Talking about feeling good and sensuality can get us a little coy or hot under the collar. However, just as for all the other systems a healthy sensuality system is vital for everyone.
This system helps us to feel good and to differentiate what feels good from what feels bad.
Simple as that.
Feeling satisfied and pleasure, are deeply valuable and essential aspects to life. Not luxurious or frivolous. In essence, a well-functioning sensuality system separates what we need from what we don’t need, what is likely tohelp us from what is harmful for us.
Delicious tastes that tell us a fruit is ripe, blissful sounds bring us peace, touch which indicates care and closeness, internal experiences that are harmonious, iindicating health and well-being.
Panksepp, the father of research in the Emotional Systems,focused on this system as a LUST system. LUST is the easiest part of this system to research across species – it’s pretty easy to work out when animals are feeling LUSTy! However, this is just part of the broader system which connects us with what feels good.
What feels good, looks good, tastes good, is worth risk and perseverance.
The synchronicity of the SEEKING system with this system enables us to seek and search, wait and investigate, until we find what feels really good to us and those we care about. A fascinating look at a Bowerbird creating a bower to attract a mate and collecting all sorts of objects that feel good in the process: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04jpp6s
The erotic part of the feels good system serves the survival of the species primarily, however, it is also likely “that a satisfying sex life promotes a competent immune system and longevity, just as physical exercise does” (Panksepp & Biven, 2012).
Well bonded, sexually satisfied people of all sexualities live longer than those without secure intimate relationships. Hunger, severe pain, fear, and anger generally reduces sexual urges for both genders. However, male and female LUST systems have been found to be quite different in distinct ways, with women’s erotic state of mind influenced by cyclical changes and men more responsive to social, environmental variables. In humans, this serves our reproductive cycles well, ensuring the best chance of reproducing.
Just as with the Bowerbird, the SEEKING system drives active behaviour, working with the LUST system to attract and find appropriate sexual companions.
Activation of the LUST system is expressed in a variety of ways from behavioural manifestations, to internal bodily responses like subtle blushing and, less subtle,erections. Blocking of erotic experiences may have an impact on immunity and longevity, as well as effecting sexual dysfunctions such as abnormally low sexual desire (libido).
“The blessings of fulfilling loving relationships, with sexual satisfaction as a solid component, seem a tonic for body and soul, allowing many humans to live much longer beyond reproductive years” (Panksepp & Biven, 2012).
Find out more about your relationship with the system that makes your eyes twinkle with delight in our emotional learning zone!