It may surprise my readers to know that I am a sensualist - in the broadest sense of the word (i.e., I'd use 'sensuousist' if it existed). I'm pretty well known for being sensible, wearing t-shirts and trousers, making pragmatic purchases - quick, utilitarian meals; towels that do the job; anything I need, rather than things I might want. I've only ever had one manicure, and I get my hair done whenever I remember - about once a year, to my stylist's deep chagrin. I usually wait for birthdays and Christmas to get those little luxuries from Lush or for Rachel to drag me out to a Monsoon sale and force me to buy something pretty, fitted or in silk.
Trinny and Susannah would LOVE to get their hands on my wardrobe.
Nor am I one for having a man in my life just because, which means I've spent most of my adult life as a singleton - so much so that one of my friends once admitted to considering me 'asexual' (when I reported the conversation to a male friend, he bent over double and laughed hysterically for about five minutes, much to my gratification). I love sex and the feeling of being coupled up (perceptively noted by a university friend who said, "You're one of those people made to go through life two by two"), but it's only worth it if he's someone I can talk to into the night about my hopes, dreams and fears and if I fancy the pants off him - what Cosmo rightfully calls a 'love and lust partner'. Love is meant to be lush, ever growing and, to borrow a phrase from Gill Edwards, "wild and sacred". If it's not that, I'll pass - I quite like my own company and that of my good friends, and I'm not here to trap or tame myself or anyone else.
So, at a quick glance, I can seem very practical, analytical, even spiritual to some - someone who would happily bypass her senses and live out of body, if she could.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
That's why I was delighted to discover this blog, which made me feel like I'd met a kindred spirit. Having grown up in a Muslim family, then converting to Catholicism, my sensuality was first underdeveloped and then placed firmly under wraps in order to survive, then to fit a particular mould. No more. We're done here.
Perhaps I was ready anyway, but reading Sensuous Wife's blog felt like having permission to let my sensualist out of the closet permanently: Confiteor Deo, that I too love burying my hands in soft towels at the store and the feel of coconut oil on my skin. And yes, I've been known to wear pretty lingerie under my mundane t-shirts. In addition, I love burying my face in a bunch of red roses and inhaling; savouring the taste of a murgh korai; the feel of my hair as it tumbles down my back when I let it down; the sound of Handel drifting through the church; looking at a Vermeer.
But above all, I love the feel of a lover pulling my naked body towards his as he drifts off to sleep.
Thank you, Sensuous wife, and to answer your question "Sex as worship?"
Abso - bloody - lutely.