Back in the 18th century, philosophers debated whether or not sex was a sense. This continued into the Victorian times with good arguments on both sides, but the discourse became sort of settled and the acceptance of only 5 senses was adopted. More recently discussion has started again with proposals outlining varying numbers of senses, although sex is usually not one. Despite the fact that the sixth sense these days is more commonly considered to be a sort of intuitive one, I am going to run for a while the idea of sex, or desire, as being the sixth sense.
Sense is defined as a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus. I can see really why popularity fell away from this line of thought, because much of the sex I have had hasn’t changed my perception in the powerful way it would need to either in a mental or in a physical sense. Until this, (she says gesturing at the notion of her power exchange relationship) that is. And oh my goodness, the definition fits. The sex we have, which I would term play rather than sex because it does this very thing and is not focussed solely on penetration, is this exactly.
I know that many would argue that actually sexual play is perceived through the senses rather than being a sense through which perception comes, but I would disagree to some extent. Although the sensory processing is a huge part, it is the way that the actions translate on a cerebral level that is what makes or breaks it for me. Heightening one sense by removing others can change the way that this happens, but because it goes way beyond the physical, I don’t feel it is really about taste, touch, smell, sound or sight. It feels like it is about something much bigger.
The way that I experience it, he plays with my mind. He does it in a way which means that I slowly give in and let go of everything that keeps me grounded to reality. I cannot translate or respond to things in my usual way. Time slows or halts altogether. There is no real feeling of a place or an environment. As he increases my desire, really for whatever it is he wants to give, my perception of everything is seen through that. The me who exists usually is lost to it. My mind and my body follow the road that he leads them down and I am shaped and made by the feelings themselves.
My thoughts are a vehicle to allow it to happen initially but even they are hijacked. Nothing makes sense in real terms and yet there is clarity and purpose that I experience in no other moment. I exist for him, for this, whatever this is. I am broken apart and new-made all at the same time. Everything becomes defined and understood by the feelings and the thoughts become almost subconscious. The external stimulus he provides or uses can be experienced as something completely different to what it is in reality.
Pain becomes pleasure and pleasure can become pain. Humiliation is erotic and torment is beautiful. Mind fucks become not just possible but probable with experiences being well beyond what is physically achievable. The world of fantasy is an accessible reality and depth of feelings that are experienced transcend the words available to articulate them. Desire for him, for the feelings he elicits, for the person I become through what we do are the sole ways of perceiving what happens.
I am not really sure where that leaves me with the senses other than to say that more than any of the 5 accepted senses, sexual desire is what determines and allows me to understand what I am experiencing during our play. So ultimately I have to conclude that sexual desire, in terms of the way it is experienced for me, is definitely a faculty by which my body perceives the external stimulus.
If you have enjoyed this then you might want to read these other posts about sex and the senses: