Where is the Line Between Sensuality and Sexuality?

Where is the line between sensuality and sexuality? At what point is physical intimacy considered “sexual”?

In the sangha, I may find myself immersed in a 10-minute long hug with someone where we melt into each other, becoming one, time disappearing, the stars whirling around in celebration of the moment. We may look into each other’s eyes softly for a while, or inch our hands across the skin of each other’s arms or faces. We can laugh and cry together, be silly and be vulnerable.

Sometimes I worry: what if, while hugging someone, I suddenly feel sexual – for whatever reason or no reason at all? Really, my whole body is full of sensuality – sensitive and alive – can I let my energy run free?


Yes, yes I can. And that’s the only way to go.

I’ve been struggling with my labels and distinctions. Sensual, sexual, sensitive, open, cosmic or personal, bla bla bla. Do I have to analyze everything?

And in my experience, if I’m hung up about something, anything, it will resurface and bug me. But if I’m accepting and at ease with it, then it’s just, well, natural.

The let-go has to be total, mind you; it can’t just be an idea that I “should” be relaxed. Any fear or worry and my body responds with tensions, my emotions are stirred, and I’m back in a cycle uneasiness and over-thinking things.

I’m afraid that my energy could start to feel invasive for someone else.

If that’s the case, then “I” am not really melting, am I? I might be hugging someone while my mind is taking me from the present, worrying and analyzing.

There was a case where there was sexual tension between me and a friend, anytime we were in the same room. But we could both be very honest and accepting of it, and the tension quickly became “nothing special”. Now I mostly feel this big love and friendship with this person. And when we exchange a hug, it is unique – it’s both relaxing and electric – as I can rest into it so deeply and leave my mind behind.

Think less, hug more.

Deva Dasha

All photos: Raahi

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