Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
What we don’t want with mindfulness and sex is something like, “Wow, this feels really nice … damn, did I reply to that email?”
Pretty much everyone has experienced a distracting thought during sex – a reminder of something to do, stress we are dealing with, or something unrelated that just pops into our head and won’t seem to leave.
Psychologists call is “spectatoring”; when your mind wanders away from the present.
Under normal circumstances, it’s a small issue and one that goes away on its own. However, there are plenty of people whose spectatoring dominates far too much of their life. It can also creep into your sex life and aggravate a Grand Canyon’s worth of other issues.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
It’s an old Eastern practice, but one that has found its way to the west and into many forms of self-help and phycology. It’s a simple practice and one that can greatly benefit all areas of your life.
In the simplest form, mindfulness is being present and in the now.
It’s not letting thoughts of the past or worries of the future affect you now. Notice the wording there? “Not letting”? It doesn’t mean that thoughts can’t creep into your brain. It means knowing how to exercise your mind so it can come back to what you’re doing at that moment.
One great example I heard…
Think of a rollercoaster.
It doesn’t matter if you like them or not, but when you’re on that ride … that’s all you’re thinking of. You’re feeling the vibrations of the cart/seat, the pressure of the safety bar/straps, the wind on your face, and the sounds of the clicks as you’re pulled up. You feel your racing breath and your heartbeat. You’re not thinking of your tax returns. You’re completely in the present moment.
And when the drop comes … your body and mind are completely together. Your body is feeling the ups, downs, pressure, temperature, and internal sensations – and your mind is right along with you.
A rollercoaster forces you to be present.
Mindfulness is learning to focus on what is happening now.
MINDFULNESS AND SEX – HOW DOES IT HELP?
It has been shown to aid in SO many issues – anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, lower blood pressure, aid in pain management, improve focus, increase a feeling of connectivity, etc.
MINDFULNESS VS MEDITATION
While some people might disagree with this comparison, the general idea is mindfulness is focusing on things now, while meditation is focusing on nothing. Learning to get go of thoughts or not judge them when they appear can be a useful stepping stone if you are having problems meditating.
HOW DOES IT RELATE TO SEX?
Let’s first look at some common sexual problems…
- Low personal moisture
- Performance anxiety
- Low arousal
- Erectile dysfunction
- Inability to orgasm
- Vaginal pain
These are just a handful picked out of a large pile of issues. And, while all of them can have medical reasons (e.g. some medications causing low libido or illness), there can also be mental reasons – very often some form of stress.
Mindfulness and sex can work very well together.
Like the rollercoaster, you stay in the sexual present.
- How is your heart beating?
- What sensations do you feel and where exactly do you feel them?
- How does the layer of sweat cool your body?
- How exactly do your partner’s lips feel on your stomach, now your thighs?
- Admiring the shadows and highlight on the body.
- How does your partner react as you’re touching them?
You’re looking at what is happening – not how well you’re doing it and NOT how to get to that orgasm. And, as much as the saying has been totally overused … it’s about the pleasure of the journey … not the destination.
MINDFULNESS AND SEX – HOW TO GET STARTED
Jumping into mindfulness during sex is probably a bit too much for most people – it can often be morphed and downgraded into forms of performance anxiety.
The better solution is to start with simple, everyday actions. You also don’t have to do it for very long – 10 minutes a day is a great start. Heck, even a couple minutes is great! There’s also no need for a special place or equipment. You don’t need candles, yoga mats, special clothes, or incense.
Practice focusing on details while you…
- Brush your teeth
- Wash your face
- Cook a meal
- Choose your clothes for the day
- Ride to work
- Wake up
- Wait in line or for something
- Slowly eat or drink
- Talk to someone
MINDFULNESS AND SEX TIPS
- The brain is a natural wanderer. You don’t expect a toddler to sit still for a long time – know that our brains are the same. Understand that an active brain is a GOOD thing.
- When your mind wanders, don’t forcefully drive it back to the present. Acknowledge the thought without judgement, then gently and lovingly pull things back to the now.
- Take a few deep breaths and focus on the air going in and out. Don’t forget to take in as much as possible. Breathe from the gut instead of the shallow intakes we are used to.
- There’s no need for mantras, but if you have a single sentence that you can use to remind you to come back to the present (a nice reminder, not a harsh one) totally go for it.
- Try an app or guided mindfulness video if you need a bit of help.
- It will feel very clunky at first, and that’s okay (and totally normal). As long as you stick to it, you will get the hang of it quickly. It will eventually become second nature to you.
- Mindfulness makes us more empathetic and understanding, which can make us better lovers and partners.
- When you have a handle on things, slowly integrate it into your masturbation or sex sessions. The focus is on what’s happening with you and your lover NOW. When your mind goes to that unanswered email, gently pull it back to where the shivers are going.
- If you suffer from erectile dysfunction (due to stress), this practice can greatly help. When you aren’t worrying about if you have an erection or not, and whether or not you can give/have an orgasm (because that’s not the goal), then things often start working as usual.
Also, if you want more useful articles, you might like these…
- 10 Health Benefits of Sex – Learn Why Sex Is Good For You
- How to Give a Massage – Romantic Touch and Erotic Endings
- BDSM and the 5 Senses – Get Kinky with Sensory Deprivation
Any other tips on mindfulness and sex? Share in the comments!