Over the years I have interacted with a wide range of individuals and partners in a variety of relationship models. This experience affords me a unique perspective that I’m hoping the reader will find valuable in supplementing their own exploration. The purpose of this post is to explore some themes around creativity, sensuality and intimacy.
I should note that this is not intended to be comprehensive or absolute. While it may capture the truths of many, it does not assume this is in any way definitive. Rather, I can only hope my own experience and research will give you some needed assistance in your own journey and offer possibly some new perspectives.
I have often been asked, “how did you get involved in all this – kink, BDSM, D/s?” The answer is very simple, I’m a creative person, and this is a shared trait (to one degree or another) with those in alternative lifestyles. Creativity in any number of means and modes indicates a perspective that isn’t confined to conventional boundaries. Be you a musician, dancer, painter, sculptor, writer, photographer, digital media artist, or otherwise, being a person imbued with high creativity is often a quality that sets you apart from others. It seems to me that common characteristics include:
- Viewing the world in terms of possibilities and potentials – what “could be”
- Motivators often derived from the intangible – ideas, concepts, feelings, principles
- Identity of the self is not about any one facet, but a multitude of facets – multidimensionality
These are traits that push boundaries, buck convention, and mark one as an outlier (for good or ill). We seek a path that is lit by active imagination, a call to what feels right for us, and the multidimensionality of a broader sense of self. These things, all in all, fuel the drive to explore, discover, expand, and express in new ways (at least for ourselves). Our pursuit of relationships and partnerships is no exception to this drive. Our relationships are another outlet for Creativity – open to new ideas, potentials, and facets of our personalities. We explore, experiment, discover, and change…
Yes, but is it Art?
What one calls “Art” is essentially the creative endeavor of expression which seeks to connect to another. That may be to one, to several, or to a great many. Whether that example of art speaks to you personally or is un-relatable (alien) is what shifts our opinion from an appreciation as art to a rejected state (labeling it as a waste, irrelevant, garbage, or offensive). In other words, the attempt to bridge the gap from artistic creator to the witness depends much on the Other being open to receive, to experiencing, and to sharing in that connection.
Many years ago I once wrote the following when considering the nature of Art and Creativity:
Creative expression is the communication of one’s Nature – that is to say the Being of the Self as it has come to know itself through integration of the Ego and interpretations of experiences without the rejection of one’s aspects or obstruction by previous concepts. This process is admittedly sometimes destructive to the Ego in order to allow it to be unchained and thus reorder with the Self. Ultimately that is the role of the Artist… to awaken the element that ignites the catalyst [and] to promote the translation to understand… and begin the transformation.
Exploration of creativity within sexual relationships can very well be the most intimate form of art there is. This however assumes involved parties are present and giving enough to imbue it with a unique quality that moves it beyond the banal and into the world of creative expression. It is therefore my view that sensuality is yet just another dimension of this same creative philosophy. Sensuality is very much about the communication of our inner nature with another. I believe it is a reaching out, Being to Being, in hopes of being heard as well as inspiring or evoking the impact of our existence within the Other. It is perhaps even more meaningful when it requires no more medium or tools that we all commonly possess – the body, mind, soul.
Sensuality is therefore expressed as both (1) the statement of one individual’s sense of being to another; while (2) also listening to and experiencing the other persons Being, and in response; (3) whispering acknowledgement of sharing that inner self and how it has impacted us. It is therefore not unlike any strong performance where the emotions of the audience is what feeds the artist, and repeats. The moment is a shared connection of mutual giving or investing of the selves, creating a cycle of transmissions and receptions that grows… and then is gone.
“…The Nature of Art is the being of the Being…” — Martin Heidegger
That temporality, the fact that it is not enduring and can only be experienced as it unfolds, is something unique to creative expression and moments of intimacy. For example, the very essence of performance art shares this quality – which is one reason why there needs to be passion in the act of its creation. The “moment” may be initiated by the artist, but the dynamic is not complete without the act of receiving. When caught in the rapture of creation, if the witness moved in their experience, the participatory observation and connection becomes a part of the passion of the art itself.
It was once shared with me, that one way to think of passion is as a byproduct of love and intimacy. I believe that creative sensuality takes passion to the next step – from expression that is mostly “Speaking” to the shared and wholly invested “Dialog”. A passing moment, an experience, shared and fed by those within that moment and thus deepens intimacy with new eyes.
As part of the human condition, we share the drive to love, to experience passion, and to fulfill our innermost need to be understood. We interpret this drive as expressions of needs and feelings, often leading to vomiting our emotions all over cherished partners and leaving them in a state of shock. In this example, we are doing the Speaking, not considering the experience of the other, its impact on the relationship, or the effectiveness in being able to dialog. However, when we consider that the whole of the experience is in the shared moment, we are open to greater possibilities of powerful connections and intimacy.
Similarly, we possess an ability to see passion as intimacy, when actually it’s just one person speaking AT the other. Sometimes both are speaking their passion at the same time, resembling more of a dueling monologue than a shared mutual experience. Sensuality, especially creative sensuality, requires a dynamic dialog exchange where both Share and Experience with one another. A mutually engaged and whole engagement in creative shared expression opens us to moments of Discovery – and that is a spark to new realizations about ourselves, our partners, and inspiration to greater intimacy.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust
While we all may strive to love and to experience passion, it is our ability to recognize what is happening in that very moment of intimacy that is often key. Mindfulness is required to catch the moment of experience and choose to share of ourselves with another. This develops new awareness, new eyes with which to see the discovery of two unique yet connected Beings, and both choosing to give of themselves to foster further intimacy and discovery.
The first major step in transforming one’s thought and spirituality comes from learning to see things in such a light that it gives rise to new experiences – the discovery of new sensations, feeling, and thoughts. The experience of the sensualist can be compared to that of a music, where the dynamic is often much like musician and instrument – both invoking emotions and ideas due to one another. Yet the act of playing and composing is somehow greater than just these two components; there is a moment which is transformative, unique, and transitory… a passing yet powerful moment of time.
The musician (a Dominant or top) seeks to create a new experience through the interaction with their partnered instrument (the sub or bottom). The other’s body and mind are like an instrument, with its own character, range, and unique attributes. It is through the act of creative intimacy that the experience leads to change both. Differences, response, tone, and feel gives rise to new ideas or changes in intentions. We coordinate the act of mutual creation not by bulldozing ahead but by playing off of one another’s current state, in the moment, and moment-by-moment. While the impact is transitory and unique, it is through this process that a shared and connected experience manifests a unique bond and dialog of the soul. The result is a touching of the soul, feeling profoundly and spiritually connected.
From those I have spoken with, and from my own personal experience, such levels of intimacy found in creative sensuality inspires one of two things. One is the discovery of new experiences and responses to recapture that initial feeling; somewhat akin to chasing the dragon. The other is seeking to slowly feed or nurture the connection with focused intent and deepening the exploration. For the former, I often see frustration in trying to replicate this type of experience with other partners, be it through intimate love making or more intense kinky play. Whereas for the latter there is the struggle to balance the quality of depth with new discoveries, creativity, and experimentation. Change is not something most deal with well. However, profound or spiritual connections with another is by its nature a transformative experience.
To someone very vanilla or unfamiliar with kink (i.e. bland in bed) such intimate creative exploration and shared experience and mutual discovery is much like describing a symphony to the tone deaf – they can hear but the richness of the experience and its transformative power is lost on them. There is little more frustrating to anyone with a creative or artistic spirit than not being able to share something that is so profound to their being. The nature of our relationships I feel is no different.
The outcome of a truly intimate and creative sensual experience is the sheer joy in being able to engage in the act of creativity with a partner that can listen, share, and feed the overall experience. The impact of which is discovering a deeper you/other connection of Body, Mind, and Soul. When this is done you will find creative sensuality becomes a natural part of the relationship dynamic, and that deepens the feeling of a powerful connection.
For those I know well, this is perhaps the most important reason why they seek partners within the lifestyle.
Copyright 2017 Limits Unleashed