We are born female, become women but what make us feminine?
"Sugar and Spice and all things nice..."
This line from a 19th century nursery rhyme is one of the first definitions of femininity in our childhood. In 2016 little girls are not so innocent anymore. Sugar is sweet but deadly. A spoonful of cinnamon can suffocate you. Chilli burns and exotic spices blended with the right ingredients become flavours we crave.
In our attempt to define femininity now, we first turned to google:
Yes. Really. Must have been defined by a man!
Apparently make-up and high heels make women more womanly... ugh! Sure, heels make our calves look more defined and give an illusion of length, but swaying your hips naturally when you walk, is best done with bare feet.
In TAO philosophy all things female are defined as Yin (the shady side) and Yang is the bright side. Neither Yin nor Yang are absolute. You can't have one without the other. Each aspect contains the beginning point for the other aspect. Day (Yang) becomes night, becomes day again...and the times of day that yin becomes yang changes, daily.
In truth femininity is so fluid it's hard, impossible even, to define. Perhaps it's the opposite of masculinity? Though, if masculine equals strength, are women then weak?
Of course not!! Both words are subjective. Similarly the word love.
Love can be felt, but is unseen.
Love is neither masculine or feminine rather it is something we sense.
We are all capable of loving.
Femininity can't be defined absolutely because women are constantly evolving.
In the 50's it meant being subservient, the 60's released us from our bras.
The new millennium is a time for being happy in your own skin, no matter our differences.
Ancient Eastern traditions present several masculine and feminine polarities which govern the body.
The back half is male and our support structure. The front is female our creative side. The lower half is female and is governed by an energy centre that lies just below the belly button known as the sacral chakra. It is the centre of our mind and sexuality.
In psychology the male-female relationship is understood as femininity relating to intuition, governed by the right brain which controls the left side of the body. Masculine is cognitive, left brain and right side of the body.
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Dear Aphrodite knows being feminine is integrating all aspects of ourselves including our sensuality.
At our core lies love but in striving to be good at everything we often suppress our energy centres especially our sensuality.
Dear Aphrodite has come up with 5 ways to secure our sensuality.
1) BE VULNERABLE.
When we begin to explore and learn, we taste, feel, smell, listen and see.... We use all of our 5 senses. We are not afraid to venture out of our comfort zone. Imagine doing a blind tasting. In order to heighten our sense of taste we block our sight. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable by putting on a blindfold in order to enhance our experience of taste.
The sacral chakra helps to open up our senses. In the short video below Ashley Turner explains the role of our sacral chakra and the last 5 minutes is an easy Yoga routine to try.
2) BE MINDFUL.
When was the last time you paid attention to the way you walk. Are you aware your foot makes 5 separate movements between hitting the ground and taking off again?
First, take your shoes off and feel the outer edge of your heel touch the ground. Notice your foot turn slightly inward before turning out again and landing at the base of your little toe. Then it rolls in towards the ball of your foot and finally takes off from the large toe. Our leg muscles then support and resist each other until our hips connects the top half of the body, then sway to change the centre of balance as we take a second step.
If we are mindful of each step we become more aware of our surroundings. Walking can be a meditative practice connecting us to our body, the environment and other people.
Try a slow barefoot walk for 5-10 minutes. Now imagine applying the same consciousness in other areas of your life.
3) FEEL BEAUTIFUL.
We spend so much time and money in beauty salons, on clothes that define or hide specific body parts so we 'look good.' We clean our body, cover our faces, set our style. We perfect our routine and race out the door, but does it make us feel beautiful? Do yourself a favour this weekend and take some time to gently cleanse your body. Go to spa or do it your self at home. Next month we will explore dry skin brushing to revitalise your body.
This month take a tip from an ancient Indian ritual and try washing your body in slow circular movements over all of your joints, sideways across your torso and in long back and forth strokes over each of your long bones. Enjoy the attention to detail that no-one else will probably even notice. In dry skin brushing we stroke towards the heart but in the bath the stroke can be both ways.
You can even use the same cleansing ritual in your daily shower.
Let your skin and body relish the extra attention... it costs little but a few minutes of your time.
4) BE STRONG.
Before the bubonic plague women were described by their roles. Maiden, wife, widow. This quickly evolved after almost half the population died. Society began to realise the strength of a woman. Lucky we don't have to fight off plagues anymore, but we can pack a mean punch (in a boxing class,) climb mountains or do some squats in our spare time. The benefits of exercise are not just physical. Strong bones, strong muscle, strong mind and Dear Aphrodite's favourite benefit a strong libido.
It doesn't matter what type of dancer you are. Turn on your favourite music, move your body. Watch yourself in front of the mirror or let the music flow gracefully through you in the lounge room or office... Move until your temperature starts to rise and keep going.
Dance all stress and inhibitions away, dance your ass off (or your belly/thighs if you prefer.) For inspiration, tune into your inner love Goddess with this beautiful belly dancing workout. Dear Aphrodite loves that the music isn't traditional. It's effortless, easy and oh so sexy.
How many of the 5 steps do you regularly do for yourself?
Will you try to give them a try?
In truth there are a lot more than just 5 steps to becoming more sensual.
Our next post will delve further into sensual practices through the ages, more practical techniques, including breathing to help balance our mojo...
See this as a starting point. After mastering a technique we must challenge ourselves to develop it further. Are you ready?
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