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Filling My Senses

By Kellie Purcill

5 sensesIt’s getting warmer here in Australia, Spring slowly rolling into Summer. The rosellas are flirty, all coy glances and side shimmies towards each other, working out who they’re going to fly away with. More skin is being bared in town as bikinis and boardies reappear after winter’s chill. Sand sugars calves, bellies and shoulders, enticing me to the beach, the sea, the sun.

I wake in the middle of the night, too warm in the flannelette sheets, an ache low in my belly, skin throbbing from a disappearing dream. There’s a bird calling from somewhere nearby, pausing to listen for an answer that – as yet – hasn’t come. The cadence of the call soothes my impatient twitching as I consider the ceiling and lie there, waiting. Waiting for my pulse to slow, the burn to ease, for sleep to drag me back to senselessness.

I sleep alone. I am nearly divorced, have no interest in dating, yet my sexuality isn’t filed away somewhere for safekeeping, confined to the “male/female” box on the doctor’s forms, or the “single” note on my insurance. My body remembers the years I spent lying beside my husband, with him, the countless touches shared each day.  Years of casual and deliberate contact which far outweigh the past fifteen months spent solo, and my body continues to demand some sort of physicality, some tactile assurance that my nerves haven’t fried, that my senses are still working and processing, that I am still covered in skin that can touch and be felt in return.

A peculiar result of being single is I’ve become more sensually aware.  I better appreciate and enjoy the pull of my muscles at the gym and when running.  I’ve noticed that a hug from my brother is decidedly and physically different from a hug from my sister.  The smell of jasmine stops me in my tracks momentarily, but for those seconds I stand eyes closed, letting the perfumed breeze rearrange my hair. Listening to Nina Simone sing “Feeling Good” makes me liquid, sexy, alive, and I can’t help but sway as it plays.

I shave my legs, because it feels good to be smooth.  I paint my toes because it makes me happy, not because I want attention. I’m halfway through watching Colin Firth in “Pride and Prejudice” because, well, it’s Colin Firth, and the storyline in this instance happens to be the secondary enjoyment.  Some of these actions may be cultural conditioning, some may be hormonal, but whatever category applies, they connect the inner me with the physical self I am wrapped in, bundling me into a more complete and satisfied whole.

Is your skin something you are comfortable in? Is enjoying your physical body and senses easy or difficult? Why? What makes you feel feminine, sensual, sexy?

About Kellie Purcill

lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

9 thoughts on “Filling My Senses”

  1. I've been thinking more about touch (and other things) the past few days since I read what Segullah's in-depth topic would be this month. I've tried to focus more on touch, both the sexual kind and non-sexual kind. It is so vitally important — that connection that we feel with others only through a tactile connection. I get hugs from my little ones all day long, and sometimes it still doesn't feel like enough. My husband and I hug probably once or twice a day, and really, that's not enough either. I need to set a "hug quota" or something.

    To answer the questions you posed………….I do generally feel comfortable in my skin. I'm more comfortable right now in particular when the large size of my belly can be blamed on the baby growing there. And things that make me feel feminine and sexy? Shaving my legs, painting my toes, putting on lipstick, and wearing high heels.

  2. Agreed, beautifully written.

    It was a beautiful day here in New York, and I spent the afternoon on my bike in the park, feeling the cool air on my skin and the bright colors of leaves and sky in my eye. I think it is in moments like that I love my skin most because it can feel. Especailly if I'm riding in a skirt that flutters in the breeze (totally sexy, if you discount the garments peeking out underneath).

    As for touch, sometimes, I feel like one of those Romanian babies in the orphanage who died because no one touched them. I crave to be touched and held, which, as a single woman as well, doesn't happen nearly as often or in the way I would like it to. It constantly amazes me how touch makes it easier to open up emotionally in a relationship. A simple hand hold or kiss on the head and I get all sort of soft.

  3. This was such a lovely post, Kellie. I especially loved the mention of rosellas! 🙂

    I've wondered how it would feel to be widowed or divorced and suddenly be without that physical relationship–how lonely it would feel. You captured the emotions beautifully and poignantly. Thank you for writing this.

    I love the emphasis you placed on the senses in this post; it was a lovely reminder to savor all of my senses, to be more mindful of beautiful things. As for what helps me feel feminine and sexy, I have to say that dressing up in a cute outfit, wearing high heels, doing my hair and nails (and shaving my legs) all help, but feeling comfortable in my own skin helps most of all, no matter what I'm wearing.

  4. Smells will stop me in my tracks as I pause to take them in. So will a beautiful sunset or a rising moon. I just have to stop and enjoy the experience.

    I've long shaved my legs just for me. There is something nice about that feel. There are textures that I know I distinctly like and don't like in a lot of things, including foods.

    And there is a definite difference between a hug from a friend, a hug from someone at church, and the hug from my fiancé. All can satisfy the need for touch, but only one has a fully relaxing effect.

  5. I feel sexy when I make a goal and achieve it. It makes me feel good about myself, and it's attractive to my husband. I like the feel of his eyes on me while mine are forward and focused … and soon we're off to the bedroom for some touching. Doing my hair, wearing eyeliner, and body lotion help too. I really love being a woman.

  6. Gorgeous, touching post. I have lain awake, watching my husband after loving him and wondered what it would be not to touch him any more. If I think about it too much, I get choked up. Nineteen years, and I need him more now than ever.
    I have grown comfortable in my skin, love his eyes on me, even from his place in the bishopric seats.
    Swingy skirts around my knees, tall boots, sleek hair, lip gloss, earrings.
    Thank you for sharing yourself.

  7. What a beautiful post. I never really think about touch since I have six kids who are always hanging on me (or so it seems) and a very touch-happy husband. It was a real adjustment getting married to him since I'm not a touch-oriented person. But now I'm so used to it, that I would really miss it.


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