From taking tingling, aromatic bubble baths to luxuriating in a drippy ice cream cone on a hot day, author Jennifer Louden provides pampering antidotes to life's rough edges in this excerpt from A Little Book of Sensual Comfort. Pleasures
When you think of comfort, what do you think of? Name some of the things you find comforting. Right now, just make a quick list in your head. Now consider: how many of these items involve bodily pleasure?
When I think of comfort, I think of laying my head against my partner's chest, feeling completely safe and at peace. I taste cold milk and warm chocolate chip cookies melting on
my tongue on a crisp fall day. I feel myself snuggling into a fluffy sweater, then digging in the warm dirt, planting scratchy spring bulbs. Comfort is the memory of skinny-dipping in a cold Florida spring on a scorching summer day or the caress of flannel sheets along my body as I stretch out for a good night's sleep. Comfort of tender sex, back tickles, foot rubs, toast and tea, the eucalyptus scented air of a Northern California forest, the voice of my best friend on the phone.
The physical face of comfort
Comfort has many meanings and facets for each person. There is spiritual nourishment and emotional sustenance. There are comforts for moments of solitude, and the comfort that comes from being listened to by someone you love. But perhaps the most potent, and universal, face of comfort is the physical. Soothing our animal self, meeting our most basic needs, reassuring our skin, our muscles, our bones, our bodies that we are snug, warm, peaceful, and taken care of as well as healthy, vital, joyful, and alive.
But we live in an age where sensual comfort is not particularly celebrated or given much attention. Pleasure has gotten a dubious name, thanks in part to the over-the-top style of the past decade. But how our souls crave sensorial solace! Whether it is in the firm touch of a massage or the release of endorphins that come with a belly laugh, we do have bodies, and those bodies need to be taken care of, need to be pleasured.
I suspect some of us would like simply
to be giant heads: logical, cerebral, efficient, not against having a little
fun, but hey, let's not get too carried away. Then there are those folks
who resemble cats, purring with pure satisfaction when stroked, or putting
their entire concentration into batting around a ball. It is the knowledge,
the style, that these cat people (or dog people if you prefer) possess
that this book seeks to imitate, seeks to reacquaint you with.