10 Ways to be Sensual Without Being Sexual.

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“Sensual pleasures are like soap bubbles, sparkling, effervescent. The pleasures of intellect are calm, beautiful, sublime, ever enduring and climbing upward to the borders of the unseen world.”

~ John H. Aughey

I have been struggling with the possibility of writing about sex and I just can’t go there.

I have teen children and a husband who is a very private person, and whom I respect greatly. And, I am also very private about this part of my life as well.

So, I have decided to write about some of the expressions of love that make me feel really close to my husband (and even some that apply to friends and family), which have nothing to do with sex. And believe me when I say that I believe these sensual experiences are what almost every woman (and possibly man) secretly or not-so secretly desires and needs in a relationship much more than sex.

So here it is: 10 Ways to be Sensual Without Being Sexual:

  1. Being Private about One’s Sex Life.

No one wants intimate details of their sex life spread around in rumor fashion—be it oral, written, or through any other method. My husband and I have mutual respect for each other in this part of our relationship. It is no one else’s business!

  1. Snuggling

Who doesn’t love a great snuggle session? I know I do!  Sometimes it is just holding one another and other times it is when we are merely watching television and I have my head on his lap.

I think this may just be one of the most important signs of true love.

I am not judging anyone who has had one, but people who are after a one night stand or are in a relationship with you for reasons other than love are probably not going to hold you all night.

  1. Having My Hair Brushed or Played with.

I love it when my husband plays with my hair with his hands or uses a brush on it. This is something that makes me feel so good and relaxes me down to the core of my being.

  1. Getting Tickles.

By this I do not mean torturous, hold-me-down tickles—I hate those! By this I mean being nice to me by lightly touching my face, back, arms, or hands.

Often my husband does this if I can’t fall asleep and it works every time even though I say it won’t. Guess he must know me better than I know myself in some ways.

To be truthful, I have always traded tickles with good friends and my sister too! When we were young, we even went so far as to use a timer to trade off who’s turn it was!

  1. Holding Hands.

This seemingly little display of affection can go a long way. If we are taking a walk, watching a movie, eating out, or simply sitting on the couch this can be so comforting to me. I feel attached to my love in a way that I am okay with in public. (Like I said, we are private people.)

I’ll never forget holding hands on my husband-to-be parent’s couch and his father asking if my hands were cold. Of course I told him that they were freezing, and I think he got a kick out of my answer and respected me a little more that day that I stood up to him!

  1. Kissing.

Who could leave out kissing? A short hello or goodbye kiss or a longer one that might just lead to something more. Kissing is an art form all in itself. A kiss with a slow build up or just a small kiss that leaves you wanting more—either are nice. And I will say no more, as I promised I was not going to talk about sex. Instead, I offer this quote and leave it to  your imagination:

Kissing is like drinking salted water. You drink, and your thirst increases. ~ Chinese Proverb

  1. Direct Eye Contact.

Eye contact is something that most of us know about but the effects are hard to put into words. There is nothing more appealing than seeing the person you love looking directly into your eyes while you talk with one another or just be.

This tells me that the other person has a vested interest in what I am saying and is really listening to me or being there for me.

  1. Love Letters.

Okay, my husband admittedly once gave me a birthday card that had a monkey on the front with a firecracker in its butt that said, “Have a blast on your birthday.” I will never forget that awful card and neither will he! I think I even cried when I opened it. Let’s just say that it never happened again.

In my opinion, a much better option than sending an e-card or letting Hallmark say what you are thinking is to buy a blank card and to write your own words in it. Better yet—make a card!

I can’t tell you how special it makes me feel to see actual hand writing inside of a card these days. I have saved every written letter and card that I have received since I was seven years-old. Really. It means that much to me!

  1. Being there for Me When I Need Someone to Listen.

I know what they say about men being able to tolerate fewer words per day than women, but talking is such a turn on—somebody who cares about my thoughts, dreams, hopes, problems, and desires. Yep—this is a biggie for me as well.

When we are in a relationship, shouldn’t we all be able to speak candidly to the person who we are choosing to spend much (or most) of our time with? I would think so.

This one works in another way too. Sometimes, I just need a hug or someone to hold me and no words need to be exchanged to understand where they are coming from. Hopefully, your partner just ‘gets’ you in this way.

  1. Telling the Truth.

“The profoundest of all sensualities is the sense of truth and the next deepest sensual experience is the sense of justice.” ~ D.H. Lawrence

You would think this would be obvious, but it unfortunately doesn’t always work out that way for everyone at all times. Everyone deserves the truth and owes it to their mate to tell the truth.

There is nothing less disheartening than finding out that someone has lied to you. Don’t be that person. Enough said.

And I want  to leave you with this thoughtful quote that really sums all of the above up:

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep…wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have you….The one who turns to his friends and says, ‘that’s her.'”

~ Chuck Palahniuk


Relephant reads:

Can We Be Lovers & Not Have Sex?

6 Ways to Have Radically Intimate Sex.

Platonic Sensual Touch: Put Your Hands on Me. 

Bonus! Enlighten your sex life—it deserves it:


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About Laura Kutney

Laura Kutney lives in Silicon Valley in Northern California. She finds inspiration for her writing in just about everyone she knows and in all that she does. She is passionate about her family and friends, reading, writing, nature, philosophy, science and photography. She prefers to be by a lake or the sea whenever possible. She enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and research based articles about anything and everything that moves her heart. You can find her here as an author on elephant journal, on Mosaic Commons, and on Twitter.


16 Responses to “10 Ways to be Sensual Without Being Sexual.”

  1. Diane Brunner says:

    Very inspiring! I was very humbled by those comments from this article. I have been married 31 years and it made me realize the small but huge things that are so important that I have taken for granted! Thank you:)

    Blessed to have been able to have read this article:) <3

    • laurakutney says:

      Dear Diane,

      Thank you so much for your comment and congratulations on being married for 31 years! I too take things for granted at times, and the act of writing this article made me even more grateful for my husband. It really boils down to those little everyday things that make me thankful.

      Your compliment means so much to me. xo, Laura

  2. I loved this, Laura! Such a great perspective and all of the things you listed are such wonderful parts of life. Thanks for writing it.

  3. LivingArtisan says:

    Well written and so true. Especially #1 … privacy is so essential in relationship.

    • laurakutney says:

      Thanks for reading and writing in and for the compliment.

      I too believe that privacy is essential in most relationships that are going to last. I know there are many different types of relationships out there from polyamorous to open and so on, but I still think that no matter the type of relationship, people don't want others to talk about what happens with them in the bedroom. Maybe I am just old fashioned, but it seems to be true for the friends that I have as far as I know.

      All the best to you! Laura

  4. Muks says:

    I love it and try to practice most of these points. But…. How do your statement in 5 and 10 go together?

    • laurakutney says:

      I was teasing my father-in-law to be, just as he was teasing us. it was all in good fun. Not a serious lie of any type. I was laughing when I said it and he got the point! (I assume this is what you were asking about.). I can also be sarcastic at times, but stay away from the big whopper lies and even the smaller ones. Thanks for reading!

      All My Best to You, Laura

  5. odi says:

    you must have no sense of humor if you cried at that card… seriously???

    • laurakutney says:

      I do have a sense of humor, but it was previously understood that we wouldn't give each other cards like that, plus I was very pregnant and feeling sensitive. So yes, I really did cry, but it is kind of a personal story as to why. Thanks for reading! All the best to you, Laura

  6. Bruce says:

    Thank you for just… Being.

  7. Bob says:

    I would really like to hear your thoughts on 10 ways to be sexual without being sensual? This would be a more useful and practical how too. In your expert opinion, how would you suggest I can accomplish this, I'm tired of always having to be sensual, lets just leave that out sometimes, Wouldn't you agree?

    • laurakutney says:

      Hi Bob,

      I have been pondering this question of yours for some time. I think that depending on the person and the specific relationship, that making a how to, as you suggest, may or may not be more useful. BTW, I am most definitely NOT an expert, I only write of my own experience and what I have gathered from friends, books, etc.

      I will agree with you that on a rare occasion, it is alright to leave out the sensuality, but if this is something that you are looking for as an all the time kind of way to live, I can't imagine that it will bring you much happiness on a deeper level.

      I hope that if sensuality is a bother for you, that you find the rare partner who feels the same.

      All the best to you! Laura

  8. Sangeeta says:

    Dear Lauren,

    What a touching article. You are such an inspiration. I never really stopped to think of all the ways your partner could make you feel special. Thank you for taking the time to write them. I think it’s these little things that truly mean the most. Words can fade away but the way someone made you feel never does.

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