Sensation Seeking Badass: The Sexy Side of Being a Sensitive Introvert

I’m reading Anthony Bourdain’s book, Kitchen Confidential, and finding myself within the pages. For those of you who don’t know anything about Bourdain, he is a Kitchenconfidentialtraveling TV star, author and chef who describes his young self as a thrill-seeking pleasure hungry sensualist. He rose to international recognition as the author of the book (Kitchen Confidential) that exposed the underbelly of the restaurant world. A culinary institute graduate and formidable cuisine master himself, he has working knowledge of the industry having served as lowly dishwasher, celebrated chef and everything in between. He currently has the badass show on CNN called Parts Unknown where he travels all over the world invading the politics, pleasures, people and of course, food, of each location.

I find him absolutely f*cking fascinating. He teases out my inner bad girl and encourages my sensation seeking self.

I have a natural inclination toward sensuality. As I mentioned in the very first post on space2live, House Plants and MotorcyclesI have two sides. The dreamy still side that can sit for hours immersed in music, literature and the words of my loved ones and the sensation seeking side that longs for novelty, distant traveling and late night debauchery.


According to Anthony Bourdain, cooks and chefs get a lot of sex. They’re like randy pirates preparing your food with sharp knives and flavor-packed obscenities, screwing cocktail waitresses and the occasional wayward customer.

chocolate strawberriesI can see why the kitchen crew is so hot. Food is sensual. Eating is sensual. Creating meals is an art. Artists are notoriously in demand when it comes to sexual partners. Why? Because they are creative, spontaneous, sensitive.


I love sex. I love it for its sensuality and intimate connecting. I love it because I’m sensual, not slutty. I’m a lady and oh-so-discriminating when it comes to partner selection but when I’m in a relationship with a man I trust intimately, I enjoy a good romp. I enjoy beautiful lovemaking more, but a romp is nice.

To be totally honest, I Iove kissing and sexual tension as much as going all the way. I can usually tell if a man will be a good kisser by the way he holds my hand. There’s an art to caressing a woman’s hand. It is simultaneously gentle, manly and erotic. I don’t think it can be taught.There’s a way to artfully kiss as well — hint: slow down sailor.

Those of you who follow space2live regularly, know I am in the middle of a self-imposed No Serious Dating stint (minimum 3 months). I’m learning to be my own amazing boyfriend by treating myself to incredible experiences. One of the first experiences I set up for my pleasure was attending a Counting Crows concert. I asked a friend to go with me. This friend happens to be a man I dated for a while. We’ve remained in each others’ corners despite our inability to make it as a couple. I can only speak from my perspective, but whenever Dan* and I get together I feel palpable sexual tension. We know we are not meant to be together but still there is something exciting about mixing our pheromones. Add that to the band’s vulnerable vocals and grinding guitar and you have electricity, an energy filled vibe that feels very alive.

Delicious, even.

Dan* let me know early on that he is seeing someone, so despite the crackling atmosphere, we behaved ourselves and had a rich, sensual evening. My No Serious Dating pledge left intact.


Yes, you guessed it. Line cooks and kitchen staff do a fair share of drugs too, according to Bourdain. Drugs are  a part of the culture. If you haven’t figured it out, people who work behind the scenes in restaurants have a zest

Sexy chef Marco Pierre White

Sexy chef Marco Pierre White

different from the sauce-on-the-siders and lactose intolerants they serve. Most of them choose the profession because they don’t like the spotlight and are only quasi-into people. They want to create good food and work with those like themselves (don’t we all?).They may not fit in all that well outside the kitchen’s swinging door.

I’ve tried pot (several times) and drank until my insides involuntarily turned inside out. Neither of which, do I ever really need to do again, but I’ll never say never. I’ve passed up opportunities to do more intense drugs. The risks far outweighing the benefits in my eyes.

The truth is I walk around feeling high most days. It’s one of the gifts of being sensitive and feeling everything deeply. The good stuff feels as extraordinary as the bad stuff feels heavy.

I remember one time walking down to the lake to go kayaking after taking a couple of hits of pot. The tree leaves seemed a little more vivid but other than that I was calm and walking on air because of the amazing man accompanying me and the beautiful experience of being immersed in nature. One cool thing to note about that kayaking jaunt… we saw a bald eagle up close. I stared at it for fifteen minutes as it sat on its nest. That’s a long time to stare and it could have been that I was stoned, but honestly I think it was just my sincere ability to concentrate and my intense pleasure in observing something so rare.

And sushi rolls

Food had powerIt could inspire, astonish, shock, excite, delight and impress. It had the power to please me… and others. — Anthony Bourdain

It wasn’t sushi but it was Soupe au Pistou, served on a beautiful summer evening. My friend with magnificent culinary instincts, created the most flavorful meal for us. He simmered the soup in the kitchen until the fragrance reached the front door, hitting my senses immediately when I arrived. He drizzled rice wine vinegar over the salad twinkly white lightsand then massaged the avocado, tomato, spinach and vinegar together. There was crisp white wine, whole grain peasant bread and sunshine in a bowl. We slowly savored all of his efforts as we engaged with each other on the deck romantically be-decked with twinkly white lights.

A most sensual experience. Like being on vacation — senses alive, heart and mind open to taste everything.

Sensual or self-absorbed?

Self-absorbed? Maybe, but crazy amazing. I can take something ordinary and make myself feel intensely extraordinary. I can take that enchanting awareness and affect others. I want others to experience the same high so I share my stories, my recipes for openness. I am so grateful for my sensitivity and the delicious experiences it creates. Please take note of and savor yours.

What turns you on about your introversion and/or sensitivity? Where have you found intense pleasure?

If you enjoyed this sexy post you may also love:

Emotional Intimacy: An Introvert’s Ultimate Turn On?

3 Elements of Exquisite Sex and Divine Writing

Sensuality, Sex, Solitude and Sensitivity: An Introvert’s Recipe for Love and Pleasure

How Does Introversion Affect Your Sexuality?

I Feel People and They Feel Me: The Blessing and Curse of Feeling Deeply

Leave a Reply


  1. November
    August 6, 2014

    Anthony Bourdain is DELICIOUS. Just the right amount of mean…..
    I never thought of myself as a sensual person, but reading your post is making me think that I am. I’m very artistic/creative, I have a good ear for music, I enjoy sensual sex (have yet to have any memorable experiences though), I enjoy so much about nature, and I smoke a lot of pot (responsibly and quasi-legally).
    I haven’t been as creative or artistic as I’d like, but I will have a new space for creativity in a few weeks….I’m curious to see how I will grow. 🙂

  2. Tanja @ Conscious Introvert Success
    August 3, 2014

    I definitely think of myself as highly sensual, and find it easy to get lost in sensations. I never thought about how that might relate to the HSP tendencies that come out every now and then and interplay with my introversion, but it actually makes sense to me.

    It’s hard to really enjoy intense sensations if I don’t stop and pay attention to them – and if I have a hundred of them all clamouring for my attention at once… no wonder I can find it so overwhelming.

    Huh. Lots of food for thought here – thank you!

    • Brenda Knowles
      August 5, 2014

      One of my intentions with space2live is to give HSPs and introverts the highlights of our temperament. I definitely see heightened sensuality as a big bonus. True, our sensitivity can work against us and cause overwhelm but when we hit that sweet spot where our senses and feelings are swirling upwardly, mmmmm, so wonderful.:)

  3. Lexxie
    August 2, 2014

    Thank you once again. I identify strongly with the quasi-into people statement. I am a chemist and love working there as much as I used to love working in a kitchen. There is something to be said about a career that invigorates ones passion and ignites the fires in your soul! Being newly single, from a relationship with a man who claimed to be as invptroverted as I am, but yet always seemed to claim the spotlight, is a refreshing experience. I have the solitude back in my life, that was always respected by my children but not by the man in my life. I forgot how wonderful it is to be me!

    • Brenda Knowles
      August 5, 2014

      Yay! For you. You know who you are and are re-claiming your solitude.:) That’s cool that you have found your soul career. I think many of us can relate to the quasi-into people statement. There are definitely certain careers that allow you to be more on the fringe — selective socializing and distinct values. I can see where lab and kitchen work would fit those criteria.
      Keep on your path of satisfaction.:)

  4. Simi
    August 2, 2014

    “The truth is I walk around feeling high most days. It’s one of the gifts of being sensitive and feeling everything deeply.”
    Yep, I always say I think I was born high, so I don’t really need drugs…life is enough, life and music that is!

    • Brenda Knowles
      August 2, 2014

      Yay for us! It’s great to be easily entertained and have a keen love of observing and experiencing. Introverts it seems can feel high by just BEING. Lots of DOING wears us out so we invest in being.
      I definitely have my lows, they come with feeling everything deeply as well. I am learning how to counteract those with meaningful experiences and gratitude.
      Keep up your ‘high’ spirits Simi. You have a beautiful soul. Share it.

  5. sheketechad
    August 1, 2014

    Love, LOVE the way you capture sensuality Bren. I’ve tried to explain it to others, that while it can be sexual, it also has to do with simply imbibing in life – fabric textures against skin, scents, tastes, visual beauty, etc. When I describe myself as a sensualist, most people only take it in one direction, and they miss the entire point of the matter. Life is to be experienced, sometimes by sacrificing expediency and efficiency dammit!

    I’ve known married women who thought that anything outside of the bedroom was taboo, and I am saddened for them. I’ve fond memories of ‘romping’ in some unexpected places with my late husband – that moment when desire, love, the surroundings and being known intimately culminate in an openness rarely found. I don’t know if I’ll ever find that again, or, if at this point, it would even have the same value. But I have exquisite memories 🙂

    Glad you got to see the ‘Crows’ and that you kept to your rules!

    • Brenda Knowles
      August 1, 2014

      I’m starting a grassroots effort to enlighten others regarding the definition of sensualist.;) Kind of like retraining the masses about the real distinguishing facets of an introvert.

      I thoroughly enjoy the company of those who know how to savor. There is something so wonderful about slowing down and feeling your experience. I once dated a man that I cooked with often. If we made something especially tasty he would wrap up the tiniest portions that were leftover and put them in the refrigerator. He wanted to squeeze every bit of goodness out of the incredible thing we created. I loved that about him.

      Oooh! I’m so glad you have exquisite romp memories. Those are truly delicious and priceless! I’m collecting a few of them myself — all of them post divorce. I’m glad your husband was adventurous. 🙂

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