Some of My Best Friends Are Sensualists

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There are two main ways of doing it: sexually or sensually. Sexualists are into sex. Sensualists are into eroticism: stuff that isn't sex but involves the suggestion of sex. Sensualists are romantic — they set the mood. They notice details like texture and scent. They light candles. They have plenty of time and they are ready to explore the options. Baths have a purpose beyond getting clean if you are a sensualist. You take retreats and sabbaticals. You lie in mud. You kiss for a wicked long time. And I suspect you of liking jazz.

Sexualists, on the other hand, are more enthusiastic, garish, brutal. We're on a mission. Food is something we eat when we are hungry. We don't see the whole picture. While the sensualists toil over preparations for the perfect evening, sexualists make do. We screw in our work clothes at a truck stop in five minutes flat. We're just that way. I'm not waiting around while someone lights some damned candles. If you know what you want, why do other stuff first? We sexualists are propelled forward in life, not sideways. While sensualists luxuriate among the world's endless possibilities, sexualists live with definite goals, which we pounce on and pummel into submission.

I had sex with a sensualist once. He hung his long hair (ugh!) around my face like a tent, cutting off all my light, and said, "How does that look and feel?" Then he paused. I realized he was waiting for me to compliment him on his eroticism — and until I did, he was withholding. Withholding thrusts! So I lied and said, "That's so cool."

Sensualists have sex without orgasms on purpose. They call it tantric sex. I'd call it a bad date. Let's tell it like it is: sensualists are sick. They sniff feet and get a hard-on. I'm fixated on a single star — I jump on a rocket ship and explode in orgasm, and that's it. So much is going onwith those other people. They have a richer world. Secretly, I wish I too could get all excited about colon hydrotherapy and the rest of those wacky fetishes. I just don't understand it at all.

Sensualists do stuff with their fluids. Why? When giving a blowjob, the obvious thing to do is swallow the semen — it's neat, polite, and efficient. I don't smear it or drip it into the guy's mouth, or any of those other things that I know sensual people are going around doing. The guy already came; he doesn't want to be doing anything messy anymore. Getting come sprayed in your hair or on your breasts or wherever is fine, because it adds to the excitement of the ejaculation. The woman gets to be defiled (which is always a good time) and the man gets to actually see his claim being staked on the woman's person. It makes sense. Of course, being a little anemic myself, I always prefer to swallow (for the protein).

Sexualists hate nothing more than someone who takes too long. Oh god it's so awful — they peer into your eyes and they stroke you and say, "Mmm." I read recently that 51% of Canadians surveyed said they valued their partner's satisfaction above their own. Above their own! Quit looking at me, Canadian lover! It's a lot of pressure having someone hovering up there, worrying about my orgasms. Just leave me alone — I know how to get there. I mean, don't leave me alone, but . . .

Sensualists write long letters. Erotic letters should be two lines: "You are the most attractive person I have ever met in my entire life. I'm dying with desire — dying!" This should get your message across with a minimum of fuss. I wonder about people who send four-page single-spaced letters about what they'd like to do. Just come over to my house and do it already! Once you've figured out your feelings, wouldn't acting be the next logical step? The Scorpions said it best: "There are no words to describe all my longings for love."

69 is strictly for the sensualists. They want to have their mouth on an organ, scent in their nostrils and flesh in their fists while you-know-what is going on down there. Not me! I need to concentrate. I can't even think, much less perform, while that's going on. Why do two half-good jobs concurrently instead of two marvelous deeds separately, one after the other? One must prioritize.

One activity I'm not sure about is anal sex. It works and it hurts, two things we sexualists like. But it's considered gross and deviant, so their kind goes for it as well.

I recently learned there are two ways to fuck a tub. In a conversation with a sensualist, it came out that we both masturbate by lying under the bathtub faucet. But she likes to let it just barely dribble onto her you-know-what and let the pressure slowly build, while I turn it up all the way and swivel right up to the opening where the water rushes hardest. That's when I understood: the sensualists are in it for the long haul — they want to be enfolded in sensation, they want to expand their consciousness to the breadth of the universe, encompassing everything. Whereas I want to lose everything. I want to be smashed to pieces.

You can tell right away which category people fall under. Well of course if the man has long hair he's sensual. Oh lord, protect me and my kind from the long-haired man and his slithery ways! Dangling hair in their faces, dangling pauses in their speech (to show how meaningful they are), dangling promises (threats) of future love, strange hands and arms dangling allover me. They're big danglers, those sensualists. They wear soft, spongy footwear and sculpt designs in their beards and bestow multitudinous casual compliments to all. They're messy human beings, with all that dangling and complimenting and beard-growing. They're billowing with layers. Layers of issues, layers of scents, layers of spirituality, layers of meanings to their song lyrics, layers of vests and scarves and belts and brooches and other ungodly items I can't imagine having the time to collect, store, coordinate and put away at night.

Whereas there's something startlingly accurate about the sexualists. They're unfettered by facial hair or accessories or issues. They have no issues. None! They have one or two beliefs, to which their lives are devoted. You see them so sharply focused, so unswerving, and it's such a challenge . . . you're dying to swerve 'em just a little. The externals might be slightly in disarray (shirt half-tucked-in, half out), but inside they are robots on fire. They can appear cruel and emotionless . . . and, well, on a bad day, they are. But at least they're not hypocrites, issuing protestations of caring for others in order to show off their soul and paw your body. Plus, sexualists have better shoes.

I can spot a sexualist on the street blocks away. They pass by me, and I am briefly but utterly possessed by their voracious yet uncaring eyes. Oh my god I do like them. I want to be had in a doorway by each and every one of them. Sexualists burn everything out — habits, towns, lovers — because they are so ravenous. Burn me out, please!

Henry Miller and Marilyn Monroe stand out as sensualists. Jack Nicholson is a big sexualist, though I hate to admit he's in our camp because he's such a letch. That's okay — we have Joan Collins and Xena the Warrior Princess too.

Some of my best friends are sensualists. Though I don't understand their ways, and would rather they didn't have their way with me, sensualists do make interesting and loyal friends. Like Rachel. Rachel will dance for hours naked in front of the mirror. If I found myself all alone in the house, naked and dancing, I'd say, "What am I doing?!" and put some clothes on and go back to work. I always read you're supposed to do little things just for yourself to bring out your sensual side, but what kind of game is that? Can you really flirt with yourself? You already know what the outcome is going to be. I can make myself come in two minutes. Why spend two hours? I suppose I admire sensualists for their patience, just as I admire babies for having such a good time with round plastic things all day. I envy aspects of their experience, but finally both babies and sensualists are aliens to me — I can't imagine trading places with either one.

There's more of them. More sexualists were raised Protestant, and more sensualists Catholic. And since the Catholics greatly outnumber us Protestants, so do the sensualists. I see an army of massage-oiled zombies looming and leering, promising pleasure, as we cower, shaking, in the middle of our small wagon-circle defense. It's not enough that they have each other — they want us too! They want to play our bodies like fine-tuned cellos,employing all their acquired love-making skills. But we'll fight for our right to cram our pleasure into a few minutes — a powerful concentration of destructive joy — rather than letting it linger on, seeping all over our precious afternoon. We'll fight for the right to ram and be rammed! Um, do you want my phone number?  





©1997 Lisa Carver and Nerve.com

Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She's written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.