But is this the kind of pleasure we should really be looking for?
Does sensuality sell us short?
Pleasure from the senses is a fleeting thing. I'm mean how long can a whisker on a kitten keep giving? And if the kitten's busy, what then? No whiskers, no pleasure?
Of course, there are many other reasons to be cheerful. Happiness abounds in friendships, food, the winning team, a sheet of clean white paper, boutique hotels, honeycombs, mutual love and affection, good books, epic movies and far-flung destinations… And when one of them is taking time out, there's plenty more lining up to take its place.
But if we rely on the world to keep the good times rolling, who's in control? And who loses out on those cold, grey, closed-off days when loneliness comes calling?
The deepest pleasure, the purest joy has to be something you find inside, tucked away from the external forces that ebb and flow, come and go. Call it self-confidence, call it higher purpose, call it divine love - it's all part and parcel of discovering a version of you that isn't dependent or relying on anything or anyone for happiness, and yet remains deeply connected as a living, breathing creature with all that lives and breathes around us.
The perfect sense of sensuality
A baby dies without physical contact. The power of touch is healing, life-affirming and soothing. It breaks down resistance, it builds bridges, it makes way for reconciliation, it comforts and restores trust - and it can bring indescribable pleasure. And that's just what our fingertips can do.
Our body is incredible - but how much time do we spend looking that gift horse in the mouth?
It's rarely good enough. It's a source of embarrassment, shame, fear, pain, anxiety, self-doubt, self-criticism, exploitation, sacrifice…
How often do we feel limited by it rather than amazed that we hold the key to a life of wonder and discovery - and also something even more profound…
The life-enhancing payoff for leading a spiritual life is its potential to take us beyond our everyday existence. It allows us to connect with something bigger, brighter and more powerful than ourselves.
And yes, that higher power pulses within us too - but it can also be extraordinarily inaccessible, particularly if we're disconnected from our own bodies. After all, how can we embrace what's on the inside, when the outside presents us with so many issues?
I see sensuality as the bridge. It bypasses thinking, worrying, anxiety and self-consciousness and takes us straight to feeling, pleasure, creativity, inspiration and transcendence.
Through sensual openness and the willingness to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into a multicoloured, multitextured, multidimensional world, we can find the miracle in what we touch, taste, see and hear, or in the fragrances that leave us longing.
Edgar Allan Poe said: "That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful."
Find profound pleasure in the world around us and, I believe, it strikes a chord with the deep, soul-quenching contentment and joy inside that's waiting to make our acquaintance. Once we know what pure pleasure feels like, it's only a matter of time before making ourselves responsible for it becomes the best thing we can possibly do.
* Image courtesy of Barefoot Tango