Sensuality


My New Year’s resolution is to really focus on my health. Specifically, eating better. So regardless of the weight that I won’t lose, at least I’ll know I am eating healthier. And that’s sexy. Taking a stand for my body is sexy. Preparing food is sexy. I’ve slowed down and am taking pleasure in cooking for myself. I make better food choices when I go out. And even when I’ve been out late and didn’t have dinner, I think about what I’m stuffing in my mouth when I get home. Normally, I’d grab too much of some moderate to unhealthy snack. Last night, I came home at 10pm, pretty hungry, and stopped. I didn’t want to eat too much before bed or feel gross in the morning.

Enter the hemp bagel. I know! What was I thinking?

Hemp bagels are super high in protein and fiber. They are a new food choice for me. They are healthy, filling and ‘green.’ Eating one would keep me sated and, though I’m not sure why, make me feel like I’ve done something for the environment. I guess because these are what all those ‘green people’ eat. I toasted it, put on some butter, and headed upstairs to eat it in bed while I read.

It was like eating a bird’s nest. I could literally feel bits of twig and feathers as I chewed. I could taste every piece of compost that had contributed to each and every ingredient. I persevered, thinking I just had to get used to it. The offending bagel then proceeded to suck all hydration out of my mouth. Desperate gulps of water only left a party of wet sewage in its wake. Worse, eating this in bed was like an affront to my sensuality. Seeds all over. The foul taste a far cry from paint-on chocolate and whipped cream. It was horrible.

Let’s take a look at how exactly unsexy a product this is:

It’s poo brown with pea green understones.

It’s been covered in seeds to make it “look” like an Everything Bagel.

You could place a couple of robin’s eggs in the center and a bird would fly out of nowhere and start incubating them.

You can taste the compost from which it originated, including the horse manure, just from the photo.

It doesn’t even sound good: Hemp Bagel. Blech.

Now I’m all for healthy, organic food choices. But there is no one that will ever convince me that the hemp bagel is an appetizing and/or appealing bite of deliciousness. It is really, hands down, the unsexiest food product I have ever eaten. It left me yearning for the bready,  slightly-chewy, processed-flour, New York bagel – topped with 1/2″ of cream cheese on each half. Some lox and red onion. And not a seed to be found the next morning under my covers.

I don’t care how good hemp bagels are for me. You tree-hugging, unwashed, hippie folk can have every last one of them. Not only are they gross, they’ve turned my green-0-meter back 25 years. So go ahead, start a petition for the hemp bagel. Send me recipes ad finitum on how to make this bit of fencepost a succulent morsel of sexy. Just know that I won’t be serving one to my lover as an aphrodisiac any time soon.

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I’m here, hanging at the shop, getting ready for a first date. I love first dates. They’re bursting with possibility…. like spring. And, well, it’s far from spring-like out. Or what I like to think of as spring. You know, the days like yesterday where it’s so beautiful you can taste summer. But not today.

  • It’s a cold — 50 degrees.
  • It’s rainy. Nasty Spring rain. Wet. Cold. Drizzly. (My hair doesn’t stand a chance for this date, let me tell you.)
  • It’s dark and gloomy. Not inviting. Not warm. Just dreary.
  • However…. pansies are the flower box. Crocuses are flooding front lawns all over Fairfield County. Daffodils are bursting themselves with the first early bloomers — big and bright. Robins are afield, looking for food.

But I did think about, given the circumstances, what would a perfect date look like on a night like tonight? Not my date tonight — mine will be one of those slightly uncomfortable ones, sitting at the bar, hoping we get along as well as we did on email and phone. But if I flashed forward to a year from now — providing things went well (no pressure) — what would my date tonight look like then. It looks like this:

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It’s Spring. April is the month of possibilities. Everything has potential in April. Everything is new and fresh and bright and filled with the urge to be bigger, more beautiful. Even on this cold dark day, I’ve only to walk to the front of the boutique, catch a glimpse of my purple and yellow pansies and I’m a happy girl. It’s a sensual month to be sure. And a month were everything, despite itself, continues to grow. Through the cold, the wet and the dark.

So I can think the date above, but I can’t quite have it yet. So I’m giving it to you.

Build the fire. Dim the lights. Put on J’ai Deux Amours by Madeleine Peroux. Pour some Fourplay wine (it’s all in the name). Listen to the rain. Savor your partner. And see what blossoms.

What you wear to bed is a bellwether of your relationship – with your partner and with yourself. I have a class here at the shop called “You Are What You Wear.” I ask women to bring in what they normally wear to bed. I don’t care what it looks like. What I care about the answer to these three questions:
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1.    Why did you select this?
2.    How do you feel in it?
3.    What message do you think you’re sending?

A gift of beautiful lingerie from your partner is the ultimate compliment. It means he believes you are a goddess. It is an expression of his love of you and your body. There’s really no way to make that wrong. It might be the wrong size. It might even be a bit, well, trampy. But it’s only given with the best of intent. He thinks you’re hot. And wants you to know it.

Here’s the bad news. Men don’t make great choices. But you need to be very careful in how you handle this. A look of “you’ve got to be kidding” is not the way to go. Instead, a gentle, “this is so beautiful, but not really my style/color/size. Would it be okay if I exchange it?” And you can. But not for the flannel kitty pajamas. For something soft and sexy. That you feel soft and sexy in. And you must greet him in it exactly as he’d hoped with the Frederick’s of Hollywood number you returned. He paid you the ultimate compliment buying it for you, now give him the thank you he deserves.

Sensuality is subjective. And the opportunity to express it fully is unique to the bedroom. This is a private space for you — or two. Full stop. And once you believe that, you can create the bedroom of your desires.

The bedroom’s purpose is twofold: Sleep and sex. I can tell you what to put in it (signature scent, mood lighting) and what to take out (the TV, family photos) but the only thing that matters is your reaction when you walk into it. What have you created? Stand back, take the room in and ask yourself these five simple questions:

  1. Does this space turn me on? If it feels like any other room in your home, then you missed the boat. The ambiance must support the intent (I’ll say it again) — sleep and sex.
  2. What do I love in this room? And why? Your favorite item should make you relax and smile. A sexy photo. A sensuous bedcover. Your vanity and what’s on it, or in it.
  3. What is my greatest distraction? If it’s anything other than your partner or the one you’re fantasizing about, get it out of there.
  4. What do I wear bed? If you’re cringing right now, then you know what I’m asking. I’m not telling you to head to Frederick’s of Hollywood, just be aware of the message you’re sending to yourself and (if applicable) your partner – and, yes, he/she does care.
  5. What is your bedtime ritual? Self care, self pleasure, and/or self inventory is where your focus should be. You should go to sleep feeling loved.

A beautiful, sensual bedroom is not dictated by Elle Décor, but rather by your mood and actions once inside it. Follow your pleasure and the sensuality will follow.

We all know that sleep is an essential part of our overall health. It reduces stress, aids your body in repairing itself, and improves overall performance during your day. But there is more to the bedroom than a good night’s sleep – and it all adds up to a healthy lifestyle.

Sex isn’t just a nice to have when it comes to health. It has been proven to boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, and improve cardiovascular health to name but few benefits. But more importantly, a healthy sex life can boost your self esteem, improve intimacy with your partner, and, let’s face it, improve your mood exponentially. It’s great exercise for your body, mind and soul.

Sleep and sex make the bedroom the most important room in the house. It should be relaxing, but it should also be a rejuvenating and private space built for intimacy. Think of it as sensual haven for your desires. That means creating a space that is warm, inviting, sensual and made for two (even if it’s just you right now). It means no TV, no kids, no family photos, no outside influence that takes you outside of yourself. You must create an intimate oasis that invites you to feel safe, sexy and sensual.

Create a room using warm tones that speak to your personality and passion. Leave beige to the living room. Invite rich, but subdued tones into your room. Deep earth tones are my favorite, coupled with sensuous bedding and evocative lighting. Declutter your space. Keep it open to possibility. And find a signature scent that transports you as you walk into the room. Evoke passion. Not just good night’s sleep. And even if you’ve got nothing going on in there right now, it’ll harbor some lovely dreams until you do.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

I read this quote today and was totally fascinated by it. I have so many women come into the shop thinking they’ve made their bed and so they must lie in it, so to speak. Since I’ve started my Sensuality Coaching practice, I’ve been overwhelmed by the levels of complacency that sets in for women as they enter their late 30s and 40s. In their marriage. In their self image. In their way of life. In their hopelessness of living a sensual life. I’m always finding tools and exercises that wake women up to their fullest potential. And in today’s research I found this quote and it literally slapped me upside the head. It’s the quote of perfection to the story I’m trying to tell. And who more interesting to write it than George Eliot? Or should I say Mary Ann Evans.

Breaking conventions

Breaking conventions

I’m not saying her life was perfect. Far from it. But in a very buttoned up Victorian society, she found a way to live her life as a woman in a man’s world. Living the male sensibility in business and love. And what a fantastic challenge to herself and all that she came across. And what a fantastic lesson for us.

Yes, we can challenge her choices. We can challenge her happiness. We can even challenge her stability in some cases. But what we can’t challenge is her incredible strength and pursuit of living her life her way. To her expectation. On her own path. To live her life in the now.

This brief encounter with George this morning was such a thoughtful and important reminder to women who feel their life is dictated by the path they’ve chosen. It’s never too late, ladies. Life is not linear. It’s on a divine path in divine time. And the divine is far from linear.

This quote reminded me to move forward with my dreams though I’m not sure what it looks like on the other end. But waiting to figure it out leaves me far behind the pack. Living it to the possibility today means I continue to move forward as a leader in a category that barely exists. I’m breaking conventions with my shop. I’m certainly challenging the norm with my message. And I’m making it up as I go along. And I’m okay with that. But on the days that I feel like a failure, the days I don’t know what forward looks like, I am reminded that I ALWAYS have the opportunity to be the person I see in my future.

I have to live towards the life that is my vision each and every day. And not reminisce on its possibility.

Truth time people. Going to bed in your man’s college t-shirt is not as sexy as you think. I’m sorry. I know he said you looked sexy in it. But think about it. What were the circumstances of that compliment? And how often have you heard it since? In my non-scientific poll of customers, they admitted to only hearing this once. And my gueNice t-shirt...ss is, they were probably in the kitchen, the man coming up from behind, all hot and bothered, when she heard those magic words, “Honey, you look so hot in my college t-shirt.” And then he promptly removed it. That, or you were 21.

Yes, in the right circumstance, it can be pretty damn sexy. Like, when you’re not wearing anything underneath it and doing a sexy little dance. But you and I both know you are wearing it with oversized flannels, socks and an oversized hoodie. I’m sorry. It’s not sexy. (And, yes, this applies to men as well.)

I get that it makes you feel young. It’s a throw back to your days of endless sex and fun in college. It’s a reminder of freedom and lack of responsibility. Fine. But, you know it says now? I’m old. I’m living off my glory days. Maybe he won’t notice my breasts have dropped. But worst of all it says, I don’t care.

I mean come on. Your average college t-shirt pajama ensemble basically says, “Don’t even think of having sex with me. I couldn’t be less interested.”

Am I exaggerating? Maybe (probably not). But you get my point. And here is my real question — how do you feel in this outfit? Honestly. And no, comfortable is not an acceptable answer. Do you see yourself as beautiful and desirable? Do you feel sexy? How do YOU feel? Do you feel like Keira Knightly? Not look like her, feel like her. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

I’m not saying you need to dress up like a Victoria Secret model every night, but think about what you are saying to yourself and to the person who is in bed with you. To be sexy you have to feel sexy. You have to feel confident. And you have to want to look as beautiful as you feel. Make sure it’s soft to the touch. That it skims your body. That it shows your clavical and your shoulders. Show some skin ladies. Stop apologizing for your body and embrace.

Use the girlfriend litmus test. Stand in front of the mirror and say, “What would my girlfriend’s say?” If they say fine for a pajama party with your best friend or a night with Ben & Jerry on the couch — time to rethink your wardrobe. Love your body. Love your sensuality. Love your partner. And for God’s sake, look in the bloody mirror.

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