Expand my collection of sensory experiences
February 9, 2020 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I’ve recently realized that I very much enjoy sensory activities. Scrubs, strong essential oils, massage, and more. Help me think of more stimulating experiences to add to my list!

Some examples of sensory experiences that I love:

— Going to a Korean spa and getting an intense full-body scrub (dead skin, ahoy!)
— Washing my face with a good-smelling or rich face wash, or applying a luxurious face oil
— Making a strong cup of earl grey tea with cream in the afternoon
— Getting a really heavy-handed deep tissue massage that’s painful in a good way
— Applying a bit of headache oil (peppermint and lavender) on the hairline and behind my ears for a tingly sensation

What are some sensory based activities that might be added to this list?
posted by sucre to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Sauna. Head massager. Heart + Honey subscription. Really fancy scented candles during your bath. Dance class or intense cardio followed by meditation. Miracle berries. ASMR videos
posted by shadygrove at 3:26 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

- Foot baths! You can get one of those foot spas for home or go out and get a pedicure.
- Wax dips for hands and feet also seem like they'd be up your alley.
- If you are a person with facial hair, getting a really nice shave at a fancy barber shop (or DIYing it at home) is nice.
- I'm a big fan of smells. Nice incense, something simmering on the stove, peppermint foot rub/oil, candles that have unusual or unique scents
- Saunas, especially somewhere where you have the option of soaking and sauna-ing in proximity to one another (a sauna and a cold dip afterwards is intense and amazing)
- Having someone else (or you) brush your hair with a nice bristled brush
posted by jessamyn at 3:30 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

- Having someone else (or you) brush your hair with a nice bristled brush
This is the greatest thing.
posted by Don Pepino at 3:42 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, going to a blowout bar: shampoo + head massage + cheesy heated massage chair + cucumber water + hair brushing + looking different afterwards also scratches this itch.
posted by shadygrove at 4:14 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sound bath
posted by veery at 5:01 PM on February 9, 2020

From a MeFite who would prefer to remain anonymous:
Consider adding marijuana to any of the experiences you list year. MJ can make sensory experiences more beautiful and more intense -- a massage while high is one of life's great pleasures.
posted by jessamyn at 5:30 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Have you seen some of the sites that offer up sensory toys, fidget gadgets, etc? Often they’re aimed towards kids but lately I’ve been loving exploring all the different types and giving myself permission to have fun. I’ve ordered a lot of toys from this site and currently have a huge wish list from this one. They’re generally just a few dollars each so it’s not too much money to explore what kind of sensory experiences you enjoy!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:36 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

- sitting around in a luxurious bathrobe
- lighting an interesting scented candle
- eating tapas - try all the flavors! and eat slowly!
- going to a wine bar and getting a flight of things to try, along with a charcuterie and fruit/cheese plate - mix of textures and flavors
- doing a bodyscan meditation
- writing in a hand bound journal, with great paper, and a fountain pen
- petting a cat or a dog or holding onto a cute stuffed animal
- getting the softest/fluffiest blanket (or knitting one yourself)
- throwing pottery - very visceral to feel wet clay spinning around between your hands
- mixing up the hot and the cold - drinking hot tea while outside on a cold night; going to spa with hot and cold plunge pools
- eating food / drinking tea from handmade ceramics -- you can find some with great textures
- wearing a silk scarf
posted by ellerhodes at 7:18 PM on February 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's borderline ridiculous how much pleasure I get from washing my hair in the shower with this cheap, low-tech scalp massager.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:02 AM on February 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’m also really into sensory experiences.
- Aveda salons do a really nice shampoo/head/arm massage in a dark and heavily scented shampoo room and it is glorious. You don’t even have to get a blow out, you can just get your hair washed there.
- Float tank
- Foot spas
- Super hot bath + Lush bath bomb and scrub bar + body oil + fluffy socks + clean sheets = best way to sleep
- Hot rice pack on your head and shoulders to relieve tension, spritz with lavender linen spray
- Yoga feels amazing, I like Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube
- getting makeup done
posted by tatiana wishbone at 10:42 AM on February 10, 2020

I make a point of trying to touch a new texture out in the wild every day. That might be a different type of tree bark, textile, you name it. It's a fun game.
posted by nathaole at 1:05 PM on February 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Vibrators - explore your body with one of these.
posted by Mesaverdian at 6:25 PM on February 10, 2020

Taste: Aside from earl grey tea, I find that a cup of Japanese green tea (loose-leaf sencha) paired with a bit of dark chocolate makes for wonderful afternoon decadence!
Sound: I set my morning alarm to simple harp scales for a gentle musical waking.
Smell: One of my daily luxuries is to use an electric essential oil diffuser with evergreen or citrus blends. It makes my home feel so peaceful, and never smells too strong.
Sight: I find that looking at plants is such a satisfying sensory pleasure, so I spruce up indoor spaces with houseplants. Somehow, they are both lively and calming. (If you're intimidated about houseplant care, check out an online tutorial on caring for your plant, then write yourself a notecard with the key info. I keep the notecard under the saucer of the plant pot so I can peek at it when I forget what the plant likes.)
Touch: I converted to the cult of the fitness ball a couple of years ago and never went back. The comfort level is phenomenal. It does such a great job of melding to the shape of my body, and I often rock myself back and forth or do little circles, giving myself mini-massages throughout the day while I'm working. I now find all other chairs less comfortable and less pleasant to sit in. People worry that it's a workout to sit on a fitness ball, but I've never found it tiring or needed to take a break from it. (And it's actually quite easy to slouch on a fitness ball, though the fact that they are so strongly associated with good posture might help people who use them remember to sit up straight more often.)
posted by H. P. Hovercraft at 10:57 AM on February 11, 2020

Is there a perfume making workshop near you?

The vibrator suggestion made me think: if sex work is legal where you are, that might be an avenue to explore as a client, especially sensual massage or Bondassage (which is basically kinky sensory play). Or you can also check out kink spaces in general - it's not just whips and crops, there's plenty of different kinds of sensory play in general, and it doesn't all have to be overtly sexual if you don't want it to be.

I'm very tactile and one of my favourite things are having fuzzy blankets to pet!
posted by divabat at 9:42 PM on February 15, 2020

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