some people may perceive it sexually, if that is their tendency, or if the dancer is putting sexuality out there. But it can also be purely sensual without the sexuality.
Sexuality tends to generally include sensuality, because it is a physical act and sensation which make it innately sensual. It's hard to imagine the sexual without the sensual, at least not in a healthy way. But the sensual without the sexual? Definitely possible. The constant interchanging of the two terms in common language is frustrating. They are connected, but not the same thing.