Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


There's a Place for Sensuality in Negotiations

Sensualtiy contributes to confidence—and desired outcomes.

Source: Perrone/Unsplash

Sensuality and negotiation are words that are not commonly used together. However, sensuality and sensual confidence are very important in a negotiation. Feeling sensually confident can help people achieve better outcomes in any negotiation.

Sensuality: What is it?

The word ‘sensuality’ is typically misunderstood and misused. As a result, it can be triggering for many. Sensuality is simply the experience of pleasure through the senses.

Humans are driven by desire, tending to focus on the goal of getting what is desired, unaware of what is being experienced on a physical level. In doing so, valuable opportunities for better outcomes are missed.

The mindset conditioned to seek desired outcomes through pushing, struggling, and enduring can be counterproductive. It fosters the belief that there will be no satisfaction until the desired outcome is achieved. Often, the effort outweighs the perceived benefit, and the dream or goal is abandoned. In negotiations, if the negotiator finds the process uncomfortable or not pleasurable, they will lose effectiveness. Buy-in, long-term agreements, enhanced relationships, or most creative solutions will not be achieved.

Does Sensuality Have a Role in Negotiations?

When awareness about sensuality is raised, it can serve as a barometer for how one is really feeling in a negotiation. Sensuality is a primal indicator of what is going on. It should not be ignored. The body never lies, so it can be used as a north star to indicate whether a course correction is needed.

Using sensuality provides a natural organization, flow, and pacing that leads to a smooth process and good results. Instant information about what is going on will be available, especially in challenging situations.

In negotiations, many look for the win, focusing energy on the other person or outcome or how to respond, rather than being in the moment through the sensual experience. Feeling good, enjoying the process, and embracing the risk is a more effective approach than believing one is taking something from someone, a commonly held view of the negotiation process.. The difference between the two mindsets can dramatically shift the outcome of a negotiation. Desire for the goal can be a driving force, but it’s the pleasure in each step of the process that will take s a person where they need to go.

Candia Raquel, founder of Centro de Poder (Power Center), refers to those who approach bargaining devoid of "hungry ghosts." In a recent interview on Art of Feminine Negotiation podcast, she explained that there is power in seeking enjoyment and desire, listening to the other party, and experiencing the process.

Appreciation and Gratitude

People deserve pleasure as a birthright, and that sensuality is how the fire of one’s aliveness is expressed. That is a powerful mindset from which to negotiate.

Even when goals are achieved, many block sensual pleasure, as they are not used to it. This leads to a culture of never-ending quest for "more" without appreciation or gratitude for what is already achieved. Learning to enjoy sensual pleasure while achieving one’s goals magnifies the pleasure of goal achievement as well.

Confidence rooted in sensuality means not only being confident about previous successes and knowledge but being confident in the present moment. Words, expressions, and position can all change the negotiation in the moment, no matter how much previous knowledge and success. Sensual confidence shows the strength of one’s presence.

Masculine vs Feminine Energy

Many have been conditioned to define success based on a competitive, masculine model. Both men and women see feminine as a liability and believe showing up with a more aggressive energy is key to being successful. That approach stifles sensuality in favor of more rigid postures and approaches.

Such ideas are now being widely reconsisdered. Learning to tap into sensuality, pleasure, and warmth allows a person to negotiate as a fully expressed version of themselves. This is the true key to success, whether negotiating personally or professionally.

The Three Ps

Raquel explains her 3P model to unlock sensuality.—posture, presence, and pleasure.

  1. Posture is how the body is doing. Whether one’s posture is puffed or collapsed, the effect will ripple into one’s presence.
  2. Presence is how one is seen. By getting intentional about being in the moment, fully there for and engaged with the other party, one will be present. If presence is lost, advantage is lost.
  3. Pleasure is the feeling in the moment. How the body is feeling physically says a lot about comfort or whether bsomething is going wrong. It is important to tune in to the body and use that as a guide.

All three P’s are needed for sensuality to happen. In a negotiation, some will collapse into smallness and fall into the "disease to please" mode. Others go into a negotiation with the competitive model, showing ego and arrogance. A negotiation approached in either of these ways, trying to be taller or shrinking down, minimizes sensuality.

Loss of sensuality is destructive to effective negotiated outcomes. Sensuality is required for strong confidence with a willingness to be completely seen, be fully present, and step into the full force of one’s "feminine" power. When this is done, it sets the tone for the negotiation, the process is enjoyable, and it can lead to better outcomes even in the most challenging negotiations.

Both men and women can tap into the "feminine" energy of their sensuality to become a more effective negotiator.

The full interview with Candia Raquel can be found here.

More from Cindy Watson B.A., LLB, JD
More from Psychology Today