There is a classic exercise used by beginning meditators where they eat a raisin very slowly and mindfully. While I'm not a big fan of raisins, I am a big fan of this exercise and the profound lessons to be learned from it.
Join me in this game, if you will. Grab a strawberry or piece of fruit or chocolate. If you are reading this on Facebook while in the line at the store, use your imagination.
Read the next few paragraphs slowly. Don't rush. Take a moment with each question posed and consider it fully before reading on.
Place the strawberry or food of choice in the palm of your hand. Inspect it. What do you notice? Maybe you notice it's very red on the tip and the color ever so slightly lightens as it reaches the stem. Or maybe you notice the way the light bounces off the skin, almost like it's wet even though it's not. Do you see the way the skin dimples perfectly to hold each seed? Do you see the fur on the leaves? Is it cold?
Lift the strawberry to your nose. What do you smell? Is it sweet? Does it smell like the earth? It's always surprising to me how much scent I am able to pick up even before the fruit is opened up. If you lick it now, what do you taste?
Without chewing, take a small bite of the strawberry and let it sit inside your mouth. Did some of the juice hit your taste buds? Did your tongue immediately push it over to your teeth to be chewed? Did you start salivating?
Start chewing it very slowly and eventually swallow the bite. Did you suddenly feel an explosion of flavor in your mouth? Did you feel the texture of the strawberry change from something firm and cold to something more fluid and warm? When you swallowed, did you suddenly want more?
At this point, you might be asking me what the heck this exercise has to do with sex. One of the many things I've learned in the last year is my enjoyment of sex is magnified when I am truly present. Turns out I'm prone to getting distracted during sex, and when this happens, it's an instant libido killer.
So how can a strawberry teach me to be present? In the past, I relied heavily on touch to keep me immersed in a sexual encounter. But the reality is that I have four other awesome senses that can help keep me present and connected with my partner. With my eyes, I can admire that scruffy part of his chin or I can watch him gaze at me. With my ears, I can listen to the sound of his breath and some mood-setting music. With my nose and mouth, I can smell and taste and explore every single inch of him.
So thank you strawberry, for all you have taught me about sex.
"Wait, that's it?" Transformation takes time, so I'm intentionally sharing in bite-sized doses that reflect my experience over the last year. I'd love to hear your questions, let's continue the conversation in the comments section below. Or visit my blog at downtothere.com